Sunday, 25 March 2012

Skyrim and a Late New Year's Resolution

You know I really, REALLY have to stop reading doomsday posts on various forums when new patches are coming out, or have been released for Skyrim, and how people's games are adversely affected.  I'm going to attempt to make it my late New Year's Resolution for 2012, but how many people stick with their

Sometimes it can be entertaining in a "face palm" kind of way.   The number of posters who create threads, particularly on the Official forums, complaining about what they hate about the game, are never playing or buying another Bethesda game, or just want their 15 minutes of forum fame by starting a flame war never ceases to amuse me.  It might be a bit twisted but I often enjoy reading about the drama and stupidity of my fellow humans as long as it's not about me.

And there's another subject I'll be talking about at some point in the near future.  Forums and the people who inhabit and hide behind them.   It won't be especially pleasant and I know there are a lot who will agree with me.  It won't be about any specific forum, but I'm sure people will get the gist of it and will know of similar situations.  I'm just happy to have found this outlet to voice my frustrations on various topics, and though I could, if I wanted to be, quite outspoken and vitriolic, most times I find that to be counter productive.  Anyway, as I said, that's another story.

 Back to business...After reading the "horror" posts on a couple of forums (again) I was once hesitant about updating my game to the 1.5 patch.  I finally bit the bullet and ended up going ahead, and I'm having no issues whatsoever.  Not the underwater bug, no shadow problems, (in fact I think they look much better) and no crashing on fast travel or entering buildings which seem to be the main complaints.   I also think the graphics look better or sharper, which might be my imagination, and I'm not using the DLC graphics patch because my system would hate me.  I do have a lot of  mod texture replacers though.

Having said that I am still using, and will continue to use the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.

However, I think a lot of problems, (but not all obviously since I've had previous genuine issues as have other people), are due to the fact many users have no idea how to manage their game or the desire to find out.  Sometimes it comes down to laziness, not reading the documentation and unreasonable expectations.  Patches to a base game are NOT supposed to be made to accommodate the myriad number of mods and their users and the sooner people realize this the better.  For the most part mods are also not created with other mods compatibility in mind otherwise it would be almost impossible to actually do anything.

I have noticed a few things with the 1.5 patch though.  My bow damage skyrocketed and the archery kill cam often doesn't complete or kill the victim.  I'm not really sure about the bow damage part as it may be tied into perks or some other variable and I'm not into the facts and figures behind it.  I'm not complaining though as it still seems to be balanced between enemies and myself.   Apparently there's a glitch with smithing, but I'm already at 100 so I can't comment on that and I only have one character at present.  The navmesh bug was supposedly fixed, but it seems it needs another look over as this seems to be the cause of the problem with house mods causing CTD's and I believe Bethesda are aware of it.

I have noticed improvements to companions.  I have Marcurio and Meeko.  They both have much improved sneaking and the biggest bugbear of mine where they would block doors seems to have been fixed, especially for Meeko and I assume Vigilance.  Meeko now moves away as soon as I bump him.  I saw Marcurio do a sneak roll move as well when we were creeping up on a bandit camp, which was quite a surprise and he doesn't break my sneak anymore....or not so much, but it's usually because he's been spotted while I'm still in sneak mode.

I realize the humanoid companions can be told to move via their menus, but that annoys the crap out of me.  I hated companion menus in Oblivion and I detest it in Skyrim.  Since there obviously has to be a way to communicate with companions I would have liked to see the same system as used in New Vegas with the companion wheel, but you can't have everything.  Unfortunately.

 I've done my fair share of complaining here about issues I've had with the game and when it actually comes down to it they are relatively minor things in the grand scheme...for the most part.  I almost gave up altogether when all my saves were corrupted, or so the game thought awhile back.  That made me so angry I can't describe it after 100's of hours invested but now with my new character I'm at 119 hours and level 59,
(oops 49) so I'm crossing fingers and toes it doesn't happen again.  I haven't even finished the main quest once yet because of the problems I've had, and not for lack of trying.

I have a list of things I think should have been done better, but neither am I a programmer or game developer.  Games with the scope of Skyrim are bound to have bugs and glitches and the rushed release date made that so much more obvious this time round.   That's where I put the blame the most and that's not so much on the developers as the "money men" and hype filled advertising with the usual failed promises.

I'm not a fan"girl" by any means though.  Bethesda games are always buggy and I don't worship the ground any game developers walk on like many do.  If it weren't for the fact that Bethesda games are so moddable and open world, I probably wouldn't even bother keeping the games installed after one play through.  I've always been of the opinion that Oblivion was like a half finished canvas shipped so modders could finish and polish it.  I found it to be shallow and highly repetitive and the only reason I continued to play it was because of mods.

People keep comparing Skyrim to either a fully modded Oblivion, which is unfair, or to Morrowind which is also a bit silly.   MW was the first RPG I ever played and as much as I loved it, at the time, I would never go back to that style of play.  It's also another game main quest I never finished despite the time I put into it over the years until Oblivion came along.

One of these days I'll post the mods I'm using and recommend, if anyone  But, I tried out the Horse Armour mod and it is just amazing.  Much better by far than a cheap DLC, I might add.  Another mod I added last night is Skyrim Monster Mod and I'm having a blast with that one as well.  I used MoMod for New Vegas and the authors work is just as good this time and importantly for me, lore friendly.

Horse Armour - works with companions horse mods as well as you can see.

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