Saturday, 26 May 2012

Beta Patch 1.6 - Finally Fixed Navmesh and Horse Combat

I'm pleased to say that my game loaded with the 1.6 patch (with the SKSE update for UI and menus) and I played for over an hour fiddling with the horse combat modes.

I had to go and buy a horse since my current level 52 character never bought one because of the companion not riding issue.  I do have a very good mod that allows followers to ride, but it gets to be a real pain checking up on them all the time and next play through I'm vowing to go solo at all times except for when it's quest related.

Followers are a pain in the neck, except for Meeko and or Vigilance.  The only one I do like is Marcurio and a couple of the Khajiits, but they are too overpowered now, and so am I due to the easy nature of the game, even on Master.  I would fire Marcurio, but he's carrying gear for me.   Next time we get home....maybe.
One thing I do not get...and that's the attraction to Lydia so many people seem to have.  OK, I guess because I'm not male or attracted to females is probably one reason, but I find her so annoying I just want to shout her off the nearest cliff.

Back to business.  Since I had just arrived at Winterhold when I last left the game I purchased a horse from their stables, but I'm going to trade him in for the Whiterun horse when I get back there as I prefer the leather Nordish type of horse armour for this character. 

Anyway, I found the horse combat a bit of fun and I would like to have the patience to persist with it's awkward controls.   It's quite difficult to control the horse and focus on the enemy.  The biggest problem is that the horse cannot walk backwards, so if I want to turn to get into a better position I end up going in  circles, never easily facing or staying close to my foes.  The number of times I've died or almost died when trying to back a horse away from a great height is one example of this weird "no backup" mechanic.

It does work well for galloping past in a drive by hack and slash... and I even took on a dragon on horseback which worked pretty well. It was actually a named dragon just raised by Alduin, although it did have shock effects (Deadly Dragons) I managed to avoid them easily on the horse, surprisingly. A frost troll was also taking the aggro off me which also helped.

Archery is a bit hit and miss so I didn't even try it on the dragon.  Even with the crosshair it's very difficult to hit the target, but the animations are very good and smooth, both for melee and archery IMHO. I hope they update to include magic.

I've seen a number of people say they have animations issues, but that is mod related.  Mods that add animations should be checked first, ie pose mods, and in particular mods that add altered skeletons to the female and male races.

It's still 50/50 whether it's worth persisting with using horses at all, although being from a horsey background in real life I would like to try.   This is at least a start and it still a Beta, but the controls need refining.  One other thing that would make it a better experience is a new dismount animation rather than the clumsy one we have now where we, or the horse are being damaged because it takes so long to dismount properly. 

As far as the rest of the patch I haven't noticed anything yet as I only played for a short time, but the game didn't crash (for a change) and it might be my imagination again, but the graphics and shadows look better or sharper.

Horse archery.  No target around.  Just practicing.

I do a lot of complaining about this game and 99.9% of it is justified (like save corruption,) but I must say it's a nice change to see a game developer doing things like this for free.   I'm no "fangirl" of any game developer.  I pay to use their products and I expect that product to work as advertised, even if it takes a few months or more considering it's games we're talking about here, but Bethesda seem to be outdoing themselves this time round.  Maybe they are making up for lack of support for the previous TES and Fallout games, but in reality they don't have to do it at all.  Other developers have gone the opposite way and try to gouge as much money as possible from the consumer, much to their eventual detriment.   I can't help feeling suspicious of free stuff though.  There's always a catch.  But that's me.

Patch 1.6 info and changelog here:  Note this is a Beta which you can opt in or out of.

Updated SKSE:

According to modders on the Official and other forums the Navmesh (pathing) bug has finally been fixed once and for all....unless something happens to change it.   I can't wait to see the awesome mods we lucky PC users will get to play with in the future because of this important, and long awaited fix.

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