These Fight Against the Thalmor ones. Not entirely certain if I like them: they’re pretty unrelenting. Then again, I wanted a mod or two that would make me sweat a fight for a change, so there you go.
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.
- Skyhaven Temple Glory and Nightingale Hall and Twilight Sepulcher – Improved. Both are revisions of faction headquarters to make them a little more nicer for your character to hang out at. They don’t go nuts on adding stuff, although Skyhaven Temple needs a bench outside for people to be able to sit down and enjoy the view.
- 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.
Hope this helps!
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.
- Fores New Idles in Skyrim (FNIS). Another blah blah technical blah blah SOME OF YOUR MODS WON’T WORK WITHOUT IT.
- Unofficial official patches. Unofficial Skyrim Patch, Unofficial Dawnguard Patch, Unofficial Hearthfire Patch, Unofficial Dragonborn Patch, Unofficial High Resolution Patch (all Skyrim Nexus links). Don’t let the ‘unofficial’ fool you; those patches clean up a lot of bugs. Tons and tons and tons of bugs.
- 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.
- Stones of Barenziah Quest Markers and Jiub’s Opus Quest Markers. Allows you to actually find those stupid items for those stupid fetch quests but if you want to instead stare at the map until your forehead is bloody then go right ahead.
- “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.
…if I did a Top Ten Mods for Skyrim post? I was considering doing one, but the game has been out for over two years and while the modding community for it is still going strong I don’t know whether enough of my own readers would be interested.
This is the cutest thing that is also such a thing to do to two clearly long-suffering and patient dogs.
“WHAT SINS DID WE COMMIT TO EARN THIS FATE, HUMAN?”
My wife suggested that we get one for the new cat. I have to remember to cheerfully invite her to be the one to dress said cat, because I ain’t going to do it.
PS: I understand that dogs actually don’t mind terribly wearing this stuff, especially when it’s kind of cold out anyway. But I swear that those dogs look kind of resigned about the whole thing.
It may shock some of you to hear that I’m STILL playing Skyrim. It’s not my fault: the fans keep putting out good mods. The one I’m using now even addresses a major flaw in the game: even after you join the Bard’s College you can’t actually, you know, be a bard. This mod fixes that: your character can now play about five or so musical instruments, and – we’re getting towards the point now, I swear – play a bunch of fan-made Skyrim-themed songs.
Oh, yes, this is so totally a thing. But this isn’t a Skyrim-themed song: it’s a Mass Effect-themed song, which made me straighten up in my chair when my Dragonborn started singing it in an inn. (more…)
This Vikingdom flick looks really, really bad.
…not to mention uncomfortably like some of my past gameplay, if I had somehow managed to play a game that combined the feel of Skyrim (yay!) with the combat animations of Dragon Age 2 (…yay?). The martial arts Vikings were a nice touch: I personally like to ninja it out in my games whenever possible – and sometimes when it’s, strictly speaking, not.
…noted here and in the video below:
It’s very pretty, very comprehensive, I expect to enjoy playing it, and it has a bug in its early “No Harm, No Fowl” quest: the wolf just stops in the middle of the road, and you have to go find the quest end location yourself. I mention that specifically because of this comment from developer Alexander J. Velicky:
“I’m going to wait until the bugs have been patched.”
With all due respect, prospective downloader, you are crazy! Falskaar was rigorously tested nonstop by a very dedicated quality assurance team for the entire duration of its development. This means that there are very few bugs, if any, that you will encounter. (This does not include mod compatibility issues, for which I can only test so much) Every quest was tested and ensured to function, every script should go off without a hitch, and your experience should not be marred by broken or buggy content. Granted this engine isn’t exactly perfect, but this mod should provide a very polished experience, and expecting there to be bugs and waiting for them to be patched, in the case, is foolish! So get downloading, and get to adventuring!
Dammit. Not completely unexpected, of course – but I can get why some people are a little annoyed that the Civil War is only sorta-kinda resolved, and that the status of the Thalmor hasn’t been resolved. I’m maybe a little bit annoyed myself. Not enough to go into nerdrage or anything, but they’re still kinda leaving money on the table.
Welp, I guess that it’s time to start waiting for Witcher 3 (Dishonored isn’t grabbing me, for some reason).