The Skyrim Mod Forge is back, bringing you some of the best mods produced by the modding community dedicated to improving The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The purpose of this column is to help those that may be a little disoriented with the size and scope of what the Skyrim modding community offers. You’ll find here on DualShockers every Thursday.
January is behind us and Bethesda didn’t manage to keep the promise to release the Creation Kit within the month. The good news are that yesterday they actually gave us a glimpse of it, stating that it isn’t far away. In the meanwhile the community is still using whatever it can to improve the game over the original. There already are nearly 8,000 mods available for download, and that’s just counting the ones that I could personally find.
While we’re talking about the Creation Kit, there’s another elephant in the room charging right at us: Steam Workshop. It will change the modding community quite radically for better or for worse and has the potential to split and fragment it. While I’m quite sure I’ll keep using Skyrim Nexus as my primary source of mods, as soon as Steam Workshop will be available for Skyrim, I’ll try my best to include links for both services, in order to accomodate everyone’s choice of sources.
But, as every week, it’s time to let the mods do the talking, so without further ado, let’s see this week’s highlights.
Skyrim is a fantasy game, and a lot of gamers use it to fullfill their fantasies. One of the requirements for that to happen is diversity and color is a major element of that. While the fans of the Elder Scrolls lore will probably cry foul (but they cry foul at basically every other mod I see), this little big mod by Expired opens nearly endless possibilities by unlocking a metric ton of color options for character creation. Want blue skin and magenta hair? Just download the mod here and you’ll be able to get them.
Windows may seem a small part of the world, but they aren’t that unimportant when their low quality textures jump in your face like Mike Tyson’s punch. This mod by Isoku replaces the default texture of all the windows in the game with some that actually look like glass (even if there’s no transparency) instead of looking (with all due respect) like crap. An elegant installer fully compatible with the Nexus Mod Manager completes the package, that you can download here.
Rings are another of those elements of Skyrim that suffer from the low resolution of the textures. They were probably considered a negligible detail by the designers due to their small size and as a result their decorative value is very, very limited. That’s not very fitting considering that they are jewelry.
This mod by Yuril replaces their textures with much better ones, and also offers quite a different aesthetical options. You can check it out here.
This mod by Malo provides quite a few well modeled and textured weapons for you to enjoy between axes and swords both one and two-handed. To be precise it includes seven swords, four axes, seven greatswords and four two-handed axes. Did I say “Greatswords”? Maybe I should say”Zweihander”, as the mod is in German. I bet you don’t care.
It doesn’t make a difference when you split a Troll’s skull in two and “Zweihander” sounds cooler anyway. Find it here.
Many of the custom sets of armor created by modders abide more to their personal tastes than to the Elder Scrolls lore. Rahman530 decided to create a few armor sets (seven to be precise) that fit his own taste but also didn’t fly in the face of those that want to feel immersed in the original atmosphere of Skyrim.
The experiment has been a definite success, as you can see for yourself here.
The Daedric set of armor and weapons is the most powerful of the game. It’s also arguably the ugliest (I normally stick to the Ebony set, that looks way better). GarriG agrees and that’s why he created this stunning mod. He didn’t just increase the resolution of the textures, but he completely overhauled them alongside with the meshes, adding a metric ton of detail that simply didn’t exist before. The result is something that can be defined as nothing short of a work of art.
You can find it here, with a few visual options that you may enjoy depending on how evil you feel.
When I introduced the first armor sets imported from The Witcher 2, I predicted that they wouldn’t be the last we’d see coming from CD Projekt’s masterpiece. The Creators of The Witcher have been awesome enough to explicitly authorize the use of the assets of their game (I can’t even express how many respect points they earned for that) and you can count on modders to jump at the chance, especially considering that the visual quality of armor and weapons in The Witcher 2 simply trounces that of Skyrim.
This mod by Redxavier is small but sweet, and introduces to Skyrim four different helmet models with a lovely European feel: a Barbut, a Sallet and two version of a Bascinet, with open and closed Klappvisor. If you like the armsman look, you will simply adore them. You can find them here.
This second mod by Redxavier is similar to the one described above, but provides nine kite shields imported directly from The Witcher 2, bearing heraldic emblems that will feel quite familiar to those that played the game. Considering that shields with heraldry are very rare in Skyrim, these are a really welcome addition. The fact that they look awesome doesn’t hurt either. You can download them here.
That’s it for this episode. I hope you found something useful to improve your game. As usual remember that full and exclusive credit for the mods listed above goes to their talented authors (and to CD Projekt RED for the mods based on The Witcher 2). Do come back next week on Thursday for more mods at the Skyrim Mod Forge. I wonder if I’ll finally be able to introduce the first mods made with the Creation Kit.
Read More Episodes of The Skyrim Mod Forge: Episode Zero – Baby Steps, Episode 1 – Large Address, Steady Growth and Lips, Episode 2 – Mod Managing, Beauty and Dragons, Episode 3 - More Beauty, Divorce and Small Details, Episode 4 – Even More Beauty, Fashion and a Better HUD, Episode 5 – Hair, Flora and Weapons from Morrowind, Episode 6 – Handsome Men, More Hair and Armor From The Witcher 2, Episode 7 – Swords, Ice, Spells, Fashion and Realistic Light, The Skyrim Mod Forge – Episode 8 – Cats, Shouts, Hideouts and Swords from LOTR, Episode 9 – Armor, Soul Gems and More Swords from LOTR, Episode 11 – Companions, Pretty Faces and More from The Witcher 2, Episode 12 – Houses, Lovely Hairstyles and Riding Like a Boss, Episode 13 – Lovely Hair, Armor from The Witcher 2 and Hundreds of Books.