Looking for a little advice with some mods. Enjoying Skyrim on PC at 60fps with everything on Ultra except shadows (High). However I have enabled shadows on trees and land shadows. Everything else has been left default. Game runs like COD almost perfect. The 4GB still has some sutters but they are very minor. Have the fFlickeringLightDistance set to 4096 so lighting looks great. Anyways I'm now looking for some help with some mods.
I have looked at alot of mods on the Workshop and the Nexus. Amazing how many and how detailed some of them are. I know most mods have pros and cons. For example Mikes Darker Nights mod. His Darker Nights with BL20 look fantastic but it has horrible color banding on the sky due to weather changes and how the day cycle is modified. On closer inspecttion you can find a black sun at night. So I'm trying to get a few mods in and running without breaking anything so I can enjoy a long term game and eventually grab all the expansions.
With that said I'm looking to make the Nights Darker without modding the weather and or breaking the daytime\night cycle. I've seen a few complaints with some Darker Nights mods that effect vampires. So again I want Darker Nights without breaking anything. I've come across an older mod that looks like it might be what I'm looking for. However the posts and comments seem to indicate the mod doesn't support Dawnguard or Dragonborn. The mod I'm refering to is "No Tint and Desaturation by Laicus" which can be found at http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/648
After trying this mod I found it was pretty much what I was looking for however I don't use the Notint.esp and instead I just use the Darker Nights.esp This mod however is old and was released before Dawnguard and Dragonborn so I'm sure it's milage will vary. Interestingly enough I noticed the issues with "fFlickeringlightdistance" after installing this mod only to realize it's been in the game since day 1 and I've also confirmed it on the XBOX version. So for a minute I thought I broke my save by using this mod. However it seems to work and the file size is brilliantly small so from what I can tell it just adjusts ambient light levels. Perhaps a downside during the day but it looks good. I'm just not sure if I should play with this esp and then move into Dawnguard or Dragonborn and require another mod to fix those areas. No spoilers please.
I also just tried Laicus's Darker Interiors.esp which comes packed with a .esm file. Being that it's a master file and I really don't want any conflics I avoided using the second .esm file and have only used the Darker Interiors.esp which is listed as optionals on the same page with the Darker Nights mod above. This Darker Interior mod does seem to work well. I haven't noticed any missing lights (that werent already missing) and the lighting levels seem to be just right for most places. Again though I'm not sure if this will break anything and from what I can tell it doesnt support Dragonborn or Dawnguard. So I'm hesitant to use this or the above mod with no compatiblity for the expansions even though they look just right with no side effects. The mod is just so old.
I'm really having a hard time finding a Darker Nights.esp and a Darker Interiors.esp that works with all expansions and changes nothing but the light levels. Most of these other mods are either full of weather and dynamic changes or cause massive banding in the sky or some other issue like breaking the Thives guild quest which I still haven't done "No spoilers please." So I'm really at a loss when it comes to long term Darker Nights and Darker Interiors\Dungeons. I did find that Climates of Tamriel has optional Night files as standalone and I did grab them but I'm hesitent to use them standalone. I would have tried Climates of Tamriel but the Nexus site requires a fee to download larger files which is crazy but whatever. So I'm still looking for help in this area.
Aside from the Darker Nights.esp in the above mod (Not using Notint.esp) I'm also using Dovahkiin Relaxes Tooby wgstein which can be found at http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/13931 This mod is great and really adds alot of Immersion. However Instead of just coming with 1 power it features a plethroa of powers that clutter the power menu. When using default UI this can be bad. I'm wondering how hard it would be to open the esp file for this mod and remove the 5 other optional powers and just keep the core mod in place and do some grammar fixes.
I combine the above mod with Camping Lite by McGuffin which is found at http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/11526 This mod is just brilliantly simple and allows me to make a campfire and tent using a single power. It also allows me to find wood without a hatchet which is used in building the fire which also consumes the wood. So I really like mod as it's quite simple yet does exactly what i need (cooking without a pot). I like how there is no pots on the fire or clutter and it doesn't involve dropping items and moving them etc. It's simple and it works. Interestingly enough the Dovahkiin relaxes mod also adds a seprate bedroll that works well when you feel like sleeping under the stars instead of a tent. So combined I have a campsite kit and a portable bedroll so I'm happy.
If anyone could maybe point me in the right direction for some simple yet complete Darker Nights and Interiors\Dungeons I would appreciate it. I'm also looking for feedback on the other mods I mentioned just in case I've missed something. I'm still new to the game and have tried to absorb this all in the last few days so if seem like a bit of a noob when it comes to Skyrim mods I am. I did manage to find the Creation Kit but have yet to install it. I'm not using SKSE or anything like that either. Since I'm still new to the game I want to make sure its working right before going over the deep end with mods.
Sorry for the long message but I'm a little uncomfortable with progressing any further in my save as these mods would become required. Any input would be appreciated if you know anything about these mods or one I should be using instead. Perhaps I should just dump them all for the first playthrough and just roll with it. However all of these things should already be in the game IMO and maybe some others also. Bethesda does a great job of giving us a solid game but it does feel somewhat incomplete at times and a bit watered down.