Monday, September 24, 2012


Some people no doubt wonder: why do I play so much Skyrim (my current "Nos" savegame has more than 140 hours on it; and it's but one of more than a dozen that have been started and abandoned in the last few months)?

Not only is my scripting expertise in Gamebryo scripting, but I can't script Papyrus at all. Skyrim is plagued by bugs and a memory leak the size of the Grand Canyon, has no guns, and since I can't script my companions' features are... limited.

Why bother?

The same reason that was the primary reason I put up with Oblivion's craptasticness for so many years: the scenery...

A while later, we were roaming through the marshes between Morthal and Solitude, and then along the North coast; and it started raining:

Much as I love the guns, weapons mods, and my estate in general; you just don't get that in New Vegas.

Although between the overpowering sunlight in the screenshots of Maeva earlier, the horrid shadows, and the odd fog effects from the rain... I'm thinking I may have to track down some kind of ENB I can run without destroying my already lackluster FPS.

I keep thinking of picking up a newer GPU, but then I think that putting a new video card in a single-core CPU system is like cramming a turbocharger into a Geo Metro -- sure, you can... but why? Worse, Skyrim is hobbled by being coded for console-kiddies, and half the video stuff is routed through the CPU anyway; so I'm not sure how much good it would do. Really don't want to drop the money on a new barebones system to build up.

Week of Madness

A couple of weeks ago, PC Gamer online published a multi-part article entitled "Skyrim: Week of Madness".

The hook was that the author would simply download and install every Skyrim mod he could; without looking at titles, reading descriptions, or checking documentation. He would then attempt to play the game, and record the ensuing wackiness.

When I saw it linked and read it, I just had to pass it on here. The whole ordeal is hilarious, well written, and reminds me strongly of the sort of thing I've run into myself (albeit on a much smaller scale) when installing overhaul mods/mod collections in previous games without enough prior research.

It is, as I said, well written and funny (I especially like the portrayal of Lydia) and I strongly recommend you take the time to read all five days if you're a fan of Gamebryo titles at all; but Skyrim especially.

Skyrim Upgrades

For those not aware (and the fewer still who aren't aware and play male characters), Apachii recently released a new standalone male hair pack, that added several new male hairs to the playable races.

Most of them follow the beloved tradition of shoving a female hair onto a male character; or as one /tesg/ commenter put it: "They told me I could be anything I wanted in Skyrim, so I became a pretty princess."

Don't get me wrong -- there are some fine, more-or-less masculine choices. Faux-hawks, that duck-tail thing Alistair rocks in DAO (personally, either one is a little douchebaggy Jersey Shore for my taste, but I'll grant that they're better than having your Nordic swordsman looking like he wandered out of a Pantene commercial); there's one that I've heard people derisively reference as a "Hitler Youth" cut that would be great if not for it being shaved down one side.

There was also, finally, after damned near a year; a short, slicked-back cut that was neither hippy-looking, nor metrosexual:

So, I updated Skyrim-me.

Still not perfect. Too long around the ears and in the back. Of course, one of the reasons I have such a hate-on for the look is that it's realistic -- if I don't keep it short, my real hair tends to frizz, poof, and all-round go wild around my ears and in the back if I let it get the upper hand.

But, it's not shiny; not flowing; and is up off the collar. Improvement: considerable.

Also: yes, I broke the holy lore and immersion and installed a mod that lets me put glasses on characters in the game. After a few years in them myself, I find that my avatars just don't look right without a pair. Plus, proper glasses can be smokin' hot when added to many female looks.

...Which reminds me. Hey, Maeva: step out here into the sunlight, would you?


I wanted to get a good look at your new hair mesh.

Oh? Is that a euphemism? I hope not; because I'm fairly sure you didn't give me a new body texture...

...The hair on your head you perverted damned demon... I installed a new mesh that should have corrected that transparency issue on the right side; and I want to make sure it looks in game like it does in nifscope.

Oh. You're still a horribly boring person, Master.

Yeah, I hear that from time to time. Now be a good demon, and look to your left.

You know; just like when you were in County.

I'll have you know: they've never built a jail that can hold me -- that shitty plot point of Master's from the story notwithstanding. But, fine.

Does it help if I look pensive?

Not really.

Good, good. Looks like the right side of your hair's not see-through anymore. Look to your right, now.

Looks like there are three, one pixel wide gaps over the left ear...

Another of the many advantages of having short, sexy hair.

Some of us can rock the flowing locks, and some can't...

You couldn't handle the glory that was my stunning-but-practical paracord ponytail. ...Also, I don't think anyone has made a Gamebryo mesh that properly replicates it.


Okay, knock it off or I'm locking you both in the makeout dungeon until you've kissed out your argument.

...I take back what I said about you being boring. So, is my hair okay...? ...Does this mean I'm still pretty...?

GAH! Back up! What did I tell you about doing that?! It isn't good for my heart, damn it.

Spoil sport. How's this, then?

...Decidedly disturbing?

More so if the screenshot wasn't taken under full sunlight, slacker-boy.


Not really.

That's some horror movie kinda shit right there, yo.

...That's pretty cool, actually. The way the bangs are passing between her fingers...

So is the new hair a success?

Let's go check under some other lighting conditions. Saddle up, Ladies; we're taking a trip.

Dungeon looks good. Convenient having one just down-river from the house.

Interior looks good too; aside from Skyrim's shitty excuse for dynamic lighting. Somewhat intimidating, too.


We'll just pop into Markarth then and finish off that quest to purchase the house...



Are you staring at my ass back there?


Why not? Is there something wrong with it?

You're, uh, wearing a knee-length cape. Can't really see anything, even if I was inclined to leer.

Oh, right. Forgot about that.

This fancy bear cloak is pretty spiffy, too. Thanks, Master.

Well, someone won't wear anything but black cloaks; so you were the obvious choice. Anyway, my OCD is satisfied after purchasing that shitty house here in Markarth and getting named thane for whatever good it'll do. Let's head back to our actual home.

...Okay, that's just about desktop worthy...

Why thank you.

And that one's not half bad, either.

I always was stunning in the light of a full moon.

Okay, this stupid little post has taken five days... no, looking at the Picasa upload dates it was actually six and a half... on and off instead of the thirty odd minutes it was supposed to have. Now that it's out of my system, I'm going to get to other posts -- if I leave one as a draft, and say "I'll do that one when the others are done" it tends to never get done and deleted a month later when I remember it's still languishing in draftlund.