Markarth (Sky_xRe_Mk) [berry]

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Re: Markarth (Sky_xRe_Mk) [berry]

Post by roerich » Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:56 pm

Comments and whining

- Tsunholm structure is cool but please for the love of Shor move it back to its previous state and save that (admittedly super cool!) structure for somewhere else. There was no need to change it. This is supposed to be an ancient trial island, for duels between chieftains, jarls, kings. Possibly we could find another island for the structure.

- Lanterns look cool, adds a nice city touch which was missing. Good job.

- New gate and road looks great. Point still stands about the altar.

- Agreed about stalgs. In general I don't think everywhere there's a cave needs those.

- I'd like to move the -100,21 barrow structure somewhere else too. I feel like where previous landscapes might have been too devoid of any points of interest, this current style makes everywhere saturated with content. To an extent where it becomes boring and is more disturbing than visually fitting. I also would like more simple barrow structures, Bloodmoon style where it's essentially just a hill with an entrance. Please delete my Kyne shrine in -103, 18 as well, in hindsight it's completely out of place.

- Elfstone Keep additions are beautiful.

- Please delete my gimmicky addon behind T_Nor_SetMarkarth_X_House_05 at the docks.

- Test out how the city'd look without all those T_Nor_SetFarm_X_Fence's everywhere. At one point I thought they looked good, but I'm not so sure now.

- The forest encroaching on Markarth is a great metaphor for the relationship between the two holds.

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Re: Markarth (Sky_xRe_Mk) [berry]

Post by Scamp » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:17 pm

I'm a little late to the party on this update! Roads are much better now, great job!

Just a thought on how to handle the land tear cells. I've added them to my claim now; I'm thinking I should finish those first and foremost, and then you could perhaps merge them back into your file? If you don't change the terrain afterwards we wouldn't have to do any work on the claim border later on.

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Re: Markarth (Sky_xRe_Mk) [berry]

Post by berry » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:15 am

Hey, I'm sorry, it's been a while, but I was badly preoccupied with repeating before my defense and/or your customary autumn cold, and even though all's cool now, I've been watching over a hyperactive puppy these last few days.... Crazy time all around. :P

Here goes a major update. The file is not clean yet, but it should fit into the main file and Scamp's claim in a way one won't fall to water crosing one to other and so on.
roerich wrote:- Tsunholm structure is cool but please for the love of Shor move it back to its previous state and save that (admittedly super cool!) structure for somewhere else. There was no need to change it. This is supposed to be an ancient trial island, for duels between chieftains, jarls, kings. Possibly we could find another island for the structure.
I see, I thought the thing was more like "it's an ancient trial island, we've been holding duels there since the First Era, and if you have any problem with it, I can see you there next Loredas" :P so yeah, I scrapped my concept away. Still, I think your design was too modest and tried recreating it with blank menhirs. Let me know what you think about it now.
roerich wrote:- I'd like to move the -100,21 barrow structure somewhere else too. I feel like where previous landscapes might have been too devoid of any points of interest, this current style makes everywhere saturated with content. To an extent where it becomes boring and is more disturbing than visually fitting. I also would like more simple barrow structures, Bloodmoon style where it's essentially just a hill with an entrance. Please delete my Kyne shrine in -103, 18 as well, in hindsight it's completely out of place.
I have no problem with moving or altering the barrow, but to be fair, I'd rather keep it here for the time being, until we have a bigger picture for the "yellow grass region" planned. It would be trivial later on to relocate it by a person working on a neighbouring claim.

As for the overwhelming vibe, I think an excess of big blank rocks was to blame, I slightly lost a sight of how this region should feel like. I think it's better now - definitely flatter. :)

Also, wow, we do need more "average" Bloodmoon-like barrows. From the top of my head I can only recall one, on the slope of the Mount Snowhawk, since even the Karthgad barrows aren't exactly basic... :P Something to have in mind definitely.
roerich wrote:- Please delete my gimmicky addon behind T_Nor_SetMarkarth_X_House_05 at the docks.
I rather liked it myself (not a surprise, as I'm crazy about that exterior caves concept :P ) but I agree it stood out, with the rest of verandas being built on solid stone block foundations. Still, I was fond of the idea that an inkeeper, presumably of Tamrielic upbringing (maybe that Mercutio fellow from the docks, a retired Colovian sailor?), living true to the Divines' virtue of Caritas, hosted a shelter for the poor in his backyards (despite the king's edict to expel all the beggars from within the city walls? At least such edict was my headcanon to justify the "beggar tower" in -100,21 as well :) since there are no beggars in the city itself ), so I added two chicken coops there, with one being used by the Khajiit pauper he/she hosts.
roerich wrote:- Test out how the city'd look without all those T_Nor_SetFarm_X_Fence's everywhere. At one point I thought they looked good, but I'm not so sure now.
Eventually I removed the ones around the streets, and kept those between the streets and the backyards - I think it looks good now.
Scamp wrote:Just a thought on how to handle the land tear cells. I've added them to my claim now; I'm thinking I should finish those first and foremost, and then you could perhaps merge them back into your file? If you don't change the terrain afterwards we wouldn't have to do any work on the claim border later on.
Sure, it sounds reasonable. That works with me :) I haven't done any real work on the bordering cells yet.

--

Additional changelog:
- basically everything south and east of the city is finished landscape-wise and ready for grass generation, final detailing and bug fixing. The roads are finished all over around.
- pathgrids! I shamelessly recommend taking a walk around the city now - in every cell there is at least one long distance walker, so the city feels much more living right now. I also added two more small backalleys - one between the main street and the "Talos plaza", and the other between the Keep and the south gate - as well as a set of Karthgad-like stairs to the docks cell - I liked it more without the stairs myself, but I wanted to have the NPCs able to reach the docks via the handy pathgrids.
- did vast progress on the Karth bottom - the river part is finished now, and the lake part is close to follow.
- replaced belladonas with bleakbells/forsythias/snowberries and wild persarines with bearclaws
- added more sex/face/helm diversity to the guards using a leveled list - though still the "standard" guard is the most likely to spawn.

Edit: I forgot to mention it, but I also took the liberty of moving a cave from the lower cliff in -99,16 (pretty much impossible to come across) to the roadside of -99,88. I figured it could be a mine, similar to the one near Karthgad, but still active (probably much smaller as well - maybe running out of the ore?), but it would be simple to adjust for anything else too.
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Re: Markarth (Sky_xRe_Mk) [berry]

Post by Scamp » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:53 pm

Berry; here you go. Sorry for the wait. This transition wasn't quite easy to figure out.

Feel free to use the included Falkheim Region in the remainder of your claim. I can't remember if you already applied a region or not.

I've included another cell that's technically not part of your claim. It would be great if you could detail its border to your claim so that claims will fit together perfectly later on. It's not a big deal, and not the entire cell needs to be detailed, just enough to have a seamless border to claim #3. If you don't feel like it, I'd be up for it when the rest of this claim is done. This would eliminate much of the issues later on when fitting claims together. Afterwards, the cell should be cut out and uploaded in the #3 claim thread.

This is very much compatible with my recent #5+6 file, and shouldn't cause problems if loaded along with my file and your MK files.
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Re: Markarth (Sky_xRe_Mk) [berry]

Post by Scamp » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:25 pm

Some additional notes (hopefully in time).

I have noticed that I went quite a bit overboard on the container-plant-side of things with this region so far, hence I've made the decision to limit the number of container plants to about 15 on average per cell. I have already adjusted my claim accordingly, it'd be great if you could just go over these three cells and delete a few here and there to bring them down to that number. Maybe try to keep it balanced among the types of plants, so that no plant is somehow eradicated in a cell.

Sorry for the inconvenience. I'd do it myself, but I'm unsure whether you've already incorporated these into your file.

Another thing, naturally it'd be great if you didn't change any landscape or vertex color near the very border to my claim; plus, no large statics should be moved. Other than that, feel free to adjust these cells to your needs.

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Re: Markarth (Sky_xRe_Mk) [berry]

Post by berry » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:20 pm

Hey Scamp, my apologies, I should have replied earlier, if only for the sake of letting know I grabbed the cells. I haven't adjusted the container plants yet, and there are some grass issues to take care of, but other than that those are pretty much finished - if you wish to reclaim any of the border cells, bon appétit :) I can take care of them as well, no problem.

It's probably the last update before it's finished, unless there are some more requests regarding that area. Quick changelog:
  • detailed the cells west of the city
  • generated grass
  • wrote a script for the secret Direnni passage in -103, 19 - please, test it, but everything seems to work fine
It's been a while since that claim got a scenic tour, so here goes a session of MGE screens, with both the Markarth and the Falkar claims and the Skyrim_Main loaded: [ Warning: lots of screens ]
SpoilerShow
Image ImageImage Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
Edit: For some reason I have to open the miniatures in new tab to view the images full size, so here's the imgur link as well, for your convenience.
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Re: Markarth (Sky_xRe_Mk) [berry]

Post by Luxray » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:13 am

Awesome looking screens, the view of this whole region between your and Scamp's effort is really great stuff.
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Re: Markarth (Sky_xRe_Mk) [berry]

Post by Scamp » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:39 pm

There is some magic in these landscapes you make that I have yet to match. Berry, you're probably the best all-round exterior guy around here. This transition is everything I could've asked for.

Haven't seen Markarth in-game yet, but it's stunning work altogether. We will have to monitor the impact of these ref counts carefully though.

I really like the idea of bringing back the green trees in -105, 21 for a little bit until further north, but they are perhaps a bit too large compared to the ones from my claim. It's certainly something we can fix later on when the other surrounding claims are finished, though. At some point we'll have to transition towards 2.0 trees to match Haafinheim anyway.

Oh yeah, about those cells, my claim is just about finished so I'd prefer if you kept them in your file.

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Re: Markarth (Sky_xRe_Mk) [berry]

Post by roerich » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:25 am

Looks excellent from pictures, I will make sure to check out the file in depth soon!

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Re: Markarth (Sky_xRe_Mk) [berry]

Post by Yeti » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:31 pm

From the last time I checked Markarth in the CS (I'm typing this from a school computer and can't take a look at it right now), it seemed that only one cell (the outdoor market one) had a possibly problematic ref count, while the others were below Karthwasten's average ref count. Is that correct? Perhaps having the surrounding cells lower will help the system handle that one cell. But then, I'm not entirely sure how Morrowind's engine or OpenMW balance these factors.

Basically, are cells with high ref counts only a problem when they're clumped together, or is having a high concentration of refs in one cell enough to put stress on the engine?

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Re: Markarth (Sky_xRe_Mk) [berry]

Post by Scamp » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:19 pm

One Markarth cell is currently sitting at above 2000 references, couple that with an above-average amount of NPCs on the streets, container plants and the surrounding Haafinheim forest and you're bound to have instability.

But like I said, I haven't actually tested it, so I might be wrong.

As far as my understanding goes, Morrowind loads and renders chunks of cells at a time, so having surrounding cells with a significantly lower amount of refs in relation to other areas would technically make a difference, but having one cell with 2K refs is already kind-of the same as having 5 adjacent cells with 400 refs, so it is bound to cause problems on low-end machines. Which I really can't test.

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Re: Markarth (Sky_xRe_Mk) [berry]

Post by Yeti » Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:54 pm

I believe we've spoken before about thinning out the Haafinheim forest. There should be much fewer trees in the cells included with this claim.

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Re: Markarth (Sky_xRe_Mk) [berry]

Post by Scamp » Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:40 am

You're not wrong, probably. I really like the forest's glooming presence right outside the city walls though.
roerich wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:56 pm
- The forest encroaching on Markarth is a great metaphor for the relationship between the two holds.

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Re: Markarth (Sky_xRe_Mk) [berry]

Post by Iskuss1418 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:40 am

I don't think the forests have that big of an impact. I checked the fps in and around Markarth on my non-gaming laptop(i5, intel integrated graphics card). I got around 50-55 fps in the areas around Markarth, which is what I get in vanilla wilderness as well. I get 25-35 in every part of the city, except the outdoor market, where I get 15. I disabled 3 npcs and a some clutter in the market and was able to bring the fps up to 20-25. This is on Openmw by the way, in case it makes a difference.

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Re: Markarth (Sky_xRe_Mk) [berry]

Post by worsas » Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:31 pm

I updated the internal rest-landmass file by clearing all of the cells in this and other completed/nearly completed claims. Please make sure not to cut out any of the filled cells included in your latest file anymore. in case of doubt, load it together with the RestExteriors.esp and check if any of the bordering cells are missing.

(There is one empty cell north of markarth which you won't have to worry about, however. It was already gone in the previous restexteriors - file)

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Re: Markarth (Sky_xRe_Mk) [berry]

Post by berry » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:28 pm

Hey, I'm sorry it's been a while. I've been making a steady progress on this, and I plan to get the claim finished this week. :)
Luxray wrote:Awesome looking screens, the view of this whole region between your and Scamp's effort is really great stuff.
roerich wrote:Looks excellent from pictures, I will make sure to check out the file in depth soon!
Scamp wrote:Haven't seen Markarth in-game yet, but it's stunning work altogether.
Thanks, I'm glad you like it :) I'm extremely happy with how the area is turning out myself, hence the buttload of scenic screens. :P
Scamp wrote:There is some magic in these landscapes you make that I have yet to match. Berry, you're probably the best all-round exterior guy around here.
Wow, thank you, that means a lot to me, though I perceive it vice-versa myself; I've been learning a big time from your jewels of exteriors since even before I submitted my showcase, and it's still the case, with the cells bordering your claim in this file being the best illustration. I'm just happy that each succeeding claim of mine looks better, at least to my mind.

Overall it is a rewarding experience to be a part of the team with so many talented modders in every department.
worsas wrote:I updated the internal rest-landmass file by clearing all of the cells in this and other completed/nearly completed claims. Please make sure not to cut out any of the filled cells included in your latest file anymore. in case of doubt, load it together with the RestExteriors.esp and check if any of the bordering cells are missing.
Alright, gotcha :)
@Removing some refs from the forest
Well, I'm not really fond of the idea of simply removing the trees, be it in this claim or further north. Dense atmosphere of the Solitude Forest is certainly something to treasure. That being said, I can confirm the current setup can cause some framerate drains on low-end machines - I remember getting like 5 fps few years ago when I was running around the North Coast on my old laptop everytime a blizzard rolled around.

Rather than removing the trees, we can try to replace some of them with other objects, like stumps, logs, rocks, branches/bushes or ice sheets - I think all of the aforementioned consume less memory. Overall the -100,20 cell in the MK claim (sans the shrine, of course, an object of interest) is how I envisioned the Haafinheim Forest brush-up could look like; without taking it to extremes, that is, not to waste too much time on it.

Another thing to keep in mind is the great number of MGE grass objects in every forest cell, probably doubling the reference count. Players with weaker PCs will have them disabled. This is true for the town as well.
@Removing some refs from the town
Well, I haven't done any extensive testing here, but I feel like the framerate in the Markarth is comparable to the Karthwasten one, which is probably a reasonable limit we should be aiming towards designing the cities.

Still, I tried some tinkering around the marketplace and managed to bring down the refence count to ~~1900s from ~~2100s, hopefully not being overly intrusive towards roerich's work. If that'd be the case, though, I have the old cell backed up in another esp, so all's cool.

I'll try to post a complete file within a week.

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Re: Markarth (Sky_xRe_Mk) [berry]

Post by berry » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:07 pm

Alright, here it is. It is as good as finished.

There are lots of changes as compared to the v19 file, but they are about bugfixing or additional detailing foremostly. The two most crucial should be noted in detail though:

1. This file includes a finished #8 claim (as seen on the claim map here), updated to follow the new layout we envisioned for Midkarth. In the first place I adjusted the types and numbers of container plants used, downscaled the Reach trees, added some Solitude trees and slightly altered the area around the peak mesh in -105, 19, where the three claims met, for cleaner transition. I also replaced the Breton tower in -104,16 with Nord ruins. It turned out rather landmark-ish, on that lone open hill, and I imagine the countrymen could refer to it as one, for instance "I've managed to contact that Sogat dur-Gada agent, ^PCName. He will be waiting for you at midnight in an old watchtower northwest of Orlund's farm. Come alone." and so on.

2. The other huge change revolves around the -101, 20 Markarth cell. I rearranged the bazaar, to make it a) slightly less references heavy and b) pathgrids-friendly. I added some merchanise and barter gold to the dummy merchant NPCs, too, as well as moved the fish merchant to the docks, previously dreadfully empty. Another important decision here was to remove the underground passage eventually. While I liked it, as mentioned already, we could perhaps save that idea for a less demanding settlement, performance-wise. It didn't really go well with an urbanized atmosphere of the Reach capital. And so I created a nice new street there instead, and moved the shaman to the grotto just next to the docks, in -102,21, that was perhaps too close to the city to be filled with aggressive inhabitants anyway. Overall, the ref count in -101,20 got all the way down to 1841, and the performance is way better.

There is also a Sky_xRe_MK_cutouts cell containing some fine cutouts, hopefully to be reutilized in some other claims. :geek:

For the best overview, I recommend loading the file together with the Sky_main and Scamp's recent file; and the Dragonstar one too, what the heck. :P :ugeek:
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Re: Markarth (Sky_xRe_Mk) [berry]

Post by Scamp » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:57 pm

Nice, will take a look later this week. Does "as good as finished" mean it's ready for review though?

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Re: Markarth (Sky_xRe_Mk) [berry]

Post by berry » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:38 pm

Yep :) I'm dropping it too, so the border cells can be partitioned freely and so on.

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Re: Markarth (Sky_xRe_Mk) [berry]

Post by worsas » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:45 pm

:)))

Looks great.

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Re: Markarth (Sky_xRe_Mk) [berry]

Post by Luxray » Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:52 pm

This is a fine piece of work.
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