Default [Q] How do I upgrade to newer rooted firmwares ?

When I bought my phone I was on MF9 firmware stock. I rooted it , then tried to do the system hotspot mod. i ended up bricking the phone. The only way I could unbrick the phone at that time was to flash to MDC, which the hotspod mod was working on. Now ive been trying to flash newer custom roms,(because im still on ancient MDC), and I can never get it to work. Do I have to upgrade in order ? Ex. MDC to MDL to MF9 and so on ? Does my hotspot system file mods have something to do with it ? I really wannt try these new ROMS , but it just never works. Any help would be greatly appreciated.