Main category for posts about modding, on Windows or Steam Deck

  • Modding,  Skyrim

    Surprise, there’s a new Skyrim update!

    Got up this morning to the news that Bethesda has dropped a new significant update to Skyrim. The main point of this appears to be an enhancement to the Creation Club functionality, which they’re merging with the game’s previous in-game “Mods” menu. The idea here appears to be to enhance the ability of mod/creation authors to get their work out into the hands of other players.

    However, there are also substantial bug fixes, mostly for PC players, but with a small number of fixes on consoles as well. I found a full list of patch notes on Bethesda’s Help site.

    I see a bunch of fixes in there I’ve personally observed in my playthroughs, notably:

    1. Not being able to summon Arvak in the Forgotten Vale
    2. The extra Emerald Paragon holder in Bloodchill Manor
    3. The creation of Trueflame being broken on the Switch
    4. Not being able to sell Dwarven Scrap Metal

    Of the fixes, I think the one I’m actually most happy about is the ability to summon Arvak in the Forgotten Vale and the Deadlands! This will certainly help me out when running the Vale in particular, since I do tend to get super overloaded running that part of the Dawnguard quest line.

    What I do not see in this announcement, though, is any sign of when this patch will show up on the Switch. Fixing the creation of Trueflame is really nice, but there are also other significant bugs in Solstheim on the Switch in particular. I did check my Switch this morning and can confirm that there’s no sign of any update to Skyrim on that device. So for now, my recommendation for Switch owners still stands: do not run the full Anniversary Edition on that device if you can avoid it. Run the base Special Edition instead. You should still have access to Survival Mode, Fishing, Rare Curios, and Saints and Seducers if you do that.

    I have also now done a sweep through my various load orders to check the status of my mods. The Skyrim Script Extender has dropped an update. So you should be able to pull that down from or directly off of Nexus.

    Likewise, the Address Library for SKSE Plugins has also updated. It is now on version 9.

    However, both of my major modded playthroughs, Elessir and Kendeshel, are currently not loadable. A bunch of mods on their lists are now bitching at me about version mismatches with the SKSE. Notably, RaceMenu and moreHUD are unhappy. So a bunch more updates to mods need to come in before I can resume playing those characters.

    I can however load my last Skyrim Together Reborn save. So the slow playthrough I’m doing with Dara and Mel on that should be able to proceed, we were hoping to play this weekend, more to come on whether that is successful!

    And until more of my current load orders update, I’m going to focus probably for the rest of this week on playing Finds-The-Way. With possible diversions to Morrowind or Oblivion, and also additional ESO activity as well. I have plenty of things to play while I wait for the mods to all get caught up!

  • Kendeshel Playthrough,  Modding,  Skyrim

    Review of Moon and Star mod (non-spoiler version)

    Since Kendeshel’s next post is going to feature my running the Moon and Star mod, and therefore by definition will have major spoilers for that mod, this post is to do a non-spoilery review of the mod for anybody who hasn’t played it yet and thinks they might want to.

    The TL;DR version: mixed feelings about this one, though not as strong as with Project AHO. It makes a few small but mostly nice additions to the overall game environment. But I feel like certain aspects of the story are kind of lacking. And after you finish the plot, there are side effects that are kind of annoying.

    Details behind the fold. I’ll structure this similarly to how I reviewed Project AHO.

  • Kendeshel Playthrough,  Modding,  Skyrim

    Making my first patch in xEdit

    Here’s a post documenting a new adventure in modding for me: creating my first local patch in xEdit!

    Turns out I triggered a problem known to folks on the Legacy of the Dragonborn Discord–where dragon attacks inside Solitude are astonishingly common. For the session I played with Kendeshel on 10/7, the post for which will be going up soon, I had three.

    I’ve had dragon attacks in previous playthroughs in Solitude, sure! But three in one session? Definitely a bit much. 😆

    More about this behind the fold.

  • Kendeshel Playthrough,  Modding,  Skyrim

    Review of Project AHO mod (non-spoiler version)

    I’m running Project AHO as part of my Kendeshel playthrough, and as of level 20, the plotline for this kicked in. So here’s a post with some commentary to review the mod and my experiences with it.

    This post is almost entirely without spoilers. I say almost because there’s one aspect of it I do want to call out here in the spirit of a content warning. I’ll be getting into the actual crunchy spoilers as part of the main posts for Kendeshel’s playthrough, and will warn at the top of the relevant posts when those go up.

    The TL;DR picoreview version: I have very mixed feelings about this mod in general. Some of it I liked quite a bit. Other parts… not so much.

    More details behind the fold.

  • Kendeshel Playthrough,  Modding,  Skyrim

    Revised Kendeshel load order

    This post documents take two of the official load order for my Legacy of the Dragonborn playthrough. This is taken straight out of the loadorder.txt file generated by Vortex in my Windows 11 VM, and since the same loader is in effect on the Deck, it applies there as well.

    This is current as of the new mods I added to the load order last night, as I wrote about in the previous post. And it’s long, so info is all behind the fold.

    Keeping this around for reference in case anybody wants to know what my load order is for this run!

  • Kendeshel Playthrough,  Modding,  Skyrim

    Needing to redo Kendeshel’s starting session

    I tried to run Kendeshel last night to take her forward from level 5, only to discover a problem. I started running the quest In My Time of Need in Whiterun, the one where you have to decide between helping the Redguard fugitive Saadia, or the Alik’r warriors led by Kematu who are looking for her.

    The problem: Saadia’s face was fucked up, showing the so-called “black face” bug I’ve seen a lot of references to in looking up how to mod Skyrim properly.

  • Modding

    Switching to Pikdum scripts for modding my Steam Deck

    This post overrides all previous posts I’ve done on the topic of how I’m modding on my Steam Deck. The TL;DR version is, I got frustrated with Vortex not being supported well with steamtinkerlaunch, which was causing me problems with being able to update Vortex to new versions.

    I have now ditched steamtinkerlaunch from my setup entirely, in favor of setup scripts created by and posted to Github by a user called pikdum.

    Deets behind the fold.

  • Elessir Playthrough,  Modding,  Skyrim

    Mods List for Elessir’s Playthrough

    As if I didn’t have enough playthroughs active in various games already, hi, I’m starting a third active Skyrim playthrough!

    I was really not happy about having to ditch Harrowhark, and in the days since I canceled her run, I’ve been working on trying to stabilize my mods situation. I’ve now gotten a list of mods to the point where things seem playable, so I’m going to make a run with this set.

    And just to vary it up from previous runs (even Harrow’s), this time I’ll be playing a male character. This is one of the few things I haven’t done yet in Skyrim, and I want to say I’ve done it at least once.

    Plus, after exploring RaceMenu, KS Hairdos, High Poly Heads, and a few other mods that make it possible to make a dude in Skyrim that not only doesn’t look terrible but is actually kinda hot, that upped my interest in running a male Dragonborn for once.

    So before I get Elessir’s official playthrough reporting under way, I’m putting up this post to specifically document what mods I’m running with him. I will not be changing these mods in any way, because I’ve learned a hard lesson from Harrow’s playthrough imploding: do not under any circumstances fuck around with your mods during a playthrough.

    (I know there are some exceptions to this rule, for example, things that only change armor, or other simple textures. But really, I’m trying to make myself adhere to this rule on general global principle. My play experience, I feel, will be the better for it.)

    Full mods list behind the fold. Most of these I had in Harrow’s run, but there are some notable exceptions.