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About mtar925

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  1. Update in case anyone else was interested.... The second link offered about, to forums.nexusmods, is especially helpful and right on-point. I've bookmarked it for future reference. However I was still not able to resolve the problem, and wound up going back and re-playing from my last fog-free save. Thanks again for the help.
  2. Thanks I'm signing off now but will check those later!
  3. Thanks for the hope! I tried searching before posting but didn't turn up anything, probably because I don't know how to properly describe the effect. Can you (or anyone) suggest the proper search terms?
  4. Sorry I don't know the right word....I don't want to call it a "shader" because I'm not sure what it is. Down in Blackreach playing through the main quest, I picked up a curling blue-gray mist around my character, like some kind of poison or magic effect. I thought it was a temporary thing and played on, but about 60 game-hours later (including 48 hours of sleep to see if it would go away) it's still persisting. I've drank cure disease and cure poison potions, and activated the Shrine of Kynareth; nothing seems to work. Looking back through my saves, as best I can tell I picked it up exiting the Debate Hall in Blackreach. Inside the hall there was no mist, then when I exit through the small door in the NE corner of the upper level, onto an exterior walkway, the mist appears. I don't appear to set off any trap or have any encounters as I exit. I am not 100% sure this is where the mist actually appeared, as I did not originally notice it until later, but as best I can tell by loading saves this is the spot. Any suggestions? Interestingly, if I exit the Debate Hall by a different door first, then re-renter and exit through that small upper door, the mist does not appear. The obvious solution would be to replay from this point but I played for about 12 game-hours afterwards, thinking the mist would go away, racking up some great experience and memories. I hope there's another solution....and I just like to know why things like this happen, too. Screenie of the mist is attached, taken on the walkway where it first appears.
  5. Having enjoyed BoS and Caves and Mines I installed this pack a few game-hours ago, overly a mostly-STEP install. (I did not install Skyrim Realistic Overhaul, Skyrim HD, or Skyrim Flora Overhaul for various reasons. Otherwise pretty much STEP textures.) I like Amidianborn Landscape a lot! I just looked up this thread to see if there had been any problems found, and I don't see any mention, so I guess I'll keep it. Thanks CaBal and everyone! edit: one nice thing I noticed right away was a big reduction in tiling when looking down on landscapes in the middle distance. Nicely done. On the other hand some of the ground and rock textures are a little dark. This is mostly a matter of taste, and in the rain it looks perfect, but in some places it looks too dark. For example around Bonestrewn crest the dark ground makes the light-rimmed hot spring pools (which are very well done by themselves) look out of place. Just my $0.02 - still overall an improvement over vanilla. I'm using 1024k pack.
  6. I am getting crippling slowdown when fighting mages who use lightning spells. I recall in Oblivion there was an ini tweak to control the number of bolts drawn per spell, but can't find it in the Skyrim tweak guides. Any advice? Thanks!
  7. I'm at level 15 on my first Skyrim playthrough. I started modding right from the start and thanks largely to STEP and support from these forums, as well as the brilliant tool that is MO, my modded game has been very stable. I've only had one CTD and that might have been due to something running in the background on my PC, and not Skyrim itself. Such an improvement over my Oblivion experience. Last night I experienced my balkiest gaming to date....in a fight with 5-6 actors (me, Lydia, 3 Thalmor and a conjured) the game slowed to around 1Â (one) FPS for 10-15 seconds. As it sloooooowly throttled back up to the ~25 FPS that I was experiencing prior to the near-freeze my character was stuck in block; I was helpless but Lydia finished off the last Thalmor and I was able to break the block by unequipping and requipping my weapons. I waited to save until combat was long over and the game seemed to be running normally for several seconds, then saved and played forward a little while without further problems. I had been playing for an hour or so and my laptop was pretty hot to the touch, maybe it was a heat issue or maybe not. I have my game modded and turned for the best quality I can get at ~25 FPS, and use HiAlgoboost on its default settings for smoother action in combat. My question is: can this kind of near-freeze or near-crash leave debris behind that will corrupt a save file? Is it safe to proceed based on that save file or should I go back and play that fight again (maybe with graphics settings turned down) until I get through it without experiencing such odd behavior? I ask because of experience with Oblivion, where all my high-level characters eventually succumbed to corrupted saves for no immediately apparent reason, I suspect due to problems that must have started long before the issues became apparent. Thanks for any advice!
  8. I've installed STEP core now, except for the big texture mods. I skipped the official HRDLC entirely, but am running the HRDLC Optimized mod with 1024 textures only, and SMIM, and a couple of other limited texture replacers that looked lightweight and, from the screenshots, like they added some value. On my monitor things like shadow quality, lighting, fade distance and of course fps generally affect my enjoyment of the game more than hi-res textures. I also want to leave room for some of the population-type mods because I recall from Oblivion how much I enjoy them, and how they can affect framerate. Things like Lively Taverns and Populated Cities....haven't installed either of those yet but I hope to. So with that install and my current ini settings I'm running around 30 fps inside and out while walking, gaining 5-15 when static. That's with shadows at 2048 and shadow blur mask at 64, which hides the jaggedness somewhat. Fade distances around average, with distant detail and tree distance below average, no skinned trees or tree shadows. I actually like low distant detail because it makes Skyrim feel bigger. I'm also running 4xAA after trying and failing to get SMAA to work with Hialgoboost. In my tests SMAA seems more efficient by maybe ~3 fps but I can't get it to work with Hilago. FXAA is just too durn ugly. With Hialgoboost to help out in a few slower areas this seems very playable. Skyrim Performance monitor shows my CPU running 40-70%, RAM and VRAM well within capacity and GPU generally pegged at 99%.
  9. Yep, that's how I'm getting my data, by using Skyrim Performance Monitor to load MO and then MO to run SKSE loader. Â SPM is telling me that my CPU is running around 50-60%, RAM and VRAM usage is less than half capacity, but GPU is pegged at 99%. I interpret this to say that the GPU is my bottleneck and I have RAM, VRAM, and CPU capacity to spare. This surprised me as, based on the STEP Hardware Guide, I expected my 2.8ghz CPU would be the weakest link. If I understand you correctly, the main benefit of optimizing with DDSopt is to reduce RAM and VRAM usage. And if I'm interpreting the data correctly that won't help my system much.... until RAM and VRAM usage approaches the limit of the game engine, which is a factor I hadn't considered. I am guessing that if I stick with 1024 textures I will not approach that limit, even with unoptimized textures.
  10. OK, I'm not great with computers. I've downloaded DDSopt and played around with starting the optimization process twice now, but chickened out. Last time, I screwed up the extraction process somehow and the extractor appeared to work but the folder I thought I'd directed the file to is still empty. Thanks very much for the detailed step-by-step guides, I blame only my own skills. Anyway, I am struggling for FPS with even vanilla textures (no HRDLC) and will persevere with DDSopt if it will help me substantially. But which system component does it help the most? I have 3mb VRAM on my GT555M and Skyrim Performance Monitor tells me I have never loaded as much as 1mb on it, yet. But, my GPU is pegged at 99% while delivering 25-35fps, more or less. Shadows seem to be the major load on the GPU (and I started a thread on shadow tweaking in General Support). So, if optimization via DDSopt will help my GPU significantly I will try, try again. But if it mostly reduces VRAM usage, I apparently have that to burn as my GPU is the bottleneck. In that case I would be inclined to save myself the considerable (due to my incompetence) time of optimizing and risk of breaking my game. Relatedly - what about Hi-res textures in general? As I said I have VRAM to burn as I work down the STEP list and decide which mod versions to install. But will Hi-res textures increase load on the GPU as well? Â My plan now is to skip the Bethsoft HRDLC (at least until I'm able to Optimize them). And stick with mods that use 1024 textures only - like the Full 1024 edition of "HRDLC Optimized" - and skip the ones that use 2048+ or strive for photo-realism. I'm already happy with how vanilla Skyrim looks on my 17" 1080 line 60hz notebook monitor and anything more than 1024 would probably be overkill, anyway. Any advice would be appreciated!
  11. Sorry, will do in the future.
  12. A little Googling reveals that shadow quality is a pet peeve in Skyrim. After spending several hours over the last 3 days tweaking, I'm about ready to give up on them and disable all shadows, which raises my fps by 30-80% (depending on whether ishadowmapresolution is set to 2048 or 4096). With ishadowmapresolution=2048 shadows are barely tolerable. They are jagged and exhibit a constant crawl or flicker. At 2048 they are actually intolerable on actor faces, but I found a tweak to remove them from faces by raising iShadowbiasScale to 2. This disconnects shadows from their source of origin by a little bit but that's a lot less distracting than ugly shadows crawling and flickering across an Actor's face. Changing fShadowdistance between 2k and 4k only seems to make a small difference in fps so I have it at 4k. Jumping to 8k is too big a hit on fps. fInteriorShadowDistance reduced to 1000 seems to help fps a little indoors and makes interiors look a little better IMO, a little like the screenshots of those lighting mods I've seen. iBlurdeferredShadowMask=32 blurs the edges of the shadows and makes the jaggedness and crawling less obvious, with no discernable performance hit. And shadows from diffuse light sources like campfires and giant moons should be blurry, anyway. I've got no idea what the other variables like iShadowmode, iShadowfilter, and iShadowMaskQuarter do. Also, not sure what fShadowmapResolutionPrimary and Secondary do....they don't seem to have much of any effect. Likewise, fShadowLODMaxStartFade in skyrim.ini. Shadows are much better at 4096. Combined with the high IBlurDeferredShadowMask setting they look almost natural! But my machine cannot deliver playable FPS there, even with vanilla textures (no HRDLC), HiAlgo and any combination of ini settings I've tried. The GPU itself, not the VRAM, seems to be the bottleneck. Below are my full inis. Any suggestions or discussion? Perhaps some kind soul would care to look over the inis and see if I'm losing fps somewhere else, maybe unrelated to shadows? I thought my CPU would be my weak point but it's running at 50-60%, and with vanilla textures I haven't exceeded 1mb VRAM yet on my 3mb card. My GPU, though, is pegged at 99% while delivering 25-35fps with shadows at 2048. I have AA turned off and installed SMAA (which increased fps by 10-15% over 4xAA with no obvious change in quality), AO turned off and AF at 8x. I am following the STEP process and so far have only installed the Fixes and Interface mods, getting down as far as SkyUI on the list. None of the mods so far have had a noticeable impact on FPS, or on shadows. No HRDLC, pure vanilla textures. Skyrim.ini: skyrimprefs: Thank you so much.
  13. Thanks for the help so far. Maybe I will try one of the alternate start mods for better testing, or probably just pick a reasonable-looking ini to get started with and dive in. One thing about the intro cart ride is that there's no combat, and with my cpu being the weak point that may be a big deal. Also, I recall that with Oblivion on my system, large expanses of water and reflections brought a big fps hit and there's none of that in the intro, either. Some related questions... I have been tweaking the ini by editing it directly through the ini menu in MO. Am I supposed to be creating new folders and mods instead, as described in the thread https://forum.step-project.com/showthread.php?tid=3581 Also, does MO include some baseline ini tweaks? I decided to try using as my starting point the "Optimized" settings recommended by nVidia for my system, via their GeForce Experience utility. I ran the utility which edited my skyrim and skyrimprefs inis, then copied and pasted those edited inis over those in the Profiles folder in MO. So I would have overwritten any tweaks that MO adds on its own. Have I lost anything and should i revert to MO's original ini files, and is there a way to do that other than reinstalling MO? I did not back up the MO inis because I assumed they were the same as vanilla. One odd ini thing I noticed is the presence of ''iPresentinterval=0'', which turns off Vsync. According to the oft-recommended tweakguide it's not there by default, and I'm pretty sure I didn't put it there manually. Just out of curiosity, anybody know if it was introduced by MO, or GeForce Experience, or the Skyrim update I downloaded via Steam, or ??? I'm not really worried about it as my system hasn't gotten near 60fps yet anyway, but I wonder what else is in there that I haven't noticed yet. Matt i7-2640 @2.8ghz, 8mb RAM, GT555M w 3gb VRAM, Win7
  14. First of all thanks to deathneko11 for prodding me (on another thread) to watch his videos and learn MO. It looks like a great tool with a lot of new features (over WB) that will enhance my Skyrim experience. I am now using MO and have installed SKSE, and am in the process of tweaking my Skyrim ini for my first playthrough. I am also using Skyrim Performance Monitor* to check my performance as I tweak. I am not sure I'm seeing my ini tweaks working and am confused about how these utilities interact. I have loaded SKSE_loader as an executable in MO, and launch the game from MO by selecting SKSE as my exectuable in MO and clicking Run. This is correct, yes? When I do this does the game use the inis that I tweaked via MO, because I'm not sure I'm seeing the tweaks. It seems that in order to use Skyrim Performance Monitor I need to add another layer and launch the game through that program. Should I set the launcher path in SPM to modorganizer.exe or skse_loader, to get the game to use the ini tweaks made via MO? I hope I'm making myself clear enough. One more question. Since I haven't even started playing the game yet I've been using the intro sequence - the cart ride into Helgen - to test performance of ini tweaks. My system is mediocre (notably, below recommended processor speed for even Performance STEP) and I'm seeing fps mostly in the high 20s with vanilla, so I want to get the ini close to right before attempting playthrough. But is the intro cart ride a decent indicator of performance later in the game? How does fps in the intro sequence compare to later in the game....in other words if I tweak for a good performance/quality balance using the intro will I have to re-tweak later, or is there some adjustment factor to build in? Thanks! Matt i7-2640 @ 2.8gHz, 8mb RAM, GT555M w 3mb VRAM, Win7 * [sorry that I have bypassed, for now, the official STEP benchmarking process. I read up on it and downloaded the utilities but stopped when I saw that spreadsheets were necessary. I don't know how to use spreadsheets (probably dated myself right there) and learning them feels too much like work to sidetrack me from modding and playing Skyrim. I will remember my lack of contribution in terms of benchmarking in deciding how much to donate to the STEP project.]
  15. Good point! I'm wondering though what its recommendations mean about my rig's potential for running a modded Skyrim. I figured I was good for at least Baseline STEP but if nVidia is looking at my rig and recommending I run Vanilla at 900 lines with no AA maybe I should focus on Performance STEP from the start? Matt Dell XPS, i7-2630 @2.8gHz, 8gb RAM, GT555m w 3gb VRAM, Win7
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