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(updated September 09, 2013)

Arwen's Mod List
part one
Page Menu: | Utilities | Interface | Rebalancing & Leveling | Quest Fixing Patches
Mod Utilities

Nexus Mod Manager [NMM] v.0.32.0 (10/26/12)

"The Nexus Mod Manager (NMM) is a free and open source piece of software that allows you to download, install, update and manage your mods through an easy to use interface. It integrates with the Nexus sites to provide you with a fast, efficient and much less hassle free modding experience"

Changes in Version 0.21.0:
Added Features:
- Added support for Dark Souls.
Bug Fixes:
- Removed Archive Invalidation button from Morrowind UI.
- Updating mod info, or recovering missing mod info, doesn't reset the Install Date.
- Added missing Settings tab for non-Gamebryo games.

Arwen Note: This utility program makes it much easier to manage mods. 

Warning! If you use the NMM to download and automatically install mods posted on the Skyrim Nexus site, make sure that the the mod has been packaged for the NMM. The problem is that many mods are not packaged correctly, or there are optional files that you can download (that you will likely miss). I examine all the mods that I download before using the NMM to install them (by viewing the archive before activating it).

You may also want to take a look at my Nexus Mod Manager (NMM) Tips (which is part of my Skyrim Tips page).

Nexus Mod Manager

Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE) v.1.6.3 (10/24/12) - byIan Patterson, Stephen Abel and Paul Connelly (ianpatt, behippo and scruggsywuggsy the ferret):

"SKSE will support the latest version of Skyrim available on Steam, and only this version (currently .8.151.0). When a new version is released, we will update as soon as possible; please be patient."

"Steam must be running before SKSE is launched. If it isn't, then the Steam DRM will attempt to launch Steam with a command line parameter saying "launch me again please", quit Skyrim, eventually Steam will launch, notice the command line parameter, then relaunch Skyrim. Since that final launch isn't controlled by skse_loader, SKSE doesn't load."

About version 1.6.3 (10/24/12):

Arwen WARNING! Do NOT update to version 1.6.3, unless you have updated Skyrim to version (released 11/01/12).  Unless you have manually installed the Beta update, you are likely running the current Steam version of Skyrim, which is version (as of 10/26/12)

Hint: to find out what version of Skyrim you are using, right-click on "TESV.exe" (in the Steam\steamapps\common\skyrim directory), select "Properties", open the "Details" Tab.

 Arwen Note: Any mod that has [requires SKSE] needs to have this installed

Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE)

TES5Edit v. Experimental (10/22/12) - by Sharlikran:

"This is a very early and highly experimental release of TES5Edit. If you don't know what TES5Edit is, you probably shouldn't be using it yet."


HiAlgoBoost FPS Performance Accelerator v.1.34c (08/31/12) - by HiAlgoBoost:

"Bumps up framerate by up to 400% (during character motion), e.g. 12fps-->60fps. With HiAlgoBoost you can:
1) Play Skyrim smoothly with highest settings, effects and mods.
2) Play Skyrim on a laptop with low-end GPU ( MacBook Air etc. )
3) Play Skyrim on a laptop with high-end GPU in power-save mode,
extending the battery life by a factor of x2 (at least!) and
preventing GPU overheating and fan activation."

Changes in v.1.34c:
- Made optional: popup window on start, beep on F10 toggle of HiAlgoBoost.
- Extended keyboard support, including option for instant turnaround.

Arwen Note: This utility fixed my low FPS issues that I was having when there were a number of NPCs/Creatures nearby and in the towns during the evening (when the FPS are the lowest for me).  The way that it kicks in as my character moves, makes the resolution changes mostly undetectable.  If you are having FPS issues, I highly recommend giving HiAlgoBoost a try.

If you need help with this utility, you may want to first take a look at the HiAlgoBoost for Skyrim: FAQ

HiAlgoBoost FPS Performance Accelerator

Page Menu: | Utilities | Interface | Rebalancing & Leveling | Quest Fixing Patches

SkyUI v.2.2 [requires SKSE] (3/02/12) - by SkyUI Team:

"SkyUI is mod that aims to improve Skyrim's User Interface by making it easier to use with mouse and keyboard, less wasteful of available screen space and nicer to look at.

We do all that while keeping true to the style of the original UI, so new and old components are integrated seamlessly.

It is not our goal to re-create the complete interface from scratch. Instead we try to identify and change areas that need improvement, while leaving the things that are already good alone.

Further general objectives and design concepts are:
- Finding a good balance between 'dumbed down' and 'information overkill'.
- Easy installation and setup by providing a user-friendly installer with the Nexus Mod Manager.
- Great customization support by using a separate configuration file.
- Blending features in as good as possible - players shouldn't feel reminded that they're using a mod.

Since improving the whole UI is a big undertaking, we release only single menus at a time as we make progress.
The following sections give an overview of what's included so far, as well as what we plan to address next."

Arwen Note: This mod makes the menus MUCH nicer! All the main menus, except for the Favorites, have now been completed.


Keyboard Remap FIX v.1.0 (01/03/12) - by Sebbo_Nation:

"This Fix includes Hardcode for all Menu Keys. With this Fix it is possible to change your Gameplay Keys like Movement and Menu opening Keys like the "Inventory Key" as your own without breaking the Menu Keys.
All Menu Key's are now Hardcoded and conform the Interface Keys that are lookup in the Menus (like the "Inventory" F=Favorite, without F=Changing your Point Of View)."

Arwen Note: It took me a while to understand this mod, and to appreciate what it does, but I'm really happy that I found it. One of my biggest issues with the default game is that it changed the keyboard controls so much from the previous TES games (Morrowind and Oblivion).  And, if you try to reassign keys for something like switching your POV, you'll mess up the menu commands as well (and the prompts will still give the old key commands).  Now I can use TAB again to switch between 1st and 3rd person, and TAB still works in the menus.

Keyboard Remap FIX

Page Menu: | Utilities | Interface | Rebalancing & Leveling | Quest Fixing Patches
Rebalancing & Leveling (in addition to the big Overhaul mods)

Character Creation Overhaul (Races - Classes - Skills - Specializations - Attributes) v.1.3.2 (09/09/12) - by Syclonix:

"Character Creation Overhaul finally brings back birthsigns, classes, specializations, favored attributes, and major/minor skills to Skyrim. No more boring cookie-cutter characters--Choice matters again! Whereas vanilla Skyrim only provided you with 10 options for starting characters (excluding customizing their appearance), Character Creation Overhaul allows for 229,320 unique character combinations! Best of all, CCO is built for maximum compatibility with other mods (i.e. Skyrim Redone, ACE Comprehensive Enhancements, Alternate Start - Live Another Life) and works with new characters and existing characters alike. Here are the features of this mod:"

Version 1.3.2 Changes: Fixed bug that would improperly apply stats for some players after changing races using the CCO menu.
Version 1.3.1 Changes: Automated installer script for Nexus Mod Manager made by Sushisquid

Version 1.3.0 Changes:
- Respec your character using the book "A New Begining"
- Option to uninstall CCO in-game using the book "A New Begining"
- CCO can now be enabled/disabled on a per-character basis
- Added 'CCO - Permanent Birthsigns.esp' which removes the ability to change standing stones in-game
- Multi-language support added (contact me if you would like to translate CCO into your language)
- Made Diverse Races And Genders optional through a separate .esp file
- CCO Menu will now appear right after you choose your race at the beginning of the game
- Made Upgrading and Uninstalling process easier and more informative
- Fixed Bug that allowed the player to have two standing stone bonuses active at one time


- Diverse Races and Genders (optional): Vanilla Skyrim allowed any starting character, regardless of race or gender, to excel at virtually anything, taking out the fun, strategy, and role-playing aspects of previous Elder Scrolls games from the overall Skyrim experience. CCO makes races and genders diverse again, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, so that each play through will be noticeably different. For example, a male Orc will have more starting health and carrying capacity than a female High Elf, but the High Elf will have significantly more magicka. Starting health, magicka, stamina, and carry weight have all been carefully and formulaically derived from each race/gender's traditional attributes (e.g. Strength, Endurance, Intelligence, etc.) and then adjusted for balance in Skyrim. Additionally, (like in the previous Elder Scrolls game) all races' skills will start at level 5 before racial bonuses are applied. See the CCO Races chart for specifics. See the CCO Races chart for specifics.

- Birthsigns: Choose the constellation (standing stone) you were born under when you create your character, just like in previous Elder Scrolls games. Optionally, you can choose to be born without a birthsign or change your standing stone later.

- Traditional Class System: All 21 classes from Oblivion make a comeback in Skyrim (by modified to compensate for Skyrim's fewer skills and attributes). Like Oblivion, you also have the option of creating your own custom class and selecting your own specialization, favored attribute and 6 major skills. Each choice effects your character's starting skills and (optionally) their skill progression rates.

- Dynamic Skill Progression (Optional): Specialized skills in previous Elder Scrolls games progressed faster than non-specialized skills. In Skyrim, all skills progress at the same rate, making each character more adaptable, but also no different from any other character. CCO brings dynamic skill progression to Skyrim and improves upon it by having specialized skills, racial skills, and major skills all easier to learn (to varying degrees) while making untrained skills harder to learn. This feature is highly recommended but can be optionally disabled in-game.

Compatibility: "This mod is fully scripted and does not change any existing game records. As such, it is technically compatible with all other mods, even alternate start mods and mods that make changes to races, abilities, perks, skills, etc. CCO will simply add its changes on top of any other installed mods. The only changes that will not stack are racial starting skill bonuses (skill rate changes still stack). For compatbility, any mod that adjusts racial starting skills will take precedence over CCO's racial starting skills.

CCO is also compatible with SkyRe. Just note that the Lockpicking skill in CCO correlates to SkyRe's Wayfarer skill and the Pickpocket skill in CCO correlates to SkyRe's Fingersmith skill. For example if you choose Lockpicking as a major skill, it will give a bonus to your Wayfarer skill in SkyRe."

Arwen Note: This mod does a really good job of permitting me create a unique character, with the resulting character starting out exactly the way I had expected (I found other mods of this type resulted in my character starting out much stronger than I wanted her to be).  I still ending up making my own adjustments (such as reducing her carrying weight), but that was not this mod's fault ... as I also had to tweak my OB character in much the same way.

Character Creation Overhaul

Difficulty tweaks v.x (07/27/12) - by Soltis:

"Adjusted difficulty damage ratios -- fDiffMultHP* and fDamageSkill* settings -- to make the damage ratios less extreme, and to bias them closer to 1:1. Original difficulty scaling specified damage ratios between 4:1 and 1:4, meaning that at Novice difficulty the player did 4x the damage of NPCs, and NPCs did 4x the damage of the player at Master.

However, this is further compounded by the fDamageSkill variables. These variables specify how much damage is done at skill level zero vs. skill level 100, and of course everything in between. By default, the player does 1.5x base weapon damage at level 100, while NPCs do 3x base damage -- which means that the difficulty scaling variables are already biased 2:1 in the NPCs favour.

In short, this meant that at skill level 100, an NPC did EIGHT TIMES the damage of the player character on Master difficulty (including the player doing half damage, compounded twice)."

Default Player:NPC damage ratios:
Novice: 2:1; Apprentice: 1:1; Adept: 1:2; Expert: 1:4; Master: 1:8

Adjusted Player:NPC damage ratios:
Novice: 2.5:1; Apprentice: 1.5:1; Adept: 1:1; Expert: 1:2.28; Master: 1:4

Arwen Note: This mod is not want I expected . . . it is NOT a bunch of tweaks, but is one simple tweak.  But it is often the small things that can make all the difference.  I personally found the default game way too easy, and one of the first thing I did was to increase the game's Difficulty from Adept to Expert, but that just made the combat feel way unbalanced (and unrealistic).  Even after I had added a bunch of mods and made some tweaks of my own, I was still not totally happy with the game's difficulty. Then I discovered this mod.  After play testing it for a bit, I immediately increased the game's Difficulty up to Expert, as Adept was now even easier.  But the Expert Difficulty setting now felt perfect to me.

Updated 08/05/12: Now that I am using Duke Patricks - Archery And Heavy Weapons Combat, I am no using this mod, as the default "Adept" Difficulty is now a better match for me (When using Duke's mod, I found the tweaked "Expert" Difficulty made my game too difficult).

Difficulty Tweaks

More Powerful Dragons v.1.2 (02/07/12) - by RPM:

"Damage from melee attacks, such as biting among others, have been increased. Damage to the breath of dragons have been increased. Added more resistant to damage and magic to the dragons (50% of Resistance). Increasing life of dragons. Increasing Difficulty of dragons."

Optional Harder Versions (separate files): Including an Unleveled version that unlevels the leveled list. "So, sometimes, due to their level, you need to flee instead of fight (Sometimes we are simply not prepared to kill a certain dragon)."

Compatibility: This mod is not compatible with mods That alter Dragons.

More Powerful Dragons

Page Menu: | Utilities | Interface | Rebalancing & Leveling | Quest Fixing Patches
Quest Fixing & Patches

Latest Skyrim Update v.1.8 (version - Released on Steam: 11/01/12

Changes in V.1.8:

- General stability improvements
- Fixed issue with horse animations
- Fixed rare crash when using vampiric grip
- Fixed issue where Arnleif and Sons Trading Company could become permanently locked
- Fixed issue related to duplicate NPCs
- Fixed rare issue where exterior door would not open properly

Arwen Note: If you have Skyrim's properties set on Steam set to "Automatic Updates," you will have the latest version.

Source: The Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages - Skyrim Patch Page

Unofficial Skyrim Patch v.1.2.3 (11/01/12) - by Arthmoor :

"This mod is an effort to fix the vast amount of bugs currently existing in Skyrim."

Version 1.2.3 Changes (link)

Arwen Note: In my opinion, this is a necessary install, just for a the quest issues that it fixes. Plus it does way more than that.

Unofficial Skyrim Patch

Page Menu: | Utilities | Interface | Rebalancing & Leveling | Quest Fixing Patches

next: arwen's mod list - part two - Graphic Enhancements

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