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> Starting Skyrim on PC
Renee
post Dec 6 2014, 08:12 PM
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Yes, it looks like it's finally happening. It's raining and lovely outside, and is supposed to do so all through Sundas. I mean Sunday. And I am going to maybe start Skyrim on PC tomorrow.

So what I want to do here is to collect any advice the community here at Chorrol feels like contributing. For instance: I still want to install my game outside of Program Files, right? That sort of advice. I have heard that modding Skyrim is different from Oblivion.

What's the best (easiest, actually) mod manager to use? That's a good place to start. OBMM isn't as fancy as Wrye Bash, for instance, but I still use OBMM most of all because it does what I need it to do. And so I am assuming Skyrim also has several mod managers to try using, right?

I'm pretty excited about my first character. I already know a lot about him, since he is based on a character one of my friends from high school (1980s, lol) created. The only tricky thing is this character will be Asian, and I'm going to want some Asian face-tweaking mod, because I could never create this guy with vanilla tools on Xbox (yes, I tried). Anybody know a mod that adds some Asian elements to faces?

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SubRosa
post Dec 6 2014, 08:32 PM
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Definitely install outside of Program Files. That really goes for everything these days. However, Skyrim is going to install itself to your Steam Folder, so the thing is to make sure Steam installs itself outside of Program Files. If you have more than one hard drive, you can choose to install your games to any drive you want. It will create a Steam folder on that drive, and then bury the game under several folders inside of it.

I still use OBMM as well for Skyrim. As you said, it is easy to use and does everything I need in a mod manager. There is an updated version of it for Skyrim called TES Mod Manager that I use.

You will want SKSE as well. It is the Skyrim version of the OBSE, and a lot of mods require it.

Sky UI is another must-have, not only for how much more useful it makes the game's interface, but also for its mod configuration menu, which allows you to configure many mods straight from the menu system in the game.

Immersive Hud goes nicely with Sky UI, and it allows you to do things like remove the compass and crosshair, either permanently, or making them visible for certain things.

Outside of those, look in the Foundation Mod, Face and Body Mods, and This Mod Looks Interesting topics for more mods that might catch your interest.

I tried making an asian character once, and even downloaded a so-called asian character mod to do it with. I still didn't end up looking at all asian. Unless someone has put some new Asianizing mod out there, you are probably going to be out of luck.




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Lopov
post Dec 6 2014, 09:38 PM
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When you install the game, I suggest you disable both Antialiasing and Anisotropic filtering in the launcher. From my experiences, it significantly reduces loading time and makes the game run smoother. They say that the game looks better with AA and AF enabled but I haven't noticed any important difference.


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Acadian
post Dec 6 2014, 09:52 PM
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I echo SubRosa's advice on where to install and using SKSE and Sky UI as extremely helpful. And naturally, you want to consider the unofficial patches.

For mod management, I use OBMM for Oblivion; however, I installed NMM from TESNexus and use that to manage my SkyMods. When first starting Skyrim I had King Coin coach me on the installation. Even Steam was all new to me. Anyway, he recommended NMM and I've been delighted with it. Even simpler to use than OBMM.

It is my understanding that there is an important difference between Sky and OB mods when it comes to scripts. I don't really know squat about the details, only repeating the recommendations I've gotten from King Coin and now seen numerous time when reading about SkyMods. SkyMods that have scripts should not be uninstalled because they apparently leave ghosts or orphaned bits of script running. There seems to be some debate as to whether some of the modding utilities can remove this or not. But the general consensus seems to be with SkyMods that have scripts, you should make a reference saved game, install the mod, play and evaluate the mod and decide if it is a keeper or not. If it is not a keeper, then delete the mod and go back to the reference save from before installing the mod. If the mod is a keeper, then keep it installed until such time as you start a new game. Starting a new game is the time to purge any mods from your load order that have scripts. Regrettably, I'm not smart enough about this stuff to explain/debate/understand it fully; I'm mostly parroting what I've heard from sources I trust.


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Lopov
post Dec 6 2014, 10:10 PM
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I had a problem with scripts too, as some may remember from the thread I made some time ago regarding shrines. The mod consisted of one .esp file and three scripts which I had to manually add to the scripts folder. Although I didn't activate the .esp, these mod scripts were running in my game and shrines didn't work. However deleting these three scripts made shrines work as they should.


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SubRosa
post Dec 6 2014, 10:30 PM
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QUOTE(Lopov @ Dec 6 2014, 03:38 PM) *

When you install the game, I suggest you disable both Antialiasing and Anisotropic filtering in the launcher. From my experiences, it significantly reduces loading time and makes the game run smoother. They say that the game looks better with AA and AF enabled but I haven't noticed any important difference.

It all depends on how powerful a computer you have. On my rig, I don't see any slow down at all from turning the AA and AF all the way to the max. But I have a pretty good machine. People with older, slower ones will likely see an impact. The only way to know is to try turning them on and seeing how it plays.

OTOH, I could not play it with them turned off. To me the difference is very glaring. Most especially are the jagged edges on diagonal lines, such as bowstrings. For a while I was using FXAA - the poor man's version of Anti Aliasing - but when I took some screenshots and compared them side by side with 'standard' AA, I realized how much worse FXAA looks. That is because it reduces jagged edges by softening the image. So the entire picture looks a little blurred. Now I cannot play with FXAA at all.

It all depends on the individual, and what you perceive is looking good or not, or even simply not mattering or not. I have gotten spoiled lately with having a good computer and top of the line video cards. So I always go for the best.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Dec 7 2014, 02:28 AM


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Renee
post Dec 6 2014, 11:23 PM
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Great you all, Thanks for your help.

I forgot all about Steam. The info you posted there about how Steam installs itself probably just saved me an hour of research. Immersive HUD sounds like a must-have, since (you know me) I'll finally be able to toggle the compass away but leave all the other stuff there. I especially want Health, Magicka, and Stamina nice and bright, but the compass completely gone. nono.gif

I have heard a few words about how some mods shouldn't be introduced at the beginning of the game, because this can affect the way the Tutorial runs, but I'm hoping I can install a character overhaul mod (I forget its name) from the getgo.

Anyways, here is my modding list so far. It includes MUST HAVES and MAYBES. Must-haves are definitely going in my game, and Maybes ... maybe they will, maybe not. We shall see.


This post has been edited by Renee Gade IV: Dec 6 2014, 11:37 PM
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SubRosa
post Dec 6 2014, 11:57 PM
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Instead of Character Creation Overhaul, you might try Enhanced Character Edit. It seems to do more, even allowing you do move the individual vertexes of your character's face. The only downside is that it does not allow the use of overlays, which tattoo mods rely upon.

I used Alternate Start, Live another Life for a while. But I was disappointed by the options. For example, the necromancer start it gives you puts you in Sinderion's house in Blackreach! Once you step outside the door, you are confronted by a Dwemer Sphere Guardian. Say goodbye to your first level character...

Instead I started using my own Alternate Start. It is insanely easy to do it yourself. But it can cause some issues. I started this topic to explain how, and the bugs involved.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Dec 7 2014, 12:02 AM


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Renee
post Dec 7 2014, 12:16 AM
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Actually, it says Character Creation Overhaul allows classes, birthsigns, all that stuff. That's what I'm after with that mod.

I did find an Asian face mod called Akaviri Japanese Race, check this out?. Last updated in November 2014. In the POSTS section it says the mod works, as long as a couple other mods are installed, and one of these happens to be the one you just mentioned: Enhanced Character Edit. So I got that on my list now too.

I will look into that other Alternate Start stuff you mentioned, but not for my first guy (the Asian). But I'll definitely use that guide for some later characters. Thanks again, and have some ice cream .

This post has been edited by Renee Gade IV: Dec 7 2014, 12:19 AM
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SubRosa
post Dec 7 2014, 01:16 AM
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QUOTE(Renee Gade IV @ Dec 6 2014, 06:16 PM) *

Actually, it says Character Creation Overhaul allows classes, birthsigns, all that stuff. That's what I'm after with that mod.

I did find an Asian face mod called Akaviri Japanese Race, check this out?. Last updated in November 2014. In the POSTS section it says the mod works, as long as a couple other mods are installed, and one of these happens to be the one you just mentioned: Enhanced Character Edit. So I got that on my list now too.

I will look into that other Alternate Start stuff you mentioned, but not for my first guy (the Asian). But I'll definitely use that guide for some later characters. Thanks again, and have some ice cream .

Doh! I was thinking of RaceMenu, not Character Creation Overhaul. I forgot that CCO was the one that did classes and such. I have always done that manually at character creation. Whenever I create a character now I use the console SetAv command to add 20 points to either Health, Magicka, or Stamina. Then I add 5 points to six of the skills. Finally I give them a standing stone power to start with.

You can use the console to find the ids for the standing stone powers, and then add them via Player.AddSpell. But I created a starting cell a long time ago that I start all my characters in. It has all spellbooks for all the standing stone powers, along with all the weapons, armor, spells, and other stuff.

I was using a different mod for my Asians. I think it was a race mod. Maybe the Ashen Race? I don't remember anymore. Maybe someday I will try out that one you linked to. They look more asian than what I tried before.

Instead of ice cream, how about egg nog. I just came home from the grocery store with some. smile.gif

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Dec 7 2014, 01:17 AM


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Renee
post Dec 7 2014, 06:46 PM
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QUOTE(SubRosa @ Dec 6 2014, 07:16 PM) *

Instead of ice cream, how about egg nog. I just came home from the grocery store with some. smile.gif

Ha ha this crossed my mind. I had some egg nog last night as I was gaming, what a coincidence. Then of course there's frozen yogurt for all the non-dairy people out there. But I'm the Queen of Haagen Dazs so I usually go for Swiss Almond Vanilla or Caramel Dulce. Dulce....

That's neat that we can add all that other stuff via console. I know nothing about consolizing Skyrim yet. It's sunny here today, so I doubt I will make my character, but I will at least get all the foundation stuff (like Steam and a few mods) installed so I'll be ready to just create Nassqa when the time is right.

There are several facepalms in the POSTS section of that mod I linked to; people saying "But Akaviri does not = Japanese" but I don't care. I tried to make an Asian in Oblivion too, Eradi~Kate wound up looking more like a Mestizo than an Asian. So I've wanted to do this for awhile. You'll see soon.

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SubRosa
post Dec 7 2014, 07:48 PM
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Skyrim added a new console command called Help. Like the name says, is very helpful! You can use it to find the id of any person, item, quest, spell, or literally anything else in the game. With that you can use the old Player.additem, Player.addspell, etc... commands to add them to your character.

The way it works is like this:

Help "name of thing" 4

The name has to be the same name you see displayed in the game, not its internal name. If it is more than one word with a space between words, then it has to be in quotations. Otherwise if it is one word you don't need the quotes around it.

You can use 1 - 4 at the end. But 4 is what I always use. It will give you all the ids under that name.

So if you put in this:

Help steel 4

It will spit out every id for everything in the game with the word steel in its name. Every steel weapon, armor, ingot, etc...

Help "steel greatsword" 4

Will give you every steel greatsword in the game. Not just the base unenchanted one, but every magical one as well.

These lists will be long, and won't all fit on the your screen. But you can go back through the pages by pressing the Page Up and Page Down arrows on your keyboard. In addition. The regular up and down arrow keys act like a Doskey, allowing you to cycle through all the commands you have typed in during your game session.

I find this is really good for giving my character things added by mods. Many mod authors don't tell you where to get the items or spells they add in their readmes. Many mod authors don't even give you a readme! Or they give their stuff ridiculous requirements to construct, like a linen wrap, a flawless diamond, two gold ingots, and a nordic barnacle. If you just want to see what it looks like so you can decide if you even want the thing, using the Help command is the best way to get it so you can try it out.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Dec 7 2014, 07:52 PM


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Renee
post Dec 7 2014, 11:06 PM
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Awesome thanks! glargg told me and several others about the 'Doskey' info, but he didn't actually give us the name. Very helpful tool, that is.

Well here goes. I'm going to install Skyrim now. Wish me luck (or wish me fail, if you don't like me so much). Either way, it'll be much easier to get started.

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Renee
post Dec 7 2014, 11:41 PM
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I got Steam installed, but where is the game? I can open up the black Steam window, the one which says STORE, LIBRARY, COMMUNITY, and my Steam name up top, but how do I get to Skyrim itself? I don't see Skyrim anywhere in the Steam folder.

This post has been edited by Renee Gade IV: Dec 7 2014, 11:42 PM
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SubRosa
post Dec 8 2014, 01:41 AM
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That is the Steam client itself you are looking at, not the folder on the your drive. It should have created an icon on your desktop that you can start the game from, as well as on your start menu.

But you can also start the game from the Steam client as well. Move your move over Library for a moment, and a box will drop down from it. Click on Games. It will populate a short list of all the game that you own, as well as ones that are free to play. I see things like Counter Strike and Team Fortress Classic, which I never bought, but apparently Steam is giving away. Anyway, click on Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. That will fill in the window with a Skyrim page. Just click on the blue Play button and it will start the game.

However, SKSE won't work if you start the game this way. You have to find skse_loader.exe, and make a shortcut to it. Look for that Skyrim icon that should be somewhere on your desktop or start menu. Right click on either, and click on Properties. The Target box will tell you exactly where your Skyrim folder is on your drive. It will be buried under a whole bunch of Steam folders. Usually it is something like Steam\steamapps\common\skyrim\

To change your shortcut to start using SKSE, all you really have to do is go into that target box. I think it will end with SkyrimLauncher.exe. Change that to skse_loader.exe. Voila! All done.

Now the Steam client has to be running to play Skyrim. So you have to either start it every time before you start Skyrim. Or when you start the game - even from the SKSE shortcut, it will automatically start the Steam client, and bypass SKSE and go straight to the vanilla game loader instead. You have to exit from the vanilla game loader window. Then start it again from the SKSE shortcut. That will start the game with SKSE running. You can tell because it will completely bypass that vanilla loader.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Dec 8 2014, 01:44 AM


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Renee
post Dec 8 2014, 02:20 AM
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That's what is confusing me. I don't see a Skyrim logo anywhere. I made a folder for Skyrim on my C drive, but all I see in there is Steam stuff. Nothing to do with Skyrim.

Maybe I should start over. Probably missed something during the install.
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SubRosa
post Dec 8 2014, 03:07 AM
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Just keep drilling down through the Steam stuff. Like I said, your actual Skyrim game folder will be buried under about three other folders in the Steam folder.

Or it could be that you installed the Steam client, but not the game itself. You can tell in the Steam client itself. Look in your Library at all the Games you have. If Skyirm is written in bright white, and you see a Play button when you select it. It is installed. If Skyrim is greyed out, and it shows an Install button instead, then it still needs to be installed.


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Lopov
post Dec 8 2014, 09:24 PM
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I'm taking back what I said earlier about Antialiasing and Anisotropic filtering. Today I set both to 2 samples and I noticed a big improvement in graphics, Ivarstead was not only visible high from High Hrothgar but I also saw its mill running and water was running down waterfalls while before they seemed frozen from the distance. Stutter isn't any better or worse with AA and AF enabled so I'll gradually increase it as I play. Also, the game looks better in general.

I had two CTDs in the past 3 hours of gaming, but the first one happened before I enabled AA & AF so that's not the issue. The game just crashed without any warnings or errors. It both happened close to Ivarstead but this might be a coincidence. It both happened about 30 seconds after I made a quick save but this might be another coincidence. I downloaded SSME, some people swear by it - I did some playing with it before going to work and I didn't have any CTDs for now but I didn't really play for long. Is there any way to find out what caused the CTD? I'll also try saving only with the console.

This post has been edited by Lopov: Dec 8 2014, 10:11 PM


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SubRosa
post Dec 8 2014, 10:55 PM
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It might be something mod related causing the ctds. I remember after I installed Hearthfire, I started getting CTDs around Pinewatch. It turns out it was an old carriage mod that Hearthfire completely broke, and I had to remove the mod.

I am not saying that is the same case here. Just that it might be a mod is causing conflict with something else. Maybe two of them are not playing nice together. Take a look and see if you have mods that affect that area, or just any that you installed recently.


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Lopov
post Dec 9 2014, 10:19 PM
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The only mod which I installed recently is the one that allows you to train other NPCs in some skill when your own skill is high enough. Apart from that, almost every mod has been with me from the start though I added some minor ones in between.

Today I always saved with the console and had a long session without any CTDs. I don't know whether this could be the cause but I'll keep it doing it...until the next CTD. Though I had to disable antialiasing because it was causing yellow flickering when talking to NPCs. I googled about this issue and found AA to be one of the possible causes. Disabling it worked and now yellow flickering is gone.

Sorry to hijack your thread, Renee.


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