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Skyrim Modding Diary - 24 February 2022



Welcome back, folks. With everything going on in the world today, I'm not sure how much modding I'm going to be in the mood for, but I'm sure I'll do a little and hopefully by sharing it I can at least offer up a little distraction from all the bad news. 


We're starting the day with 1,386 mods installed, 1,437 plugins active, and a final load order index of E8.


Harvesting The Nexus


We had a few interesting items on the Nexus today. First, there's a patch for the High Poly Project to address a few issues. It also maps to another patch with similar goals. Because of my "layering" strategy for game assets, these might not be relevant, but I'll grab them and see what they offer. We can see below that while they are heavily conflicted, they are not completely dead-ended. Let's look at what is winning conflicts.






So not much made it through, but we've got a couple of improved textures and we've got the DLC1 blood barrel mesh updates. It's a small enhancement, but I'll take it!


There's also an interesting Landscape Vertex Color fix, which looks like a substantial enhancement. However, this requires me to install Synthesis, and while that's a tool I've needed to get for a long time, mentally I'm not in the mood for tackling that. Instead I'll add this one to my to-do list for future integration.


Finally, there's a compatibility patch for Legacy of the Dragonborn that caught my eye. I don't actually need, or expect to need in the future, this mod, but I like the padded guard armor in the screen shots. That in turn took me to this mod, which I also don't expect to use in full. But I do like some of the individual components - the guard stuff, the glass weapons and armor, the Stalhrim (though probably as an alternate Nordic Plate rather than Stalhrim), the Dragonbone Lamellar, the Ebony armor, and the Imperial kite shield. However, this mod is set up as a drop-in replacer, which is the most labor intensive type of replacer to turn into a standalone (since I have to do all the work on the plugin instead of starting from something that already exists). We'll put this on my list of mods to assess in the future but leave it be for now.


Horny DAR


Another mod that's been sitting on my install list for a while, but that shouldn't be difficult to get running, is Aroused Sexy Idles SE DAR. We'll grab that one today. As a DAR replacer, it unsurprisingly has no plugin and no asset conflicts, so all that we need to do is make sure it works in-game. We'll go into Helgen and add the relevant faction to an NPC and see how she behaves (doing this will also let us confirm we haven't broken the DAR animation cap). 




As you can see from frisky Lilith in the center, the mod is working. The effect is actually pretty subtle; I had to visit a few different locations to try it out, since it only really has a visible effect on NPCs who aren't just standing still, but who aren't doing any other animations. Still, I have no problem with mods making subtle changes to the world - one of my big priorities is to have lots of diversity in the game experience, and small differences in posture between characters definitely meets that objective. I'll call this one a win.


Tamrielic Grass?


This is another one that's been loitering on my to-do list for ages. I used Kyne's Grass and Less Ugly Tundra Grass already but I'm interested to see if this one adds more variety without dead-ending any of these other mods. Let's download it and find out!




So all of this mod's assets are unconflicted, and based on their file names I'm guessing these are all novel additions. It also comes with a plugin, so let's see what it does.




So this is the best case scenario: the mod just edits the LTEX records, and for these we can merge everything together. This will require a little bit of labor just to create the merged records while paying attention to any potential special cases, but I'm pretty optimistic about this. After some analysis, I took the following approach:


  1. Merge this mod's records with Kyne's Grass and/or Depths of Skyrim. 
  2. When Kyne's grass forwards a vanilla grass type but this mod doesn't, omit the vanilla grass type
  3. When No Grassias or Snow Grass Disable zeroes out the record, only use the Tamrielic Grass records; do not forward Kyne's or Vanilla


While I'm not 100% certain, I suspect that I need to regenerate my grass cache for this mod's changes to take effect, so I'll do that now before I try to test how it looks (LODs too). As an added bonus, this will be a good opportunity to see if we can complete the grass cache without any hiccups based on the lessons learned in our previous exploration of the crashes I'd been getting before.


It was interesting to see that, during generation, the grass cacher really struggled with the new landmass added by Haafstad. Once it got past that area, it moved much faster and needed to reset far less frequently.




The regenerated grass generally looks good, but as you can see in the first image, allowing some grass back into snowy areas reveals a need to loop back to a couple of places - in particular Dunstead Hamlet, and fiddle with their landscape records. That can wait for another day however; in general things are looking good.



I think that's it for today though. I have a big pile of Tarlazo mods queued up for installation, but that can wait till tomorrow. 


Wrapping up today, we have 1,387 mods installed, 1,434 plugins active, and a final load order index of E8.










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