"There's never anything good in these nooks and crannies"
September 20, 2015 2:03 AM   Subscribe

Love it. I was part of the Myst community for some time - there is a very wide demographic there too, old and young. Very encouraging stuff.
posted by emmet at 2:13 AM on September 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

OMG. I was in love with this in less than 20 seconds. The little giggle when she kills those two bandits and says, "Well, that was easy, wasn't it?" Just... yes. The world needs this.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 2:14 AM on September 20, 2015 [6 favorites]

Just wish I could deal with the Skyrim interface.
posted by emmet at 2:14 AM on September 20, 2015

She says she is playing as a Khajit because they are merchants. But everybody knows they aren't merchants, they are thieving drug mules.

Also, disappointed she isn't playing with the Schlongs of Skyrim mod.
posted by Justinian at 2:22 AM on September 20, 2015 [3 favorites]

Just wish I could deal with the Skyrim interface.

Wish no more! The SkyUI mod from the Skyrim Nexus fixes the garbage interface. Too bad about the garbage combat system and garbage magic system but there are no doubt mods for that as well.
posted by Justinian at 2:36 AM on September 20, 2015 [6 favorites]

SPERG is pretty great as a clean, well balanced overhaul of the perks and skills. Frostfall (which makes the cold genuinely inimical) is a must-have too.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:42 AM on September 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

She makes me miss my Grandma.
posted by Optamystic at 2:44 AM on September 20, 2015 [4 favorites]

She says she is playing as a Khajit because they are merchants.

She's playing as Khajiit because they start the game off with a special nightvision mode and have sharp, clawlike hands perfect for gaining an edge when brawling with tavern drunks and Orc chieftains. True Nords know this, and that's why Khajiit aren't allowed to peddle their wares inside any of the populated areas. Heck, Khajiit were created by the Daedric Lord Azura, and yet they don't even make the pilgrimage to her shrine near Winterhold! Always too cold, they say. Believe that, and I've got a piece of paper wrapped around a stick to sell you.
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:52 AM on September 20, 2015 [13 favorites]

If you like this, be sure to check out the underrated grannies & gamers low comedy opus: Grandma's Boy.
posted by fairmettle at 3:17 AM on September 20, 2015 [6 favorites]

When does she take an arrow in the knee?
posted by Sphinx at 7:00 AM on September 20, 2015 [5 favorites]

I quite enjoyed this. My husband happened to overhear it, and he asked if I was watching "Traveling Through Skyrim with Tree Trunks." You know, that seems like it's just about correct.
posted by erlking at 9:21 AM on September 20, 2015 [5 favorites]

Speaking of Khajiit, is anyone else really hoping that Elder Scrolls VI is in Elsweyr?
posted by Navelgazer at 9:27 AM on September 20, 2015 [10 favorites]

This was nice and soothing; it's the first Let's Play I've watched all the way through.
posted by postcommunism at 9:52 AM on September 20, 2015

I guess it's time I finally write a serious comment about Skyrim modding. Here goes:

First and foremost, if you're going to do serious modding you need Mod Organizer:
this reddit guide is essential, teaching you how to setup and use MO with integrated TES5Edit / Wryebash / LOOT to iron out any conflicts between the mods you install, and SKSE (Skyrim Script Extender) which basically every really serious mod uses to gain a ton of extra hooks into the game.

You'll always want to make sure you're running the latest Unofficial Patch set:
Unofficial Skyrim Patch
Unofficial Hearthfire Patch
Unofficial Dawnguard Patch
Unofficial Dragonborn Patch
Unofficial High Resolution Patch

Next, let's address some stuff up thread:
Just wish I could deal with the Skyrim interface.

As Justinian mentioned, SkyUI is the essential overhaul here. In addition I recommend A Quality World Map, Atlas Map Markers, Better Fast Travel - Ships and Carriages because arbitrary fast travel defeats all the combat stuff below, but carriages from town to town might be morally acceptable, Helmet Toggle, Hotkey Your Gear, Player Home Map Markers, Soul Gems Differ, Ultimate Follower Overhaul[2.3 million downloads? Jesus.], and Vendor Sale Delay Gone.

Too bad about the garbage combat system and garbage magic system but there are no doubt mods for that as well

This is a little more involved, and a little bit riskier if you want to completely solve it and also turn the game into what the design team originally envisioned. Mainly because we're going to need Civil War Overhaul, an infamously complex and likely to cause conflicts/bugs mod that reinstates the dynamic city-by-city Imperial vs Stormcloaks campaign. I run it and haven't had issues but a lot of people have. The payoff is amazing, though: that huge Battle of Whiterun? Every city gets one, cities can be gained, lost, and regained, and you'll frequently run into massive random battles out in the wild (as in, over 60 soldiers including archers and mages going at it hammer and tongs and fireballs) if you're also running Immersive Patrols and ASIS.

Speaking of, Immersive Patrols brings huge patrols to/from cities, forts, and encampments belonging to just about every faction out there. You'll see Stormcloaks and Thalmor, Stormcloaks and Imperials all squaring off. Dawnguard going at it with Vampire ambushes, etc. ASIS means NPCs with perks using magic and potions intelligently. It also means a small percentage chance you'll be dealing with 2-3x the base enemy group spawn size, and once in every great while this can run all the way up to 6x.

You're probably saying at this point that you meant the low-level combat sucks, and I agree, which is why I recommend Deadly Combat. Armor is nowhere near as effective, damage from melee weapons is extremely high relative to low-level spells, and in general axe-wielding barbarians are highly likely to fuck you up in a bad way until you get toward the outer end of the power curve. Toss in Enhanced Blood Textures for kicks, but tone it down using the in-game menu. I also recommend Dragon Soul Relinquishment to add a little meaning to that 60th dragon you just killed, and Dual Wield Parrying if you're into that. Oh, and Aquisitive Soul Gems means the souls you just trapped always go into the *lowest* soul gem that can contain them.

Frostfall (which makes the cold genuinely inimical) is a must-have too.

Frostfall single-handedly restored my interest in the game. It's COLD out there, kids, and even with a thick tent and a campfire and a good supply of firewood there's a damned good chance you won't survive the northern reaches of the map very long. Really want to twist the thumbscrews? Add in Realistic Needs and Diseases. Holy crap food and Cure Disease potions become essential. There are two compensations for the enormous jump in difficulty. One is that Frostfall adds cloaks to the tail slot, and Cloaks follow the same enchantment rules as Rings (read: supports virtually any worn equipment spell). Lets you push the enchantment/alchemy feedback loop just a little bit higher (54% enchantment-boosting potion max, vs ~44% base now that the Falmer helmet/circlet simultaneous wearing bug is fixed, or 208% smithing-boosting potions). You'll still need to defeat the endboss of Dragonborn to completely min/max, though, and do all your Alchemy and Enchanting in Solstheim. Even with all the difficulty mods above, at the highest peak of the power-curve you can still one-shot the lesser dragons.

The second nice thing Frostfall gives you is the Expert Conjuration spell Conjure Lesser Shelter - poof! Instant bed, 12 hours of heat-neutral air bubble, and a persistent chest that can be accessed in any relatively flat outdoor location. Leveling up Conjuration is still horrific, though, so you won't see this for a long time.

Other stuff:
I can't recommend Vilja in Skyrim enough. Best companion in any game ever. You'll want to turn down her ambient chatter rate, and some of the quest NPC voiceover is quite literally the worst I've ever heard, but as changes to the game go it's the only thing here as essential as Frostfall. High carryweight for life-saving firewood and she can summon her horse with a hunting horn.

Graphics / Audio fidelity:
Apachii SkyHair
Audio Overhaul for Skyrim
Beautiful Whiterun
Calientes Beautiful Bodies Edition - I realize this one is pretty sexist as a standalone, but a LOT of the NPC visual enhancement mods for either gender will require it as a base. If you're improving ingame character meshes, you'll need this.
Cute Eyes
Ethereal Elven Overhaul
Further Dark Dungeons for ENB
Lanterns of Skyrim
Climates of Tamriel
Ruins Clutter Improved
Serious HD Retexture Skyrim
Skyrim Floral Overhaul 2.0
Skyrim HD - 2K Textures Dungeons
Smile in HD (teeth overhaul)
Static Mesh Improvement Mod
True Vision ENB
W.A.T.E.R. - Water And Terrain Enhancement Redux

Everything above, start to finish, took about a day and a half to setup. End result.
posted by Ryvar at 9:58 AM on September 20, 2015 [155 favorites]

Impressive. Care to pastebin your load order in Bash?

And have you played with the voice recognition mods for shouting?
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:10 AM on September 20, 2015

I love this. I subscribed to her channel - I can't wait until she posts more! I had tears in my eyes from some of her comments - this woman is a gem.
posted by Verdandi at 10:27 AM on September 20, 2015

With Mod Organizer setup the way Reddit recommends your load order is determined by LOOT, not Bash, but here's my load order.

There's a couple things in there I didn't mention because, for example, the classic Ultra HD 2K texture pack was taken down after it was determined some of the textures were copyrighted or taken without attribution from other mods. Also, for some reason I have Ruins Clutter Improved and TreesHD turned off (RCI probably because of that goddamned cave fog / ENB conflict, TreesHD probably because of lacking wind vertex shader). In general: run everything once through Bash to clear up any conflicts, then go with whatever LOOT recommends for load order. Never had a single load order issue since I began using it, and that's saying something.
posted by Ryvar at 10:33 AM on September 20, 2015 [13 favorites]

That was charming! That's some set-up Ryvar, nice one. No use to me as a filthy peasant of course, but interestingly when I see the screenshots of supernice set-ups I am always like, "but isn't that what it looks like anyhow?" I think my brain has some sort of excellent post-render-process because that's how I think of it as looking when I play.
posted by Iteki at 10:55 AM on September 20, 2015

"I don't intend to get drunk"

That made me laugh really hard. This is totally charming.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:00 AM on September 20, 2015

I just started playing vanilla Skyrim -- no mods -- about two months ago, and am loving it. The whole modding thing kind of intimidates me, but with Ryvar's post above, I might give it a shot once I finish the game as I'm playing it now.
posted by Shepherd at 11:54 AM on September 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

I came to Oblivion late and only ever played a modded version of the GOTY edition. My computer died halfway through playing Skyrim the first time and the cheapo box I bought to replace it can do everything I need it to except play videogames. I bought a copy and played through on the 360 but I'm super jealous of anyone making use of Ryvar's post.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 12:06 PM on September 20, 2015

I might give it a shot once I finish the game as I'm playing it now.
Glad you found it (potentially) helpful :)

Honestly you can have a pretty fantastic experience with just the MO/SKSE base and Unofficial Patches + SkyUI + Ultimate Follower Overhaul + Frostfall + Realistic Needs + Vilja - takes maybe 2 hours to set that up and they're almost considered the base game by the modding community so chance of conflicts is incredibly low. Like, if I wasn't concerned with crazy high-end visuals or looking for a complete combat/campaign overhaul I would probably just stop there and have a well-tuned, fiendishly challenging survival version of Skyrim with all the major annoyances removed.

It's the competing texture/mesh packs at the end of my post that take forever to sort out, ENB injector requires filling out config files with VRAM and "reserved memory pool" values that takes me back to customized DOS autoexec.bat/config.sys days, and the CWO/ASIS/Deadly Combat/Immersive Patrols combined gameplay overhaul is both a bear to get fully sorted out and potentially could really muck up your game state even when starting completely new. That said, if you do want something that puts your GTX 980 through its paces or plays like a completely different, far more epic version of the game... well, you're gonna have to pay your dues.
posted by Ryvar at 12:18 PM on September 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

W.A.T.E.R. - Water And Terrain Enhancement Redux

Are you using the whole Ruffled Feather collection linked, or just WATER?
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:01 PM on September 20, 2015

Back when I first created my current install (about a year ago) there was only just WATER & Water_Plants. So the rest of the stuff there isn't in it, if you're interested in recreating my setup. Feel free to MeMail me if you have any other questions - I'll be coding all day today and am happy to help, don't want to clutter up this thread too much.
posted by Ryvar at 1:21 PM on September 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

I recommend the Interesting NPCs mod as well. I loaded it the first time I played the game. Whenever I came across a quest or a character I thought was especially cool, I'd look it up online. It would almost invariably turn out to be from this mod. Usually, it was integrated well enough that I couldn't tell it was player-made. Skyrim gets a lot of grief for having lackluster quests and NPCs, but that was really mitigated for me with this mod.
posted by painquale at 3:31 PM on September 20, 2015 [2 favorites]

"There's never anything good in these nooks and crannies"

Well, that's why I don't eat English muffins I find behind my couch.
posted by jonp72 at 5:05 PM on September 20, 2015 [2 favorites]

Barborito, those are all great recs but I'd strongly disagree with this:

ENB injector requires filling out config files with VRAM and "reserved memory pool" values that takes me back to customized DOS autoexec.bat/config.sys days

ENB is pretty much fire and forget in my experience. You can tweak if you like, but if you find one you like just slap it in and it should work (and look amazing).
posted by Sebmojo at 5:05 PM on September 20, 2015

This is delightful! I want her to be my granny!
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:46 PM on September 20, 2015

Episode 2 is up.

She opens by telling all her grandkids out there good evening. I think we've officially been adopted.

She also has another video that's just a stroll through the game on a different save from the one in the other two videos.
posted by radwolf76 at 12:37 PM on September 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Actually, that's from a different game entirely and not Skyrim, but still this woman is a treasure.
posted by radwolf76 at 12:40 PM on September 22, 2015

Man, Ryvar, you're gonna get me to start playing Skyrim again. Which I've seemed to do at some point every year for the last three years.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:47 PM on September 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Everything above, start to finish, took about a day and a half to setup

I'd like to note with appreciation that with your crib sheet and the Reddit guide (plus, likely, prior experience with Wyre Bash and the like) I was able to go from fresh install to fully modded w/most of the above (plus a few other picks) in about six hours from start to Helgen. Including downloads.

A few footnotes, for anyone else Ryvar's post might have tempted back into Skyrim:

-CWO doesn't seem buggy.....yet.

-Frostfall has a fullscreen double-vision shader that sets in rather early, exposure-wise. Your GPU driver is not failing. (Turn it off in mod config if you like.)

-I installed the whole Ruffled Feather collection from the WATER link above w/good results.

-I added Convenient Horses about two hours after initial arrival in Whiterun. Vanilla horses are terrible, this is more or less required if you're going to try to swear off Fast Travel. (Note the commands needed to safely remove it from saves.)

-I added Skyrim Immersive Creatures, but I'd suggest turning off all off the 'Draman' spawn in the mod config until rather late game. They are difficult beyond typical Skyrim mobs with some set spawn points placed within aggro range of early faction quest goals.

-EK_RingLimiter seems to be the currently favored mutiple rings & amulets mod, for those inclined. Custom enchanted rings need to be from different base items to be worn at once, due to internal Skyrim code.

-Cutting Room Floor restores original content that was cut from release.

-ModOrganizer is really a huge timesaver vs. manual modding, or earlier utilities (including Wyre Bash standalone). Make sure to give it your Nexus login creds so it can handle downloads and pull updates.

-LOOT's load order choices when resolving conflicts seem somewhat arbitrarily made based on the volume of data altered, and may be worth second guessing if you have some better or more particular understanding about which edits in which mods should supersede each other.

-You don't need to re-run LOOT every time you add a mod, unless you're not sure where it should go in your load order (based on your knowledge of TES, your existing mods & load order, and the changes to be made). If you're using the setup encouraged by the Reddit guide, you only need to rebuild the Bashed Patch if you want to integrate a new mod's content into your Leveled Lists.

-I finally have good enough hardware to get rather high FPS in Skyrim, even heavily modded and running at 5760x1200. It turns out that exceeding 60 FPS results in CTDs as well as some really weird physics behavior (rattling and exploding clutter objects for instance). This apparently also disrupts the sync of day/hour timekeeping to the ambient day/night cycles among other issues. The way to make sure this doesn't happen is to both leave in-game VSYNC on AND use a framerate limiter. (Either the mod-based limiter on the Nexus, or an external one for your GPU driver. If using the mod-based one, don't unpack it to you game dir, unpack it elsewhere and rename it so it doesn't overwrite ENB's d3d9.dll. There are instructions to get ENB to load the second DLL on the mod's page. )

-You have to pay attention to what Mod Organizer dumps into its Overwrite directory as you're making setup changes and after a game session, as that's where MO puts stuff it doesn't know what to do with -- INCLUDING FILES GENERATED IN GAME (such as presets created in RaceMenu, included with CBBE, which need to be moved into the proper Data path for your characters based on that preset to display correctly on next load). The Reddit guide alludes to this but does not really explain it. See also RaceMenu Precache killer, if Race Menu gives you CTDs.

-When doing things like setting custom resolutions, enabling VSYNC (iPresentInterval) and making various other familiar TES .INI tweaks, like view distances, note that it's the .INI values set in your Mod Organizer profile that Skyrim is going to see on launch, not the ones in your \Documents\MyGames\Skyrim directory.

-I haven't yet dealt with figuring out the handful of mods that require outside executables to populate their data or use SkyProc and some JAR in-game. This includes ASIS, as well as those mods that rely on FNIS, like the XP32/XPMS skeleton mods, or the mods that rely on those mods, like the CBBE compatibility patch for Immersive Armors.

(Honestly, the whole HDT/TPBB/CBBE/XP32/Bodyslide acronym soup is mystifying.)

-The currently favored magic overhaul seems to be Apocalypse Magic (apparently more thoughtfully designed than named) but I haven't tried it yet.

-Also haven't tried Deadly Combat yet as although it says it should have no compatibility issues, I feel like I need to think that through in terms of other mod's expectations of vanilla combat and not just direct data-file conflicts.

-A lot of these mods have compatibility patches for each other, and other provisos. Make sure to read the full description, and check the file section for compatibility patches not pulled in by the main 'download with manager' button on the Nexus.

posted by snuffleupagus at 5:55 PM on September 22, 2015 [5 favorites]

Fantastic. One thing I hope Bethesda do with Fallout 3 and Elder Scrolls.Next is to use the power of current gen consoles to do a decent bloody map, which can be annotated. Thief 1 had this in 1997, FFS.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 4:35 AM on September 23, 2015

Watching the video... am I the only person who doesn't loot burial urns? They're (virtual) burial urns! Have some (virtual) respect! :)
posted by anonymisc at 11:43 AM on September 23, 2015

I've mentioned it here before - I used to run Skyrim with Skyrim Revisited : Legendary Edition enabled. Ryvar's setup is good, SR:LE is epic and, most beneficial, you will learn a truly tedious amount about how to mod.
posted by longbaugh at 5:10 AM on September 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Woah, that's crazy involved. And I think it'd choke my rig, anyway. Might cherry pick a few more things from that compilation though.

Also considering forcing myself to figure out the whole custom DynDOLOD thing. I don't need the absolutely prettiest textures, or super complex skeleton and animation replaces, but getting rid of the nasty graphical pop-up beyond what .INI settings can do would be nice.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:50 AM on September 24, 2015

If you actually like fighting dragons and you've wished "gee, I'd like to kill more dragons so I can get weighed down by Dragonbone scraps...", I'd recommend the Deadly Dragons mod. You can choose the strength of the dragons and how often they might show up. Also you can choose how many show up. Fighting 3 ancient dragons which drop fireballs, lightning and other nastiness get pretty hairy even for a maxed character with lots of protection.

If you're going to install this, you'll also want to install the "Everyone Get Inside" or the "Run for your Lives" mods to stop the dumbass villagers from attacking a flame-spewing dragon bigger than a house with a rake. It makes 'em get indoors. Actually, it's a good mod to install anyway so the vendors don't get eaten.
posted by Zack_Replica at 11:06 AM on September 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

I run an overclocked 5670K @4.2GHz with 16GB RAM and a 4GB GTX 770 and I could run SR:LE at 60fps+ easy as pie with ludicrous draw distances. It was only a couple of years ago that they broke the VRAM problem that was inherent in the game engine and since then you can preload a much higher number of game cells which makes a massive difference.

There are some SR:LE vids on Youtube but because it's updated almost daily there's always something new happening. When I played Skyrim (it's been a while) I would literally restart the game once a month to re-do the SR:LE modlist. It's a huge effort but if you want a ludicrously good looking hardcore fantasy frostbite death simulator there's nothing better.
posted by longbaugh at 4:15 AM on September 25, 2015

Somewhat relevant.
posted by Shepherd at 10:41 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

I run an overclocked 5670K @4.2GHz with 16GB RAM and a 4GB GTX 770 and I could run SR:LE at 60fps+ easy as pie with ludicrous draw distances.

I'm on an i7 920 @ 2.67 gHz (old, but just starting to really show it), 12GB of RAM (and TESV is a 32 bit app), and the same GTX 770 4GB. The mempatch has me stable, but I still get laggy. Haven't tried upping uGrids, out of longstanding taboo re: scripts firing from a distance.

I think once you start mixing and matching all this stuff, things get kinda touchy performance-wise. For instance, I added Verdant and it tanked my FPS until I made some suggested .INI tweaks.

Clearly, some of the mods I'm using (Frostfall, companion mods, quest mods) are CPU intensive, and I think I'm seeing I/O bottlenecking as well.

It may also be that I play in triple widescreen (5760x1200).

I'm tempted to just throw a 980 into this box, to be held over when I do rebuild, but I'm afraid the improvement will be underwhelming given the system architecture at this point and I'd be better off waiting for price-cuts after the next iteration releases. Black Friday approaches, I'm feeling that hardware itch.
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:10 AM on September 26, 2015

posted by brainwane at 5:18 AM on September 26, 2015

Ryvar and snuffleupagus, do either of you have HD videos up somewhere showing what the end result looks like in motion? The image that Ryvar put at the end of his comment looks amazing, and I'd love to see more!
posted by Osrinith at 6:47 AM on September 26, 2015

My install doesn't look as good (I think I'd need that 980 to get it looking like that it at my resolution, and my disks might still not keep up), and all I'm finding is the same testing clip of Skyrim Revisted (Legendary) on YT.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:26 AM on September 27, 2015

I've been running modded Skyrim for a while, mostly for extra immersion. I'm holding off on Frostfall until the new version is out. I'm trying to get Real Shelter working but the install script keeps failing. I have some other issues with ugly texture-pop/LOD.

However, Ryvar's post inspired me to tackle ENB (nobody knows what this stands for, it seems), and it wasn't as difficult as I imagined it would be. The results are very cool.

Also, try installing Skyrim Flora Overhaul, Simply Bigger Trees, and Realistic Water Two, and then take a stroll from Riverwood to Falkreath. I promise you won't be disappointed.
posted by um at 6:25 PM on September 27, 2015

For whatever reason, wrestling with ENB settings (and SKSE extensions) doesn't intimidate me nearly as much as I dread getting down into the squinty, persnickety work of flagging individual textures from different mods for inclusion/exclusion to get to the level of selectivity required by SRLE, or even worse, merging ESPs in TESedit to get around the plugin limit.

My hesitation to deal with SkyProc (and so 'dynamic' mods like FNIS, ASIS, Automatic Variants, etc) is similar to my hesitation to deal with TESedit merging. Before you go to those lengths, MO (and its predecessors) function more or less like a Linux package manager does and everything remains fairly modular. A simple Bashed Patch of only leveled-lists (as Reddit suggests) does most of what's needed until you need to get around the ESP limit. Once you're running custom merges or using 'dynamic mods' with external runtimes that must be refreshed with every mod or texture change, it's a lot easier to break your install.

Happily, it turns out that you can sort of cheat when it comes to DynDOLOD -- there are pre-generated 'static showcase' versions on the mod's Nexus page that can be installed like any other datafile/texture replacer. You can use these directly in NMM/MO to get high quality distant views generated from the vanilla game, which is way better than previous solutions even if your modded content isn't shown in the distant LOD. The creator of DynDOLOD suggests the 'static' versions be used with Skymills/Skyfalls (which apparently are not needed after one runs the custom generator).

Of course, then what happens is the huge quality improvement, the greater immersion that comes with it, and the ability to scale back other distant-view related settings blows you away and you start blocking out some time to figure out how to run the tool to generate new high-res distant LODs that reflect your mods. (Not sure there's much of a reason to run a higher uGrids than default with a fully customized DynDOLOD, for example.)

Interestingly (to me, anyway), it also turns out at some point in this last year my gaming PC started underclocking itself -- it looks like the thermal compound between the stock Intel heat sink/cooler and the CPU went bad at some point and after a few thermal restarts the mobo apparently decided it should run the processor at 2gHz instead of 2.67. Resetting it to stock speed and running Prime95 to test quickly pushed temps up to 100 deg. C and forced throttling began.

I reseated it with some generic thermal grease, and now the system is stable at full clock! And my lag is definitely improved. But though my temps got better they are still higher than I'd like under load. So this week there's an aftermarket cooler and some arctic silver coming — with luck that will bring temps down enough that I might be able to push the CPU up to around 3.25gHz or better, as this chip (& revision) is reported to overclock well. Interested to see how much script lag that cures, even if I don't end up keeping it OC'd. Will probably also migrate the game install to a mirrored drive to see how much the load acceleration from duplexing disk reads helps avoid certain kinds of lag. If it looks promising enough, I might deem this box to have enough life in it yet to upgrade the GPU one more time and soldier on.

A couple commonly suggested performance tweaks have been particularly rewarding in regaining some FPS with all these textures and scripts in the mix: disabling Skyrim's anisotropic filtering and letting ENBoost do it instead , as well as combining Skyrim's crappy 4xAA with ENB's additional basic antialiasing features. This configuration looks better and is faster than just Skyrim's AA at 8x (or forcing it through the GPU control panel).

Finally, playing again has reminded of one of my biggest irritations with Skyrim — the loss of the kind of mouselook that was in Morrowind & Oblivion (and, if I'm not mistaken, FO3 & FO:NV). I hate not being able to rotate and pan the camera while moving/fighting in third person. I'd even settle for a hotkeyed camera flip to a reverse view while held down, if it didn't lock movement control. None of the camera mods address this, sadly it seems it may not be possible to do this without an external hack (or even with one). It seems the code that allows it may have been lost to console-compatible development lobotomy.

posted by snuffleupagus at 3:17 PM on September 29, 2015

I understood some of those words!
posted by um at 6:53 PM on September 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

I just recently finished a playthrough with Frostfall + Realistic Needs and Diseases, and it kind of made me eager to go winter camping again. My game, however, would crash a little more often, especially when it seemed like Frostfall was doing a weather check, so I've turned it off and am briefly enjoying not feeling guilty whenever I fast travel (a FF + RND playstyle just seems right for slow traveling through everything just so you can deal with all of the environmental stuff that comes up)

Just a few additional mods to add:

Lost Grimoire is currently my favorite magic overhaul mod. It's simple in that it just gives you a bunch more interesting spells and makes specializing in neglected spell schools like Conjuration interesting and viable. (note: I haven't tried SPERG yet so can't comment if their magic overhaul is better or enhanced by Lost Grimoire

Alternate Start: Live An Alternate Life is a great mod if you want more variety in playstyles and don't want to have to sink 30 minutes into fighting through Helgen every time you start a new character. You can even choose to avoid the Dragonborn storyline altogether

Immersive Armors and Immersive Weapons for more visual variety to one's gear.

I'd also +1 Interesting NPCs. It's a huge mod with a massive cast of characters and some neat quests, though the writing style is a bit Whedonesque at times, which can be slightly jarring if only because the default Bethesda writing is pretty terrible.
posted by bl1nk at 7:14 PM on October 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

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