Replaying Skyrim - Ideal Ruleset to Keep it from Breaking?

#1 Edited by Seppli (11233 posts) -

I just decided to replay Skyrim, at least the storylines I didn't finish (Rebellion & Main Story). Mods-wise, I think I'll give the shopkeepers more gold, and leave it at that. It's the main thing that irked me on my first stint with the game. I might forfeit the shopkeeper mod and go for *trader* tradeskills, and keep the game pristine.

Gameplay-wise, I think I'll go full-on sword & board warrior in heavy armor, with zero tradeskills, and play on the hardest difficulty setting - and rely completely on loot & traders for my gear & consumables. First time I've played a min maxed stealthy Ranger, with some magic, and maxed out tradeskills - which broke the game completely. I don't want that to happen again.

Any other tips to keep the game from bleeding out due to too easily exploited and broken balancing? Any *must have mods*, I shouldn't start a new game without?

#2 Posted by believer258 (12969 posts) -

SkyUI and one of those lighting mods that makes everything look better, Realistic Lighting or something like that. I forgot the name of it.

Gameplay-wise, I don't know.

#3 Edited by Scooper (7920 posts) -

Don't do what I think 80% of people who played Skyrim did and that is spend 10 hours making iron daggers to get 100 Blacksmithing, create a Deadric Set and improve them to 200% quality then proceed to destroy everything thereafter.

I quite liked the tougher dragons mod because it actually makes dragons a real threat, especially on the harder difficulties. It'll also make it so you really have to stock up on potions and buffs to defeat them which means most of the time you won't actually be able to kill a dragon and you'll have to run away until you're stronger. It stops you from having dozens of dragon bones and scales which makes you a little too rich.

I reckon it's more fun to level up your character and share out the perks though multiple skill trees rather than just putting everything into Destruction magic or 1-Handed and becoming too badass. It's a lot more interesting being forced as a magic user to have to use multiple spells from different trees (like Calm, Fear, minor zombie summoning) instead of just blazing everything to death with 2-handed fire. The only problem with this is the UI isn't that great or fun when you have to pause every second to scroll through a list of crap on your quick list.

I think the saturation boost mod is one of my favourite aesthetic mods because the desaturated look of the vanilla game is cool but after playing it for a long time it's really nice to see a bit of vibrancy to the sky and forests.

#4 Edited by Seppli (11233 posts) -

Forgot how uneven the early game and its difficulty is. Most often Expert seems just right for me, forcing me to use the consumables and actives in my arsenal properly. Then there's some random difficulty spike with story mobs one-hitting me, and I adjust the difficulty down. Low end mobs only feel right on Master difficulty pretty much out of the gate.

It's such a shame that Bethesda never quite gets its balancing right. I think they'll have to rethink their entire progression design, if they want to ever nail it. Kingdoms of Amalur had that right, other than being too easy for it. Combat being more about execution and playstyle options, rather than statistical adequacy.

I hope Betheda will eventually go in that direction too. An even and tightly balanced play experience together with the almost limitless scope and scale of their open worlds would truely be grand. Right now I feel like all they did is build the world and come up with interesting progression mechanics, whilst not balancing the game whatsoever. It seems like the player is supposed to chose the right difficulty setting for every encounter himself. In other words, balancing feels extremely loose and lazy.

#5 Posted by JasonR86 (10030 posts) -


I think the best thing to do is for you, as the player, to remember it's a game and that broken shit is ok. I think if you go into it hoping for the best experience where nothing is fucked and all is right you'll come out of it disappointed because I don't think that's possible with any game currently. Games continue to still be games with game-y shit around every corner.

#6 Edited by Seppli (11233 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:


I think the best thing to do is for you, as the player, to remember it's a game and that broken shit is ok. I think if you go into it hoping for the best experience where nothing is fucked and all is right you'll come out of it disappointed because I don't think that's possible with any game currently. Games continue to still be games with game-y shit around every corner.


It does however break my immersion somewhat, and diminish my play experience. I had the greatest time playing on Master difficulty out of the gate. Every encounter was hard fought, and won by the skin of my teeth. Gruelling, but immensely satisfying. Up to that point I only have fought wolves and groups of bandits. Then I came up on the first story quest mid-level boss encounter - some Frost-Spider-Thingy. One-hit kill on Master. Bearly killable on expert by using all the scrolls and buffs and whatnot in my bag, before it two-hit kills me. Just right on Adept difficulty.

And that's pretty much how everything is right now. Constant difficulty tweaking required, to have the moment to moment gameplay experience I want. Sadly, my character will inevitably progress beyond the point of being challenged whatsoever, even on Master difficulty.

It just feels extremely careless, if trading blows with an enemy becomes an impossibilty, when increasing difficulty. If I chose a higher difficulty, what I expect is for the entire experience to be more difficult, but never impossible. So in order to get that experience, according to Bethesda, I have to scale diffculty on an encouter to encounter basis, because they didn't do that work, or design the core of their gameplay and progression systems to easily accomodate for such.

I've played many a Bethesda game, and enjoyed them all, but I tend to forget about the things I didn't like in the games I enjoyed. Nostalgia. This won't stop me from finishing up the core Skyrim content that I've missed thus far. With this fresh character, that has not yet broken the game's balance completely. It's just... it had to be said. I had to get it off my chest. Bethesda's games, in regards to difficulty and challange, are never less than broken, and tend to be completely broken by the time I'm done.

And now, push-ups. Get that pent up anger out. Flippin' Frost Troll! I'll teach you to make me scale down difficulty. *grrr*

#7 Posted by TekZero (2859 posts) -

My first time through a game, i usually play with no mods. i want to play the game the developers intended. That said, i haven't played Skyrim yet, so I can't really help you. But what you suggest already sounds just fine.

#8 Posted by Catfish666 (208 posts) -

I also been replaying Skyrim of late after long time. I had previously played:

- Warrior, 1 handed+shield, very tanky all in all. I played this on launch, 95% unmodded and min maxed it to hell. Got bored very fast.

- Mage, run of the mill destruction focused glass cannon.

- Rogue / Archer, focus in avoiding melee

This time I went with a class which would focus on the skills I found most fun, I ended up with a sneaky magic using assassin/thief. Something along the lines of Letho from Witcher 2. Stealth isn't perfect in the game, but it is way more fun than rushing in tank-style head first into every encounter, and can be made better via mods. I also think one should not do all quest storylines, but those that suit the character. For example, my dude finished thieve's guild and dark brotherhood, but I ain't planning on doing the Companions.

The biggest problem was getting stuck to routines and min maxing. Min maxing is dealth with single decision: completely skip enchanting and smithing, makes loot meaningful once again! Routines can be battled with mods such as Random Encounter Zones and replacing old loot with new, such as Immersive Weapons and Immersive Armors. Skyrim ReDone makes leveling fresh experience again and Interesting NPCs adds some life (and additional voice acting) to the world.

Someone already mentioned it, but I also encourage not dumping all the skill points to one tree, but rather spreading 'em around. For example, my sneaky assassin uses illusion spells constantly, but I've yet to invest a single point to the tree. This playstyle of using many skills also means I have favorited million of them, managing them with Categorised Favorites Menu makes life easier.

Also, avoid fast travel. I completely refrained from using it for first ten hrs or so of this char, and discovered new locations and encounters I had missed before. Try to make traveling fun, just avoid clicking yourself around the map. For example, Convenient Horses makes horsing around much more fun (can tell your followers to use horses and horse armor[!]). Lately I've been using Haste spell from Midas Magic to zip around, Skyrim ReDone also add reduce gravity and walk on water spells, which combo quite well with it.

Some of my favorite mods:

Midas Magic: Good spell collection, although some are clearly OP (force push esp.), I just avoid using them. Has a clever spell acquisition system of having to craft spell books using various materials.

Psychosteve's Dragon Priest Masks: Jus

Guard Dialogue Overhaul: Less of mocking queries of misplaced sweetrolls.

Ethereal Elven Overhaul: I won't touch the issue of graphical changes too much. Everyone has their own taste regarding the cleanliness of faces, and that's cool. But personally I prefer my elves looking bit more like elves than sinister aliens.

Acquisitive Soul Gems: No more petty souls in Grand Soul Gems! Hooray!

Project Reality - Climates of Tamriel - Weather - Lighting: I know! I said no more graphics mods, but just this one. Mainly because it makes nights darker, so you have to plan your traveling accordingly. Has several levels of darkness option during installation.

Install and manage mods with Nexus Mod Manager and optimise the load order with BOSS. Fun playthrough also consists of browsing, installing and uninstalling mods during the playthrough, so get out there and keep discovering cool mods! Skyrim Gems is a good mod compilation site, used it myself to find the majority of mods for this playthrough. Just remember that you can mess up your game with too many mods, if the memory leak issue happens, so keep an eye on your savefile. It should never go above 20 megs.

#9 Posted by gogosox82 (441 posts) -

Get Skyrim redone. My friend has it and when I go over to his place and play it makes me wanna get this game for pc. It basically rebalances everything in the game and gives you useful perks. Might also wanna check out deadly dragons. Trust me, they will fuck you shit up on master and you usually have to run away until your much stronger. There's also another mod that makes you deal with the dynamic weather patterns. Can't remember the name of it though.

#10 Posted by ArtisanBreads (4864 posts) -

Immersive Weapons and Armors are awesome. And I recommend finding a mod that you like that re balances skills. Duel also is great for combat, actually makes it pretty tactical.

#11 Posted by casper_ (915 posts) -

yeah i think stealth (and the sneak attack damage that comes with it), smithing and enchanting can destroy the game balance pretty quick on any difficulty setting. any kind of nightblade build is also incredibly fucked. so i think using a sword and shield or maybe destruction magic centric mage style might be more prudent.

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