Encounter Zones Unlocked - Dungeons don't stop leveling after the first visit (SKSE) by underthesky
Skyrim » Gameplay Effects and Changes
Added: 27/06/2017 - 03:00PM
Updated: 22/07/2017 - 02:59PM

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Uploaded by underthesky


Last updated at 14:59, 22 Jul 2017 Uploaded at 15:00, 27 Jun 2017

This mod makes it less boring to visit Encounter Zones (like dungeons) again if you have already visited them at a lower level.

Any dungeon visited at a low level will be stuck at that level for the rest of the playthrough, resulting in weak enemies and low level loot when you visit it again. This mod changes that so that there is no difference in level between entering a new dungeon and a previously visited one.

The changes are done in the game code using SKSE. No scripts and no ESP file.

If you enter a dungeon at level 4 you will get low level enemies and loot. This is not affected by this mod.
Without this mod when you return to the same dungeon at level 80 you will again get enemies and loot for level 4.
With this mod you will instead find regular enemies and loot as if you had entered the dungeon for the first time at level 80.

- The level applies when a zone is reset. If an area is set to never respawn it can not level with you after the initial spawn.
- The mod can be (un)installed at any time and will also work in areas you have already visited.

- Compatible with most mods.
- Should work together nicely with most other Encounter Zone mods (including regular PermaZONES).
- The mod will have limited effect if you are using unlevel mods (e.g. Static PermaZONES).

Skyrim 32bit (latest)
Skyrim Script Extender - SKSE (latest)

Install using a mod manager or unpack the download archive into your Skyrim\Data\ folder.

Many thanks for featuring this mod on the Sinitar Gaming youtube channel (at 3:13):

How enemy levels are determined in Skyrim
Most non-unique enemies in Skyrim are picked from leveled lists. For example there are bandits for the following levels: 1, 5, 9, 14, 19, 25.
Enemies for a higher level than the Encounter Zone level (your level unless you use ScaleZoneLevel) will not be picked. Depending on the list, enemies with a lower level might be selected: Lists can have the setting "Calculate from all levels <= player's level". If this setting is true (for example for bandits), enemies will be picked at random from all levels up to your current level. In a group you will then likely have a few enemies up to your level (unless you are already above level 25) but more at one of the levels below. This is the same reason why you can still find steel weapons in leveled loot at a high level.

Configuration (not required)
The following options can be configured in Data\SKSE\Plugins\encounter_zones_unlocked.ini:

Allow visited dungeons to level with the player. The main purpose of the mod.
 DisableLevelLocking = 1

You can also activate these changes to Encounter Zones. If you are not certain what they do, just keep them disabled.
The changes override (for disable min/max) or stack with (for scaling) changes from other Encounter Zone mods like PermaZONE or Higher Difficulty:
 DisableMinLevel = 0 Set to 1 to remove the minimum level.
 DisableMaxLevel = 0 Set to 1 to remove the maximum level (most Zones don't have one).
 ScaleMinLevel = 1.0 Scale the minimum level by this factor (values < 1.0 are ignored). Only works if DisableMinLevel is not active.
 ScaleMaxLevel = 1.0 Scale the maximum level by this factor (values < 1.0 are ignored). Only works if DisableMaxLevel is not active.
 ScaleZoneLevel = 1.0 Scale the zone level relative to the player level.

About Encounter Zone options: These options can be used to tweak the level that Encounter Zones will be set at to to your liking. While it is possible to replace other Encounter Zone mods with these options I still recommend to use proper, hand-tweaked zone mods instead of using blanket rules for everything. The options can be very useful though to increase or decrease the overall level you get from your favorite Encounter Zone mod.

Encounter Zones have a level that is used to select loot and enemies from the leveled lists. When first entering a zone this level is set to the player's level (details below), but on subsequent visits it is not updated again. Because of this, dungeons that have been visited at low level will only ever give you low level items and enemies. According to the UESP Wiki this might be intended to allow players to come back later if a dungeon is to hard. It can also be seen as an incentive for exploration. On the other hand it is a deterrent from exploring interesting sites with a low level character and it makes places that need to be visited again boring and repetitive. This mod makes Skyrim update the Encounter Zone levels on every visit to the zone.
One thing of note is that for some leveled lists (e.g. bandits) there are only enemies up to a relatively low level. Also some lists are set to randomly pick one entry from the list up to the highest qualifying level instead of always using the highest.

Apart from the player's level there are a few more things that influence the level of an Encounter Zone:
  • The zone's minimum level (essentially a minimum difficulty). Many Encounter Zones in Skyrim have a (relatively low) minimum.
  • The zone's maximum level. Very few zones in vanilla Skyrim have a maximum level:
  • ___Halted Stream Camp, White River Watch, Embershard Mine: 10; Bleak Falls Barrow: 20; The Midden: 30
  • The GameSetting fLevelScalingMult: This factor (default 1.0) is multiplied by the part of the player's level that is above the minimum (if any).

You are free to use the mod and it's source in any form as long as you give full credit and link back to this page when you publish your modification or reupload the mod. I would also appreciate if you let me know when you do so, but that is not a requirement.

Credits & Thanks
The Skyrim Script Extender team for SKSE.
Bethesda for Skyrim.
Build with MS for Visual Studio 2015.