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"If I made a mod..."

Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:31 am

What sort of mod would you make? I don't mean things like graphical changes, but if that's what you'd do, then okay, say so.

I'd love to make a mod that helps increase the feeling that I'm living in another world. For instance...

You've mastered smithing in Skyrim. One day you happen to be selling a looted sword that you've improved to a smith-- or maybe something you crafted yourself-- and he or she asks, "Where did you get such a fine piece?" Why, I did it myself, you say. "Really? This is really good work! You should think about opening up a shop of your own."

So it's off to the Jarl you go, to get permission to build and operate your own blacksmith's shop (I assume the local government insists on keeping tabs on that sort of thing). Maybe you have to do some minor side quest to gain the Jarl's permission, or do some favor to win the approval of The Local Shopkeepers' Association.

Then you have to buy a plot of land and hire a builder, or maybe find someone who has an existing building they want to sell, and set up shop.

You need help running the business, so you have to ask around to find someone who's interested in working for you. Or maybe you're working in your shop one day and somebody comes up to ask if you need an apprentice.

Then you need to help your apprentice get trained. Maybe you need to send them off on quests to find special materials. Maybe you decide to talk to smiths in other cities to try to strike up an arrangement where you swap apprentices for a while to help them round out their skills, but you need to do some side quest to convince the other smith that it's a good idea. Or maybe you decide to start some smithing guild and need to get all the smiths in Skyrim to participate.

You also need sources of materials. You're happy to buy raw materials and used equipment from random people who come into your shop from day to day, but you need to establish regular, dependable suppliers-- so it's off to hither and yon to work out agreements with traveling traders, miners, etc.

You want to keep a steady business, so maybe you need to travel around and negotiate with different jarls for supplying them with weapons and armor. Maybe you need to smooth things over with other smiths so they don't feel like you're horning in on their territory-- "You supply this, and I'll supply that; and I'll carry some of your specialty items if you'll carry some of mine."

As a successful shopkeeper, your business attracts thieves, so you have to keep an eye out for those. And if you catch one, you have to decide what to do. Should you call the guards? Should you take matters into your own hands? Maybe you're also the head of the Thieves Guild-- should you let them off as long as they promise not to steal from you again? Should you strike a deal where they steal from other smiths and you fence the goods? If they're just a poor, hungry orphan, do you take them in and teach them to help run the shop?

Or perhaps you decide to become a trainer for various skills that you've mastered. Your fame as an acrobat, or alchemist, or illusionist, etc., has spread far and wide, so now people are coming to you for training. Maybe you need to send them off on quests, or maybe you just take their gold and train them on the spot.

Maybe you decide to start a school-- The Alchemical Institution, or The School of Acrobatics, etc. You need to buy or build a place, recruit other masters who want to teach there, and maybe hire some individuals to help run the place-- someone to manage the money, someone to keep the place clean, maybe someone to cook (if it's a school that boards its pupils), etc. Maybe problems arise-- rivalries or resentments between different instructors. Do you encourage their rivalries or try to convince them to settle their differences? What do you do about problem students?

What do you think? Do you like the idea of being able to lead a day-to-day life in the game world, including the pursuit of some "life's dream," or do you prefer to just wander around, look for camps and caves and dungeons to clean out, and sell your loot to whoever will buy it? Do you like to collect every book there is, and you think it would be cool to build a library? Do you like selling specific types of items to specific merchants-- like selling alchemy ingredients to alchemists, and selling ore and weapons and armor to smiths, and selling food to innkeepers, etc.-- or do you just sell everything to anybody?

What do you do to keep the game drawing you back in? And how would you mod the game-- be it Morrowind, Oblivion, etc.-- to improve that aspect of the game?

Re: "If I made a mod..."

Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:56 pm

For any Elder Scrolls game I'd like to do this, but I think I'd like to do it in Oblivion more than anything since it's my favorite; I'd like to create a companion mod.

Not one of those weird "soulless pale elf chick with Triple-J Cup Breasts follows your every command" kind of companion mods, though. I'm talking a companion to go through the game with, like in Skyrim, but an in-depth one that simultaneously interacts with the story whilst not taking it over and making it about them.

It could be multiple companions, they could have different likes and dislikes and all that based on what you do, whatever. That's what I'd like to do. One of the things I thought Bethesda did super well on in Fallout 4 was the companion aspect; taking Piper and Hancock with me around the wasteland made my adventure feel more personal and less lonely. That accounts for a lot of attachment to a game for me and I'd like to see it done in future installments.

Re: "If I made a mod..."

Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:09 pm

Some of these might already exist.

Door/chest bashing - I'm sick to death of picking locks when I've got this 90lb hammer or a spell that can set a river on fire.

Toxic/harmful areas - nobody who makes video games for a living has ever come within 100 yards of a lava flow, much less been underground where molten rock is present. How about mine shafts with a methane leak? Maybe some kind of magical lode stone on a mountaintop that causes severe agony to anyone without natural or enchanted resistances?

How about a quest line to reverse-engineer some Dwemer machinery, actually have to decipher schematics and make new calculations to adjust for centuries of system entropy, and make repairs and corrections or install new branches. Once it works correctly, perhaps it drains a lake or something, revealing a lost fortress or a portal to a new dimension. On the downside, a nearby village is destroyed in a sudden flood...

Re: "If I made a mod..."

Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:12 am

Imbalance wrote:How about a quest line to reverse-engineer some Dwemer machinery, actually have to decipher schematics and make new calculations to adjust for centuries of system entropy, and make repairs and corrections or install new branches. Once it works correctly, perhaps it drains a lake or something, revealing a lost fortress or a portal to a new dimension. On the downside, a nearby village is destroyed in a sudden flood...

Goodness! This mod sounds amazing. I hope a modder reads this and makes it (and then buys me a console with the SE of Skyrim so I can add the mod).

I also like all of your ideas, SeaGtGruff.
I enjoyed crafting in the Hearthfire expansion, and think that building a shop would be fun. Maybe it could start off as a simple stall, then you could start to upgrade it until eventually you have a two story shop.
As well as customers in-person, you could get letters with people's orders, then either deliver them yourself to their address (any location in the game), or hire a courier to do it.
You could hire staff for when you want to go off and do something else.
You could, at times, get rare orders, like a certain alchemical ingredient, or a bottle of wine, in which case, you have to quest somewhere to get it.
Items you sell would have to be handmade by yourself too.

Re: "If I made a mod..."

Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:48 am

Unionhack wrote:I'm talking a companion to go through the game with, like in Skyrim, but an in-depth one that simultaneously interacts with the story whilst not taking it over and making it about them.

Have you played the "Julan--Ashlander Companion" mod for Morrowind? If not, I'd strongly recommend doing so--it's pretty much exactly what you're describing here.

I started constructing my own companion mod earlier this year, along similar lines. Worked on it for a few months before getting the urge to start playing again. It still has a long way to go, but I'm hoping to complete it eventually. Here's the "cover blurb" I wrote for it:

Valiana Balor is a young dark elf mage and scholar whose research has taken her all over Vvardenfell. After joining the player following a misadventure near Seyda Neen, it becomes evident that not all is well in Valiana's world, and that her life is in danger. Who wants the young mage dead--and why? What dark secrets are being protected? Caught in a web of deceit, betrayal, and murder, the player is drawn inexorably into Valiana's world, even as Valiana is drawn into the player's--and the fate of all Morrowind hangs in the balance.

Re: "If I made a mod..."

Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:12 pm

I would add a mod for Skyrim that makes shout, perk, and spell progression feel more like actual learning. Like when you're learning how to shout from the greybeards the first few shouts are just you shouting without magic happening, but every attempt makes your shout stronger until you make it to the default shout strength. Depending on your difficulty you would either have to practice for longer or shorter than normal. To prevent people feeling like they need to spam their way up to default strength you can only do so much per day before you get a notification saying "You feel as if you've improved enough today." For perks it would be something like when you choose a perk after meeting the default pre-requisites, for example let's use elven smithing as an example, you have to travel to a blacksmith who can smith elven tools and ask for training. After training you can smith and it will be low quality until you slowly improve your work. It will eventually hit a cap and if you want to improve your work further you have to get more training and you can start improving again. For spells when you read the spellbook you learn a weak version of the spell, and you have to either get training similar to the perk, but once you hit your cap instead of just visiting a trainer again you have to find Volume 2 of the spell book before you get training again. The more complex a spell is the more volumes exist before it's at full strength. The spell progression would make the College of Winterhold feel more like a real college because the library would give you cheap access to certain volumes of spells and training would be at a reduced price for students. It would feel as if you're actually learning magic at a college instead of just mostly dungeon crawling like normally. You can also opt to learn from a teacher instead of looking for a volume of the spellbook.
Last edited by JJarCS43 on Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: "If I made a mod..."

Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:20 pm

Unionhack, in some ways Oblivion is my favorite, too-- although I'm fickle about it! It's so much more colorful than Skyrim, and the way conversation and lockpicking work almost seem like mini-games in comparison to Morrowind and Skyrim. There could definitely stand to be some fleshing-out of companions. It might be fun if your companions had an effect on how people react to you, sort of like factions:

"You! You're the friend of that %^#!* orc that came into my store yesterday and wrecked the place! Get out!"

"You're friends with that guy? Wow, I'm impressed!"

"I caught your thieving friend stealing from me last week. Guards! Guards!"

"That girlfriend of yours has such lovely green scales and purple eyes! What, you're just friends? Do you think you could put in a good word for me? I'll give you a special price on those items if you do."

Imbalance, the next time you feel the urge to bash open a door or chest, just play some Arena! :D

The toxic/harmful areas mod sounds good. Oblivion and Skyrim have a few places with poisonous gas, but not really in ways that feature prominently in quests.

And the Dwemer artifact deconstruction mod would be really cool, too. Maybe you could gain a little bit of new knowledge by deconstructing different items, the way you can learn new enchantments in Skyrim. Then you could combine different pieces of knowledge-- with the proper materials-- to assemble things, from simple things made using a few basic pieces of knowledge learned early on, to much more elaborate things that require combining more pieces of knowledge which were harder to come by.

Aarah, I like the idea of having to progress from a simple stall to a small store, then a larger store, etc. :)

Wolfborn, I'll have to try your mod. I haven't played any fan-made mods yet in any of the ES games, but it's high time I started! :)

JJarCS43, the way skills are improved could definitely use some improvement, and your ideas sound good. And it's always bugged me that NPCs can work at improving their skills by bashing dummies, shooting at targets, or throwing lightning bolts at targets (even if their skills don't actually improve), yet those activities don't help you improve at all. Then why are there dummies and targets in training areas? I could understand that slashing at a dummy might not help you learn much, but it should help you a little bit, if not nearly as much as actual fighting.

Your grammar is fine, by the way. :)

Re: "If I made a mod..."

Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:32 am

Lighthouse house mod. Lighthouse above, fortress below. What kind? Well, what race are you? It would have the standard and complete commodities a house mod can provide to the player. If there are multiple coasts, like in Oblivion, there would be portals that would take you from one end to the other. Either at another lighthouse, a shack, cave, or a simple dugout.

I simply like our bright little friends, they prevent crap from crashing and burning!

Re: "If I made a mod..."

Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:19 pm

The very first thing I would do is make the Dead Thrall spell work on small animals, so I could have a permanent undead bunny companion.

Alternatively an undead fox companion would be good, and of course if I went adventuring with Jordis the Sword-Maiden then that would make two smoking foxes on the team.

SeaGtGruff wrote: What do you do to keep the game drawing you back in? And how would you mod the game to improve that aspect of [it]?
Well I like the stealth aspect to the gameplay so clearing locations without being detected is what I do to keep things interesting. But... it's always irked me a little how TES constantly equates stealth with evil/naughty quest-lines. So my big mod project would be a new quest-line where you can be one of the 'good guys' (relatively speaking) and be stealthy.

As far as Skyrim is concerned I would probably go with a quest-line revolving around a kind of 'resistance' or guerrilla war against Thalmor occupation. Possibly I would say that during the Great War when the Legion went south to liberate the Imperial City, Thalmor units snuck into Skyrim and occupied several forts in key strategic positions. And while the White-Gold treaty requires their military to vacate the area they just haven't - meaning that a certain level of "civilian"-led insurrection might be allowable without threatening the treaty too much.

Mainly this mod would involve completely gutting the Thief and Dark Bro questlines, putting all the pieces in a bag and shaking it roughly and then trying to creatively re-attach all the individual game assets into a brand new quest-line.

I would probably rob a few bits from other quest-lines as well. Wuuthrad with its anti-Elf enchantment would certainly be of interest. Diplomatic Immunity can be moved out of the Main Quest. I could use some Civil War quests for finally pushing the Thalmor out of Skyrim. The CoW has an obviously anti-Thalmor edge... and plenty of others.

This would also be an opportunity to expand some previously underappreciated quests... Like that Red Eagle quest which imo has a bit of a duff ending. I'd like the player to be able to get Red Eagle and his Draugr mates to head off to the Thalmor base in the Reach and kick some effete pointy-eared booty instead.

...And possibly to give existing quests a slightly different spin. If it turns out that the Thalmor are still in Skyrim because they've heard rumours that Auri-El's Bow can be found here then maybe we could have Dawnguard with a bit less 'Vampire-Family Angst'.

Re: "If I made a mod..."

Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:09 pm

That whole obsession with "stealth = bad" is what made me love the Thieves' Guild in Oblivion so much. Sure, you could do crappy things to people sometimes depending on how you went about your independent thievery, but for the most part it was done in pursuit of the good cause of providing for the people of the poorer sections of the Imperial City.

Having more complexity or nuance to the quests of Skyrim would be a great thing to pursue as a mod, but boy howdy that sounds like it would take a lot of effort.

Re: "If I made a mod..."

Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:21 am

I often use Stealth to complete a radiant quest where I've already cleared out a cave/dungeon/whatnot multiple times. Rather than have to go through and eliminate all of the enemy occupants for the dozenth time, I'd rather just sneak in, leave everybody alive and none the wiser, grab the target object (book, stolen trinket, whatever), and sneak out again. When you think of it, that's actually the more humane "good guy" way to do it, as opposed to slaughtering every last man, woman, and animal that gets in your way. :)

Re: "If I made a mod..."

Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:26 pm

Actually the Oblivion stealth quest-lines annoyed me even more. They both have an interesting twist in the second half, but a) you still need to get to the second half and b) this information wouldn't have been known to your character at the start so you still need to be a petty thief / murderer to join up in the first place. :/

SeaGtGruff wrote:When you think of it, that's actually the more humane "good guy" way to do it, as opposed to slaughtering every last man, woman, and animal that gets in your way. :)
I suppose this depends who we are talking about. I'd like a Friendly Dragons mod that makes some of the dragons non-hostile because the constant dragon genocide just gets a bit blah after a while. Vampires, necromancers and bandits on the other hand just have got it coming so much. Leaving them alive would imo essentially mean dooming random citizens to be eaten, experimented on, robbed and/or murdered. Also anyone who keeps Giant Earwig Monsters as pets is never going to be in my good books either.

Maybe what we need is a mod that allows us to rehabilitate bandits and Forsworn so they can become productive members of society once more. Could be the Zenithar quest...?
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