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*Admins - move this to the Mods forum if you think it will be better served there. I've decided to move on from Oldrim and embrace the new Skyrim Special Edition. When I first started playing, I was going to run through the vanilla version just to get back into the game. I thought "Why am I just accepting what I've already played for 1800 hours plus when I can improve my game by the wonderful mods that are out there?" Well, I jumped into many rabbit holes and now I'm looking to the community for advice. I've built my list, checked it twice, and found which mods are naughty and nice. However, I want to understand some concepts that escape me. Why use SMIM when your just going to ovewrite it with another texture mod? - Some mods have compatibility patches. I never understood why you would use like three different texture mods: I first stated with SMIM, then ELFX (but that was for environment, weather, and lighting), then Noble Skyrim which also included land, and finally Skyland which I find more pleasing to my view of a landscape. I decided to eliminate Noble Skryim and just use ELFX with Skyland. Keeps it simple The Body Fetish - O to the MG! If we don't get enough naked bodies on TV, we have to add them to Skyrim. I'm not preaching, just saying no thanks. However. Bijin's AIO is probably the best I've seen among the character look overhaul. Karlialh - on fire! However, I found using Total Character Makeover, Divirsity and Bijins AIO a bit over kill. I could hardly see the scars on my Bosmer's face! Plus I like that deep dark tone that shows some wear and tear on my character. Sorry Bijin, but characters were meant to have some character - even in the face. Combat - A really tough choice with good options but bad implementation. Advance Adversary Encounters is just overkill - sorry txt2001 - I appreciate the challenge, but trying to deal with those type of encounters from an early level is not what I'm looking for. Combat Evolved had what I was looking for, but as I explored more options I found a better approach. Combat Evolved still gets my vote over AAE. Smilodon - the successor to Wildcat. I tried penalty and injury mods (Vigor was my first). While it did make combat more difficult, I found it a bit tedious because of the stamina hit that made my gameplay somewhat useless. Over 2000 hours of holding a bow drawn now costs me my Stamina - that's something I would have to get use to. Still I recommend this as an alternative to CE if you are wanting to have realistic combat over powerful enemies. High Level Enemies - I like the concept of this mod as it combines the best of deleveled, scaled, and leveled enemies with increase combat skills. I would consider using this over Skyrim Unleveled, but I like the concept of SU. I recommend HLE over Combat Evolved and AAE. You can use Smilodon, but I would recommend using one or the other - especially when you add immersion modes like Campfire, Frostfall, and Realistic Needs and Diseases. Skyrim Unleveled - a great pain in the ass mod, especially when you use his damage multiplier. You will NOT survive a multi-enemie encounter at first level unless you cheat. I don't recommend the multiplier - the combat is solid enough without it Plus using Skyrim Alchemy Fixed introduces a challenge when healing in combat. So, I'll just give a few words here about Skyrim Unleveled. Bleak Falls Barrow will no longer be the Nordic Ruin to level up in. You will have to find training elsewhere and I recommend you learn to chop wood - a lot of wood. You can cheat and give yourself gold to purchase training - I will not. I've added Ashara's merchant mod to provide merchants that sell skill books and are master trainers. Along with Amazing Follower Tweaks and Housecarl's as Tanks, I should be able to roleplay my Assassin character without issue. Also, SU provides the appropriate weapon usage and armor protection. No longer can you hack and slash with a sword at a tanked player - you will just irritate him. SU introduces crossbows into the game. While they penentrate armor, they don't do a lot of damage. However, against a light armored enemy, the bolts are quicker and you can move and shoot a lot easier than with a bow. It adds yet another element in the game to further enhance a deleveled experience. RECAP - don't use the damage multiplier; it is not necessary. Make sure you have a tanked warrior and a mage in your follower group using AFT. Be patient. Think. Move. Don't be a hero, but be bold and brave. Amazing Follower Tweaks - Finally, more than one follower and I can make em dance! This mod is useful in many ways but even more so when you add Frostfall (Campfire) as they can make camp if you need them to. It is best to be in an open area as they will make camp right in the middle of the road! Sneak mode is great because you can put your followers to invisible and muffled so you can sneak but have them with you if you fail. Sneak Tools - so many times my sneak never works when using vanilla come from behind attacks. With Sneak Tools you have the option of selecting what you want to do with success being determined on the difference in level, skill, and combat ability of the enemy. So it is measured in real time base on multiple factors not just sneak skill and perk. There are a lot more but I'll just start here. Please list your mods that you use - spare me the the body ones because I just don't care. I'll post my mods uses and my load order for advice. Strat