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January 9, 2012 10:02 AM   Subscribe

Although the Creation Kit mod development platform for Skyrim (previously) is still a few days from being released, intrepid modders have been working with edited game files to achieve mixed results. One of those results is the "Macho Dragon Mod" (download link). posted by codacorolla (81 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Zoidberg Mudcrabs one is hilarious!
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:10 AM on January 9, 2012


Dragonborn? Pshaw!

I am MACHOBORN
posted by Blasdelb at 10:17 AM on January 9, 2012


Warning: The YouTube video in codacorolla's "this" begins with a modded re-enactment of Daniel Pearl's beheading, followed by ragdoll antics of a Hulk Hogan lookalike.
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:18 AM on January 9, 2012


Another zoidberg mudcrab mod.

That auto tune "roar" cracks me up.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:20 AM on January 9, 2012


I've only seen video of the Macho Dragon mod, but I nevertheless feel comfortable in saying that it represents the apotheosis of the video game medium; the games-as-art debate can now be safely concluded. This mod is more or less the greatest thing that anyone will ever do.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 10:24 AM on January 9, 2012 [12 favorites]


This is the greatest achievement in human history.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:28 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, greatest YouTube comment: "I used to be a dragon like´╗┐ you, then I SNAPPED INTO A SLIM JIIIIIIIIIIIIM!"
posted by dirigibleman at 10:29 AM on January 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


Many days no business come to his hut. But Dragonborn has fear? A thousand times no.
posted by Simon! at 10:35 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


As someone who has spent way too many hours playing Skyrim, this is all completely sacrilegious.
posted by crunchland at 10:39 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


All that's missing is to change the dragon battle music to Pomp and Circumstance.
posted by xedrik at 10:46 AM on January 9, 2012



Have they managed to undo the horrendously overdone HDR/Bloom effect ?

It's like playing on a monitor smeared with Vaseline.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:47 AM on January 9, 2012


No, autotuning the bears was definitely the priority job.

Also: Mr Krabs mudcrabs.
posted by emmtee at 10:51 AM on January 9, 2012


You mean all the mods so far have been without the development kit?

Colour me impressed.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 10:51 AM on January 9, 2012


I am going to install the Macho dragon and swearing mudcrabs mods and not tell my boyfriend.

Then I will lie in wait.
posted by WidgetAlley at 10:55 AM on January 9, 2012 [17 favorites]


You mean all the mods so far have been without the development kit?

Colour me impressed.


I've been eagerly waiting for the dev kit. In the meantime, with some fiddling and copying of files, I have been able to use the Fallout3 GECK to tinker with the Skyrim files. I imagine the modders so far have done something similar.
posted by xedrik at 10:55 AM on January 9, 2012


Have they managed to undo the horrendously overdone HDR/Bloom effect ?

You should be able to get rid of that by editing the .ini file. I haven't really delved into editing the .ini yet as I'm waiting to drop another graphics card into my box.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 10:57 AM on January 9, 2012


You should be able to get rid of that by editing the .ini file. I haven't really delved into editing the .ini yet as I'm waiting to drop another graphics card into my box.

That doesn't work. You can modify some of the settings in game via the console, however, whenever a new area loads they get overwritten. This mod works somewhat, and hopefully, with the dev kit better solutions will soon be available.

Or, Bethesda could have just implemented a checkbox for it.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:02 AM on January 9, 2012


This just makes me want to blow off work to go home and play.

On a PS3 so no mods for me :(
posted by supercres at 11:03 AM on January 9, 2012


That doesn't work. You can modify some of the settings in game via the console, however, whenever a new area loads they get overwritten. This mod works somewhat, and hopefully, with the dev kit better solutions will soon be available.

Or, Bethesda could have just implemented a checkbox for it.


I could be wrong, as I said I haven't really delved into it yet, but according to this you can turn off the radial blurr effect, among others, by editing the .ini file. Just paste:

[Imagespace]
bDoRadialBlur=0

into the correct .ini and it should turn off the blurring that occurs when you get hit. Make sure you follow all the steps in the guide so that you don't screw up your saved games.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:12 AM on January 9, 2012


"I used to create Skyrim mods. Until I took an arrow to the knee..."
posted by Windopaene at 11:12 AM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was wondering how long it was going to take before that one showed up.
posted by Blue_Villain at 11:13 AM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Orange Pamplemousse: "You mean all the mods so far have been without the development kit?

Colour me impressed.
"

There are a bunch of different tools that sorta-kinda work with skyrim (SkyEdit, NPCEdit, TESSnip, some of the newer Fallout 3/NV tools), but they're all severly limited. That just makes what people have managed to do with them all the more amazing. Mind you, even with earlier games a lot of the game (particularly the 3D stuff) was mostly reverse-engineered by modders without much help from Bethesda. They're still at it.

I'm more impatient for the launch of the dev tools than I was for the game itself. Can you tell?
posted by vanar sena at 11:15 AM on January 9, 2012


On a PS3 so no mods for me :(

Isn't Skyrim still barely playable on PS3 once you've played long enough (60 hours or so, or whatever it takes to get to a 10MB savefile)? Have you run into any issues?
posted by kmz at 11:15 AM on January 9, 2012


Love the Macho Man mod as an example of "why the hell not?"; I'm just trying to bend my brain around the how of it all. Did the creator just go "hmm, Dragons + $random, first random choice is.. Macho Man! Dig it!"?
posted by pyrex at 11:16 AM on January 9, 2012


The only .ini tweak i've actually done is this one here as it makes the map so much more enjoyable and useable, but mostly to remobe the annoying clouds. From the tweak guide I linked to above:

[MapMenu]
uLockedObjectMapLOD=8
uLockedTerrainLOD=8
fMapWorldMaxHeight=150000.0000
fMapWorldMinHeight=1500.0000
fMapWorldZoomSpeed=0.0800

The [MapMenu] section and the variables above must be added to the bottom of Skyrim.ini. The first two variables control the level of detail of the game world as seen in Map view, and the values shown make the map more detailed. The second two variables allow you to zoom in much closer and out much further than normally possible. The final variable slows down the zoom speed so you have finer control when zooming in or out of the more detailed map. If you want to remove the clouds from the map, you can also add the sMapCloudNIF=0 variable to the section above to disable them.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:17 AM on January 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


You can remove the clouds from the map? I swore I would never play a game on a PC ever again, but removing the clouds from the map might make me go back.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:20 AM on January 9, 2012


Not just that, but you can have roads. Yes ROADS
posted by vanar sena at 11:22 AM on January 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


nah, that would make it too easy. I love running around blindly casting clairvoyance.

I love skyrim's little tricks, like how they seem to have placed impassable mountains between wherever you are and wherever you are going at all times.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:28 AM on January 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


You know what differentiates macroscopic life from inanimate objects? Yes ROADS you are correct.
posted by vanar sena at 11:31 AM on January 9, 2012


I have seen the roads, and no clouds, and I leave it at default.

Walking to places is at least 50% of this game's fun. You can't always walk, at least not without a lot of free time, but when I do I like to discover it. I find the compass mark more than enough.

You find some crazy stuff out there.

Walking to places also works really well with smithing and alchemy.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 11:35 AM on January 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Roads are for people that don't have a horse. I swear the ones in Skyrim have been cross-bred with mountain goats.
posted by Bonky Moon at 11:37 AM on January 9, 2012


I give thanks daily to the developers of Arachnophobia and No Spiders for making a $60 X-Mas gift something that I can actually enjoy.

Instead of having to take it out and burn it. And scatter the ashes. And not sleep ever again.

WTF is up with RPG's and spiders? ESPECIALLY Skyrim. Gah.
posted by dragstroke at 11:44 AM on January 9, 2012


I lost three horses in the most poorly considered riderless cavalry charges in Tamriel's history, and that was enough.
posted by vanar sena at 11:47 AM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


You can get round the 10MG save limit on the PS3 by killing the autosave and taking a break roughly every four hours. I've clocked 190+ hours and have a save file of about 14MG and it's loading fine now.

Ad hominem: There are no impassable mountains. Just some long ass short cuts.
posted by Jilder at 11:49 AM on January 9, 2012


Windopaene: ""I used to create Skyrim mods. Until I took an arrow to the knee...""

Careful...
posted by Happy Dave at 11:58 AM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Isn't Skyrim still barely playable on PS3 once you've played long enough (60 hours or so, or whatever it takes to get to a 10MB savefile)? Have you run into any issues?"

I finished up my first runthrough with well over 100 hours and it was still running okay. Occasionally I do get slowdowns or other problems, but restarting the PS3 seems to take care of that.
posted by tdismukes at 12:00 PM on January 9, 2012


Isn't Skyrim still barely playable on PS3 once you've played long enough (60 hours or so, or whatever it takes to get to a 10MB savefile)? Have you run into any issues?

I haven't reached that point yet-- got into it late and am running about a 4 MB save file at level 15.
posted by supercres at 12:09 PM on January 9, 2012


I use the console commands to make the game tolerable. So hello, toggle clipping! I can fly wheee! Hello, enable command that makes my pony immortal!

It was a little embarrassing, though, that in order to buy a pony I used the old console command from oblivion to get enough money to buy a pony an hour after game release on steam. I gave myself 100,000 gold out of some sort of giddy whimsy and it turned out there was one of those stupid achievements for it.

So at 1 AM on the day the game released, the global achievements on steam looked like this.

- You figured out how to use a sword!
- You cast your first magic spell!
- You died!
- You acquired 100,000 GOLD YOU CHEATER MCCHEATERSON

It was a trifle awkward and I felt guilty. Now I hate achievements in games more than ever.
posted by winna at 12:21 PM on January 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


There's no need for mods in a game as entertaining as Skyrim. (Bear in mind I've never played a game on PC, never modded a game and play on a 360, so I really have no idea what I'm talking about.)

What was my point? Oh yeah, my girlfriend/follower (and girlfriend may be a bit of a stretch, as we are not even the same species, plus I'm not certain she likes men, or whatever the hell the male sex characteristic of a bad ass lizard/werewolf hybrid would be, probably mostly "not the partner that lays the eggs" is the only definably male trait) wanders away occasionally. I have to go find her in the local pub, where she drinks to excess and dances awkwardly in the corner by herself until I arrive to collect her.

I killed my first follower/girlfriend by accident. I shot flames from my hands at a giant spider and caught her by accident. I did at least feel pretty bad about killing her. I'm just happy that anyone will hang out with me after that, even the loner alcoholic woman.
posted by Keith Talent at 12:36 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I killed my first follower/girlfriend by accident. I shot flames from my hands at a giant spider and caught her by accident. I did at least feel pretty bad about killing her. I'm just happy that anyone will hang out with me after that, even the loner alcoholic woman.

Oh Lydia, I remember when I accidentially set you on fire at the bottom of some God foresaken cavern in The Reach. You died, fell over, and slipped into a pool before I noticed what had happened. I figured you'd just run off and that you would suddenly reappear, like you always did, but didn't. Because I killed you.

Poor Lydia life's just not the same without you following me everywhere, wearing that dumb hat I gave you.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:44 PM on January 9, 2012


For a while, my follower refused to wear clothes. She would wear helmets, boots, gloves, and a shield - but she seemed to prefer her underwear to any of the body armor I provided her.

From a game-life point of view, I felt bad sending her up against the bandits in her skivvies.

From a real-life point of view, I felt worried about how I'd explain to my wife why I've got a half-naked companion accompanying me in my adventures. Adventures that I was supposed to stop an hour ago, so that I could do the laundry...


[I later found out that there was some conflict between the robes/armor/helmet that I provided her. So, not wearing her armor gave her a better armor level...)

posted by TofuGolem at 12:52 PM on January 9, 2012


I reload every time Lydia jumps in front of one of my fireballs and dies. I hooked her up with an awesome ghostly two-hander and I don't even make her carry excess dragon bones.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:54 PM on January 9, 2012


I've given her The Wabbajack, Sanguine's Rose and The Mace of Molag Bal but so far she has not deigned to use the staves even though some people report Lydia will go double gandalf and wield two staves at once.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:57 PM on January 9, 2012


Och, horses. Worst one for me was the time I ran into a cave bear and my horse and I both started working him over. It was going OK but I was taking quite a lot of damage, so I dropped back and pulled out a bow. I accidentally nailed the horse right after he finalized the bear. So then Badass Mr. Ed turned on me. I'd rather face a dragon.
posted by gurple at 1:11 PM on January 9, 2012


I accidentally created multiple Lydias after accidentally killing her once. I thought that the console command didn't work so I did it a couple more times. Next thing I know there's three of them. So I shrank one to half-size and married the other one. They both have the best armor and weapons (daedric on one and dragon plate on the other). Most importantly though, I set their HP to 5000, ensuring that it's damn near impossible for me or anyone else to kill them.

I never did anything with the 3rd one, she just lounges around the house drinking mead.
posted by Bonky Moon at 1:18 PM on January 9, 2012 [8 favorites]


I reload every time Lydia jumps in front of one of my fireballs and dies. I hooked her up with an awesome ghostly two-hander and I don't even make her carry excess dragon bones.

I loved Lydia like a father, but not making her carry excess dragon bones goes too far. I guess I would probably make my actual children carry excess dragon bones, so there you go.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:26 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


It pleases me greatly to know I'm not alone in killing my first girlfriend almost immediately on our first adventure together. Yeah, it was a bad date. Worse for her granted, but not that great for me either.

Plus ladies, I've got healing hands now, and I'll heal you of any damage I may inadvertently cause.
posted by Keith Talent at 1:33 PM on January 9, 2012


I felt really bad when Lydia died. Not right away, not even when I walked over her lifeless body to the other end of the drawbridge, pulled the lever, and accidentally launched her about 1/4 mile.

It was right after that moment, when I realized I'd never find her again, and she had all my stuff. :(
posted by xedrik at 1:34 PM on January 9, 2012 [11 favorites]


I loved Lydia like a father, but not making her carry excess dragon bones goes too far. I guess I would probably make my actual children carry excess dragon bones, so there you go.


I feel bad every time I hear her sarcastic Daria like "I am sworn to carry your burdens". How much would it suck to have to fight Falmers all day, dodge my fireballs and still have to carry around 200 dragon bones. I just know every time we stop at an inn she would be sitting up at the bar all night complaining to the innkeeper. It isn't like I get her a room or anything. Come to think of it, where is she sleeping? I've got to look after her better.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:55 PM on January 9, 2012


Lydia v. Gate.
posted by crunchland at 1:56 PM on January 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


Lydia, in my Skyrim, has Issues. First up my occasionally-heroic elf chappie was really uncomfortable with the whole 'here you go, have someone who's sworn to serve you FOREVER' thing, but didn't have a great deal of success getting 'go, be free, live your life' to sink in. Cultural conditioning is apparently a harsh mistress.

So, he thinks. I'm certainly not making this poor subservient person come and get incinerated by a dragon, plus her clanking and talking would make his favoured pastime (shooting vampires in the back of the head with a magic bow named Bum Stapler) tricky. He buys a house, gets all the decorations and stuff. Fills the bookshelves with quasi-medieval self-help manuals. 'You can live here,' he says to Lydia. 'The place is yours, as long as you get some therapy for that unquestioning servitude thing and I can drop in now and then to offload my enormous stacks of dragon anus in that handy chest in the spare room.' All's going well, he thinks, as he trundles back into the wilds in search of that horse that shot away sideways about forty hours of gameplay ago.

Unfortunately, upon his sporadic returns to check up on Lydia's recovery, he always seems to find her upstairs, cowering. He's never seen her leave the house. If he tries to bring it up, all she seems to want to talk about is whether she can follow him around (which, if he said yes, would just be enabling) or telling him what she's carrying.

Lydia, it seems, has the agoraphobia something fierce. The quest for a good psychiatrist continues.
posted by emmtee at 2:01 PM on January 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


I haven't played skyrim...do female protagonists get a Larry to follow them instead of a Lydia? Or is it a Xena/Gabrielle thing?
posted by maxwelton at 2:19 PM on January 9, 2012


...do female protagonists get a Larry to follow them instead of a Lydia?

We all get Lydia. Mine sits in my house drinking mead and eating sweetrolls. At some point I expect that I won't be able to get into my own house because it's full of dragon bones and Lydia.

That said, I don't really want to kill her off. That would be mean.
posted by ninazer0 at 2:28 PM on January 9, 2012


That said, I don't really want to kill her off. That would be mean.

If you want to get rid of her without feeling too guilty (since it does have some game related utility), Boethia's shrine requires the sacrifice of a companion to proceed.
posted by codacorolla at 2:33 PM on January 9, 2012


I wished fervently with the Boethia quest I could off that odious Blackbriar woman, but it was not to be.
posted by winna at 2:40 PM on January 9, 2012


*Dark Brotherhood spoilers follow*

While doing the Dark Brotherhood questline I came to an awkward point: Astrid told me to go do a thing and as I stepped outside there was my faithful old warhorse Spock who had been with me since I debased myself with hard-earned-console-cheated money - through thick and thin - even saving me on rare occasions by rearing up and smacking down my foes with its mighty hooves.

Just behind him was a black pool I had never really paid attention to before, which began bubbling and writhing. In my fear I readied my ebony war axe and skyforge steel sword ready to engage whatever mass of evil that was to rise from the waters.

But no, to my surprise no monster from Oblivion came at me; instead a shiny mass of black resolved itself into the shape of a horse, a horse with a living mane and penetrating red eyes.

There I stood for a moment flabbergasted, staring at the beast immersed in its overpowering beauty. Eventually my amazement resolved itself and my concentration refocused on the task at hand.

But as I was consulting my map a thought struck me: up until this point, every time I've traveled somewhere my horse has traveled with me. This time however, I have two horses seemingly in my possession. Will both come with me or will only one? If so, what will happen to the one that doesn't? Or will they cancel each other out? Shall I have no horses at the end of this ordeal?! Should I say my goodbyes to both while I have the chance?

In the end I resolved to employ my usual tactic of fasttraveling to whatever landmark is closest to my current objective and trekking from there. As I materialize from the fasttravel I look around to familiarize myself with my surroundings and whip around to see what, if any, equestrian companions have made it. As I do, a darkness looms over me and a pair of red dots stare back at me. I realize the loss of Spock, but do not dwell on it. Shadowmere stands before me; mighty in his reassurance.
posted by pyrex at 2:52 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


maxwelton: "I haven't played skyrim...do female protagonists get a Larry to follow them instead of a Lydia? Or is it a Xena/Gabrielle thing"

There are many possible followers but Lydia tends to be the first one the player encounters.
posted by Memo at 2:53 PM on January 9, 2012


I didn't really use any followers on my first playthrough, since I played a warrior with sword and sheild and heavy, heavy armor, and it seemed like overkill to have any more firepower along.

The next playthrough I'm planning to try a mage, and I'll definitely be bringing some muscle along, especially in the early "two fire bolts and I'm out of magicka" stages.

In my current game, though, I'm playing a not-at-all nice Dark Elf thief/assassin who's a member in good standing of both the Thieves' Guild and the Dark Brotherhood, and I'm currently blowing off the main quest to merrily rob, break-and-enter, and murder my way across Skyrim. Somehow a sidekick in metal armor just ruins the ambiance.

ME: "Nice and steady..." *aiming my bow at the guard patrolling fifty feet away*

LYDIA: *clank clunk blang dang clonk* "I am sworn to carry your--"

ME: "Shutupshutupthey'llhearyou--"

FIFTY THOUSAND GUARDS WHO WERE IN THE NEXT ROOM OVER: "Hi. Horrible blade-laced pointy death, then?"

ME: "Sigh. Fine."
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:16 PM on January 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Make that sword and shield. I used to have an edit window, but then it took an arrow, etc., etc.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:20 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think it's high time that the next Skyrim meme be you doing something ridiculously incredible for someone, only to have them go "Do I look like I have time to engage in proletariat conversation with you?" when you approach them. They then dismiss you with "Mmm-hmm" after they've thanked you.

YOU WILL ALL FOREGO SOVNGARDE YOU THANKLESS SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF WHORES AND BASTARDS GOD DAMN THANKLESS PIXELS I'LL RESET YOUR ONES TO ZEROS AAAAUUUGGGHHH
posted by pyrex at 3:41 PM on January 9, 2012


Were-chair cracks me up. It's like a medieval precursor to Deathbed: The bed that eats.
posted by Wossname at 4:16 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


pyrex: I think it's high time that the next Skyrim meme be you doing something ridiculously incredible for someone, only to have them go "Do I look like I have time to engage in proletariat conversation with you?" when you approach them. They then dismiss you with "Mmm-hmm" after they've thanked you.

YOU WILL ALL FOREGO SOVNGARDE YOU THANKLESS SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF WHORES AND BASTARDS GOD DAMN THANKLESS PIXELS I'LL RESET YOUR ONES TO ZEROS AAAAUUUGGGHHH
God, I know!!! Dialogue tree fail on that one.

Like, I'm high enough level now that I'm basically battling some pretty bad-ass creatures for sport, and there's something absurd about slaying a dragon by siccing another dragon- and a storm atronach, for shits and giggles on it- on it while I hammer it with a shield and dual-wielding shock spells or whatever else makes me laugh... and then when the carcass is falling apart and I'm absorbing the soul, some fucking bandit runs up with an "You're going to regret the day you--" and can't even finish because I kill him in one stroke, and my only emotional reaction is "Fuck you for even making me hit the right trigger even once".

And yeah, do these thankless crapbuckets not realize that I'm stupendously powerful, and I saved this whole planet from the dragon menace by killing a demi-god dragon, and all you want to do is tell me to "get a move on, we don't want no trouble" when I walk through your town?!

Oy, vey. This webcomic captures it pretty well, ackshually.
posted by hincandenza at 4:40 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was really hoping to see the Macho Dragon do a flying elbow drop off the top of that tower.

As long as we're talking about our poor, luckless followers, here's an hilarious video of some Skyrim trick shots, with poor Sven getting the worst of it. (note the bewildered reactions from bystander NPC's)
posted by ShutterBun at 5:29 PM on January 9, 2012


I've been with lydia for pretty much all 16 of my levels so far. As I play a mage, I use her as a meatshield, and she is, of course, much more killy than I am (I'm the brains of the operation). Are there any drawbacks to having a continuous companion over time in terms of xp/levelling rate vs skills and wotnot?
posted by Sparx at 6:51 PM on January 9, 2012


I've been with lydia for pretty much all 16 of my levels so far. As I play a mage, I use her as a meatshield, and she is, of course, much more killy than I am (I'm the brains of the operation). Are there any drawbacks to having a continuous companion over time in terms of xp/levelling rate vs skills and wotnot?

Because of the level by doing system you'll be producing less damage with your spells, and therefore leveling less. Also, the companions don't level, or at least don't level very well, so Lydia becomes obsolete quickly. Playing a mage is a mug's game anyway, since spells are never even close to comparable to any other form of killing stuff.
posted by codacorolla at 7:00 PM on January 9, 2012


Playing a mage is a mug's game anyway

I had heard this, but I'm so bloody minded I thought I'd try it anyways. I'm sure it gets harder later on, but I'm actually quite enjoying having to plan and plot (and usually hide) my way into surviving boss fights. Lydia seems to be doing OK with her scorching sword of hot cocoa that I gave her. I think there are mods you can get to ramp up Destruction, but that does seem just a bit cheaty. So long as I'm not going to gimp myself out of the endgame...
posted by Sparx at 7:48 PM on January 9, 2012


I'm at level 40 as a pure mage (0 armour, no weapons at all). Conjuration helps a lot, especially once you can summon Dremora lords, who are pretty tough. Also, the Destruction skill "Impact" makes enemies much easier to deal with.

Enchanting helps a lot too. I think I have around 85 or 90% magicka cost reduction for Destruction spells, and I didn't use the alchemy-enchanting loop that allows people to enchant swords to one-shot dragons and such.

I'm playing on Expert difficulty, but may up it to Master as it's not proving challenging enough.
posted by good in a vacuum at 8:12 PM on January 9, 2012


Even though I've read over and over again how much more damage potential there is in using weapons compared to spells, I'm going to bet I've enjoyed playing my mage character a lot more than if I used weapons and tried to maximize damage. It's not just a matter of there maybe being an added challenge as a result of dealing less damage, because as a mage I'm using spells from a variety of schools, not just spamming destruction spells. Like Sparx says, it involves more planning and juggling in the midst of battle. I suppose ultimately it does just amount to added challenge, but either way what matters is that it's fun. I'm actually worried that when I do play a non-mage character it won't be as fun, and I imagine I'll have to up the difficulty if things are as imbalanced as people seem to be saying.
posted by palidor at 8:20 PM on January 9, 2012


I agree, palidor: there is something to be said for the mage playing style, in that you have to think about crowd control (Paralysis, Fear, etc.) and strategies like rune placement or which atronach type to use in order to defeat tougher encounters. I haven't played enough as a melee character yet though to make an informed comparison.

I knew when I started this character that Destruction damage is more or less capped (save through perk selection, and though the use of potions), while melee damage has multiple ways of being increased, but I wanted to try a mage as I never played one in Oblivion (mainly due to the game's controls).
posted by good in a vacuum at 8:33 PM on January 9, 2012


There's a middle ground: I started as a hack-n-slash Nord barbarian, and over time relied more on my magicka as the game progressed. This is because the very best armor in the game- better even than doubly enchanted dragonscale armor- is hiding around the corner in invisible "sneak" mode while some repeatedly reconjured atronach or other familiar rushes in to deal out damage and absorb hit points. By th e time the NPCs even realize you're there- if they ever do- they come at you with a sliver of health at best.
posted by hincandenza at 8:47 PM on January 9, 2012


Even though I've read over and over again how much more damage potential there is in using weapons compared to spells

I'm playing an level 43 almost pure archer at Master level from character creation; it's still challenging (and admittedly I do also summon helpful atronarches and the like from time to time).

My arrows do about 190 damage per shot (no smithing exploits), absent potions/sneak bonus/whatnot; on a savegame experiement it's overbalanced for normal level, where it means a dragon is fairly easy to take down unassisted. Frankly the game is overly easy when not using Master, TBH.
posted by jaduncan at 9:07 PM on January 9, 2012


I too played mostly melee-focused characters in Oblivion (and Morrowind). But as far as I can tell the use of magic is way improved in Skyrim compared to the previous two games in the series. It's more arcadey and, with destruction spells especially, allows for more error in aiming. Not to mention being able to have two active spells (though I suppose you lose something when there isn't a dedicated key for magic, any fears I had about the "hands" mechanic when it was first announced proved to be kind of silly).

But yeah playing on the default difficulty has mostly been a breeze, even with the supposedly underpowered magic focus. I've been tempted to increase the difficulty, but I've found my natural tendencies to gimp myself seem to balance things out well enough. There's my often forgetting to cast shield spells when there's a guy charging at me with a giant axe, or rather forgetting that shield spells exist for big chunks of the game. I suppose mage armor is a good perk to have when I actually take advantage of it! But there's also the fact that my character's at level 30 and I have 10 unspent perk points. I mean, I like saving them up to give my character a big boost all at once, but it's kind of gotten out of hand. That said, it's still mostly a breeze, but there are just enough tense battles here and there to keep things interesting.
posted by palidor at 9:23 PM on January 9, 2012


For those of you with dead follower issues-- the NPC editor ( http://www.skyrimnexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=4554 ) will let you change quite a few things, including making them essential (unkillable).
posted by ElaineMc at 10:21 PM on January 9, 2012


You can do it through the console on the PC without downloading anything. UESPwiki for all your console needs.
posted by winna at 7:58 AM on January 10, 2012


well, that last link is either the hight of post modernist irony, or the lowest of the low of crude attention seeking and hate.

Sometimes, I miss the naive optimism of modernism.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 8:36 AM on January 10, 2012


You mean the last link in the post, right? I don't think there is any hate on UESPwiki for anything other than possibly the copious bugs with which Bethseda software is littered.
posted by winna at 1:27 PM on January 10, 2012


Yes last link in the FPP
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 7:15 PM on January 10, 2012


Now that I've finally figured out some of the basics of mod creation, I gotta say I'm kind of lamenting the implementation of the Developer's Kit, as the market will undoubtedly soon be absolutely FLOODED with lame add-on's.

Before that occurs, though, I hope it's OK if I publish the results of my own first mod, which basically does nothing more than replace the Unrelenting Force shout with the voice of Harvey Keitel.

On the plus side, I learned a lot about Command-line programming and whatnot. This was much more engaging that simply using a drag&drop interface (or whatever the Developer's Kit promises to be)
posted by ShutterBun at 1:18 AM on January 11, 2012


My friend just suggested a shout incorporating GOB's "Come on!"

Need to work on my modding skills!
posted by palidor at 1:44 AM on January 11, 2012


ShutterBun: " I gotta say I'm kind of lamenting the implementation of the Developer's Kit, as the market will undoubtedly soon be absolutely FLOODED with lame add-on's."

I don't see this as a problem - the lamest addons are usually weapons/armour retextures, and those are already possible and already numerous even though the CK is not out. The bits that the CK will allow are the fun things - new quests, new areas and the like.
posted by vanar sena at 1:07 PM on January 11, 2012


Yeah, basically mod quality is going to increase with time, which means most of the mods available right now are pretty unremarkable. For example, and I could be wrong because my browsing hasn't been that in-depth, there are lots of higher-res texture replacements for the environment that are pretty mediocre; I don't think anyone has really put the time into producing decent color-matched replacements. And I don't even want to mention the various "hi-res" weapon and armor textures that are simply the original textures scaled up with sharpening and other various filters run on them. Often they actually look worse than the originals.

There are some really nice mods out there already of course, but whether the CK is out yet or not, quality work takes time. I'm quite certain that if you check back in a couple years, all of the mediocre rush-jobs will be long forgotten and there will be quite an amazing array of incredible mods to choose from.

In the mean time, need to work on my modding skills!
posted by palidor at 1:33 PM on January 11, 2012


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