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Mousetick

Labyrinthian Shalidor's Maze Fixes (by wSkeever)

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Labyrinthian Shalidor's Maze Fixes by wSkeever
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This fixes a bunch of small layout glitches by repositioning objects and replacing meshes in the Shalidor's Maze area, and it adds sunlight.

Install: if used with Assorted Mesh Fixes, they should overwrite it. There is an ESL plugin, which must be enabled.

Conflicts: there is a minor conflict with Atlas Map Markers, which AMM wins using LOOT. It must be patched if sunlight is desired (see below). Otherwise no conflict with the current WIP STEP setup as far as I can tell.

Before > After of one of the more noticeable fixes:

20211206234400_1.thumb.jpg.11fdda63de96739bc34ad012887b083f.jpg20211206234843_1.thumb.jpg.b9dd5af45ab6733a299c4d778d800314.jpg

Before > After of sunlight and shadows - only works if conflict with AMM is resolved:

20211206233824_1.thumb.jpg.37bd694e6d8a50322c8f2f25f62200e4.jpg20211206233700_1.thumb.jpg.f3c4563df60deb2712fee0dc6088e07e.jpg

See Nexus page for more comparison screenshots.

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The mod uses custom meshes for some mountain cliffs apparently in order to prevent issues when exterior lighting is enabled. Upon closer inspection, these meshes look inferior in quality than without:

Before > After

before.thumb.jpg.587cec17095b8e7d2384738479b97ad9.jpgafter.thumb.jpg.ce5307ac7f41a3d2a4cede9f45312953.jpg

Caveat emptor.

Edit: For clarity's sake, I should mention that these custom mountain cliff meshes are used exclusively by this mod's plugin, and as such, the visual degradation (depending on taste) is limited to Shalinor's Maze cell(s). They have no impact on the rest of the world.

Edited by Mousetick

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Looks promising. We have a ton of mesh resolution to do, so looking at meshes against all 2.0.0 stuff is helpful.

'After' cliffs look more like I would expect with MM, so I prefer them. Not sure how this corresponds with 'with'/'without' though. I suspect 'without', so I will assume to hide ../2sided_mountaincliff*.nif

... And it looks like it can be installed anywhere, since there are no file conflicts.


Marked for testing and potential ModGroups, depending on Tech's lighting choices there if we want to use that feature.

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A few remarks and clarifications:

  • In the screenshots above, 'Before' is STEP without the mod, 'After' is STEP with the mod.
  • It's not possible to hide 2sided_mountaincliff*.nif. As I said, these are unique meshes used exclusively by the plugin, they don't overwrite anything. If you hide them, they disappear from the landscape and all that remains are the walls.
  • Without the mod, the mountain cliffs meshes used are from 'Majestic Mountains' and 'Skyrim Landscape and Water Fixes'. With the mod, the 2sided_mountaincliff*.nif meshes appear to be tweaked versions of vanilla meshes.
  • According to the MA, the custom 2sided meshes are necessary "so that the sun doesn't shine through the backside of mountains."
  • The mod has no dependency on any specific lighting setup. It simply enables exterior lighting, it doesn't matter which is used. The screenshot showing sunlight and shadows above was taken using vanilla exterior lighting.

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OK, got it. We want those meshes to keep the lighting in that specific area.

I haven't played with it yet.

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DynDOLOD may be able to fix that issue, so we might not need the mesh replacement, if I am reading this correctly. 

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15 minutes ago, DoubleYou said:

DynDOLOD may be able to fix that issue, so we might not need the mesh replacement, if I am reading this correctly. 

I didn't think it was the LOD versions he was referring to.

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9 hours ago, DoubleYou said:

DynDOLOD may be able to fix that issue, so we might not need the mesh replacement, if I am reading this correctly. 

9 hours ago, z929669 said:

I didn't think it was the LOD versions he was referring to.

I wish I could tell you but I have no clue about LOD stuff in general and DynDOLOD in particular. The mountain cliffs in question are not in the distant terrain, they're right there in your face and form the boundaries of the Labyrinthian area, with the stone walls built into them.

All I can tell you is what the MA did to enable exterior lighting and allow sun to shine through properly:

  • Remove the 'Fixed Dimensions' flag and center field on the Shalidor's Maze worldspace record (that's this tiny edit which conflicts with Atlas Map Markers).
  • Make mountain cliffs meshes bordering the area double-sided.
  • Flag those same meshes so they cast shadows.
  • Replace the vanilla meshes with the custom meshes via cell record edits, so the custom meshes are only used by this plugin and only in those cells.

That's all there is to it.

image.thumb.png.9fb82e77c7b9035886e416abdbb8624a.pngimage.thumb.png.4954f685b3f2078d248643ecaa8cd60d.png

The remainder of the plugin relates to the layout & object placement fixes.

Edit: The same MA have another mod No Sunlight Through Mountains in which they say:

Quote

If you use Dynamic Volumetric Lighting and Sun Shadows, you might see shine through mountain statics. I just batch set all mountain meshes to be double-sided so they block such sunlight.

This only takes care of the statics in the loaded cell. Dyndolod Alpha or DVLaSS Skyrim Underside take care of the landscapes and LODs set TerrainUnderside=1 and DoubleSidedTextureMask=mountain,mtn in your DynDOLOD_SSE.ini. Read Dyndolod documentation for details. These meshes essentially does Dyndolod's DoubleSidedTextureMask, but for loaded statics instead of LODs. If you use either of those 2, this mod might not be necessary for you at all.

All the jargon reads like gobbledygook to me. Perhaps it all makes sense to DY?

Edited by Mousetick

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6 hours ago, Mousetick said:

I wish I could tell you but I have no clue about LOD stuff in general and DynDOLOD in particular. The mountain cliffs in question are not in the distant terrain, they're right there in your face and form the boundaries of the Labyrinthian area, with the stone walls built into them.

All I can tell you is what the MA did to enable exterior lighting and allow sun to shine through properly:

  • Remove the 'Fixed Dimensions' flag and center field on the Shalidor's Maze worldspace record (that's this tiny edit which conflicts with Atlas Map Markers).
  • Make mountain cliffs meshes bordering the area double-sided.
  • Flag those same meshes so they cast shadows.
  • Replace the vanilla meshes with the custom meshes via cell record edits, so the custom meshes are only used by this plugin and only in those cells.

That's all there is to it.

image.thumb.png.9fb82e77c7b9035886e416abdbb8624a.pngimage.thumb.png.4954f685b3f2078d248643ecaa8cd60d.png

The remainder of the plugin relates to the layout & object placement fixes.

Edit: The same MA have another mod No Sunlight Through Mountains in which they say:

All the jargon reads like gobbledygook to me. Perhaps it all makes sense to DY?

This means that DynDOLOD won't impact this. It appears that the mesh change is only to allow sunlight into that area without passing through it ... I assume to prevent it from being seen from outside that area (and in LOD via DynDOLOD). It sounds like the author is pretty familiar with how DynDOLOD addresses this, as we use those settings in DynDOLOD_SSE.ini: (TerrainUnderside=1 and DoubleSidedTextureMask=mountain,mtn) ... TerrainUnderside may be redundant now in DynDOLOD 3.

... Well, I do, but we should probably add those to our instructions explicitly, since they are not default.

As far as No Sunlight Through Mountains, I haven't seen a need for it with DVLaSS, and I think DynDOLOD will take care of this where it might be noticed. I'm not sure what MM does, but it may set mountain meshes to be double sided.

I haven't tested this mod yet to see this in game, but the mesh corrections for the maze seem like a no brainer, and the double-sided mesh from this should be easy to deal with by prioritization rather than hiding anything if it doesn't look right for some reason. I suspect it will be fine though.

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I will confirm that the MM meshes are not double-sided. We'd need to see if DynDOLOD can make MountainCliff01, *02, and *04 double-sided. If so, we can revert them back to MM within the CR Patch. If not, then we'll be stuck with the altered vanilla meshes for these cliffs in this area.

I've updated the ModGroup to Fixes. If accepted, the conflicts with Assorted Mesh Fixes (also if accepted) would be hidden to allow those to win.

With that said, I'm not against adding this one.

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Well, I forwarded the AMM edit into a custom plugin and disabled this mod's plugin, and I'm not seeing that MM meshes being double sided matters from inside the worldspace. Perhaps I'm not using the correct vantage though:

This is with the plugin activated along with my custom plugin patch forwarding the single worldspace change over AMM (yes, it's redundant, but doesn't matter .... and yes, without forwarding that one change, this looks like an interior cell with sunlight):

SkyrimSE 2021-12-10 16-46-08-45.jpg

Here is the same shot with this mod's plugin deactivated but keeping my custom plugin forwarding the change:

SkyrimSE 2021-12-10 16-49-50-28.jpg

You can see teh MM meshes winning in the second image.

I also started a new game to see if this made any difference for the second image, but it's same outcome (so no savegame relics affecting).

I also looked at this region on the map from outside the worldspace with and without DynDOLOD, and this plugin deactivated (with my custom plugin) and saw no issues.

Next, I will revert this mod's plugin changes to the custom mountaincliff textures to check that.

Am I missing something?

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View at sun set/rise/night to see if there are issues with light shining through them. Also look for shadows from them to ensure they're casting the right shadows.

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