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vometia

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About vometia

  • Birthday 06/30/1968

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    Irritant
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    Oxford
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  1. One of the many great things brought to us by the PDP-10 mainframe! Wish I'd got to know ours better when I was at college way back. I loved text adventures in my teens. They had some of the best graphics I've ever seen. Seriously, the descriptions were evocative enough that I didn't need pictures to see what the environment was like, though I admit I do prefer the fancy graphics you get nowadays, as much fun as I had with the descendents of ADVENT and the various Roguealikes back in the day. I don't really have a strong preference for TES vs. Fallout and I suppose I don't even think there should be a "versus" there so I dunno why I wrote it. I admit I really didn't care for the '50s Americana retro-futurism when I first blundered into FO3 but it really grew on me. That Bob Crosby song still drives me nuts, tho'. "The dungeons are the lootiest, the raiders are the shootiest"... er, maybe I should leave that sort of thing to the rhyming gangstas.
  2. I've laboured the point about FCOM for many years now. I'm not even sure if it's still the current way to do things but for me it fixed everything that was "wrong" with the game: scare quotes because I actually loved Oblivion as it was for a good long while, having spent the nearly 30 years prior to that playing games that somehow missed the point for me (I was a real latecomer to RPGs for reasons that still elude me). Eventually its endless PC-based levelling of everything got to be too much for me which is where FCOM came into its own. The level variance wasn't as savage as Morrowind (which I played afterwards, and sulked for months after my first difficult encounter) but added a lot more interest, anything from actually benign spriggans who just chuckled quietly to themselves up to this mad witch at Lipsand Tarn or somewhere like that who chased me halfway across Cyrodiil before I finally shook her off (literally: I was somewhere south of the Imperial City before I finally managed to lose her). Loot became much more interesting, the economy actually mattered and it showed just what the game was capable of. In my case I went for the "kitchen sink" version which included everything I could find. The installation was hideously complicated and I documented it on a homebrew Wiki-based thing which went on for very many pages. Even if I could still find it I'm not sure I'd manage to do it again so I now carefully preserve the game as I had it about 12-13 years ago and move it from one system to another as I upgrade. The only thing that stops me playing is its infamously bad memory management where I'm lucky to get more than about 30 minutes before something crashes it, even though I've layered on a plethora of fixes and gone through the mods with a fine-tooth comb to remove as many known problems as I can find. Oh, and the lack of facial hair: it's not just nords who need it, so do all the roaming guardsmen: middle-ages themed policemen just look wrong without moustaches! I spent quite a while working on that one before eventually concluding it was an impossible problem to fix as conformulated helmets occupy the only slot that automatically colours hair. But I digress. I'm currently replaying Skyrim and in spite of heavily modding it (to the point it crashes at least as much as Oblivion and Bloodmoon) it just lacks that certain something-or-other. Oblivion had a certain charm that Skyrim seemed to fundamentally lack, for all it had so much epiiiiic! about it, I suppose a bit like Peter Jackson's take on Lord of the Rings compared to the books (I mean Tom Bombadil doesn't appear in Skyrim either, but I could imagine him stomping around Cyrodiil somewhere). I wish Oblivion was Bethesda's fave RPG tho'. Skyrim has enjoyed 18 different releases to date and Oblivion gets no love.
  3. I thought I could outwit Skyrim's habit of writing immutable data to the save file by creating a new reference to supersede the old one but of course it has that covered too because the refID numbers are also permanently saved and apparently unchangeable. I have to wonder who thought this was a good idea. For a company whose games' ongoing popularity is significantly thanks to the modding scene and who've capitalised from it, they make some oddly contrary decisions. Okay, I know in the grand scheme of things Skyrim's overall sales figures probably have little to do with modding, but would it kill them to be a bit less obtuse? They could at least publish the file formats but sometimes they're worse than EA for "muh innerlecshal propartee" and refusing to divulge anything. Apologies for all the grr, just spent the past hour trying to fix Realistic Room Rental for the Old Hroldan Inn where the bed was welded in the original position in spite of the mod being active before I ever entered. I guess something somewhere must've referenced it before the mod was even installed and made its initial position permanent. I dunno, it's easy to blame mods and players for expecting stuff to just work but I think after Oblivion mostly cleaned up after itself (well, except for permanent references) it wasn't an unreasonable expectation. For a game that can go on for hundreds of hours, effectively having a static and unchanging load order from beginning to end is expecting a bit much IMHO. The blame for these problems lies entirely with Bethsoft. I guess the one thing modders can learn from it (or at least that I should learn) is to use scripting as little as possible and to always use new references rather than attempting to supersede old ones, though that's probably unworkable as it might also mean the creation of new and duplicate quests and the dependencies could be endless. At least with this quest I was able to manually setstage my way through it until it got to a point I could complete it. I would say it's a bit immersion-breaking, but so is having to F5 all the time... I'm also wondering if any of this is still relevant outside of Skyrim anyway. Though FO4 was still recognisably the same engine, it seemed to fix a huge amount of stuff I'd considered to be problematic about Skyrim, though my own modding habits remain mostly limited to adding new wearables to the game so my experience is limited. At least they got rid of the NPCs' apparent soap-dodging habits, the only vestige of Skyrim's character rendering is that my PC looks like she hasn't slept in a week. But so do I, so who am I to comment?
  4. A rather belated reply to this topic, mainly as I'm having a rather belated play-through of Skyrim for the first time in about a decade. I've discovered I like it a lot more with better skin textures so the locals don't all look unwashed and moody. Maybe I'm just a bit shallow like that. "Skyrim: the province where soap is afraid to tread." Ahem. Er anyway, I was just looking up this general topic after discovering that The New Way Of Doing Thingsā„¢ is for mods to change stuff like levelled lists using scripts rather than overrides and what-not, and I wondered "what sort of monster would do that?" but I now realise I didn't know the half of it. Seeing the OP describe the way Papyrus indelibly changes stuff in a save file whose format Bethsoft have remained unhelpfully tight-lipped about and doesn't clean up after itself is horrifying, and it made for rather uncomfortable reading. As much as Oblivion's script has its own horrors (e.g. trying to check a reference was valid and the contents of a field in the same IF statement would CTD if it was null... meh) at least it's nice and straightforward about what it's doing and is cleaned up if the mod is deactivated, so this came as a nasty surprise. I suppose I shouldn't be that surprised having seen some examples of what's been found to cause other CTDs, e.g. not bothering to do what I just mentioned only in the original C code according to someone who disassembled bits of it, but it's still astonishing enough that I felt compelled to create an account here just to write "!!!" about it. Actually I thought I'd already created an account here but I guess I must've done all my pestering of Arthmoor for information over on Nexus. I'm kinda hoping that I haven't messed up my game too much playing mod carousel; it seems to be mostly okay, though as I implied earlier, it seems that further additions to levelled lists via the usual method (at least back in Oblivion) of rebuilding Bashed Patch doesn't appear to be working. And I'm not desperately keen to add to the tangle of scripting with some of my own. Plus I hate CK and take the attitude, "if it can't be done in Xedit, it's not worth doing." Meanwhile, over in Markarth's general locale, it's raining goats. Might be a messed-up save but I suspect that's probably just Skyrim being Skyrim.
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