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Elder Scrolls Mods Going Downhill?

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:50 am
by Wolf
First off, I don't mean to slander the authors of any of these mods - just point out an obvious flaw with our current way of going about these mods.  

This one guy built one of the highest rated mods, Sands of Time. This mod's goal is noble - to make random encounters more random and exciting....however the mod was just an awful experience for me. Rather than editing every cell individually it uses the placeatme function (or whatever its called in Skyrim) and just places npcs right on top of the player at random times. This breaks so many (like 1 in every 10) quests and isn't immerse at all. I always know there's a mod running in the background. Worst of all, sometimes they spawn 'bosses'. And by 'bosses' they mean regular enemies with a new texture and a huge health bar where one swing of the sword doesn't even move it. At first I thought it was intended, and that I was supposed to run away but then they spawned in an area where I couldn't run away and it just broke the game. The worst part is its one of the highest endorsed mods on the nexus...people like to honor mods that do a lot even when they do it in all the wrong ways.  

Oh, and it also gives the player two items a green pill and a red pill.  The red pill, I believe is for fixing compatibility issues or something but if you swallow the green pill it takes you to a cut-scene in Skyrim of some You-Tube video about a guy raising an army of giant chickens.  Its just silly, and brings about my next problem with mods like these.  Why can't mods just do what they're meant to do, and nothing more?  My absolutely favorite mod on the nexus is convenient horses.  Its the only truly immerse game-play mod I've found for Skyrim but it has one immersion-breaking element.  You have to learn how to whistle by whistling at random people through a dialogue option.  It's just silly, and ridiculous, and ow every time I talk to someone I see that option which just shouldn't be there.  Still, my favorite mod ever but I'm trying to point out a small annoyance.

UFO is one of the most overhyped mods out there. Now, not saying it's the worst mod - or even that its a bad mod.  It does deserve a lot more notice than most mods but it has a lot of flaws in it too.  But first, a history lesson.  When Skyrim came out I noticed millions of great mods dealing with companions that did a pretty good job.  Then, this baby came out and just towered over them.  It claims to do everything the other mods do but it misses a lot of simple points like being able to set a cell as an NPC's second home.  We, as a Morrowind Modding Community owe a lot to grumpy for giving us his beautiful companion template.  Companions in Morrowind were simply worthless until his scripts and dialogue options came out.  Now, two games later and the modding community just went downhill.  There is relax and guard option, just a wait option.  So theres no way to distinguish NPCs by letting some walk leisurely around your home and others stand as guards on patrol.  There is no way to take off an NPCs default armor unless the companion is set up for you to do that in the first place so if you want to make an npc wear fancy clothing instead of his/her leather armor.  The dialogue options are also pretty bland such as "Train some, you are weak" and "you know....".  Don't get me wrong, UFO does a lot of background stuff but there are some pretty obvious flaws.  Back to the history, I wonder if you can just throw the word "Ultimate" in front of your mod and claim to do everything all the other mods do but as one mod and get the highest ratings.  It sure seems like it.  

This brings me to my main point, I think Skyrim mods are lacking becuase people are just throwing endorsements around for what an author claims to do and not actually trying it themselves.  What do all these mods have in common?  They're just throwing around the claim that they do everything other mods do, but better and they have words like "Ultimate, Immersive, etc." all over them.  I don't think its the modder's fault.  I think its the endorsers failing to support the mods that deserve it and throwing praise on rushed ones.

I'm curious if anyone else here has had a similar experiance with Skyrim Mods and if they have their own thoughts on why mods in Elder Scrolls seem to be lacking.  Perhaps its just the more advanced Creation Kit making it harder to mod or the fact that Bethesda foolishly gave up Skyrim way earliar than they originally planned (where are those spears I saw!  How hard would it be to just release the .esp for modders to finish?).  Or maybe its because modders today seem to be a younger, less experianced force than they were before.  

Once again, I'm not saying any of these mods are just absolutely worthless or even bad.  I'm just saying if someone played Morrowind Mods and then Skyrim Mods they'd see what I'm talking about.

Re: Elder Scrolls Mods Going Downhill?

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:49 pm
by Illuminiel
On Nexus you can only vote a mod up

On PES you could vote a mod down - which really hurt when that happened - but could lead to improvements

I think Wolf you are seeing social media behaviour over mods but the quality of mods changing... I'm not so sure about that

On MMH there are hundreds of mods that begin - this is my first mod so be easy on me - or something like that - many are a simple recolor - at the time there was a gold rush fever for being part of the community and some of the submitted mods were not high in quality - yet they are all cherished on MMH as a snapshot of the emotion felt towards the game and community back then

I have to say Wolf I have often been disappointed by Morrowind mods which said they did something and then I discovered they didn't or they just jarred with my play style or they were full of basic spelling mistakes.

Many of the top mods For Skyrim on Nexus just didn't appeal to my game play style - or I have become cynical towards modding hype.

For Skyrim I got a lot of my mods via reviews on Skyrim G.E.M.S

Typically I go for graphic enhancements - these typically add immersion for me - I grabbed a cloaks mod which worked really well and some camping/hiking mods seeing as Skyrim feels at times like a hiking simulator. I did get a good companion control mod which enabled me to more safely park Lydia and the dialogue options felt in tune with the game.

Overall I feel the mods I got for my game have enhanced it and there have only been a couple that I decided not to go with.

Re: Elder Scrolls Mods Going Downhill?

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:38 pm
by Leonardo
Wolf wrote:First off, I don't mean to slander the authors of any of these mods - just point out an obvious flaw with our current way of going about these mods.  

This one guy built one of the highest rated mods, Sands of Time. This mod's goal is noble - to make random encounters more random and exciting....however the mod was just an awful experience for me. Rather than editing every cell individually it uses the placeatme function (or whatever its called in Skyrim) and just places npcs right on top of the player at random times. This breaks so many (like 1 in every 10) quests and isn't immerse at all. I always know there's a mod running in the background. Worst of all, sometimes they spawn 'bosses'. And by 'bosses' they mean regular enemies with a new texture and a huge health bar where one swing of the sword doesn't even move it. At first I thought it was intended, and that I was supposed to run away but then they spawned in an area where I couldn't run away and it just broke the game. The worst part is its one of the highest endorsed mods on the nexus...people like to honor mods that do a lot even when they do it in all the wrong ways.  

Have never heard of the Sands of Time mod and yes you're correct Skyrim use the placeatme command.

Sounds like the author didn't have a purpose for this mod just to be fun or have crazy stuff in-game without knowledge what will happen with a quest(s).

I've to agree with Illy here when it comes to rate/vote a mod on Nexus either you like or you don't like it.  So if you give thumbs up then the author knows for sure if someone likes the mod, but on the other hand the author doesn't have a clue if someone dislike it and therefore cannot improve it unless someone is reporting an issue like I did earlier this year.

Now, I don't know for sure if the author or the mods make the call to take down the mod which is now hidden, because the mod were created with SkyEdit and that tool will definitely damage your game.

My absolutely favorite mod on the nexus is convenient horses.  Its the only truly immerse game-play mod I've found for Skyrim but it has one immersion-breaking element.  You have to learn how to whistle by whistling at random people through a dialogue option.  It's just silly, and ridiculous, and ow every time I talk to someone I see that option which just shouldn't be there.  Still, my favorite mod ever but I'm trying to point out a small annoyance.

I tried the Convenient Horses mod at the same time I had UFO installed, but I couldn't get UFO to work properly so I stop using UFO and later I also stop using Convenient Horses.

Now I use the Amazing Follower Tweaks mod (AFT) and the author did a great job when it comes to immerison imo.  Have you tried AFT?

I'm curious if anyone else here has had a similar experiance with Skyrim Mods and if they have their own thoughts on why mods in Elder Scrolls seem to be lacking.  Perhaps its just the more advanced Creation Kit making it harder to mod or the fact that Bethesda foolishly gave up Skyrim way earliar than they originally planned (where are those spears I saw!  How hard would it be to just release the .esp for modders to finish?).  Or maybe its because modders today seem to be a younger, less experianced force than they were before.  

Once again, I'm not saying any of these mods are just absolutely worthless or even bad.  I'm just saying if someone played Morrowind Mods and then Skyrim Mods they'd see what I'm talking about.

I think the use of Papyrus in Skyrim changes everything in both CK and modding in general a least when using scripted mods, because now is Skyrim a little trickier to both install or uninstall mods due to Bethesda's decision to use Papyrus in Skyrim.  If you install a mod that have loose script(s) then all content that the mod is touching cancel the actual content in a BSA e.g Unofficial Skyrim Patches BSA's is a good example about what I mean, so no I don't think TES modding is lacking for one game that seems a little harder or should I say a little different to mod in comparison to both Morrowind and Oblivion due to non-Papyrus games.

Re: Elder Scrolls Mods Going Downhill?

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:22 pm
by Xar
Honestly, Skyrim was a much more hyped game than either Morrowind or Oblivion were. As such, it gathered a much larger (and I dare say, younger) user base, who probably got way overhyped about the whole modding thing. With YouTube channels featuring mods, an enormous already-kinda-working selection of mod hosting sites, and the possibility of becoming internet-famous, many people jumped on the bandwagon out of pure attention-craving.

Back in the day, modding wasn't the almost corporate enterprise it is now. Small fan-run sites like RPGplanet and ElricM handled most of the hosting, rather than greed-based sites like Nexuses and (yeah, even) Planets*. But now, even just by browsing through the Nexus, people try to way oversell their mods. Used to be, mods were more like need and personal preference based. AKA, I saw that this needed to be done, and I liked it, so I'm gonna share it. Nowadays, people look to see what's not there, or what's been done, but can be done "better", so they rush it out, and hope to Talos that they can get as many endorsements/donations as they can. Modding's gone from being a friendly community of players, to being a bloated-gnarled-up-stuck-up group of ninnies trying to crawl over each other to get attention.

Just browse the most popular ENB series mods. Almost everyone of them use the front page to try to tell you that they are *SO* much better than any other ENB out there. Browse through companion mods, and you get the same thing. It's all just a popularity contest nowadays.

*(though contrary to its primary competition, Planet Elder Scrolls was indeed run by dedicated volunteers, who ran it out of love for the game/community. However, it was still backed by the corporate IGN, hence its downfall.)

Re: Elder Scrolls Mods Going Downhill?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:23 pm
by Miserina
Coming back after a while away, I have to see even just in a few short posts this sounds like a bunch of old fogeys who had one bad experience and are now talking it up about how everything new made by younger people is inferior and the streets were paved with gold in the good ole days.

Consider mods like SkyUI, FNIS, Vampiric Thirst, The Unofficial Patches, Apocalypse Spells, or any of literally thousands of excellent mods that are available for Skyrim.  I've been modding Skyrim for... geez, it's years now, that I've been messing with my game and keeping up with all the changes going on, constantly following the hottest new mods, and I'd literally never even heard of this "Sands of Time" thing until just now.  It's got 1600ish Endorsements which is a lot, yes... you can't break "Top 500 best mods on the site" without at least two thousand though.  So you dislike a mod that you think is poorly implemented, that's fine.  So you're butthurt because other people like the mod even though you think it's crap, that's also fine.

Declaring that the quality of mods overall is somehow declining because a mod you don't like is popular is alarmist nonsense of the highest order in my opinion.

I've got 278 Skyrim mods running right now, and that's a list I've refined over literally years of work now.  I would put up every single one of them, from the greatest full on quest mods to the weakest little 'Make Lydia more polite to me' mods as a testament to the continuing quality of modding in the Elder Scrolls series in modern times.

On the topic of UFO, I think you're too caught up in the exact same 'ultimate' hype you're criticizing the mod itself for falling prey to.  It's the 'Ultimate Follower Overhaul' yes, because it claims to attempt to incorporate a lot of improvements to all the followers in the game.  Nowhere did they promise you the moon and stars plucked from the heavens and strung up on a silver chain though.  You listed an entirely valid feature request, which is fine, but saying the entire mod is somehow inferior to the almighty works of Grumpy is nostalgia in its most annoying possible form.

As for the topic of ENB presets that came up later... I don't really see the problem.  I don't use any myself, I much prefer RCRN AE, and I only use ENB for the ENBoost performance features relating to memory management.  That said, in what way is the tendency for modders who think they have discovered the most unique and beautiful solution to a problem becoming briefly popular at all different from the ridiculous proliferation of house mods in Morrowind?  You work for thirty minutes and you can learn to create an ENB preset, just as you could learn to create a house in Morrowind.  If you actually put some work into it and market it well, you may even get a number of fans out of the occasion.  In the end, aside from a few niche users who stick with it forever because they share your exact tastes, it'll still fade away to be replaced by the next flash in the pan a week from now.

There's a massive number of ENB presets, and it's because they're easy to create and represent something that everyone tends to have their own unique and very strong opinions on.  What sort of post shaders you have running with what settings is one of the most drastic possible ways you can change the overall appearance and theme of your Skyrim experience.

It's curious to note here, that there's a new ENB preset that's the latest greatest thing in the featured box every other week almost.  Except, to understand the transient nature of these things, you need look no further than the simple fact that there is not one single ENB preset so popular by itself to merit a position on the "Top 100" list of the most endorsed mods of all time on the site.


Finally, here's my rebuttal to the issues you have with Endorsements.  I think they're a good system.  You don't need the ability to 'downvote' something to make a rating system that works, because I think the Nexus' works perfectly as it is.  The endorsements count isn't there as a measure of quality, it's a measure of popularity.  It is completely impossible, as in the site will actually stop you from voting, to endorse a mod without downloading it, which typically involves going back to the page you got the mod from and then endorsing it.  This means that the number of endorsements on something is a measure of how many people downloaded it and then liked it so much that they actually went back and gave it their personal 'seal of approval' as a mod that they feel has contributed meaningfully to their games.

In the end, not everyone can have fantastic tastes.  Sands of Time could be the crappiest mod on the planet, but I wouldn't begrudge the teeming masses the fact that they like it any more than I feel anger at the people who really like the insanely crappy Magna-Ge mod.  I will however harshly begrudge the idea that the modding community has in some way backslid from some golden halcyon days where thd mods were better, the code was cleaner, the stories were tighter, men had real beards, women had even better beards, and also the taps flowed chocolate milk.

I lived through the entire 'Morrowind modding era.'  It was literally years and years of my childhood, so don't think I just don't 'understand' or whatever.  I was there, and I know what it was like, and I remember it with incredible fondness.  Even so, I can confidently say that life is better now for the TES modding community than it has ever been at any point in the past.

Re: Elder Scrolls Mods Going Downhill?

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:35 am
by Wolf
I did just try AFT Leo, its wonderful.  It feels like the good old days with Morrowind followers.  It has an option for everything I'd ever want.  It's perfect.  Very few people "Get UFO to work right".  It'll do most of its job...but eventually it'll just bug out and it'll all be over.  

Most of my ranting is from just coming back to Skyrim for the first time in years and going through mods by "Most Endorsement".  I've recently found plenty of mods that are very nice.  I've decided that you're right Mis, there are some good mods but I have to disagree still on the Endorsements.  If you go through the top downloaded files you'll see clear contradictions between endorsements and most downloaded.  I finally figured out its much better to sort by most downloaded than it is to sort by the highest ratings.  SoT was what really pissed me off because it had its own website, a huge fanbase, a plethora of endorsements and...it was dreadful.  It actually ruined the whole first half of my new game play of coming back to Skyrim with a new character.  I'm not one to assume that just because everyone likes it, its the best but when a mod has that many endorsements I assume its not total crap.  I still believe the problem lies with mods SAYING they do things the best way they can - when they don't.  The same problem happens with Indie Games nowadays.  I've seen some major hypes of betas that totally sucked but promised so many additional features when the full version finally came out. When it did, the game absolutely sucked.  It seems to me like its more about persuasion than actual content to get endorsements.  Hell, I saw a house mod the other day that had 3 versions.  One was free, the other was available only to those with proof they endorsed, and one was only for donators.  It was pretty high rated too, which is sad.  Its like when companies send you mail saying "Like us on facebook to get a free xxxx".  Totally ruins the system; how can I trust endorsements when theyre only given for free stuff?  I think they could improve the system a lot by making it take a day or so after you download to endorse a mod.  Sure, thery'd be a lot less endorsements but it'd actually force the user to PLAY the mod before they rate it.  Or they could add down vote options.  They wouldn't affect the rating of the mod but you'd be able to see it and obviously if a mod has a ton of endorsements and a ton of thumbs downs you know you can't trust the ratings entirely.   Believe me, when you've been away from Skyrim and come back after almost a year of modding you just can't trust the endorsements (or the description for that matter, they like to sa a lot about what their mod aims to do and not a lot about what it actually does) to set up your game.  Its a lot of tedious work of installing mods, disappointment, uninstalling mods, and being forced to start a ton of new games.  After about 2 weeks I finally feel like I can actually play the damn game xD

I really do think Skyrim mods are ok now.  They're still not the best - I get tired of the skimpy clothings and armors all over the place, but they're ok.  I just had a horrible day coming back to Skyrim because I totally missed the important mods.  For example I started off with UFO cause everyone swears by it and quickly figured out everyone swearing by it doesn't actually play a lot of Skyrim.  The unofficial patches were excused from my rant because they've been doing a great job since Morrowind.  I don't really see them as mods anymore, but essentials you need before you play the game for the first time.  

I had a lot of fun with Apocalypse Spells.  There were a few spells that were totally BS like having 3 spells casted automatically for free everytime you started combat but I got over it because the rest of the mod was sound.  I'm absolutely addicted to the longstride spell - mages don't need horses anymore!

As for Vampire Thirst, I kinda gave up on vampire mods.  Bethesda hasn't had a good framework on vampires since Morrowind.  Feeding on people while they're sleeping?  Absolutely ridiculous.  I just avoid vampire mods all-together now because I don't trust them to turn the whole system inside out, but I'd love to hear more about that mod.

I'd really love to see more scripters in Skyrim though.  I'm not sure what their reasoning behind this is but it seems like modders are terrified of using scripts now.  They say its "dangerous to the game" and I wonder if its really more dangerous than it was in previous ES games.  I'd love to see what modders could do if they push the engine to the limits with scripting.  I remember being quite diapointed with fallout new vegas mods.  There really wasn't much to mod, because they did a great job with the game (although the story kinda sucked IMO), so I didnt fault the modders for the lack of quality mods.  Then this mod came out and oh god I can't believe it's even possible.  http://www.nexusmods.com/newvegas/mods/45809/? I went ahead and downloaded it expecting thousands of bugs and an almost unplayable experience but I couldnt believe some of the things he scripted into Fallout.  It was like he opened up a whole new part of the engine no one ever touched before.  He had a brand new moving interface that interacted with the player flawlessly.  He made a car mod too which was slightly more dissapointing but it was still a pretty good time.   I had similar experiances with Feng Shui, talkie toaster's mods, and a few others.  God New Vegas modders really pushed the engine to its limits.   I wonder what parts of the Creation Kit we haven't seen yet look like?  Oh, and of course I'm still mad at beth for showcasing spears but never releasing anything about them.  I suppose it would cause some problems if they just released the resources for PC users and didnt make it for Xbox and PS3 though...

I gave up on "do-it-all-in-one" overalls, they seem to be the baseline for my disapointment.  Believe me SoT is not the worst overhaul on the nexus that received crazy endorsements.  Still, I dont think mods are as professional as they used to be but there are some good ones, it just requires a lot more time and digging since I can't trust the endorsing system.

EDIT:  Oh and one neglected mod in this thread is "Automatic Varients".  Check it out if you haven't already, it works really well and is by far the most impressive mod on the nexus.  Though it takes a while to set up for sure.

Re: Elder Scrolls Mods Going Downhill?

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:59 pm
by Leonardo
Wolf wrote:I did just try AFT Leo, its wonderful.  It feels like the good old days with Morrowind followers.  It has an option for everything I'd ever want.  It's perfect.  Very few people "Get UFO to work right".  It'll do most of its job...but eventually it'll just bug out and it'll all be over.  

I thought you might like it.

In fact AFT has more options than any Morrowind followers ever had even with Grumpy's companion template and you'll definitely need a mod for those options that AFT has in Skyrim.  On top of my head AFT have these options.

make camp with tent(s) - 1 large, 2 small I think
sneak when you're sneaking
drawn/sheathed weapons - you decide
attack on sight or attack when attacked
fence stolen goods
defend you against attackers (beware of the guards and essential NPC though)
configure their fighting style e.g ranger (use bow then melee or just melee or just weapons you gave them but beware of magic weapons)
interact with things around you e.g levers, pick a lock or go to places and wait there etc
take duplicate items from your inventory and sometimes sell them if you say so
immersion options e.g dancing, relaxing
go home to your house when you dismiss them

I don't remember what more features there is in AFT, so I say you'll have to discover them for yourself in-game.


Oh I almost forgot to tell you this.

What you ever do don't dismiss Mjoll without checking the mods you're using first, because I find out that some mods including AFT in rare cases will *disable* USKP-fixes for Mjoll and that's related to Aerin.

I know I've have posted somewhere (can't find the post atm) a picture from TESEdit5, which show that AFT have likely canceled a USKP fix for Aerin and that's in Sky Heaven Temple related to the recruit Blades members quest.

Re: Elder Scrolls Mods Going Downhill?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:07 pm
by Lokichan
I think part of what we are seeing in Skyrim mods, are the new generation of modders (so to speak) who didn't have the tight knit community that we had starting with morrowind. With that community came responsibility, quality, and if your mod was awful people let you know about it... There is a weird mystique that came with Skyrim, suddenly humor (especially with boobs) is the bent, because that gets you the most You tube hits. The Skyrim modding community *at large* are juvenile in their approach and sloppy in execution. Certainly there are beautiful pieces of work that stand out, and great mods that I wouldn't play Skyrim without! But a lot of them come from modders who have been with the community for a long time. With the rise of Steam, and the streamlining of Nexus, along with the death of PES :( (coming back to see that was very sad for me), it has turned the general modding experience into an eye candy free for all. SO many people are modding it makes you wade through a ton of crap to get to the great files. And I mean no disrespect to those who take modding seriously and attempt to do good work and come up short. I am referring to all the nonsense mods that pop up all over due to the lack of broad base community and quality control.

For example, there are a lot of people on Nexus who think the only mods for morrowind are the ones on Nexus...sad...very sad.
Its not their fault, they are younger (mostly) and haven't played it before so they go to the same source that they have for Skyrim.
Our once interconnected community has become small cadres of hermits who stick it out here and there sharing mods with each other, with a few who still produce mods now and then for the public at large. There are too many of them to rein in or mentor, and far too few of us willing to go into the trenches to try and fix it. It is a sad state of affairs...
And though Nexus makes me nauseated, I believe it would be wise for our good caliber modders to start uploading there. It would at least show some of the new comers some quality and depth. Though it won't turn the tide, it may help curb the trend a little. If nothing else it will help some of our new, and or younger players open their minds to the level of commitment and quality that was once prevalent and not an exception in the community.

For god sakes, some people think Better Bodies is new...I...that just floors me.

Re: Elder Scrolls Mods Going Downhill?

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:05 am
by Drakkmore
:offtopic: WARNING WARNING THE FOLLOWING POST IS OFF TOPIC WARNING WARNING :off-topic:

Lokichan wrote:-snip- ...along with the death of PES :( (coming back to see that was very sad for me)...-snip-


No worries there, while it a sad thing that happened, and it has many peoples undies all in a bunch (including mine) Fliggerty has managed to save every file that was available on PES at the time he was able to botcrawl the site. At the same time one might notice too that ElricM has gone belly up too (more sadness). It will also be noted that we have all of the work that was available there on MMH too. Much thanks to Oldcow for those files.

As to the topic of this thread I am torn between both sides of this debate as I have many many mods that do exactly what they say they do with out adding extra unwanted crap, but then again I have used mods that did not live up to the hype, and added unwanted crap to my game. It does seem that Lokichan has a point when she stated that one has to wade through the crap to get to the gold, but I kind of think that it might be due to the Youtube fame a lot of modders are gaining, that and the flash that they put on their release pages makes most people looks and say "Ohhhhh Shinyyyyyy". I believe that that in it's self is a mixed blessing when it comes to modding as I use youtube a lot in my mod descriptions, yet at the same time I kind of dislike the flashiness of a lot of peoples videos for their mods. Might be a double standard of mine IDK, but then again it just might not be.
I see a lot of good points on both sides of the fence here, but I over all do not think that the state of modding is really falling off as much as others do. I remember a lot of crap mods in the very early days of Morrowind too, a LOT of crap mods, but I'll ramble about those at a later date, and possibly while looking at a blank wall or something.

Re: Elder Scrolls Mods Going Downhill?

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:14 am
by Lokichan
I'm really glad to hear so much was saved :D
Thank you for sharing that with me :)

I agree with the Youtube comment, it has an up and downside.
The upside are the demonstrations you can make, and the research-ability YouTube has.
The down side is any idiot can use it...and unfortunately the idiots out number us 10,000 to one ;)

Re: Elder Scrolls Mods Going Downhill?

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:38 pm
by Miserina
Weirdly Wolf, I actually really like that 'cast three free spells' spell.  It's hella powerful yeah, but when I'm playing on Legendary difficulty with Deadly Dragons and ACE Combat and all that crap, it's nice to have a way to get a few defensive buffs up at the start of combat.  The truth is that if I didn't have that spell, I would probably never cast half those spells at all.  I just don't have the time and magicka to cast a spell that might stop me from dying in one hit if it's going to slow me up enough that I get hit.  Especially not when that same mana could have gone to blowing my foes away and ending the combat straight out.

I tried using it with a conjuration spell once to summon backup, but it got extremely annoying for my current summons to be replaced every time I dropped in an out of combat, and also it was an extremely noisy thing that gave away my location all the time.

To be honest, I've used UFO pretty much since the day it came out and I can't recall ever having a single problem with it.  I can't even think of anything I'd want to do with a companion that isn't already provided by the vanilla game or UFO.  Honestly, the main feature I use it for is to make my companions actually cough up their shitty starter armor so I can change it out.

For a long time I used Better Vampires, but these days I use Vampiric Thirst and I think it's pretty fantastic.  I can feed on foes by draining them to death with my vampire drain ability, by drinking from them while they're sleeping, by using my words to convince them to let me feed upon them, by seducing them and drinking from them in bed, by drinking from fresh corpses, by drinking bottled blood I collected earlier, or even by entering into melee and grappling with my weakened foes to drain them dry.  In a noncombat situation you can even choose how much blood you want to take from someone rather than just draining them dry, with 'Until Satiated' being one of the options.

You can set up hotkeys to let you see what percentage of blood you have at any given moment, and to access the Vampiric Thirst upgrade menu.  Drink enough blood and you can get bloodline points or whatever they're called, and purchase abilities from the Physical/Mesmer/Blood Magic trees to increase your power.  One of my favorite Physical abilities for example is Celerity, which basically stops time for a second or so while letting you walk around at full speed (though you can't attack).  I bound that ability to a hotkey with another mod and I use it to dodge dragon attacks for the most part.  Vampires also grow stronger as they age too.  You can't become an Ancient Master in-game because that's a 'centuries of survival' sort of thing, but you can grow pretty powerful just by surviving as a vampire for a year.  All this stuff is fully compatible with the Dawnguard Vampire Lord stuff as well.

I spend a lot of time as a vampire, if you couldn't tell.

Anyway, sorry if I came off harsh/annoyed in my rant last post.  It's just, I look at things like SkyUI, RaceMenu, or Frostfall, and I can't even imagine how anyone could think modding has gone downhill.  If there's more shit lying around, it's because there's more people producing crap.  The good stuff is still there, as much or more than there ever was in the heyday of Morrowind, you just have to look to find it.  But it's not like community expanded in only one direction with more awful stuff being produced.  I think the ratio of 'useless crap being made' to 'awesome mods everyone needs' is the same as it ever was, there's just a lot more of both.

Re: Elder Scrolls Mods Going Downhill?

PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:56 am
by Tonycubed2
Hi.

I am the author of Sands of Time. 2102 endorsements and counting, so I guess in the top 500?
Anyhows.  To say my mod simply uses the placeatme command on the players head is untrue. I can present code from my mod to prove it. My walking surface encounters script has over 6,000 lines of code, and  has hundreds of spawn commands. However, I use calculated spawn spots that take into account wether or not the player is sneaking, the terrain, the time of day or night. Waypoints are calculated away from the player, as far as possible without the npcs losing track of the Dovahkin. Incredible effort has been spent to make the encounters interesting and challenging, with a mcm menu full of options,over 12 pages worth. There is a specific option to EXTEND even further away where enemies spawn. The command placeatme means place at object reference, which can be an xmarker or other object. Not always the player. The mod is highly endorsed because it earned it, and anyone that visits my web site or mod,page and rechecks it out will see why.
Nexus page: http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/12452/?
Web site: http://sotrealms.enjin.com

We have built a community around Sands of Time, complete with dedicated troubleshooters to help users, writers who provide fan fiction that many enjoy, caretakers of the web site, a Spartan system that provides ranks on achievements, and tons more.

Gotta go to bed, but check out my sot web site please before you believe that what was posted accurately portrays my baby .

Re: Elder Scrolls Mods Going Downhill?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:52 pm
by Miserina
Interesting.  It's not particularly the type of mod I'd pick for my own playthroughs anyway, but I'm quite impressed that the author of a mod tracked down a random scathing review and wrote out a well-reasoned rebuttal to it.

I had been sort of skeptical of the idea that a mod could get so big while being so incredibly bad, so I'm interested to see what comes of this.  I have no strong opinion on the matter myself.

Re: Elder Scrolls Mods Going Downhill?

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:07 pm
by Jac
My biggest gripe is the seemingly lack of #@$%! readmes in archives! I hate having to go back to the Nexus just to have a simple question answered because the author couldn't be bothered to include a readme!  :violent:

Re: Elder Scrolls Mods Going Downhill?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:45 am
by Lokichan
Tonycubed2, I have never played your mod as I don't have the capability to run Skyrim at the moment.
Sigh...whine...whine
If I could I would probably give it a try to judge for myself, but most of us with sense do that anyways. We take our friend's opinions, and take them as opinions :) 6000 lines of script is a ton of work.

Ok I went to your website...
I found the fiction bits I came across, attached to the Installation, Testimonials, and FAQ links with murder to stop implied gang rape, a child being flayed alive by spears, and a mother murdering her children to be not only disturbing, but have nothing to do with increased danger of encounters. I don't find that entertaining, and the lack of warning for such material was quite offensive. I don't know whether SOT is in the 18 and over area of nexus, but if it isn't, it should be... for linking to those kind of descriptions.

I get dark in some of my writing, but I always warn people. And I certainly don't use rape, or grisly child death to spook, hype up, or make my writing more "edgy."
That is what has been done with this website to promote your mod, I find it crude and distasteful.
Had I been warned it wouldn't have quite been so bad, but as it is, way to turn me off of your mod.

Re: Elder Scrolls Mods Going Downhill?

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:28 pm
by Miserina
Jac wrote:My biggest gripe is the seemingly lack of #@$%! readmes in archives! I hate having to go back to the Nexus just to have a simple question answered because the author couldn't be bothered to include a readme!  :violent:


Well, for mods on the Skyrim Nexus, I don't consider that unreasonable at all for one really simple reason.  When you look at a mod in the Nexus Mod Manager, it shows you the Nexus page alongside it.  Also, I think there's a utility built in now to manage readmes for you.

If you don't use Nexus Mod Manager, or the more niche but far superior Mod Organizer utility, then I really don't know what to say.  It'd be like if someone seriously into modding Morrowind told me they don't like Wrye Mash or TESTool or something.

Re: Elder Scrolls Mods Going Downhill?

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:56 pm
by Drakkmore
That is not at all the same.
Not every one likes to Dl mods from Nexus, and some people out right refuse to DL mods form there.
It would be nice if the modders would include a readme with their mods. Even if the readme is nothing more then a copy paste of the nexus Download page.
Having said that I do notice that it's not just Nexus, but other mod sites where modders refuse to include readmes in their packages. I also notice that more likely a Morrowind Modder will include a readme, as opposed to modders of other TES games.
I will also point out that Oblivion Modders will be more apt to include Readmes then modders of the latest TES single player games.

Re: Elder Scrolls Mods Going Downhill?

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:25 am
by Jac
Miserina wrote:
Jac wrote:My biggest gripe is the seemingly lack of #@$%! readmes in archives! I hate having to go back to the Nexus just to have a simple question answered because the author couldn't be bothered to include a readme!  :violent:


Well, for mods on the Skyrim Nexus, I don't consider that unreasonable at all for one really simple reason.  When you look at a mod in the Nexus Mod Manager, it shows you the Nexus page alongside it.  Also, I think there's a utility built in now to manage readmes for you.

If you don't use Nexus Mod Manager, or the more niche but far superior Mod Organizer utility, then I really don't know what to say.  It'd be like if someone seriously into modding Morrowind told me they don't like Wrye Mash or TESTool or something.

I have no use for NMM and wouldn't even use the Nexus if I could get my mods elsewhere. Besides, is it really all that difficult to put in a simple text file with the stuff from the Nexus page? I don't think it is. I may be old fashion, but I don't see any reason to not include one. That being said, I do use Wrye Smash when necessary, but I know how to install mods and like to know what's going where on my system.

Here's an example: I use amazing followers tweaks, which has a ton of options. Now, if I had a question about an option, it's much faster to just open up the readme in Notepad than it would be to hunt for the Nexus URL, hope the site isn't down, wait for the page to load, and then try to navigate through 10 pages or so of text to find the specific section I need.

Just put a readme in your download archive; it doesn't cost you anything and you'll be doing your users a huge favor.

Re: Elder Scrolls Mods Going Downhill?

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:48 pm
by Stuporstar
Heck, I used to package my entire walkthrough for people to read offline. It's too bad my site's new Wordpress format doesn't make that easy to do anymore. I decided to go with it because it's so much easier to keep the info up to date, which was more important. I thought about writing a pdf walkthrough, but then it wouldn't be spoilered. Hmm... Sorry, just thinking aloud.

Miserina wrote:Interesting.  It's not particularly the type of mod I'd pick for my own playthroughs anyway, but I'm quite impressed that the author of a mod tracked down a random scathing review and wrote out a well-reasoned rebuttal to it.


That didn't impress me at all. It's considered terrible etiquette among book authors, because it always looks over-defensive and egotistical, no matter how polite the author is about it. It's because readers have traditionally been allowed to say what they like about a book without fear of rebuttal. The author nosing their way into those conversations is an attempt to control the conversation, and they've already had their say, in their books.

I bring that up because it's the reason I don't comment when people talk about my mods on forums I don't already frequent. When I do a vanity search, it's primarily to find bugs people haven't reported to me yet. I've found there's a fair contingent of people who report bugs to their own circles and never get around to contacting the mod author about it. More importantly, I've found some of the most honest criticisms of my work come when people think I'm not listening, and I don't want to burst that bubble, because I am listening with an ear for improvement. When someone complained that my mod had too many fetch quests, I quietly went and removed as much of the lazy crap as I could, replacing them with far more interesting quests. To this day, no one on that forum knows I did that, but the improvements are evident in my work. What more needs to be said about it? The only reason I'm talking about it now is I wish more mod authors would do the same. Be like a professional, take criticism on board without backtalk, and do your work.

Now, don't get me wrong, talking about your work is fine, but I'm in favor of sticking to a few parlours where your presence is expected, and places you frequent with some regularity. Dive-bombing a bunch of people out of nowhere with, "but my mod is great! You people don't understaaaaaaand." never turns out well.

Also, the Nexus is like DeviantArt for mods. It's the enforced cuddliness I don't like. Their near-zero tolerance on negative criticism makes their website utterly worthless in terms of getting feedback. I still get bug reports on my dead PES downloads page. I don't care if they swamp the reviews. I need those bug reports far more.

Re: Elder Scrolls Mods Going Downhill?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:23 pm
by Lokichan
I agree with everything you just said!
Especially about the enforced cuddliness...I shouldn't have to worry about getting banned about criticizing someone's work.
I am always fair about it and detailed as to reasons why I think the way I do.

This case it wasn't cuz...it was so freaking offensive...
But hey there are always exceptions ;)

Anyways , back to Nexus, that is the point I was trying to make about this conversation earlier.
We don't have REAL quality control at Nexus like we did on PES, summit etc...
And I think that has a big part to play in so many craptastic mods getting a pass.
People like us can't speak our minds, and then we can't help reign in the crazy...and useless.