Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Morthal, Skyrim

Just south-southeast of the Karth Delta is the real miserable little town of Skyrim. Morthal is a gloomy village in the marshes of Hjaalmarch. And there are some strange things going on. A mysterious house fire consumed the lives of a wife and daughter. The waterwheel at the lumber mill runs in reverse to the flow of water. The town wizard takes late night sojourns into the marshlands. A mysterious woman is only ever seen at night. An orc is the local bard. And the jarl has visions. And not far away is a cave that houses a dark menace. What are we to make of all these...coincidences?

When you first approach the jarl’s longhouse there are a mass of people shouting at someone. As you wander closer you find out that locals are upset about the new wizard, and it’s almost immediately evident magic use is categorically mistrusted. After more grumbling from the crowd they are unconvincingly assured the jarl will be informed of all their concerns.

If you strike up a conversation with these folks you’ll find out who they are and what they do. Jorge’s is the mill owner. Thonnir is a lumberjack in the employ of the lumbermill, which is one of the few businesses in Morthal. Either of these men could mention the burned down house, the biggest concern in town. Except maybe the new wizard.

If you walk away from the mob scene without hearing about the mysterious house fire head on over to the inn. The innkeepers all love gossip and you will surely get an earful about the house fire. Once you finally get a few details about the fire head over and talk to the jarl. She’ll send you on a quest to find out what really happened. Completing the “Laid to Rest” quest is a requirement to becoming thane. This quest will take you to the burned down house, playing a game with a ghost, breaking and entering, and a showdown with evil residing in a nearby cave.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Modded Fallout 4 The Solar Canon

First order of business: this character—Kylie—and her weaponry was created using mods available on Xbox 1 for Fallout 4. The character’s look, apparel, and weapons won’t be available on all platforms.

That being said, the Solar Canon is available for all platforms as it comes from the Creation Club. For anyone not familiar with the Creation Club, it’s a downloadable product available from Bethesda that works as a substitute for in-game microtransactions. The DLCs (I use the term loosely) are purchased with real money unless they’re specifically offered for free of a period of time.

As I mentioned in the video, I believe the writing is poorly executed. And I’m not sure the story itself is well articulated. A bit more time—and a proper editing—would have done wonders for this quest.

Overall, I don’t think this purchased content is worth your money, even if you’re a weapons hoarder. Wait for sale or free. There are enough base game weapons that are more than equal (several excelling) to this purchasable content. 

Friday, March 1, 2019

Skyrim SE: My Mods

Unlike many people using mods to play Skyrim, I only use a small handful. And some of those are completely convenience mods. Some mods just allow me to continue growing my characters without the need to declare skills legendary, and they let me build more rounded characters, but they certainly aren’t needed so I won’t include them here.

To be fair some of the mods I am going to share aren’t necessarily must-haves but the do make the game more enjoyable from my standpoint. And essentially that’s all this post offers: my experience with the mods I use and what they might offer you in turn. Now, keep in mind some of these mods may be viewed by you as cheats and that’s fair. But since this is a single player game you’re free to do whatever you want and only have the right to judge yourself.

Anyway, enough disclaimer jumbo-jumbo and let’s get to the mods, which may or may not be available on the platform you play on. I’m on Xbox One X.

The mod I use to make the environment more better (ha ha) is Dolomite Weathers and Lighting Overhaul by Megaloblast. A significantly darker evening requiring artificial light, more intense rainstorms, and different weather options. I’ll also include the A Quality World Map-Vivid with Stone Roads by Chesko. This is simple, it makes the map readable. And finally Dawnguard Map Markers by Arthmoor. This adds markers to nearly all Dawnguard related maps like the Soul Cairn and Forgotten Vale.

Now onto the gameplay mods. Immersive Citizens by Arnaud.dorchymont, which allows you to hear cut dialog and keep all your NPCs alive as you can set them to flee from danger and not attack you when you’re rampaging guards as a werewolf.  Immersive Patrols by Ameermohamedtt. This just adds various patrols throughout Skyrim, which may or may not be hostile. It also adds civil war battles in various locations and forts, which is a great boost to build your skills in my next gameplay mod: Moonlight Tales by Brevi 11. If you want to play as a werewolf this is fantastic. More werewolf perks and skins (even werebears but the skins are the only differences), the ability to be a werewolf right out of Helgen, the ability to cure lycanthropy at any time, the ability to set involuntary werewolf transformations, and the ability to summon blood kin (werewolves and/or wolves) to aid you in combat. I do not believe this mod is available for PS4 users. The mod Werewolf Perks Expanded does offer some additional perks to the beast form though. Moving on to Alchemist Respite, which is a small mod that changes the weight of potions from .5 to .1. Next up is Stones of Barenziah quest markers. This mod flags each location for all 24 gems except the on inside the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary. And finally my favorite mod for gameplay: Complete Smithing by ThordTV. A simple but exceptionally useful smithing mod. It completely overhauls smithing after Steel smithing. With this mod you no longer have to choose heavy or light as they are combined as you go. So Elven and Dwarven are level 30, Orchish and Advanced at level 50, Arcane and Faction (allows crafting of unenchanted faction clothing like Thieves Guild and Nightingale armor), Glass and Ebony at level 70, Daedric and Dragon at level 100 and Orsinic (higher quality lower-level armor using dragon bones) also at level 100. The mod also grants XP for turning hides into leather and ore into ingots.

Onto character creation. Unfortunately most of these won’t be available on PS4. Better Males by Alaan, Apachii Sky Hair Lite by Apachii, CBBE Body Slim from Jeir, and the superb clothing mod from Jeir: Keo’s Skimpy Outfits for CBBE Slim. Just go with the Forsworn Armor set and avoid the Nightingale armor. Most armor sets are changed to two piece and not one. Thieves Guild Armor, fur armor, elven armor are all tops with skirts. Is it realistic? Of course not. But neither is wearing glass against a warhammer or battleaxe.

Short and sweet. I’ll give my thoughts on the best Creation Club content I’ve purchased in the next post.