The game has grown on me since my last post, the mods are fun to explore and there are aspects of the story that interest me, as I thought they would. The world is vast and it is a roleplaying haven. To be honest, my frustrations with Skyrim are not any different than with Olive Town or Japanese games that incorporate rpg / simulation elements. It’s all the same, they all repeat similar tropes, just different aesthetics and the fact the storytelling really isn’t put together as nicely as in DA. Whether I like it depends greatly on functionalities, character tropes and the way it all blends together. I really like those types of games too but in order to be fully immersed, I need to like the story and characters I can fall in love with or at least appreciate, preferably with a solid monogamous meaningful gxb romance storyline. It will take me a good while longer to write more of an overview about Skyrim, where the story I do like, there are interesting quests and over time you get more and more into it. I just still prefer DA 3 in particular over this. I will not at the moment go into Stormclocks vs imperials debate, I still need to think about it and play more. also, I guess it would help to play other elder Scroll games to get more immersed in this universe.
A few favourites
- Helping Mara and I like the amulet of mara
- the main story and stormcloak vs imperials
- Blackreach (still, the unused potential of that place!)
- Shadowgreen cavern and similar sanctuary caves,
- Forgotten Vale
- Solthsteim and sleeping making you wake up at the stones
- Seasons Unending is one of the most interesting quests
- the mythology overall
- Kaidan 2 mod (original, no addons) – that’s how immersive npc/ follower / marriage system should be
- lack of choices for lawful good characters in dealing with Daedra, and a lot of the quests – mods really help here.
- forsworn legacy – a badly designed quest that only leaves a poor aftertaste. I wish we could have done away with the corruption in some way. As such, it’s difficult to like Markarth as a town, even though I LOVE its design and layout.
- Hermaeus Mora and being forced to do his bidding.
- a lot of quests just don’t have alternate options and the vanilla options are distasteful
- vanilla customisation options
- vanilla male marriage candidates
I list some mods that I have been using with AE version for the last few weeks. I will update the mod list below when I use more of them.
I have dropped some of the mods I mentioned in my previous post. Passive giants and dragons just don’t work well, combat surrender generated bugs and was getting on my nerves with everyone running around shouting “I yield I yield”, and a few other cases like this. Still, plenty of amazing mods out there.
You have to be careful with mods. Don’t uninstall most of them mid-game. I do everything by trial and error but it’s best to consult a guide on how to structure your load order. This is much harder than with fallout for some reason.
CONTENT / NAVIGATION
Spells / Armours / Clothing / Creatures
Male followers / romance / marriage options
Interesting but could use more work
VISUALS / TEXTURES / WEATHERS
I favour mods that add more trees/ lush grasses and higher-res textures.
- SKYKING’S MODS
To paraphrase Preston Garvey, Skyking takes back Skyrim one bit at a time!
- VIVID WEATHERS
overhauls all the Skyrim Weathers and Imagespaces, and add a whole bunch of new ones (500+) along with custom effects. It works very well for me.
- FAUNA AND FLORA OVERHAUL
* 18 new tree models, 65+ new types of grass and plants, the green forest appears more deep and old – trees are much taller, snowy trees are much more detailed with heavy snow, some are bent by the snow
- Kabloom Mountain Flowers
Skyking’s retextures of mountain flowers.
- The Refinery – Ingots, ores
Skykin’s retextures of ores and bars
A take on grasses
- Ancient Trees
I want these ancient trees but I’m struggling with installing the utility/ resource it requires.
- Enhanced landscapes
requires the same utility as ancient trees.
- NATURE OF THE WILD LANDS
Makes forests more diverse and denser, though be careful as it might clip certain mod-added objects, like Kaidan’s camp)
- More trees in cities or Paradise Cities
Those cities are so empty! Make them greener!
- Blackreach overgrown
that place is magical!
- Solitude overgrown
More nature everywhere!
- ENB Imaginarium
A fantastic ENB preset that turns this game into proper fantasy.
SSE engine fixes – get this to deal with the false corrupt save issue. It increases handles for the plugins which otherwise cause the game to bug out if you have too many. Since installing this, I’m free of this bug.
A staple by now, offering really good customisation options. Plus CBBE, body slide, hairstyle, brow and eye-improving mods. Bethesda really made customisation terrible in this game. Brows may give some clipping. I just sculpt the face in race menu until the clipping disappears.
- High Poly Head,
- Maevan’s Brows,
- Hverglemir’s brows for high poly head,
- Koralina’s brows,
- The eyes of Beauty,
- Improved eyes,
- SG eyebrows for high poly head,
- Apachii’s Hairstyles,
- Superior Lore Friendly Hair (that’s how vanilla hair should have been!),
- Ks Hairdos (amazing!)
If you’re having any face discoloration issues, this could help: Face disoloration fix. I had this problem after installing the poly head.
Snow elf Race
that’s a really cool idea for a mod that adds a custom race: Snow Elf and makes Gelebor recognise you as one.
Character Creation Overhaul
Character Creation Overhaul brings back birth signs, classes, specializations, favoured attributes, and major/minor skills to Skyrim. Disable permanent birthstones on launching if you want guardian stones in the game.
Fuz-Ro-Do Silent voices
Adds support for unvoiced dialogues
Systems / Immersion
Modular customizable gameplay mechanics expansion (& recalibration!)
Combat: parrying, dodging, aim-shake
Magic: new spells, necromancy, potion toxicity
Stealth: disguises, knockouts, lock level requirements & lock smashing
Speechcraft: yielding, persuasion, multi-followers
Crafting: traps & dwarves automata
Complete Alchemy and Cooking Overhaul
This mod is a complete overhaul of the alchemy and cooking systems.
Complete Crafting Overhaul Remastered
adds features to enhance the functionality and balance of Smithing and crafting in Skyrim. It also makes mining faster – you can configure it in the MCM.
Craftable Hearthfire planters
Tentapalooza for Campfire
Add diversity with 4200 jewellery variants distributed across culture-specific leveled lists for races and dungeons. Swap any of 1700 rings or bracelets to the left hand and back instantly via right click-even player enchanted and named ones. Incorporates a new system of gem and metal-influenced enchanting based on occultism and the Aedric planets.
I love this mod!
This mod adds two types of paper money, Merchant Guild Note(1,000G) and East Empire Company Note(5,000G). The weight of each note is 0.1. Some merchants have a new dialogue for exchanging these notes and septim coins. If you use a mod which gives the weight to a gold coin, this mod reduces your burden by paper money.
- Whisper – Dwerven Tonal Magic
- Thunderchild – epic shouts and immersion
Thunderchild enables players to create shout-centric characters, adding 29 new shouts with multiple effects. It also includes several buffs that are unlocked by completing Kyne’s tests of faith, a custom Greybeard Robe in several variations, the High Hrothgar Library, and an assortment of buffs and bugfixes for vanilla shouts.
- Refosteration project
Create your own PERMANENT forest or garden anywhere! Reforestation allows you to magically plant trees and foliage on any piece of land. This actually adds a reason to make a different choice in the Eldergleam quest. Though personally, I prefer to listen to Maurice. The standard version has you find the spells in Breezehome or buy from Farengar.
- Fossil Mining
Adds fossils that you can find while mining to make mining more profitable and interesting, brought to you with the help of the creator of Legacy of the Dragonborn with built-in Legacy support!
Followers and NPCs
- Nether’s Follower Framework
I have switched AFT for Nether’s Follower Framework. There are a lot more neat options, including forcing an npc into the marriage faction. I would avoid adding mod-imported companions unless they have integration with this mod. Kaidan might. Anna’s NPCs I think don’t. But you can force anyone into the follower and even marriage option.
- Sleep Tight
- Immersive Citizens
Immersive Citizens – AI Overhaul is a mod whose purpose is to increase player in-game immersion by greatly improving the Artificial Intelligence (AI) of friendly NPCs (citizens) in order to make them act and react like true humans in relation to their environment or to aggressor.
- AI overhaul
Changes many of the Vanilla NPCs AI to act more realistic and immersive.
- Wet and Cold
This mod adds weather-dependent visual effects and AI enhancements to the player and NPCs.
- Immersive Speechcraft
Adds several dialogue options to most of Skyrim’s NPCs (even ones initially without any dialogue options) allowing for increased immersive interactions and role-play.
- Compliments and insults
A simple dialogue mod that adds the ability to compliment or insult most NPCs. This has a chance to affect their disposition towards you and trains your Speech skill by a small amount; these effects can occur once per day per person. This is mainly meant to increase your roleplaying options, providing a new simple way to interact with NPC.
- Bards Reborn – Student of Songs
Improves the Bard College
- Immersive College of Winterhold
An overhaul of the buildings and inhabitants of the College of Winterhold.
- Dawn of Skyrim
A city overhaul for each of the five major holds,
- Skyrim Family Life – Biological Children
Have your own children. Without adult mods or other annoyances.
- Honorhall Orphanage Fixes
- RSS Children overhaul
Overhauls the appearance of all children. Also adds some outfits and accessories
- The kids are alright overhaul
A comprehensive overhaul of the children of Skyrim
- Hearthfire multi-adoptions
There are also some skill tree tweaks, like Treebalance Series. I only have Speech installed.
SPELLS AND ITEMS
There’s a ton of that to suit every taste. Here are some of my favourites. for female armours, I’m specifically looking for feminine-looking armors but ones that are not like a horny teenager’s sexualised fantasies.
- Convenient Horses
A great horse system that lets you customise equipment, go into combat, customise the horse’s weight tolerance etc.
- Forest Mounts
Summon a forest creature to ride for three minutes. I’d like to tame them permanently
- Unicorn Mounts
A good variety of unicorns. Love them! Works with Convenient Horses.
- Better Frost
The name obliges! This mod makes it so
- NEW! Dragonborn pastures
A worldspace for your horses.
Very useful, don’t need hands.
Armours / Clothes
- Female Armors and Accessories collection
- Apachii Divine elegance Store
- DX Dark Knight Armor
- Falka Armour
- Regal Huntsman
- More Elven armour
- Armor and clothing extension
- Alchemist’s Vestments
- Ashlander apparel (armoured and non-armoured)
- Wedding Outfit commission
- Fine clothes
- Colovian noble clothes
- Kozakowy 1660 gown
- Rustic clothing
- Elegant gown
I would love to repackage some of these mods into one file. No idea how to do it, though and would need permissions.
CUSTOM PLAYER HOUSES
I like that house. a Lot, which is why I really want to try and make it work with anna’s NPC / other mods that conflict with this space by adding buildings/establishments. The popularity of this particular spot is astounding. There’s a nice mod which further improves Tundra Homestead: Crystal Towers.
- Aonghus’ House
A lovely, upgradable house. You can get a garden, smithing area, a balcony..and more.
There’s a patch for Thunderchild, because one of its elements may conflict with the smithy area.
- Autumn’s Lodge
comes with Kaidan 2 mod
- Winterhold restored
adds two player houses, rebuilds parts of town adds new stores and marriage NPCs.
- Aurora Village
A lovely location near Little Vivec from Moon and Star. Gives two new followers and 8 marriage partners. Needs a patch to work with Moon and Star.
- Granite Hill
from Skyking, comes the restoration of a village Bethesda made plans for and abandoned, like usual. It jas a nasty surprise lurking for you! There’s a player home.
- Ayeleid Palace and Skyrimlazz other mods.
- Wind District Breezhome
- Lakeview Manor as it should be – patch
Original listed in requirements
The Legacy of the Dragonborn
Plus the patches– and incredible work in itself with the installer and all the options. Want more mods? Check the patch list that goes with Legacy.
This one reminds me of another game, I have not completed this story yet but it looks very good.
It is a critically acclaimed expansion mod offering a unique 6 – 8 hour experience: a murder mystery investigation set in an ancient underground city. You’ll need to solve it using your wits, and the ability to travel through time…
Enderal: Forgotten Stories
a whole new game within Skyrim. I haven’t played it yet but it looks very promising.
Moon and Star
Good writing. If you haven’t played Elder Scroll, like me, you might not enjoy it quite as intended? I was confused. Nonetheless, the design of the quest is very good and has aftermath, a fun puzzle dungeon with fun riddles, and lots of useful items to loot a new location. You can get a compatible houseboat!
Adds a large number of localized radiant quests found at Missive Boards of varying difficulty and with varying rewards. You can set the rewards in MCM.
Atlas Map Markers
Explore Skyrim and discover hidden and hard to find locations such as wilderness camps, shrines, cave exits, and much more. MCM options available.
Even Better quest objectives
Enhances the quest descriptions in the vanilla game.
THE CHOICE SHOULD BE OURS
- alternative perspective – the best fully working alternative start in my opinion because it doesn’t force you into random locations with random gear, it reworks the vanilla start to keep it and offer a different perspective and all new starting places are unique and thought-out. What I love about it is that really establishes a connection with Helgen and makes you regret it when it’s lost…well until you play Helgen reborn! I think Skyrim really neglected its roleplaying opportunities and ability to choose character backgrounds. Why shouldn’t’ we start as someone else, even if fate may eventually lead us to becoming dragonborn? There are even mods that let you start as a child but I haven’t installed them because I felt it’s too complicated to add this to the load order.
- At your own pace – paces the main storyline, works with The Choice is yours and makes some changes so good guys can play the way they choose. Incompatible with Dark Brotherhood / Thieves Guild for the good guys so pick the one you prefer. You don’t have to install all the modules.
- Skyrim Reputation SE – Your actions have consequences in the world’s social sphere and people around the world recognize that – this simple mod is brimming with complexity. It makes it so your character feels like their choices have an impact on the world around them. If you make truly despicable choices, people won’t just hate you, they’ll fear you. If you’re a golden ray of warmth in Skyrim’s cold land, they’ll LOVE you and make that abundantly clear. Cannot endorse this mod enough.
- Charitable Soul – Allows you to be a nice person! Make donations to the orphanage, give clothes to the poor, use Sigil Stones instead of Soul gems to enchant your gear, and give farmers things!
- Wintersun Faiths of Skyrim – The gods are displeased with certain choices you make – this mod may seem unnecessary, but you’d be surprised how much a bit of shame changes your playstyle. Repent for your actions if you want forgiveness. Crime makes you guilty!
- The Paarthurnax Dilemma SE -a much needed option. I don’t understand Delphine and the other guy.
- Penitus Oculatus SE – To me, this isn’t just a faction mod, this is another step in the direction of making the destruction of the Dark Brotherhood mean something. It only adds to Imperial Gratitude by making your decision feel final and just.
- Innocence Lost Alternative – You can spare yourself from bloodying your hands against that hag at the orphanage – instead, the guards will do it for you!
- Thieves Guild for Good Guys – Much better
- House of Horrors Expanded – gives you a much-needed option to side against the daedric prince and help the vigilant. Users of Wintersun Faiths and Even Better Quest objectives should download the available patches.
- Dark Brotherhood for Good Guys – I usually just destroy them not interested in their storyline, but this one makes it viable for good characters.
- Namira for good guys – Play a trick on Namira! Complete Namira’s quest “The Taste of Death” without sacrificing a priest to Cannibals.
- Boethiah for good guys
- No to Nocturnal – Provides you with the option to DECLINE to become a Nightingale. This is a big choice because it means you don’t get the Nightingale armour, and this is what this list is about, the ability to make a choice and deal with the consequences.
- Restoring the Aretino residence Fix and upgrade the Aretino residence into a proper (player) home! Invite Aventus to return home! Give Sofie a warm place to sleep! Or just use it for yourself! Fully voiced quest with 12 possible upgrade options.
- Miraak Dragonborn Follower This is NOT just another follower mod. This gives you the opportunity to flip the entire ending of the Dragonborn DLC on its ass. What if, instead of striking down Miraak, you turned your gaze to the malevolent Daedric prince that has been manipulating you both the whole time. Fight Mora with Miraak by your side. Earn Miraak as a follower. Mora was always the true villain in the end. Miraak was a very bad person, there’s no doubt, but he was also a man that was trapped in a contract with Mora that he couldn’t escape. Free him. Killing him is easy, sparing him is hard.
- Thie Whispering Door Expanded
Includes option for good guy walkthrough.
- A better tomorrow – replace Maven as jarlif you support the imperials. Maven is not fit for anything.
- One with nature – MCM that allows you to select your relationship with a variety of animals and creatures. Good for a pacifist playthrough.
- The Choice is yours I am not using it because I prefer some other options in all these other mods but I definitely think it’s a very good mod.
MALE FOLLOWERS/ ROMANCE
A good companion system with good affinity / regard system is a must for me for immersion and I like love stories, like I’ve said many times. GxB pure love stories. There’s a lack of good male companions, male mods seem rarer than female but there’s a couple of some really interesting mods that try to change that.
- Kaidan 2 oringal mod. There are some fan addons, that while greatly expand Kaidan, might not exactly be it anymore. Still, they are worth playing as they add thousands of new lines (sometimes too much though) and keep Kaidan mostly in character. I just don’t like some other lines, especially those with swearing or others that are going too far on the flirty for me.
- Authentic post-war followers Ralof or Hadvar as follower/ marriage options AFTER you resolve the war. Ralof and Hadvar totally should have been options.
- Interesting NPC – adds a number of characters, including a few straight only. My favourite is Valgus – he’s a soulful character, simple, unadorned but so honest and warm. It’s also an all-round entertaining mod, sometimes serious, sometimes irreverent, poking fun at e.g how we take on so many quests without thinking. Fantastic, a labour of honest love, feels genuine.
- Relationship dialogue overhaul
Adds over 5,000 lines of completely voiced dialogue for NPCs using the original voices.
- Vanilla follower and spouse overhaul.
Works best with total Charakter Makeover.
The modder asks why these ugly faces Bethesda? Yes, the vanilla male marriage options are not really attractive and what’s worse mostly uninteresting storywise, as if Bethesda just added this thing as an after-thought with a silly explanation “life is hard, no time for courtship”. There should still be room for MEANINGFUL bonds, especially in a harsh world. Ralof , Hadvar, among others were examples of wasted potential. Check out the modder’s other works, they really improved a lot of the men in the game.
- Male Housecarls – Turn the female housecarls into four marriageable males. I will take Lydus over Lydia, thank you!
- Studly Aicantar
- Obedient Ulfric marry Ulfric. I like the modder’s thoughts behind this, they made me want to follow the stormcloak path and helped me immerse myself in the game. Ulfric is a very interesting character. I am reserving judgement for now, I need to finish the storyline!
- Winterhold Restored – adds a few marriage candidates on top of restoring Winterhold to its glory and adds two player homes to boot.
- A Skyrim Kiss adds a nice little animation
- Animated Wedding Scene
- Destination weddings
Anna’s NPCs adds a few male options, two of them straight, on top of being a fully immersive mod, with characters having unique marriage paths. Please note it causes conflict with some locations, like Tundra Homestead. I’d like to make a patch for it, but I have no idea how. It’s interesting insofar as there are two straight male options for female players, they both propose and what’s important they actually care that you are free / will not engage in romance if you are already vanilla married – that matters to me a great deal because I value loyalty and hate cheating. I’m a one-guy kinda girl. Garett could use a quest and more commentary – he’s nice, but doesn’t stand out. Darion is a bit ..flowery, but I haven’t got to know him well enough to say anything more, same with Teryn As a straight female who looks for straight males with solid, supportive characters and stories to romance and marry, I like this mod a great deal, it adds a cast of colourful characters, though I sometimes ask myself if I’m sure this fits well with Skyrim overall, I have not yet arrived at a conclusion. There’s a scarcity of male followers/ romances…. It’s worth checking out, a great deal of labour went into this. It’s an interesting attempt, to be sure, with some fun ideas and loyalty in the romance (that’s really important to me), well worth noting.
Visit Anna’s NPCs website here: Anna’s NPCs
Interesting but I think could use more work
- Return to Sovengard – very interesting idea to roam Tamriel as a ghost, could be bittersweet, as long as option to revive would be there too, but things need work here.
- Betrayal at High Hrothgar – a very interesting solution to the civil war dilemma
- Quenya – spirit of the forest
Unique White Stag Mount, includes Seamless, Lore Friendly Integration into the game and Custom-Made meshes! Find it in Eldergleam Sanctuary. It’s a bit buggy.
- Halls of beginnings – that’s an awesome-sounding alternate mod start, I’m a bit afraid to install it though, considering it’s old and I have a number of mods altering quests. porting and expanding this one would be awesome though!
- Helgen reborn – great idea, but not immersive with some annoying dungeons (it’s not a good idea to put levers god knows where, the pit fight is a drag). Writing needs sorting out. I got offended, as a woman, by some of the lines. Korst is super annoying. And Cinnia should stop hounding my female character. I would have just disabled her if I thought the mod itself was nice, but I couldn’t really stand it. Dianna is even more annoying and her dialogue hinges on a horny teenager’s fantasies – I was not able to tolerate it. But at least the modder seriously tries to write the story. The mod overall IS a full package, but it didn’t work for me. I gave it a fair chance, up to nearly the end but gave up because the payoff didn’t seem good enough, the quests and characters were getting on my nerves and helgen itself…well it might be best to leave it ruined to remind everyone of the price to be paid for civil strive and lack of unity when greater danger is at stake. Uninstalled and do not endorse this mod in its current format, but it’s a very nice idea and a pretty extensive mod.