I had Fallout 3 at release, and played about approx. 1/4 of the game. I got bored, other games came out, and shelved it.
After playing some recently well-modified games (Stalker SoC Complete, for one), I ran into the FOOK website for FO3, and decided to check it out. Very glad I did, as the mods I settled on made FO3 much more enjoyable my second time through. I'm at about 50 hours, and going strong. Here's what I did.
I FOOK'd the game, using version FOOK2 1.0. I believe a FOOK2 1.1 was recently released in the last few days, but am doing great with what I have loaded. I believe the new version of FOOK2 incorporates mods I already have loaded and that are apparently working through a large part of the game (Fellout, Street Lights, etc.) - however, I'm sticking with what has been working for me the last 50+ hours and calling it good.
MOD's (and tools) that I have up and running successfully through 21 levels, w/all official add-on's (and in order of importance to me):FOMM
-> The Fallout Mod Manager, very handy utility that allows optimization of module loading.Fallout 3 Script Extender - "FOSE"
-> Helps with scripting of the mods, and helped clear up a few issues I had originally had with the other mods before using. Large Address Aware Enabler for FO3
-> Link can do a much better job explaining the benefits than me, but worth checking out. CASM
-> This is a mod that allows for automated, configurable saved-game functionality that has come in really handy. Accessible via the Pipboy, this has been a real game-saver for me, as I have had issues with corrupted save files in the past. Haven't had a problem with saves since CASM. Worth checking out.FOOK2
-> A mod that changes quite a bit, too much to list, but there's not a FOOK2 change made that I have had a problem with. Combat is more challenging, new weapons fun and balanced, and other changes that made the game more enjoyable than my first time through. I went with FOOK2 1.0, as that was the version available when I started modding, though worth mentioning that a newer version has just been released. This is the Obscuro's Oblivion of Fallout3.Mart's Mutant Mod
-> Great mod that has tons of features you can turn on and off, specific to adding new monsters, controlling the # of spawns of certain types (Ghoul-Fest!), etc. Very well done.The Beauty Project HD
-> The directions were somewhat daunting, but once I dove into the PDF that came with the mod, I had it up and running in no time. TBP provides an awesome overhaul of graphic models for all the characters. Check out the link for examples, but very very detailed and cool looking. More Where That Came From
-> For flavor, added a mod that provides 100 new songs that fall in line with the limited music found in vanilla. If you only want to use one mod/non-game impacting mod, this is the one to get. Great music selection.Fellout
-> Fellout is a massive texture and weather changer. I have personally enjoyed the massive changes to the game world it has provided, but it obviously a matter of taste. The link has some images that capture the before/after. I can't imagine going back to the 10 shades of green, but each his own. One thing to note that the nights are a lot darker with Fellout - so make sure you have a good Nightvision mod to aid your midnight Wasteland strolls.Street Lights
-> Cool streetlights mod that works well with Fellouts darker nights. There's also a 2nd mod out there, linked on the streetlight download site, for Wasteland Lightening. I have 'em both loaded, and think it works well with Fellout.Realistic Night Sky
-> I like slinking around the Waste at night, and this change provides an almost photo-realistic night sky, bright with stars and constellations. Modified Night Vision Mod
-> There's a lot of 'em out there, but I settled on this one. It's a bit spendy - $4k at Moira to get up and running, but I really like the way the modder did the lightening (the bright version).
Sorry this was so long, but have really enjoyed the game once modded. Hope some of this helps.
(BTW, just finished up most of Point Lookout addon - was a lot of fun! Great job with the added content)
My loadout order, with no issues to date->
Project Beauty HD version.esm
FOOK2 - Main.esm
FOOK2 - [WANK] World And Neighbourhood Kit.esm
FOOK2 - [DIK] DLC Improvement Kit.esm
Mart's Mutant Mod.esm
FOOK2 - Main.esp
FOOK2 - [DIK] DLC Improvement Kit.esp
FOOK2 - [EVE] Energy Visuals Enhanced.esp
PB FOOK2 - Main.esp
PB FOOK2 [DIK].esp
FOOK2 - Mothership Zeta.esp
Mart's Mutant Mod.esp
Mart's Mutant Mod - FOOK2.esp
Mart's Mutant Mod - FOOK2 - DIK.esp
Mart's Mutant Mod - DLC Broken Steel.esp
Mart's Mutant Mod - DLC Point Lookout.esp
Mart's Mutant Mod - DLC Anchorage.esp
Mart's Mutant Mod - DLC The Pitt.esp
Mart's Mutant Mod - DLC Zeta.esp
Mart's Mutant Mod - Increased Spawns.esp
Mart's Mutant Mod - Feral Ghoul Rampage.esp
PB MMM HD.esp
Project Beauty- Point Lookout MMM.esp
StreetLights - Wasteland.esp
Total active plugins: 40
Total plugins: 70