The Witcher 3 Enhanced Edition mod looks pretty comprehensive. Basically, they yanked out leveling and Geralt’s ability to be better at combat than you are. Now you have to actually pay attention to where the sword goes and how far away your target is and a bunch of other stuff. It’s simultaneously fascinating…
…and something I refuse to load. I’m in my late forties. I appreciate that Geralt is better in combat than me. He ought to be, after all. But, of course, your mileage may vary.
I swear to God, I keep reading this story something like every couple of months. They must love torturing Playstation 4 owners, huh? …With ‘they’ remaining carefully undefined, of course. Anyway, GeekTyrant reports that the ‘pissing match,’ to quote the site (I agree with the site, by the way) is over:
It would appear now that things are smoothed over, but with Bethesda offering little to no detail, it’s not immediately clear who caved. Did Sony stand their ground and Bethesda break hoping to boost Skyrim Remastered PS4 sales, or did Sony relent and let Bethesda release the mods the way they want to the platform? Considering Fallout mods and now Skyrim mods were announced, we can assume that this deal was fairly recent as Bethesda likely doesn’t have mod support ready for PS4.
Short version? Fusion City Rising is an impressively extensive and remarkably bug-free* mod for Fallout 4, but dear GOD but it is not lore-friendly. It’s also definitely in the ‘grind’ school, which is fine for me because I’m running a level 100 character for the amusement value – but you might find it obnoxious at lower levels. I’d recommend that you unpack this one for your characters who have already done everything else and are now looking for an opportunity to go drinking in bars with strippers.
But it certainly is pretty.
*Putting the kid in the power armor is… it looks really weird.
Note: I don’t want to make the games harder, I don’t want to destroy my frame rate, and I do like my surroundings just a little less dead and desolate. With all that in mind: suggestions welcome. Fallout 3‘s habit of long distances between fast-travel points is particularly annoying, as is the pre-4 version of VATS. But I gather that I’m not the first to say those things.
There are certainly more good mods out there for Skyrim that improve the game itself; these are just some of the ones that I favor. In no particular order:
Falskaar. This is easily the most epic fan-generated add-on to date for Skyrim; there’s a coherent plot line, new spells, new Shouts, well-done voice acting, and the bugs are tolerable. The combat will stretch you, and the map (it’s a very LARGE island) is very, very pretty. All in all, an excellent mod.
Helgen Reborn. This mod, in my opinion, measures up to Falskaar in terms of fun gameplay. The basic premise is simple: Helgen is in ruins; it needs to be rebuilt. You’ll be doing this either in one fell swoop, or while you’re running around fixing/breaking everything else in Skyrim. The dungeons are well-designed (they actually managed to kill my PC a couple of times!); the voice-acting is professional-grade (as good as Falskaar’s, or perhaps that’s the other way around), and you end it with a new town to visit. The mod is also extremely good about integrating quest locations into the map without interfering with other mods, which can be a problem. If you have a choice between loading this and Falskaar, I might say load this one; it’s more seamless than the other one.
Become a Bard. One mildly bizarre and slightly annoying thing about Skyrim: the world has bards. It has music. It has musical instruments. It even has a Bard’s College, which you can join. But you can’t be a bard. This mod changes that: it allows you to play in taverns, play for Jarls, do little quests for the Bard’s College, increase your Speech skill… that sort of thing. The mechanics are stable and the really nice thing about this mod is that the modder got the music from a bunch of people who write Elder Scrolls-themed music for the mod’s ‘songbooks.’ Which means that you can get your bard to belt out some pretty good songs .
Granitehall, Laintar Dale, Oakwood, Amber Guard. These four location mods are from the same author, and are all based on locations in the first Elder Scrolls game (Arena). They are fully integrated into the map, and help fill it without overpowering it. Granitehall is an actual quest location; the rest are just places to get some smithing done, take a rest, and get swarmed by bandits. Nice addition to the game.
Dragon Knowledge. Turns Dragon souls into perk points (2:1 ratio). Since largely superseded by changes in the game (you now can spend excess Dragon Souls on resetting perks), but it was and is a nice thing to have. This is, however, a bit of a cheat, so maybe not on your first playthrough.
Apparently people do want to see this, so here’s part 1 of my favorite Skyrim mods. Part 2 will be tomorrow, and mention actual gameplay mods: but it’s best to mention a few things that you’ll need to optimize the game itself. In some order:
Nexus Mod Manager. If you’re downloading stuff from the Skyrim Nexus, you’ll want this manager.
Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE). Offsite; found here. Blah blah technical blah blah SOME OF YOUR MODS WON’T WORK WITHOUT IT.
Item Sorting. You will be amazed at how much easier it is to figure out what you’re carting around now.
SkyUI. Nexus here; Steam here. …and you will be equally amazed at how much more intuitive all the screens are now. Also includes the mod configuration menu (MCM), which you WILL be hearing of a lot.
BOSS GUI. Short version: it will order your mods for you, so as to avoid conflicts between various mods. Since conflicts between mods can lead to the dreaded crash-to-desktop (CTD), which is also something that you WILL be hearing of a lot, this is a good mod to have.
The Paarthurnax Fix. Nexus here; Steam here. If you’ve played all the way through, you know that there’s a stupid false choice imposed on you at one point by Bethesda. …[expletive deleted] that; you’re the goram Dragonborn.
“Better Females by Bella:” core Nexus file here, core Steam file here. Improves the look of the female characters. Presumably there’s also another set of mods that will make your male characters look better, but I wouldn’t know.
Unread books glow. Nexus here, Steam here. It makes unread books glow, so you can figure out which books to pick up/steal. So. Totally. Worth. It.
That’s all that immediately come to mind: if I think of more tech ones I’ll add ’em.