Well… please allow us to say it with you, “Finally!” The day has arrived, after 8 months of work, over ten thousand lines of code, swears and tears, we are finally happy to go live with the largest part of the never-ending Anniversary Edition of RCRN.
The AE Beta 2.1.0, carries heavy heritage with it, in that it’s version allocation “2.1”, which by true coincidence is shared by our first significant version of the original RCRN edition. If you missed the our early days, the “old” 2.1, back in the early months of 2012, introduced the approach of ESP-based custom weathers to the Skyrim community. This pre-dated the Creation Kit, thus it required edits through handmade hexadecimal decoding. Now with the “new” modern 2.1.0, we hope it is received as well as, what we deem to be, our illustrious predecessor.
We want to note we recognize the RCRN install incompatibility with the common mod managers is both a potential deterrent, or as documented by some, at a minimum a bit frustrating. That said, this plays a significant factor in our motivation to create a “user-friendly” method to use RCRN. As a result, the Customizer was conceptualized. If you’ve previously used our v3.6 Customizer software, you are likely aware of the handiness it offers. From switching presets, changing volumetric fog settings, to adjusting our Fxaa and Sharpening; All made simple with the Customizer.
Now, with the new and rebooted version, we strived to push its usability even further. We rewrote our beloved Customizer software from scratch and made it with 3 goals in mind: ease of use, customization capabilities and user feedback.
We felt the old Customizer was a nice toy, but quite limited. We renewed its UI template, and extended the user customizable options by allowing the user relatively straight forward controls over many elements of RCRN.
Furthermore, we know the community loves to experiment, so we also wanted to update and expand compatibility options for other 3rd party software, by simplifying compatibility process and proxy setup. So we of course, also present the new 3rd party app support.
“Cliff Notes” explanation: So you wish to install ENB or HiAlgo, but not thrilled with the copy-paste & proxy setting configuring? (not to mention the potential aggravations of dll renaming or ctds caused by injector remnants), well, you no longer have to do this anymore. The new Customizer will take care of everything, uninstallation included.
You simply have to access the “toolbox” part of the Customizer and then drag and drop the ENB or HiAlgoBoost archive in the Customizer window. It will handle the configuring, and in just a matter of a few seconds you will have it installed! And yes, this includes the Enboost based ENB format.
But enough about the Customizer, which is just one portion of this AE 2.1.0 update. There is more. We “finally!” added support for the Dragonborn DLC, which includes all the reworked DLC’s weathers and imagespaces. In addition, we also added 6 brand new custom weathers; influenced, designed, and based on our real life volcanic location observations made this summer. Yes, we are being absolutely serious. We climbed both the Stromboli & Vulcano volcanoes in the Aeolian Islands! It was quite an experience!
2.1.0 continues work with both the new features and bugfixing from the previous AE build. One example, which we’ve mentioned on the forums on occasion, is the expanded development of weather variation and transition frequency. We added the ability to select the “weather changing speed” of your choice. Meaning, use of an altered timescale values are no longer problematic. The carry over from the 2.0.0 features to 2.1.0 also includes the SmartScan tool, which can prove useful for those mod heavy directories. Providing a live scan of your Skyrim/Data folder, SmartScan will notify you of any incompatibilities, and it even allows you to auto-fix such issues!
A few other minor but interesting notes, we added the widely loved “heavy” Volumetric Fog preset which was stripped from the previous Beta steps, while we addressed a number of bugs, mostly related to the Dawnguard compatibility plugin we released in the previous Beta. The installer will still provide a complete backup folder in your Skyrim directory (…Skyrim/RCRN/backup), containing any data files overwritten by RCRN, for immediate user access. This folder is also generated to allow the installer to replace those files in the event you uninstall RCRN. (Note: we are working on an alternate method to provide users an overwrite option prompt similar with that of NMM etc.) It is worth noting, this is mostly applicable to the snow textures.
Here is a generic overview of the RCRN Customizer features:
DLC Compatibility: this value is autodetected by the Customizer. It checks which, if any, DLCs you own and will automatically tune the rest of the options in order to fit them.
Preset Selector: Switches between the three RCRN presets, based on different night-time/dungekn darkness levels; Legacy (the brightest), Classic (the balanced), Pure (the darkest).
Volumetric Fog: Adds the volumetric fog shader simulation when a fog weathers occur; Subtle- for a not so invasive effect or Heavy- for some heavier fog.
Weather Frequency: Here you can increase/decrease the frequency of daily weather changes; These are self explanatory. You can also make use of this setting in order to match the weather ratio with a custom timescale value.
Snow Textures fix: Solves the blinding sun reflection issues with bright snow textures, HD version available.
Cinematic Intro: Here you can pick alternate versions of the Skyrim intro footage. (For those who disliked the RCRN intro, or those that prefer no intro at all)
Optimus VGA Fix: Tick this option if you have an nvidia Optimus based laptop. It also fix issues with AMD Enduro.
RCRN Antialiasing: Turn on/off our custom Fxaa Antialiasing.
Sharpening: It is the process of refining a sharp edge of a texture or a model.
Saturation: Increase/decrease the overall Colorfulness.
HDR Power: Annoyed by the HDR effect added by RCRN? Here you can tweak it.
Gamma Multiplier: Essentially an overall brightness setting.
3D Anaglyph support: are you using Anaglyph glasses? Tick this!
SmartScan: if you are you running tons of mods and you are not sure about the RCRN compatibility with them, this is the feature for you. Launch the SmartScan and it will tell you what’s wrong and it will also provide the possibility to auto-fix issues. PS: don’t turn it angry.
ENB support: click the button, download ENB and drag and drop the archive into the Customizer, in lesser than 30 seconds everything will be installed and configured! Provides uninstaller too!
HiAlgo support: just like ENB support, click the button, download HiAlgo and drag and drop the archive into the Customizer, in lesser than 30 seconds everything will be installed and configured! Provides uninstaller too!
This is about everything for now, we will drop the proper 2.1.0 documentation during the next days, enjoy the AE Beta and don’t be shy, join us on social networks and in our Official Forums, we love to speak with our community, best ideas comes always from the users! See ya there!