Originally Posted by zackiv31
Is this just for stock updates, or for Viper/VM mods as well? I'm willing to step up to 4.3 or 4.4 with one of these custom ROMs, assuming I can keep root.
Is this a complicated process to install one of these custom ROMs (anything special since my phone is so "old")?
Will I have to wipe and install from scratch as well?
Installing a fresh/new ROM is very easy, and it will indeed require reinstalling apps. However, Look at getting Titanium Backup Root - I highly recommend the Pro version - you can back up all of your apps and data. Once performing a full TiB backup to your external SD card, you can wipe and install a fresh ROM, then restore any/all apps and data backed up with TiB. The app will pick up right where you backed it up, settings and all. You may need to re-set up a few apps (such as email settings).
If you like sense, I recommend ViperLTE. It's very close to stock Sense, but offers several great tweaks you can choose to use (or not). Installing it is easy if you have TWRP recovery installed. If you don't have TRWP installed, look at mdmower's thread for that recovery. I also highly recommend performing a full Nandroid backup to your external SD card before doing anything.