Living Skyrim 4: Dev Diary 7

Overall Progress

Before we jump into today’s focus, I want to talk about the state of Living Skyrim 4. It’s done.

Okay, okay, not completely, but it’s getting extremely close. I still need to pick out a few easter eggs, but otherwise the modlist is pretty much complete. This means that very soon, by the end of the month, I’ll have a pre-alpha ready to go for my staff. At that point we’ll begin the arduous patching process to make everything work together.

As you might notice, things are moving along faster than I had originally planned. I’m standing by our Quarter 1 2023 release date for the Beta and full release for now, but know that depending on how the next couple of months shake out it might be sooner.

Quests and Content

When I look at quests and content, the first order of business is to actually play through that content. Mod pages describe quests and content, sure, but until you actually experience the content you can’t know for sure if you like it. That said, having played through a lot of the content in Living Skyrim 3, we’ve made substantial and impactful cuts.

This isn’t to say that the mods that we cut are bad, but they aren’t up to the standard of what I want to include in the modlist. Either that or they pose significant problems, have issues, or any number of other reasons a mod was removed.

That said, I still want to have a significant amount of content added to the vanilla Skyrim experience. There’s still a whole host of quests, adventures, dungeons, and more that are in the list. I think you’ll be pleased with the mods we’ve decided to keep.

The Elephant In The Room

In the process of cutting mods, there was one mod that constantly came up in discussions: Legacy of the Dragonborn.

A while ago, I alluded to a major change to the modlist that people would be surprised by. This is that change.

Legacy of the Dragonborn will not be in Living Skyrim 4.

Before you go storming off to type angry comments in Discord, hear me out. This decision wasn’t reached lightly, and I have several reasons why we’re removing Legacy of the Dragonborn.

  1. Legacy adds an insane amount of work to the list in terms of patching, consistency, and worldspace edits.

Patching for Legacy of the Dragonborn is basically patching for an entire game on top of Skyrim. It adds so much to the game that every other in the mod is warped and affected by it.

  1. Of the three pillars for Living Skyrim, Legacy of the Dragonborn only contributes to the Content pillar.

Legacy of the Dragonborn is content for the sake of content. I don’t want to discredit the insane amount of work that goes into Legacy of the Dragonborn, but my honest feelings are that it has become bloated with things that not everyone wants. The questlines in particular are not something I’ve ever enjoyed nor wanted to complete.

  1. LOTD injects itself into every aspect of the list even if you’re not completing LOTD content.

Between LOTD itself, the consistency patching required for it, and things like The Curator’s Companion, Legacy of the Dragonborn constantly reminds you that it’s there, begging to be completed.

  1. The quests.

I mentioned this briefly, but to me, they’re just not fun or interesting. I would much rather have something that allows me to display all my artifacts without expecting me to complete quests to continue the collect-a-thon. More on that in a moment.

  1. The logistics of including Legacy of the Dragonborn make it unfeasible.

As I’ve said before, Living Skyrim 4 will feature a regular profile and performance profile. The option did exist to include profiles that both contain LOTD and don’t contain LOTD, but in that case we’re going from two profiles (a challenge already) to four profiles. Non-LOTD performance, non-LOTD non-performance, LOTD performance, and LOTD non-performance. This just isn’t feasible to create nor maintain.

  1. We’re replacing it with Solitude Museum.

Solitude Museum is Legacy of the Dragonborn without the quests. It’s a one-stop shop to display all your artifacts and collectibles without the modlist-warping effects that LOTD has. It’s exactly what it says on the tin: A museum in Solitude. We’re also including Artifact Tracker to keep track of what you do and don’t have in Solitude Museum. Yes, this is similar to The Curator’s Companion in that it’s a constant reminder of the museum, but it’s easy enough to ignore.

Additionally, Dovahkiin’s Vault is going to be in the modlist for an even lighter weight alternative to the museum.

So, all of that said, I hope you can understand why we are removing LOTD and I hope that Solitude Museum is a reasonable compromise.