I was unhappy with the Smithing perk tree and didn't want to change how the game played, so I made my own mod. This mod splits up the Smithing tree into 3 distinct branches:
Each branch follows in order of what's the strongest for each category. Notably, the weapons branch's order is completely different than the armor branches. This is intended, as weapons from specific materials have different comparable power levels from their corresponding armors.
There are also two new categories: basic and leather. Basic includes all of the recipes that you would normally have access to immediately. No longer do you inherently know how to smith! You must first put a point into the smithing tree to be able to craft iron gear. Leather is the light counterpart to steel, which requires you to have basic smithing beforehand. The "Advanced Armors" perk has now also been split up into "Scaled Armor Smithing" and "Orcish Armor Scaling," as plate and orcish armor are essentially equivalent.
This mod also drastically changes how tempering is handled. Previously, you could temper any weapon or armor piece that you wanted, as long as you had the necessary Smithing level. Now, every single tempering recipe is locked behind their corresponding perks in the tree. To compensate for this, all perks now grant a 2.5x buff to tempering for that category, instead of the base 2x. To follow in line with the rest of the mod, any tempering recipes that I couldn't classify into an existing category now falls into a new category covered by the "Exotic Blacksmith" perk. Generally speaking, this includes weapons and armor not normally found within Skyrim or simply look too different from other sets. I'm not the most familiar with Elder Scrolls lore, so if I misclassified any items, let me know and I can fix that.
This is the first mod I have ever made, which means there are probably tons of bugs. I believe that currently you are unable to temper past Flawless, as the tempering levels are hidden in a completely separate place from both the perks and recipe section in the Creation Kit. This is not yet tested. Depending on how I feel, this might remain in the final build of the mod so that the Smithing potions and enchantments are required to achieve higher temper levels. However, if you find any bugs or changes you think should be made with this mod, please let me know. This mod is definitely not in it's final build, and I am open for new ideas to make it better.
This mod is definitely not compatible with other Smithing perk tree mods. It is currently in an incredibly untested state, so it might not even be compatible with mods such as CACO or other crafting mods. Again, if you find any issues please let me know and I will work to fix them.