About this mod

Wander is a simple weather solution, enhancing and adding variation while preserving the colors and spirit of Vanilla. No scripts. Multiple versions available.

Permissions and credits
Changelogs
Wander
“Weather to Wander by”
 


Wander gives Skyrim nights that are darker, days where you can’t see the details of distant landscapes, chances of missing weathers spawning, and many new variations of weather across every region of Skyrim.


Main Objectives


Wander was built, not to replace the original Skyrim weather system, but to complete it. Many aspects of the original Skyrim weather system are preserved, such as color sets, while enhancements are made, and variations are added in. There were three main objectives that set the stage for Wander's creation.

Main Objective:   Darker Skyrim Nights

A lot of people agree that the nights in Skyrim are too bright, and you can count this wizard among them. Wander darkens the night of every weather, in every region, to make the night more, well, night-like. This is a percentage based change, so there will be more light on clear nights as opposed to nights during inclement weather. Regional colors will still vary as well. Wander tries to preserve the vanilla look and feel of every weather in every region while implementing darker Skyrim nights. Now, monsters, thieves, and adventurers alike can all go out and enjoy the darkness of the night.

Main Objective:   Reduced Visibility of Distant Landscapes

I’ve always thought the ability to see crisp tree lods, and rock details on far away mountains looked a little off. The landscape should be more mysterious, and hide it's treasures better. I wanted to haze out the details on far away landscapes to include this air of mystery on all but the clearest of days. So I did. Because Wizard. Distant landscapes across all of Skyrim will have hazier details than they did prior. Different weather types will provide more or less haze to the details. Details are a bit hazy. Ha.

Main Objective:   Inclusion of Missing Regional Weathers

All of the regions of Skyrim have different groups of weathers that have a chance to spawn in that region. Quite a few of them do not have the chance to spawn a fog, or a snow, or a thunderstorm, etc. I’ve gone across all the regional data to include the chance for these missing weathers to spawn, as long as it made sense to do so for that region. I’ve included charts in the screenshots section that show what weathers were added to what regions, as well as what percentage chance that weather has to spawn (as well as the vanilla chances to spawn).


Enhancements


Wander makes a number of enhancements to the original Skyrim weathers. Many of these enhancements are tied directly to the newly added variations.

Enhancements:   Horizon Seams

Horizon seams have been added for all new and existing weathers. These seams help to blend the skyline with the landscape better, and help to hide holes in the Sea of Ghosts when water cells do not load properly.

Enhancements:   Overcast Rain

Wander adds a new rain sound and slightly adds more rain particles, to enhance the vanilla rain.

Enhancements:   Thunderstorms

Wander makes thunderstorms a little more fun. The vanilla thunder sound was rather dull and slowly looped. Wander has resolved this by separating the four thunder sounds out of the main record, and creating an individual record for each of them. Thunder will now be varied, and more random. The thunder sounds are also now a little louder. Additional unused vanilla rain sounds were included to make the rain sound more like a storm rain. Rain particles were increased by a decent margin. While wander does not do much to the daytime weathers, apart from decreasing distant visibility, in the case of thunderstorms, light in the daytime has been slightly reduced, and daytime shadows slightly strengthened. These are subtle changes to enhance this weather during the day. All of this makes for a much improved and enjoyable thunderstorm.

Enhancements:   Overcast Snow

The "overcast snow" vanilla weather has been added to all regions, as Skyrim is a cold place. While it may not stick to the ground, flurries can still spawn to remind you that you are in Skyrim. This light and fun snow is not a dangerous or powerful storm, so Wander removes the overly annoying in-your-face camera attachment, because flurries do not go straight for the eyes like some Argonian bandits do. Now you can enjoy the chance of flurries wherever your adventures lead you in Skyrim.

Enhancements:   Ash Storms

The mountain is on fire. Ash is spewing into the atmosphere. Now there will be more ash in the ash laden regions. Cloudy days will now produce lite ash particles that the Ash storm produced. Ash storms will now produce more ash. And without getting ahead of myself, there is another tier. You see where I'm going with this. Wander gives that Dunmer guard something to really complain about.

Enhancements:   Marsh and Volcanic Regions

While Wander generally reduces the visibility of distant landscapes, that visibility has been further reduced in the marsh and volcanic regions, where warmer and colder temperatures are in their own constant civil war over the lower atmosphere. Instead of just making fog the only weather to spawn, Wander instead reduces the visibility of these areas by adding fogginess and haze to all of the weathers types that spawn in these locations, bringing the moisture in close, and creating a stronger fog and haze effect. In this way, there is the same variance of weather types that you will find everywhere else, but with more moisture added to each of them reducing visibility. Wind values have also been reduced in these regions.

Enhancements:   Coastal Regions

Visibility along the Northern coast will be greater than most other areas. Wind values are also increased along the coast.

Enhancements:   Masser and Secunda

An extra red tint of color for Masser and Secunda is recorded in each of the weather records. After darkening the nights, I found the extra red tint really stuck out. Wander calms the extra red tint of the moons down to it’s base colors, so that the moons do not stick out like a sore thumb any longer during the darker nights. Now, as a side effect of that, they pick up on aurora colors spectacularly as you can see in the title shot. Screenshots are included showing the differences between Wander and Vanilla.


Variations


Wander adds 182 variations of the original Skyrim weathers to the 75 main weathers modified by Wander, for a total of 257 different weather variations in Skyrim.

Variations:   Pleasant Weathers

Wander increases the variations of pleasant weathers from 4 to 34 per region.

While wandering around the inner workings of the weathers, I realized that only two of the three aurora types spawn in any given region. Upon further investigation I found that there was one poor unused aurora in the game files. Enter Alfheimr & Vanaheimr. The third unused aurora in a region, as well as the new unused aurora were added as near duplicate weathers to the clear and cloudy aurora chances in each region. Each region had a chance to spawn an aurora weather 5% of the time. Each region had two Aurora weathers, one clear, one cloudy, giving a 10% chance for an aurora. With the inclusion of Alfheimr & Vanaheimr each region now has the chance to spawn any of the four auroras. I’ve kept the aurora weathers as a 5% chance, including the new aurora weathers, so each region now has a 20% chance of spawning an aurora. Examples of the auroras are included in the screenshots. Enjoy the beauty of the auroras anywhere you venture.

Variations:   Fog Weathers

Wander increases the variations in fog weathers from 1 to 9 per region.

One of the things I wanted in this mod was more impressive and varying fogs. I always liked the vanilla weather in general, especially the fog, though I always wished it came in closer and heavier at times. It was always such a tease! In Wander there are now three levels of fogs that can spawn. The vanilla fog , which has been altered to be a little heavier, is generally the weakest of the fogs (except in the marsh and volcanic regions where everything is a haze). Enter Niflheimr & Niflhel. Niflheimr is a generally heavier fog, and Niflhel is the heaviest of the fogs. Both of these new fogs have a slightly different colorset from the vanilla fogs that spawn in most places, and both of these new fogs have a chance to spawn in all regions, except the places that don’t make sense (Solitude, Dragonsreach, etc.). These new fogs do not have any camera effects attached, and are quite beautiful and mysterious during the day, and can be darn right spooky at night. Long live the Nifl!

Variations:   Rain Weathers

Wander increases the variations in rain weathers from 1 to 3 per non-snowy region, and increases the variations in thunderstorm weathers from 1 to 3 per non-snowy region.

The strongest of these variations is the named Svartalfaheimr storm. A rare and active thunderstorm with very frequent lightning, thunder and heavy rain.

Variations:   Snow Weathers

Wander increases the variations in snow weathers from 0 to 3 per non-snowy region, and increases the variations from 2 to 9 per snowy region.

Another of the other weathers I wanted was a strong and powerful blizzard type snowstorm. While the vanilla snows offered nice ambiance for a wintry mood, there did not exist a blizzard type storm to force you to hunker down and find shelter. Enter Jotunheimr. Jotunheimr is a powerful whiteout blizzard befitting of Skyrim. The storm produces a lot of snow and wind, a turbulent camera attachment, and the additional roaring of distant thunders, providing a menacing overtone to the storm. If you encounter Jotunheimr during the day, you will want to find shelter before nightfall, while you can still navigate. Skyrim is a cold and harsh place, and the Jotunheimr will remind you of that.

Variations:   Ash Weathers

Wander increases the variations in ash weathers from 1 to 6 per ash-laden region.

The last of my new weathers, I wanted the chance for a violent and dangerous ash storm in Solstheim. Enter Muspellsheimr. The thick ash plume blots out the sun, and darkens the sky, bleeding day into night. Thick gagging ash will make you want to run for cover, and for air. Roars of distant thunder with orange-red tinted lightning light up the landscape in flashes through the dark clouds. You will feel the wrath of the Red Mountain, and know it is angry, for the Muspellsheimr is it's voice.


Editions


There will be many Editions of Wander available over time. New Editions will be released and made available for download as they are completed. Editions are arranged into Tiers, for more user choices, and for better compatibility with other mods.

Editions:   Tier 1 - Main Editions

Tier 1 Main Editions are the foundation of Wander. These editions include all of the base information for Wander. There are 3 Main Editions available, the Wander (Original), Wander-Lite and Wander-Bright Editions. Each of these include all of the base information for Wander, but with different levels of light and shadows at night. The Wander (Original) Edition is the darkest of all 3, and contains the original values I settled on when creating Wander for the first time. The Wander-Lite Edition is slightly lighter at night, and has less deep shadows so it will be easier to make out details in the shadows without a light source. The Wander-Bright Edition is brighter than both at night and has the weakest shadows to make it the easiest to see.

Editions:   Tier 1 - Themed Editions

Tier 1 Themed Editions are modified versions of the Main Editions, with different percentage chances for certain types of weathers. The first of these, the Alfheimr Themed Editions have been released. The Alfheimr focuses on only pleasant weathers (clear and cloudy) and will not spawn fog, rain, storm, snow or ash weathers normally. The chance for auroras is also increased to roughly 40%. Tier 1 Themed Editions will all have modified versions of the Wander, Wander-Light, and Wander-Bright Main Editions included in their downloads.

Editions:   Tier 2 - (Future)

Once all of the Tier 1 editions have been completed, work on the Tier 2 Editions will begin. These Editions will include additional image space modifications and possibly other changes, for things like more bloom, or less saturation. These Editions will be built on top of and include copies of all of the Tier 1 Editions, so say if you wanted to have an Alfheimr Themed Wander-Bright Edition, but with more bloom, there would be a Tier 2 Edition for that.


Compatibility


Tier 1 Wander Editions modify nearly all of the "Weather" records and most of the "Region" records in Skyrim. Tier 2 Wander Editions (Future) will also modify "Image Space" files. Any mod that modifies these same records will conflict in some way with Wander. Wander does not modify light from light sources, textures, or meshes. Wander does not modify the world map weather either, so it's safe to use mods that modify the world may weather. This is the beginnings of a compatibility list. If you have tested a mod with Wander and it works (or doesn't), please post your findings, so it can be included in this listing.

Fully Compatible Mods:

A Quality World Map (Clear May Skies) *** No direct conflicts, should work but needs user verification
Campfire / Frostfall *** No direct conflicts, should work but needs user verification
Cathedral Water Overhaul - Includes Water Edge Bug Fix *** No direct conflicts, should work but needs user verification
Lightning During Storms SSE (Minty Lightning) - Verified by Wander's Users
Morning Fogs SSE - Verified by Wander's Author
Obsidian Mountain Fogs - Verified by Wander's Users
Realistic Water Two *** No direct conflicts, should work but needs user verification
Subtle Wind FX *** No direct conflicts, should work but needs user verification
Wonders of Weather - Verified by Wander's Users

Mostly Compatible Mods

Surreal Lighting - Allow Wander to overwrite. Only compatible with Tier 1 Editions. Incompatible with Tier 2+ Editions.
USSEP Unofficial Patch - Allow Wander to overwrite. Wander's regional Winterhold and Karthspire data will overwrite.
Wet and Cold - Allow Wander to overwrite. Wander's ash weathers and regional data will overwrite.

Compatible with a Patch

True Storms SE - Allow Wander to overwrite. Allow the patch to overwrite both. Patch is available in Wander's optional files.

Incompatible Mods

(Enter most every other large scale weather mod here)


Random Stuff


Requirements:

Wander does not require anything other than Skyrim and it’s DLCs. Wander was constructed to work perfectly with vanilla Skyrim SE, without the use of any other mods, pre-requisites, or tweaks, to act as a simple weather solution.

Installation:

All current and future Editions of Wander will consist of a single “Wander.esp” file. Download it and place this file in your "Data" folder. I've been told in the forum posts that if you download via a mod manager that it will only install the Original Edition, and will not give you a chance to install the Wander-Lite or Wander-Bright Editions. I'll have to look into how to make the files work with mod managers. Until then, if you want the other Editions, please download them manually.

Console Versions:

Console versions that have been uploaded to Bethesda are slightly different than the ones on the Nexus. They have been renamed so as to provide the best experience for console users. Console users run into a situation where if they try to download a file with the same filename as one they already have downloaded, they get an error. They can get around the error by disabling, then deleting the original mod, backing out of the game, and then downloading the new mod, though this is frustrating experience, especially if the user is going through it for the first time. By naming all of the Editions separately, the user will not get this frustrating set of errors. This fix however will make widespread patches for Wander on the consoles improbable to create, as you would have to recreate the patch for each separate Edition. The initial Main Editions are named "Wander.esp", "Wander-Lite.esp", "Wander-Bright.esp". If you are making a patch for use on consoles, please keep this in mind.

Permissions:

You are free to use and modify Wander in any way that will enhance your personal playing experience. In fact, I encourage you to learn to modify Wander to your liking if you haven’t tried out modding before. You may find that you enjoy it as much as I do! If you need any help or advice, ask away in the forums. Please don’t upload a full or tweaked version of Wander somewhere else. Wander has been released on Bethesda.net for the Xbox and PS4.


Credits


I, Wanderhall the Blue, Wizard of the weathers of the world, am the sole creator of the Wander mod. That being said, I would like to thank the following persons, and groups of persons, for their insight and contributions, without which "Wander" would not have happened in it’s current form (or at all):

Thanks to ElminsterAU and the whole xEdit Team for the marvelous tool SSEedit. Without this marvel of modern engineering, Wander would likely not have been created. While I started learning about modding with the creation kit, which I used to create my first mod "Riverwood Houses Renamed" for the Xbox, I've transitioned over more to SSEedit, as it makes modding much easier in so many different ways. As far as Wander goes, I was able to load my file in seconds, make changes, save, jump out, jump into Skyrim to check the changes, and repeat the process in no time. This would not have been reasonably possible with the creation kit. If you ever need help with resolving mod conflicts, or load order, or want to start creating your own mods, seriously give SSEedit a try. It is worth the effort to explore and learn how it works. You can find SSEedit here: https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/164

Thanks to Megaloblast, Arindel, and kojak747 for the very useful guide "Guide to Weather Creation and Realtime Snow Cover", which corroborated some of my findings and provided lots of useful information on a number of topics, particularly on the horizon seam, and how to fix it. This made it possible to fix the horizon seams on my coastal and other weathers that spawn near horizons. This guide is a very good place to start if you are looking to modify "Wander" to your own liking, or looking to start your own weather mod. You can find the guide here:  https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/4704/

Thanks to the various creators of other weather-related mods, my predecessors and colleagues, for letting us know that all of this was possible.

Thanks to the participants of all the various random internet postings on weather related issues, problems, and discussions, which continually give countless insight.

Thanks to LilleMiir for Mhara, one of the first mods I downloaded when Skyrim came to the Xbox, and has been my playtesting companion ever since. One of these years we're going to adventure all the way through a playthrough without mod meddling. Mhara was not harmed during the creation of this mod. This mod, mind you. You can find Mhara here:  https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/6630

Thanks to Bethesda for one of the truly most enjoyable games I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing.

Lastly, thanks to Nexus Mods, and the Nexus Mods community for offering a place for all of this to exist, and for offering a washed up old Wizard like myself a welcoming place of escape from the harsh realities of our world. (And then I go and create a weather mod to make this alternate reality harsher. Go figure.)


Hope you all enjoy Wander! Now, get adventuring!

-         Wanderhall
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