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Aiyen

The best Blackreach!

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Hey there all of you! 

 

During my recent adventure into the world of tweaking my ENB preset I once again ventured into the depths of the earth.. to blackreach! 

And once again I was utterly horrified at just how much wasted potential there is in this location! From the color scheme, to the placement of general objects etc. 

 

As I walked around then I would keep finding one location that looked epic, and with a twist of the magic ENB wand would turn into pure awesome... However turn the camera just a smidgen to either side and all that went out of the window for one reason or another. 

 

Now I am not the best at making mods by any stretch of the imagination, but as some of you might know I have already put up a mod that alters some of the blackreach objects to make them a little bit more interesting, or at least just blend a bit better with their surroundings. 

However I would like to start to build upon that and try to make some changes and additions to the location! 

 

However like with everything I plan to do I utterly lack in the inspiration department. Got the technical knowhow.. but not the artistic vision! So I wanted to ask all you nice people out there, what you would like to see. That combined with my own meager ideas would then perhaps produce a nice outcome. 

 

I know quite a few of the people come who here seem to enjoy REGS and the expanded cities mods etc. And I am sure you all would have some suggestions as to what sort of epic looking locations could be added. 

 

With the introduction out of the way then here is what I have planed so far. 

 

I already made a mod that overhauls the azura´s mission crystal cave, and since those crystals are more or less only used in that single location I do have some plans to see how nicely they can blend into some part of blackreach. Since the entire thing is already spreyed over with tiny blue crystals, I do not really see a problem in adding a few larger ones.  

 

I ofc. want to do something about that hideous and super ugly (imo) ever pervasive teal thing that bethesda is so fond of... just like with azura, it will most likely turn into something less green and more blue. that means altering the weather and imagespace etc. 

 

I do ofc. think that more specific dwemer architecture stuff would be in order and if I can figure out how to do it a few more random dead explores and expedition remains down there. 

 

The last thing I kinda would like to do is adjust the lighting placement as much as possible so the entire thing is not so dark. And perhaps alter the lighting from the giant mushrooms into something a bit more varied. 

 

 

Anyways, I hope you all have some nice suggestions and like this idea! 

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It would be great to see more done with Blackreach!  I agree it seems like an area with a lot of potential.  A few ideas:

 

From what we learn from the Dawnguard DLC, Blackreach was the primary source of Aetherium.  I think it would be interesting to see more evidence tying Blackreach to the mining, extraction, and study of this rare material (perhaps different areas, or different city-states, were assigned to these different stages of processing the aetherium.

 

Also, Blackreach is connected to multiple Dwarven cities (four?).  The Dwarven city-states didn't exactly get along very well.  It might make sense that they would have staked out individual territory in Blackreach, possibly with walls, guardtowers or gates between the areas controlled by the different cities.

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Sounds like I definitely have to read up on the lore of the area! Thanks a lot krypt! 

 

Even those small tidbits does provide some good bases to build upon. I think the main limitation is that the worldspace is not the largest around! At first I would like to mainly focus on just the actual location, and then perhaps if I got the time and mood for it try to add in some new side caves etc. that would expand upon the area. 

 

But first, I guess it is time to find some lore and perhaps spoil a few quests etc. and learn what is actually what. 

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I've been doing extensive testing to get my patches made, merges done, PerMa working right, etc. I can drop by Blackreach, see if I notice anything.

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When I was making the MCM for Atlas Map Markers (link on the STEP forum for that mod), I discovered some points of interest in Blackreach (via the added mapmarkers) which I don't think I'd ever noticed before.  Also, not that Blackreach is huge, but I thing that mod does make it a bit easier to get around while exploring.

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Okay I have more or less spoiled the entire area now by reading up on the lore and the details of the various areas. 

 

There are only three connected city states.... four if you count the silent halls I guess. But the direct lore related to that area and how big it generally is ingame leaves much to be desired in terms of ... why. 

 

In general the whole cavern was the site of a falmer rebellion during the final years before the dwemer just up n vanished. Also there is apparently a dragon down there, which explains all the dragon landing zones in the CK! 

 

After the dwemer disappearance then the whole place more or less just went to the falmer. They then started to chip away at the remaining defenses and move into the cities.

As for mining then the game apparently already have this somewhat covered in that most of the geode mining sites all should be able to provide one with soul gems.

The game also have the site of one earlier expedition as well as some evidence of mushroom farming.

 

Finally the current state of blackreach is that of a falmer dominion with their slaves and torture chambers etc. as well as being a major staging area for them since it connects all the cities. 

 

 

From all of this I gather that it would not be out of place to add something like the following. 

 

Expand on the amount of military related structures and equipment along the roads. As well as evidence of this all being destroyed and left to decay over the ages. 

 

There is a farm house there, but no real display of any organised type of farming. Perhaps the placement of some equipment and extra structures that would show that this was a thing would be in order. 

 

Perhaps some part of blackreach showing some actual mining evidence instead of there just being shattered geode veins all over. 

 

There have apparently been a dragon down there for ages... would perhaps be cool if some indication of this was visible.. just to at least build some suspense before meeting it (from what I gather this encounter is rather lack luster since the dragon is deleveled, and it will more often then not just get destroyed by random falmer at higher levels.)

 

Finally... add a bit more to the whole falmer dominion of the place. The lore directly states the falmer loves to do the whole torture, kill maim thing. So perhaps some indication of this... as well as showing a bit more of the herding of the chaurus they are doing in other locations. 

 

Anyways that was about what I discovered digging into the lore yesterday. And there is plenty of interesting concepts to build upon I would say.

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The dragon seems to be somewhat of a n Easter Egg since there are no references to the dragon in Blackreach and discovering it (without reading about it on the various wikis) seems to have about the same odds as winning the lottery.

 

Out of curiosity, has any anyone run across any explanation of how the dragon got into Blackreach or why is it there? From a lore/historical perspective, it might be nice to provide some explanation and background.

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All I have found are various user made stories, based on the content and general theme of the area and period.

 

For reference I am just going to call the dragon V since I wont even pretend to be able to spell that name. 

I am not going to copy up everything just the general idea. 

 

1. At the end of Alduins last reign of terror the dragons that survived fled and went into hiding. V decided that blackreach was a great area... and took it over. 

 

2. The next I read was that V made a deal with the dwemer for a nice cozy hideout and in exchange for info and lore, the dwemer would provide food and shelter. The giant sun was essentially a giant "dinner is served" or "we want to talk to you" kinda deal. 

 

3. Since blackreach contain lots of Aetherium (soul gems) and an elder scroll then one can assume that V had some plan for taking over the area. 

 

It could probably also be a mix of all those really. Since there is so little to go on then it is pretty much up to the user to fill in the blanks. 

The fact that the dragon is made so weak made some people suggest that he got ill from not being able to fly and feast on anything other then falmer and mushrooms. 

I in general just think it is yet another case of bethesda wanted to do something more with it, but then ran out of time before release. 

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Okay so I started up this horrible idea of a project! 

 

So far I managed the following! 

 

1: alter the water color so it is is not glowing! 

 

2: Failed to figure out how to make a boat not contain water... so just crashed it on a rock somewhere! 

 

3. made a cozy camp fire from where I can begin my adventures! 

 

 

Next up I guess I will try to map out the entire area and figure out bit by bit what to add where in terms of general ideas. 

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I figure that some images will do some good, so I created a nice little album to showcase the "finished" areas so far. 

 

Hope the link works! :S    https://imgur.com/a/pQqTC

 

 

So far I started at the tower of Mzak.. added a hydro dam like construct to it. Which I think have come out rather nicely, and it blends in quite alright, and does add a bit to the size of the tower, and gives a nice view when you are down near the falmer mining camp. 

 

I rearranged the overseers farm house area, so it actually looks a bit more like a farm that has decayed. Added a courtyard, and moved the fungi into various corners that where not used in order to better simulate a bit better that some agriculture was going on. 

 

Added a bit to the main entrance into the main city... making it look a little bit more majestic. 

 

Currently I am adding a major estate complex on the other side of the river where there was absolutely nothing before! 

 

I try only to focus on the major details currently. All the glorious detail can come later... since there is a LOT of ground to cover still! 

 

If anyone got some ideas they would like to suggest I am all ears! The most difficult part here is getting the idea on what to place! 

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I like the dam but as for the rest I'd have to see before and afters. Keep up the good work.

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