NEW GAME

FINAL CHECKS

Before jumping into the game, go through one final checkup. In Mod Organizer 2, go to View > Notifications. If this is greyed out, you are good to go! If not there are multiple different warnings you might encounter:

Missing master
One of your plugins is missing a master file. It is marked with an exclamation mark in your load order. This is most likely due to skipping a mod that was not optional or selecting the wrong option in a FOMOD installer. Go back to the mod’s instructions in the guide and double-check everything.

Form 43 Plugin
You forgot to re-save one or several plugins in the Creation Kit. Re-save them now.

Files in your overwrite
This one is not particularly problematic and you can probably ignore it for the time being.

FINAL ADJUSTMENTS

1) Go through your mod order once again. Are there any optional mods you’d rather not use for your upcoming playthrough? Disable them now.

Note: Some optional mods may now be masters for DynDOLOD so you will need to either leave them enabled or re-generate DynDOLOD without them in the load order. If you want to disable any tree- or landscape-related mods, you will also have to rerun DynDOLOD.

2) Has there been a Skyrim update recently? If so, SKSE64, the mods depending on it as well as the guide may receive an update shortly and it may be worth it to wait a week or two for everything to catch up before diving into the game.

Note: Also keep an eye on my blog or our Discord server in case a major update for the guide or a mod is imminent.

Run SKSE through MO2 and select NEW in the main menu.

MOD INITIALISATION

After starting a new game, you will be dropped in the Alternate Start – Live Another Life cell where you can customise your character, then configure your mods before you actually start playing.

Stand still and wait until all messages have run through in the upper left corner. Then hit ESCAPE and create a manual save before you continue.

DEPTH OF FIELD

  • Press ESCAPE and go into Settings > Display.
  • Turn down Depth of Field all the way.

Note: This will disable the regular DOF effect without disabling underwater blur.

WILDCAT - CONFIGURATION POWER

While Wildcat (the main combat overhaul) does come with a fantastic MCM, it also adds a (for SkyUI users) completely redundant lesser power for configuration purposes to your character. In order to remove it, you need to click your way through all its options until the very last one (simply select all the default options) and finally you can opt to remove the power from the menu. Customise the mod later on through the MCM.

MOD CONFIGURATION MENUS

Thanks to SkyUI, it is possible to configure most mods directly through their Mod Configuration Menu – or MCM for short – which you can access through the main menu. Hit ESCAPE and select Mod Configuration. See recommended changes for most of the guide’s MCMs below.

A MATTER OF TIME

Configure the clock widget to your liking or untick Show for each module in the General tab to hide it until you are ready to customise it.

COMPLETE CRAFTING OVERHAUL REMASTERED
Note: The CCOR MCM can be a little slow at times.

  • Optional: Under Recipe Display > Crafting Menu Filters, disable:
    • Crafting Categories
    • Item Type Filters

While I think CCOR’s crafting menu filters are a great idea, I very much dislike their implementation and prefer to disable them entirely.

  • Optional: Under Crafting Options > Breakdown Equipment, disable:
    • At Smelter
    • At Tanning Rack

Equipment breakdown can throw off balancing a little since you get more that way and I personally just don’t like the feature.

  • Optional: Under Miscellaneous > Leveled Items, disable:
    • Upgrade via Crafting

Another feature I personally dislike and do not use.

DIVERSE DRAGONS COLLECTION

By simply opening the MCM once, the mod will recognise that you have SKSE and SkyUI installed, and automatically removes its configuration tool from your Powers menu.

NETHERS FOLLOWER FRAMEWORK

  • Optional: I recommend activating the following options under Activity > Sandboxing:
    • Ignore Special Furniture
    • Stop During Player Dialogue
    • Only Sandbox In Town
  • Optional: Disable the Regard system under Gameplay > Regard:
    • Allow Regard: Off
  • Optional: You can disable the Command Followers ability under System > Casted Abilities to further de-clutter your Powers menu.
  • Under System > Core, check the Enable ConsoleUtil option.

GENUINELY INTELLIGENT SOUL TRAPS

This mod – while focusing on bug fixes and soul gem multithreading – comes with some very nifty level requirement options. If you like, you can set level requirements for each of its special features as well as the for capturing of each tier of souls. Toggle and adjust this system in the Leveling tab.

GROWL – WEREBEASTS OF SKYRIM

  • Optional: Toggle on Invulnerable During Transformation.

IMMERSIVE HUD

You can change the hotkey to display the HUD here. I recommend turning on the Key Press Toggles option but that is a personal preference.

LANTERNS OF SKYRIM II

  • Change Settings > Change every… to 60s.

OBSIDIAN WEATHERS

  • Click Remove Spell to get rid of the spell for non-SkyUI users. All options can be configured through the MCM.
  • Click Enable Season FX if you would like to have seasonal weathers (more snow in winter etc).

REALISTIC WATER TWO

  • Under Mod Options > Blacksmith Forge Water, toggle the following options:
    • The Fall of Granite Hill
    • Kynesgrove
    • Rorikstead

RELATIONSHIP DIALOGUE OVERHAUL

  • Under Other Options > Toggle NPCs, disable Allow Terek.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

Another large MCM, and one you should configure now, at the start of the game as it affects many quests that start very early on in Vanilla. I’ve personally increased the Dawnguard level requirements to 30+ and set Dragonborn to start only after Alduin’s defeat but this is all down to your preferences and plans for this playthrough.

Thanks to the FISSES support, it is also possible to load, save and share custom presets through the MCM (Extra Options tab).

VIOLENS

  • Under Melee, enable Player Killmove Immunity.
    • Killcams against the player character often trigger and kill you even if you could have survived the hit HP-wise.
  • If you like, you can also disable Killmoves entirely (Melee and/or Ranged).

WILDCAT – COMBAT IN SKYRIM

  • Personal recommendation: Disable Injuries.

WONDERS OF WEATHER

  • Optional: Under Rainsplashes, set Level to None to disable the effect. I personally think it looks odd most of the time.

Once you’re done configuring everything, save the game manually. Then talk to the Statue of Mara, select one of the options (vanilla start is possible, too) and interact with the bed in the corner to truly start your playthrough.

Good luck and have fun!