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Skyrim Survival: Performance, Setting, Progression

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I enjoy playing Skyrim with survival mods (and overall I'm at about 330 mods/240 esp files, I think) but there are a number of shortcomings I wanted to bring up and see if anyone has thoughts on them, mod suggestions or ideas for how to go about improving things. For everyone else, maybe it will inspire someone to try a new approach to Skyrim.

I. Performance


This is the least of my complaints, but the biggest culprit here is, I think, Frostfall. I'm not sure why it needs to take that much scripting, precisely - my personal take on it is that I'd be perfectly happy if storms just added magical debuffs and did frost/untyped damage. The result would still be a harsh environment that might kill you, and with less to track, it might be feasible to make it work on NPCs too. Campfires could possibly just add a short term frost resist buff.


II. Setting


One thing that stands in the way is that the wilderness of Skyrim is full of cities, villages and inns. It's extremely hard to get lost, because (among other things) there's actually quite a lot of civilization around. Skyrim is about 15 square miles... in other words, 4 miles x 4 miles is actually larger than Skyrim. You can cross all of Skyrim at walking speed in 2 hours.


I've used three approaches to try to remedy this.


a. Use mods that remove every friendly NPC in Skyrim: Combining "Empty" and "Alone," basically. Unfortunately, this leaves ugly landscape artifacts in my game, and even worse, it does not work with the USLEEP patch, which I require as a master for several other mods I want to run.


b. Run zombie invasion mods (28 days and a bit and/or Draugnarok) that basically wreck civilization with a high chance of infecting any actor hit. These do a pretty decent job of counter-acting the constant presence of civilized areas, however, 28 days zombies never stop spawning from doorways, which becomes quite annoying, unless you want to claim that doorway forever. Draugnarok, on the other hand, needs to be restarted after each cycle, because it's "always on" mode gradually fills the game with zombies to the crashing point.


c. Run mods that leave the NPCs in, but drastically increase guards as well as make them and many other factions hostile to you: KoS - Outcast, Extra Guards, etc. This has the advantage that even more hostiles crank up the difficulty, momentarily, and it gives the game a different flavor, where you can sneak around and still get things done, but villages and towns are relatively hard to get around in. The problem with this is that eventually you can invis at will, cast illusion to stop attacks, etc, and it becomes more trivial.


III. Progression


Lastly, you have this problem: Even once I figured out the above 2 items and tweaked a lot of things more or less to my liking.... once you figure out survival with Frostfall and Hunterborn, you eventually need to figure out what else you want to do, what with every friendly NPC having died a gruesome death. Usually I try to fill that gap with mods to...


Survive even more:

The Sinister Seven

Fast Travel Ambushes and Consequences

SoT Standalone Sleep Module (Dangerous Nights does not work well for me)


Build an army:

Paradise Halls Reborn


Build a home base or settlement:

Paradise Halls Home Sweet Home

Hold and Defend (Can't seem to get this to work right currently though)

Tundra Defense / Pocket Empire Builder


Now, though, I'm looking for more mods that allow for interesting progression, replay value - and will also fit well in a largely hostile/empty Skyrim. This is the part that seems tricky. 


Anyway, thoughts and ideas welcome. I'm sure I am not the only one who likes playing Skyrim this way.

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On 1/24/2018 at 9:16 PM, thesteve812 said:

It's one of my favorite playthroughs. I use Empty Skyrim, Frostfall, Dark Fantasy Overhaul, Creepy Zombies, Zombie Apocalypse  and Sewers of Skyrim.

What mods are you using that require USLEEP?

Armor Class and uh... 2 or 3 more, I forget. How does Zombie Apocalypse compare to Draugnarok or 28 Days?

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