Realistic Nights by MountainFisherman
Skyrim » Immersion
Added: 03/01/2014 - 06:30AM
Updated: 21/03/2014 - 04:05PM

539 Endorsements

2.1 Latest version

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22,760 Total D/Ls

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Uploaded by MountainFisherman


Last updated at 16:05, 21 Mar 2014 Uploaded at 6:30, 3 Jan 2014

Version 2.1:
A small update.
-Improved "torches and magic lights" optional file. Fixed light spells costing way more than they should. Now, torches have an extended radius of 1300. However, they fade in intensity a bit faster to help them blend better. Light spells now have an extended radius of 1450 in addition to the previous increase of their magnitudes to 25. Now, light spell scrolls and staves are also affected.

Version 2.0:
-Created automated fomod installer to greatly ease installation.
UPDATE: Added manual installation support

Version 1.2:
-Added brightness levels patches. You do not have to use any of these; I suggest you try the mod without one of these patches first at least. These patches brighten the nights for those who thought the original nights were too dark. Files including/ending in "op4" are the brightest versions; ones ending in "op1" are darkest. These brightness levels use vanilla lighting, not just a brightness modifier for the whole picture. Look for comparison shots in the images section.
-Fixed an issue with RLO Weathers that was causing nights to be darker than they should be.
-Added files that improve torches, light spells, night vision, vampire sight, and predator vision to help navigate at night.
-Added patch for "Moon Phase Affects Brightness."

Version 1.1:
  • Added support for Climates of Tamriel Weather Patch, Expanded Snow Systems, and Supreme Storms. See optional downloads.
  • Added support for Realistic Lighting Overhaul Weathers. See optional downloads.
  • (Only affects users of COT+DB or COT+DB+DG versions.) Fixed Realistic Nights COT Dragonborn patch. The mod did not specify the COT DB patch as a master, causing my nights to not show up when displaying the weathers added by COT DB.

Thanks to Gruntlock for this video! It gives a nice quick overview of the visuals of the mod.

Thanks to StarduskLP for this one! This is an excellent, comprehensive 15-minute in-depth review of the mod which explains it extremely well.

Thanks to SkyttsTV for this vid! Review starts at 5 minutes into the vid. Great explanation of many features of the mod.

We're Runnin' Outta Moonlight
If you're looking for a darker, more immersive nighttime Skyrim experience, you've come to the right place. I want something where you're actually scared to travel at night, where the woods of Skyrim are crawling with hidden beasties, where your fancy-pants shadow warrior isn't caught in the middle of a freaking midnight snowstorm by some half-asleep guard. The goal of this mod is to make Skyrim's nights realistic, fun, and beautiful.

That's My Kinda Night
This mod goes about bringing realistic, dark nights to Skyrim using the actual lighting of the game engine. I wanted something that made nights dark and scary but still completely functional, where you could still play at night so long as you used a torch.

(Hence, the Climates of Tamriel versions. CoT is an exceptional mod which I highly recommend, but it really doesn't handle dark nights too well. Essentially, the dark nights options for CoT force your hero to don tinted sunglasses all night long - this approach makes everything dark, not just what should be. Simple and quick, yes, fun to play, not so much. The result is that torches, lanterns, lights, etc don't shine nearly as bright as they're supposed to. Which means that no matter what you do, you're not gonna see a thing.)

There are many benefits and features to this approach, including:
  • Varied night lighting according to the weather. On a clear night, Tamriel's massive moons will provide enough light to make things out in the open, so long as you're close. Aurorae will realistically reflect off water, snow, and other materials when present and paired with the right weather. On the other end of the spectrum, you won't be seeing much of anything in the middle of an all-out blizzard.
  • Torches and lights work. Their intensity is not changed. Now, you can actually survive and navigate at night so long as you're correctly prepared.
  • Eye adjustment. When you're standing in or looking into bright light at night, everything else will become realistically pitch black. Move out away from the light and your eyes will adjust. (Of course, it still might be pitch black depending on the weather, your surroundings, the region you're in, etc.)
  • Realistic NPC reaction and sneaking. For once, it actually makes sense to carry out your dark deeds at night. Since the actual lighting is changed, NPCs will react realistically. No more being assaulted at all turns by enemies you can't see who can see you. Now, if you're outside at night and away from any light sources, you really will be a ghost warrior.
  • Differences in region. Snow reflects a heck of a lot of light. As such, on a night with a full moon and clear skies, you'll actually be able to see comparatively decently in a snowy area. Move to a forested region or under a rocky outcrop and you'll have a lot more trouble seeing anything.
  • Overall appearance. All of the aspects of Skyrim's nights have been meticulously balanced to ensure everything blends well, looks simultaneously realistic and beautiful, and reacts to changing conditions correctly. Water, for example, reflects a very different intensity and color depending upon weather situations.
Please be sure to have your monitor or screen at the correct viewing angle when using this mod. The lighting is extremely fine-tuned; you might not be seeing subtle changes you're supposed to if you have a bad viewing angle going.Finally, there are versions of this mod for users of Climates of Tamriel, Dawnguard, Dragonborn, and cut-and-dry vanilla Skyrim. (Hearthfire works with any version.) I HIGHLY recommend you go and get yourself Climates of Tamriel. That beauty will add hundreds of different weathers and thousands of unique days, nights, sunrises, and sunsets to Skyrim and allow you to experience hundreds more nights from this mod.

I AM NOT A MILK DRINKER! (Installation)
  • This mod requires Skyrim version
  • Download the main file. Note that any file will work with or without Hearthfire.
  • Enable with NMM, Mod Organizer, or Wrye Bash, or follow the included readme to install manually. Profit.
  • LOAD-ORDER: All files can be loaded at the end of your load order without trouble; this is probably the easiest way to do it.
  • Otherwise, make sure for certain you do these things: the main files should be loaded after any lighting mods. If using a COT version, the main file should be loaded after any COT files. Patches should be loaded after the main files and any mods they patch. Imagespace modifiers should be loaded after any lighting mods.

I am a milk drinker after all... (Uninstallation)
  • (AUTOMATIC) Disable the mod with NMM, Wrye Bash, or Mod Organizer.
  • (MANUAL) Go into your Skyrim/Data folder and simply delete all files beginning "RealisticNights...". The mod currently only installs .esp files so this is all you need to do.

Should be compatible with all lighting mods. Try an IS fix (available in download package; enable with installer) if you encounter problems. Also, you might have to play around with lighting mods' configs (especially ENBs and SweetFX mods). Weather mods are incompatible and need patches. Currently included weather mod patches: COT, COTWP, COTWP+ESS, COTWP+SS, RLO Weathers module. Patches on the way: RCRN, Expanded Skyrim Weather. Don't see a patch you want? Be on the lookout for a DIY compatibility patch guide coming soon, or request one in the comments.

  • Look at fixing the colour and colour intensity of fire - it seems that fire grows less intense (in color, not brightness) with this mod at some times
  • Add step-by-step compatibility patch guide so that users can create a compatibility patch for their own preferred weather mod if one does not already exist, in case they do not wish to wait for me to make a patch
  • Finish RCRN compatibility patch
  • Patch Expanded Skyrim Weather
  • Add ENB/SweetFX config advice
  • (Vanilla Issue) Fix small grasses not lighting up when presented with a light source
  • Potentially add option editing eye adjustment for smoother effect
  • Add patch removing all of the brighter night skies, clouds, and fogs, making everything the nice and dark version
  • Patch Frostfall's freezing shader and RND's drunk shader making the nights brighter than they should be
  • Patch Pure Waters' override of the particle patch; look into other water mods doing so
Merging Patches
Depending on which options you select, you probably will end up with a bunch of different plugins from this mod. All plugins from this mod are completely mergeable with TES5Edit and the Merge Plugins script available on the Nexus. (if you want to save plugin space, reduce clutter etc.) Here are instructions to do so:
  • Download TES5Edit version 3.0.31 here
  • Download TES5Edit Merge plugins script here
  • Open TES5Edit. Right click in the box that appears showing all of your plugins and click "Select None".
  • Find all plugins beginning "RealisticNights" and check the box to the left of them.
  • Click OK
  • Wait for TES5Edit to load the files. In the messagebox, it will read "Background Loader: Finished" when it is ready.
  • Hold control down and click all Realistic Nights files to highlight them all.
  • Right click on one of the files and select "Apply Script."
  • Select script "Merge Plugins V1.4"
  • Click OK
  • Ensure only the Realistic Nights plugins are checked. Select "Copy intelligently" and"Renumber FormIDs"
  • Click OK; Create New File, Enter "RealisticNightsMerged" or whatever file name you'd like
  • Wait for the script to finish.
  • Right-click the resultant plugin and click "Check For Errors." If it throws any errors (which it shouldn't), retry merging the plugins, see if you can figure out what went wrong, or comment here for help.
  • Click the red exit button on TES5Edit. Only check the box for the plugin you made to save it.
  • You're done! Now, you can enable only the merged plugin and get rid of the rest! Sort this plugin where the lowest one would have been (or put it at the bottom of your load order/right above a bashed patch for convenience.
  • Go give the fine folks who made TES5Edit and the Merge Plugins script an endorsement, and enjoy the game.
  • FAQ
    Q: My game crashes on the main menu screen!
    A: This is due to missing master files. Please make sure you have all the masters you need to use for any files from my mod, and are loading the masters higher in your load order than the files from this mod. To do this, you can use Wrye Bash (click on the mod and look at the box on the right which displays the file's masters) or TES5Edit (load up my mod's files, click the plus sign next to the file, click on header, and look at the masters) to view the masters of each of my files. If you have any of my patches, make sure you are loading the other mods they patch before them. Common masters to forget are the "Climates of Tamriel Dawnguard patch" for those using Dawnguard or "Moon Phase Affects Brightness" for those using the Moon Phase Affects Brightness patch. Also, the installer for this mod lists any required files in the description for each option; please be sure to read them.

    Q: Clouds, fog, the sky, water, spiderwebs, etc are unrealistically bright with this mod!
    A: These issues will be fixed in future mod versions.

    Q: Auroras aren't bright enough!
    A: Will also be adjusted in the future.

    Q: Will this mod lower my FPS?
    A: No. This mod uses existing vanilla lighting to achieve its effect. It does not affect performance.

    Q: Waterfalls and whitewater glow at night. Fix it!
    A: This is a vanilla issue. Lucky for you, another modder already has fixed it. Go here to download this fix. EDIT: Apparently this patch is working for some and not working for others...Apologies if it does not work for you; I will look into why this is.

    Q: Some small plants and grasses do not light up, even when next to a light source.
    A: This is caused by some weird Skyrim lighting mechanics and will be fixed in the future.

    Q: Does Night Eye work?
    A: Yes. There's also a module for Night Eye to make it even more effective.

    Q: Do ENBs/SweetFX work with this mod?
    A: Yes, but it will take some configuration. My advice: try it out, make adjustments as necessary. I hope to soon write up a section on config advice in the description.

    Q: Where to put optional files in the load order?
    A: Below one of the main files and any mods the optional file patches address.

    Complimentary Mods

    Realistic Lighting Overhaul by The Realistic Lighting Team
    Wearable Lanterns by Chesko (omegau and macrads highly recommend this mod)
    Climates of Tamriel by JJC71 with Climates of Tamriel Weather Patch by prod80, Aiyen, and Saerileth
    Supreme Storms for Climates of Tamriel by MannyGT
    Expanded Snow Systems Climates of Tamriel Version by JonusL2D
    Lanterns of Skyrim by MannyGT
    Monster Mod by Dogtown1 and Ironman5000
    Equipping Overhaul by DragonDude1029 - Allows you to drop lit torches without a clumsy power. Also, can be configured so that when you unsheathe a weapon, you automatically drop your torch.

    Right. That's everything for now. I hope you enjoy the mod. Please feel free to comment with questions or concerns, and let me know of any issues you come across. Happy adventuring!