TL;DR version: Newbie to DAO modding, asking for some good mod suggestions before diving in head first.
Hey, as usual when I join a new modding community I'm immediately overwhelmed by the amount of mods I can find and have no idea where to begin. I know the basics of how modding might work and how certain mods can disable or break or otherwise interfere with eachother, so I know it's better to start slow by now. My last major modding experience was with Fable... and I have no intention of re-installing DA and everything with it a dozen times like I had to do with Fable TLC a while back lol.
For now, I'd like to know if anyone has suggestions for foundation or early mods to get me started. The kinds of mods that are likely to affect or be affected by other mods, and would be better off installed first before I incorporate these others. Off the top of my head a good example that I've seen in here would be Awakening in the OC (a mod I definitely intend to install early on).
Other good suggestions would include standalone tools, fixes, tweaks, and such. Like the Universal Dye Kit, or the Ancient Elven Boots fix, the various Rune fixes and mods, and The Winter Forge (again, all mods I plan to include already). Standalone weapons that don't interfere with other mods could also be convenient (though I'm likely to want to tweak any abilities I think are overpowered, and deciding on each mod mostly hinges on the aesthetic value of the gear for me).
For the record, one mod I probably will not incorporate is the Weapon Replacement mod (I forget the exact title) that replaces the original sword designs with realistic models. I rather like the sword designs that are already in the game, particularly the Dalish swords (I remember I went to the endgame of DAO on my 360 with specifically a Viridium armor set for the color, I forget exactly what though since it was not an actual set but stuff I liked together, and a pair of Dalish swords (probably tier7) equipped to my DWRoguePC).
Hmm... now random stuff I've seen that I might incorporate... The Adoption mod looked interesting, I'm looking at the various Console mods and additions (such as the one that puts Console commands into your Codex for easy access, and the AddItem mods, and the visible console mod), I've considered the Respec mod (the one with the Raven NPC) but if I'm going to be using Awakening in the OC I can probably just respec with a tome that way... The Relic Upgrade mod looks very useful (no more raging at the loss of a cool sword in late game), Jake Zahn's mods overall look good so I'll likely include several, same with Xelte's mods...
Things I'm also looking for: Mods that mimic gear from other games, such as Skyrim. Note I'm not looking for PORTS, simply imitations. I know ports are not allowed here, but if I can find some imitation designs for certain items then I'd be happy. I'd port stuff myself for personal use (once I get the hang of DAO on the PC), but my computer can't handle Skyrim so there's little point in getting it for PC. Still, if anyone knows of a LEGAL imitation of the Nightingale Armor or Blade of Woe, or knows of a way I can LEGALLY set up a way to port these designs (NOTE: I do own Skyrim on the PS3, but that fact doesn't help me much in this department) please let me know.
Final Note: If any portion of this post infringes on the rules please let me know. By my understanding of them I have not done so, but since I'm new here I may have misunderstood something somewhere. I do not intend to endorse any illegal activity, however I lack the resources and skills to design certain mods myself at this time.