Originally Posted by Shadeh
This is something that really confuses me about skyrim. I hear over and over and over that so many people like it, however, i always end up uninstalling it after about 30minutes to 1 hour of playing it. Simply cause of the reason that i'm not sure which direction this game takes? DO i have/get magic powers, how much better will this game actually get? Do i get better weapons, how? I guess it's just me being a bit new to such open world games (GTA like games aside)..
However, if the first hour is not that enjoyable for me, does that mean i should probably just forget this game?
One thing that has distrubed me the most is that all i remember is moving from a to b on foot/horse.. Isn't there a faster way?
And finally, this is just me hoping i one day understand what's so loved about this game. Because i either don't get it or it's really not my thing.
If you are only giving it 30-60 minutes, then you are just cutting yourself short. Skyrim is a very different kind of game. It isn't your average shoot-em-up that you can complete in less than a solid 24 hour's period of gameplay. Skyrim is a game of longevity, depth, detail, storyline, and openness. Part of your problem might be that you have played the opening so many times that it's gotten boring. The opening is pretty strait forward, and DOES get boring after a you do it a few times, but the game has SO much more detail, immersion, and depth than what you see in the first three or four hours of gameplay, let alone what you might see in just the first hour.
I highly recommend you give it another try. You will need to play for a LOT longer than an hour (personally, I have about a thousand hours of time in total into Skyrim). Give it more than four hours. It is a single player RPG, you have level, work on your skills (which is actually how you level), select perk points to specialize your character, converse with NPCs to find quests and participate in the main storylines (yes, there are multiple main storylines that occur concurrently.) It is a slow paced game, it doesn't start quickly, and you certainly won't finish it quickly unless you are just blasting through the quests and ignoring the beauty and immersion of the world. It is like Dungeons and Dragons, where you level, possibly for dozens or even hundreds of levels via XP, which requires a dedicated investment of time into the game. You can level fairly quickly...unlike most RPG games there is no XP...you level by doing, by increasing your skill thing realistic things like blacksmithing, one-handed weapons and a shield or a bow, various schools of magic, enchanting and alchemy, etc. As you play the game, you will inevitably do these things, so leveling is a natural consequence of gameplay, but you can put some dedicated effort into leveling those skills if you wish to get ahead faster. You can also pay skill trainers to get a small head start early on in the game (or leapfrog forward a bit in the middle of the game.)
Regarding world beauty and immersion, one of the things that people love so much about Skyrim and the Elder Scrolls series in general is that it has for some time been one of the most highly moddable game series on the planet. Skyrim today is not really worth playing unless you mod it. There are a few critical mods you MUST use to get the best experience. Here are a few I recommend as essentials to make the game look and feel its best:Modding Skyrim1.
Get and install ENB!! ENB, made by Boris Vorontsov, is a rendering engine overhaul. It updates the rendering engine with D3D injection, allowing customizable configurations to be used to not only vastly improve the visual quality of the game, but allow each player to find a config (look on skyrim.nexusmods.com) that appeals to you. My personal favorites are K ENB Extensive and Kountervibe ENB Extensive by Kyokushinoyama (http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/38944/
?). I would say K ENB is by far the best ENB config for Skryim to date. It has loads of custom shaders, SweetFX sharpening, Uber SMAA, and brings the visual quality of Skyrim up to modern game standards (and then some, IMO.) Be warned, K/Kountervibe ENB Extensive can REALLY PUSH your system, harder than any other game on the planet when using the maximum quality options. Read the files that come with the ENB, especially enbseries.ini, enblocal.ini, and the SweetFX stuff...and look through the optional folders for performance versions of the default configs, to tune it to your system. Bit of a pain at first, but once you find the right setup, Skyrim becomes a completely new game with some of the most stunning graphics I've personally EVER seen.2.
Get and install the core UI and scripting essentials: SkyUI and SKSE. SkyUI is an interface overhaul that fixes the numerous issues with the games default interface, which was NOT PC friendly. SkyUI offers a much more PC friendly interface, as well as bringing MCM, or Mod Control Menus, to the game. MCM allows mod authors to add configuration menus to the game UI, which is critical for some of the other mods you'll probably want. SKSE, or Skyrim Script Extender, is an essential scripting enhancement addon that many mods, including SkyUI, now rely on in order to write stable scripts for their mods (the games default Papyrus scripting engine was rather unstable and problematic.) Also install the Nexus Mod Manager (NMM) from skyrim.nexusmods.com to ease installation and management of the other core mods below. You should also pick up RaceMenu, which is a SkyUI compatible overhaul of the game's vanilla character creation menus. RaceMenu makes it a lot easier to tweak and tune your character to your liking, and is easier to navigate than the games vanilla menu. (Make sure you pick up the DisableFaceGenCache module, as it will be necessary to avoid crashes with a couple other essential mods below.) The last UI mod you will want is Better Message Box Controls. Like SkyUI, this fixes one of the most severe shortcomings of the games menu system, which was only really designed for consoles and gamepads: The ability to use the keyboard to control popup dialogs that occur throughout game conversations and the inventory menus.3.
Get texture packs. You should look for Texture Pack Combiner on skyrim.nexusmods.com, and pick the higher resolution textures you want. There are a few core essential high quality high resolution texture packs (one which is no longer available, however I have a copy and could probably get it to you if you need it), as well as numerous extra texture packs that you can pick and choose. TPC is a tool that will cherry pick the best textures from all the packs you download, build an NMM package to make it easy to add these textures to the game. These textures compliment Bethesda's high res texture pack, so you'll need that as well. Skyrim's original textures were pretty low resolution, 256x256 and some 512x512. The official Bethesda HD texture pack increases those resolutions to 1024 and 2048. TPC textures are usually 2048 and some can even be 4096 if you choose, so the game looks considerably better with TPC installed. Just make sure you pick the right amount...if you run TPC with ALL of the optional textures, you will need at least 3Gb VRAM, and 4Gb is best. If you have less than 2Gb, best to leave textures alone, or go no higher than 1024 res.4.
Get the top armor and weapon mods and texture packs. Some weapon textures will be included with TPC, however you will want to install the top community mods for the best Skyrim experience. aMidianBorn "Book of Silence" weapons, armors & unique items is probably the top mod for new and improved weapons and armor. Immersive Weapons is the next one. Both are current, regularly worked on, and quite stable.5.
Get a body & hair mod and textures. If you install higher resolution textures, you'll want to install body mods for both male and female. Without at least some basic body modding, the characters end up looking a little out of place in your otherwise amazingly high detailed game world. There are quite a number on the nexus (particularly for female), however there are a couple that offer the best lore-friendly experience. UNP for females is probably the best, with the broadest compatibility, the most armors, and the widest variety of texture alternatives. Better Males greatly improves the look of male characters in the game world, better muscle tone, etc. For both UNP (and most other female body mods like CBBE) and Better Males, you can usually find alternative textures/normal maps to tune the look to suit your preferences and chosen ENB.
In addition to body mods, you'll also want to get hair mods. The games default hair is ok, however it too looks out of place when you enhance the quality of the game. The top hair mod on the nexus is ApacheSkyHair. It adds a bunch of new hair styles for all races, greatly expanding the customizability of your character (and many of them look very good, too.) I also recommend Superior Lore-friendly Hair, which improves the vanilla game hairs to match a world of higher detail with an ENB. For males, also pick up a beard mod and a brow mod. Most of these have negligible impact to frame rate, however adding hair styles can cause the games character creation menus to crash if you have not installed RaceMenu and the DisableFaceGenCache mods.6.
This one could be optional, depending on how you play. If you use followers, then it is highly recommended that you install one of the follower framework mods. There are a number, including Ultimate Follower Overhaul, Advanced Follower Tweaks, and Extensible Followers Framework. UFO has become a little stagnant, and AFT is heavily scripted which has the potential to cause problems. EFF is the most recently updated, fairly stable, does use scripting but does not seem to attach too many scripts to your followers like AFT does. It is currently undergoing a large overhaul that has made it the best follower mod out there (albeit as a beta). You can pick which one you prefer. I've used UFO and EFF myself. I liked UFO, simple but it worked (albeit with some specific requirements regarding how you use custom followers.) EFF seems to be the most advanced, and most capable, allowing you to even build an army of followers that can be grouped and commanded in a very flexible way (useful if you like the world PvE stuff...the war between Skyrim and the Empire.)7.
The last essential thing you will want to get are the Unofficial Patches and Sharlikran's Compatibility Patches. These fix a LOT of issues that existed with Bethesda's own game files (.esm packages), such as bad texture seams, dirty data file edits, and a variety of things that made the game unstable. There is a lot of information on these patches on the skyrim nexus at skyrim.nexusmods.com.
Once you have all of the core essentials, there are plenty of other mods you could install. The game can become unstable if you install too many, so you will want to be careful about how many you install, and which ones. Mods that rely on a lot of papyrus scripting tend to make the game unstable and could potentially even lead to corrupted saves in the long run (saves that will no longer load, resulting in the infamous ILS, or Infinite Loading Screen.) Scriptless mods are best, however some scripted mods can add a wonderful degree of immersion in the world. Here are a few mods that I recommend for the best gameplay experience:A.
Immersive NPCs. This mod is HUGE (over a gig), it is a 100% community supported mod, brings a lot of custom community talent to bear, and it adds dozens of NPCs to the game world. Most of them are far more interesting than those that came with the game. Each one is custom voice acted by community volunteers. Many of the NPCs give you more quests. Some of the NPCs can be followers (free or hired companions).B.
Immersive Patrols. This mod adds some immersion to the world by adding patrols for a variety of factions that move through the world, fight with each other, and possibly even fight you. Imperials, Stormcloaks, Vampires, etc. One of my favorite mods as it makes the world feel more alive.C.
Deadly Dragons. If you find the games vanilla dragons to be too plain, boring, or unchallenging, this is an essential mod. Total overhaul of dragons, making them more varied, more powerful, and possibly considerably more challenging. Adds a whole host of new leveled dragon types that start appearing as you level through the game. Adds the option (via a custom SkyUI MCM) to give dragons total-area of effect spells...powerful meteor showers, fire showers, lightning storms, blizzards, etc. that cover the whole world area that the dragon affects, making fights much more challenging. Adds the option to make dragons extremely difficult, enable "assult" mode where there is a chance that you may randomly encounter two or more dragons at once, and even allows dragon encounters to be "unleveled" (meaning at the lowly level of 30 you might encounter an endgame dragon...which would indeed be deadly alone, and quite likely deadly even with a healthy troop of followers at your back....assuming you choose to stay and fight!)D.
ASIS. This greatly improves the AI of the worlds opponents. Rather than your mundane "fight or/then flight" behavior of the vanilla game, ASIS improves each enemies skills, perks, gives them the ability to use all spells (including new types of spells added by mods), potions, and poisons, etc. This can make the game very challenging, depending on how you configure it, so you may or may not want to use it. Personally I like a challenging game, and for that, ASIS is essential. (NOTE: ASIS is a patched mod...that means you need to run a special script that will generate a Skyrim mod file (.esp) that must be loaded after all other mods. Make sure you read the mods pages on the nexus to learn how to install it properly!)E.
Automatic Variants + Monster Mod. These are two more world immersion mod. On of the failings of vanilla Skyrim is its lack of creature diversity. Automatic Variants adds another patch module that allows the game to generate randomly varied creatures to the world. Instead of the same old mud crab every single time, AV will vary their size, texture, and spawn counts. It will do this for a whole host of other creatures in the game as well, such as Skeevers, Mammoths, Saber Cats, etc. Monster Mod adds a while host of new types of creatures that you can encounter in the world, including some of the favorites from prior bethesda games, such as Dremora and other beings from the realms of Oblivion, more diverse undead, and a bunch of other creatures that are still lore friendly.F.
Climates of Tamriel. The vanilla weather system in Skyrim was decent, but CoT greatly improves it. It adds a number of weather systems to the game, and improves the others. Sunsets and sunrises become considerably more beautiful. Combined with a couple other mods, "Supreme and Volumetric Fog" and "Morning Fogs", these make the environment of Skyrim more realistic and immersive. The volumetric fogs can make for some startling encounters out in the wilderness as well...such as a wearwolf coming out of mist right on top of you without warning.G.
Frostfall + Realistic Needs & Diseases. I've come to believe these are an essential mod for Skyrim, from a realism and immersion standpoint. They add survival requirements to the game, which forcibly interrupts what is often a boring and mundane tromp through the wilderness into a fight for survival. Frostfall involves new requirements to dress and stay warm, stay out of freezing water, get inside near a hearth or build a fire and set up a tent when out in the wilderness, and STAY WARM in order to survive. There is a normal mode, where any higher quality armor set will protect you from the elements, and an extreme mode called W.E.A.R. that requires you wear realistically warm armors (i.e. fur armors, cloaks) to actually stay warm, and gives penalties for wearing metal armors that in reality would probably not keep you as warm (or maybe even increase the rate at which you experience hypothermia.) Frostfall adds hypothermia effects...Skyrim is an extreme northern land, and it doesn't stay warm at night in most areas, and in some areas it is freezing cold at all times. If you stay out in the elements too long, you'll begin to freeze, and eventually die. This breaks up non-horse and non-paid travel in the game, requiring you to sleep at night, or at least find your way into a tavern and drink by the hearth.
In addition to Frostfall, Realistic Needs & Diseases adds more survival aspects to the game. In vanilla Skyrim, food sometimes offers a very small boost to health or magica, some which may last over a short period of time. RND is a complete overhaul of the food system, making it a requirement that you eat and drink at reasonable intervals to avoid becoming hungry. Forgo eating or drinking for too long, and the effects of hunger and thirst will begin to wear you down with negative effects that drain your movement speed, magica and stamina regeneration, eventually leading to total exhaustion and the inability to move or engage effectively in combat. With SkyUI MCM, you even have the option of enabling "Die from thirst" if you are really into realism. I find both mods improve Skyrim's immersion and realism, which goes along nicely with a more beautiful, rich, detailed world enabled by ENB, high res textures, and the other mods listed here.
Beyond these, there are countless other mods that you can install. The game is limited to 255 total, however it is best to keep your mod count below 150 for stability (even if you have a really beefy system). I suggest checking out Skyrim Nexus, sort by the most downloads or the most endorsements to find the best, read about them, make sure they are stable (many are NOT, such as Warzones or Claralux, both of which are guaranteed to corrupt your save game eventually.) Once Skyrim is modded with at least the essentials I listed above, it becomes a stunningly beautiful game with a rich, diverse world that you can explore...well, for well over 1000 hours. ;-) I have restarted my game a few times due to corrupted saves, been as high as level 50 (out of 80), and only explored a fraction of the game world. Skyrim can be a very enjoyable game that is easy to make yours...a personal game with a personal and unique experience. It is unique, different than most other games, largely thanks to its moddability, and definitely worth playing through at least once.
For an example of how freaking good this game can look, check out K ENB Extensive here: http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/38944/
?. You can also take a look at that ENB's author's Flickr here for higher resolution images (and many more of them): http://www.flickr.com/photos/82612870@N05/
. (It should be noted that K ENB's author plays at 3840x2160 with Uber SMAA, SweetFX sharpening, and downsampling (OGSSAA) to 1920x1080 in order to make Skyrim look as good as it does. He runs a pair of GeForce 770 4Gb in SLI, and with the maximum quality ENB config, gets less than 20fps. Unless you have a similar rig, you will need to use one of the lesser quality ENB configs, and just run the game at 1920x1080 (which is four times fewer pixels to render). The game will still look fantastic, but won't quite achieve the level of quality you'll see in his screenarchery.)Edited by jrista - 10/21/13 at 11:27pm