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HappyChappy

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About this mod

Version 2.0 now has matching distant terrain for beautiful Snowy vistas! New Icy Mountains and Rocks with softer Snow, Powdered Snow for the Pale, Frozen Crystallized Snow for Winterhold and Frozen Icy Mountains for upper reaches of Falkreath Hold and Throat of the World

Permissions and credits


Version 2.0 now has matching distant terrain! If you have installed the previous version (1.0.0 or 1.1.0), then please upgrade with new downloads.


Four new Snow, Ice and Rock types to totally immersive yourself in the the Holds of Skyrim. New Icy Mountains and Rocks, Powdered Snow for the Pale, Frozen Crystallized Snow for Northern Winterhold and Frozen Icy Mountains for upper reaches of Falkreath Hold and Throat of the World. The rest of the snow is slightly more softer and thicker looking than vanilla, like its just had snowfall. Duh, its always snowing!

Exploration becomes a lot more immersive as you can get a feel for the climate of an area and a sense of where you are, rather than checking the map as one snow blanketed area feels much like another in vanilla Skyrim. This has been done in a lore friendly way, as Bethesda had a vision, this just enhances that vision.

This changes the Mountains and Rocks, both the textures and the models themselves, and uses special shaders to give new dynamics, that reflect and refract light.
 
This is a follow up to my previous mod "Immersive Snow and Ice", but because this is a complete overhaul of that mod I'm releasing this on its own. This is an extremely well thought out mod and has gone through many iterations and tweaks to get it to this stage. So enjoy!



The Pale mostly nestled in a valley between the frozen north and warmer climates of Whiterun and Eastmaarch, has a more settled snow look to reflect less winds from the sheltering Mountains North and South. Surfaces are more thickly covered where the snow has settled, but are inclined to not grab onto steep faces due to its uncompacted nature.




Winterhold, home to glaciers, Snow is now frozen and crystallized. This area will make you want to put on your warmest clothes as it truly feels like Skyrims Artic region. Using special dynamic shaders the Snow reflects and refracts light, giving it dimension and interaction with you and the environment.



The highest regions of Skyrim are Throat of the World and parts of Falkreath Hold, bordering Cyrodiil. I wanted to give a sense of altitude, really cold harsh conditions. Thick ice is now frozen to the rocks, and no amount of sunshine can melt at these heights. You'll need to explore to the higher locations like; High Hrothgar, Bloodlet Throne and Arcwind Point.



All the Snow covered Mountains and Rocks now have a small film of Ice on them. There are many dynamic qualities to this and the immersion of weather is enhanced when sunlight reflects and refracts on these surfaces.


Vanilla Skyrim Snow was horrible to look at up close. It literally looked like a small film of paint. Thankfully over the years mods and textures have helped a lot to make this more bearable. But with this mod I have paid special attention to making sure the Snow on all the Mountains and Rocks looks more realistic up close. The Snow is now a bit softer looking and thicker where it settles. No more paint!






There are a few options for now having distant terrain more compatible with Regional Snow and Ice, so that you have a more complete experience with the new Snow vistas.

I have included a download which is based off an out-of-the-box Skyrim landscape + Regional Snow and Ice. But I have also made the mod compatible with a new tool called "Dynamic Distant Objects LOD - DynDOLOD" http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/59721

There have been a few mods in the past that have enhanced the distant terrain objects, namely; Skyrim Distant Overhaul - SDO, Expand Object LODs and Skyrim Distant Detail.
These are superseded with the included Distant Objects download or if you use DynDOLOD. The reason is that these include all new extra models and features created by the author of DynDOLOD (Sheson) for making the world more detailed.
So you'll be in for a double treat as you'll get to experience more detailed distant views (less things popping into view) as well as the new Regional Snow and Ice.

There are not too many mods that drastically change the world, and many of them would go unnoticed. But if you have ever added a house mod, expanded towns and cities, or anything that places large vanilla assets into the Skyrim landscape, then your distant terrain will no longer be matching up entirely properly (I am not talking about trees, flora or grass mods).

If you think you have enough mods that change the world and you'd like to include these, then please use the tool DynDOLOD http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/59721. I have included the new LOD objects for the Regional Snow and Ice and all the references are included in the mod (esp) so that you can simply add it as one of the mods to the DynDOLOD tool.


Regional Snow and Ice WITH Distant Objects (LOD)
Unzip and copy and paste to your Skyrim folder. Make sure the "Regional Snow Ice.esp" plugin is checked in your load order.

This needs to be at the bottom of the load order in order for it to be priority over some other mods that effect the Mountains, like "Better Dynamic Snow".

You may also install with a mod manager, like NMM. This will work just fine, manual installation is not required.


Regional Snow and Ice WITHOUT Distant Objects (LOD)
Unzip and copy and paste to your Skyrim folder. Make sure the "Regional Snow Ice.esp" plugin is checked in your load order.

You can try out the mod without setting up the distant terrain at all. Its just that the transitions from far to near Mountains and Rocks will have a noticeable difference and change.

It's recommended to use the tool "Dynamic Distant Objects LOD - DynDOLOD" http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/59721 to create the Distant Objects with Regional Snow and Ice.

There is documentation and video links in the DynDOLOD nexus page and best to get the information you need to get setup there. All you need to do is include the "Regional Snow Ice.esp" as one of the mods that you use. Regional Snow and Ice 2.0 now includes the Distant Objects needed for a better distant experience. I'll include more details in the FAQ (when get time).


UNINSTALL

Delete the "Regional Snow Ice.esp" plugin in the data folder.
Delete "meshes/rsi" folder from your data folder.
Delete "textures/rsi" folder from your data folder.

If you want to revert back to the original Distant Objects that Skyrim was created with then please download the "Out-of-the-box Distant Objects (vanilla Skyrim LOD)" in the optional files, to completely uninstall this mod.

These are new Mountain and Rock textures, so you'll need to back up "data/textures/landscape/mountains" folder, or simply download the latest version of textures that you'd want. If you use the Distant Objects as well (very recommend) then you'll need to backup the "data/meshes/terrain/tamriel/objects" and "data/textures/terrain/tamriel/objects" folders or download the "Out-of-the-box Distant Objects (vanilla Skyrim LOD)" in the optional files tab in this mod.

But honestly once you discover the new LOD tool DynDOLOD, backing anything up wont be necessary anyway because this will create the LOD according to your custom setup.



Any mods that change the references of Mountains and Rocks will have compatibility problems. What will happen is that depending on load order, the last mod will have the last say on what happens to that particular Mountain or Rock.

You will need to have this at the bottom of your load order for other mods that overwrite the Mountains and Rocks, like "Better Dynamic Snow".\

Compatible Mods
Better Dynamic Snow (recommended)
Dynamic Distant Objects LOD - DynDOLOD
Mountains Enhanced

Superseded Mods (this mod is a more up-to-date version of these)
Skyrim Distant Overhaul - SDO
Expand Object LODs
Skyrim Distant Detail

Conflicting Mods
TamrielReloaded - Mountains and Rocks



There is actual a lot of technical aspects behind this mod, so I'll add to this section when I get more inquiries.

Can I use Mountain and Rock textures from another mod?
No, this is more than just a texture replacer as its been specifically designed with the included textures. This includes Distant Mountains and Rocks and special attention to making the snow settle on the rock faces. Overwriting the textures can be done, but it will have a lot of inconsistencies.
I have based the texture off a 2k version of Improved Vanilla Mountains HD, but with more contrasts for technical reasons.

Does having the more detailed distant terrain included with this mod impact my performance?
Yes, depends on your setup (PC and mods) but actually shouldn't be significant. There are details within the forums, documentation and videos within DynDOLOD about this, so better to explore there further if you are concerned that this is an issue.
Its also important to note that if you are one of the users who upped their UGrids to more than 5 (7,9,11) then this is no longer necessary with the Distant Objects included in this mod. Without going into too much explanation, having more than 5 did cause potential issues with bugs. It was a quick and dirty solution for getting a better distant experience, but this can now be addressed with this mod or DynDOLOD.

The DynDOLOD tool looks really hard to get setup and use?
Its always easy to forget that not all mod users are not actually modders and are gamers just looking to enhance their Skyrim experience. The short answer is that if you've never used any Skyrim tools before, then it will look hard. If you have used tools before, then actually its really simple.
There is a step-by-step tutorial for using the tool on the DynDOLOD nexus page.

My recommendation is that if it looks like too much effort, then just use the "Regional Snow and Ice WITH Distant Objects (LOD)", as chances are 99.99% of the distant terrain will be fine, and you'll have not noticed the fact that the mods you might have included do not show up in the distant. As I say new house mods, towns and city expansions, etc. In fact these mods never specifically address this problem in their descriptions.



2.0.0
Two options for including Distant Objects for complete Snowy vistas. Full download of Distant Objects for an out-of-the-box Skyrim landscape + Regional Snow and Ice, or the means to use DynDOLOD, if you have a custom setup you'd like to implement.
MountainSlab01 now included.
Further tweaking to snow coverage.

1.1.0
Winterhold region now has more exposed rock. Was too ice covered.
Adjusted snow cover levels for lighter snow Mountains to match distant objects better. In fact this fixes a bug that is still contained in Better Dynamic Snow.
Made the brightness of smaller snow covered objects to be fraction darker. Was too bright/overexposed for many situations.
Changed the upper mountains to look better with ENBs.

CREDITS



Full credit to Sheson, Empham.. and Zilav for the incredible distant terrain tools.

rgabriel15 for Improved Vanilla Mountains HD, which I've used to optimize the look of these Mountains and Rocks http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/40922/?

Yuril for the snow texture.

Tes5Edit team (shout out to Zilav for all the scripts he has done for me personally and other modders)

NifUtils team

I'd like to thank anybody who has ever made a mod. Thanks for making Skyrim so awesome.

This is the combination of over two months work, so if you enjoy this mod please remember to endorse :)

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