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 it here on DualShockers every Thursday.
Now that we have the Creation Kit and people are starting to learn its ins and outs the modding community is thriving with enthusiasm and creativity, with the sheer quantity of available mods going well past my ability to keep track of all of them. Don’t worry though, I’ll still do my very best every week to bring you a high quality selection and to include (when applicable) links for both the Skyrim Nexus and Steam Workshop.
But, as every week, it’s time to let the mods do the talking. So without further ado, let’s head past the break to see this week’s highlights.
Apachii is a veteran Oblivion modder and has published some extremely popular mods in the past. That’s why I’m very happy to see her back with Skyrim. To be more precise, I’m twice as happy because she just published some of the most beautiful hairstyles to grace the game. If you read the previous episodes of this column, you probably know how much I utterly despise the original hairstyles. I guess that makes me three times as happy.
The hairstyles included in this package are just charming, and they cover both male and female characters, which is an added bonus. You can download it on the Nexus here.
Sounds of Skyrim
If you find the Skyrim effect track a tad too drab and boring, this mod by Cliffworms will prove a Godsend. He added more than 180 sound effects to the game in two packages (one for the wilds and one for dungeons), and he plans to add more for cities and special events in order to reach a grand total of over 460.
The effects blend very well with the original soundtrack of the game, and have no effect on performance, increasing immersion quite audibly. You can find them on the Nexus here or on Steam Workshop here and here.
WARZONES – Civil Unrest
There’s a civil war in Skyrim, but you never see any massive battle between the factions involved. This mod by MyGoodEye changes that, turning the northern province into a real battlefield and allowing the player to encounter actual battles between sizable groups of enemies. We’re not talking about immense armies, but big enough to be fun and improving immersion, giving the idea that we’re really traveling a war-torn province.
You can check out the mod exclusively on the Nexus, as the author decided to support the site by not posting on Steam Workshop. He probably feels, like I do, that splitting the community was not the best idea on Bethesda’s part.
The Witcher 2 Models
The Witcher 2 is a big game. This means that there are a lot of pieces of armor and equipment. Given that the cool guys at CD Projekt RED gave their permission to the modding community to use their assets (seriously, who else treats their customers and fans that well in this industry?), we’re going to see more and more imported in Skyrim. Since they look absolutely fantastic they’ll always have a place in this column.
This week I bring you a large package by LordOfWar (that actually has been the first modder to import models from The Witcher 2 to Skyrim, to my knowledge), including a wonderful heavy plate in five different colors and the armor sets of Geralt (also in the Seltkirk version), Iorveth, Letho and Saskia.
You can find it only on the Nexus.
ShipHome – A Unique Player Home
This player-owned abode by Sislaen isn’t as full-featured as others you can find, but it makes up for that with creativity. It’s basically an ancient ship stuck quite realistically in an Iceberg, suspended over the sea. It looks great and offers a lovely vista.
Given that the interior is part of the outside world, there are no loading screens while getting inside, which is an added bonus. You can find it only on the Nexus.
Better Dynamic Snow
This definitely isn’t the first time I have featured work by OpticShooter. He’s just that good, and often covers relatively little details that most overlook. This time he turned his attention on the dynamic snow that looks extremely plain in its default conditions. The mod makes the dynamic snow texture look more grainy and realistic, adding quite a bit of much needed detail. You can find it on the Nexus.
I don’t feature often two mods by the same author in the same episode, but Cliffworms definitely deserves it. This absolutely great mod adds 176 books that were included in previous Elder Scrolls games but that Bethesda decided not to bring into Skyrim.
Shadow Striping Fix
You probably noticed that in quite a few places in the game shadows look extremely weird, taking the shape of irregular stripes. It’s particularly evident in Breezehome, but that’s definitely not the only place. I personally find it jarring and I wonder how such a problem managed to make it past testing. Anyway, where Bethesda skips a beat a modder will come and help.
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 mod based on The Witcher 2). Do come back next week on Thursday for more mods at the Skyrim Mod Forge.
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 10 – Rainbow Colors, Weapons, Armor and Witcher Gear, Episode 11 – Companions, Pretty Faces and More from The Witcher 2, Episode 12 – Houses, Lovely Hairstyles and Riding Like a Boss.