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About this mod

You moved to Solitude because it's spacious and has a view? Not anymore!

Permissions and credits
21 November 2017: Added FAQ.
4 November 2017: Changed series name.
30 July 2017: Added patches for Legacy of the Dragonborn and Drinking Fountains of Skyrim. Also added new houses and a bunch of junk.
Also, made a quick video showing some highlights of the mod and some of the changes made in the new version.

29 July 2017:
*unintelligible swearing* Whoa, I'm on hot files! Thanks, everybody!
In light of this, I'd like to casually remind you that if you like this style, I've also made mods for 
Morthal and Whiterun. Thanks, guys!
29 July 2017: Okay, we were there for like twenty minutes, but we were there. Thanks again!

This mod is in a (fairly) early stage. 
That means that while everything works as desired, things may change. I kinda (completely, thoroughly, definitively, absolutely) burned myself out over the past few days, though, so those changes probably won't come anytime soon (as in, I don't want to touch the Creation Kit again for a month, and probably not Skyrim either). It also means that I'm open to suggestions for additional junk you may want to see in the mod, or junk you may want removed for whatever reason, and feedback is welcome. 

Solitude is a pretty great city, definitely one of my favorites in Skyrim. Unfortunately, it's also a little on the empty side, so I put more houses everywhere they could feasibly go (and, occasionally, not super feasibly--Skyrim has yet to invent building codes). I also added some miscellaneous junk and a few nifty no-load player homes, but I limited that aspect as much as possible to avoid irreparably damaging your computer's self-esteem.

I also added a not-quite-quest, wherein you can follow the trail of an intrepid investigator through layers of government secrecy as she solves a murder. The reward is the key to the snazziest of the player homes. You also pick up the key to one of the others along the way, in case you wanted to move into something that looks like it may collapse at any moment. I don't judge.

Reasonably Comprehensive Feature List:
-Adds 40 new houses to Solitude, most exterior only. Yeah, I know, I can't believe how many of them fit in there either.
-29 July 2017: You know what? I miscounted. It's actually 42. I refuse to believe this is a coincidence.
-Three of the aforementioned buildings are potential player homes, and I'm actually considering making another one because I want kind of an upscale Solitude house but don't much like Proudspire Manor
-Mini-quest in which you get to slog through government records. Yay!
-Retouched gardens, including the Blue Palace, that random potato patch by the arch (seriously, who?), and the really adorable little courtyard by Bryling's house
-More general Immersive Clutter added all over the place
-Some firewood
-Brief profanity
-This feature list is short, so I reiterate: Forty. (29 July 2017: Two.) Houses. You know how many buildings there are in vanilla Solitude? Nor do I, but it's like, in the teens. Forty(29 July 2017:-two) houses!

Reasonably Comprehensive Issue List:
-Performance hit: averages out to a solid "meh". It's way better than I expected in most areas, like, only a few frames, but there's a few places that will absolutely wreck you. Try not to look directly at Castle Dour from the Blue Palace. Other way round's fine, for some godforsaken reason. The market also has a big hit, especially looking toward the housing district.
-Compatibility: Probably not compatible with any other mods that add stuff to Solitude. There are now patches for Legacy of the Dragonborn and Drinking Fountains of Skyrim.
-The terraces to the north and south of the Blue Palace are inaccessible because for some reason their collision geometry extends way past their actual geometry. You didn't notice in the vanilla game because there weren't houses on them. Someone to whom this really, really mattered could probably fix it in Nifskope or whatever, but that someone is not me.
-You can't get to the second house on the north side of the arch. I couldn't think of a good way to do it (because the staircase to the other house was just a great way to do it, screw physics and convenience). Sorry for singlehandedly ruining your immersion.
-Probably clips like heck with the Civil War battle, but I haven't tested it
-Navmesh is untouched. I kept stuff out of the way of normal NPC paths as much as humanly possible (I have yet to see anyone run into anything), but your followers will get confused once you start climbing stairs and stuff.
-Brief profanity

Q: Is this mod compatible with [other city mod]?
A: No. Well, I haven't tested it, but chances are very, very low.

Q: SSE????!!!!!!
A: Not in the near future.

Q: But why? The 64-bit engine is far superior for rendering many objects at once, so it significantly decreases the performance impact of most city mods.
A: Yeah, but I'm lazy and I really don't want to do upkeep for double the mods. You're always welcome to port it yourself. 

Q: Why won't you make interiors? This mod ruined my immersion.
A: I very rarely actually go inside buildings in Skyrim, and I don't really like making interiors and linking them up with exteriors and whatnot. It's a whole lot of extra work for something I know I'm never going to use, and something that I feel the mod works fine without (y'all didn't complain when Witcher did it; give Skyrim the same consideration).

Q: And NPCs?
A: Pain in the bum. Especially given that I don't want to make interiors. I'd recommend using a mod like Inconsequential NPCs or Populated Cities if the absence of inhabitants really bugs you. 

Q: Okay, well, what about navmesh? That's like, basic.
A: Have you seen navmesh? Most intimidating interface I ever saw in my life. Also, I do my best to build out of the way of NPC paths. You might still get a collision or two, and your followers will be very confused, but it shouldn't be a total disaster.

Q: All these answers are permutations of "I'm lazy." Why are you even making mods?
A: I make them for myself, and then, when they make me happy, I offer them to you all, typically as-is (though I'm always open to creative suggestions). The point at which they make me happy is not as advanced as it might be for a more skilled and dedicated mod author, but it's just a matter of what you're willing to live with. I'm perfectly happy to live without interiors, NPCs, and navmesh edits. If you're not, I'm sorry to hear it, but these aren't the mods for you. Another Skyrim is never going to be well looked after. If something's genuinely broken, I'll fix it, but at the end of the day, I made these mods for me, and while I am delighted beyond words that other people enjoy them (seriously, the reception to these has been more positive than I had ever dreamed), the amount of work I'm willing to do on them is very limited.

Q: Why does this mod tank my performace?
A: It adds a whole lot of buildings. I optimize as best I can, I really do, but there's only so much you can do. Sorry. I know your pain.

Q: Performance? Compatibility? Mods in screenshots?
A: See "Reasonably Comprehensive Issue List" for the first two, and "Mods in screenshots" towards the bottom of the description for the last one.

Mods in screenshots:

Elder Blood ENB
DynDoLOD (untick this mod in your load order when generating)

Future plans:
Add another player home at some point. Maybe do something towards the outskirts, though I think there's already a number of mods that do that sort of thing. Otherwise, pretty much dictated by feedback at this point. 

Thanks to Bethesda for Skyrim. Seriously, I'd rather not think about what percentage of my life has been spent playing or modding this game. Thanks to He of the Unspellable Name for the Witcher 3 soundtrack, without which, god forbid, I'd've had to listen to something else on repeat.

30 July 2017: v1.1. Uploaded patches for Legacy of the Dragonborn and Drinking Fountains of Skyrim. Added a couple new houses. Added some walkways and miscellaneous stuff. Moved a patrol marker by the Blue Palace that I'd missed. Added a few things to Blue Palace gardens. Changed stairway to one of the houses in the market area. Fixed a couple of minor issues. 
23 July 2017: v1.0