Legends of the Frost contains all of the most important baseline mods, including:
In addition to these, there are several dozen other bug fix mods including many mesh fixes as well as a bunch of tweaks.
After some testing, I settled on Wander - A Weather Overhaul which turned out to be an incredibly underrated mod with some serious improvements to vanilla weathers. The mod’s weathers, their colours and variance are spot on. Nights are darker, but not unplayable. I decreased the strength of the fog obscuring distant terrain, one of the mod’s main features, as it looks infinitely better than in vanilla with LOTF’s regenerated terrain, tree, and object LODs.
For interiors I combined Relighting Skyrim with its lightbulb adjustments and fixes with Ambiance. Together these two mods tone down vanilla’s often overly bright interiors, again without making them unplayable, as well as reduce the ambient light without actual sources.
Since LOTF 2.0, you also have the option to swap the weather overhaul to Obsidian Weathers and Seasons. Obsidian looks absolutely stunning (especially when combined with The Truth ENB, see below), arguably more an overhaul of vanilla than Wander which puts stronger emphasis on colours. Please refer to the Customisation page if you’re interested in giving Obsidian a shot.
LOTF originally had no ENB as the intended preset, The Truth ENB, was removed from the Nexus. I was using a different preset for a time, but ultimately decided that nothing was going to come close to The Truth (heh). Since LOTF 2.3, the list no longer has an ENB preset installed by default; however, detailed instructions for installing The Truth ENB are provided on the ENB for LOTF page and the list is intended to be played with that preset.
You no longer need to open the console when editing the ENB ingame. ENB Input Disabler blocks every other input while the GUI is open.
The hotkeys to toggle ENB on/off, open the GUI, or display the FPS meter defined in my
enblocal.ini are the same as in TPF and WTP:
All other functions (screenshot, FPS cap, toggle DOF) were disabled. I recommend taking screenshots with Steam by pressing F12.
This section was the hardest one for me to limit myself. In my personal opinion, there are two choices when starting to replace textures in Skyrim: Either stick strictly to the vanilla style using primarily upscaled textures, or go all in with hundreds of hand-made, high-quality textures. Naturally, I went with the latter for Legends of the Frost and chose Project Clarity and Skyrim Realistic Overhaul to make up the bulk of the replaced textures (and the overall filesize).
(If you are wondering why vanilla textures were not an option, watch this video.)
Beyond these major overhauls, I elected to add only those mods that I consider absolutely essential for fixing various eye sores. This includes Static Mesh Improvement Mod and Blended Roads as well as Majestic Mountains. Water was hugely improved by Realistic Water Two.
Most flora-related textures are covered by Cathedral - Plants and Cathedral - Mushrooms. I did add Enhanced Vanilla Trees to the mix, using the lush version for improved meshes and textures, and vastly improved LOD resources, but with the same colours as vanilla trees. With HD Vanilla Tree Bark - ESRGAN AI Upscale, their bark textures were significantly improved.
LOTF’s current grass overhaul is from Enhanced Landscape (though the rest of the Enhanced Landscapes package is not included). Its grass module matches Skyrim’s original style beautifully and has some great visual synergy with Skyrim Realistic Overhaul’s landscape textures.
NPC faces (and hair) in Skyrim were never particularly appealing so I added a number of mods to freshen them up. Both males and females now have higher poly hands and feet instead of the vanilla abominations. I added Tempered Skins for Females and Tempered Skins for Males. For eyes, both meshes and textures were improved by Skyrim Ultimate Eyemeshes Ruhmastered and Authentic Eyes respectively.
Thanks to Natural Hair Colors, blonde hair will no longer have a sickly green tinge. High Poly Vanilla Hair and Superior Lore-Friendly Hair offer further improvements. Retextures for brows as well as tintmasks (scars, warpaint, and dirt) are included in Xenius Character Enhancements. The tintmasks are largely in 2K which you will be able to see in game thanks to a modified SKSE.ini enabling higher resolution tintmasks.
Facegen was regenerated for all NPCs. That means not only will they have twice the vanilla resolution (512 > 1024), but all previously installed mods will apply to NPCs as well. Premade facegen for children is included with Simple Children.
Beyond the general lighting, there is one other aspect of vanilla Skyrim that I wanted thoroughly overhauled: The console-optimised interface. SkyUI is absolutely essentially for many reasons, but primarily because it hugely improves the various menus visually and functionally. It also works perfectly fine with a controller.
Speaking of controllers, I added Auto Input Switch which allows you to use your keyboard while your controller is connected. Better MessageBox Controls and Better Dialogue Controls further improve controls. Stay At The System Page brings back Skyrim LE behaviour where pressing ESCAPE would bring you to the Systems menu instead of the Journal.
Because the vanilla cursor looks a tad oversized, I added Smaller Vanilla Cursor and SkyHUD (with the Vanilla Small preset) to shrink it a little. The crosshair will only be visible when you need it (Contextual Crosshair). When riding your horse you will be able to see its Stamina drain with Horse Stamina HUD. Thanks to FadingSignal’s Hide UI - Improved, you can toggle your entire HUD whenever you wish.
moreHUD adds various new elements to the UI: For example, you will be able to see your enemy’s level as well as the size of their soul for potential capturing. Read books will be marked with a special icon and upon hovering over skill books, you will see a preview of the skill they improve. The book interface itself looks better now thanks to Convenient Reading UI and Realistic Paper.
A Quality World Map greatly improves the quality and usability of the world map. The game will no longer prompt you with a message box asking if you’re sure when crafting certain items or exiting crafting menus thanks to Yes Im Sure and when attempting to drop quest items Whose Quest Is It Anyway will notify you which quest is binding the item to your inventory.
As background in the main menu you will see one of my favourite replacers: DRELDYN’s Original Main Menu Overhaul. The menu was reduced to only the necessary options by ReCleaned Menu, and Loading Screen Smoke Removed removes the ugly background smoke effect. KenMOD Time On Loading Screen adds a tiny clock with your current system time to the loading screens. For my fellow Europeans, I added Time Format Changer which is an optional mod (disabled by default) and can be enabled to change the 12h clock to a 24h one.
There is only a single major gameplay overhaul included in Legends of the Frost: Blade and Blunt - A Combat Overhaul greatly enhances combat so that resource management (specifically Stamina) becomes central to every fight. I did add the vanilla damage modifiers addon so that combat does not become significantly harder. Please refer to the mod page for up-to-date details on everything the mod does. I also added Dragon War - A Dragon Overhaul for its dragon AI improvements only.
Perks, standing stones, and racial traits remain vanilla. That means any vanilla character builds will most likely work fine in LOTF. (Please note that some smithing perks were adjusted by WACCF.)
With Improved Traps traps now create detection events when they are triggered (meaning they can alert enemies) and you have additional ways to disarm traps. Fortunately, followers will no longer trigger traps thanks to Follower Trap Safety.
Because of Scrambled Bugs, you will no longer be able to underfill soul gems: For instance, if you have no Empty Lesser Soul Gems in your inventory, a captured lesser soul will be lost rather than placed in an Empty Greater Soul Gem. The same mod will also make it so your best arrows or bolts are equipped upon switching to a ranged weapon instead of your worst (which is vanilla behaviour).
I am personally a big fan of Simple Dual Sheath so that all equipped weapons are properly shown on the player and NPCs. This required the XP32 Maximum Skeleton replacer as well as Project New Reign - Nemesis Ultimate Behavior Engine. I also chose to add the mod Draw 2 so that equip/unequip animations match the weapon positions. Since I did not include the full XPMSSE and RaceMenu with NiOverride there will be no save bloat.
And finally horses were improved by Simple Horse Tweaks. Most horses are set them to Cowardly and Protected, meaning they flee combat and can only be killed if the player deals the killing blow. Speed, stamina, and handling were also improved.
Radiant quests picked up in Skyrim will no longer have a chance to be on Solstheim with Quests Are In Skyrim.
The following quests are also affected by mods:
AS for NPCs, I added some general quality of life fixes. They will flee dragon and vampire attackes thanks to Run For Your Lives. Various lines of dialogue were improved by Misc Dialogue Edits which largely adds conditions to make them more appropriate to the situation. Tavern AI Fix prevents innkeepers from showing you to your room unless you specifically ask them to. From Dawnguard - Tweaks and Enhancements I extracted the option to ask Serana to stop raising corpses (this can be reverted via the same dialogue).
Some Creations are supported in a separate and optional profile as of LOTF 2.0. I intend to ultimately support all Creations so that the LOTF CC profile becomes a great way to experience the new content in a lightly modded environment. I did include the Unofficial Creation Club Patches where appropriate and installed kartoffel’s Creation Club Anniversary Cleaned and Upscaled textures as well as several of TateTaylor’s amazing CC integration mods.
You can find a full list of all Creations currently supported by LOTF as well as instructions on how to use the CC profile on the Creation Club page.