Today I got rid of an old problem with my mod that’s been bugging me. It doesn’t sound serious, but I mistakenly added four empty cells outside my map back when I designed the town of Benton. The problem is that when things go outside the borders, LOD-generation stops working OK as well. That means that I’ve only been able to update my heightmap and not add any LOD objects or trees whatsoever. I’ve been living with the same distant mountains and houses since July.
Today I removed those four cells. Just removing four empty exterior cells isn’t as easy as you might first believe though. It’s a whole process. It took me some hours, but it was worth it. I’ve now updated my object LOD too.
Playtesting is one of the best parts of modding. I don’t know how many hours I’ve spent running around my own Frontier Realm hunting out floaters and all those minor errors. I still will have missed many, so that’s why more pairs of eyes are needed to root them out and why I want to release the continent as a beta when I’m done landscaping.
I really wish I’d have more impressive stuff than this to show you for this blog update; like impressive interiors or the next big castle or some hot armour, but I don’t. The absolute most part of my modding Frontier is spent doing really tedious stuff like pasting trees, rocks and bushes. I want to make the Frontier forests look endless and monotonous without becoming boring. There will be surpirses here and there and locations to find that are unmarked on the map. In today’s playtesting my latest modded patch of forest, I actually got lost in there! And that’s a good sign!
Yes! I got lost and had to find my way out. It took some running, but soon I happened upon this location. The first sign of civilization, Stroti’s Old Cabin. Really, this is how I want the mod to be in the end. When you finally get back to civilization after excursions into the barbarian north, you’re supposed to draw a sigh of relief. Imagine these forests filled with game, barbarians sneaking around as well as predators.
All the Legion Camps in Frontier have names after predators. I’ve already created Camp Wolf, and today I created Camp Lion. Only one camp to go, because there are three Legions protecting the border against the barbarians.
Camp Lion is situated in the west. Its strategic location is perfect. In case of barbarian incursions to the west, the Legion can quickly march to confront them, and in case the enemy decides to strike along the north-south road between Anvil Nova and Carnar, the Legion can march through the Bloodstain Pass in support of Wolf Legion, which protects that vital road.
Again, Camp Lion was built in Roman military camp fashion and I used Meo’s Tents For All resource for the tents. The Lion Legion has a high number of cavalry attached since its home base is located on the Grassy Plains near Tyrrha, known for its stables and breeding of excellent horses. The soldier in the picture is dressed in Officer’s Armour.
Stroti was one of the very best who created resources for Oblivion. I used quite a lot of his stuff in Dibella’s Watch. Now, I’m proud to be able to use his Stroti’s Old Cabin Resource as well. This resource is ported to Skyrim from Oblivion by my friend Tamira. This little cabin fits perfectly in Frontier.
I already used it to create a small witch’s cabin out in the woods, and it really does look the part.
Dressing the army of The Frontier is really fun. I’ve found this Imperial Legion mod which supplies excellent retextures of Imperial gear: Perfect Legionnaire – Imperial Armor Reforged by Ali Bengali and Aremeta, and I’ve obtained permission from the mod author to use his work in Frontier. He has created really good looking retextures which come in both Red and Blue variations. I was thinking that I will uniform town guards in the blue and the border troops out at the legion camps in red uniforms/armour.
In the picture we see here, I’ve also outfitted the soldier with gauntlets, helmet and boots from Baraban’s Witcher 2 Style Dawnguard and Standard Heavy Plate. This makes the soldier look like precisely the combination of Medieval and Roman I wanted all along. It really looks very sexy in-game too and beats Bethesda’s sorry excuse for town guard armour by approximately two miles.
The Perfect Legionnaire mod also includes armour that I can use for both light troops (archers), regular soldiers as well as officers. A red cloak on higher ranking officers will signify that they’re generals or camp commanders. I also have a plan to uniform The Protektor’s Guard, the ultimate elite unit of the Frontier responsible for the protection of the Castle in Anvil Nova and guarding the Protektor.
All the units of the Frontier’s army are based at Roman-inspired military camps. They are mostly heavy infantry of the type seen in the picture, but these legions have cavalry as well as archers attached as well. Maybe even auxiliaries (troops recruited among the barbarians). So much to do. So little time.