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JOSEPH X

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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Ilya

Didn't think I'd come back to this, but I did for something pretty good. Had just one run in 2015 because Bethesda's current design philosophy allowed me to see everything with very easily figured-out strategic saves/reloads and PC commands to test skills, races, etc. and to skip the garbage "radiant" quests. The technically-handcrafted quests often tempted me to use the auto-complete/skip command too, and overall Skyrim badly lacks as a so-called "RPG", partly explained in the spoilered.

Spoiler

 

Say I want dialogue, a key aspect for roleplay, to help differentiate and build characters. Unfortunately, this dialogue is very shallow and limited, both mechanically and the words themselves - so Skyrim doesn't allow me to satisfyingly roleplay thru dialogue.

 

Or say I'd like to play a nonlethal role, and dialogue doesn't have to be consistently deep because I'd want a variety of nonlethal options for different contexts. I'd never enjoy a poor off-brand role (outside of quests) tho; no, a true role in organically completing the storyline and many side quests (obviously not the Dark Brotherhood) by a character that exclusively uses stealth, certain spells, dialogue, etc. to never kill nor rely on companions to. For the main story, Bethesda could've made it where we have a choice to rebanish the evil dragons and thus avoid killing, tho endanger future generations - that'd spice up the storyline a bit (e.g. some NPCs oppose it and there'd be unique quests/branches instead of going to the afterlife place). For another example, perhaps we could've had the choice to set up Mercer to be locked up (maybe a chance to escape later) or even sent to Nocturnal's realm with a pile of lockpicks and an unpickable lock. However, I'm often given absolutely no choice but to kill to complete quests - so Skyrim doesn't allow playing a nonlethal role.

 

Or say I don't care about being able to have a consistent play style - I just want a lot of satisfying interactions in general. For instance, the war is touted, yet it's really weak. Putting aside that the two questlines are mostly reskins and riddled with brain-dead "radiant" quests... As I support a side, I would've liked seeing Talos worshipers increasingly rooted out or minorities persecuted, and not just insignificant NPCs as I'd much rather have characters involving quests lost/altered/unlocked. And how about giving mages depth with stances on the war? And we'd have a variety of tactics from assisting to assassinating key mages to bring the college to a side. Tactical choices = different consequences, like several mages may come to despise me, making it hard to become arch mage or if I am already then the same mages oppose/support my war choices and have to be handled in the those ways but altered dialogue. The ability to choose from lots of quests is nothing special - there should be rich choices within, and consequences shouldn't be limited to a quest/questline. Sadly, the game is dominated by weak/nonexistent choices in shallow, linear quests that almost never impact each other or anything - so Skyrim doesn't allow me to have hardly any satisfying interaction.

 

My little cousin often will go 5-10 hours, then take breaks for weeks/months to play other games. He can't recall to compare to see the linearity/shallowness, not to mention he's annoyed whenever choices make him miss anything or make his character seem un-awesome. That's probably in Bethesda's aim for accessibility and power fantasy, hence the domination by linear quests, primitively black/white writing, etc. And the shallow levelling system serves his desire to be good at everything, whereas true RPGs have us specialise, not to artificially limit but because they're so rich that you can't reasonably come near mastering it all. My fav RPGs have deep levelling, quest design and dialogue (and even with both bigger and denser worlds than Skyrim, e.g. Arcanum) and decent storytelling to boot, but Skyrim lacks all of that - it's extremely soulless. Mods save it partially, which I think also influences Bethesda, i.e. from a business perspective why shouldn't Bethesda save work/money by heavily relying on modders to freely improve/fix games if plenty of players accept it?

 

 

So, what kept me going was mods, particularly a famous one called Interesting NPCs that has very superior characters than Bethesda's cardboard cutouts, and better quests as well. The reason I came back is someone recommended a mod they claimed surpasses INPCs' two main questlines. INPCs' aren't great but they're better than any of Bethesda's, and the two mods are partly incomparable as INPCs heavily uses existing assets whereas this has more new places and stuff. It's this. I know the name/looks are inviting misjudgement but it's not that sort of mod as the "maids" feature is optional and satirical. The mod focus on storytelling and quest design - my skepticism was ass-backwards.


It was released episodically, the first "episode" (the starting town of Jonestead mainly) being the weakest, to the point I considered quitting, but generally it is as claimed. For a mod, voice acting is largely okay, good anyway in spots, with a few I remembered from INPCs such as Viridiane who notably voiced Zora Fair-Child, one of my fav INPCs companions (up there with Rumarin and Anum-La), and her quests were okay. Viridiane's character here surpasses Zora IIRC, and a few others would be around INPCs' best. Here's a sample from where I got hooked, spoiling parts of two quests and of a minor character's story:

Spoiler

 

After gaining access to Euphoria Palace, you're sent out to visit faction checkpoints. At the first one, a member named Alarei isn't feeling well and the checkpoint leader wants to get rid of her while the leader of your group suggests leaving her. Your choice. Later, an ambush, and whether Alarei was accepted/rejected affects NPC fates, scenes, and dialogue. The first checkpoint was attacked too. If Alarei was brought along, she now just wants to leave for winterhold college and you can attempt to help her; if you left her, she's unstable..

 

You team up next to try to infiltrate the opposing faction. If Alarei was taken along previously, she'll now be calm and sensible about gaining info from the enemy first, offering a unique way to kill before (optionally) donning their armor. If unstable, she'll gleefully want blood, not allow info-gathering and be like "Who cares?!" if you disapprove of her actions. Info & armor determine how things go when meeting enemies outside (no armor = they attack immediately; armor but no info = they attack after a conversation; armor + info = tag along with them for a bit before they turn on you). I won't spoil further. BTW, for those factions...it's not simply about having to defeat the opposing one...

 

 

That's a small chunk, maybe 1/25. I had two playthroughs and the different consequences were decent, as was the story in general. Whenever I replay Morrowind, I'll probably go for Arktwend -> Nehrim -> Enderal, and see if they surpass this. While I'm at it, I may try the lesser M2 prequel for Oblivion before M2 a last time.

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Dryspace
On 2/15/2019 at 7:27 AM, ten-a-penny said:

Might do the same thing with the Witcher 3. Also "left" it after some point.

I can never help evangelizing on this subject, but if you haven't tried The Witcher: Enhanced Edition, I highly recommend you do so. Unfortunately, it's not going to have the same immersive impact that it did when the technology was fresh, but I consider it to be an example of a game that does almost everything right--or just as importantly, doesn't have any serious flaws. Those were addressed with the Enhanced Edition.

 

1 hour ago, ten-a-penny said:

Still didn't stop me from enjoying the College Questline though. It's my second-favorite after the Dark Brotherhood storyline.

I thought maybe 'Aloy' was short for 'Aloysius' until I noticed 'female'!

 

I've always enjoyed that questline as well; but unfortunately I agree with people who are put off at how you can become head honcho for nothing, in no time flat. Talk about ludonarrative dissonance. I always appreciate attention to detail and verisimilitude, and wish that Bethesda cared more about it these days!

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NaidRaida

Hello, I've put a question about Skyrim and it's confusing level cap here:

 

Maybe someone here knows more. Thank you.

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bigraj

Finally finished the Dragonborn DLC main quest.  Had a game-freezing bug on the PS3 version that happened when the Skald chief opens a Black Book, no matter which of my characters tried the quest.  Finally created a character on the PS4 version that decided to challenge Miraak, and was able to finish that quest and advance the story.  Good stuff.

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Dryspace
6 hours ago, bigraj said:

Finally finished the Dragonborn DLC main quest.

Is this DLC's quest something that can be done at any time during the main quest like everything else?

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Mister Pink
Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Dryspace said:

Is this DLC's quest something that can be done at any time during the main quest like everything else?

As far as I can remember, it can only begin after you complete the main quest.

 

I'm not sure if I finished it or not. I've been craving a bit of Skyrim so I may install it and finish it off. 

Edited by Mister Pinkerton

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bigraj
14 hours ago, Dryspace said:

Is this DLC's quest something that can be done at any time during the main quest like everything else?

Once you finish the quest The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller, the Dragonborn story is available.  You'll be approached and then attacked by a couple of cultists.  That starts the DLC.  Or, after you finish the Horn quest, you can travel to Windhelm and book passage to Solstheim on one of the boats docked there.  You can be attacked by the cultists once you're in Solstheim in order to start Dragonborn.

 

The dialogue also slightly differs when you meet the villain of the DLC if you've completed the main story or not.

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owl-man

I've started playing this game again for the first time since Dragonborn came out, need to work on my not dying skills a bit more when it comes to dragons. Not using any content adding mods until I finish this playthrough, currently have Lakeview Manor almost fully furnished.

HVcXuIA.jpg

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Dryspace

Does anyone know if there is an easy, reliable way to increase the draw distance of major objects apart from increasing uGridsToLoad?

 

I have always played Skyrim, as well as FO3 & FO:NV, at a uGrids settings of 7 or 9 without any problems. But 9 is nowhere near high enough. I've just never gone higher for fear of encountering quest scripting issues.

 

I tried using FNVLODGen in New Vegas, which is supposed to do the same type of thing in NV for significant objects/structures, but the explanation and instructions were very poor, and I succeeded only in creating an annoying problem that took days to figure out how to revert.

 

The next time I play Skyrim will be the first time I play it very close to a very large 4K display, at a very high horizontal FOV (~130), and from experience I know that this allows me to see much farther and clearer into the distance (as well as making low-quality textures more offensive). Since I can't increase uGridsToLoad any further, it would be nice if at least structures and landmarks did not suddenly materialize before my eyes.

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Craigsters
Posted (edited)

0McmHSd.jpg

My current gear and player

 

QgvKNmD.jpg

 

 

 

Minotaur Playable Race SSE - Add-On To Mihail's Mod  --- Mihail mod - You can now play as a Minotaur  

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I use the Immersive Armors by Hothtrooper44 mod and mix and match pieces from it, I use the armored white fur hood and the hunter outfit and vegabond gauntlets and boots from it's mod and I have the thief backpack on from creation club packpack

 

 


 

 

Edited by Craigsters

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