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B1indsid3

*Basic* - STEP patches clarification needed!

Question

*INTRODUCTION*
Hello, I'm new here. I'll start off with a little background for context. I've played Skyrim before, on the Xbox 360, so I'm mostly familiar with the game. Until this past weekend, I knew exactly NOTHING about modding in general or modding Skyrim. I have a pretty powerful PC now so I wanted to re-experience Skyrim at it's modded potential. Google searches on the topic led me straight to STEP. It's a rather steep learning curve, but between the comprehensive 2.2.9 guide and STEP wiki, the STEP tutorial videos by Gamer Poets, and some other assorted guides and tutorials, the process is far less intimidating as it otherwise would be. My congratulations and thanks to everyone involved in this project. I am in the process of going through STEP Core as a way of getting hands on experience with modding Skyrim. I especially appreciate the sound preparation and pre-installation practices that teach me how mod correctly from the start without developing any 'bad habits'. Eventually I'm sure I will screw it all up, and when I do I appreciate that starting over from scratch will be as painless as possible. I am currently progressed through 2.D. Fixes. In my attempts to thoroughly comprehend everything required for a successful STEP Core install (before actually doing anything), I went through and tried to familiarize myself with all steps in the process from start to finish. This included watching most of the videos in the STEP Official Video Series by Gamer Poets and reading many of the STEP wiki pages associated with the categories found in the 2.2.9 guide. This lead me to the understanding that after completing installation of all the mods, I will need a STEP patch and a bashed patch to finalize the whole process. I also understand that both the Core patch and Extended patch are NOT flexible assets; they are very specifically ONLY for mod builds that adhere exactly to their respective categories (Core, Ext.). Which brings us to..

*QUESTION*

My question is a bit multi-faceted and relates to the nature of the TES5edit merged patch, the STEP Core/Ext. patch and Combined Plugins, and their relationships to each other. 

1.) Are the STEP patches essentially streamlined, highly customized and optimized TES5Edit "merged patches"? If so, does installing a STEP patch replace / fulfill the purpose of what the STEP video series refers to as a "TES5Merged" patch, eliminating the need for the me to create my own TES5Merged patch? If no, a STEP Patch does NOT take the place of a TES5Edit Merged patch, would I then need all 3 patches implemented in order (Skse > mod list > STEP Core patch > TES5Edit merged patch > Bashed patch etc.? I am also still rather confused on what the "Combined Plugins" option is exactly, and how it differs from the STEP tutorial video version of a TES5edit merged patch.  

 

After countless google and forum searches and much reading on the STEP wiki, I still have not been able to find a direct answer to these questions (although admittedly I might have missed them). This was the first topic/question I failed to find clear material on. I see in the 2.2.9 guide there is NO entry for "TES5edit merged patch", but instead "2.N. Patches - STEP Patches". After watching the TES5Edit tutorial videos and reading much information on both separately, I understand the function of a TES5edit merged patch, how to make one, and where it goes. I also understand the STEP patches seem to be able to be manipulated in TES5Edit and that they, "Reduce the amount of plugins in STEP for those running strict STEP Core." All this leads me to believe they are different versions of the same thing, but I HATE assuming. 

2.) The reason I would like some clarification on this issue is because, eventually, I plan on adding to or customizing my mod build. My initial goal was to play Skyrim using Requiem and possibly an ENB preset with a lighting mod (ELFX?), AFTER fully completing the STEP Core build. If I understand it correctly, this means I will not be able to use the STEP Core patch. I am not sure how to proceed to accomplish my goal as far as it relates to configuring my patches properly (I still have quite a bit of research to do). If I was correct in my assumptions from question 1., then would I just be using my own custom made TES5Edit merged patch in place of anything provided by STEP?

3.)Additionally, while installing the mods from 2.D. Fixes, I arrived at a point where I decided I would prefer NOT to use the mod Dead Body Collision (personal preference: Don't want to worry about kicking, jumping over, or tripping over corpses. Also didn't want AI impeded by corpses or trying to path around them). Again, what I've read leads me to believe there can be no deviations from the Core Build while using the STEP Core patch. Is there a simple way to exclude Dead Body Collisions from my build without screwing up the STEP Core patch? I understand STEP doesn't support custom configurations. If not, I'll use DBC, its not the end of the world. It would be helpful to know though for future reference. This might be moot if my desired setup requires that I not use a STEP patch at all. 

I apologize if these are trivial questions. I honestly did try to locate the answers through comparing sources on the wiki, tutorial videos, and forum discussions. I found myself actually becoming more confused on the issue the more information I absorbed. I would really like to play Skyrim with Requiem so I'm hoping the process to configure STEP Core mods, Requiem, their patches, and all be compatible is not one that is prohibitive to an extreme newbie such as myself. 

Thanks in advance for any help on this issue. The STEP project is awesome!

Edited by B1indsid3

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1. It is not a merged patch: it is better than a merged patch. While a merged patch can help fix some incompatibilities, it doesn't get everything. We have gone through and forwarded the necessary records for conflicting plugins. Also, whereas a merged patch generates patches for leveled lists as well, we allow the Bashed Patch to take care of leveled lists. With a full and unaltered STEP installation, a merged patch is unnecessary.

 

2. It depends on how worried about conflicts you are, how good you are at using TES5Edit to solve conflicts, and what mods you install and how much they conflict with the STEP build. I would recommend that if you don't know much about using TES5Edit to forward the necessary records into your own custom-made patch, that you should apply a merged patch on top of the STEP patch, loading it after the STEP patch. It won't be perfect, because the merged patch isn't perfect, but it will be mostly correct.

 

3. I also prefer not to use Dead Body Collisions, and I know you will be fine using the STEP patch without it. The rule is a little loose, and generally-speaking, you only need the mods whose masters are in the STEP patch to be able to use it.

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1. It is not a merged patch: it is better than a merged patch. While a merged patch can help fix some incompatibilities, it doesn't get everything. We have gone through and forwarded the necessary records for conflicting plugins. Also, whereas a merged patch generates patches for leveled lists as well, we allow the Bashed Patch to take care of leveled lists. With a full and unaltered STEP installation, a merged patch is unnecessary.

 

2. It depends on how worried about conflicts you are, how good you are at using TES5Edit to solve conflicts, and what mods you install and how much they conflict with the STEP build. I would recommend that if you don't know much about using TES5Edit to forward the necessary records into your own custom-made patch, that you should apply a merged patch on top of the STEP patch, loading it after the STEP patch. It won't be perfect, because the merged patch isn't perfect, but it will be mostly correct.

 

3. I also prefer not to use Dead Body Collisions, and I know you will be fine using the STEP patch without it. The rule is a little loose, and generally-speaking, you only need the mods whose masters are in the STEP patch to be able to use it.

1.) Awesome! That clears everything up there.

 

2.) According to your instructions would my mod list look something like: Skse > STEP Core mods > Requiem mods and patches > special stuff that loads after Requiem > STEP Core Patch (does this go before the Requiem stuff?) > TES5merged patch (+forwarded records) > Bashed patch? 

 

3.) This is awesome, I was hoping DBC was insignificant and it was simple. So its obvious I need to invest some time in learning the how to become much better at TES5Edit, as that seems to be where my bottleneck for progression resides. 

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I don't know how the Requiem stuff works, but I believe there is a pack around that might tell how to use it.

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Double check that cause Requiem does some stuff with levelled lists and the like itself too. You may not need a Merged Patch.

 

But assuming an ideal world, your suggested possible order makes sense.

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Hey guys, back with a few follow up questions (hopefully simple). Since the OP I have completed the 2.2.9 STEP Core guide and successfully play tested the game without any major issues manifesting. I used some suggestions I found online (tgm, tcl, player.setav speedmult 2000) to stress test the game. The only issue I noticed was game/framerate freezes (while flying) that lasted anywhere from less than a second to a few seconds. I'm guessing this is my system bottlenecking as it tries to load new world cells at such an accelerated rate? After stress testing a while I went back to MO and copied my original profile to a new one to build upon further. That brings me to a few more questions:

 

1.) I installed the mods Vividan ENB + ELFX + CoT and configured them according to the instructions on the Vividian ENB page and the STEP YouTube series. I'm assuming since Vividian is a featured preset on the guide that there aren't too many compatibility issues with them? But I hate assuming. Are there any major compatability issues between my STEP Core build these 3 new mods? Can I still use the STEP Core patch with these 3 new mods? I noticed ELFX overwrites a few files from USKP + DLCs, SMIM, and Ruins Clutter Improved. I don't see CoT overwriting anything, and Vividian overwrites quite a few things. 

2.) If it is still ok for me to use the STEP Core patch, where would it go in the left pane install order, does it matter? I question whether it should go a) after the STEP Core mods and before my 3 new ENB mods or b) still at the very end after all my new ENB mods? Similar question for the bashed patch, does that still go at the very end (after my 3 new ENB mods)?

 

CXRdehL.png
 

3.) As per DoubleYou's response above, I looked into conflict resolution using TES5Edit to manipulate records, and it struck me as the realm of experienced modders and a rather deep rabbit hole that I should probably stay away from. I'll probably just be using his suggestion of a TES5Edit merged patch if at all possible. Would my new ENB additions require me to, "apply a merged patch on top of the STEP patch, loading it after the STEP patch"?

4.) The only mod I thought I'd like to use for my initial playthrough that I don't have is the CCOR mod included in STEP Extended. Much the same as my above questions, would adding CCOR create any big problems? Would it prevent me from using the STEP Core patch? Need for TES5Merged patch etc etc. 

 

5.) Also When I was playtesting the game after STEP Core, I had serious microstuttering issues when running, looking around, or just watching the Helgen intro sequence (using Vsync + 60 hz). I have a very nice TN display (BenQ XL2430T) which can do 144hz. There was no noticable input lag or nething but the visual display was stuttering constantly even though my fps never dropped below 60, although I did notice a few times where it dropped to ~58 for a brief instant (I use MSI/Rivatuner for monitoring). The game was pretty much unplayable for me with the amount of stuttering I was getting. I switched to 144hz and used Afterburner to limit the framerate to 60. The stuttering disappeared, everything seemed perfect, and I didn't experience any noticeable screen tearing. I'm not familiar with the idiosyncrasies of Skyrim graphics, is limiting the frames instead of using Vsync an acceptable option? I searched google a bit, but the wild disparity in opinions didn't clear anything up for me. I saw some saying 57.6 fps, some saying 64 fps/64 hz, and many other subjective opinions about how to configure Skyrim graphics. Any insight? Also, my shadows during playtesting were jagged, blocky, and terrible even though I believe the base settings were on Ultra in the launcher. Any insight here? Maybe the ENB will fix this? My pc for reference: R9 290x 4gb, i-5 2500k, 8gb 1600 mhz, WD Black 7200 1TB.

 

I mentioned previously in this thread I'd like to use Requiem, but when I went to look into it, it seems an update to v1.9 is imminent. I'll probably just wait till that is released and all the bugs/patches worked out before I try to bother making Requiem compatible. Sorry for so many pesky questions, and thanks for any additional help!!

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