Region planning: Vorndgad forest

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worsas
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Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by worsas » Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:13 pm

While we cannot work on the forest yet, we can still do some initial brainstorming.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/223 ... erview.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

My current plan for Vorndgad Forest:

- Refashion the forest into a forested rockscape, with a rock distribution similar to the Farmlands region. Most rocks should be added along the slopes. All in all the region should become visually less dependent on the grass.
- Scale down trees in order to promote a different sense of scale.
- Add 1 or 2 reachmen sites
- Add 1 or 2 barrows
- Move some cave entrances to more accessible places
- Add a network of branching dirtpaths.
- Remove Wrothgarian Grape from the Region and adjust general amount of container plants to 30 plants in average per cell.
- Add some variety and points of interest to currently empty and bland areas.
- Replace bridges with fords, as suggested by Berry.
- fix the road texture.

Also, the bit of the farmlands region included with claim 12 should be adjusted appropriate to the respective regions concept (which I'm still going to discuss soon).

later on
---> add sound markers for birdsinging and remove the birdsinging from the regional sound playlist.
---> fix amount of hostile creatures. There are currently much too few (Yeti, you have cleared them too well!)

If I have forgotten about anything, let me know.

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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by berry » Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:00 pm

Sounds like a great plan. 8-)
- Scale down trees in order to promote a different sense of scale.
How about replacing some leaf trees with dry variants, too? They go well with forest leafy ground texture. I'm thinking about 1-2 dry trees per cell here, the numbers could be slightly bigger by the forest's boundaries.
- Move some cave entrances to more accessible places
We could as well have some quests guiding to some of the more remote caves. Clearing that epic Scamp's cave from bandits menace would make a cool high level FG quest for example, while the inkeeper of Wayside Tavern might want to hire PC to take care of the rogue mages residing in the cave in -99,10 that scare away the travelers. The dockers of Karthwasten port could share a little secret about Fossortna grotto, too - it's located just by the docks. And so on. But overall I agree some better distribution of interiors could be considered, it's too dense here and there and too sparse in other spots.
- Add 1 or 2 barrows
I'm calling dibs on an interior for one of the barrows. All cool kids are getting one these days, and Roerich's recent work left me bustling with ideas. :P
- Add a network of branching dirtpaths.
This might be a bitch of a work, now. Joining the hunters' cabin with mountain-top Breton tower could be hard in particular. I'm not really sure about that. Other paths sound reasonable.

While we are on it, how about surrounding the hunters' side with a palisade? We are giving it to the hamlets lying in way less dangerous areas. On the other hand, it might make this lodge look too much like a Reachmen village.

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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by worsas » Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:28 pm

While we are on it, how about surrounding the hunters' side with a palisade? We are giving it to the hamlets lying in way less dangerous areas. On the other hand, it might make this lodge look too much like a Reachmen village.
Ah yes, that's something i meant to suggest aswell. Everything seems much too peaceful and un-endangered within the Forest right now. I don't think that palisades will create an excessive similarity with Reachmen sites.

Another one: Reduce the usage of road railings a bit. Make the landscape look less cultivated by that.

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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by roerich » Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:13 am

I support these changes. Good stuff! Some random thoughts:

- i support confusing dirt paths criss-crossing the forest. should be easy to get lost in, maps with landmarks are in high regard
- add evidence of previous ambushes (skeletons and abanoned carts in the roadside), arrows in trees.
- if possible, add some scripted ambushes as well
- add local rumours and superstitions about the forest. perhaps some Udyrfrykte-like legendary creature. the rumours can be BS (for now)
- the orange (empty) area could perhaps have a tiny Reachmen riverside encampment, 2-3 huts. By the southernmost bend, hidden off by rocks to one side and woods to the other.
- make a script replacing the bird sounds activator with nocturnal animal sounds at night

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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by Yeti » Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:28 pm

Yeah, I might have gone a bit overboard removing enemy spawns. In my defense, you couldn't take three steps in the old version without being mobbed by at least six wolves or something. :lol:

I pretty much agree with all of Woras's suggestions. I'd recommend adding one more Reachman site rather than two, since there's already a camp in the far south-east of the forest, and the Bear Clan would have pushed most of the tribes away from Karthgad.

You're right, Berry; we'll eventually have quests to help direct the player towards interesting caves, though we won't be able to implement those for some time. We should definitely make many of them more visible.

As always, thank you for putting so much thought and effort into this plan, Worsas. You make me want to step up my game and start contributing again around here. ;)

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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by worsas » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:50 pm

I'm fine with only having one reachmen camp in the orange-circled area. But we should really look at the misc bandit- camps and -caves at the same time. We have quite a few possible things like redguard insurgents, orcs or Reachmen that could contribute to showing the overall story of the Region, but instead bandits are almost everywhere the same misc groups without a background to them. At the very least, they should have a distinctive usage of armory like Wormmouth leather or other distinctive features. I'm not suggesting replacing them all with Reachmen or Orcs, though. There should be bandit groups including Bretons, Redguards, Imperials, High elves or even Khajiit. But these misc bandit groups could have Reachmen among them aswell.

Also, I propose making the Orcs of Malagrok accompanied by Goblins. For one they are supposed to live among the Orcs in Orsinium (correct me, if I'm wrong about this) and it would make the goblins appear less much like an insular thing that doesn't contribute to the overall picture (they are sometimes commanded by humans or elves, as seen in Tribunal). Overall, we should flesh out the surroundings of Malagrok and maybe move it to a slightly different place.

Another worry I've had for some time is the monotonous usage of iron ore across the caves in the forest. I don't want to blame anyone, as I have probably made one or two caves with iron ore myself. But it's again something that was made without any particular reason and choice, just because we couldn't think up something, it sometimes seems to me. Silver, Orichalcum or Adamantium are all possible alternatives.

The white dot with the reachmen site - label could be a little offering place, as they are seen across the Druadach Highlands.

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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by Yeti » Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:30 pm

I don't feel strongly about the iron ore. Overusing expensive minerals would merely make regions appear more wealthy than they should be.

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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by Luxray » Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:49 pm

I think caves with expensive minerals not yet occupied would help show the 'untamedness' of the reach.

but only in moderation! I agree.
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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by worsas » Fri Nov 13, 2015 11:25 am

In the claim thread, I have mentioned that we should add a number of small clearings within the forest. I mostly imagine these clearings in the low areas close to the river, so you will have a grassy river bank scenery in some places. I've had a very appealing mental picture of that when lying in bed some time ago.

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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by berry » Sat Feb 13, 2016 2:41 pm

My thoughts and suggestions on what remains to get done in this area. Green colour represents already existing roads, and gold colour - my suggestions.

Claim 11

A clearing here would need some alteration to work with an overhauled look of the forest region.

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/j7nwL6t.png[/hsimg]

Claim 20/21

Some ideas I had for this area, including an old Nord ruined tunnel

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/i2Sxu6v.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/54nAdHN.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/VIrr7uZ.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/vjoBtSr.png[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/R5behfH.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/RzKUdqZ.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/FtU6TWG.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/qo1PncN.png[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/juhXczm.png[/hsimg]

Berry 2

That's the most radical change. I suggest we get rid of the Reachmen village atop the small mesa and replace it with some big rocks for the time being. Why? Simply put, I don't think we can afford right now spending few weeks at best and more likely few months working on interiors, npcs and dialogue for this rather insignificant habitation. Of course I don't want this concept to be scrapped entirely, I spent too many hours on it, but I think it's something that could wait for the post-release times. It would be quite easy then to replace these cells with the cells with the village again.

Here you can see how it could look like, the village is already removed in the file I gave to Luxray too.

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/PRBMpuV.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/dD5dZa0.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/I5CwTR8.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/A2ZdIW9.png[/hsimg]

The river
  • add some kelp and barnacles to the bottom
  • create some depths in the river. Add some bottomweed there
Karthwasten area
  • adjust the cliffs, so their new meshes fit landscape better
  • add a path to hen-hermit's hut
Roads

How the paths around Vorndgad - Druadachs border could look like:

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/xiwcMXN.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/Zh65ak2.png[/hsimg]

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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by Luxray » Sat Feb 13, 2016 2:57 pm

I wonder if that narrow valley really needs a road in image #2. It's so narrow anyway, I would have thought you could get away leaving it as is.

I'd be keen to include the village, as it is an interesting feature. There are lots of areas we're sitting on that won't be NPC'd or interiored for some time, I wouldn't worry about it. At least it would look cooler than some rocks.
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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by worsas » Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:21 pm

Luxray wrote:I wonder if that narrow valley really needs a road in image #2. It's so narrow anyway, I would have thought you could get away leaving it as is.

I'd be keen to include the village, as it is an interesting feature. There are lots of areas we're sitting on that won't be NPC'd or interiored for some time, I wouldn't worry about it. At least it would look cooler than some rocks.
I agree with Luxray about the narrow valley leading into the wasteland area. No road should be added to it.

Regarding the mesa village... I have some delicate feelings that the village might be better moved to the remaining border mesa west of the canyon, I have worked on, simply because the area between Dragonstar, Markarth and Falkirstad feels a bit crammed as it is right now. It has always been a pleasure to visit the village itself, just the fact that it was so close to many other settlements (Dragonstar, Markarth, ruined village, village in the canyon) has probably always been bugging me. In case of the village being removed, a cavern should be added to it or something else the player can find after climbing it.

I would still like to see a tiny, hostile reachmen camp with just one hut and three reachmen bandits somewhere in #20.

I agree with your plans for #11. The dirt road could be framed by a minor cliffrange aswell on a limited section.

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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by berry » Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:41 pm

Luxray wrote:I wonder if that narrow valley really needs a road in image #2. It's so narrow anyway, I would have thought you could get away leaving it as is.
I think you are right, plus the valley looks great already. That tunnel should probably go too - we have many interior passages already.
worsas wrote:Regarding the mesa village... I have some delicate feelings that the village might be better moved to the remaining border mesa west of the canyon, I have worked on, simply because the area between Dragonstar, Markarth and Falkirstad feels a bit crammed as it is right now. It has always been a pleasure to visit the village itself, just the fact that it was so close to many other settlements (Dragonstar, Markarth, ruined village, village in the canyon) has probably always been bugging me. In case of the village being removed, a cavern should be added to it or something else the player can find after climbing it.
I can sympathize with that. A generally cramped feel of my claims doesn't help too. Moving it might be an option.
worsas wrote:I would still like to see a tiny, hostile reachmen camp with just one hut and three reachmen bandits somewhere in #20.
Hmm, I think that would work better than this tunnel. I have some ideas.
worsas wrote:I agree with your plans for #11. The dirt road could be framed by a minor cliffrange aswell on a limited section.
Can do!

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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by Yeti » Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:17 pm

Sorry, I can't keep all these locations straight - what village are we talking about here?

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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by Luxray » Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:23 pm

Berry's mesa village in the lands just east of Dragonstar.
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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by berry » Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:36 pm

As I was working on fixing one of the fords, I started a little brush-up of the Karth river. Is everybody fine with these changes? As I see it, I thought the kelps would add some life to the bottom of the river - the areas that Upper Karth flows through are so rich in vegetation it seemed odd with just rocks and gravel down there. We are using the kelps for interiors, too, so why not here? :P

The rock reef with shipwrecks is mostly a way to make Cejovo grotto more noticable, but it's also ment to underline the harsh character of the Reach and the river itself.

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/FoHLJCy.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/bxv35B1.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/9ybglWJ.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/YAWBKsp.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/WAwINns.png[/hsimg]

I would love to add some sparse instances of spineinside's bottomweed there, too.

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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by R-Zero » Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:02 pm

berry wrote:As I was working on fixing one of the fords, I started a little brush-up of the Karth river. Is everybody fine with these changes? As I see it, I thought the kelps would add some life to the bottom of the river - the areas that Upper Karth flows through are so rich in vegetation it seemed odd with just rocks and gravel down there. We are using the kelps for interiors, too, so why not here? :P
This looks very nice. How about tilting the kelp along the river's current? Y'know, to reinforce the idea of it being a river.

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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by worsas » Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:13 pm

I like the additional stuff you have added along the river there, but (sorry to say) my feelings on the kelp say no. It seems to be more suited for saltwater, which is how it is used in the original game (or very large, slow rivers like the Thirr River). My main problem about it is that you already have it everywhere else in the game. When the data move is behind ourselves, some bottomweed should be added around Lake Blaviddan and the deeper areas of the river, though.

In the last two days, I have thought about some container plants in the Vorndgad Forest and the Reach, namely the holliberries and the persarine. My issue with the holliberries is that I would, somehow, like to reserve them for the inside of Skyrim to have a partner plant for the snowberries.

I also think about replacing the persarine with the bearclaw, which is dimensionally and character-wise a very similar plant. I think I don't like the current amount of flower-plant containers and would rather reduce them to the more meaningful ones. You could see a plant like the Persarine growing anywhere, even the jungles of Cyrodiil. What makes it Skyrim? All other flowers, except for the Dragynia, do have something about them that bases them in Skyrim, somehow, at least.

Additionally, I think that using mistletoe in Vorndgad Forest and Druadach Highlands could add to a certain celtic flair. Obviously this would add some additional, previously unplanned effort. So I'm open to counter-thoughts.

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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by Luxray » Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:01 pm

Yeah, I have to agree with worsas unfortunately, I really like the look of the clear-water-and-no-plants rivers of the Reach as they are currently. The boats and stuff are cool, but I'd try to avoid bleeding that boat into the rock, it looks bad IMO. I think the whole 'gravel and amber' should be the coherent aesthetic for the Reach's waterways, with exceptions like the lakes like worsas mentions.
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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by roerich » Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:01 am

Luxray wrote:I'd try to avoid bleeding that boat into the rock, it looks bad IMO.
Agreed. You can only bleed like this into sand or a similar soil. Otherwise you'd need broken planks on the ship.

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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by worsas » Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:06 am

Worsas wrote:Obviously this would add some additional, previously unplanned effort. So I'm open to counter-thoughts.
Here are some counter-thoughts :o :

I'm really on the fence regarding the holliberries. As said, they seem a bit inflationary, but give a nice, bushy, foresty feeling on the other hand. Also removing them will require us to fix the vertex color below. We can leave them for now.
Regarding the Persarine, I have adjusted dimension and position of the bearclaw, so we could use it to search&replace the Persarine later, when we know for sure if want to replace it or not.

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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by berry » Tue May 03, 2016 3:24 pm

Well, so I guess we can say there was no acclamation to this river idea :D I'm glad I asked before adding kelps to all the river. :lol: Ok, so I'm withdrawing from implementing that kelps idea. Now, to adress your points:
  • on the river: I understand the principal of having here clear, cold river, rich in fish and amber, the thing is I don't think adding some kelps would break that immersion, though I admit I might had placed too much of them in this showcase. Overall, I think the river is great, but to me it feels a little empty in a bad way, like Druadach Highlands before the lifting. Plus, all these fishes can't feed on amber and gravel, right? An occasional seaweed group would only strengthen the immersion, I think. I also had this idea about making a clear distinction between Upper Karth, a wild, treacherous river, and Lower Karth, from Markarth gulf to it's mouth, sleepy and majestatic. So basically northern part of the river would stay as it is, with amber and clear water. Such difference fits well with counties' natures, I suppose. :?
  • on the kelps & other vanilla flora: I used here only kelp_01 & 02 (those with bigger leaves, but without the "lumps"), as I feel they are more generic and fitting outside Morrowind. They are in fact generic to the core, in my opinion, and that what's cool about them; it's the same with BC moss, or plants hollyberry or a heather probably too. It's a good thing to have some standard assets employed, for better connection with vanilla world.
  • on the bleeding shipwreck: on my defense, it looks far less better in-game, when it's hidden beneath the water. :P I'll add some planks, we have many statics that can be used here to make it more believable.
  • on the hollies: I'm in favor of keeping them, for the sake of points you mentioned. I think those could be replaced with a custom made bush plant, but won't that be a superfluous effort? I won't oppose either way, though.
  • on the bottomweed: I want to emphasize I really like your concept for these, Worsas, i.e. a rare herb found within the depths of deep lakes, and I wouldn't want it to become just a generic seaweed, what I am kind of implying here. The thing is it saddens me to see how many great assets you guys created won't be used in foreseeable future. Heck, as far as I am concerned, I would be fine with adding Berandas' bullfrogs along the Karth, just for that sake :P But then, as we will have whole Markarth gulf (and the oxbow lakes that may come to life from burying Lestat's rivers) to fill with these (bottomweeds, not frogs) then it probably should wait for it's time
  • on the persarine/bearclaw: I think I can agree here. When I think of a plant one would expect to encounter in the area filled with wormouths and rakis, bearclaw is much better choice than persarine, and I don't really have particularly warm feelings to the persarine, as I had to the old dragynia model. So if everyone is fine with that, then it's great with me.
  • on the mistletoe: I was actually about to suggest the same thing, only for detailing the Reachmen groves originally :P Leafy trees no. 1 would make such perfect target for placing the mistletoe on them (especially the dry or dead variant of those) it would really be a wasted opportunity were we not to use it in this area. I can get this done, even before the data update - with a placeholder CS entry?
Worsas, recently I've been working towards unifying how the forest as a whole looks like, for example adding some more vegetation to empty areas of "your" part, and addding some of those little leafy trees #2 to "mine", where there were none of them. I hope you're fine with this? :?

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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by worsas » Tue May 03, 2016 7:23 pm

I'm fine with a few samples of kelp here and there, it's probably just that I want to retain the current character of the karth river. Realism certainly plays a role, but you can also stretch it a bit. It doesn't need to be a 100% plausible ecosystem.
on the bottomweed: I want to emphasize I really like your concept for these, Worsas
Thanks, but the bottomweed and pretty much all of the other newer plants sprang out of roerichs mind.
on the mistletoe: I was actually about to suggest the same thing, only for detailing the Reachmen groves originally :P Leafy trees no. 1 would make such perfect target for placing the mistletoe on them (especially the dry or dead variant of those) it would really be a wasted opportunity were we not to use it in this area. I can get this done, even before the data update - with a placeholder CS entry?
I think it would be better to wait on the update this time. We already have so much micromanagement going on to ensure that files remain compatible and patching them that I'd rather have the mistletoe added in a separate step later when the new data is here. Sorry, if I'm like refusing you all your wishes lately. Though, if you really want it, I'll upload you the nif-file for you (I needed to rescale the plant a bit)
Worsas, recently I've been working towards unifying how the forest as a whole looks like, for example adding some more vegetation to empty areas of "your" part, and addding some of those little leafy trees #2 to "mine", where there were none of them. I hope you're fine with this? :?
Sure, don't worry about editing my claim. I'll have a brief look at the finished claim anyway and if there is anything wrong, I'll let you know.

Thankyou for your continued effort and for bearing our critizism.

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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by berry » Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:24 pm

How about adjusting these rocks here, so there'd be a path joining hunters' canyon with vampires' mesa? That'd require little work, most notably no landscape adjusting.

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/CunpTTy.png[/hsimg]

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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by worsas » Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:48 pm

berry wrote:How about adjusting these rocks here, so there'd be a path joining hunters' canyon with vampires' mesa? That'd require little work, most notably no landscape adjusting.

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/CunpTTy.png[/hsimg]
Go for it. But please, don't spend too much on this tweaking process. We should focus our interest on future areas and just get these forest exteriors ready for usage. We are running risk of overpowering our old exteriors to a degree that doing future work on the same level of quality will be more and more difficult. Give it a rest.

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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by worsas » Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:32 pm

I hate to say it, but we should maybe look over the usages of Orichalcum Ore and Widow Kiss in the Vorndgad Forest once more. Ingame it felt like you stepped across corpses with Widow Kiss pretty much around every corner. Orichalcum has become too frequent aswell, in my opinion. It's not anywhere close to being a rare find anymore.

There should be corpses without widow kiss and widow kiss flowers without corpses, just to break it up. It's very much on the nose right now.

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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by berry » Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:22 pm

There are still two quick changes I'd like to implement to the forest when I grab the file:

1. Add 2-3 small goblin camps to the forest, and make goblins spawn around them, (rather than randomly in the wilderness like animal creatures), similar to how it was handled in Oblivion. There are few places still feeling a little empty (for example the part of forest in triangle between Karthgad, Bear Clan barrow and the tavern; the hill with Malagrok sanctuary, in the area above Kejev goblin cavern) and I believe these would work well there. Quick proof of concept:
[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/uh8yuPa.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/Pzao4SM.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/MhxThl7.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/bcx40jb.png[/hsimg]
2. Add 20-30 or so tree stumps to the empty area between Vorndgad and Karthwasten fields, for less abrupt transition and to create the impression this area was claimed by men from nature.

Y/N? :P

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worsas
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Re: Region planning: Vorndgad forest

Post by worsas » Sun Nov 06, 2016 8:17 pm

I'm fine with that addition. :)

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