Quote from RaidZero
I just picked up SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition and are there any mod you would recommend? Any that are a must to balance gameplay?
Since you're just starting out, I recommend you get the NAM and that's it. I know even that is tricky for beginners because of all the puzzle pieces and stuff, but you can ignore them until you get a feel for the game. Later on you should check out the RHW and CAM, though.
Also check out some terrain and water changers. I currently use Pegasus' Brigantine Water Mod and the Olympia Terrain Mod. There's much more I could say about this, but there isn't the time. Best to just browse Simtropolis's forum, or maybe SC4Devotion (since ST is reeeally slow this year due to all the SC2013 excitement).