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About this mod

This mod is an expansion to the College of Winterhold, including two new towers, revised set dressing and clutter in many areas, changes that appear over time, door signs to assist with navigation which update as you progress through the ranks, fully integrated support for Immersive College NPCs, and not a trace of hay.

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When I first played Skyrim in 2011, the College of Winterhold was one of my first destinations. When I returned to Skyrim to try out the Special Edition, the College remained my home base, enhanced by many amazing mods, which came packed with imaginative and fascinating new features.  As time went on I grew nostalgic for the vanilla College, so I went back to basics.  Imagine my shock when I saw what I had forgotten: hay and barrels everywhere!  I opened up the Creation Kit, (which I had only a rudimentary understanding of at that point) with a simple intention: clean the place up.  As I was working, I got in touch with the author of Immersive College NPCs, and a plan was hatched which evolved into:

To further develop of the College of Winterhold with additional and modified content that enriches the experience in ways that line up naturally with the intentions of the original design.  My objectives and self-imposed constraints are as follows:
▪  Balance between further developing existing content and introducing totally new content.
▪  Make all changes and additions blend into the game and feel completely contiguous.
▪  Maintain navigability and ease of orientation in light of the expanded scope.
▪  Ensure compatibility and offer integration with many other mods.
▪  Add quality of life features but eschew content that makes the game easier.
▪  Enhance and further develop the choices made by BGS's designers; never outright contradict them.
▪  Avoid making modifications to vanilla quests or scripts; these will be released as part of Misc. College of Winterhold Tweaks, or as a separate mod.
▪  Balance between removing "rustic" elements (bales of hay and barrels of food) while keeping the College "Nordic" by nature.

Version 1.4 is currently in development, with provisional plans for version 1.5 (a.k.a. the long gestating "Arcanaeum Update") after that.  Version 1.4 focuses on visual improvements to existing content, including updating many architectural chunks to support more light sources.  You may read all about it on the Dev Log and Roadmap.  I will be discontinuing support for the ESP versions of all patches starting with version 1.4.  You can read about making the switch and what this means for games in progress in this guide.

A comprehensive list of everything this mod does can be found here: Detailed Additions and Changes.  This article is an overview, and does not contain patch notes, though it will be noted if certain features are introduced in later versions of the mod. Please be advised that there will be some spoilers.

This mod includes an fomod installer which will detect which other mods you have installed and recommend patches accordingly.
   ▪  The archive contains over a hundred individual plugins and other various files. Please use a mod manager such as MO2 or Vortex.
   ▪  This mod will still work just fine no matter when in your playthrough you install it, but doing so before visiting the College will get you the full experience.
   ▪  If you are already using a mod OCW conflicts with, the patch may not fix everything, as some data is permanently stored in your save game.
   ▪  All patches use the esp-fe format and will not count towards your load limit. 

I work to ensure that updates to OCW will be as compatible as possible with save games in progress.  If you do upgrade and you think you've found a problem, please let me know. (And please keep your save game from before you upgraded!)

Please create a manual save before installing this mod.  It puts some data permanently into your save game, so if you find that the mod is not to your liking, you will need this save to revert back to. 

Please read the article, Patches, Conflicts, and Load Order for detailed notes on how OCW interacts with other mods.

I keep a list of questions (and exclamations!) and answers, which also contains a lot of information which didn't quite fit anywhere else.

▪ VorpalRunner for Immersive College NPCs, the encouragement at the beginning of this project to go for it, and the feedback.
▪ Shiva182 for going above and beyond with assistance with the ESP-FE format, fomod installer, and quality face editing and exporting.
▪ Dreifels for the feedback and bug reports. 
▪ Soldierofwar for the feedback.
▪ katbird for the proofreading.
▪ Mannenyuki for being a hero and not only solving the College's LOD flickering bug, but putting together the fix for me.
▪ Estuansis for the testing help.
▪ CptMcSplody for writing the LOOT rules for OCW and Finding Velehk Sain.
▪ Artmoor et al. for Cutting Room Floor and the Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch.
▪ Grantyboy050 et al. for showing so much love to the College with Immersive College of Winterhold and giving me dozens of hours of enjoyment.
▪ Qwinn for fomod installer creation advice and additional insights on the ESP-FE format.
▪ Mods featured in the screenshots: Immersive College NPCsEnhanced Lights and FXThe Great City of WinterholdWinterhold Bridge FixSimply Bigger Trees, ApachiiSkyHair, SIMM, College of Winterhold HDRiften in HD, Armor and Clothing Extension, Ruby HQ Miscellaneous, ReShade, Elizabeth's Tower, skyBirds, and others.

▪ SSE CreationKit Fixes by Nukem/Nuukem which saved me a ton of time and headache while making this mod.
▪ Nifskope to reassign materials and browse the models in archives.
▪ Distant LOD created using DynDOLOD, and it only cost me my first born.
▪ The Voice File Reference Tool so I could find lines for Thelsa.
▪ The FOMOD Creation Tool to help me to rebuild my totally buggy fomod installer into something that actually works. :)
▪ The script for the Disenchantment Font was created by XunAmarox.
▪ The Skyrim Fantasy Name Generator helped me to find names for my new NPCs.
▪ Crazy Bump for the crazy bumps.
▪ Parchment Texture by The Misguided Millennial.
▪ Mipmaps for Tintmasks created using DirectXTex.
▪ Tutorials by: Darkfox127Cgy95, and Seddon4494.
▪ The invaluable repositories: The Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages and The Elder Scrolls Wiki.
▪ Character Facegeoms and Tintmasks built with the following resources: Painterly - High Res Vanilla Warpaints, Ultimate Eye Meshes RuhmasteredBetter Makeup for SKSEENB Brow FixSeamless Males

Misc. College of Winterhold Tweaks - Various modifications to vanilla quest content
Starlight - Starbright - An Illuminating Spell
Finding Velehk Sain - A deeper dive into the mystery of the missing apprentices.
Finding Derkeethus - A little help in finding our lonely lost lizard friend
The Run of the Mill Inn - An inn on the outskirts of Whiterun, and the people who go there