Well, I'm bored out of my damned skull this morning, waiting on the mail-twit to deign to deliver my package 'o goodies from my most favoritest people in Montezuma, Iowa.
Since I can't do anything productive like sleep, and the PC needs a bit of a cool-down anyway, I figured I'd share some of the couple dozen screenshots I've run up in the last two days.
My directory cleaned of garbage, everything seems to be running happily once more. Have logged about a dozen hours into the new game, with nary a peep in the way of protest.
Is annoying, having to redo the quests I just got done doing last week anyway - especially raising the 7500 septims it costs to get the pirate's den up and running for a'plunderin'. That takes some time to collect, selling items 1 to 35 gold at a time.
In that vein, we opted to take a breather once the Black Flag's crew was returned to Hell this time.
I've continued my work on refining old companions, and have worked out not only stuff like summoning spells, tracking quests, and combat styles; but also managed to get more-or-less rid of those damned blotchy skin textures:
Although getting their faces set exactly correct is difficult. Every game ends up rendering my girls slightly differently. Oblivion is a bit worse than most - as I've mentioned before, the CS' facegen doesn't work quite right. What you see isn't usually what you get; which is to say that the preview and in-game view seldom match up exactly. This is one of the few real improvements FO3 made to the engine.
The companions' combat styles are coming along marvelously. Where default styles result in the companion generally using only one weapon, my new ones have them frequently switching between ranged, melee, and spells; depending on the situation. It's interesting when all three of us are unloading arrows into a charging enemy; only to switch to blades and shields to bring them down. More interesting is watching Maeva pick enemies out of the air with lightning bolt spells.
That girl still worries me, sometimes...
We did at least manage to find her some decent armor, though.
I also did the initial revamp of my aforementioned Aureal and Mazken companions that I'm planning to share sometime in the hopefully near future. Let's just say my facegen skills in 2007 were sorely lacking... but I've made some minor improvements. On that note, I'd like to introduce everyone to Dawn and Lilith:
They still need work, obviously. Dawn (the Aureal)'s eyes are too small, and too close together yet. Lilith still has some five o'clock shadow going on; and they both need the edges knocked off those jawlines. I know both Aureal and Mazken are supposed to be amazonian and somewhat masculine... but I really think Bethsoft's facegen takes it too far.
They start in the Shivering Isles; in the bar in that little town before you have to deal with the Gatekeeper. That said, I wrote and tested the summoning spells; and they summon into Cyrodiil without issue. Conversely, I believe the Cyrodiil companions should summon into the Shivering Isles fine. Tracking quests, as well, operate correctly.
Haven't run up combat styles for them, yet. I haven't really decided what roles I want Dawn and Lilith to take. Dawn is nominally an archer; and Lilith a swordswoman, but that is open to change - especially in light of the fact that I appear to have figured out how to get them to switch off and do either effectively.
And you know, I have to add that I really hate the way the Gamebryo toolsets handle dialog. It's such a pain in the ass to create; and conversations between the player and multiple NPCs are all but impossible. Which sucks, as I had a beautiful little story for these two in the back of my mind when I created them; about how they were both outcasts from their respective groups, forced to work together to survive, and hated each others' guts. So much time would be spent arguing, sniping back and forth, and just generally being bitches in the most amusing ways...
Could probably work something out if I had voice files, but without it; it's just not practical.
On another, separate feature note: my idea to simulate a companion picking alchemical components as you travel appears to work. Many companions already use a similar technique for gold, so if you've seen that one you should have an idea of what I'm talking about. The rate at which components are spawned will likely need tweaking, but it's nice that it at least works. Gods know not enough does around here, these days.