The Phoenix Flavour – Release 2.5

The Gameplay module is back!

Exactly one week later – exactly as promised! – I’m back with another update for the guide which brings back the third module. And trust me, no one is more surprised that I managed to stick to my schedule than I am.

If you take a look at the Changelog for 2.5 you will notice that it’s a little longer than the previous one. Let’s get into it.

Gameplay Rework

With this update, the Gameplay module as it was on the old website was changed considerably. As announced last week, I switched out quite a few mods for better alternatives – see the changelog – and overall reduced the (unintended) difficulty. You can still raise it yourself just by increasing flat damage multipliers through the Wildcat MCM and running the Know Your Enemy Patcher with an effect intensity of 1.0 for high resistances.

I have also turned all of my custom files, including plugin replacers, into standalone mods that are freely available on the Nexus. This also clears up the file section on the guide’s mod page and makes it easier for me to maintain the separate files.

You will notice that – just like with the latest Visuals update – the availability of options has been reduced by a lot. With Gameplay mods it’s even harder to keep them standalone, however I did start with adding smaller merges for a more compact, modular mod order.

For example, Harvest Overhaul Redone comes with two plugins. The HOR patch for Flora Respawn Fix has a plugin for each of those and with ChocolateNoodle’s reduction tweak for HOR, we have a total of five plugins. By merging them all together into one big ESP, we free up four slots in your load order and Harvest Overhaul Redone can remain optional.

I’m planning to add similar merges and changes to other mods in order to keep as many as possible optional and maintain a neat load order.

Other improvements

There were also a couple dozen changes to the first two modules – again, detailed in the changelog – to fix some broken links, wrong instructions and made some other changes that hopefully avoid any more confusion.

There are also no more packs. Back when I started working on TPF, I was considering the possibility of slowly turning it into a mod pack. To be honest, I still am but have mostly given up on it. My fix pack and the tweaks collection for the Gameplay module came from that idea of bundling mods together for faster and easier installation. They were now removed because they caused too much confusion and broke up the flow.

Skyrim update to 1.5.73

Unfortunately Skyrim was updated again to push updates and additions for our favorite Creation Club. Although SKSE and many of the dependant mods were already updated for 1.5.73, there are still reports that the Skyrim update causes frequent crashes in vanilla. Until that is cleared up or fixed, we will stick with Skyrim 1.5.62 and SKSE 2.0.12.

Updating an existing installation

For these instructions, I assume that you have The Phoenix Flavour 2.5 with both Core and Visuals installed. Updating is only supported for new games, not existing ones.

  • Core, Step 11: While not 100% necessary, I would recommend going back to your Core profile and re-doing most of the Step 11, the Fixes section. You’ll need to remove my Fix Pack and Fix Merge BSA, then download and install the separate mods. Some of them need to be resaved in the CK. Finally re-do the Fix merge.
  • Core, Step 11: remove Bard Instrumentals Only – Sing Upon Request and replace it with Bard Instrumentals Mostly – Sing Rarely.
  • Visuals, Step 7: new mods – HQ Solitude and Real 3D Walls
  • Visuals, Step 7: moved ElSopa – Realistic Dark Elf Urns to Visuals, Step 8
  • Visuals, Step 8: new mod – Ancient Pottery
  • Visuals, Step 14: new mods: Holy Wards and ENB Particle Lights – Dwemer Lanterns
  • Visuals, Step 15: reinstall Improved Eyes Skyrim and apply the now added FOMOD instructions
  • Visuals, Step 16: new mod: Rudy SSE – Tweaked Falling Needles and Leaves Effect
  • Visuals, Step 17: move Enhanced Landscapes directly below the LANDSCAPE ADDITIONS separator
  • Visuals, Step 17: move Landscape Fixes for Grass Mods directly below Enhanced Landscapes
  • Visuals, Step 17: new mod – Rudy SSE – Falling Leaves – Green Texture (install only if you chose RAT in the EVT FOMOD and Green Aspen Trees in the EL FOMOD)
  • Visuals, Step 17: moved up Blended Roads in the mod order and place it directly above Majestic Mountains
  • Visuals, Step 19: remove HD Water by MystiriousDawn
  • Visuals, Step 20.2: edit the executable settings for TexGen64.exe and DynDOLOD64.exe: remove the -o argument and filepath
  • load order: apply the updated load order.txt

In addition to that I have moved all skeleton replacers by rougeshot from Visuals, Step 13 to Gameplay, Step 12. Leave them for now and move them down to SKELETON – ANIMATION when installing the Gameplay module.

What’s up next for the guide?

In last week’s blog post I included something of a “road map” for 2019. The first part of it – re-integrating the Gameplay module – is now done and I’m comfortable with this new schedule of releasing an update with blog post each Saturday or Sunday.

My plans for this upcoming week are less ambitious than before. Most important for me is to thoroughly test the updated Gameplay module myself which means starting a new playthrough. There may still be bugs, unresolved conflicts and black faces.

Updating to the latest versions of Skyrim and SKSE64 is obviously on my list as well but will probably not happen this week.

There is also a bunch of work to be done for the backend and convenience features for my team and myself. I need a better list for potential mods and other changes which ought to be accessible for everyone and editable for all contributors. I also need a better way to register and track issues (currently considering a forum, but we’ll see). My backend is also a little chaotic with three subdomains and different guide versions. I need to straighten that up and ensure contributors and testers can access the WIP version.

And last but not least the guide really needs a First Launch page with MCM configs which I’d like to work on next. Plus a FAQ page and finally content for the Known Issues / Troubleshooting pages.

Comments on blog posts

Yes, the comments for last week’s post are all gone. I know, I’m unhappy about it. Unfortunately, I know of no way to migrate comments and the site gets essentially replaced everytime I update, meaning edits (or additions, like comments) that are made for the current version are lost.

I only realized that today and until I find a solution to this comments are disabled.

You can still get in touch with me anytime over Discord, the Nexus, reddit or per email (admin@thephoenixflavour.com). Please don’t hesitate to message me! It usually takes a while until I reply but I’ll get to it eventually. A little thank you! always makes my day. =)

Conclusion and thanks

As usual, I’d like to give my thanks to everyone who helped this update along.

  • Raven
  • Nth
  • nihues
  • Vesper Tia
  • Slendy
  • TotalWurzel
  • shadowDKnerd
  • … and everyone else I might have forgot!

I will see y’all next weekend for another update. Until then, happy modding!

– Phoenix