Dark Souls 2

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About this mod

Updates DS2: Scholar of the First Sin's lighting engine with the following features:
1. Volumetric fog
2. Updated ambient occlusion algorithm to high quality GTAO.
3. Lots of post process and atmosphere settings to configure areas.
4. Improved material rendering for metals/non-metals/skin/hair.

Permissions and credits
An update to Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin's lighting engine which updates its shading model techniques to the latest ones. The mod includes pre-configured presets for each area, but you can also configure the settings yourself; however, note that areas are detected based on the original lighting data DS2 provides. DS2LE also includes other features, such SMAA support, improved bloom, LUT-based post-processing support, and the option to customize DS2's UI.
DS2LE has it's own its own in-game GUI. Pressing "F1" will bring up the GUI so you can customize the mod's features and settings to your liking - and easily share those changes with other users by sharing your atmospheres.ini file. Press "save atmosphere" to save your changes. This will save all atmospheres. See the "Advanced" section for more details.

Important, please read:
  • This is an alpha version of the the mod. Uploading the mod as an alpha helps to provide feedback, detect and fix bugs, and improve its default lighting, effect, and post-processing configurations in preparation for its full release. Expect settings to change. There will be weird rendering errors in some places, as listed below in known issues. Thank you for your constructive feedback, bug reports, and patience.
  • The mod only updates shaders, lighting, and fog effects. There are no gameplay changes and none are planned for this mod. The idea is that this mod will be used by other mod creators to make it easy for them to customize visuals.
  • Leave a Like and / or feedback on the Nexus page or on Discord. If you find issues, please report them under the "Bugs" section.
    Official Discord server: https://discord.gg/647jjQK6dy (Share presets, configuration settings, discuss the mod, and provide feedback!)
  • Thank you all for trying the mod!

  • Backup your "shader" folder in the Game directory. Usually this is "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Dark Souls II Scholar of the First Sin\Game".
  • Copy the "shader" folder, "ds2le_atmosphere_presets" folder and "dxgi.dll" to your game directory from (1)
  • If you face issues updating to new version of the mod. Please delete your previous "shader" folder and paste the new contents in.
  • Set in-game video settings to those shown in the images section and below: everything "High", turn off motion blur and depth of field, and turn off anti-aliasing if you're using the SMAA feature.

Texture Pack Installation:
  • DS2LE starts in override mode by default on first install. There should now be a "tex_override" folder in your Dark Souls 2 "game" directory (not in the "shader" folder within the "game" directory).
  • Extract any .dds textures you've downloaded directly into the "tex_override" folder
  • The next time you launch the game with texture override mode enabled, it should automatically load any textures in the override folder.
  •  To use iGP11 mods with DS2LE use this tool to convert the textures  - iGP11 to DS2LE Texture Converter

Compatibility with Seeker of Fire and other Overhaul mods using ModEngine:
1. Extract Seeker of Fire mod files into game directory. This directory will be same as the Game folder and where Lighting engine should also be installed.
2. Go to SeekerOfFire2 folder. Delete the folder "Filter" from directory.
        3 . Now Lighting engine preset will work as expected. Make sure to select atmosphere.ini and not the atmospheres-extended.ini.

Online Play:
  • The mod is safe for online play. It does not change touch the game data files, only the shader files are modified. It does not trigger the Anti-Cheat system. However we cannot guarantee it won't cause a ban. Please use at your own risk.
Incompatible Recording software:
  • Medal.tv (You can still use Nvidia ShadowPlay and OBS, however.)
Minimum Requirements:
  1. 1050 TI at 1080p 60 FPS with Volumetric Fog.
  2 . For legacy cards(>7 years old) like GTX 460, Fermi, Kepler. Please disable volumetric fog (shaders/addon_config/settings.ini-> vol_fog_render_mode = 0). You should get >30 FPS at 1080p. Or use the F1 settings UI.

Latest Version: 0.9(02/02/24)
  • Adds Geometry Injection in LE.
  • Adds HDR Monitor Support. (Enable Windows HDR. But ensure your AutoHDR has been disabled)
  • Sun shadow rendering is now upscaled.
  • Adds Frame limiter support in LE.
  • Texture cache optimization. Game should use less VRAM now. If texture overrides are present.
  • Lots of other additional changes. If you face issues please revert to 0.8.10

[Geometry added - Notable Locations]
  • FOFG
  • Majula

[Modders only]
  • [Editor Mode] - Press "F3" to access the menu. The camera can be moved around and all objects which are visible on screen are displayed.
  • It would be better if you can join discord if you have questions on editor mode usage. As questions can be answered faster there.
  • [Editor Mode - KnownIssue] - Disable Motion Blur if you are adding new lights
  • [Editor Mode - KnownIssue] - Realtime Sun shadows are disabled during editing. However precomputed shadows are still rendered

Previous Version: 0.8.10 (10/08/23)

  • @Trivia Vanille - For feedback on development features. Also for creation of texture pack/preset. Download here -  Trivia Texture Pack 
  • @Ry - DS2LE Configuration guide.
  • Peter Mcphile - UI Editor Icons for Level Editor. Check out his Modern UI for DS2LE. Most of the recent screenshots have been using that mod.
  • Yabber Tool by JK Anderson(TKGP): Used for unpacking and repacking shader .bnd files.
  • LordRadai : For helping with testing Phantoms. Check out his Twitter for other cool mods like the debug manager. Setting up the discord and also other solid information on the base game which helps in development.

And thanks to those members of the Dark Souls and DS2LE communities who helped improve the mod by testing beta releases and providing feedback on Discord:
POOLOO73 , Noxi, Saikou, Aleph Nole, Aiden, Vidanjor, DarknessRadio, Arx, SilentPrayerCG, Anonim01, Zed, Need062, Michael, OathOfRevenge, Syzerix, Deyrax, Bill Nye , Aoi Yozora

Advanced Usage: (for mod creators on top of this engine)

DS2LE Configuration Guide
It would be easier, if you are a mod author, to join the Discord to have questions answered directly re: presets, texture mod creation, etc.
Links to documentation will be posted here as they're finished.

Watch for updates on this page!