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?
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 http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/5010 that I use.
You will want http://skse.silverlock.org/ as well. It is the Skyrim version of the OBSE, and a lot of mods require it.
http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/3863 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.
http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/3222 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 http://chorrol.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=5505, http://chorrol.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=5494, and http://chorrol.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=5742 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Instead of Character Creation Overhaul, you might try http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/12951. 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 http://chorrol.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=5512 to explain how, and the bugs involved.
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, http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/23608/?. 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 .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Three things I want to share:
1)I didn't have a single CTD after saving only with the console.
2)Stutter is gone. It may have something to do with http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/4929/ mod because I used a classic map option which is said to cause problems with generating distant objects. Since I've been using another map, distant objects are more visible again and stutter is gone. Though I haven't been to the Rift yet so I don't know whether that area is "cured" as well because it was the most problematic.
3)I also fixed the yellow flashing that was caused by turning Antialiasing on. I found the solution on Google and it said to change settings in AMD Catalyst Control Center by checking the box "Use Application Settings" regarding AA. Checking these boxes worked and my screen no longer flashes yellow when in 1st person. Hope it stays that way.
Finally got Skyrim working on PC last night. Oh yeah. I haven't created a character yet, I just wanted to see if the game would start, if I did things right.
One of the things I noticed: FPS. I've got Fraps running, but even if I didn't I was noticing how much FPS (frames per second) was bouncing around, just during the carriage ride. Nothing crazy; it's not like the images on my screen were stop-starting or anything such, but after figuring out how to get Oblivion running nice and smooth, it's something which I now notice.
So I have two questions.
1). In Oblivion I use a 4GB patch mod + OSR (Oblivion Stuttter Removal) to get my game running with minimal hitches. I typically have it set at 33 fps while in towns and outside, and sometimes I will switch to 60 fps while dungeon-diving. Is there a similar program (or set of mods) for Skyrim?
2). Some people say it's impossible to tell the difference between 30 fps and 60 fps. I disagree. 60 fps is heavenly. I can always tell the difference while playing Oblivion (assuming I've got OSR set to allow 60 fps) but the problem is Oblivion cannot maintain a solid 60 fps most of the time (not with the Ultra settings I have on), which I think has something to do with the fact that it can't utilize more than one core of a processor.
So my question: is it possible to get Skyrim working at 60 fps at all times? I noticed during that carriage ride that FPS was bouncing in the 30s and 40s. When I got Skyrim installed, I also noticed it automatically set the game for ULTRA settings, but maybe VERY HIGH would make things smoother.
Damn. Three questions. Sorry. This third question is optional, because it requires research, maybe.
3). http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?cc=us&lc=en&docname=c04072036#N366. It's got an Nvidia GT640 card. Let's say I installed a more powerful graphics card; a GTX 760 or something. Do you think this would allow more headroom for ULTRA settings + 60 fps, since Skyrim can utilize more than one core?
A better video card will certainly help performance. Whether it will get you to that smooth 60 fps... I dunno. There are of course other factors as well, how much RAM you have, how fast your RAM is (it comes in different speeds, which are of course limited by your motherboard), how fast your hard drive is, how fast your processor is, etc... But in the end, a new video card will definitely help.
You might never get it perfect. I have a pretty good machine - Intel i7 3.2 ghz, 16gb of DDR3 Ram, a Solid State hard drive, and two Nvidia GT 760 video cards in an SLI. But I still get what is called micro stutter. Sometimes my fps will drop by just a few digits - literally just from 60 only to 56 - and the game will very noticeably stutter. That is with Vsync on, which caps your fps 60. I manually turned Vsync off and my fps is usually over 100. But I still got that micro-stutter. So I turned it back on. From the Googling I have done, a lot of other people with good machines have the same issue.
You don't have to worry about looking for a Large Address Aware (a.k.a. 4gb) patch. That was built into one of Skyrim's patches. Since Steam forces you to update the game, you already have that.
I don't know of a single specific mod for Skyrim like OSR is for Oblivion. I have seen a lot of supposed fixes for stuttering. None of them have ever helped me, and many have made my game run worse. So they are a your mileage will vary situation. Google things, make backups, and try them one at a time and see what happens.
Very good thanks SubRosa. 60 fps with an occasional dip into the 50s would be sweet. You know what I mean about framerates, right? 60 fps is amazing. It's not just the fact that the picture is smooth, it's also something else I can't put my finger on. The game's lighting changes, or something. It's subtle but noticeable.
I've got 16 gb of RAM, speed is 3.4 Ghz with a 3.9 'turbo' mode or something like that. Quad core. The GT640 is pretty decent for Oblivion, but I have my eye on a few better video cards from Best Buy, or maybe even Micro Center. I think I'll do some research. The thing is, I know my comp is not the very best, but I don't plan on adding any texture pack mods, so 60 fps with vanilla textures seems ultimately feasible, I am hoping.
So you use two vid cards at once? Or you just have two in your machine and use one at a time?
I know exactly what you mean. I have been chasing that white FPS whale since I started computer gaming, trying to eke out every single frame I could to get that smooth as silk performance. My current gaming rig is powerful enough that I typically can play any game with all the graphics settings at the highest without any slowdowns. I even keep Vsync turned on, which I would never do in the past in order to get the best performance.
http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/guides/introduction-to-sli-technology-guide#2 is a technology that allows you to use two or more graphics cards in one computer. Not all cards can do it, and not all motherboards can either. It allows you to do things like use one card to draw one frame, then the other card to draw the next, and back and forth. Generally it means a performance increase, but not always (which the article explains later, and is something I have seen myself playing Skyrim).
SLI can also be used to improve your image quality instead, by using the alternating graphics cards to improve your anti-aliasing. I have been trying that today, and found it it also improves my micro-stutter issue, though does not completely eliminate it. So far with SLI based x64 CSAA and x16 Transparency AA I only sometimes get a 1 point FPS drop, rather than the 4 point drop with only x4 standard AA. That micro-stutter comes every time I get that 1 point drop. But it isn't as frequent as before, or as bad. I know that sounds strange, but the micro-stutter issue is a weird one, it seems to be caused by people whose computers are too powerful to play the game, not too little. The computer renders frames so quickly that it has too much free time between frames.
Happy Holidays and thank you once again. That's one thing I wanted to ask about: Vsync. How do we turn this on? I don't see an option in the game, or in the game's launcher options.
It's interesting because framerates are all over the place in that Tutorial dungeon, and they're going way over 60 sometimes, and I'm like "Hey video card, you don't have to work that hard!"
I'd suspect the micro-stutter is more likely to be CPU interruptions from tasks the OS deems more urgent than the game. Multiple cores mean less of it, but sometimes the interruption involves all of them waiting for a central event to complete.
In the old days, you'd disconnect a gaming computer from the 'net, so that nothing external could interrupt it (and you could turn off the AV too), but now the games want the umbilical in place, if only to launch.
Beautiful, it's all working! My first character is launched on PC!
I have decided I'm going to start using Wyre Bash. For some reason it just feels right to step it up.
One question for those who have long-lasting characters: approximately how big are your savefiles and do you encounter any troubles when they became large?
For now I notice a steady increase in Lucius' saves and I guess that as long as save files don't get large all of a sudden, that's okay. We haven't been to some areas at all which means that I can expect it to get even larger when we'll visit unexplored places, like Solstheim for instance. So at 107 hrs my current save file is 10.4 MB with 60-70 .esps enabled but most .esps are minor things, I don't use any big overhauls or mods that'd radically change the game.
But a lot of areas are still unexplored, so I can expect my save file to be 20 MB big at some point or even more and that's what slightly worries me - what'll happen them? A friend of mine told me that had saves around 30 MB and except longer loading screens didn't encounter any problems but his game was much less modded than mine.
I've heard that save files in Skyrim can actually get smaller as the game discards obsolete data, for example the state of a dungeon that has reset. So you'll probably reach a steady state where new stuff is added at the same rate as old things fall out. You can only travel around so fast, and can't go back to everywhere you've been very frequently.
Mods may not add much to the save game, if all they're doing is adding static content that doesn't require a remembered state. New outfits, weapons etc. won't add to your save size, unless they're ultra-light stuff that lets you hold more items in your inventory
My problem is more with the number of characters and save files I have. They may be small, but there's a lot of them!
Lopov, your save files sound fine for what you describe. How long you play and the number/nature of your mods does affect them. Buffy's current game is just under 600 hours with about 50 mods and her save files are just under 15 MB. There is currently a topic on this very subject over at BethSoft forums and what you and I have seems about right.
My longest running character is Persephone 1.0, and her last save game is 13.8 gb, after 139.5 hours of gameplay. Looking through her saves, I do see points where the file size dips slightly in newer saves, rather than grows. But in overall the trend has been to increase.
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