Monday, September 24, 2012

Whyrim?

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.

4 comments:

  1. I gotta agree that in the last two TES games the landscaping has been the devs' strongest point. While on the one hand I'm always bitching that detailed leaves fluttering on trees and slowing down my FPS is something that I can always do without, on the other hand I have to give them props for producing games that at least make for great screenshots.

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    1. Yeah, it's like a faster rendering (usually) Terragen; just with the potential to also produce sex and violence.

      ...and, I suppose some quests and story or whatever, too.

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  2. Random question for Skyrim and you. When you make your own followers, how much of a say do you have in the AI? I know Fallout 3 had a "timer" of sorts that made them get better longer they were with you and somehow you made great AI followers that I am sure break the game. However have you had any luck with Skyrim followers since I get the feeling the company dumbed that part down a lot.

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    1. Depends heavily on what perspective you're coming at it from, I suppose.

      Versus the vanilla FNV followers? Skyrim's followers are a solid step forward. Simple and straightforward to create; following has gotten decent in the last couple patches (it was horrid in the first two or three versions of the game, and companions got lost constantly); they don't do well going between weapons and magic, but switch smoothly and readily between ranged (bows) and melee weapons. Combat styles still suck by default, but are not hard to make suck less. They still exhibit weird equipping habits sometimes; and Skyrim is rife with voice types that are partially or wholly incompatible with followers -- which limits your voice options a bit. Biggest complaint most people have with Skyrim followers is they cannot into stealth -- once the fight breaks out, they're in it to win it; none of this picking people off one at a time from hiding shit. Depending on aggression settings, they're also not good at not attacking any enemy they see -- straying too close to a dragon with companions around can lead to a bad day if you weren't ready for the fight.

      If you mean how do they stack up against my FNV companions? Well... that's not a fair comparison, really. The FNV incarnation of my girls have more than three and a half years development in them -- the FNV version is a gutted, optimized, and redone version of my original work on the RR Companions Vault back in the spring of '09. It's not really fair to try to hold the Skyrim iteration to the same standards; what with the differences in script capabilities, engine bugs and limitations, and just plain lack of maturity of the engine and construction kit.

      I will say that I don't have any great problem with the girls in Skyrim. I've got them following, fighting, and sandboxing correctly and reliably. I would like it if the AI packages were better; since by default the vanilla-style followers don't seem to be able to use anything but a basic follow or sandbox package. Fixing that will require the creation of new dialogue, packages, and so on; which I haven't really felt like delving into until the SuCK matures a bit more (he says, knowing full well the piece of shit we have is all Bethsoft is going to grace we in the unwashed masses with).

      Main problem I'm having with Skyrim these days is the modding community. Just about every mod I download that's anything more in depth than weapons or armor screws my game over royally. I just had to remove the Apocalypse spell pack this morning -- I had downloaded it last night to try, and found that one of the hundred scripts it came with was cutting my framerate in half. Why? Who knows; but I wish more modders would test their damned scripts and only use ones that are actually necessary.

      As for the system-defying AI that lives somewhere in my PC and drives the girls to do weird shit that shouldn't be possible? Yeah, it's still there. They had a learning curve this time too; just like in previous games.

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