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Lena Wolf
I mentioned this in a couple of other threads already, it started as a small "let me change this tree" idea, and has now grown into a proper project of mine. So I am starting this thread to share with you what I've been doing in the hope to get feedback and ideas well before the mod is in any shape or form ready for release. smile.gif

First of all, this is an add-on for TWMP Skyrim Improved which is a part of the TWMP project that very ambitiously wants to bring the entire Tamriel into Oblivion. They've got pretty much everything covered, too! And I fully intend to load it all up and see what happens, but I started with Skyrim, and that needed some tweaks... or so I thought.

To install existing TWMP mods, start with TWMP Locations and follow the dependencies mentioned in the description. Then install High Detail Dynamic Map TWMP which gives you a proper map to use with Dynamic Map. Also recommended TWMP Skyrim Guard Armours and Shields. Then go play. biggrin.gif

If you wanted to try installing the whole of Tamriel, including Elsweyr, Valenwood, Somerset Isle and Morrowind (Morroblivion), you are not alone - it is apparently possible! People have done it! With success! biggrin.gif I'm not there yet, but here is a post explaining in which order you need to install the mods for it to work: How to bring all of Tamriel to Oblivion.

But back to Skyrim.

There are three roads from Cyrodiil into Skyrim:
- Eastern route: North from the Temple of the Ancestor Moths.
- Central route: North from the Cloud Ruler Temple.
- Western route: somewhere North West of the Shrine of Hermaeus Mora.

It may also be worth while talking to Agata at the Mages Guild in Leyawiin. Just saying.

I was impressed with TWMP Skyrim, but I wanted it to be more similar to Skyrim The Game. I have been exploring South East so far, so that's where I started - in what was supposed to be The Rift.

But it's not The Rift if it's filled with snow-covered white pines, it's got to have birches and aspens in autumnal colours. So I did that. Added grid paths to the land too, so that the roads are now recognised by the AI as well as by the player. Then I extended Riverwood and populated it with familiar characters - just pop in to The Sleeping Giant Inn. smile.gif

Next on the list is Riften. There isn't a city there, and there needs to be one - because I say so. wink.gif I've got a plan, now the fun of building can begin.

Some pictures to start with, I've got more, will add them shortly. This is already in my game, so it actually works, most of the times. wink.gif

Map of Southern Skyrim

Trees in The Rift

Stairs to Riften Watch

Riften Watch. In the original TWMP Skyrim Improved this is actually Riften, but I decided to build a new Riften next to it. So then this area is a perfect spot to house some guards. Well, it was a perfect spot to house some guards...

Riften Watch after the Oblivion gate is closed
macole
Nice pictures, hope your project goes well. I do like the gate desstroying Riftn's Watch House.

Mehrunes Dagon really misused placing his gates, thankfully.
Lena Wolf
Thanks, Macole! biggrin.gif I'll be posting a lot more pictures here than what fits in Lena's story, but her travels in Skyrim do prompt the development.

There are apparently 100 Oblivion gates in Skyrim! blink.gif Wow. I found three in game so far... But I can see a lot more in the Construction Set, however I try not to peek. Exploring in game is so much more fun!
Lena Wolf
A quick update. I am building Riften - the actual real Riften, to make Skyrim the Game jealous. I have 12 houses of multiple occupancy at the moment, plus Mistveil Keep, some towers, the Ratway, extra catacombs, ships, boats and the Temple of Mara. Oh, and some burned down remains of what used to be Riften Watch (the barracks). The population is mostly a mix of Nords and Argonians with some Dunmer and a few other races, I've got about 20 NPCs at the moment, including children, but there will be more. No guards or Jarl yet - but they will appear. All have schedules - work and hang out at the inn, mostly. Some also go to the chapel from time to time. We have two inns and various shops to make it into a proper city. Pictures will follow when I get it loaded into the game - it's just in the Construction Set at the moment.

In the meantime, a map of Southern Skyrim as a reminder, and a few pictures of the previously done areas (already in the game).

IPB Image

Just outside Greenwall

The Rift

Sunset

Evenings at the Greenwall Inn - I have filled it in quite a bit.

Look who we ran into in Riverwood smile.gif This was meant for the player, so I changed it around a bit. I might release it as a separate mod.

I feel this is the game... ohmy.gif
Acadian
Wow, nice work Lena! goodjob.gif
mirocu
Are you doing this yourself, Lena? Cause this is impressive! ohmy.gif


Lena Wolf
Thanks, yes, all myself... It started literally with the idea of replacing some trees in The Rift to make it look like The Rift... and from there it snowballed. ohmy.gif I am of course building on the work of people behind TWMP Skyrim Improved, but they had only a burned down Riften, so I felt like I wanted more. Now I'm completely sucked into it!
macole
Lena, it is amazing what you are doing. Looking forward to seeing the results.
Renee
QUOTE(Lena Wolf @ Oct 15 2021, 10:39 AM) *

I feel this is the game... ohmy.gif

Mm hmm, it certainly can be! smile.gif
Lena Wolf
I have been having so much fun yesterday populating the Warrens in my Riften... Some familiar characters make their appearance (hint: skooma pipe and candle and no shirt, for example biggrin.gif ), but also some new ones turn up - it's fun to make the very furnishings of their cells tell a story of why this person could be hiding in the Warrens. It's almost ready for screenshooting, I just need to populate the Rugged Flagon. I've got the Wrath of Mercer Frey guarding the Vaults already... And no, I am not reproducing the Thieves Guild members for the reasons I won't divulge - it's all in Lena's story. Also, this isn't Skyrim the Game, so it is not quite the same anyway.
macole
"having so much fun" Yes I know that feeling well. The same thing happened to me when I put together mods for my current world. It really does become its own game.
Lena Wolf
I find that I also get frustrated pretty quickly when things don't work and I can't see why. Like when I was trying to build a new Mages Guild quest line - I'm sure there was a perfectly logical explanation why some lines of dialogue didn't appear when they should have appeared, but I couldn't see it and it made me give up after a few frustrating hours. So no more quests for me, thanks. Not complex ones anyway.

Another thing is mod stability. When I was making my Kvatch Duplicated mod, I was working with two and a half (literally) other mods that were never meant to work together and were both meant to only kick in after you've completed the main quest. Problem was, I never even started the main quest (never delivered the amulet), so I couldn't get into Kvatch the way those mods were meant to work. I had to remove them from the game because they caused crashes, I think the whole foundation was just really unstable. I do like the idea though, and eventually I shall redo it all - starting from scratch. I learned how to do it now that I'm building stuff for TWMP - I must say this is a very nice and solid foundation to build on, and it does come with a lot of stuff in Northern Skyrim and Hammerfell filled in, ready to explore (I saw it in the CS but tried not to peek).
Renee
That is true about the frustrating part. mad.gif That's the part of modding nobody told me about back when I was pure console player. All I heard was how great mods are, but there is definitely another side. You WILL have plenty of "learning experiences" along the way. unsure.gif

Of course it also Depends how far you want to get into it with your own ideas (quests for me, which as you've noted, can get really really frustrating), or with adding mod after mod of other peoples' work. You know all this Lena, I'm not telling you anything you don't know, I am just reiterating. War stories, and all.

On the other hand, seems like you're making progress with some of your work. smile.gif Whatever you do, always make sure you keep notes! So if something goes right, you have a ready-made page to look at to make sure it goes right again in the future. That's all my modding thread is--my personal notes, except I copy/pasted them here, which (for me) makes them easy to find than digging into folders on my computer every time.

cake.gif Ciao.

Lena Wolf
Riften is ready for screenshots!

Note: When you click on a picture, WordPress frames it in its own window, cutting down the resolution. But if you return here and click the same picture again, it opens it directly without fuss - and you can see it much better. At least that's the way it works in Firefox and Chrome...

A bird's eye view

Mistveil Keep and the Cloud District - and Morrowind beyond, as seen from the Watch.

Again, seen from the lake

The lake seen from the Keep

The town and the docks

At the docks... oops! Time to panic! panic.gif

View from the Watch... What happened here?!

Apparently generating LOD can result in deleting LOD instead... ohmy.gif This was fixed by reinstalling original TWMP mods (with LOD included) and then regenerating LOD cell by cell where needed. No bulk generations next time!

A cell in the Warrens - they are all different.

A shrine in the Warrens. Was the worship of Talos banned in Skyrim?

There are people in each and every house, as well as in the chapel (a better picture is to follow - at the moment you just see the spire behind the houses). But the AI is not complete yet, they are not venturing out much. Also, we need sailors to man the ships. But things are progressing!
Acadian
Wow, you've been busy, Lena! Nice work!
Renee
Yeah this is neat. smile.gif Really proud of you, Lena. I like the fact that the place is populated, too.
Lena Wolf
Thank you both! biggrin.gif

Population: yes, I agree that's important. We don't want ghost towns. nono.gif Even if I don't do any quests, I am still populating it - people give life to towns. Plus of course we want shop keepers and publicans and such. smile.gif For the same reason I think every house needs an interior - no empty shells here, and that includes the larger ships.

The other cities in Skyrim and Hammerfell are quite fleshed out, there are a lot of NPCs with schedules and quests and all. I wanted Riften to be on the same level. They don't have all the cities done, but they do have Windhelm, Solitude and Snowhawk which was meant to be Markarth, but it was built before Skyrim the Game came out, and it is very different and not quite in the right place. So the creators renamed it into Snowhawk rather than removing it. I believe they also have something of Winterhold and its college, but like I said I don't want to look it all up in the CS, I'd rather go and explore it in game eventually. There are smaller settlements and villages in between, too.
macole
From what I understood was that the Skyrim city names where based on the original names given in TES1 Arena. Snowhawk was a walled city-state rival to Solitude. At that time Markarth was a much smaller village between the two rival cities. Smaller even than the town Dragon Bridge.

What happened in the resulting 300-hundred years to cause the population shift is anyone's guess. The collaspe of the empire, the Oblivion crisis, or something else who knows. I suspect the silver mine had something to do with it.
Lena Wolf
Oh this is interesting about Snowhawk - thanks, Macole! smile.gif I haven't played Arena or Daggerfel, so didn't know about it. The same as those other people who thought that Snowhawk was supposed to be Markarth - I actually read it somewhere. ohmy.gif In which case I can report that TWMP Skyrim Improved has no Markarth. However, it has Granitehall which Skyrim the Game lacks, although there is a mod for that, but it is not follower-friendly, seems to lack path grids. I tried it on PS4, but when we got there, my follower just turned around and left. sad.gif Very odd. He waited for me in Rorikstead. ohmy.gif

In Riften I've been filling out big ships with interior and crew. The ship that's moored at the posh end of the docks is called Tharstan Glory and is owned by a local family living in one of the big houses in the Cloud District (what a surprise). The captain goes there for dinner - his sister lives there with another character of unknown purpose. ohmy.gif The other big ship that's moored at the Town Quay is called The Black Pearl. Are they pirates? We don't know, but I suggest you don't pose such questions to Captain Octavius Rex. Just a thought. The sailors of both ships hang around the port during the day and spend their evenings either at the Rugged Flagon or at The Bee and Barb (I figured out how to randomise their comings and goings).

Generally, people start venturing out of their houses, although no one goes to the chapel yet. ohmy.gif

I've also been using a follower-friendly scheme to rent rooms at the inns. Rather than unlocking just one door and pointing you at one bed, I don't lock doors at all and change ownership of all rentable beds to PlayerFaction. This allows you and your followers sleep in any of the available beds. Perhaps I should raise prices too, seeing how you're basically renting the whole inn. ohmy.gif
Lena Wolf
More Riften construction was going on over the weekend. I have completed the ships: there are three larger ships docked in the harbour: Tharstan Glory, The Black Pearl and Sirens' Bane. The first two are larger ships (galleons?), the last one is a cargo ship. They each have a captain and four sailors on board, they sleep on their ships and wander around the deck quite a lot, but they also wander around the docks and go to the inns for their evening meal and/or drink. Their schedules vary. Some even go to the chapel for a prayer. ohmy.gif

Tharstan Glory is owned by a local family who have a fancy mansion in the Cloud District - the captain's sister lives there (I think I already said this in a previous post). The cargo ship Sirens' Bane is also owned by a local family - they live in a simple wooden house in town. Their son hangs around his uncle's cargo ship a lot... The Black Pearl are visitors.

The city has three taverns: The Bee and Barb, The Honeydew Inn and The Rugged Flagon. The first two are also inns. All this is now set up and working, with schedules randomised. It should be getting quite busy.

In terms of shops, the city has a smithy (the smith working outside, an apprentice working inside, both trading), a warehouse (and yes, you can buy stuff from the warehouse master), an alchemy shop "The Right Potion" selling all kinds of potions, including... umm... the less allowed variety. Also wine and beer and stuff. He's an alchemist, Eridor of Riften, he brews stuff... wink.gif There will also be a general trader - not yet done.

The warehouse is quite large but understandably locked. It has several vaults inside - that's already behind common gates. You can find all sorts of stuff in there, we even spotted an Ordered Chest... ohmy.gif I was toying with an idea of letting the player rent one of the vaults to safely store stuff, seeing how you can't buy a house here. But then I got distracted by other things.

There are several trainers among the people of the city, they are the normal "unmarked" individuals, as in other places.

Things to do still include: The Minotaur Manor - a fancy mansion that needs a story (it's an ex-Fighters Guild, but there's no Fighters Guild in Skyrim, so I can't quite figure out who the people are that live in it); the general store; and Mistveil Keep with guards. I don't know if I'll be able to make a jail - apparently it's a bit tricky. Perhaps your crimes will just have to go unpunished then. wink.gif
Lena Wolf
An update in pictures! biggrin.gif

IPB Image
Click to enlarge


I've updated the map to better match the landscape (Riften lake was not fully drawn), and I've added roads (which already existed before I started). I'll be including the map with the mod - it is for the Dynamic Map.

Notice two Pale Pass crossings. The New Pale Pass comes with TWMP Skyrim Improved and leads to the Cloud Ruler Temple. I made another one though - you see the road on the map. It leads to the Dragonclaw Rock - much closer to the ancient Pale Pass. Also this one is suitable for horses. The Pale Pass Inn comes from another mod, independent and optional. It's a player home, somewhat unfinished - intentionally, they say, to allow you to outfit it yourself. I say it's an old abandoned inn.

Riverwood

Riften Temple of Mara

Riften port at night

Another view

And again

Is the water really pink? Yes, at night. A case of luminiscent algae. Not my doing - comes from the master TWMP Skyrim Improved, and I have no clue how to fix it... sad.gif So, algae.

Riften Keep with Secunda ascending

At the Bee and Barb

At The Right Potion

Riften warehouse

One of the private vaults at the warehouse (the management is not responsible for what customers choose to store in their vaults)

Riverwood is now finished, you can rent a room from Delphine at the Sleeping Giant Inn, and although she's got an attic room, she's not renting it out - it's her Blades hideout! emot-ninja1.gif But if you are a Blade, you can sleep in her bed (if you dare).

I checked the landscapes, and there is really no easy way from Riverwood to The Rift, so I think I'll add a mountain pass to connect Riverwood and Nimalten City. This isn't like making the Old Pale Pass - that worked with only minor changes, but I don't want to completely redo big mountainous areas.

In Riften there are still a few things to do, but all in all it is getting on nicely.

Oh, for those of you who like to play with life's necessities included, I put two toilets in Riften to continue in the vein of the rest of Skyrim - there is a toilet in each settlement, apparently. What a luxury. But only one working jail. Enjoy your stay! biggrin.gif
Acadian
Wow, some more nice work. I imaging you're having lots of fun just modding Skyrim into your Oblivion!
Lena Wolf
Thanks, Acadian! Yes, fun is the key. biggrin.gif It also helps tremendously that I am not running into any unexpected issues with the underlying plugins, except for the pink water, that is... But I can live with that one. Essentially I can keep it in the load order and go do other things, and it doesn't make the game unstable like some other mods I've tried. And once Riften is finished, I'll release version 1.
Lena Wolf
We've been sticking flags into the ground with Geralt yesterday. We are checking the trails that lead into Skyrim, adding some new ones where the landscape allows, and updating the map. There were no roads on the map in the first place, and it was hard to draw them correctly switching back and forth between Gimp and the game, but now with this Map Marker Overhaul mod we can finally do it. Fair warning: the mod is not perfect, read the comments.

So yesterday we walked along both Pale Pass trails: the Old Pale Pass that comes out by the Dragonclaw Rock (my addition) and the New Pale Pass that goes over the top of the mountains with many steep stairs. They both start at the Northern Inn from TWMP.

At the Northern Inn

Road sign enlarged

Old Pale Pass is marked with braziers and some leftovers of a paved road.

Is that High Hrothgar? A view from the New Pale Pass.

We've been sticking flags along that route:

IPB Image
Click to enlarge

As you can see, it turned out quite different from my previous straight line drawing... ohmy.gif Fixed some mod overlaps along the way and the fact that Geralt could not get through the pass right on the top of the mountain. No idea what was wrong with that door, the player goes through just fine, but the follower cannot follow. sad.gif Fixed now (with an actual passage between the doors).

Then we climbed all those stairs again, getting back to the Northern Inn by 3am. Geralt knew exactly what to do. biggrin.gif

In a different stretch of time, we went to check the Eastern routes. Again, lots of flag sticking to fix the map.

IPB Image
Click to enlarge


A road sign near the Temple of Ancestor Moths

Ancient Dwemer ruin right along the way from this mod - fits perfectly if loaded before TWMP, barring a couple of floating rocks. Might do a patch for that.

Overall, I added quite a few more road signs to help you along. Next we are going West to find routes into Skyrim West of Bruma, with the final goal to reach Ghastley's Falkreath.
macole
I’m using Unique Landscapes so yours is probably different but in my game set-up the route to Falkreath is navigable from this point just past Hermeus Mora’s shrine. There’s no real path marked but I can travel down and back up the northern slope from here. If you look closely you can see the buildings through the trees.

Just watch out for the odd beast as you travel down the mountainside.

Oh, and don't forget the schnapps to keep you toasty warm.
Lena Wolf
There are quite a few patches from the TWMP team for Unique Landscapes, I haven't looked at them yet. I am not modifying the landscape (well, only very slightly), so I expect to be able to use most patches. But I'll test it later. I am not using UL myself, so this isn't a priority for selfish reasons. tongue.gif

There is no visible route to Falkreath in vanilla or TWMP, but I expect the general landscape to be roughly the same, so we'll just find a slope that we can navigate in both directions and call it "the road". biggrin.gif Such exploration is so much fun! Except may be for the beasts... Never mind an overgrown lone landdreugh - we've got werewolves roaming in packs... Ouch. Regards from TWMP!
Lena Wolf
Macole - the ice and snow looks different in your game than in mine, are you using some retexturing mods? I had a better look at your screenshot of the road by Hermaeus Mora shrine, I do have that road, it's vanilla, but mine has a different texture to the point that I didn't even recognise it! ohmy.gif Anyway, I see that if you just hop over the ledge and go down the hill, it's easy enough.

IPB Image
Click to enlarge

I had a mod in my game called The Crystal Chasm (marked as an Ayleid ruin), and it added a beautifully laid out road from just past the shrine, connecting to that disjointed piece of vanilla road that you see on the map. It looks amazing too, but we haven't gone inside yet, but pressed on to Falkreath.

Ghastley - there are no conflicts! biggrin.gif Fits perfectly, whether you put it before or after TWMP in the load order. It looks like TWMP didn't change the vanilla landscape in that area. You can see the chapel from the Crystal Chasm, it works really well together. I'll post screenshots later (wrong computer).

macole
QUOTE(Lena Wolf @ Nov 1 2021, 03:49 AM) *

Macole - the ice and snow looks different in your game than in mine, are you using some retexturing mods?

Yes, I am using some (over 150) retex and replacer mods. My game is a delicate house of cards of 276 mods. The snow I'm not too happy with. At a distance it looks really good but the area that you walk on looked like brown muddy slush. I found the appropriate shader and treid to enhance it myself. It's better but... I don't know. How does it look to you? Of course you can tell since you're not walking on it.

QUOTE

I had a mod in my game called The Crystal Chasm (marked as an Ayleid ruin), and it added a beautifully laid out road from just past the shrine, connecting to that disjointed piece of vanilla road that you see on the map. It looks amazing too, but we haven't gone inside yet, but pressed on to Falkreath.

I considered this house and probably would have used it for that empty area had I not read that it conflicts with OOO's Skiyrim Bandits' major encampment.
Lena Wolf
QUOTE(macole @ Nov 1 2021, 05:18 PM) *

QUOTE(Lena Wolf @ Nov 1 2021, 03:49 AM) *

Macole - the ice and snow looks different in your game than in mine, are you using some retexturing mods?

Yes, I am using some (over 150) retex and replacer mods. My game is a delicate house of cards of 276 mods. The snow I'm not too happy with. At a distance it looks really good but the area that you walk on looked like brown muddy slush. I found the appropriate shader and treid to enhance it myself. It's better but... I don't know. How does it look to you? Of course you can tell since you're not walking on it.

It does look a bit odd... I don't use any retexture mods because when I look at their screenshots, I invariably prefer vanilla. ohmy.gif Yes, it is a bit rough cut and somewhat low resolution, but your brain gets used to such things very quickly and starts filling in the detail even when there's no detail present. In particular when there's no detail present - this is just how our peripheral vision works. When I play an old game with low resolution graphics, like, say, Two Worlds 1, after ten minutes I no longer see the grainy graphics, it's all filled in. Oblivion has plenty of detail in the texture for my brain to catch, and I don't need higher definition to enjoy it. In fact, if it isn't a perfect texture, then you start seeing the imperfections - the brain is not going to smooth them out for you or fill in imaginary detail when detail is already present! So better low resolution than high resolution but wrong texture.

But to get back to your point - it does look a bit like a slosh, like what you get in late March in cold climates - the snow has already melted and frozen dozen times over, with the dirt from just under it mixed in, and now the sun is warming it, and you are getting this grey-brown-ex-white stuff that is neither snow nor water... yeah, I see your point.
Lena Wolf
Remember pink water in my screenshots of Riften harbour? And me not being able to fix it? We've travelled away from Riften and came across another body of water, and it too was pink. I think all of my water is pink at night now. Well... look what the web turned up (finally I asked the right question):

From Step Modification Guide for Oblivion INI:
QUOTE
bUseWaterShader toggles the water shader. Disabling this will cause the water to turn pink. It is recommended to be enabled.

I am on the wrong computer now, but I sincerely hope that this is my problem - and I do remember some clever optimisation mod recommending turning this off to improve graphics performance or something. mad.gif

Otherwise this thread on Nexus offers some advice. I'll keep you posted - this has been driving me quite insane (algae infesting the whole of Tamriel?!).
macole
QUOTE(Lena Wolf @ Nov 2 2021, 05:56 AM) *

Remember pink water in my screenshots of Riften harbour? And me not being able to fix it? We've travelled away from Riften and came across another body of water, and it too was pink. I think all of my water is pink at night now. Well... look what the web turned up (finally I asked the right question):

From Step Modification Guide for Oblivion INI:
QUOTE
bUseWaterShader toggles the water shader. Disabling this will cause the water to turn pink. It is recommended to be enabled.


In 2017I had similar issue with water reflections when indoor and with cloud cover. Wnem outdoors I could actually see the water change as clouds moved across the sky the water. Sorry I wasn't more timely with this.

black water

adjusted water reflections
Lena Wolf
Thanks Macole - but black water is different from pink water, I discovered. There are so many ways that things can go wrong... it's frightening.

I launched a systematic investigation and found the problem! biggrin.gif One of my mods was somehow accidentally overwriting the texture of water at night... Go figure. No idea how it happened, but since I did not provide a replacement texture for water at night, the game was showing it in pink. I used TES4Edit to delete the offending record, and lo and behold - the water is water again! biggrin.gif Hurray!
Lena Wolf
Guide to Riften

by Linnea Lupus

Available from every reputable bookseller throughout Tamriel.


Riften is a jewel of Skyrim! It has everything anyone could possibly need.

As you approach the city, the Temple of Mara extends you a warm welcome. The priests and healers receive you with open arms, asking only for a moderate fee for their services. In line with Skyrim tradition, you can buy an amulet of Mara from Maramal. Book your wedding well in advance as the temple enjoys unrivalled popularity - it is the only Temple of Mara in Skyrim.

Having booked your wedding at the temple, be sure to also book accommodation with the city's two inns: The Bee and Barb and The Honeydew Inn.

The Bee and Barb is a fine establishment, even if it is run by an Argonian couple. It is bustling with life day in, day out - be sure to sample Talen-Jei's unique cocktails - from the wild Cliff Racer to the smoothest Velvet LeChance. It is said that the legendary you-know-who gave his personal approval for that one.

The Honeydew Inn has fewer beds and a more rustic atmosphere, but it enjoys a quieter location outside of the town proper, has stables for your horses and a public convenience right out back. Have a word with Jorgen the Soothsayer, and you are sure to see things his way.

It is not an exaggeration to say that the harbour is the jewel in Riften's crown, with ships arriving from all over the known world. Not surprising then that most of city's shops are also found here - set into the mountain side, they offer great luxuries inside. The only shop not set into the mountain side is The Forge on the Eastern edge of town - and we are happy it isn't underground, even if the Dwemer swore by it. Be sure to talk to Hans the Smith working outside as well as his apprentice inside. How she could ever learn anything always staying indoors, we have no idea, but be assured that she trades in goods forged by Hans, not herself.

The first shop you encounter on your stroll along the docks, is a general store Odds and Sods. With its playful name, it is a haven for all and everything, and its proprietor Remus Sartoriun is perhaps the most charming Imperial you'll ever meet... Unfortunately, he is an eternal bachelor.

Continuing your walk along the docks, you soon come upon The Right Potion. This alchemy shop has every conceivable drinkable substance in Tamriel - and if Eridor doesn't have it, he can certainly brew it! Why, even the Jarl's son spends his entire afternoons sampling Eridor's creations, and you can too!

Refreshed, you continue your walk along the docks. The next door set into the side of the mountain leads to old and disused catacombs left over by the Dwemer. Known as The Ratway, it is best avoided.

Moving swiftly on, you come upon the Riften Warehouse. A truly imposing structure inside, it is well worth a visit, even if the Warehouse Master Skjor does not let just anyone in. Still, you can see the central dome from the lobby, and Skjor always has an interesting selection of rare goods on offer. Rumour has it that some of the private vaults have indescribable treasures, from rare wines of Elsweyr to ancient trinkets of the Ayleids, or even artefacts from other Realms. However, the management cannot be held responsible for any damage to life and limb that you might suffer if you decide to investigate the many crates and boxes stored there, in particular if they measure 6ft in length.

With the day's shopping done, your walk along the docks brings you to the Riften Watchtower and the ascend to the better part of the city. The Grand Staircase leads straight to the Mistveil Keep - the seat of the Jarl of Riften. Be sure to pay your respects to Jarl Sigfrid Shield-Breaker and try to contain your enthusiasm. Speak to the steward on any mundane matters like purchasing property in the city or collecting your bounty on Sigil Stones.

Leaving the Keep and taking a few steps down the Grand Staircase, you find a landing with two bridges branching off - the one to the South leads to the Riften Watch and the one to the North leads to the Cloud District.

Riften Watch is set on the highest hill of Riften and overlooks the entire city. It houses the City Guard, with their barracks and entertainment. Not a place for a casual tourist.

The Cloud District on the other hand is the finest part of the city, what with its splendid terraced promenade and grand mansions set along it. The view of the harbour is simply breathtaking. One of Riften's most prominent ship owner families have their mansion here - the Tharstans.

Walk along the lower terrace and take the Cloud Staircase down to the docks, enjoying the view on every turn. This is a city you will not want to leave, ever!
Acadian
Despite her reluctance about the hospitality of those with scales and tails, Linnea gives a delightful tour of this harbor town. tongue.gif
Lena Wolf
Thanks, Acadian! smile.gif The inns and shops in Riften now have a copy of the book somewhere on the counter, along with a local edition of the Black Horse Courier and some random handbills (not to mention private notes carelessly left lying around by various irresponsible citizens). For some strange reason however at the Bee and Barb the copy of the guide got flung under a mead keg... ohmy.gif No idea why.

So we now have bits of information as well as rumours floating around Riften. I have also recruited 25 guards - order will be upheld! It is well needed with 60 or so inhabitants, including a dozen sailors. The Keep is being outfitted as we speak, we already have guard uniforms in Riften colours from a TWMP mod, but we need to see about getting banners and rugs for the Keep updated as well. Jarl Sigfrid Shield-Breaker is not to be crossed! ohmy.gif
Lena Wolf
BLACK HORSE COURIER
RIFTEN EDITION


Massive effort to improve safety in city


"Riften is now the safest city in Skyrim!" - said the Court Steward in an interview with Black Horse Courier. "We have undertaken a truly epic effort to close all gaps between the pier sections in the harbour and the nearby mountain side. No more will you get stuck between the rock and the pier waist deep in water! This unprecedented effort puts Riften on the map!"

We always thought that Riften was already on the map, however. Perhaps the Steward needs to update his maps, since his Morrowind edition appears to be outdated.

"We are very grateful to the Jarl for these repairs" - the proprietor of Odds and Sods Remus Sartoriun told the Black Horse Courier. "It is certainly much safer to walk around the docks now. Why, only last week I nearly twisted my ankle just as I was leaving my shop. Fortunately, I was able to jump out of the ditch, but not everyone has such skills! And once you are stuck, gods know what can happen! I should be really worried."

Well, if Remus Sartoriun is worried, then what is left to the rest of us? Not everyone boasts his agility and charm... Why, he could defeat a bandit by charming him!

"Riften does not have any criminal elements at all" - Captain of the City Guard Olga Ice-Veins assures us. "Anyone saying otherwise is committing subterfuge which is punishable at my discretion. Naysayers are arrested and taken to the dungeons until such time that the Jarl herself comes to interview them. After that I determine the punishment."

When we ask how long the average prison term might be, she informs us that so far no one survived an interrogation by the Honourable Jarl Sigfrid Shield-Breaker.

We hasten to declare that Riften is indeed the safest city in Skyrim!
Acadian
It's the safest damn city in Skyrim! If you don't believe us, we'll kill you! tongue.gif
Lena Wolf
We've heard rumours about a certain Guild hiding in the sewers... Nah, can't be! Those are just rumours! tongue.gif
macole
A good report by the Black Horse Courier. I think I'll visit elsewhere, by the way.
Lena Wolf
Whatever you mean - it is perfectly safe! Especially now with all those gaps boarded over. Quite literally. Regardless of all my previous pathing efforts, the citizens of Riften keep choosing dangerous paths that lead them off the pier and into the water. And while there is nothing wrong with a refreshing swim in the lake, falling off the pier on the side of the mountain slope caused them to get stuck between the pier and the mountain. Even Talen-Jei's Cliff Racer can't help them to get out of the ditch. But no more. The gaps are now boarded over!
macole
After seeing the pics I've changed my mind, I would like a visit. I'll just have to keep my hands in my pockets to avoid getting arrested.
Lena Wolf
Actually, you'll be quite safe even if you do get arrested. For some reason they take you to Bruma for processing... ohmy.gif It seems Bruma is the default.
Lena Wolf
The citizens of Riften choose to live dangerous lives - they swim in the lake a lot, jump fro great heights ignoring the stairs and get into fights with werewolves. This leads to unnecessary deaths. The Jarl ordered two things to remedy the situation: install rope barriers along the dock walks to prevent people from falling into the water, and to teach everyone basic restoration spells to heal themselves.

Searching the Imperial Archives reveals that when a citizen needs to find a path to a point rather far away, the task proves too complex for common sense and they try to just go in a straight line... obstacles or no obstacles. This is a limitation of their AI. They do try to correct themselves as they go though, so hopefully rope barriers will help. Hmph.
Acadian
I can imagine that teaching pathing to AI citizens who generally have no apparent fear of death (NAFOD) is indeed a challenge.
Lena Wolf
That's just the thing. No common sense. biggrin.gif Riften covers quite a large area - a dozen cells - and from what I read, the AI only uses path nodes to calculate short stretches. For longer distances, it just goes in a straight line... but it adjusts it when the NPC finds him/herself standing on a node. All in all, it actually works very well, I think. But in Riften it results in them choosing to go for a swim too often, and there are mudcrabs and slaughterfish in the lake... ohmy.gif The funny thing is that when NPCs meet each other in the water, they stop for a chat. In the water. And say things like: "I saw a couple of mudcrabs yesterday, I steered clear of them!" - all while being attacked by a mudcrab... The liers... laugh.gif

I am going to declare that crazy pathfinding is just something that happens in Riften all the time. Too much mead. Or possibly too many Cliff Racer cocktails being consumed. But with the safety measures put in place, there should be very few unnecessary deaths.
Lena Wolf
Rope barriers definitely help to keep NPCs from falling into the water. smile.gif Also the system fetches them out of the water rather quickly. The Jarl seems to have employed invisible life guards. biggrin.gif

They say don't load an old save because it will mess up your newly changed plugin. Which is exactly why I always load several existing saves to see just how far they get messed up. So far no crashes, but some amusing things do happen. (Click these pictures twice to get full resolution.)

He's not very good at cards, it seems. And I don't even have any Khajiit sailors. May be that's why he had no luck.

Roach resisting arrest. Notice the second guard on the left.

The guard should have known better. Seeing this outcome, the other guard put away his bow, turned around and returned to his post. Smart guy.
Lena Wolf
It is done! TWMP Skyrim Alive is out! Phew... Now I can get back to playing!! biggrin.gif

I have installed everything I could find that works with TWMP: Black Marsh, Summerset Isle, Valenwood and Elsweyr, and of course I already had Hammerfell and High Rock. I see Lena going to explore the South next and see if there are any land tears. ohmy.gif



Acadian
Congrats! goodjob.gif
macole
Well done Lena! goodjob.gif One of the best looking tree replacer mods for Oblivion I've seen in quiet awhile.

For the TWMP Hammerfell did you load all 7 of the files?
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