This guide is quite long, complex and advanced therfore it is best suited for intermediate and experienced modders. It is strongly advised that new modders install everything without deviation.
Welcome to Lexy's Legacy of the Dragonborn: Special Edition, the Skyrim SE version of my previous and popular SRLE Extended: Legacy of the Dragonborn guide. This is designed to be a full installation guide, taking you from a fresh Skyrim SE installation to a fully modified game.
The guide is actively maintained and in a constant state of flux. As of this writing, it is updated every 2 weeks (when circumstances allow), usually over the weekend. Installation can take anywhere from a few days to 2 weeks, depending on how much time you dedicate to it.
As noted in the warning above, this guide is designed for experienced modders, and the instructions, though they are written for clarity, do assume a certain level of comfort and familiarity with the tools. If you are looking for an easier guide, one better suited to learning the basics of Mod Organizer 2 and the other tools, I recommend looking at TUCOGUIDE by ponurymazepa or The Phoenix Flavour by Phoenix.
If you have a higher spec machine. check out LOTD Plus by Evertiro.
There is a video series (special thanks to PheonixSunstar001) that shows the entirety of this guide's installation. It can be found here.
A Little Chat
This guide will take a substantial amount of time and a large amount of hard drive space (approximately 100 GB, not including your base Skyrim install). It also involves the use of more advanced modding concepts. Prior to beginning the installation, I suggest giving the entire guide a read-through to be fully aware of everything you will need to do to complete the installation. Remember that the end goal of the guide is to actually PLAY the game and enjoy it. This will take several sessions to install from scratch.
This is not your father's Skyrim, kids. Be warned: It is a much more difficult game, especially until level 30. The quests you used to do at level 1 aren't going to be doable until much later on unless you are a very experienced solo player or have a number of followers trailing behind you. Even dedicated solo players have adopted follower usage trying to play this guide. You'll likely want a follower or two to carry all the glorious LOTD Museum loot around anyhow.
To have a fully working install of this guide, you MUST pay attention and follow the posted instructions TO THE LETTER. Experiences on both the Support Forums and the Discord have shown that 98% of reported problems are the results of user error, with the remaining ones being mistakes on Lexy's part (that are quickly corrected). It is imperative that you have at least some knowledge and familiarity with Mod Organizer 2, LOOT, FNIS, the Creation Kit, xEdit, zMerge, Wrye Bash, Mator Smash, zEdit, xLODGen, and DynDOLOD prior to starting the guide. The mod list can be used as a base to build or remove from, but it is strongly advised that you install and play-test the entire guide (with nothing omitted or added) to ensure it is stable before doing so. The guide itself is very stable, and rivals Requiem in scope since the inclusion of the OMEGA and Experience mods. Again, if you complete the installation and the game isn't working, it is far more likely that you made an error in installation than that Lexy made a mistake in her instructions.
There is a Discord Community that has an unwritten rule of tolerance towards those new to modding (within reason), but self-help is preferred and appreciated. The Discord is friendly, helpful, and has a knowledgeable staff.
As the guide is frequently updated, you will, at some point, have to stop modding it and just play or you will be caught up in a never-ending loop of restarting with new characters. Most users create two separate installations of MO2, one for playing and one for updating. Those who are OCD about always keeping things up to date will find this helps sooth the itch.
The guide is very demanding on hardware. You can use it if you know your computer system, are smart about what texture resolutions you use, how many of them you use, and scale back some of the settings of (or simply just don't use) xLodGen, DynDOLOD, and/or ENB/ReShade. The guide has been bench-marked, and currently uses an approximate max 4.7 Gb of VRAM on Darth's and Lexy's system during the Cart Ride to Helgen. The system specs of these computers is found below.
With that said: It's time to get into the wonderful world of Skyrim Modding. We hope you'll find it pleasant, and good luck.
Lexy’s System Specs
The specs listed below are those of Lexy's computer. They are NOT a minimum specs listing, just a point of reference for what is being used by Lexy to test this guide.
Processor: i5 4670K @ 4.2 GHz
Motherboard: ASUS z97-K
RAM: Corsair Vengeance Pro 32GB (4x8GB) @2133MHz
GPU: Gigabyte Aorus GTX 1080Ti 11GB
OS: (WIN 7) WD Green 2TB
GameDrive: Samsung 850 EVO 256GB (Steam)
Game Drive: WD Blue M.2 SATA 1TB (GOG and Origins)