Living Skyrim 4: Dev Diary 5
I just wanted to hammer out a quick update to keep people appraised of the progress I’m making on Living Skyrim 4.
In general, the list is coming along nicely. I’m happy with the mods we’ve included so far. As of right now, we’re at 678 mods and 542 plugins. I expect once I’m done there will be well over 1000 mods in the list, if not more.
That said, even in its unfinished state, the list is stable and playable to the extent that the mods in the list allow. There are of course notable gaps in the list while playing, but I’ve received several pieces of positive feedback from the staff so far especially regarding the graphics in relation to the performance of the list. The combat suite we’re using has also been positively received, so all signs point to us heading in the right direction.
We’re still on track for a Quarter 1 2023 release. Over the next month or two I’m planning on hammering out the rest of the mods, you’ll see below that several sections are unfinished or don’t have anything done yet. I’m hoping to have a pre-alpha in the hands of my staff by the end of October. Possibly even an Alpha if time allows. That seems like a long way away, but I know all too well that time can slip easily. After that, the plan is to hammer out the Alpha and get a Beta ready for February or March of 2023. Note that these are extremely rough estimates - we might be early, we might be late. I make no promises that the dates I’ve got here are accurate.
So now let’s talk specifics.
Done, pending revision. Not much more to say here.
Quality of Life
Done, pending revision.
NPC Visual Overhaul
Done except for children, I still need to decide what setup I want to use for the children.
Done, was easy considering it’s basically a SFW variant of Masterstroke’s selection.
Sounds and Music
Done, I don’t expect this to change much.
I’m having a hard time deciding what direction I want to go with this. There’s a lot of good options but this will likely end up being a slightly modified version of what we’re using in LS3.
Done, pending revision.
Haven’t even started on this yet. I want there to be a whole new animation set for LS4 from LS3, but I also need to make sure it plays nice with the combat mods and such.
Pretty much done, though there are a few sections I need to flesh out more. I want to make sure we at least touch all the major guild storylines (Companions, College of Winterhold, etc.), so that’s still to-do. Also need to figure out what combination of mods I want for loot and the economy as well as stealth, crafting, and immersion. I should note that the immersion section isn’t going to include a survival mod like Sunhelm, but I do want people to have the option to roleplay some with mods like Campfire.
Combat and Enemies
Being tested. I like the combat setup in LS4 a lot, but we’re still evaluating balance as the rest of the list evolves. I’ll probably dedicate a whole Dev Diary to Combat at some point in the near future.
As always under constant revision. I don’t think I’ll ever truly be happy with whatever we end up with in this section of the list but it will be close.
Items, Armors, and Weapons
Haven’t even started on this yet. I have a general idea of what I’d like to do here, but haven’t hammered out any specifics. I’d really like to have a “Vanilla Plus” feel here - a good selection of brand new weapons and armors as well as significantly expanding the vanilla options. There are a lot of mods to go through for this section, so I expect I’ll be working on this forever.
Nothing here yet. I have pretty strict requirements when it comes to these so as with LS3 we’ll probably only end up with a dozen or so new player homes. We’ll see.
Nothing yet. I want to be picky about these, so not just any random joke mods will do. I want things that people can reasonably expect to find but not have them be over-the-top obvious.
Quests, New Lands, etc.
Nothing yet. We’ve made some pretty hard decisions regarding this section of the list that I’ll detail in a later Dev Diary, but for now know that we’re being very picky about what we include on this front including something that I think will surprise people.
Has a good baseline, but I still want to add more to this section. I’m really liking the idea of a lot of the population of the world being recruitable, so you may see a significant expansion of this section compared to LS3. I want there to be at least one recruitable person in every major city, so that’s a goal I’m keeping in mind as I work on this section of the list.
Since the list is still being built, I haven’t done any real patching. I’ve patched a few things here and there to test stuff out, but haven’t done any deep dives yet.
I’ve decided that LS4 will feature several ideas from Masterstroke in regards to customizing the list. Not the exact mods that Masterstroke has, but the idea is there. I plan to fully support ultrawide monitor configurations, some character customization options, and an entire performance profile that will allow people to swap on the fly to a more performance-friendly version of the list so that the performance guide is no longer necessary. I will also mention that we’ve decided to drop gamepad support for LS4 - none of the staff uses a gamepad and neither do I so including support for it is impractical at best. The amount of hotkeys necessary for a list of this size and the headaches that come from supporting a mod like Gamepad++ just aren’t feasible for us.
And that’s it for now. No promises for what the next Dev Diary will include, but I expect we’ll be back to taking deep dives into specific sections of the list for a bit.