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EasierRider

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EasierRider

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About this mod

A quality dungeon and house mod that greatly expands the College Midden, with minimal changes to existing areas. A new lore-friendly player home serves as a hub for new dungeons. Should be fully compatible with most mods; doesn't require dawnguard, hearthfire, or dragonborn dlcs. 100% compatible with Immersive College of Winterhold.

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Overview

A quality dungeon and house mod that greatly expands the College Midden, with minimal changes to existing areas. A new lore-friendly player home serves as a hub for new dungeons. Should be fully compatible with most mods; SSE Version. 100% compatible with Immersive College of Winterhold!

UPDATE:
Just to clarify, this is a stripped-down version of the original mod designed for SSE. It is currently scriptless and questless, and will likely remain so. Treat this version as a simple house/dungeon mod. My apologies for the confusion! Version 1.05A is now live.

-ER 12/1/17

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Highlights:

-Delve into immersive new dungeons beneath the College of Winterhold and the Sea of Ghosts
-Lore-friendly, and carefully integrated into existing areas, characters, and histories
-A new, simple player home for the aspiring conjurer, wayward student, and clandestine researcher in all of us!
-Adds much more depth to the College of Winterhold, especially for those roleplaying a dark wizard or master of the dark arts
-Challenging gameplay (2.5-3 hours) that rewards exploration, puzzle-solving, and determination
-New, balanced weapons, armor, and spells
-Fully navmeshed, hand-cleaned, and polished with TES5Edit

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Housing Features:

-Ample storage space
-2 mannequins
-Cliff-side library/study space
-Alchemy nook
-Bedroom
-Crafting area
-Hatchery
-Access to new dungeon areas, as well as the college midden
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v1.04A Patch Notes:

I. Major Changes
    -The Demonic Crystal is now enterable & redesigned
II. Arcane Grotto revamped & improved
    -The Hatchery now has a cooking pot and respawns creeps over time
    -New custom imagespace, lighting, and aesthetics
    -Now functions properly as a basic player home, featuring book shelves, mannequins, weapon racks,  etc.
    -Added access to surface for fast-travel via wayshrine
III. Minor tweaks and changes
    -Silver Claw now easier to find & use
    -Skylights now synced to external weather and time of day where appropriate
IV. Bug fixes
    -Invisible blockage in Astronomy Tower Basement removed
    -Removed glitched alembics
    -Replaced numerous custom triggers with vanilla triggers that do the same job
    -Nav mesh overhaul

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Installation:

Manual installation should be very straight forward. Simply download the zip-file, extract the contents, and place the files "middenexpanded.esp" and "middenexpanded.bsa" into your Skyrim data folder. For Steam users, this can be found under the following path:

Program Files (x86)SteamSteamAppscommonskyrimdata

If you've installed Skyrim through other means, than you might have to do some sleuthing on whatever drive it's installed on.


Installation with the Nexus Mod Manager should also be fairly straight forward, as the uploaded files consist of the standard SSE .esp and .bsa files compressed in a .zip file. As I haven't installed this mod from NMM as-of publishing, I am assuming that it works fine unless told otherwise. So please, if this doesn't work, let me know so I can fix it!

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User's Guide (SPOILER WARNING):

Personally, I recommend that the player (especially if they're looking for a new, immersive play-through) discover these areas on their own, but if you want to jump right in or need a little help, then please read on.

If you poke around in Nelacar's room at the Inn, the Archmage's Quarters, or Phinis Gestor's room, you can find notes and an old history that will point you in the right direction. There are basically two routes to the Grotto, and you can take 1 or both of them depending on what best suits your play style.

Notes in Nelacar's room will point you in the direction of a cliff-side cave on the Winterhold side of the Great Divide. This area can be a bit tricky to find, so look around! A running theme of this mod is ''exploration is fun'', but if you feel otherwise, just walk the cliff-line to the RIGHT of the bridge (facing the college) and keep going until you see a set of footprints in the snow, leading to a platform with a lantern. From here, just follow the ladder down to the entrance of ''The Icy Passage.'' Inside, you'll have to navigate several dungeons to gain access to the Grotto. All of the dungeons--especially the Ruined Fane--are very free-form, in keeping with the non-linear layout of the original midden sections. However, these dungeons are not especially large, so it's very unlikely that you'll get lost.

The Grotto can also be accessed more directly from the first area of the college midden. There's a pull-chain under some falling water under the overhang where the Draugr is. From there, you will have to enter the ''Dark Passage'', and solve a difficult 4-pillar puzzle to gain entry to the Grotto itself. The solution to this puzzle is hidden in the pages of ''The Chronicles of Thingol,'' a copy of which can be obtained either from Phinis Gestor's bookshelf, or on a corpse in the second midden area (near the exit). Even then, there are still 4 possibilities for the solution: 3 Eagles and 1 Snake. Try all the combinations to find the right one. Again, this puzzle is made to be intentionally hard. I think it adds to the sense of achievement in the spirit of older, more challenging RPGs before the invention of the quest-compass.

Before the Grotto is yours however, 1 obstacle remains. You must dethrone and defeat the current occupant--a conjurer named Drelas Var--in mortal combat before you can claim your new player home. Don't worry, it's totally worth it! And there are still plenty of secrets hidden throughout the dungeons to find, so look carefully, and check for secret walls!

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And lastly, a word from the author:

Many thanks to everyone who has subscribed to, Favorited, or played this mod! This is my first-ever published mod, built entirely by myself using online tutorials and a great deal of trial-and-error. As of now, I regard this mod as more-or-less complete, but I will continue to add to it in the coming months to improve functionality, fix bugs, and add new content. Please feel free to send me any constructive comments, suggestions, or goodwill! Also, if anyone wants to tinker around with this mod, feel free to do so--provided that you credit me if you publish your alterations. Basically, just play nice!

Special thanks are also in order for Barry Cogan (for his invaluable tutorial on puzzle-pillars), DarkFox127 (for his excellent tutorial on teleport spells), Skyrimnut (for troubleshooting), Porcubot (for his great upgrade suggestions), and the ever-helpful CreationKit Wiki!

-EasierRider
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