I felt a pang of both happiness and sadness having finished the mod but more due to the content of the mod, it's story and themes. I've played Skyrim and beat it over and over so many times over the years that i don't think I feel anything much regarding vanilla. Besides im not done yet beating the game on this character/playthrough since before trying Beyond Reach again I'd been playing through Vigilant (for the nth time) and Glenmoril (for the first time) and now will try Unslaad for the first time, all mods that inspire feelings of sadness, loss, melancholy, etc. >>30075
Beyond Reach is a new lands mod which adds an additional world space to the west of Skyrim in the province of High Rock, specifically it's east which consists of the Kingdom of Evermore which lies across the Western Reach (coressponding to Markarth's eastern Reach) and part of the High Rock lowlands running along the Bjoulsae river. It's large and full of content at a level comparable to base Skyrim though the content quality is certainly above vanilla level.
The world-space is meticulously designed to a very high standard and polished to a good level (maybe short of mods like Beyond Skyrim: Bruma but that's a very high bar), with beautiful and distinct environments, music, NPCs, custom armours and weapons, spells and enchantments, building models and so on.
The mod contains 3 major settlements plus numerous smaller hamlets, dozens of varied dungeons to explore and dozens of quests, alongside a very well-written main questline. The mod is almost full voiced with 80% of the voice acting being of a good quality and the remaining being acceptable. There are some unvoiced character and lines that are still being worked on as I understand but it doesn't affect the enjoyment much for me.
The mod's writing and worldbuilding is excellent and the standout feature of an already very well-rounded project. If you're familiar and interested in elder scrolls lore, it's metaphysics and cosmology then i recommend the mod all the more as it engages with it at length, but while keeping itself grounded to gritty reality throughout. It is for the most part lore-friendly with the exception of some things contradicted by ESO which only came out after the mod so it's understandable.
The story and lore of the mod itself is compelling and written from a marxist perspective, class and class struggle is suffused in the world and the characters, NPCs are not postmodern liberals with liberal ideas common of fantasy rpg character writing, but are generally fully class conscious and aware of their class interests and enemies. The mod deals with themes of the decay of feudalism, dynastic politics, nascent mercantile capitalism, poverty/the underclass, peasant rebellions, class and racial hatred, slavery, genocide and the aftermath of failed revolutions ie. fascism/Salo.
It's themes are dark and it has a melancholy tone of a broken and dying world (which i think is generally the right one for the elder scrolls) choking in it's own filth and corruption. It's pretty explicit, there's a lot of gore and blood, rape and murder. It is full of deranged daedra worshippers, depraved aristocrats, rapacious knights, pedophile priests, vengeful poor, schemeing merchants, weak gods and powerful demons. And throughout a scattering of weary, well-meaning individuals who are nonetheless complicit in upholding an evil status quo. It's a great piece of the game world to get lost in, explore and experience all in all.
So if you do decide get back into Skyrim I certainly recommend it, but be warned the quest initiates at level 5 but I would recommend a more leveled and better equipped character as the difficulty and enemies can be very challenging at low levels. In this playthrough I went in at level 40ish i think and finished reaching level 50. Also especially if you do like Elder Scrolls lore and it's metaphysics also play the VicN trilogy (Vigilant - Glenmoril - Unslaad) if you haven't already, Glenmoril isn't quite finished but I don't regret playing it in it's current state and will definitely play it again once it's completed.
Finally if you want to experiece the feeling of playing Skyrim fresh as if for the first time I strongly encourage anyone to play Enderal, a total conversion mod which effectively replaces Skyrim altogether with a whole new game not set in the elder scrolls world, with design, quests, worldbuilding and plot far above anything Bethesda has ever come up with, and an amount of content befitting an AAA game release. It's available for free on the Steam store if you own Skyrim and one of the best games I've ever played. (Also if you have and love Oblivion like I do, play Nehrim, the previous installment to Enderal which is also very good imo)