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Skyrim adventure


I’ve been playing a little bit of Skyrim over the weekend and decided to write you all a little story about my adventure into this beautiful world… Be mindful, it’s based on my own heavily biased experiences of playing on a laptop that’s barely able to run medium settings Wink. I’ve tried to keep it as spoiler free as possible, but after the first paragraph, there’s one or two surprises from my first hour or so that might be considered spoilers, so ye be warned!

So, after installing the game and starting it up, the first thing I notice besides the awesome music you could expect from a TES game is the absolutely horrible mouse interface. As soon as you get past the intro and have to do things you get introduced to the worst PC UI I’ve seen since Windows 3.1. Picture the most mouse unfriendly UI you can think of in your mind and add some fancy effects and screen-sized 3D images of weapons and armour and you’ve got Skyrim’s interface. An example: Tab is used to open the main menu, which gives you a fullscreen compass with on top your skills, down the map, left magic and right inventory. Now, if you click on ‘Magic’ on the far left, a magic menu opens up from the right side of the screen… Or: Talking to someone, you get nice selection list with talk-options, now if you click one of those, the game will start the talk-option that was currently selected, like an enter-key. In 80% of the cases, that will indeed be the one you just clicked, but if you’ve also used the keyboard-keys to browse the list, there might be a completely different line selected than you just clicked!

Also the mouse sensitivity is waaaay over in the left field… a slight tremble of the mouse will flash the screen from far left to far right, yet looking up and down takes a mouse movement of a meter or two (and I’m supposed to be fighting flying dragons …). A quick search on the internet tells me I’m not the only one with these troubles and after fiddling a bit with ini settings (like disabling the X360 controller I don’t have, disabling software-mouse-acceleration, tuning mouse-sensitivity X and Y axes) and accepting that I just should not use the mouse for anything except looking around and stick to WASD+E for everything, especially the menus, it’s improved from ‘horrible piece of crap, $*%&!!@&^#~! I didn’t mean to do that’ to ‘bad, but I’ll manage’.

--- Ye be warned, here might be spoilers ---

Now, after I’d done some introduction-quests in Whiterun, the Jarl is very pleased with me and bestows me with an unfamiliar title, allows me to buy a house in his town (how nice, if I don’t have the coin), and assigns me a housekarl… Being new to Skyrim and Nordic customs, I had ofcourse no idea what a housekarl is, but with the offer of a house and all, I figured it would be some kind of butler.

After graciously thanking the Jarl for his generosity I walk out of the castle and get stopped by a lady… ‘Hi I’m Lydia!’ so I politely respond ‘Nice to meet you! What can I do for you?’. ‘I’m your housekarl’ she answers somewhat surprised. Uhoh! now, she didn’t exactly look like the homely type if you understand and clearly was ready to go on adventure with me, wearing what is best described as a heavy-armour bathing suit (somewhere inbetween the famous heavy-armour bikini and proper armour), a bow and a sword. So while she stands there clearly waiting for me I decide to carefully start a conversation, ‘So… uuh… look, I’m new here, what does a housekarl do exactly?’ ‘I’m sworn to protect you and your properties, my Thane’. Ok… not the very conversing type either, more the bodyguard kind… and I got all kinds of bad memories about Skirmish soldiers and Laila’s. So what to do? She’s clearly taking orders from me, so I could just tell her to stay where she is, but well, the Jarl might find out and I don’t want to seem ungrateful. He might even take refusing his gift as an offense and I’m just new here and don’t really need powerful enemies right away. Besides… Lydia doesn’t look like she’ll take no for an answer either!

So I decided to take her on my little mountain-climbing trip and see how it would work out. As we walk out of town and cross the river into the wilds, a rather shady looking figure suddenly runs out of the bushes on the side of the road. Before I realize what’s happening exactly, Lydia draws her sword and jumps in front of me, taking a few well aimed swings at the incoming bandit. ‘You’re ok?’ I ask, ‘I’m still here!’. The bandit clearly is not… I investigate his corpse and find to my shock that it’s not just a bandit, but a hired assassin by some sort of Dark Brotherhood trying to kill me. Suddenly I feel somewhat more secure having Lydia around… A couple of miles down the road we get stopped by real bandits this time, and a necromancer. The bandits are no match for my fireballs… but this necromancer seems to have invented some kind of ward against my spells. It’s not quite as effective against Lydia’s sword however, so afterwards we make a deal: I take the bandits next time, she starts off with the magic-types. While rummaging through the bandits stuff I find one of them has a nice steel greatsword that might fetch a nice price… So I call Lydia over (‘Yeah, I’m still here!’) and give it to her: ‘Here, I’ve got something for you!’, now she probably misunderstood me, but the effect was like buying a lady new shoes. She glanced in awe at the shiny sword, immediately put her own one away in her bag and sheathed the new sword on her back. I didn't really mind and let her keep it, after all she just got me an awesome necromancer's jacket and saved my life before. Ever since she’s valiantly defending me… She runs head-on at dragons entire villages flee from, and the other day some Orc in an inn decided to seek a fight with me (I was tired from the trip… he might have insulted me a bit and I might have suggested something along the lines of ‘Hey, I’m that guy slaying those dragons that you’re all so afraid of, so better watch your tongue’…) and she turned the whole place upside down, mercilessly killing the Orc while he was pleading on his knees (winning herself a brand new Orcish sword from me). She also does have her Laila-moments though... like the night I was sneaking out of an embassy I robbed (turned a bit into a bloody armed-robbery and they were after me...), she wasn't invited in, but as I was making my way out of the backdoor, I was standing on a ledge figuring out how to sneak past the troll guarding it... only to see Lydia come to the rescue from the outside, 'sneaking' straight into the Troll...

So how are your adventures going?
9 Haven Way, Faellond, Falathorn

(This post was last modified: 14 Nov, 11, 20:08 by Falcodoc.)

Not a long post, just to say:

I got it for Xbox recently (I bought an Xbox specifically for it, sort of) and I love it.
I've been stuck in it since it came out. Fantastic.
also, Lydia is an excellent badass, really great support character.

(This post was last modified: 14 Nov, 11, 20:10 by Ingaras.)

(14 Nov, 11, 20:07)Falcodoc link Wrote: Not a long post, just to say:

I got it for Xbox recently (I bought an Xbox specifically for it, sort of) and I love it.
I've been stuck in it since it came out. Fantastic.

Hehe... probably a good call! It's indeed once again a great game... and I love the voice acting and ambient sounds everywhere, I think they really managed to give it just that little bit of extra.
9 Haven Way, Faellond, Falathorn


It's garbage, pure garbage. I can't even assign my keypad keys. I'm a leftie, I use my keypad keys for movement, but those retards at Bethesda decided to "reserve" them. Hence, utter piece of consolized garbage. I'm just glad I tried the "demo" instead of buying it.

Let me assign the keyboard the way I want to and I might look beyond the utter garbage that is this game and even consider opting for a purchase.
Sando - Minstrel // Rissa - Burglar // Adelrisk - Guardian // Tember - Hunter
[Image: whatcolor_iswhite.jpg]
There is no try, there is only hobbits, hobbits everywhere!


I haven't dared to touch the key-assignments yet... read about some people who tried to reassign the E or F key, making it impossible to use the menu-system (and thus revert the keybinding!), since they'd lose their menu functions. My view on the whole control system is that I should just try to behave myself as console-like as possible otherwise the whole thing falls apart Sad. You really wonder if they ever tested the PC version for more than 5 minutes...
9 Haven Way, Faellond, Falathorn


(14 Nov, 11, 20:53)Ingaras link Wrote: You really wonder if they ever tested the PC version for more than 5 minutes...

I don't, they didn't.
Sando - Minstrel // Rissa - Burglar // Adelrisk - Guardian // Tember - Hunter
[Image: whatcolor_iswhite.jpg]
There is no try, there is only hobbits, hobbits everywhere!


Might explain why the PC version of Skyrim has fewer points on metacritic than it's console port brethren.


(14 Nov, 11, 19:07)Ingaras link Wrote: So how are your adventures going?

Personally, I'm about to junk it. As you know, I play on a Mac using BootCamp, which has served me very well in the past, whether with LOTRO, Oblivion or Fallout. However, Skyrim seems unplayable. The mouse is almost completely unresponsive (needs about a three-metre sweep to turn 45 degrees), everything judders and shakes, 4 out 5 frames seem to be skipped, and it can take five minutes, staggering like a drunkard, to walk down a street. A hideous mess. As for the interface...


I did mention that you should leave the game for a few months until the community fix it for Bethesda !! 

You can change settings quite easily via Skyrim.ini \Users\[Username]\My Documents\My Games\Skyrim directory (MAKE BACKUPS OF ALL FILES YOU INTEND TO CHANGE)

for example ;-

iPresentInterval=0 (0 Vsync Off Or 1 for vsync on)

bDrawLandShadows=1              -          changing these can improve performance, adding shadows to trees makes it look better obv

bMouseAcceleration=0            - turn it off, mouse acceleration is horrendous in most games

Press the Tilde Key to open the console and Type FOV 90 (or lower/higher) to change the FOV for the pc viewpoint as it's at a shitty console fov of 65 then Save Game..


First thing to do, change your game graphics settings from the game Launcher:

-Set "Ultra" settings and max out Antialiasing and Anisotropic Filter.

-Go in Advanced:
Max out everything BUT leave UNCHECKED "FXAA" and "Object Detail Fade".
*FXAA makes the screen very blurry, Object Fade makes the details fade from a certain view distance.

-Ok and exit.

-Now, go in "Documents/My Games/Skyrim", make a copy of the file "SkyrimPrefs.ini" and name that copy as you want, it is a backup.

-Open the original "SkyrimPrefs.ini" with a txt editor, find these lines and change them if you want:

iBlurDeferredShadowMask=3 (change to 1) - Greately improves the definition of the shadows with no FPS loss (for me at least). If you think they are too sharp, set the value to 2 instead of 1.

fTreesMidLODSwitchDist=0.0000 (change to 10000000.0000) - Improves tree LOD distance (experimental).

iShadowFilter=3 (change to 4) - Probably slightly improve shadow filtering (experimental, doesn't harm anyway).

fShadowLODStartFade=200.0000 (change to 1000.0000) - Improves the LOD distance of shadows.

bTransparencyMultisampling=0 (change to 1) - Enables Trasparency MS (experimental, needs more testing).

iWaterMultiSamples=0 (change to 4) - Improves water AA sampling.

bTreesReceiveShadows=0 (change to 1) - Improves the tree shadowing by enabling shadows ON trees!

bDrawLandShadows=0 (change to 1) - Enable land shadowing, larger shadows are unaffected, this is a subtle effect.

fGrassMinStartFadeDistance=0.0000 (change to 400.0000) - Improves minimum grass fade distance (experimental).

iWaterReflectHeight=512 and
iWaterReflectWidth=512 (change both to 1024) - Improves the water reflections resolution.

bMouseAcceleration=1 (change to 0) - Disables mouse acceleration, which causes mouse lag with Vertical Sync, just be sure to also raise the mouse sensitivity in the game options.

uiMaxSkinnedTreesToRender=20 (change to 40) - Renders more tree's skins/textures (needs more testing).

-Now add these lines at the bottom:

bForceHighDetailReflections=1 - These 5 improve the water rendering.

fHighBlockLoadDistanceLow=20000.0000 - These 3 improve the mesh on long distance.

-Save, exit.

IMPORTANT: Forcing Anisotropic Filter 16x from your video card settings IMPROVES WATER FILTERING, also if the games already uses AF 16x!

Please let me know about new INI tweaks you discover, and report any problem these tweaks may cause, this will become a bigger and better guide thanks to you!

-Added shadow fildering experimental tweak

and http://www.skyrimnexus.com/index.php is now up and running for all your needs !




Thanks, Charvel. So, is this the first RPG game ever to be issued specifically for computer programmers?

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