While improving PC and console hardware performance has allowed game developers to create incredibly new experiences, it's also done something equally as important. It's allowed modders to continued to improve The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, too. Case in point a recently updated mod named "Origins of Forest – 3D Forest Grass" for Skyrim, a 3D grass mod that's intended to "reflect the dynamic growth of a great forest." It fills Skyrim's woodland areas with gorgeous green foliage.
The intention of the Origins of Forest 3D grass mod is to better represent the wilderness of Skyrim in a way that the game doesn't, due in part to performance issues. Imagine going into the untamed wilderness and having bare ground and clear paths everywhere. Origins of Forest fills those spaces with grass, shrubbery, and brush that fills the space from the player's feed to their waist and higher. It genuinely makes exploring Skyrim feel like a completely different game.
Origins of Forest doesn't accomplish its task all on its own, however. It's intended to be paired with another key mod named The Jedi Trees. If Origins of Forest improves foliage at player height, The Jedi Trees handles everything that grows taller. The mod replaces the trees in Skyrim with improved trees pulled from Unity's library of free tree assets. However, since that breaks Unity's licensing agreement, as Skyrim and its mods aren't Unity projects.
Regardless, Origins of Forest paired with The Jedi Trees are intended to give a visual upgrade to the wilderness of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. They're also supposed to do so without too much of a performance hit on PCs. Some mod users say they lost a handful of frames-per-second turning on the mod, but that's a fairly reasonable trade for a transformative mod.
Origins of Forest – 3D Forest Grass isn't a new release. It's been available since February, at the very least. The new version of the Origins of Forest mod is what developer forbeatn describes as a "Quick and Dirty Backmod," meaning it's now designed to run on older versions of Skyrim and not just the Special Edition. It also means that the modder is asking for feedback to correct potential errors.
It just goes to show that sometimes even smaller mods can make hugely meaningful improvements to games even as big as Skyrim. Not to mention that even decade-old games like Skyrim can still be improved upon, just with a dedicated modding community.
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is available now on PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, with PS5 and Xbox Series X/S support planned for November 11.
Source: Nexus Mods