The new Kill Cams as per the 1.5 patch (I think we're up to 1.9)
The other thing was, there was no “tailoring” aspect to Skyrim so you couldn’t make your own armor, or “robes” I spose and taking away all the fun times of mining and collecting the different coloured ore to make you’re super cool armor, and speaking of armor wearing robes gave you crap all armor too. So needless to say after getting pounded by everything from axe-wielding maniacs to other magic users I decided I’d man back up and start smashing heads. I did have a go at the Mace-and-Shield (or sword) combination which had some awesomely painful looking kill animations but I just couldn’t resist the lure of slicing someone up or bashing their face in with the good old giant sword or warhammer, and no I’ve never used axes in case you’re wondering as I just don’t fancy them.
I had a few reasons for playing through the original Skyrim
again, the most prominent being I wanted to run in and whack things again
instead of being all stealthy but I also wanted to set another character up to
Dragonborn expansion as I wasn’t quite happy with my first
character being the one to do that expansion as I hadn’t done the
console-commanding-skills-in-as-soon-as-I-can-get-them thing so he wasn’t quite
as powerful as when I finish off my new character. When I was creating him I
chose Nord as before as I intended to be on the Imperial side this time but be
a Nord like Legate
Rikke who gives some very convincing arguments when you talk to her as why
Skyrim needs the Empire. I have always had the contested view with my brother
that the Stormcloaks are the “good” guys fighting the oppression of the Empire
similar to most games but even when finishing the Civil war questline on the
Empire side I still didn’t really feel like I’d done the right thing but anyway
I’ll get into that later.
|Can I axe you a question?|
|Legate Rikke and General Tullius in Castle Dour, and me, looking kinda of out of place.|
|Here he is, Brogan the Imperial siding Nord he looks kinda tired, that's probably be right as this was taken when I was almost finished everything.|
A detailed walkthrough of the Pinewoods Cottage player-made home.
So I started out in Helgen yet again following Hadvar this time which really felt weird as you were briefly in the company of Ralof and Ulfric Stormcloak and you really felt like you were on their side as the Imperials were about to cut your head off but anyway you go down and you say hello to the torturer and his assistant and they follow you out and then once you get out you find that Hadvar’s uncle is Alvor the blacksmith in Riverwood who by way of conversation is ideally on the Imperial side and you get free access to almost all the blacksmithing supplies they have which is nice. I searched around and found a patch of corundum ore and together with the iron ore from the always-fun-to-raid Embershard Mine I managed to make enough steel for a full set of steel armor though I didn’t end up making a steel weapon as I found a Honed Ancient Nord Greatsword which had a frost enchant.
|Full steel armor|
|Dwarven armor looks pretty gold and tanky.|
|Lydia has a thoughtful pose here, I don't think she likes my mask, well I don't care if it doesn't match my armor (or doesn't give a set bonus) I ain't takin' it off.|
For the sake of looking good I stuck to one set of armor for Lydia and I instead of mixing and matching the only difference being me wearing a Dragon priest mask and although I did lose the set bonus I still kept the original set helm and usually put an archery enchant on it and used it for taking screenshots. I found when playing with Lydia as my companion it was almost too easy. Because she was decked out in the same upgraded and enchanted armor as me (albeit slightly different enchants) we made short work of any and all monsters we came across. Basically the way I did it was that I ran in swinging with my 2-handed weapon while Lydia shot arrows at enemies from afar, because of this I gave her the best bows and arrows, as I only really used mine for Dragons and I gave her the best shield and either a 1h Sword or Mace as that was what she originally used. Because I was a warrior again and just running in, and also because I had a powerful companion with me, I completed dungeons much, much faster than the sneaking around during my last playthrough.
|Lydia my faithful follower (and steward) in her bitchin' Dragone Armor|
|There are many sell-swords in Skyrim that can be used as companions.|
|The Daedric Artifact Volendrung gifted by malacath after you have finished the Cursed Tribe quest|
|Deus Mons (post dragon) it's quite misty up ere.|
A fairly details move of the Deus Mons interior
After I had moved my quite hefty amount of personal items from one house to another I had levelled my blacksmithing up to Ebony so now it was time to make some. I quickly found that due to the amount of resources that were required to create and upgrade full sets of armour and weapon for both Lydia and I, I did not have enough Ebony ore I was not really going to wait around an in-game week for the ore to respawn in the mine I had just mined out so unfortunately I had to console it in but anyway, I got the armour made. I also had to select which Dragonpriest mask I was going to use, the main two I was interested in were Ved and Ikendov because (the masks) were all black and looked pretty cool, unfortunately I had to go with the classic style as with the way the mod author had attached the new masks to the new hoods I still had some minor issues with my face protruding from the mask similar to last time with my wood elf character. So I chose the classic hooded version of Ikendov and despite the hood being a dark brown looked pretty badass with my ebony armor and Volendrung. It did not however, look very badass while riding a palomino horse. So after some searching I found by going to the Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages (UESP) wiki page on Skyrim horses that they had the baseID codes of all the horses you could get at the stables so I decided to get the black horse from Whiterun to match my current armour set and was happy to find out it had a saddle, this looked much better with my new armor.
|The Ikendov mask works quite well with Ebony armor|
|My Dragonebone armor set with Konahrik|
|The entire set of masks with the dragon mouth open and revealing Konahrik|
The High Hrothgar meeting as part of the Season Unending quest.
After that I finished off all of the main world quests that I could then headed off to Dragonsreach to defeat and trap Odahviing, hitch a ride on him to Skuldafn then enter Sovnguarde and you all know what happens after that and if you don’t well go play the damn game. So after that was finished it was time to continue the war so Lydia and I, decked out in our upgraded and enchanted Dragonbone armor and weapons, defended Whiterun from the stormcloaks then progressively took back every territory until the Battle for Windhelm where we kicked so much ass it was ridiculous, I suppose with this quest being the last battle I’d ever do I was pretty powered up. So anyway we stormed Windhelm and defeated Ulfric and the Stormcloaks and then I was finally free to start up a new life for myself with...
oh yes indeed I am playing an expansion
(or add on) for Skyrim and it was quite fun too. I first had to go to Falkreath and made sure I’d done all the quests to become
the Thane in which the Jarl allowed me to purchase the Lakeview
Manor homestead where I could start buildin’ that shit. I must
admit it was fairly easy building the house, you build it up in stages so you start off with a small cottage that
you can expand into a pretty fine looking house by Skyrim standards, it’s still
nothing compared to some of the player made houses though but that’s a given
it’s supposed to be a normal house not some giant and crazily extravagant
castle. The materials you need are right by your plot of land Quarried
Logs can be “acquired” indefinitely which is nice and I had built my house
in no time.
What did take forever though was furnishing the place,
I had to run all over the world getting all the materials not to mention the
huge amount of iron that was need for all the nails and struts and fittings etc
and I ended up getting sick of it and just console commanded some things in, I
said it before and I’ll say it again I swear I could not play this game on a
console. Though annoyingly once I had made all that crap I found that some
items weren’t in a place you’d call
aesthetically correct especially the display cases in the greenhouse (yes
greenhouse) which were standing on the mushrooms and what made matters worse
was every single one of the display cases did not work (i.e. you couldn’t place
weapons) even things that did work like the weapon and shield racks still had
glitches where the weapons would appear in the floor and ceiling etc and of
course there’s always that problem with the mannequins moving around and
removing their own armor as if they didn’t like it.
|The Battle for (or against really) Windhelm|
|Fall of Ulfric and Galmor, this made me feel kind of sad, what's worse is their bodies stay laying on the floor even after the quest which is pretty gruesome.|
|I ponder If I'm going to need a change of clothes while my horse butts in|
|Now that's cozy!|
|The completed house exterior|
|This is another thing I didn't understand, when you make the initial cottage the furniture stays there so you have a bedroom practically in your doorway.|
|The dining hall.|
Needless to say I was not amused, these issues happen in the player-made homes so the reason I wanted to try Hearthfire is that I thought with an official add-on that these issues wouldn’t happen unless it’s the mods I have running that are causing the problem, though I suppose it’s partly my fault for just building everything all at once and not taking enough looks inside but I mean STILL.
But anyway at least the weapon and shield racks kind of
worked and the house ended up looking pretty good. I nominated Lydia as my
steward and got myself a very shaggy looking cow, a chicken a beehive and a
horse of which I now have two, which is good because my current one thinks it
has been stolen as it walks away whenever I dismount but re-appears when I
quick travel somewhere so the only way of getting rid of it is killing it
really but I don’t want to intentionally do that.
|Basement with shrine stand.|
|Main bedroom with the non-working display case.|
|Exterior view of the house|
|The back of the house leads to this old Nordic grave, hope it wasn't an evil person.|
|My marriage, I don't really know those people, and don't know how they relate to Ysolda and I|
|My adopted daugher recently brought a friend into the house and asked if she could keep him, I was like "a fox?" which funnily enough was the dialogue said. It also made me think of this.|
So that’s it really, been through Skyrim for a third time, been through a few new quests big and small, fought with a companion, lived in a cottage and a grand castle, wore Konahrik and the Dragonbone armor, had a high powered business meeting, won the war on the Imperial side and then settled in with my wife and kids in a home I built with my own two hands (and console commands) so I think it’s a job well done. After all that sword swinging and danger I’m itching to go back to my stealthy one-man-plan and shoot some vampires crossbow style in Dawnguard cause I ain’t no Vampire yo. And then back to my new warrior for Dragonborn which I’m quite looking forward to exploring my old friend Hermaeus Mora’s realm of Apocrypha and hopefully I’ll be able to do all this before the next Elder scrolls game comes out.