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n0mad23

Populating Skyrim

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Hi gang,

 

I'm sure many of us have felt that Skyrim is a bit too underpopulated to achieve that "living/breathing" environment that was operating before, and will continue to evolve long after the PC Dragonborn has disappeared.  The lack of citizens is a huge "immersion" breaker for many of us.

 

Unfortunately there just aren't that many viable choices to rectify this.

 

The two biggest/most successful of these mods seem to be Inconsequential NPCs and Interesting NPCs. The mod ETaC also adds a few of both generic NPCs and a handful of named ones that add additional quests to the game.

 

I haven't tried Interesting NPCs for a couple of reasons.  The first is I'm on a pretty crappy DSL connection so I tend to hesitate on downloading anything that's pushing the gig limit.  The second is I find myself pretty nervous about the quality of voice acting in that mod.  I've read pro's and con's and don't have the personal experience to comment except that I remain hesitant to give it a try specifically because of my download speeds.

 

In searching this topic, the only STEP search result was one from back in 2013 - https://forum.step-project.com/topic/3435-npc-addition-recommendation/?hl=populated+cities+towns+villages&do=findComment&comment=57620 - in this thread Populated Cities and Towns by RS who seems to have been banned from Nexus since this thread.  Further digging has found RS has a site called Erkeil Team Skyrim Mods located here: https://erkeilmods.altervista.org/skyrim/welcome/

 

RS has got a total of 6 mods in his "Populated Series" now, but I can't find out when they were last updated.  Some of the user comments there are quite recent.

 

My question to those reading this here is this: does anyone have any experience with any of these mods since that last post here back in 2013?   I've been using Populated Lands Roads Paths for a little over a week now and really like the addition of traffic while out on the roads, but hadn't been aware of any of these other "Populated" mods outside of the Cities and Towns.  In particular, the Populated Skyrim Civil War looks particularly intriguing as it actually adds NPC battles in several locations (up to 80 soldiers fighting at once).

 

Has anyone here testing these?  Are they more trouble than they're worth - do they add more processor stress than what they actually achieve?l

 

Cheers.

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Yes I believe that is where the author moved their mods when they were banned from the nexus or something. I don't know of anyone that has tested them personally but I had heard the populated towns and forts mods added ambiance to the forts and such scattered around the worldspace.

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The populated series really hasn't been updated since they all got moved to Erkeil's site. There was an update to PLRP after making it to the site which was version 1.27.

 

I've used Populated Cities Towns Villages, Populated Dungeons Caves Ruins, Populated Forts Towers Places, and Populated Lands Roads Paths from the beginning when they were on Nexus. They are must have in my load order. I always install the (no script versions) also.

 

Regarding civil war, I prefer Immersive Patrols over Populated Civil War. Populated Civil War with all those NPCs will crunch your machine.

 

I cannot speak on how they work with mods that increase spawns or mods like Genesis / Sands of Time, OBIS, ASIS.

 

On a side note, if you use Ethereal Elven Overhaul I'd recommend grabbing the EEO patched for the populated series here -> https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/46067/?

Edited by Sakr3d

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Hey Nomad.

I've been using Interesting NPC's for a while and...I LOVE it. I'd say 8/10 voice actors are GREAT and WELL DONE! Some are very hilarious and all of them adhere very strictly to the lore. Seriously man, after multiple playthroughs adding 3NDPC added so many new experiences. I highly recommend it. I always check every new mod and squash any conflicts with it to be safe and have NEVER had any issues. The mod does have some issues with Follower mods though, but nothing major.

 

I think 3DNPC adds 89 people. I remember reading somewhere adding more than 150 custom NPCs in a worldspace over vanilla can cause issues, can anyone verify that? Is there an NPC limit?

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3DNPC adds more than 250 NPCs. And I doubt there's a limit of how many actors can be added to the complete worldspace.

There may be a limit of how many npcs can be in the same cell, but that also depends on other mods. Mods like Enhanced blood textures, Footprints, Wet & cold and other mods that affect NPCs. Using these in combination with an excessive amount of population mods may indeed cause performance issues or even crashes.

Edited by TirigonX

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Sakr3d - I can confirm that Populated Skyrim Civil Wars is a bit too processor demanding.  I gave it a try last night and don't have it in my load order any more - lol.  I stumbled into one of the battles (purely by coincidence) east of Whitewacht Tower which apparently is one of the large battles in this mod.  The majority of the battle was done with bows on both sides, and only after there were less than 10 survivors did anyone use a blade.

 

I've got Wet and Cold in my load order.  Because all 80 soldiers were exerting themselves, every single one had breath vapors.  The wind was blowing (not sure if that was the game's engine or CoT) so all of those breath puffs were blowing across the landscape to the south, and there were up to 80 arrows in the air at any given moment.  That was really, really impressive to see.  Oh yes, there was also a fight broke out behind the Imperials between 5 or 6 Vigilants and Dragon Cultists seconds before the two armies began their fight.  Since I'm also using Enhanced Blood Textures, I'm sure you can imagine what the landscape and road looked like otherwise.

 

It was a carnage exhibition.

 

Surprisingly, not once did I get any stuttering nor any visible fps hits.  However, before half of the combatants were dead, the fans of my laptop were pumping out hot air pretty intensely.  I dashed to Morthal and indoors for save point and exited.  My GPU temps were at 61C and my CPU was at 57C.  Not bad really.

 

The real impact in terms of game play was in the aftermath.  With that many dead NPCs on the field, there was a couple second delay between choosing to loot a body and the menu popping up that showed the corpse's inventory.

 

Too over the top for me at this stage.

 

Luckily RS's Populated Skyrim Civil Wars has a fomod installer and 3 choices for using this mod.  You can choose Patrols only (12 Imperial Patrols - 38 soldiers and 8 Stormcloak Patrols - 24 soldiers), or Battles only (4 Armies on each side with 325 soldiers in total), or Full Install.  I think I might try it again with just the patrols installed.

 

I'll have to give the Populated Forts Towers Places a try next I think.

 

@brokenpaine - Thanks for the info on Interesting NPC's.  I'm finding people either really love that one or hate it - and it seems that the people that really hate it were hating a much earlier version as I haven't really seen any heavy handed criticism dated later than 2013.  I'll be visiting my brother over the weekend and he's got internet via cable so I'll be downloading it then.  I really can't imagine doing it on my DSL connection here.  Thanks!

 

Good advice gang.  Thank you.

 

My rig -

MSI Dominator

Nvidia GTX 970M 6 gigs VRAM

i7 quad core - 8 gigs RAM

Win 8.1

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3DNPC adds more than 250 NPCs. And I doubt there's a limit of how many actors can be added to the complete worldspace.

There may be a limit of how many npcs can be in the same cell, but that also depends on other mods. Mods like Enhanced blood textures, Footprints, Wet & cold and other mods that affect NPCs. Using these in combination with an excessive amount of population mods may indeed cause performance issues or even crashes.

Indeed, it was 89 voice actors. My bad.

 

 

 

Sakr3d - I can confirm that Populated Skyrim Civil Wars is a bit too processor demanding.  I gave it a try last night and don't have it in my load order any more - lol.  I stumbled into one of the battles (purely by coincidence) east of Whitewacht Tower which apparently is one of the large battles in this mod.  The majority of the battle was done with bows on both sides, and only after there were less than 10 survivors did anyone use a blade.

 

I've got Wet and Cold in my load order.  Because all 80 soldiers were exerting themselves, every single one had breath vapors.  The wind was blowing (not sure if that was the game's engine or CoT) so all of those breath puffs were blowing across the landscape to the south, and there were up to 80 arrows in the air at any given moment.  That was really, really impressive to see.  Oh yes, there was also a fight broke out behind the Imperials between 5 or 6 Vigilants and Dragon Cultists seconds before the two armies began their fight.  Since I'm also using Enhanced Blood Textures, I'm sure you can imagine what the landscape and road looked like otherwise.

 

It was a carnage exhibition.

 

Surprisingly, not once did I get any stuttering nor any visible fps hits.  However, before half of the combatants were dead, the fans of my laptop were pumping out hot air pretty intensely.  I dashed to Morthal and indoors for save point and exited.  My GPU temps were at 61C and my CPU was at 57C.  Not bad really.

 

The real impact in terms of game play was in the aftermath.  With that many dead NPCs on the field, there was a couple second delay between choosing to loot a body and the menu popping up that showed the corpse's inventory.

 

Too over the top for me at this stage.

 

Luckily RS's Populated Skyrim Civil Wars has a fomod installer and 3 choices for using this mod.  You can choose Patrols only (12 Imperial Patrols - 38 soldiers and 8 Stormcloak Patrols - 24 soldiers), or Battles only (4 Armies on each side with 325 soldiers in total), or Full Install.  I think I might try it again with just the patrols installed.

 

I'll have to give the Populated Forts Towers Places a try next I think.

 

@brokenpaine - Thanks for the info on Interesting NPC's.  I'm finding people either really love that one or hate it - and it seems that the people that really hate it were hating a much earlier version as I haven't really seen any heavy handed criticism dated later than 2013.  I'll be visiting my brother over the weekend and he's got internet via cable so I'll be downloading it then.  I really can't imagine doing it on my DSL connection here.  Thanks!

 

Good advice gang.  Thank you.

 

My rig -

MSI Dominator

Nvidia GTX 970M 6 gigs VRAM

i7 quad core - 8 gigs RAM

Win 8.1

And Nomad keep us up to date on those Civil War/Fort Towers mods and any issues. You results are impressive. I think I'm going to give them a go this weekend.

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Same here. I'd like to try those mods again. I did a long time again, like last year :). So many options to choose from, it can be confusing. Edit: On second thought, I may pass. I'm trying to keep my load low this time around. Only putting in the essencials. Interesting NPCs and Inconsequencial NPCs are both great.

Edited by FuzzRocket9

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I've got 3d NPCs downloaded now, and will be giving it a try in the next couple of days.  It's so nice visiting with someone who's got serious download speeds for the internet!  I suspect I would have lost connection at least 3 or 4 times trying to download that package on my DSL line riding the original 1950's phone lines still in the walls of 1916 rental home.

 

BTW - I did reinstall Populated Skyrim Civil Wars by RS, but I've only put in the Patrols and had no problems with my saves.  I'll do Forts and Places when I get home, too.  Nice!

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