Saturday, May 26, 2012

Mighty Magick

Welcome to the wonderful world of new content! From now on I'll be saving any strictly visual mods for my compilation posts. I've been saying for a long time that I'm going to shift my blog to talk more about mods that affect gameplay, so I figured that forcing myself out of the comfort zone is the best way to do it.

There a number of things about the various skills of Skyrim that people generally want to change, but for me, the big one is the magic system. I loved how in the previous games you could create your own spells, and they wouldn't be terrible in comparison to what's already available to you from merchants and the like. I also loved how every spell was useful in its own way, no matter what level you were at the time. Skyrim got rid of this by introducing a system of strictly better spells replacing the old ones as you increase in skill. For some schools this may make sense, but it's a bit frustrating to only have one really good destruction spell at your disposal that's in the element of your choice. The streamlining of all of the effects also makes it a lot harder to concentrate on the other schools of magic. Also, if you get enough enchantments strapped onto your equipment, you can be casting your one good destruction spell for free! Something about that doesn't really scream "balanced" to me.

Mighty Magick aims to remedy these complaints through a complete overhaul of the system and a reorganization of each of the schools. First of all, each spell has a label of the school's name in front of it now so that they are easy to find in a list. All of your spells will increase in potency as your skill increases, allowing all of your spells to remain useful if you choose to stick with them. Destruction gets more damage; Alteration, Restoration, and Illusion get more magnitude; and Conjuration gets more duration. Enchantments have been swapped with potions for the potential to cast free spells. Potions will now provide lower casting cost, whereas enchantments will magnify the effects of the school's spells. This allows both to still be useful without being game-breaking or overpowered. Dual casting costs more but amplifies the effect more, making using only magic a bit more exciting. Each of the schools have been made a bit more powerful in their own way, and there's been a bit of swapping between schools (paralysis and light spells now fall under Illusion instead of Alteration).

On top of the balancing act that Mighty Magick miraculously accomplishes, it also adds several of the old spells to Skyrim. Alteration now has Feather (increased carrying capacity), Sanctuary (targeting shield effects), Slowfall (falling from heights without being hurt), Elemental Resistance spells, and Elemental Weakness spells. Restoration has been given Resist Posion and Disease spells, unique Fortify spells for every skill, Absorb spells that work based on concentration, and spells to Fortify health, stamina, and magicka. Illusion now has a night vision spell that works the same way as the Khajiit racial power and a Fade Other spell to turn other people invisible. Conjuration has sadly only been given a permanent summon Dremora Lord spell, but hopefully the author will expand this a bit more in the future.

I've included my voice in the video because I thought a couple of my clips needed a bit more explanation. I must warn you; it's pretty boring. I suppose that's what happens when the majority of mod aims at balancing the game rather than making it more flamboyant. Definitely not a bad thing, though, at least not in my book.

As you probably noticed, all of the new spells are available at the College of Winterhold. It'd be nice if the author added some of the minor spells to leveled lists and the like, but that probably won't come until later updates. That being said, I really like this mod for the balancing effects; the new additions are really just an added bonus. If my incredibly lengthy explanation of this mod wasn't enough for you, or if you're completely sold on the idea of it, be sure to check out Mighty Magick for yourself over on the Nexus.

That's all for now. A bit of a side note: if you're interested in seeing some screenshots and more fun videos that show what I've been working on in my free time other than this blog, be sure to check out my Tumblr. I've been playing around with voiced dialogue in the Creation Kit, and the experimental videos I make with it probably won't be published on here unless I make a public mod out of them. I love hearing your opinions, and asking me questions on there might be the best way to reach me. Plus I'll be more inclined to talk about my personal life, which isn't something that's really fitting for this blog. Until next time.

Friday, May 18, 2012

My Current Specifications

Here's a list of my new computer's specifications for those who were interested. It's definitely not the fastest out there, but it's great for what I do.

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium (x64)
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2600 CPU @ 3.40GHz, 3401 Mhz, 4 Cores, 8 Logical Processors
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti
Sound: Realtek High Definition Audio
Physical Memory (RAM): 16.0 GB
Virtual Memory: 32.0 GB

I'll post some screenshots of what my game looks like below.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Road So Far

After what seems like a lifetime, I'm happy to say that I finally have Skyrim up and running again on my new computer. I'll make a separate post with the exact specifications for those who are interested, but now that I can finally play again, all I really want to do is talk about all the mods I can finally get.

I've been keeping a list of all the mods I plan on adding to my game, and there are several that have already been installed but haven't been discussed simply due to the size of the mod in question. I try to avoid making large posts about tiny mods because I feel like it's too much of an effort for something that could be covered together with others. Because of this mentality, I like to make slightly larger posts every once in a while to talk about all the mods I haven't been able to feature. Those of you that regularly read this blog or my Oblivion blog know that I do this due to my previous explanations and posts regarding these kinds of mods. So for those of you that have no interest in reading about the little things, feel free to move along or skip to the video toward the end of this post.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Fresh Start

Well, May is here, and as promised, I have returned to Skyrim with a new and much more capable computer. I've already installed my previous setup and can play on Ultra with a steady 30fps. Needless to say, I'm pretty happy.

But ever new beginning comes with new challenges, and I definitely have a couple. I've been spending quite a bit of time fooling around with the Creation Kit because I now have my new microphone and can create custom characters with voiced dialogue. Sadly the Creation Kit's dialogue system is much more complex than I anticipated. It look my several hours to figure out how to make my voice show up in game and paired with lip movement, but now I know how to make basic dialogue options complete with topics and varied responses. However, I haven't had any luck with custom greetings yet, so that's the next big item on my to-learn list. I've posted a very short video below of an NPC I created using my voice. Be sure to let me know what you think.

The second major issue is deciding on what mods to cover next. I really want to go into quest and gameplay mods, but sadly my new character needs a bit more development before I can start running through exciting dungeons and the like. I do still want to make a new post for character beautification with whatever I find that's better than UNP's faces, but obviously that's on hold until I can find a good replacement. Because of this dilemma, I'm ever more open to suggestions than usual, so please don't hesitate to send your recommendations my way. If you're a mod author looking to promote your work, I'd be more than happy to take a look at what you've done. Anything to get me back in the swing of things again.

I'm not sure when I'll be starting up with blog posts with new mods, but I can promise that I'll do my best to start up again this month. Until next time.