The Phoenix Flavour – Release 2.4

Welcome to the new website for The Phoenix Flavour!

I started moving the guide here in late January, then went on to completely redo the layout and color scheme last week and finally I’m happy enough with it to call it a release. Aside from the slew of mods that were added, I have updated many of the instructions to reflect the latest developments and releases in the modding community.

Most notably this includes the integration of SSE Asset Optimizer, a very neat little tool that combines NifScan, NIF Optimizer, BSArch and more in one to be a one-click solution to updating / porting Classic Skyrim mods.

What does the website in its current state offer?

Right now there is only the Core and Visuals module. Gameplay is pretty much done and will probably be added next weekend. I went ahead and released it ‘unfinished’ for the sake of having some issues people had finally cleared up – this includes having to use SSEEdit64.exe for the WICO cleanup script and confusion about whether or not to install Scaleform Translation Plus Plus as it breaks moreHUD.

The amount of choices was also reduced significantly. All but two mods have retained their (optional) status but I have nuked the choices for several sections in the Visuals module. For your weather overhaul you will be able to choose from Obsidian and Aequinoctium Weathers. Choices were removed for the following sections:

Lighting overhaul – now only using Enhanced Lights and FX
Tree overhaul – now only using Enhanced Vanilla Trees
Grass overhaul – now only using Veydosebrom
Water overhaul – now only using Realistic Water 2

Are those choices permanently gone? For lighting and water, yes. I am planning to re-add the choice for tree and grass overhauls as well as some other sections, but I’m putting that off until after the content section is released.

Important changes

1) The process of sorting your mod and load order is now much simpler and faster.
You will sort your mod order as you already and only re-arrange some mods under the EARLY and LATE LOADER separators in the end. As for your load order, I have uploaded a custom plugins.txt – which is the file that MO2 uses to save your load order – and applying it to your MO2 profile will automatically sort your plugins. It is now a matter of overwriting the existing plugins.txt and pressing F5 to refresh MO2.

2) Many instructions were moved to separate articles on the Resources page.
This includes simple directions like ‘unpack and delete the BSA’ as well as porting instructions and running SSE Asset Optimizer on any mod. You will most likely check those instructions the first five to ten times you have to follow them and then you know what to do. If I need to update anything about them, I can now do so globally without the need to separately edit every single page they appear on.

3) My custom patches are now called Final Patch and there is only one for each module.
First up, this doesn’t mean you have no choices at all anymore, however – as stated above – I did cut back significantly on the amount of choices. Once I’m done with the Content module I will come back and strip some of the edits from the main patch with the intention to offer different versions of it. This will double the amount of patches and I want to know how many patches (and for which mods) I will need to add for the Content module first.

4) I have added 76 mods and removed 25 mods.

You can find details on everything here in the changelog.

‘Road map’ for 2019

Disclaimer: Below are my plans and estimations. Please don’t consider them promises of any sort. This guide is very much a one-woman-show and it will stay that way, meaning that changes and updates happen as soon as I can make them happen and that’s often not very soon at all.

1) Finish the Gameplay module.
As mentioned, I have done quite a bit of the work on this already and will finish hopefully over the course of the week and in time for release next weekend. There are quite substantial changes to this module, including much better balancing. Ars Metallica is swapped out for Complete Crafting Overhaul Redone and Convenient Horses for Immersive Horses, Advanced Adversary Enemies got the boot and was replaced with High Level Enemies which will make for better lategame and less painful difficulty early on.

2) Finally get the Content module done.
Yes, I’ve been saying this since forever. That’s why it’s next on the list, before every else regarding improvements and additions to what we already have.

3) Improve the website.
I need to flesh out the Known Issues and Troubleshooting sections as well as add a FAQ page. I’m also considering some kind of bugtracker and perhaps more frequent blog posts on all things modding.

4) Add to the existing sections.
This will mostly affect the Visuals and Gameplay modules. Make more mods optional, add a couple more choices, update with newly released mods.

Wild ideas and stuff I might do in the future

  • Videos! With talking and explaining and all that stuff.
  • A Showcases page with preview videos and screenshots, hopefully provided by me and you guys.
  • Something like the old GEMS for Classic Skyrim?
  • A ‘skeleton’ guide with the Core as foundation. Modding guide – DIY edition. How to figure out mod order, compatibility and so on.
    • This would be quite similar to something like the Nordic Skyrim guide and I’m not interested in any kind of rivalry. This is far down the list.

Personal note

The reason why I can dedicate so much time to the guide is simply because I have nothing else to do. Except for the doing the laundry and changing my bed sheets and other intriguing chores like that. Sounds great, yes?

Not really. I’m not a rich kid, just a depressed kid – currently taking a break from school to wait for a spot in a day-care clinic that might help me get back on my feet (or it might not). I turned twenty in February and I’m honestly still in denial about it. I don’t feel older than three or four years ago, and I certainly don’t feel like an adult.

In any case, my current reality is so devoid of meaning or excitement that I would just sleep all day if it wasn’t for the guide. Instead of lying in bed and contemplating suicide I go through xEdit with a fine-toothed comb to find conflicts. It gets me out of bed in the morning. I’ve been getting up at 9am sharp for over a week now and only to work on this update!

This is not me trying to throw a pity party for myself. What I’m trying to say is that 1) I can spend all my time on the guide unless my motivation goes on vacation again (which it frequently does) and 2) that this can change any day when the clinic calls and tells me that I can be admitted. I’ll still have evenings and weekends to work on the guide but it’s going to be a lot less time. That’s why I’m trying to push the Content module as soon as possible.

I’ll stop rambling now.

Conclusion and thanks

Everything is said now I believe. Next weekend I’ll be back with another blog post for the Gameplay module update and a proper reddit announcement post. I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly give my thanks to the following people who have been helping me with the update and kept me company on Discord over the last couple weeks:

  • Faron
  • Raven
  • nihues
  • Nth
  • Kedavix
  • Everyone who donated!

I’m sure there are several people I forgot to mention, please don’t take it personally! Our server has become a flourishing little community and I appreciate everyone around who keeps those discussions alive, helps out others with their problems and me with the guide in general!

Have a wonderful week and happy modding!

– Phoenix