Been out of it for a while and saw some new interesting land/quest mods have showed up.
As I remember Requiem is great, fairly easy to jump in, full package, but doesn't play well with others…especially large additions.
Also biggest weakness: it's perks system seems a bit basic/vanilla compared to something like Ordinator.
Anyone have recommendations for the alternative? This list seems interesting:
MorrowLoot Ultimate - De-levels loot and adds more serious encounter zones to Skyrim (better loot is rarer regardless of your level and enemies in dungeons, forts etc will spawn at higher values e.g. bleakfalls barrow will have a minimum enemy level of c.a. 15). It also changes potions to have an effect over time - no spamming 5 health potions at once, each has it's effect over 5 seconds and the newest one cancels the previous one. Also includes a custom uncapper setting to slow down leveling so you appreciate your character's growth. Includes plenty of merge-able patches for most of the most popular armour/weapon mods and ideally used with Scarcity.
ERSO NPC Overhaul - De-levels almost all NPCs and gives them appropriate perks; guards and soldiers are tough, named NPCs will cause some serious damage - wiping out the dark brotherhood is now a rather challenging endeavour. If you head over to the ERSO Overhaul page on the site you'll find a modular installer for the other parts, all of which are highly recommended, especially the npc encounters (the populated series can be found there along with an updated version of Radiance, which when used along with Extended Encounters makes skyrim (within the engine's limits) feel like the world is reactive to your choices.
Cobb Encumbrance - Whilst not as in depth as Requiem's mass effect system it does dynamically affect your movement speed according to how full your inventory is, no more running like a hare one second then walking like a turtle after picking up a butterfly.
Vigor - Combat Enhancement - This desperately underrated mod overhauls stamina management whilst bringing back some of the rock paper scissor dynamic so loved in requiem. Heavy armours wear you down but offer great protection from bows and swords, moderate for axes and poor for maces (same for their two handed equivalents) light armours keep you nimble but protect you less overall. All actions now have a base stamina cost too so be careful of charging into battle (unless that's your playstyle and can hit them hard first - you'll enjoy a small damage bonus but be more susceptible to damage too). Be warned to propagate all it's features to NPCs you'll have to use ASIS, however the author has been rather clever in that it only requires the NPC enchantment fix along with his bundled ini file to do so, reducing the reliance on cloaking spells.
Bring Your Silver - Again another desperately underrated mod by the same author as Vigor, this overhauls the undead into truly tough enemies that'll need planning and preparation to destroy. Silver and fire are almost the only effective tools in your arsenal, sneak attacks and projectiles are much less effective (unless you're using silver arrows), skeletons need to be hit with blunt weapons and vampires are a real challenge. As above the ASIS NPC enchantment fix is required to spread the love.
Combat Evolved - The now classic difficulty increaser, to be used with the optional combat mods outlined below. Changes combat styles to make enemies more aggressive, cooperative, tougher.
Animal Tweaks - Does for animals what Combat Evolved does for NPCs/monsters, by the same author and can be used as less in depth replacement for SkyTest Realistic Animals and Predators too.
Yield 2.0 - Similar to most yield mods but has the believable feature whereby it's only the last person in a fight that'll yield, no more fighting an enemy into the bleedout state and them running away forever (something that happened regularly with True Yield) or just coming back for a second dose as if nothing happened (they also put their hands up whilst giving the I yield line which is a fun little touch)
Disparity - This allows you to choose your starting class, overhauls the standing stones and racial attributes in subtle but useful ways and factors in player race and weight so your seven foot nord tank does more damage than your tiny bosmer archer (this is fantastic when used with Pumping Iron, start off as a tiny maggot, level up your warrior skills, turn into conan). It also allows you to set your initial carry weight to base 100 and then calculates you're race and sex offset (so you can up with a breton female at c.a. 80, orc male c.a. 130) much more in line with requiem's harsh approach.
Realistic Health Regeneration - Does what it says on the tin, health regen is set to almost zero. *Caveat to using this and other mods like it, they make potions that increase regen rate almost useless, I use the example given because it doesn't set it to exactly zero so if you pop one before a big fight it'll still have a small effect.
Ordinator - The reason I switched from Requiem. The variety and ingenuity of perks is second to none giving you so much choice and re-playability in different character builds. Combat-wise I saw a few complaints that it included timed blocking and bleeding damage as perks. Personally they make much more sense as game mechanics gained from experience in combat than a given your level 1 character can master. Although advertised as compatible with everything (and it almost is) in this particular case Vigor needs and provides a patch.
Weapons and Armors Attributes - In line with giving the player more choice in how you play it adds attributes to your equipment based on their type and material, tweaking; stats, attack speed, resistance and weakness to elements, minor set bonus, affinity to certain enchantments, racial affinity to equipment and more.
TDF Equipment Restriction - When you're in an un-leved world it's possible, but unlikely, that you'll find orcish sword at level 2. In requiem it was essential to put perk points in to respective skills before before you'd reap the rewards. This emulates this by simply putting a level requirement for each weapon/armour material, modifiable in the MCM menu if you think it's too harsh or lenient.
Spell Perk Restriction - Does the same as above but for magic, massively increasing the magicka cost for novice, apprentice, adept etc spells without the prerequisite perk (there's an option for the three big perk overhauls too).
Optional Combat Extras:
I haven't included these as they're not essential to the requiem feel, a bit more subjective and can be script heavy but do complement the other mods listed above.
Ultimate Combat - Used mainly for the AI as timed blocking is covered by Ordinator, stamina and speed by Vigor and stagger by Action Combat. Enemy AI is somewhat stunted in the base game and there's only so much that can be done without scripts. Ultimate Combat seems to have the cleanest implementation of injected script AI and in conjunction with Combat Evolved makes enemies the smartest I've seen in Skyrim.
Action Combat - A poise and pain mechanism adds variable stagger to normal hits based on your weapon type/skill or magic damage/cost and enemy armour type/skill and health. Personal suggestion would be to increase the immunity after stagger to make it harder to stagger lock enemies, weapon swing and stamina effects need to switched off to play nicely with Vigor.
SkyTweak - Not script heavy and should be in your load order regardless but has a couple of options in the scripts section for stagger effects similar to action combat. Also allows you to reduce the weapon and bash range to more acceptable levels (105 and 90 respectively) so you need to get up close and dirty to deal damage.
Anyway sorry for a wall of text but if any of you have played Requiem you'll know I'm barely scratching the surface of it. I do hope this can be of use to a few people, these mods have worked well together for me in the past but if there's anything that needs to be added/removed or changed please let me know!
From suggestion below:
Requiem substantially increases the difficulty of dragons so a great combo (and frankly essential without requiem) are Dragon Combat Overhaul (view this as the scripted combat AI overhaul for dragons, no more flying until about 30% health then dropping to the ground for a nap) and Deadly Dragons (gives dragons more health/armor and type appropriate spells/attacks). Enhanced Mighty Dragons on the ERSO site is also a good substitute for Deadly Dragons (and plays equally nicely with DCO)
On the MorrowLoot Page you'll see options in the patches for encounter zones, alternatives are PermaZones or chocolatenoodle's (MorrowLoot mod author) and my prefered version; Static Permazones
Which version would have less performance issues ?
-- Rush in and die, dogs…I was a man before I was a king.