An informative message from our optimization guru, CrushBoss.
The following is my opinion and based on 2+ years of heavy Skyrim experience (user experience may vary):
My definition of a core mod is one that has the following:
1. Heavy footprint in the game
2. Resource heavy or hungry
3. Touches many aspects and/or locations in the game
Sands of Time is a core mod. Core mods should never be added to an
existing game. They have too large of a footprint and will frequently
break saves (it's a timing issue not a problem with the mod). My
experience has been that adding a core mod, mid to late game, only has a
25% chance of working cleanly and without issues. Anyone would think it
was crazy to change out the engine of a car while it was still running
but Skyrim players do it all the time with mods. If I were to add Skyrim
Immersive Creatures or Civil War Overhaul to my existing game I would
expect it to blow chunks also.
Adding, Removing, and sometimes even upgrading mods after you start a
new character is a mixed bag and is like gambling. Small and medium
footprint mods have roughly a 5% to 10% chance of breaking your save
game if added or removed mid game. Many users happily change their load
orders constantly and then wonder why their save game is broken and they
have to start over.
I look at this way - anytime you make changes to your load order you
increase the chance of breaking your save game by 5% - 10% (or 50% - 75%
for core mods). Let's be conservative and say 5%. Your save may not
break after making six (30% chance) or even eight (40% chance) changes.
After you hit 10 or more load order changes the chances are really
stacked against you in your ability to be able to finish the game with
your current save game. Your save may break on the 7th change or you may
be lucky and it won't break until the 14th change. You will lose the
I encourage everyone to go and visit the Civil War Overhaul mod page and
read the installation notes (Description - first few paragraphs). We
follow the same religion.
If you want to have a fun and trouble free Skyrim experience do not
change your load order (remove or add mods) until you start a new
character and thoroughly research each mod before you install it and
carefully follow all mod instructions. Once you start a new character
you are pretty much stuck with the mods you have installed until you
retire that character!
It's sad to see so many newcomers try this mod and leave discouraged.
Following this advice will save most users hours, days, and weeks of
Based on what I've seen over the past six months the following is true:
75% of the support request posts are from those who install the mod mid
game and it causes CTDs or breaks their save game (they broke their save
game, not the mod)
20% of the support requests are due to mod conflicts
5% of the support requests are legitimate bugs or issues
Hold off on installing Sands of Time until you are ready to start a new
character at level 1. Thoroughly research all mods for compatibility
issues and then install Sands of Time. Enjoy your complementary carriage
ride to the chopping block! You can thank the Empire!
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