Living Skyrim 4: Dev Diary 8

Overall Progress

We’re officially into Alpha for Living Skyrim 4. This means we’re in the process of patching and testing things to get ready for the Beta.

With progress going as smoothly and quickly as it is right now, I’m feeling confident in giving some timeframes.

I expect us to be done with the Alpha at the end of September. After that we’ll do a solid month of just playing the list to make sure everything is going as expected. Once that’s done we’ll do a round of revisions and finalizing the list before the open beta in December. I expect the open Beta to run for a couple of months, after which we’ll do some more revisions and finally release the list in either February or March.

Until then, here’s some juicy stuff to tide you over.

Gameplay Mods

As with all previous iterations of Living Skyrim, I want a total overhaul to the actual gameplay. Everything from perks to combat to magic to quests to leveling up and everything in between. To that end, we’ll be using the complete SimonMagus suite:

  • Adamant (and its Hand to Hand addon)
  • Mundus
  • Mysticism
  • Scion
  • Manbeast
  • Arena
  • Apothecary
  • Thaumaturgy
  • Pigrim
  • Aetherius

The only thing we’re not using is Blade and Blunt, and instead will be using the combat overhaul I mentioned in a previous dev diary.

This is just the baseline of what the list is using though. There’s a ton of other gameplay overhauls and additions that we’ll be including.

To hit some of the highlights:

  • Campfire
  • Skyrim Paraglider (heavily nerfed from LS3’s version)
  • Realistic AI Detection
  • Triumvirate
  • Spellforge
  • Trade Routes
  • Perks from Questing

And some old favorites that you’re already familiar with in LS3:

  • ELSA
  • AVA Rebalanced
  • Classic Classes & Birthsigns
  • Lock Related Loot
  • Dynamic Dungeon Loot
  • Smart Cast
  • Honed Metal
  • Carriage and Ferry Travel Overhaul

This list isn’t comprehensive, of course, but these are some of the most important ones. There are a ton of other new or changed mods that I think you’ll be excited about.


Picking out gameplay mods for Living Skyrim is fairly straightforward. If it adds something new and interesting, I’m inclined to include it in the list. Or at minimum, I’ll try it out and see if I like it. If I like it, it gets added.

Or, as was one of the core ideas of Living Skyrim 4, if something can be replaced by something better, I will.

Let’s look at a few specific mods.

Realm of Lorkhan

Let’s face it. Realm of Lorkhan is one of the best alternate start mods available for Skyrim. It’s flexible, easily adapted to any list, extremely difficult to break, and is overall very solid. So instead of Alternate Perspective, which has a tendency to go wrong during the intro sequence, we’re using Realm of Lorkhan.


Spellforge allows you to craft spells, to put it simply. Instead of buying tomes of magic and then eating them, you need to be able to craft the spells you want to make. This harkens back to the days of Morrowind where you could craft your own spells. Spellforge is restricted to the spells in the base game and added by mods, so you can’t go breaking the game with it. But as opposed to something like Spell Tutor where you have to invest time into sitting around doing nothing but reading a book to learn new spells, Spellforge gives you a clear path to acquiring new spells. Therefore, we’ve swapped Spell Tutor to Spellforge.

Base Overhauls

Living Skyrim 3 uses a combination of EnaiSiaion and SimonMagus’ overhauls. This, to put it lightly, is extremely inconsistent and finnicky. So what we’ve done is decided to go entirely to the SimonMagus side of things. I’ve found that Simon’s overhauls are easier to balance around, not overly complicated, and provide new and interesting twists over vanilla perk trees and gameplay without going too far into the “overpowered” spectrum. While perk overhauls like Ordinator have their place, it isn’t in Living Skyrim.

That’s it for now. I’m not quite ready to publish the full modlist for Living Skyrim 4 yet, but soon. Maybe once we’re done with the Alpha, so keep your eyes peeled for that.