Skyrim Special Edition

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Bellyache - XilaMonstrr

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About this mod

Adds 13 new Dragon species at 50 spawn points with 16K or 8K textures and an ESL-flagged plugin. Plus Performance Options for Potato PCs

Permissions and credits
This mod adds thirteen new, non-replacing dragon species into the world. There are around 50 new dragons in the world for you to encounter. These dragons will respawn after you kill them, but it will take some time.

Most of these dragons drop typical dragon loot (scales and bones) as well as souls. Only the two weakest dragon species do not drop scales, bones, or souls because they are very easy to kill and sometimes appear in packs.

This mod is not a dragon overhaul. This mod simply adds variation and interest to dragons. Dragon difficulty is on par with default dragon types (read more below).

I have taken Bellyache's Original Mod and cleaned the textures of compression artifacts and upscaled to a maximum of 16K resolution. Original textures were BC1 compression and a mix of 1K, 2K and 4K resolution. Now they're in 4K, 8K and 16K resolution, with BC7 compression and full mipmaps.
I have also updated the plugin for SSE and made it ESL-flagged (won't work with old patches).

Why 16K Dragons??
All resolutions specified are the maximum resolution, and most of the texture files are twice as long as they are wide. So the 16K version has files that are 8192x16384. Dragons are VERY large, and I would recommend that you think of this as two 8K files next to each other rather than full 8K.
With 16K, a dragon wing is 7380x4020px, a head is 3320x2480px, and the entire rear body and legs is only 6080x4580px. If you are fighting a dragon up close and want to see it in 4K resolution, then you need the dragon to be in 16K.

Featured in This Article on PCGamerN

Performance Options for Potato PCs
Mipmaps and BC7 compression reduce VRAM usage, especially when the files are cleaned of compression artifacts.
For Potato PCs, I've uploaded downscaled versions where the diffuse texture files are larger than normal and environment map files, which are less visible in game. This reduces VRAM usage considerably while maintaining higher visual quality, using the Octagon config files posted on this mod, which I recommend using if you have a Potato PC.
All are full versions not requiring the main file.
Choose either:
4K for Baked Potatoes
2k/1k for Mashed Potatoes
1k/512 for Potato Soup
If you want full 2k or full 1k, etc, then use Cathedral Assets Optimizer

Plugin Options
Default - dragons are friendly to many creatures to keep them grounded, difficulty on par with default dragon types
Factionless Dragons - dragons are not friendly to most creatures and are more likely to be flying (because they attack other creatures readily), difficulty on par with default dragon types
Tougher Dragons - dragons are friendly to many creatures, dragons have 100% more health than default version (only dragons in this mod, this does not affect vanilla dragons or dragons from other mods)
Tougher Factionless Dragons - unfriendly dragons with 100% more health than default version

This mod goes great with Bellyaches 16K-8K Dragon Replacer Pack which replaces the models and textures of vanilla dragons

More from Bellyache:
My dragons are rarely flying when a player encounters them. Flying dragons have a huge aggro radius, so if you have many flying dragons around, you may inadvertently collect them all and be fighting more than one.

Most of my dragons are grounded, initially. Grounded dragons have a much smaller aggro radius. In addition, many of the dragon species will warn you when you've gotten too close. If you don't want to take on one of my dragons for any reason (low health from a previous battle, too low level, etc.), you can simply stay out of its personal space.

There are also mods which reduce the likelihood of random dragons spawning or eliminate random spawns entirely. These mods can be used in conjunction with this one.

Because I do not know the preferences of each player, my dragons are of similar difficulty to the default dragons. For example, the Azure Racer has stats that are equivalent to a Blood Dragon. The Brilliant Leviathan is akin to an Ancient Dragon. Only one dragon type, the Nighthawk, is tougher than an Ancient Dragon. It is level 60. Reference the guide, below.

Because my dragons aren't leveled to the player, a level one player could theoretically stumble upon a Brilliant Leviathan which is a level 50 dragon. To solve this issue, I implemented a simple aggro warning for all dragons above Blood Dragon (level 20) difficulty. As long as you are observant and notice the dragon (i.e. you aren't auto-running into it), you can back out before a battle begins.

Here's how it works for dragons with aggro warning:

Very far - dragon does not notice you (no head tracking)
Far - dragon notices you (head tracking)
Close* - aggro warning range, dragon turns to face you while continuing to head track
Very close - aggro range, dragon flies into the air to begin attacking

*If you haven't aggro'ed a dragon with aggro warning but are still in close proximity to it, it is still considered non-aggressive so you can wait and fast travel.

Beware: a spriggan can charm a high level dragon and ruin your day. Be careful out there! Keep this guide on hand!

In order to allow you to attack dragons when you want to, dragons must stay grounded. If they lift off early (i.e. to attack a wolf), then you risk being noticed and eaten after that fight is over. This is problematic for low level characters that are trying to avoid high level dragons. To combat this, I had to make dragons friendly to many factions. It may break your immersion to see a giant spider or a bandit walking by a grounded dragon. This was the best I could do with my limited modding knowledge. (If you want dragons to attack whatever they want whenever they want, try the Factionless Dragons version of this mod, but you have been warned.)

By hand-placing dragons, there are only so many areas that contain them. These dragons will respawn, but they are not random. With 50 or so dragons, you'll be kept busy for a while trying to find them all in your travels unless you cheat and look at the spoiler section of the ReadMe for the dragon locations.

Unlike bears, dragons do not make any audible noises when they are "aggro warning" you. Instead, they just turn to face you and continue to do so until you get out of their warning range.

I could not make dragons larger than the default size due to landing animation problems. Sometimes, the scaled-down dragons have minor animation issues.

The problems are pretty minor.

One problem is that these dragons are in your world even if you haven't gotten to that point in the questline where dragons begin to spawn. Sorry. I'm a bad modder. My solution is to install this mod after you get to that point in the questline or assume Alduin was a little busy raising the dead when you weren't looking.

Dragons are part of the PredatorFaction and PreyFaction which prevents them from attacking wolves, bears, foxes, deer, etc. Wolves and bears are set, by default, to "help friends and allies." They will attack you if you aggro a nearby dragon, but other passive animals (like deer and foxes) should not aggro and do not appear on your compass as enemies.

Grounded dragons are set to a single patrol point in the world. Sometimes the dragons get shifted from their spot, but not too often. Strangely, even reloading a game will not always put the dragon back in the right spot (it's like the game "remembered" the previous, wrong location of the dragon).

My Cleaned & Upscaled Texture Mods:

CoverKhajiits 4K
CoverEyes 1K

Animals and Creatures
Bellyaches 4K Animal and Creature Pack
Bellyaches 16K-8K Dragon Replacer Pack
Bellyaches New Dragon Species 16K-8K
4K Enderal Donkey

Ruins Clutter Improved 4K
Saerileth's White Phial Replacer 4K-2K
Book Covers Skyrim 4K
Book Covers Skyrim - Lost Letters 4K
Better Books and Letters
Detailed Rugs 4K
Forgotten Retex Project 4K-2K
Sigils of Skyrim 4K-2K - Banners & Shields

Weapons, Armor and Gear
Zim's Immersive Artifacts 4K
Cloaks and Capes 4K
Bandanas and Blindfolds of Skyrim 4K Retexture
Chitin and Dwemer Goggles and Scouter 4K-2K
Tribunal Robes and Masks 4K
DeserterX Faction Crossbows
Bandolier 4K - Bags and Pouches
Queering Skyrim Necklaces Upscaled
Fashions Of The Banditry 4K
Forsworn Fashions 4K
Cloaks of the Nords 4K-2K

Magic, Weather & FX
Mysticism: A Magic Overhaul
Deadly Spell Impacts 4K
Wonders of Weather 4K
Rainbows 4K
Shooting Stars 2K

DLCs & Misc
Beyond Skyrim Bruma: Mountain Textures

Pilgrim: A Religion Overhaul
Holidays 4K-2K
Monuments of Men 4K

If you are interested in collaborating on Overhaul projects, or levelling up your experience of modding Skyrim, please join my discord server, Skypocalypse.

Skypocalypse is above all a place for COLLABORATION, a community hub for mutual aid to level up our skills and Skyrim itself.
This server is the host to Skypocalypse Academy, where modders and porters of all skill and experience levels assist each other as we dive ever deeper into transforming the bones of this magical game. Featuring an extensive library of tools and resources, The Academy is meant to be as educational as it is welcoming.
We know from experience that modding is an extremely addictive past-time and can be a slippery slope from creating a simple load order to porting mods to going full boat and attempting to rebuild Skyrim from the ground up. That's why we believe in a community that integrates Xbox and PC gamers along with porting noobs and experienced mod authors. We all have more to learn, and modding Skyrim to its extreme is a community effort to say the least.
Skypocalypse is meant to be a gaming community that supports collaborative efforts. The gaming and social channels here are intended to foster the social connections that help act as glue for our collaborative work.[/size]