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The Songs of Jodene Sparks, Vol I
A journey from STEP to custom play-build.
What follows below is a journal of my choices, mistakes, successes and other notes as I put together a build of Skyrim I've come to enjoy playing*.
Part of this may appear the unintelligible ramblings of a madman, others parts more finely polished.
At times I'll throw an update or note here for myself, then come back later and edit/revise the ramblings into something more understandable.
* Your mileage may vary.
Prelude - A Chain of Many Links (to the Nexus)
- Installed vanilla Skyrim with all DLCs
- Optimized* DLC textures using the DDSopt Guide
* Used suggested constraints settings for High Quality (H1, H2, H3)
- Installed modding pre-reqs (SKSE, MO, BOSS, Wyre Bash, etc..)
- Vanilla Benchmarks
- Complete* STEP Core Installation and Benchmarks, using baseline and recommended** configuration options.
* All STEP core mods were installed EXCEPT: - 2.F. Conflicting Graphics - Bethesda Hi-Res DLC Optimized As suggested in the guide, having 2GB of VRAM means I could have used the stock HRDLC. Since I've already DDSopt'd the stock textures, I'll use them instead, at the top of my list in MO. - 2.J. Animations & Effects Skyrim Sunglare is no longer available for download. ** Recommended settings: I selected the red tomato texture, personal preference.
- STEP Core Benchmarks
At this point I played through Unbound a couple of times to give the build a burn-in test. Nothing notable while playing, no CTD, hangs or crashes, I'll call it stable.
From Border to Carriage
One more watch of the carriage-ride and it's time to build Jodene 'Dark Elf' Sparks.
Here's a little more about him:
Like so many others of his kin, he fled from the mountains of home after the events of Mirrowind. Not particularly skillful, he survived the crossing stealing bits of bread and other valuables from the roaming refugee groups that moved slowly down the hills. Stirred awake by the kick of an Imperial boot, groggily trying to remember the events of the previous night. Something about wine, a river and a barmaid... most certainly wine. Too much by the thud in his head.
To suit my play style, I think the character will build-out somewhere between an assassin and a frost/ice mage.
Not entirely sure how much of one verses the other just yet.
For the first few levels he's just going to be a basher in light armor until I enchant and gear up something more unique.
After completing Unbound and exiting the cave, I let the NPC wander far enough that he idles but doesn't leave. Give MCM a minute to find new menus. Check MCM for mods to activate/configure/test/save/save/save
On Clouds and the Heavens
- Added STEP Pack - Weather and Lighting*
* I decided to install only the mods from Weather of Skyrim and skipped any lighting or ENB options. BOSS, Bash and test with save. Give MCM a minute to find new menus. Check MCM for mods to activate/configure/test/save/save/save
The Winds and the Wild
- Added STEP Pack - Immersive Survival
There are some changes here that impact STEP Core here, a few notes include: Realistic Water Two should be re-installed with RND compatibility or Drink/Fill Bottles won't work correctly (I think) BOSS, Bash and test with save. Give MCM a minute to find new menus. Check MCM for mods to activate/configure/test/save/save/save