• Harrowhark Playthrough,  Skyrim

    Final thoughts on Harrowhark’s Skyrim Run

    Even though I’m having to cancel Harrow’s run prematurely, here’s the best I can do with a Final Thoughts post for her, similar to what I’ve done for previous playthroughs.

    Since her playthrough was modded, I’ve called out my thoughts on the mods I used in Mods review for Harrowhark’s run. This post will focus on the other topics I usually cover in a Final Thoughts post.

  • Harrowhark Playthrough,  Modding

    Mods review for Harrowhark’s run

    Since I’m canceling Harrowhark’s playthrough, I’m taking the time in this post to review her final list of mods, and decide which of them I want to keep and which ones I will not be revisiting for future modded runs.

    As of her last sessions, I had 91 total mods being run, with a handful of others being ones I’d tried to ditch mid-playthrough. As I’ve written about before, compared to a lot of Skyrim players out there, this honestly is kind of amateur hour. And since this was my first fully modded run, I’m also honestly not surprised I eventually ran into trouble. Like I said in my post about canceling her run, I’ve learned the hard lesson that fucking around with your mods in the middle of a playthrough is really not a good idea.

    So this post is for thoughts about which mods I will ditch and which ones I want to keep for future reference. Since this is going to be long, let’s put this behind a fold, shall we?

  • Harrowhark Playthrough,  Skyrim

    In Which Harrowhark Becomes Guildmaster, Fights Mudcrabs, and Takes Contracts

    This is Harrowhark’s last post documenting stuff I did in her run, since as per this post, I’ve irreversibly fucked up her playthrough and am going to have to cancel it. But I did have a post pending for her, so here are the last three sessions I ran with her.

    Main action here is running the Aetherium Forge, becoming Guildmaster of the Thieves Guild, fighting a swarm of mudcrabs in Dawnstar, running a few contracts for the Dark Brotherhood, and being revealed as the Brotherhood’s new Listener.

  • Harrowhark Playthrough,  Modding,  Skyrim

    Canceling Harrowhark’s Playthrough

    I’ve come to the uncomfortable realization that I’m going to have to cancel Harrowhark’s Skyrim playthrough.

    The main thing that prompted this: a disastrous attempt last night to try a strategy for solving the problem I’ve been having ever since running Moonpath to Elsweyr in that playthrough: i.e., crashing a few minutes into the game, and crashing as soon as I try to fast travel. This pretty much made Harrow’s run unplayable on the Steam Deck. And while I could still play her on the VM, it was pissing me off not being able to play her on the Deck. We paid a lot of money to get me that Steam Deck! I want to play Skyrim on it!

    So when I went searching for a solution to this problem, I found this Steam community post that pointed off in turn to a post on nexusmods.com. The overall idea of the solution discussed basically went like this:

    1. Copy everything out of your saves directory into a temporary location
    2. Start a new game and get it to the point of a fresh save
    3. Copy your stuff back in

    Last night I tried this. But I fucked it up. I made the mistake of assuming that if I used Steam’s own built-in backup for game files, this would include save information.

    Narrator: It did not include save information.

    So then turned off Skyrim’s sync to the Steam Cloud on the Deck, blew away the local saves on it, and ran a new character through Helgen. I took that character, an Argonian I named Finds-The-Way, to the point of reaching Riverwood and getting the request to go tell the Jarl of Whiterun what happened. And I confirmed Finds could successfully fast travel between the Guardian Stones and Riverwood.

    Then I tried to turn cloud sync back on. Y’all can probably see where this is going.

    Steam Cloud must have basically gone “oh hey you deleted this bunch of save files, I’ll helpfully nuke them out of the cloud for you!”

    Because I wound up losing every session I’d played as Harrow since February 6th. This was the point just after which I’d run the Forgotten City mod.

    And what really is the icing on the cake is, I even tried loading that last save file… and immediately reproduced the fast travel problem.

    What that tells me is, something in the low-level information about Harrow’s run is just fundamentally fucked, regardless of which specific save I load for her. And I’m tired of fucking with this, so I’m going to just have to ditch her playthrough completely.

    This is all on me, really. Not only just the part of disastrously misinterpreting the Steam Backup functionality, but also too much fucking around with the mods in Harrow’s playthrough. I have read a bunch of warnings about how deleting mods mid-playthrough in Skyrim is a recipe for disaster. And I did quite a bit of fucking around with the mods in her run.

    I’m going to delete the rest of Harrow’s saves, because at this point her entire run seems fucked. But I will of course keep her posts up, and I’m going to do one more post of a few sessions of hers I did before this disaster happened. I’ll try to do as much of a Final Thoughts post for her as I can, though a lot of things I’ve included in previous Final Thoughts posts I can’t do just because I actively lost Harrow’s most recent save files. So I can’t do the capture of her final stats.

    I’ll also take this as an opportunity to rethink the set of mods I had active for her, and decide which ones I want to keep for my next modded playthrough.

    Lesson learned: do not fuck with what mods I’m using once a playthrough is active.

    And, I need to also tell myself that it’s okay to ditch a Skyrim playthrough if it gets fucked up, even if it means ditching a character I’ve put months of effort into.

  • Harrowhark Playthrough,  Skyrim

    In Which Harrowhark Has a Bit of a Reset

    This is a multi-session post, but it actually replicated some of the action I did in running Moonpath to Elsweyr. Because y’all may recall that at the end of my Moonpath to Elsweyr post, I reported seeing some crashing behavior on the way out of the area set up by the mod.

    This behavior has, unfortunately, persisted. And investigating what was going on caused me to have to roll back a bit, as I will detail under the fold.

  • Harrowhark Playthrough,  Skyrim

    Giving Inigo another chance

    I’m about to put up another Harrow post soon, but I’m breaking this out into its own post because it’s worth addressing on its own.

    I wound up having to roll back to the save just before I ran Moonpath to Elsweyr, because of trying to address the crashing issues I’ve been having in my game on the Steam Deck. As a side effect, this also meant that I rolled back to a point before I kicked Inigo out of my playthrough.