Jun. 10th, 2016

9unm3741: Legend of Zelda.  This icon is for video game related posts. (Video Games)
Well its been a while, but I wanted to talk about a cool mod for Skyrim that I recently found out about. The mod is called Tundra Defense and what it allows you to do is build your own hold!

Skyrim does have the Hearthstone expansion that allows you to build three somewhat customizable player homes, but I always found these to be a bit lacking. First, while its cool that you can build this huge mansion for yourself, it is still just a single house. It always ends up feeling empty and lonely. You can fill it up ok if you hire a bard and a stewart, and then also adopt a kid or two for it and have a follower with you. But even then, its just one house. You go outside and its lonely again. I wanted my house to be the head of at least a small hold. Second, its customizable in the loosest sense of the word. The entryway and the main hall, the back room, and the cellar all only have one way they can be setup. The customization comes from being able to add three of nine possible wings to your house. Even this is limited, as each wing is limited to three possibilities, which means that some combinations (like a kitchen and also a library) are impossible. Beyond this, the furnishings are all pre-placed, so you don't get any micro-customization at all.

I played around a bit with some mods to make the houses more customizable. I had mixed success here. I found some mods that let you build a limited set of furnishings and place them yourself, as well as a mod that lets you set each followers home, so that you can have multiple followers hanging out at the same house, which you couldn't in the vanilla game. So, I'm a big time hoarder in rpg games. I like to keep my old sets of armor to show my progression, and same with weapons. I also keep pretty every unique named item I find, as well as keeping the gear of the most fearsome foes I've slain. Hearthstone gives you a nice trophy room that you can show off some of these things in, but its so small that it can't come close to accommodating my item hoarding! Really, I narcissistically wanted to build, basically, a museum to my exploits, and none of the mods I've found so far allow me to build any of the furnishings that allow you to show off items.

But that still leaves the problem of just getting a house. The house is this great manor estate, but its just out there by itself in the wilderness. I wanted to be able to attract other settlers and at least found a little town. I found one mod that allowed me to do that at first called Blackthorn, but it still lacked the customization I wanted. It had a set of prefab buildings that you could build by collecting the money and materials for them, but there was no customization. It also had a manor house for you, the leader of the town, that actually had all the item display furnishings I wanted! Alas, the textures for the mod were pretty terrible and it was really laggy and glitchy, so I eventually gave up on it.

But then I found Tundra Defense and it was exactly what I wanted (at least in terms of building a village). You start out with just a few things you can build, which come in the form of plans. Use a plan and a placeable building appears, which you can put wherever and in whatever orientation you want. As your town grows and you complete missions associated with it, you attract more people with specialized skills and equipment. You attract a general store merchant, and inn keeper, a blacksmith's wife, a mining speculator, and probably more people I haven't found yet. With each one your town gets new buildings. You can build a guard house and hire guards, as well as set up a system for outfitting each guard, so you control how they are outfitted based on your own ability to get or craft gear for them but you don't have to go and outfit each one individually (although you can). You also get two houses, one huge manor house, and a smaller log cabin. You don't control their layouts, but you place them like any other building and they come completely empty. The furnishings for them work just like the buildings - you buy or make plans for them, then you place them wherever and however you want. Complete customization. The only problem so far is that, at the moment, the available furniture is really sparse, and all lower quality stuff, not befitting the lord of a hold! So I hope that as I continue to grow my hold I'll get access to new furnishings so I can make my manor how I want it (and hopefully that includes all of the item display stuff that I want). The last neat thing about the mod is that your hold is periodically attacked, and you have to hold them off with your guards. You can set the frequency and difficulty of the attacks, and your selection will yield different varieties of enemies. You can also initiate attacks yourself, for example if you want to test your defenses before you leave your town to make sure your guards can hack it.

Overall its a lot of fun, and I'm excited to keep building up my town and hopefully earning new furnishings for my manor.



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