Way up in the NorthEast (upper right, almost directly East of Fort Kastav) corner I placed a test area called WZ : MOUNT PAIN. The assumption is that if you can run MT. PAIN without any frame-rate drops, then your WARZONES settings should suffice.
ACCESS TO MOUNT PAIN MAY REQUIRE YOU TO ALTER YOUR INI:
You will be given the Map Marker with Fast Travel enabled when you load the mod. In order to access MT. PAIN, you may need to add the following to the GENERAL section of your SKYRIM.INI file.
Note : You will know if you need to add this to your INI if you “bounce back” on your first time fast-travelling to WZ : Mt. Pain.
NPCs ON MT. PAIN:
I have placed “a slightly more than usual” amount of NPCs SPAWNPOINTS per cell on MT. PAIN and surrounded them with some scenery, some fire fx, some grass and some other things in order to hog up some resources and to approximate “actual gameplay”.
With all the defaults in place, you will see a well-populated battle between STORMCLOAKS and IMPERIALS. This battle is CIVIL WAR AWARE, so if you’ve completed the CIVIL WAR questline, you will not see a fight.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT : TESTS for MT. PAIN
1. Get accustomed to the MCM options available to you.
2. Adjust the Spawn Count via menu or console until you find your system slowing considerably or crashing outright.
3. Enable/Disable the Monsters. Remember that the Monsters are spawned by chance, so you may not see Monsters at first, or you may get two Dragons.
4. Pick a side and engage in battle. Regardless of which side you sympathize with, you should enter a battle to determine how your system will handle the stress. Remember, your faction reputation will be impacted, so be sure to use a clean and separate save for all testing.
5. Attempt to loot dead bodies. When your system is stressed to the breaking point, it will begin to have trouble opening the “loot” dialog. This is a good indication that you need to reduce your settings.
INTERPRETING THE RESULTS of MT. PAIN
1–5 FPS reduction : You should be okay to play with your current settings.
6–10 FPS reduction : Not great. You would probably be fine if you don’t mind the occasional hiccup, stutter, slow-down and/or crash. You would benefit from lower spawns, but you can probably get by.
>10 FPS reduction and/or CRASH : You will most certainly need to adjust your settings. Start first with reducing the spawn-count in Warzones, you should see immediate improvements. Otherwise (of if you are already set for low spawns) you will have some work to do in order to play Warzones smoothly. Suggestions: Reduce your resolution. Reduce your draw distances. Remove high-res texture replacers. Reset your INIs as you may have made some negative changes over time. Remove/disable ENB configuations. Among other things.
It is my humble opinion that a consistent frame rate makes a more enjoyable gaming experience than high graphics settings. Depending on your system, what you’ve done to your INIs and/or how many other resource intensive mods you’re using, you may experience a reduction in frame-rate.
Prior to entering MT. PAIN, make a note of your FPS (frames-per-second) in a few populated areas and during a few battles. These notes will give you a reasonable indicator as to whether Warzones is heavily impacting your system or not.
Frame rate can be displayed by using FRAPS, which is available here: http://www.fraps.com/.
Frame rate can also be displayed through a variety of ENB configurations. The default button to bring up ENB framerate is “*” on the number pad on newer ENBs it can also be found in the in game menu.
MONSTERS ON MT. PAIN
I have placed two MONSTER spawn points on MT. PAIN. They are controlled via the menu (or console).
You can test the BATTLE SELECT function via MCM or console:
Via Console Command:
Enable (default): Set WZonesSelectMtPain to 1
Disable: Set WZonesSelectMtPain to 0
FAST-TRAVELLING BACK AND FORTH TO SEE IF THINGS CHANGE
I zip out to the WINDHELM STABLES, change a few settings, then zip on back to MT PAIN to see what’s happened, then change something else and zip back and forth again… Most times everything works as expected. However, please remember that due to how the game handles memory and the like, you MAY experience some odd results and/or even crashes.
If you do crash (or get an unexpected result) while zipping back and forth, try the settings again on restart, but PRIOR to entering MT PAIN. Most times you’ll find that you were just confusing the game in some way or other.
There are other times at which the cell has not reset and your changes have not taken effect. Again, in most cases this is remedied by simply reloading an older save game and/or restarting the game.