If I’d live in Frontier

If I’d get to choose one location to live in from all the areas I’ve created so far, it would be here. This is one of the small stables outside Castle Tyrrha. It lies beautifully at the edge of the woods meeting the Tyrrha plains. The castle can be seen some distance from here. Yeah, I’d live here together with my redhead lady, raise some horses during the days and read a lot of books from all over Tamriel in the evenings and just go about my picturesque business and not care about dragons, dragonborns or northern barbarian invasions at all.

Man, those mountains need work still though…

Castle Tyrrha

Castle Tyrrha is the home of one of the richest barons in the land. He makes his wealth by owning the entire horse-breeding operation on the Frontier. All the quality horses in the land, come from his stables. Castle Tyrrha sits on a high hill overlooking the grassy plains where these excellent horses are raised. It’s not quite finished yet; I still have the interior to create and want to clutter the surroundings a bit, but here’s a screenie:

Castle Tyrrha

The Northern Tribes

The following is the in-game book “The Northern Tribes”, which I started some time ago. I filled in the final gaps today. It will give some background to the different tribes you’ll meet in the wilds of Frontier. I haven’t pasted the book into the mod as yet. I’ll do that when I create the University of The Frontier with its central library.

 

The Nordic tribes of the Frontier are the pitiful descendants of “The Shining Kingdom” of King Ruurek the Great that once ruled the entire continent and had its base at what is now Anvil Nova. When the Imperial colonists arrived, these Nord remnants were successively pushed back into the northern woods where they now live, fighting constant battles with their Orcish enemies as well as between themselves.

Recently, a Confederacy between the main four Nordic tribes has been established and they seem to have put their internal feuding aside. They have been known to make raids on colony territory to capture slaves, harass troops movements and destroy new settlements. The settlers of Anvil Nova gave their four major tribes names according to their own logic, like the Berserker and Reaver tribes, but the nords themselves find those names demeaning.

Mount Heligmound to the north of Lake Carnar is considered a holy place for the Nord tribes and the only geographical location they actually unite around. No outsiders are allowed near the mountain, and recent surge in barbarian activity suggest that the Nords are concerned about the swift expansion of Baron Carnar’s holdings in the area. If Colonial expansion towards Heligmound continues, a major clash with the Nord tribes will be inevitable.

The Reaver Tribe (Ghaar)

The most prominent of the Nord tribes has its centre at Ghaar Village in the very north of the Frontier. Not many have visited there and come back to tell the story, however, rumours tell of human sacrifices of prisoners of war and other horrific actions being committed at this tribal centre. Their warriors are heavily armoured and they fight with the axe as the preferred weapon, however, for the settlers of the Frontier, they haven’t been much threat since they most often fight their Orcish archenemy in a kind of eternal vendetta and place most of their energy in that war.

The Berserker Tribe (Syd-Ghaar)

The Syd-Ghaar are invested with protecting Heligmound and build their primitive fortifications and villages around that area, but also in the Icy Wastelands to the east of the holy mountain. Their tribe is predominantly patriarchal. The men go to war and fight, while the women stay in the villages but sometimes arm themselves in proper Nord fashion when enemies approach the villages. Rumour has it that the Berserkers use mammoths as cattle and even as weapons in war!

The Marauder Tribe (Stoor-Stein)

Possibly the most civilized of the Nord tribes lives just north east of Lake Carnar and are known to welcome traders and adventurers. They make their living in small stone huts and seem curious about the outer world. They are not to be considered friendly in any way, for they consider the colonists of Anvil Nova with suspicion, and consider the further colonization northwards a threat to their sacred places and homeland.

The Ranger Tribe (Urtiid)

The southernmost tribe, by the Imperials named “The Rangers” are the ones who are in most contact with the settlers of The Frontier. Although, peaceful and shy, moving swiftly and silently through their wooden homes, they are beasts in war and if provoked, they will fight to the death. their warriors are lightly armed and prefer the use of bow and arrow. Due to their proximity to the Orcis tribes, they are involved in constant fighting with those.

Up North

A few views from the Barbaric North, the land of constant snowstorms and inhospitability. The camp seen belongs to one of the great barbaric tribes. There will be numerous camps like these, all different in size and design, dotting the wilderness, guarded by hostile barbarians.

Solved it

Waking up this morning and drinking morning coffee, I solved my recent problems with Frontier. It was simple enough, but sometimes a modder needs a kick in the right direction and just hear the right words. Thanks go to the people at the Official Elder Scrolls forum for doing just that – kicking me.

It seems, Frontier has reached a level where it’s best to have it as an .esm and not an .esp-file. Converting an .esp into an .esm takes like two seconds with Wrye Bash. I did that this morning and tested both my mod and regular Skyrim and all seems to work OK. I now just need to change my workorder. I’ll still work with the mod as an .esp, but when testing it, I’ll change it into an .esm.

I’m still quite unclear on how an isolated worldspace like Frontier won’t work together with the rest of the game as an .esp, but who cares really when the solution to the problem was so easy and straightforward. Back to work on Frontier, therefore. Yay!

Serious problems going on

I am having really serious problems with Frontier right now.

It seems it’s causing the rest of the game to break completely. When I have Frontier activated, I get missing statics, CTD’s and black screens entering interiors when playing the rest of the game. I haven’t noticed this until just recently since I’ve felt the urge to play the game through once more. That’s impossible right now with Frontier activated.

There are absolutely no problems within the Frontier worldspace. I can run around my own worldspace for hours with no problems at all, while I only can get ten minutes of play in Skyrim before I get a CTD. So much fun!

Obviously this appeared sometime around the launch of patch 1.6, so I hope it’s a problem they’ll fix. SOON. I’ve posted about it on the official CK forum to see if anyone else is having the same sort of problem with their mods. Promoting Frontier into an .esm might help and I’ll try that tomorrow evening if noone has any better solution.

For now, I have to play the Main Quest without Frontier activated, activate it when I want to mod and wait and watch for a proper solution. Nothing is unsolvable though, and I have to remember that I’m modding a game very much in development still and things and conditions change with it all the time and with every patch.

LOD can drive you nuts

Generating LOD (the objects and landscape you see in the distance) is one of those areas of modding the Elder Scrolls games that can really drive you mad. Last night, I was generating object lods and distant trees with no great success at all. In the end, all of the Frontier’s lod had vanished and I stood there in a one-cell-at-a-time type of world.

It was really the weirdest thing, since I followed the procedures I’ve been following numerous times when updating my lods. Nothing worked last night, and I left it at that. This morning when I started up the mod to take screenshots of the phenomenon, it was all there again just as before I started messing with the new lod. My lod has just miraculously reappeared and is back in all its loddy glory!

I am going to redo Frontier’s lod from the very beginning and see if I can make it work properly using the procedure I’ve been following before. It’s always a pain though and takes time. You also need to use a lot of third-party tools for it, since Bethesda gave us nothing working in this department.