Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Let's Talk Skyrim Mods (Part 2)

Part 2 of the list of Skyrim mods that I'm currently running, with pictures, links, description, and thoughts on each one.  Also a few mods that I tried and didn't like, as well as some works-in-progress that I'm keeping an eye on. Click the article for the full list, or read part 1 here.

.... Continued from Part 1.

#18. Follower Hunting Bow Fix | Workshop | Nexus

Most followers have a hidden Hunting Bow that they use by default. Except that when you give them a vastly stronger bow, they like to revert back to their stupidly pathetic hunting bow. This mod lets you take those bows out of their inventory, and stops them from respawning, so that characters actually use the stronger bow.

#19. Shadow Striping Fix | Workshop | Nexus

The shadow effects in some areas of the game are completely screwed up, making NPCs look like they have lizard skin and just looking awful. It's especially bad in the first home you can acquire, which becomes a base that you'll frequently return to. This mod fixes that crap and returns shadows to normal.

#20. Breezehome Ladder Fix | Workshop

This is your first home in the game, and you spend a lot of time going up these steps to get to the second floor. And in the vanilla version, there's a clipping error at the very top that causes you to get stuck on the top step every single time you go up it. This mod gets rid of that and makes it smooth.

#21. Reduced Distance NPC Greetings | Workshop | Nexus

NPCs are way too chatty and too quick to bombard you with their repetitive bits of idle dialogue greetings. Yes yes I know you work for Belethor at the General Goods Store, no I don't get to the Cloud District very often. This mod makes it so they don't say that stuff unless you actually get close to them.

#22. Followers Keep Up | Workshop

One major problem with followers is that they have a tendency to get stuck on terrain, or take the long way around a simple jump. Then if you get too far away from them, they get lost forever. This mod teleports them to your location if they get too far away, making life a lot less stressful when I'm just out and about.

#23. The Pines of Whiterun | Workshop | Nexus

The first major town, Whiterun, feels kind of bland in vanilla Skyrim, lacking any kind of foliage or other sort of natural life. The Pines of Whiterun adds from nice pine trees (as well as a few autumn trees) that add a significant amount of charm and visual flavor to the city. Not much else to it.

#24. Bigger Trees - Falkreath | Workshop

Like the Pines of Whiterun, all this one does is make the trees in the Falkreath region bigger. It's supposed to be a thick, dense forest region, but the vanilla version is kind of sparse. These bigger trees reduce your visibility and add a lot to that forest feel of immersion.

#25. House Map Markers | Workshop | Nexus

This one is just a handy tool that lets you fast-travel directly to each obtainable player-house in the game, instead of having to fast-travel to the entrance of the city and running all the way across town. Major convenience when you're just trying to drop off /pick-up items.

#26. No Heavy Muscular Idle | Nexus

There's a weird issue where skinny characters will have their arm sticking out from their body as if they were a heavy, muscular build. This makes skinny males (and most females) look like they have gorilla arms, and this mod changes that to make them look more natural.

#27. Aela // Mjoll Facelift | Workshop | Nexus // Workshop | Nexus

These two mods improve the faces of two of my favorite female followers. The author made very slight tweaks to each character's facial structure, which are very subtle (retaining their original look and character) and make a huge difference. The warpaint is obviously different, as well, but he's got an option for Aela to keep her original warpaint.

#28. Somewhat Skimpy Dragonscale Armor | Nexus

Alright, I just wanted some sexy armor for Aela. It turns the Dragonscale Light Armor (the best light set) into a sexy bikini style. Since Aela uses light armor anyway, it was a perfect choice, and it looks great. (Most modified Dragonscale sets don't look so good.)

#29. Realistic Water Textures & Terrain | Workshop | Nexus

I always knew the default water effects weren't quite up to snuff, but I hadn't realized just how much they could be improved until I saw this mod. Everything looks so much better, including the crucial physics of the water motion in streams, lakes, and oceans. The version on Nexus has extra options for ultra-quality or lower-quality resolutions.

#30. Conjure Rideable Ethereal Horse | Workshop

There are a lot of great mods that improve the pathetic vanilla horses by tweaking their speed, behavior status, and even adding functional storage to their knapsacks, but I found this one far more practical for my uses. Conjure a horse when I want one, and it disappears when not in use. Perfect.

#31. A Quality World Map - With Roads | Nexus

This mod makes navigating through the huge, sprawling map a lot easier and convenient. Not only does it improve the visual quality of the world map, but it draws in all of the actual in-game roads between cities and outposts. There are other options for a "classic" map and a "main roads only" version.

#32. Animation - Run Forward with Bow | Nexus

When you run with a bow equipped, there's a terrible animation that has your free hand flailing around like link sausages. This animation mod offers two different options that replace that horrible apish run with far more realistic animations.

Mods I Tried and Had to Uninstall:

#1. Catwalk | Nexus

This mod changes the female walking animation to something more feminine. I thought it would be nice since I usually have Aela with me, but it just doesn't look quite right when she's wearing her armor set, especially with the way those arms move around.

#2. The Sounds of Skyrim - Dungeons | Workshop | Nexus

This audio mod adds extra sounds to caves, dungeons, and forts to make them more atmospheric / immersive. I uninstalled it because I found most of the sounds rather unimmersive; too many loud, sudden noises when there was obviously nothing happening in the dungeon.

#3. Cupid - Arrow Be Gone | Workshop | Nexus

This one makes arrows automatically equip and un-equip along with your bow. I liked this idea, so that I could actually see my greatsword on my back when I had it equipped instead of my bow, but an update changed the scripts and made the mod incompatible with my last six hours of save files.

Mods I'm Keeping an Eye On:

#1. Detailed Cities | Workshop

This is a work-in-progress that aims to add a bunch of much-needed detail to spruce up each of the cities. All of the changes that the author's put into it look really good, but it's only got 40% of the cities done so far. Should be an essential mod once he's done.

#2. Open Cities | Workshop | Nexus

Another work-in-progress, this one aims to get rid of the loading zones with each city, integrating them with the rest of the open world. I think this would be great for immersion (and load screens are annoying, anyway), but so far it's only got two cities completed. Could be another essential one once it's completed.

#3. Real 1st Person | Nexus

Yet another work-in-progress, this mod places the camera on the player's third-person skeleton, meaning that it bobs around as you move, and lets you see your full body. It looks like it would be really immersive, but there are still a whole ton of kinks in it right now that need to be fleshed out now that the CK is out.

#4. The Sounds of Skyrim - Wilds and Civilization Youtube

The other two parts in the "Sounds of Skyrim" series that promise to bring more atmospheric ambiance to the game with lots of extra sound effects. I didn't like the dungeons sound pack, but these other two sound like they'd be a lot better, especially the wilds. Hopefully they'll be out soon.

1 comment:

  1. These mods are awesome, why doesn't Microsoft or Sony add some of them to their systems' games? If you can't answer, I understand