Skyrim Special Edition

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Olivier Doorenbos

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OlivierDoorenbos

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About this mod

A script-free total recalibration of Skyrim's detection formula, which improves the balanced and realism of sneaking. Enemies will have enhanced sight and hearing abilities, and will search longer when alerted. This mod represents over 350 hours of meticulous research and optimization work.

Permissions and credits
Changelogs
RAID Weathers is now available. The first weather mod optimised for detection mechanics.

Shameless plug: If you're looking for a simple modding guide, take a look at my Concise Skyrim Modding Guide.

TL;DR: try the "Lite" version first. You can always install or uninstall different versions during a serious playthrough without any risk.

Introduction

This is a complete recalibration of Skyrim's detection formula, which improves the balanced and realism of sneaking. It is not a "hardcore" mod - sneaking is both harder and easier where necessary. You can use it by itself, or load it after perk and gameplay overhaul mods.

Instead of making simple tweaks to the vanilla settings (like other detection mods do), this mod holistically re-calibrates the whole formula from the ground up. This represents over 350 hours of meticulous research and optimization work.




Features

  • No scripts. No perk edits. No performance impact. 100% reliable.
  • NPC view cone is reduced to 160deg (from 190deg in vanilla).
  • Ambient light, equipment weight, and line-of-sight are now more important than your sneak skill level. Enemies won't become deaf and blind as you increase your sneak level and perks.
  • NPCs are much more sensitive to light. They can now see better in dimly lit environments, and will quickly spot you if you are carrying a light source. Even equipping a spell that lights up your hand will get you spotted. However, in total darkness (with a mod like ELFX Hardcore) NPCs will be blind.
  • A higher attenuation factor in the detection formula enables NPCs to see you realistically in very low light levels when very near, without making detection over-powered at further distances (same applies to hearing). It also makes this mod scale better to different perk, armor, and lighting mods.
  • The difference between NPC detection range for interiors and exteriors has been greatly reduced. (in vanilla, enemies had x2.1 more detection range outside compared to inside. RAID increases interior ranges significantly, but reduces the outdoor range multiple to between x1.1 or x1.3 depending on the version). Overall this means RAID indoors detection range is about 30% higher than vanilla, while outdoor detection range is about the same as vanilla.
  • Enemies will search longer - 70 seconds if you fire an arrow into their knee (was 20), ~70 sec after losing track of someone in combat (was ~40), 40 sec if they find a dead body (was 15), and 20-50 sec if they see or hear something (was 12-20).
  • When searching, enemies will do a better job checking corners, and they will cover a larger area.
  • The huge difference between standing and sneaking has been reduced to a realistic amount. No longer will enemies detect you unfairly far away just because you were standing, and neither will they become blind and deaf the moment you start to sneak.
  • NPC wall-hacking has been reduced in various scenarios: In vanilla, if you broke line-of-sight in combat, NPCs could wall-hack you for up to 10 seconds - this has now been reduced to 5 seconds (making it easier to evade a pursuing enemy, and then backstab them). In vanilla, any nearby enemy with a sneak skill over 50 would wall-hack you indefinitely if you were standing - this effect has now been reduced. In vanilla, casting any loud spell would heavily drain your ability to stay hidden for 5 seconds, which usually resulted in getting wall-hacked over large distances for 10 seconds - this has now been reduced to a slight drain for only 2 seconds, which almost eliminates wall-hacking.
  • "Invisibility" and "Muffle" effects now work when standing and running. In vanilla, these effects did not work against any enemy type when out of sneak mode. With this mod, if you have both "invisibility" and "muffle" active, you will now be 100% undetectable to low level bandits, even while sprinting right in-front of them. However, enemies with enhanced detection abilities, like mages, vampires, falmer, and dragons, will be able to see through these effects when you are standing or running (but not as much as in vanilla).
  • If an enemy has not detected you yet and is in combat with someone else, it is now easier to sneak past or backstab them (since all their attention is focused on combat). This effect is stronger in dark environments.
  • NPC reaction time is slightly increased in some situations. If you suddenly appear in front of a relaxed enemy, they may need a second to realise you are an enemy (instead of instantly attacking as they do in vanilla).
  • Sleeping enemies have slightly reduced hearing abilities (in vanilla their hearing was the same as when awake).
  • Enemies will notice dead bodies 10m away and start a search (was 5m in vanilla). Civilians are also more likely to react to dead bodies nearby instead of ignoring them as they often do in vanilla.
  • When someone sees you commit a crime, the distance guards come running has been reduced significantly.

5 versions for different user preferences and various lighting mod setups

You can only use one version at the same time.
You can use any RAID version with any lighting/weather mod setup you want, but my recommendations are provided in the 2nd image above.

Realistic AI Detection Lite
Small increase to NPC visual detection ability both indoors and outdoors. Small audio detection rebalance.
This is what vanilla detection should have been. This version is suitable for most setups if you want a bit more realism but not much more difficulty.
If you are not sure what version to get, start with this one, and upgrade to a more powerful version later if needed.


Realistic AI Detection - Medium Interior, Medium Exterior
Medium increase to NPC visual detection ability both indoors and outdoors. Moderate audio detection rebalance.
This version is suitable for vanilla lighting and many other lighting/weather mods if you want much more realistic and challenging sneak gameplay.

Realistic AI Detection - High Interior, High Exterior
Large increase to NPC visual detection ability both indoors and outdoors. Moderate audio detection rebalance.
This version is over-powered for Vanilla and most other lighting/weather mods, but ideal for ELFX Enhancer/Hardcore and RAID Weathers.
This is the original version of the mod I use myself in combination with ELFX "Hardcore" and RAID Weathers - the way its meant to be played.

Realistic AI Detection - High Interior, Medium Exterior
Large increase to indoor visual detection ability, medium increase to outdoor detection. Moderate audio detection rebalance.
This version is over-powered for Vanilla and most other lighting/weather mods.

Realistic AI Detection - Medium Interior, High Exterior
Medium increase to indoor visual detection ability, large increase to outdoor detection. Moderate audio detection rebalance.
This version is over-powered for Vanilla and most other lighting/weather mods.

Lighting/weather mods and stealth gameplay balance
Light-based detection mechanics in Skyrim are controlled by two things. First, the lighting/weather mods you use, and second, the detection mod you use. The lighting/weather mod controls what amount of light is in a location. The detection formula (tweaked by "Realistic AI Detection") then controls how that amount of light affects detection mechanics. If a lighting/weather mod does not provide appropriate lighting data to the detection formula, then there is little a detection mod like this can do to fix it.

One of the reasons some lighting/weather mods do not provide appropriate lighting data, is that Skyrim's engine does not feed all forms of lighting data into the detection formula. As far as I know, only "Sunlight Scale" in the imagespace records, and "Ambient" and "Sunlight" in the weather records are fed into the detection formula. All other imagespace and weather records (including "DALC" data), and external effects like ENB and Reshade, are ignored by the detection formula. So if a lighting/weather mod makes nights very dark the wrong way, the game engine still interprets that night as vanilla bright. So, the player could be blinded by the darkness, while enemy NPCs would still spot you easily from afar, which feels unfair (example: any dark ENB presets). The opposite is also possible - some mods appear as bright as vanilla but tell the detection formula it is extremely dark - resulting in near-blind NPCs in well lit environments (example: Luminosity).
There can be other problems too: some mods provide higher light levels for stormy or foggy weather than clear weather, and some mods provide higher light levels for a particular weather type at night than the same weather during the day.
While some of these flaws can be easily fixed by lighting/weather mod authors, optimising a whole weather mod for detection balance is hard work.

I tested nearly every weather and lighting mod for detection balance, using "player.gll". See the second image above for the results.

The "player.gll" console command prints out values ranging from 0 to 150+, representing the "real" amount of light at your character that is used in detection calculations by NPCs.
If you try this, make sure to disable RAID (as it affects results), and stay away from point-light sources like candles and fires. Also take shadows near buildings into consideration. In vanilla Skyrim, values for daytime range from about 40 to 150, and night values ranges from about 30 to 70, depending on the weather.


You can of course use other weather and lighting mods. This “trifecta” just shows you how to get the best gameplay balance if that is your priority.

Installation
Use your mod management program, or put the .esp file in your Skyrim/data folder and activate it in the mod tab from the main menu.
Place it near the bottom of your load order, below any mods that also edit detection settings.
Do not clean this mod with SSEEdit.


Uninstalling
Just uninstall it using your mod manager, or delete the mod's .esp file in Skyrim/data
It is 100% safe to uninstall or re-install during a serious playthrough.


Compatibility with other mods
This mod must be loaded after any mods that also edit detection settings (like Immersive Citizens, Requiem, Combat Evolved, Thief Skills Rebalance for Ordinator, and NAT).
RAID is compatible with all lighting/weather mods, but your choice of those mods will strongly affect detection balance (even if you don't use RAID) as explained above. See the 2nd mod image for RAID version suggestions for different weather/lighting mods.

More specific mod compatibility info:
"Magic Sneak Attacks" is compatible and highly recommended.
"Dynamic Weather and Time Based Detection" is compatible. Its features do not overlap much with RAID, so they can compliment each other.
           However, DWATBD can behave erratically sometimes. Test with it disabled if you encounter problems with detection.
Some users have reported that the hardcore sneaking component of "Ultimate Combat" conflicts with RAID.
Mods that add extra enemies to dungeons may sometimes cause problems when used with this mod - see the article tab for more info and a solution.
Mods that change detection settings via scripts (like Skytweak) may produce unexpected results if used in combination with this mod.
"Improved Traps" is compatible, but RAID will reduce the range enemies can hear traps by about 40% (a minor unintended side effect).
"Face Light" breaks detection mechanics if used with RAID as it makes bad edits to detection GMSTs using scripts.
"Invisibility" was problematic for some users, but others report no issues. If you have trouble, use the newer Uninterrupted Invisibility mod instead.

Other mods that are technically fully compatible, but worsen or break detection mechanics, EVEN IF YOU DON'T USE RAID:
"EVLaS" breaks shadow based detection mechanics at dawn/dusk/night whether you use RAID or not.
"Relationship Dialogue Overhaul" has a minor bug that prevents civilian NPCs from commenting on dead bodies they find.
Mods adding illumination effects to weapons may allow enemies to spot you easily. Note: vanilla weapon effects (like dawnbreaker) don't affect sneaking.
"Moon Phase Affects Brightness at Night" strongly affects detection balance, sometimes making it worse (depending on the weather mod you use).

FAQ
Q1: Can you please tell me what version of this mod to use with my specific mod setup.
A: Look at the 2nd picture above that lists most lighting mods and suggests a RAID version to go with them. If you are still unsure, sorry, I can't help you. There are so many different mod setups out there, and detection balance is very subjective anyway. If in doubt, just try RAID "Lite" first.
You can always try another version later. It is 100% safe to uninstall or reinstall another version during a serious playthrough.


Q2: Do I need to use the "High" version if my mods make the game much darker?
A: Not necessarily. Darker lighting mods do not always affect detection the way you would expect. See the "lighting/weather mods" section above.

Q3: I tried the "Lite" version but it still feels too difficult. Help?
A: Obviously sneaking will be a bit harder with this mod, but you should be fine if you use common sense. Some basic advice:
   1. Make sure your other mods are not messing up detection (like dark ENBs as explained further up).
   2. Avoid enemy line-of-sight, no matter how high your sneak skill/perk level is.
   3. Don't equip any light source, including spells that light up your hand.
   4. Invest in the "stealth" and "muffled movement" sneak perks (or their equivalent if you use a perk mod).
   5. The invisibility potion or spell will be essential in some situations.
   6. Stay in the shadows, where it is dark. (ELFX Enhancer/ELE/RLO/Ambiance make sneaking easier as they makes dungeons darker, the correct way)
   7. Keep the total weight of your equipped armor and weapon low. (Note - anything not equipped has no effect on sneaking).
   8. When sneaking up to someone from behind, it is best to move slowly (use the walk button on keyboard) when you get close.
   9. Get creative and devise new tactics like this - Using inigo's teleport ability to stealth one-shot a bandit chief

Q4: Sometimes NPCs are very slow to detect me (even when not sneaking), or other NPCs (even if hit by a "Frenzy" spell). Is it caused by this mod?
A: Possibly, but only to a limited extent. If you are using RAID "Lite", it may mean your lighting setup requires a more powerful version of RAID like "medium" or "high". However, some lighting/weather mods have detection balance problems (as explained higher up this page) that can't be fixed by any version of RAID - in that case you would need to fix your lighting setup, or accept this side effect, or stop using RAID.
Vanilla detection does not exhibit this problem as much because it allows NPCs that can't see anything (because of your choice of lighting mod) to still sense or "wall-hack" nearby targets that are not in sneak mode. RAID greatly reduces this wall-hacking ability thus forcing NPCs to rely more on sight and hearing - which works fine with vanilla lighting, or a well designed lighting/weather mod, but otherwise will not.
Also check your load order for any mods mentioned in the compatibility section.


Q5: How does RAID compare with Ordinator's optional Thief Skills Rebalanced module? Are they compatible?
A: They are only compatible if you put RAID lower in your load order, as RAID must overwrite any detection settings.
Get Thief Skills (without RAID) if you just want slightly harder vanilla sneak mechanics. It feels similar to vanilla.
Get RAID if you want a total overhaul of sneak mechanics. It feels very different from vanilla.

Q6: I want to play a sneaky mage, but enemies keep spotting me when I have a glowing spell in my hands. What can be done about this?
A: After extensive testing, I have found that looking slightly down from horizontal strongly increases the effect spell glow has on detection. This is a quirk of how Skyrim's detection works, it has nothing to do with RAID. Looking up by just 5deg from horizontal will minimise how much NPCs can detect spell glow. It sounds silly, but its true! Try this with the "player.gll" console command if you don't believe me.
Also, there is a mod called "Lights Out" that disables spell glow when equipped in your hand. It has compatibility patches for many magic mods.
You could also try "The Art of Shadow" mod, which gives you 2 spells to create darkness to hide in (the opposite of candlelight and magelight).
And, if you play a sneaky mage, don't forget to try "Magic Sneak Attacks".

Q7: Enemies and/or followers are sometimes unresponsive in my game, as if they are brain dead. Is it caused by this mod?
A: No. Check your other mods. Some people even experience this problem in vanilla Skyrim. Also, if your setup has script lag or generally poor performance, detection responsiveness may suffer as a result.
Also note, the "Immersive Citizens" mod will stop civilians and named NPCs from retaliating when you attack, if you are a much higher level than them (they are not brain dead, but controlled by an "avoid combat" AI package).

Q8: Does this mod affect NPCs, mod added NPCs, followers, animals, dragons, falmer etc? Does it affect how NPCs can detect other NPCs?
A: Yes. It affects the detection of everything. This is the case with all detection mods, not just mine.

Q9: Falmer can see me if I use this mod. Aren't Falmer supposed to be blind?
A: Falmer are NOT 100% blind. They are actually 80% blind according to the game files. In vanilla this may seem like 100% because normal NPC vision is already very weak. In RAID, all enemies can see much better, including Falmer, but their sight is still 80% worse than that of a normal enemy.

Q10: Does this mod work in Enderal SE?
A: Yes.

Q11: Did Bethesda change how detection behaves in Special Edition, compared to Legendary Edition.
A: Yes and no. There are no major changes, and the detection formula is identical. However, Bethesda did make small changes to lighting, particularly the weather at night. Special Edition nights have even more light than Legendary Edition nights.

Technical information, and DIY tweaking
This mod edits 45 game settings (GMST), and deliberately includes an additional 14 ITM edits. The ITMs are safe and ensure this mod functions correctly when loaded after a mod that also edits detection GMSTs.
If you want to know more about what these GMSTs do, download the "GMST Datasheet" on the download page.

Also, I have sorted these GMST records in xEdit logically by subsystem, in the same order as shown below to make it easer for you to tweak them yourself.
I have added short notes to some to tell you what to change or not. The ones without notes are best left alone unless you really know what you are doing.
Avoid the temptation to directly compare my values to vanilla in isolation! Many of these GMSTs interact with each other so context is very important.

(format: GMST name, vanilla value, RAID3 medium/medium value)

formula core
fSneakBaseValue                                                  -15   -4.0
fSneakDistanceAttenuationExponent                        2    5
visual
fDetectionViewCone                                             190    160       easy to tweak yourself, but 160 is the best compromise
fDetectionSneakLightMod                                      15     6          decrease this to make it easier to hide in the dark both inside and outside
fSneakLightMult                                                 0.33    0.6       controls how fast sneak eye indicator opens indoors in general
fSneakLightExteriorMult                                       0.5    1.0       controls how fast sneak eye indicator opens outdoors in general
fSneakLightMoveMult                                         0.01    0.1
fSneakLightRunMult                                             0.2    0.7
iLightLevelInteriorMod                                          25    13        increase to make it easier to hide in the dark when inside. don't go over 25
iLightLevelExteriorMod                                           0    10        increase to make it easier to hide in the dark when outside
iLightLevelMax                                                   300    200
audio
fSneakSoundsMult                                                   1   .7
fSneakSoundLosMult                                            0.3    0.28
fSneakEquippedWeightBase                                   12    5
fSneakEquippedWeightMult                                    .5    0.25
fSneakActionMult                                                    2    1
fSneakRunningMult                                                 2    2.15
distances
fSneakMaxDistance                                            2500    5400
     master control for how far away NPCs can detect you via sight, sound, and sneak skill
fSneakExteriorDistanceMult                                  2.1    1.2       (vanilla 2.1*2500=5250)
fSneakFlyingDistanceMult                                        3    ITM       if dragons have trouble finding and engaging you, increase this value to 5 or higher
fDetectProjectileDistanceNPC                               512    ITM
fDetectProjectileDistancePlayer                          1024    ITM
fDetectEventDistanceNPC                                    512    ITM
fDetectEventDistancePlayer                                1536    ITM
iCrimeAlarmLowRecDistance                              2000    1500      lower this to make guards less likely to respond to witnesses who report your crimes
iCrimeAlarmRecDistance                                    4000    3000      lower this to make guards less likely to respond to witnesses who report your crimes
fDeadReactionDistance                                        400    800       avoid increasing this one too much, its weird
timers
fCombatStealthPointRegenAlertWaitTime               10    15          you could increase these for even longer searches, avoid going over 50
fCombatStealthPointRegenDetectedEventWaitTime 10    30        
you could increase these for even longer searches, avoid going over 100 fCombatStealthPointRegenAttackedWaitTime         15    50         you could increase these for even longer searches, avoid going over 100
fCombatStealthPointRegenLostWaitTime                10    20         you could increase these for even longer searches, avoid going over 100
fCombatDetectionLostTimeLimit                            10   15         avoid messing with this one
fCombatDetectionNoticedTimeLimit                       10    5          avoid messing with this one (how long NPCs wall hack you in open combat)
fActorAlertSoundTimer                                            5    2         avoid messing with this one
fDetectionEventExpireTime                                     5    2          avoid messing with this one
contextual modifiers
fSneakAlertMod                                                     0    1          don't touch
fSneakCombatMod                                             -0.4    -2         don't touch
fSneakSleepBonus                                                  0    -0.3      you can fine-tune, but any lower than -0.5 and sleeping NPCs are in a coma
skill system
fSneakSkillMult                                                   0.5    0.08     don't touch!!!
fPlayerDetectionSneakMult                                  0.4    0.7
fPlayerDetectionSneakBase                                   10    5
fSneakPerceptionSkillMax                                    100    ITM
fSneakPerceptionSkillMin                                        0    ITM
stealth point system
fCombatStealthPointDrainMult                                3    ITM
fCombatStealthPointRegenMult                            0.2    0.08     increase to speed up sneak "eye" icon closing speed (after the above timers run out)
fCombatStealthPointRegenMin                               5    2.5       increase to speed up sneak "eye" icon closing speed (after the above timers run out)
iCombatStealthPointDetectionThreshold                25    35
iCombatStealthPointSneakDetectionThreshold        70    ITM
fCombatStealthPointAttackedMaxValue                  50    ITM
fCombatStealthPointDetectedEventMaxValue          75    ITM
fCombatStealthPointMax                                     100    ITM
search system
fCombatSearchExteriorRadiusMax                     2048    2560    if you increase the timers above, u can increase this slightly for further reaching searches
fCombatSearchExteriorRadiusMin                     1280    1536
fCombatSearchInteriorRadiusMax                     1280    1536    if you increase the timers above, u can increase this slightly for further reaching searches
fCombatSearchInteriorRadiusMin                        768    1024
fCombatSearchSightRadius                               1536    1024
fCombatSearchInvestigateTime                           2.5    3.5
fCombatSearchLookTime                                       1    ITM
fCombatSearchStartWaitTime                                1    ITM


Credits and permissions
Mod by Olivier Doorenbos.
All Donation Points go to charity. $720 donated as of Mar-2022. God bless!
You may distribute this mod in a "mod pack", only if it is non-commercial, no DP, and you have full permissions+credits for all other mods in the pack.
If you want to do anything else that goes beyond personal use, please contact me first (here on Nexus).
And hey Bethesda Studios, I would be happy to properly calibrate the detection formula of your next Elder Scrolls game. You could do with my help!


Disclaimer
Not suitable for casual gamers and console peasants. No liability will be accepted if these risk groups experience severe stress and feelings of inadequacy as a result of using this mod.
Approved for the glorious PCMR.

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(Off Topic):

List of Rated Quest / Dungeon Mods:
Here's a list of Skyrim quest mods I have played, and rated, as objectively as possible (just my opinion).
I hope this helps you find some good quest mods you may not have tried before (and I hope it helps you to avoid wasting time on the bad ones).

Note: well known mods in bold
Note: "#" indicates a mod unsuitable for a non-dragonborn player character
Mod Name                     Rating    Size      Stability/bugs  Combat       Notes 
enderal SE                    10/10    HUGE!     good             hard+         bigger and better than many $60 "AAA" games (not set in the elder scrolls world)
mediEvil H.o.G.             10/10    fair         excellent       medium+    excellent custom music and annimations. great humor. epic final boss fight
beyond skyrim: bruma   9/10     HUGE      good             medium+    the benchmark for new lands mods. on par with official DLC. very lore-friendly
interesting NPCs            9/10     HUGE      mediocre      medium+     excellent quests, followers, writing, and humor. very lore friendly. some bugs
***DAWNGUARD***          *9/10*    HUGE      ok               medium      for comparison, this DLC would get a "9/10" if it was a mod (less as paid DLC)
inigo                              9/10     fair        excellent       -                arguably the ultimate follower mod. very well voiced. mostly lore friendly
lucien
                            9/10     fair        mediocre       medium      follower with excellent writing and voicing. good quest. very lore friendly
clockwork          
           9/10     Large     good             medium+     beautiful mansion. epic dungeon. good quests and voicing. creepy
identity crisis                 8/10     small       mediocre      medium      high quality short quest with great voice acting. but breaks dragon riding

# unslaad                       8/10     Large      good             hard+         fairy tale with a sad *studio ghibli* vibe. the feels. mostly unvoiced. nice OP loot
the cheese of ages          8/10     fair         mediocre      medium      very funny but still lore-friendly, good dungeons, custom music. some minor bugs
***DRAGONBORN***         *7/10*   HUGE      mediocre      medium       for comparison, this DLC would get a "7/10" if it was a mod (less as paid DLC)
# wyrmstooth                 7/10     HUGE     mediocre      medium+      beautiful DLC sized island. excellent music and voicing. but some glitchy quests
# the republic of maslea   7/10    Large      mediocre      hard            wonderful tropical land. good story but unfinished. good music. partly unvoiced
# dreamborne isles          7/10     Large     mediocre      very hard     wonderful environments and music. lots of platforming. but unbalanced combat

carved brink                  7/10     Large     poor             medium       best environments ever. well voiced (but some too loud). confusing dialog. CTDs
the shire                         7/10    HUGE      poor             hard            huge beautiful hobbit land. branching story. but patronising quests/dialog. lvl 30+
# rigmor of bruma          7/10     Large     poor             very hard     great adventure. impressive environments. but awkward parts, unbalanced combat
# maelstrom                    7/10    fair        mediocre       very hard     great puzzle dungeon. well written and voiced. but some enemies one-shot you
the fire within                 7/10    fair        mediocre       medium+     good dungeon, puzzles, and follower (xp32 not needed for vanilla clothing install)

hel rising                        7/10     fair        good             medium       high quality dungeon quest with decent puzzles

tale of tsatampra xiros    7/10     small      mediocre       medium       very nice visuals. well voiced, but some too loud. lvl 20+ (SSE only)
away - come away            7/10    small       ok                hard            well made quest about a mysterious sword. not follower friendly. lvl 30+
beyond reach                 7/10    HUGE      poor             very hard     good mature dark story. but lacks polish. awkward dialogue with continuity errors

# moon and star             7/10     fair        ok                 hard           great voicing, puzzles, village, and custom boss fight. minor quest order flaws
falskaar                         7/10     HUGE      ok                hard            new land with good dungeons. some restrictive quests, navmesh bugs. lvl50+
the forgotten city           7/10     Large     poor             medium+     good story. custom music. but some flawed dialogue, fake skill checks, and CTDs

project AHO                   7/10     Large     bad               hard            great visuals, music, and voicing. but awkward plot, some fetch quests, and bugs
helgen reborn                7/10     Large     ok                 hard           good variety, great dungeon, but some "meh" content too, and unconvincing plot
# the noble chaurus         7/10     small      poor              hard+         great scripted scenes, sounds, boss battle, and notes. but glitchy parts (LE only)
# yellow king                   7/10    small       ok                medium+     good original dungeon with custom assets. good story told through books/notes
# nyhus                           7/10    Large     mediocre       hard           surprisingly good new lands mod. voiced basic quests. mostly navmeshed
# m'rissi's tails of trouble 7/10     fair        bad               hard          
nice follower. very well voiced. but harsh restrictive quest scenes. random CTDs
# moonpath to elsweyr   7/10     Large     mediocre       medium      nice environments and voicing. bring "Lucien" (follower mod with moonpath patch)
# discworld alpha             6/10    Large      bad              medium+     good voicing, humor, and music. creative quest design. but unfinished (LE only)
# qaxe's questorium         6/10    Large     poor              EXTREME     well voiced adventures, nice visuals. but silly plot, difficulty spikes. OP loot. lvl 70+
darkend                         6/10    Large     mediocre       EXTREME     impressive bleak environments. but bad boss fight balance. no follower navmesh
the shroud of jotunheim   6/10    Large     poor              hard            great dark atmosphere, but a bit tedious and glitchy. no followers (LE only)
# dragon break                6/10    fair         ok                medium+     [adult humor] funny adventures. well voiced. but annoying random chatter. lvl40+
# midwood isle                6/10    Large      bad               medium+     new land. well voiced. some restrictive scenes and bad NPC spawns. many CTDs

sorcery                           6/10    fair         good             medium      (steam workshop) decent quest, nice environments to explore
undeath                         6/10    fair         poor              medium      good lore, atmosphere and custom music. needs patches. not follower friendly
# orange moon                6/10    fair         poor              medium+    good dungeon. good unmarked puzzle quest. well written notes. very lore friendly
primeval real estate         6/10    tiny        good             medium       short dungeon with very well voiced humorous dialogue (SSE only)

fortune's tradehouse        6/10    small       good             easy           a set of decent short quests. excellent voicing
. slightly OP loot
a feathered friend           6/10     tiny        good             easy           nice short quest, well voiced
immersive idiots             6/10     fair        mediocre       EXTREME     [crude adult humor] good funny voice acting. for lvl 70+. some bugs
club obos                        6/10    small       ok                medium       [crude adult humor] simple funny quest with a good voice actor (LE only)
# the shadow of meresis 6/10     fair        ok                 hard           good puzzles and voice acting, but some translation errors and other flaws
# pirates of the pacific    6/10     fair        mediocre       medium+    decent well paced adventure. basic voicing. nice visuals. not lore friendly (LE only)
# red flame                     6/10    small       ok                medium      impressive cathedral. good unmarked quest and well written notes. few enemies
#easierrider's dungeon pk
6/10    Large     mediocre       medium      a set of high quality dungeons. but minor fps dips and some not follower friendly

# the island                    6/10     Large     poor              easy           beautiful. exploration focus. but tedious "find item" puzzles, backtracking, low fps

# secret of dragon cleft   6/10     Large      bad              very hard     wow. epic dungeon with unique design! but serious bugs. no followers (LE only)
# the hanging gardens     6/10     fair        mediocre       very hard    beautiful dwemer temple/island, but low fps and not follower friendly
the evil mansion             6/10     fair         ok                hard           good resident evil remake with many key/button puzzles. lore and follower friendly
# death consumes all       6/10     Large     bad               very hard+   good but flawed story, great voicing. some tedious, confusing, or broken quests
conan hyborian age          6/10    small       ok                hard           decent dungeon quest, with custom music and voiced conan, hard boss
idemdall's folly                6/10     small      ok                 medium+    decent dungeon quest. neat boss fight. has an annoying talking sword. lvl 30+
the secrets of arc cyrae    6/10    fair        poor              hard           decent dungeons. normal difficulty, except for a 20+ draugr ambush (SSE only)
the midden - expanded     6/10    fair        poor              moderate   high quality lore friendly dungeon. well written. but some bugs, not follower friendly

#konahriks accoutrement 6/10   fair        ok                 hard           decent dungeon with some neat features. lore friendly
# aesir armor                  6/10    small     mediocre        hard           decent dungeon with hard riddle puzzles. minor light flicker and roombound bugs
volundr                           6/10    fair        mediocre       medium      good dungeon. slightly OP custom spells and loot. minor music bug (LE only)
temple of kruziik             6/10    small      good             medium       nice draugr dungeon, like heimfeigr (but shorter), cool boss fight
sea of ghosts                  6/10    fair         ok                medium+    (steam workshop) ship travel and island exploration. mediocre voicing. OP loot
thief in the (k)night        6/10    small       mediocre        -               relaxing treasure hunt with well written notes. but items can glitch out (LE only)
the dead bee scrolls         6/10    small      good              medium      poorly voiced, but otherwise a good quality small dungeon quest (LE only)
# salem                          6/10    Large     mediocre        very hard    basic island with nice silly lighthearted adventures. not lore friendly. lvl 60+ (LE)
the mcmiller chronicles    6/10    small      good              medium+    some amusing parts, but also a bit tedious - slow pacing, and slow voice acting

moonshimmer mine         6/10    fair         ok                medium      decent dungeon. well balanced. but has 1 "broken active script" (LE only)
temple of phynaster         6/10    small      ok                 medium+    nice snow-elf themed dungeon (SSE only)
ogmund's tomb                6/10    fair        good              medium      decent conventional draugr dungeon. no bugs. follower friendly
cairnstone tower             6/10    fair         poor             very hard+   hardcore soul cairn dungeon with custom bosses. glitchy. no followers (LE only)
the tower of nchunak       6/10    small      mediocre       hard           fairly decent voiced dungeon quest with a good maze (LE only)
tramp's rest                    6/10    tiny         ok                hard           classic D&D themed dungeon. custom assets and enemies. not follower friendly
curse of the hound amlt.  6/10    tiny        poor              medium      well voiced short dungeon quest. but the dungeon is very basic

# green sleeves               6/10    fair        good              easy           decent follow-the-notes quest. many lore friendly books. neat custom follower
frozen in time                 6/10    fair        mediocre        easy           neat necromancer waifu quest. but mediocre voicing, minor quest design flaws
stendarr's beacon ruhm.   6/10    tiny        ok                 easy           great visuals. but dungeon quest part is very short. semi lore friendly (SSE only)
white flower                    6/10    tiny        ok                 -                relaxing beautiful environments. no quest or enemies (SSE only)
# iomaungandr rising       6/10    small      ok                 medium      decent dragon shout puzzles. but annoying rumbling noise

middle earth redone        6/10     Large     poor              easy           good and bad LOTR levels. has some enemies, but no quests. low fps, CTDs

# vominheim                   5/10    Large      ok                very hard    decent dungeon crawl island. follower friendly. no quests or voicing. lvl 50+

hammet's dungeon packs 5/10   HUGE      ok                hard           decent big dungeon pack. follower friendly. slightly OP loot. unleveled. lvl 40+

# glamoril                       5/10     fair        poor              hard           good boss fights. but quest fails to start on some saves. not follower friendly
# the tools of kagrenac   5/10     fair        mediocre       hard           tedious puzzles. voices too loud. not follower friendly. nice slightly OP loot
# dwemertech                5/10     fair        poor              very hard    hi-tech themed quest. OP weapons/spells. not so lore friendly
dwemer colosseum          5/10     fair        mediocre       hard           arena with crowd effects, but has some rough edges. not lore friendly
the candle makers           5/10     fair       mediocre       medium+     simple quests in a nice mountain fortress. mixed voicing. feels unfinished (LE only)
# qothmaar                     5/10     small     mediocre       medium      puzzle dungeon with good scripted boss fight. minor "active effects" bug (LE only)
# insanity clause             5/10     fair        bad              *mixed*       funny xmas themed mod, great voicing, but has very glitchy quest mechanics
# tinvaak                        5/10    small      bad               easy           well written books. lore friendly. but tedious. some CTDs and other serious bugs
a mortal ailment              5/10    tiny       mediocre        medium      well voiced short "talk to and then kill" dragon quest. average writing (SSE only)
dwarven pride                 5/10     small     bad               medium+     well voiced. good dungeon. but some backtracking. CTDs if boss gets near you
the haven                       5/10*    fair       bad                -                beautiful island (no quests), but low fps, and dirty edits that mess up your game
# ambriel                       5/10     fair       bad               medium+     story taken from star wars. poor writing, not so lore friendly, very buggy quests
# mirai                           5/10    fair        poor              hard           teen "waifu" follower. mix of good and annoying voicing. flawed story. CTDs
heimfeigr                        5/10    fair        mediocre       medium      decent draugr dungeon. custom music, puzzle, and scripted boss. some bugs
akaviri ruins of savirien   5/10    small      mediocre       medium      decent open air akaviri themed dungeon (SSE only)
# fight the thalmor 1      5/10    small      bad                hard          nice environment and dungeon. but bad writing, and fatal bug if you have followers
into the depths               5/10     small      ok                medium       basic but nice short haunted dungeon, some jump scares, no followers (LE only)
# world of rudra              5/10*    Large     bad              very hard+   beautiful oriental lands. but tedious buggy unvoiced quests, bad engrish. CTDs
# song of parkin-san        5/10    fair        mediocre        easy          good story, but also annoying and tedious. lovely ending. ties in daedric quests

underhanded slavery        5/10    small      bad                hard          well voiced short quest. but serious bugs and CTDs
teldryn serious                5/10     fair       mediocre        hard           some neat features, but badly written messy plot. not follower friendly

shadows of the past         5/10    fair        ok                 hard           moderately decent fetch/kill quests in varied locations, some poor voice acting
path of the revenant        5/10    small      ok                 hard           necromancy themed small dungeon and player home. good unique loot
# anfangrum's cleft          5/10    fair        ok                 medium+    average dungeon with a dragon fight, books, and "find the lever" puzzles (LE only)
agent of righteous might 5/10    Large     poor              hard           great story, but many bugs, some very tedious and glitchy quests, mixed writing
lost colony of akavir SE    5/10    Large     poor              hard           impressive environment design. has enemies but no quests. limited navmesh
m.h.a.r.p.h.i.n                5/10    fair        poor             very hard     sometimes funny and wonderful. also weird, buggy, and tedious. not lore friendly
jurgholm                         5/10    fair        good             very hard    large dremora dungeon with some neat features. for lvl 60+ players
sins of the past               5/10    small      ok                 -                five well written short stories, found during a simple quest. relaxing (LE only)
# molag bal's inferno        5/10    fair        bad               EXTREME    good visuals and voicing. but tedious and broken parts, loud dante, CTDs
fable - shadow of past      5/10    fair        poor              medium      beautiful island. nice music. custom assets. but few enemies, no LOD (LE only)
# shadow of the dragon    5/10    fair        BROKEN         very hard     great story, good challenging combat. but unfinished and broken quests (LE only)
# the last refuge              5/10    Large     BROKEN        very hard     a well voiced adventure with some nice locations, but mostly ruined by bugs
# valley of outcasts          4/10    fair        bad               very hard     well voiced. but many bugs, some tedious and confusing parts, crude level design

a cure for the nightmare  4/10    small      bad               easy            decent voiced short nightmare themed quest, but quite glitchy (LE only)
cycle of the silencer         4/10    fair        BROKEN         hard           decent story, some neat cutscenes. but glitchy broken quests (LE only)
skyrim underground       4/10    Large     mediocre       hard           mostly dull corridors. custom enemies. one of the quest givers was well voiced
lord balmer's playground   4/10    small       bad              medium      short jump scare dungeon with multiple endings. tedious and rough parts (LE only)
gothic orpheus project     4/10    Large      bad              very hard     new land with nice environments but low fps. bad fetch quests with bad engrish

# the volgon isles            4/10     Large     bad              medium       nice looking new land. but no quests, few enemies, limited navmesh (LE only)
orvar's tomb remastered  4/10     tiny        mediocre      moderate     half decent small dungeon with a boss fight (LE only)
skjolga's basin                4/10     small      ok                easy            half decent dungeon with a story told through journals
wild goose chase quest    4/10     tiny        good             easy            joke mod that parodies bethesda's dumb quest design (LE only)
arweden                         4/10     fair        poor             very hard     badly written. dull start, but dungeon part is ok. bring 3+ followers into dungeon

ayleid ruins of arashai     4/10     fair        poor             hard            a few nice areas, but mostly dull corridors. not follower friendly (LE only)
the realms of daedra       4/10     small      good             medium      (steam workshop) short, not voiced
the warrior of rivercrest   4/10    tiny        good             medium      small village and basic arena dungeon. ties in the TES:Blades story (SSE only)
fugitive of the natural ord 4/10   fair        mediocre       hard           some simple half decent quests. but lots of fast travel, follower repeats lines a lot
#anna npcs                     4/10     fair        mediocre       -                like "interesting NPCs", but lower quality and less lore friendly. a few good bits
pit fighter                     4/10     fair        good             medium+      ok but repetitive, no difficulty scaling, lacks some excitement
# fight the thalmor 2-4   4/10    fair        bad               hard            weak story, many enemies in tight spaces, not lore friendly, not follower friendly
sword of sigdan               4/10    fair        mediocre       EXTREME     large dungeon with very hard boss fights for lvl 70+ players. not follower friendly

solemn keep                    4/10    small      DANGER        hard            nice looking bandit dungeon, but may cause severe script lag* (tested on Oldrim)
it beats for her                4/10    tiny       good               -                subtle storytelling, but very basic, not voiced
# the abandoned temple   4/10     fair       poor              hard            badly placed entrance, dull corridors and repetitive puzzles. not follower friendly
immersive dungeons        4/10    Large     bad               very hard     huge dungeons with many enemies and too many traps. no followers. some CTDs

# nereva                         4/10    Large     mediocre       medium+     (steam workshop) fairly pretty but basic new land. unvoiced fetch quests. OP loot
temple of black rock        4/10     small     poor              very hard+   half decent draugr dungeon with backtracking. get shouted at a lot. OP final boss
# the warpers                 4/10     fair        BROKEN         hard+          decent story and dungeons. unvoiced. but glitchy broken quests (LE only)
mines of moria revised    3/10     Large    bad               very hard     amazing scale, but many low quality or broken parts. not follower friendly (LE only)
tale of the dragon's bane  3/10    small      ok                  -                easy to follow treasure hunt with a story. bad placement of notes, many typos
sondenheim                    3/10     small     good              moderate    fairly basic small dungeon, but not bad

# spectraverse               3/10     Large     bad               EXTREME     well voiced. some neat puzzles. but ruined by confusing overly-harsh mechanics
# wheels of lull               3/10    Large     BROKEN         hard           
great potential, but ruined by very tedious parts, and many CTDs
brhuce hammar               3/10     fair        bad               hard           [strong language] funny. cool. but very tedious parts, painful loud sounds, CTDs
doubtsuspended quest pk 3/10     fair        poor              easy           well voiced but otherwise dull quests. not ideal for paragon characters

forgotten dungeons        3/10     Large     ok                medium      a mix of average and bad dungeons. slight copy-paste feel
skyrim sewers                3/10     fair       mediocre       medium       dull level design. very under-scaled relative to overworld distances

gersonia                         3/10     fair       poor              very hard     huge dungeon. platforming, hard traps. bad navmesh. not lore friendly (LE only)
rescue bronwen               3/10     small     poor              hard            short, fun. but silly, mixed voicing, and stupidly over-sized dogs (LE only)
isobel                             3/10    small      bad               easy            voiced basic quests using radiant system. last quest was broken. also form-43
umbra island                   3/10    Large     bad               very hard     some neat ideas, but flawed puzzles, glitchy enemies, cheap traps. no followers
the bigger they are          3/10    small      good             medium       (steam workshop) short quest with a boss fight, not voiced
no mercy                        3/10     small     ok                 hard            (steam workshop) basic level design, no voice acting. short, but lore friendly
skyrim murder mysteries  3/10    small     mediocre        easy            basic follow-the-notes quests. basic writing. no puzzles or thinking
folkvangr                        3/10    small     mediocre        medium       small island with a town and a tedious dungeon. a few enemies, no quests
# frostmaarch                 3/10     fair       poor              hard            basic land with nice views. dragons. no quests/dungeons. bad navmesh (LE only)
# zelda tarm ruins           3/10     small     bad               medium       nice music and level based on oracle of seasons. but also very basic and buggy
ashland mine                  3/10     tiny       poor              hard            tiny basic mine full of glitched large skeevers. map to find mine missing texture
lost wonders of mzark    3/10    fair        poor              very hard     painfuly loud sound effects, tedious gameplay, low frame rates
volthar manor revisited   3/10     fair       poor              EXTREME      tedious hard find-the-item puzzles. not so lore friendly. very OP loot. lvl 70+
wulftur's lodge                 3/10    ?            bad               ?                 good voicing and visuals. but first quest seems to be broken, or cant figure it out

#gray cowl of nocturnal
3/10     Large     good             hard+         tedious puzzles, running, backtracking, bad level design, and bad writing. OP loot
ravengate                      3/10     fair        bad               EXTREME    had potential, but poorly balanced, trolls the player, backtracking, bad dialogue etc
the sinister seven           3/10     fair        poor              EXTREME    nice concept, but poorly balanced and not lore friendly. OP oversized bosses etc
# blackland                     3/10     Large    poor               hard          mostly fetch quests, bad voicing, bad level design. lots of running. lvl 50+ (LE only)
# curse of akavir - phoe   3/10    HUGE     BROKEN          hard          a few nice environments. but ruined by how broken and empty the rest is. a pity
the isles esroniet            3/10     Large     bad               hard           nice looking town, but rest is bad. too much walking. bad dungeons. wild edits
# the index                     2/10    small      BROKEN         EXTREME     would be an epic boss battle, but too many bugs and constant CTDs (LE only)
the warden stone             2/10    tiny       ok                  medium+    just a very basic and small dungeon (LE only)
great treasure hunt          2/10    small    poor                -                not great. poorly placed clues. some could glitch out. badly written
captain sharphook           2/10     fair       bad                medium+    bad follow-the-clues treasure hunt. notes fell through the map. tedious (LE only)
windcaller pass                2/10    small     poor               medium+    large but dull caves with a copy-paste feel. over-powered loot

tomb of ahranas              2/10    tiny       poor               hard           badly designed low effort dungeon from 2012 (LE only)
secret of dragonhead       2/10    fair        ok                 hard           low quality dungeon with lots of running. has not aged well since 2012

# the sky residence          2/10    small     bad                hard           low quality new land. very loud bad voice recordings. not lore friendly (LE only)
the master's trial             2/10    fair       poor               medium      bland fetch quests, bad writing, mixed voicing, some bugs. ~5 hours...wasted
mara's island                   1/10    fair       bad                medium      nonsensical plot, lazy level design, lazy NPC placement, CTDs (LE only)
the forgotten prince         1/10    fair       bad                mixed         ok voicing. bad writing. awful copy-paste dungeons. serious bugs (LE only)
# vodahmin qoth              1/10    small     bad               very hard+   low quality tedious dungeon. pointless master locked doors. trolling wild edits



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