The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Catch-All

JillSammich wrote:

Am I alone in preferring quest markers? The way they explained how to get to one place or another is why I never made it through Morrowind. To me, markers don't take away from the exploration at all... when I want to progress the story, I go to the markers. When I want to explore, I ignore them and just wander around to see things.

I get frustrated when I have to follow instructions like "go west for 100 meters, then turn left at the big rock and continue south until you see the cave." No, thank you.

Not at all Jill, I hated those directions and got lost soooooo often... though amusingly, one time, it lead me a hairshirt that was some kind of light armor or shirt you could wear under your armor that was really powerful... but it weirded me out like crazy.

Ah, I guess that makes sense. I wish the transition had been done more clearly, but that's fine. Part of why it seemed so strange is that I'd gotten quite far with other content and simply not bothered to sleep. I imagine it would have made more sense if I'd been sleeping every night and had this happen earlier.

I think the map markers are fine, the balance is just sort of off. There's really no part of Oblivion or Skyrim where you are left to explore, if you're following a quest you are always being directly guided to exactly the thing you need to get. To make the balance a bit better I turn off floating markers.

I don't think markers need to go away, I just think they shouldn't be so precise and Bethesda shouldn't lean quite so heavily on them. Morrowind could certainly be very opaque at times, but god damn did that island feel so much more mysterious when I had no idea where I was going. I remember the first time I walked from Seyda Neen to Balmora in great detail, it felt like I'd accomplished something. I don't think Oblivion or Skyrim has offered anything like that, let alone anything as epic as Red Mountain.

bah I need a DLC sale on Steam.. $20 for the Dragonborn is just too much.

MojoBox wrote:

.... god damn did that island feel so much more mysterious when I had no idea where I was going. I remember the first time I walked from Seyda Neen to Balmora in great detail, it felt like I'd accomplished something. I don't think Oblivion or Skyrim has offered anything like that, let alone anything as epic as Red Mountain.

Agreed. The map felt HUGE because going from Vivec to Dagon Fel actually felt like a journey, almost one that had to be planned. Still, though, I can't bring myself to try Morrowind seriously again. Not sure if this is because I don't want to spoil the nostalgia, or if it's because I just don't have the patience anymore.

omnipherous wrote:

Agreed. The map felt HUGE because going from Vivec to Dagon Fel actually felt like a journey, almost one that had to be planned. Still, though, I can't bring myself to try Morrowind seriously again. Not sure if this is because I don't want to spoil the nostalgia, or if it's because I just don't have the patience anymore.

I go back and play it every few years, I don't usually beat it but I put a few dozen hours in each time. The amount of mods available takes some of tedium out of the game, and the visuals can made downright pretty at times. It's still a slow and clumsy game though, just as it's always been. Even if you mod the stamina to behave more like Oblivion and Skyrim (I highly recommend that) you still run like molasses, so just getting anywhere takes ages. And the combat is just... well rubbish as it's always been. I don't care though, it's still a wonderful game and I love Vvardenfell.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/M9wM6.jpg)

omnipherous wrote:
MojoBox wrote:

.... god damn did that island feel so much more mysterious when I had no idea where I was going. I remember the first time I walked from Seyda Neen to Balmora in great detail, it felt like I'd accomplished something. I don't think Oblivion or Skyrim has offered anything like that, let alone anything as epic as Red Mountain.

Agreed. The map felt HUGE because going from Vivec to Dagon Fel actually felt like a journey, almost one that had to be planned. Still, though, I can't bring myself to try Morrowind seriously again. Not sure if this is because I don't want to spoil the nostalgia, or if it's because I just don't have the patience anymore.

I felt that way when I woke up after a night of drinking in Whiterun and found myself transported to Markarth. I heading north to Karthwasten before cutting east to get back to Whiterun - that journey felt like it took forever, and I refused to fast travel.

McIrishJihad wrote:

I felt that way when I woke up after a night of drinking in Whiterun and found myself transported to Markarth. I heading north to Karthwasten before cutting east to get back to Whiterun - that journey felt like it took forever, and I refused to fast travel.

Interesting, because I think the Reach is very reminiscent of much of Morrowind, what with the jagged rocks and twisting paths with no straight lines to anywhere.

Oh, I wasn't trying to draw parallels between scenery between different games (because Skyrim was my first Elder Scrolls), just commenting on the "exploring" aspect.

I loved Morrowind so very, very much. I felt at home and yet it was such an alien land at the same time. I had a binder full of notes, maps and other assorted info. And yet... That was a few years ago. I don't think I'd have the time or patience to have to write everything down and walk everywhere. So while I loved Morrowind, I don't regret the appearance of quest markers and fast travel. Besides, I don't *have* to use them if I don't want to, right?

McIrishJihad wrote:

Oh, I wasn't trying to draw parallels between scenery between different games (because Skyrim was my first Elder Scrolls), just commenting on the "exploring" aspect.

I was just noting the similarities, no rivalry or anything cause damn I love Skyrim, particularly love the Reach too.

Edit: I should elaborate that I think, due to the restricted size of any open world game, world design is intrinsically critical to that sense of exploration. Oblivion lacked that because from anywhere to anywhere else was almost nearly a straight line. Adding in obstructions and twisting paths greatly enhances the sense of exploration.

I'm battling a cold, so the stories are on hold until I have the energy to write them again. I have 2 more queued up, so more are coming.

ahrezmendi wrote:

I'm battling a cold, so the stories are on hold until I have the energy to write them again. I have 2 more queued up, so more are coming.

I was getting worried. lol

Thanks for the update.

TheGameguru wrote:

bah I need a DLC sale on Steam.. $20 for the Dragonborn is just too much.

Greenmangaming appear to have a sale on Dragonborn, etc. 36% off, sadly, their site appears to be getting hammered right now.

EDIT: it's back up now.

IIRC, Dragonborn and Dawnguard were both $10 during the last big steam sale, which is when I got 'em, so they'll likely be that cheap again. Really digging Dawnguard so far.

As our group approached the gates to Whiterun, a thundering voice sounded from the skies. "Dohvahkiin" it said, and then faded as suddenly as it had appeared. I wondered if the shock of what had happened at the guard tower was taking its toll, but that was something to deal with later. I ascended the steps to Dragonsreach and entered the Jarl's court. A strange Nord man, with red warpaint on his face, stood conversing with the Jarl. As I approached, the Jarl asked for an account of what had happened. When I told him I was something called Dragonborn, he looked at his companion. The man in red paint asked if I'd heard the voice calling to me from the sky. When I responded affirmative, he explained that was the Greybeards summoning me to a place called High Hrothgar, and that I was indeed this Dragonborn. The two men proceeded to explain what I needed to do, what an honor it was, and the rest I couldn't be bothered to listen to. All I knew was these Greybeards could tell me just what was going on, and that was all I needed.

After that was concluded, the Jarl said I was owed far more than he could offer. Thus he bestowed upon me the greatest honor in his power, the rights of a Thane. With this title he gave me an enchanted axe, what he called the Axe of Whiterun, and introduced me to my own Housecarl, a strong and well armed women named Lydia. He said the guards would be informed of my new title, and if I wished it I could purchase property within the city walls now. Then he took his leave to plan for what to do should more dragons appear.

I had quite the party now. My Housecarl told me she was sworn to protect me and mine, so I entrusted her with the Axe of Whiterun. My ally from the Inn, who I had learned was named Uthgerd the Unbroken, opted to continue on in my service, as the thought of battling dragons and becoming legend appealed to her. The three of us exited Dragonsreach, beginning our journey to High Hrothgar.

On the way out of the city, I overheard a Redguard man arguing with his wife. Apparently she was upset that he wanted to retrieve a sword, a family heirloom by the sound of it, from a nearby group of bandits. When I approached he offered to pay me to retrieve the sword. The supposed bandit hideout was on the way to High Hrothgar, so I accepted. Our next task at hand, my group set out for the mountains east of Whiterun.

IMAGE(http://cloud-2.steampowered.com/ugc/577873793469780058/8D6430990997009225259C4C3DC3272D4D13459D/)

As we approached the cave marked by the Redguard man, I saw two armed patrols by the entrance. As I readied my bow, I heard a snap behind me. Glancing behind me I sighed as I saw Lydia looking sheepish, her iron boot on top of a broken branch. The patrols haead yelled as I let my arrows fly, and my allies charged forward. Moments later the guards lay dead, and we proceeded into the cavern.

The bandit hideout was packed with barrels, boxes, sacks, bags, and myriad other containers and stolen items. This was obviously a gang that had been operating in the area for a while, I was certain to find more than my reward amongst their goods. The cavern was mostly empty, save for a few pairs of bandits resting or conversing here and there. My group made short work of all of them, until we reached an atrium with a winding path leading up. Three bandits stood at the base of the path, with a caged wolf behind them. On a platform above stood two more guards with crossbows. I told my companions to stay back until I had fired the first shot. I crept up to a good vantage of the guard nearest the wolf cage, took aim, and sent him to Oblivion with a well placed shot. The other two guards turned as Lydia and Uthgerd charged forward. I began firing at the bandits above us, while Lydia charged up the ramp to take them on. In a few short moments, the battle was over with all the bandits dead. I regret to say that my party was not without its own losses.

IMAGE(http://cloud-2.steampowered.com/ugc/577873793469781739/501343BF817C1156ECF08DFA4F4FD55C47EF67F9/)

As I stood over Uthgerds fallen body, I said a prayer to Talos, and straightened her to a dignified position. Neither Lydia nor I could carry her body out of the cave, so this would be her eternal resting place. Knowing her as briefly as I did, I knew this was a death she could be proud of. Perhaps someday we would be reunited in Sovngarde.

Filled with rage, Lydia and I tore through the remaining bandits in the cave. We came upon an exit to an overlook, where one final bandit stood watch over the road. He'd not heard the commotion inside, so I snuck up behind him and opened his neck with a clean slice of my blade. In a chest nearby, I found the missing family heirloom sword. Our job done, Lydia and I climbed down the mountainside and walked back to Whiterun.

IMAGE(http://cloud-2.steampowered.com/ugc/577873793469786135/CF816564CC147B0952B004EE18755E45A9B79486/)

After returning the family heirloom, and accepting what was a pittance considering our losses, I slept at the inn and prepared for the journey the next day. At sunrise, Lydia and I set out for High Hrothgar. The walk along the road leading to Ivarstead, the nearest settlement to High Hrothgar, was surprisingly uneventful. Upon arriving at Ivarstead, a messenger ran up to me. He said he had a message from the Jarl of Whiterun. He handed me a note and purse full of coins. I opened the note, and it read as follows:

IMAGE(http://cloud-3.steampowered.com/ugc/577873793469787092/3505750290F260ACF10E09C4A47A57003D76BB44/)

The rest of the letter was unimportant. I was surprised that Uthgerd had considered me this close a friend, given we'd known each other less than a week. It seemed what people said was true, you are a Nord's true friend when you have fought side by side. I tucked the letter away, and went inside the inn to get a room for the night. Inside, I found a young bard-in-training taking requests. I sat down at the bar, ordered some drink, and requested her best song. She played as I drank and took in the warmth of the fire. This was likely to be the last comfortable place I stayed for days, and I aimed to enjoy it.

IMAGE(http://cloud-2.steampowered.com/ugc/579000050594381885/647524DBE731ED6E81548AF59EA776E4C0C74489/)

The next morning, very early, Lydia and I headed towards the bridge leading across the river. The path to High Hrothgar was something called the Seven Thousand Steps, and was a pilgrimage for many Nords. I did not know if it truly was seven thousand steps up the mountainside, but the peak was high and I knew the climb would be harrowing. A nearby hunter warned me of wolves and lions on the path, but said that otherwise it was generally safe. I took the first of many steps, with Lydia on my heels.

IMAGE(http://cloud-2.steampowered.com/ugc/577873793509101476/F57C62E43F03AD0D8846B0D718F1E163676F91F0/)

I'll not bore you with the lengthy trip up the mountainside. Whether or not there were actually seven thousand steps it felt as such, possibly more, with snow and a terrible wind tearing at me the whole way. I encountered and felled a single spider on the path, otherwise encountering nothing but plant life and the blinding blizzard. After what felt like an eternity, I spotted a large stone building through the snow. Approaching I found a double staircase leading up to two large doors. I pushed open one door, and entered what could only be High Hrothgar. Inside was slightly warmer than outside, but it was blessedly free of the wind. I caught my breath as a robed monk approached me, as if he knew who I was and had been expecting me. I'd find out what was going on very soon.

IMAGE(http://cloud-2.steampowered.com/ugc/579000050594383909/346C20B6589CF504C2842E2A056FBAF7E4BE2C69/)

*applaudes*

Hope you're feeling better.

So you didn't run into a troll on your way up?

That was my biggest obsticle in the entire game... stupid regenerating trolls.

Also how did you get more than one follower? Mod of some sort?

God, I hated that troll, I totally forget how I got past it.

I fully expected to run into that troll, I've run into it with 5 other characters, but no. I ran into one spider and that was it.

I don't know which mod allowed me to have two followers, but I suspect it's Skyrim Redone. I didn't explicitly install a multiple companion mod, so it has to be a feature of one of my gameplay mods. I was considering not taking both, but after how fast Uthgerd died I no longer have any qualms about having more than one. They die pretty quickly.

I kited the life out of that troll.

Also, you can get multiple followers with UFO (Ultimate Follower Overhaul) and no doubt some of the others. I did hit a snag in Dawnguard though when having Serena as a follower punted Lydia from the group. However, asking Lydia to follow you again agged her back to the group. It didn't last long, however, because I wasn't running any combat difficulty mods, so it ended up a white-wash of pretty much any enemies for a short while, also, they were stealing my XP. I can imagine that with increased combat difficulty, multiple group members can add some interesting scenarios.

Ah, it's UFO doing it then, as I do have that mod (recommended by STEP). I accepted the sword quest as a bit of a test, to see if having 2 followers would make things too easy. Considering 5 bandits managed to kill one of my followers and nearly kill me and Lydia, I think it's not going to break my game.

EDIT: Oh, and that sole spider I encountered on the steps? It killed me.

Amazing Follower Tweaks integrates "combat synergy" so basically you get XP from your followers kills. I play on legendary with ASIS, DUEL combat realism and Skyrim Improved Magic system, which allows enemies to access all spells, use potions etc.

Makes it tough enough that having an extra follower or two doesn't make it a whitewash. Plus they die easily.

Hey Prozac, what do you get out of using the Improved Magic System besides new spells? I'm primarily a spell caster and the description on the Nexus isn't the best...

I tend to not play as a magic user and Sims adjusts how you get starting spells which is nice if you want to play with no magic. If you are a magic user the perk rebalancing that allows spells to scale up means that novice spells aren't useless later in the game and it makes a huge difference if you want to play as a necromancer / summoner with the new spells and the changes to the conjuration tree.

The part that increases difficulty against spellcasters comes from the synergy between this and ASIS

ASIS wrote:

---- NPC access to spells added by mods and missing vanilla spells. ----
---- NPC access to perks added by mods and missing from the originals. ----

Which gives the enemy access to the new spells and scales up their spellpower.

Ohhhhhh, gotta try it then, it's fun going up against other spellslingers in this game.

Actually I looked at a bunch of the magic mods in GEMS and decided to try these two instead of Improved Magic System:

Balanced Magic
Mastered Magicka

I'll let'cha know how it goes.

I did tell you that ASIS would expand NPC spell availability.

I know, and it's been awesome.

So the two mods I linked to above deeeffiinately make magic a bit more...boomey, shall we say (since most of my points are in destruction, at least). Really enjoying my spells' increased lethality.