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March 7th, 2013, 13:40
Glad I could help … I am pretty passionate about the game so my pleasure. I was thinking about what my bare minimum line up would be if I had to restrict myself to just the most essential mods I could not live without - because I was a staunch "no mod no enb" user for pretty much any game, swearing by "vanilla." But once I tasted it … there was no turning back

So my ultimate top 5 line up, in order of importance, would be:
  1. ENB Series - Not a mod but this single tool can single handedly overhaul the entire look of the game with ultimate flexibility
  2. SMIM (Static Mesh Improvement Mod) - Easily the best overhaul of static objects in the game
  3. XCE (Xenius Character Enhancement) - Best compilation of all character textures in the game (IMO) while staying true to the game
  4. W.A.T.E.R (Plus options) - Best water overhaul and so much more
  5. Flora Overhaul by Vurt - Just adds so much to outdoor exploration and look of the game

Next in critical importance would be all the city enhancements, fixed eye adaption and further dark dungeons, and head tracking - which deserves special mention.

Head tracking I would normally list in place of water as I really can't play without it. But it opens up a pandora's box of issues … and it is one of those mods you won't miss unless you have used it. It basically makes your character pay attention to the world around them. In other words you character will watch and focus on NPC's you are talking to, you will track with head and body movements as people walk by, you will have actual facial expressions (happy, sad, angry, etc). After using it, and not having it, your character tends to look autistic and unresponsive to the world around you.

The issue is that the most current version (which is the least bug free and least risk of save game bloat) requires SkyUI … which in turn requires SKSE … which in turn means install more DLL's, running a wrapper EXE around the skyrim launcher EXE, and being dependent on the creators of SKSE to update it as soon as a patch comes out by Bethseda as SKSE won't work unless it matches the most current version of Skyrim. So it opens up a whole lot more complications and management. There is an old 2.6 version that doesn't require anything, and many people use that. But it is a little more buggy.

Anyhow sorry for hogging the thread … and remember these are just my own preferences :-)
Character is centrality, the impossibility of being displaced or overset. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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