Modding Skyrim to Perfection

I’m a great fan of The Elder Scrolls games. Morrowind was the first role playing game I ever played, the first game I ever modded, and for a long time, my undisputed favorite across all genres and flavors. Then came Oblivion, which was the first game to keep me obsessed for a thousand hours and the first game (or any form of entertainment) that had me write fanfiction. It’s no exaggeration to say that these games changed my life, and I don’t mean just my “gaming life”.

So it shouldn’t be difficult to imagine that I had great expectations from Skyrim. It was to be larger, prettier and better than its predecessors in just about every way imaginable – and mostly it didn’t fail to deliver. Yet, even though I got it immediately upon release and tried playing it twice, I couldn’t get into it, and I never finished it.

It is only now, with more than a hundred mods installed, that I’m finally able to enjoy Skyrim the way I always hoped to.

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The Music of Dragon Age: Inquisition

I got this game in preoder, but haven’t finished it yet; I started and quit the single player campaign twice (for reasons that are out of scope of this post), and mostly just played the multiplayer. But I feel compelled to speak about something I studied in detail nevertheless: its music. What follows is a somewhat extensive, but by no means exhaustive review; the entire soundtrack (without DLC) has some 40 tracks, all of them excellent to varying degrees, but these are the ones I come back to over and over again:

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It’s your life — but only if you make it so

It’s your life — but only if you make it so. The standards by which you live must be your own standards, your own values, your own convictions in regard to what is right and wrong, what is true and false, what is important and what is trivial. When you adopt the standards and the values of someone else or a community or a pressure group, you surrender your own integrity. You become, to the extent of your surrender, less of a human being.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer: Themed Solo Challenges

Part 3 of Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer Revisited

I explained the mechanics of Themed Challenges in the previous post. Solos are in principle no different from duos — only they’re much harder to do.

In a way, I started playing this game solo. With the SP campaign finished twice, once immediately upon release and once again when the Extended Cut appeared, I was naturally curious about the MP, but at the same time I was horribly afraid to go online and play with random people. (Have I mentioned this was the first online game I’ve ever played?) So for the longest time I struggled on my own, on Bronze, playing the vanilla Human Soldier on Firebase White vs Cerberus and Geth, as they could be held for entire waves from a single defensive position. Well, entire waves 1 and 2. I’d die as soon as the objective on wave 3 made me move around. It was extremely frustrating and didn’t get me anywhere, since not many credits can be earned in incomplete games. But still I kept trying!

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Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer: Themed Duo Challenges

Part 2 of Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer Revisited

It was almost exactly a year ago when I asked a friend if he’d be willing to play some duos with me. I had nothing very particular in mind, just the added challenge of completing a match with only two players, which I’d only done a couple times before on purpose (it happens every now and then that a public game begins or becomes a duo by chance, though few will end that way).

The friend wasn’t up for it: obviously solos and duos are much harder and slower than regular, full-team games, and require both more focus and patience to complete. However, he suggested I contact another player, who I didn’t know at the time, and who allegedly liked to play duos. And indeed, later that week the mentioned player made a post on BSN, looking for a duo partner. So I volunteered.

Little did I know what I was getting into.

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