I recently started making a new landmass in Skyrim and I find myself at odds with interesting level design and realism. I consider myself a fairly pragmatic thinker when it comes to design, with form following function and such. Almost to a fault at times. It's distracting to me when I see things outside of common logic and completely removes me from the experience. I know we're talking about a fantasy setting and all, but it's not the major bullet points (such as giant flying lizards and MAJIKS!) that I'm talking about.
It's things like "how is that completely normal 30 foot evergreen tree growing on that stone cliff that has no more that half a foot of soil able to sustain it's own weight with little to no roots?" Or, most importantly, "why are all these torches still burning in this supposed ancient tomb that for some reason still has perfectly edible food on the table?" Things like that cross the line of suspension of disbelief and hurt the immersion for me, personally.
I'm definitely going for a Cthulhu-esque spin on an Indiana Jones/Jason and the Argonauts/Clash of the Titans (the 81 version) vibe with the level of decay and neglect, and my tombs will be dark, yes, but "how dark" I suppose is the question I'm posing to you. I take advantage of roof fractures and such to let the sun in, but where do you guys usually draw the line when it comes to the balance of aesthetics and realism? Or does it bother you at all? Maybe I'm being overly analytical. One can only place so many MAJIKS braziers before it becomes repetitive.
Also, I still have to figure out how to get the landmass's LOD to render past the immediate exterior cells so they don't just pop into view suddenly. I think I'm on the right track, but the menu window I'm looking at says it will take 20 hours to render, so I want to make sure it is, in fact, what I think it is before I commit to it. The CK wiki doesn't really cover much on exteriors, and there's no info on it on the official or Nexus forums that I've found. So if anyone wants to share how to do that, I'd be grateful. Thanks!