The Elder Scrolls

Making stamina, light, and walking interesting

Content of the article: "Making stamina, light, and walking interesting"

I think for Skyrim to truly be challenging and immersive, there should be pros and cons to every action you take. Especially during combat.

1) In Skyrim, kiting enemies is too easy. The default run costs no stamina, is quick, and you can jump indefinitely. Avoiding melee enemies and beasts is trivial. Knowing this, I have to place arbitrary restrictions on how I navigate, as to not make things too easy as a ranged character.

2) Stamina is nearly useless, especially if you are not a melee fighter. Some mods take steps to remedy this: normal melee swings cost stamina, drawing and holding the bow costs stamina, you move slower at lower stamina etc. This is all good stuff, but as a mage, why am I so nimble? Shouldn't my stamina have some weight in how much I can kite around?

3) We use so many mods to make Skyrim dark and foreboding, but then we trivialize this by making sources of light too easy to come by. As a mage, I want to use candlelight, but there's no penalty. It costs next to no mana and unlike the torch, it doesn't take up a hand. For the longest time I used {Lorica} which reduces your max magicka for maintaining candlelight and/or stoneflesh. This was decent, but still not interesting enough.

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Enter {SSE Gameplay Tweaks}.

The innocuous name belittles its large effect on gameplay. Now, running and jumping can cost stamina. Then when you run out, you move like you are encumbered. This is huge. Now you can't just backpedal forever while casting spells: you will run out of stamina and enemies will catch up to you. If you try to jump around maniacally, you will run out of stamina quicker.

Also, using a custom keyword, any spell can drain mana. You can customize it to drain while running, walking, or idle. For candlelight, I set it to drain 1 mana while running. Now, not only is there a reason to not have candlelight on (preserve mana), but magelight all of sudden has purpose. You cast magelight to illuminate the battlefield before a fight, so you don't have the constant, albeit small, drain from candlelight. Also, if you happen to hit 0 mana during a fight, the candlelight shuts off and you are immersed in darkness, giving you reason to keep an eye on your resources.

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On top of all of this walking becomes an important factor, because walking doesn't drain mana or stamina. So instead of bulldozing through a dungeon with infinite lights and stamina, you have to cautiously move, or else you will be caught in a fight with drained mana/stamina and be unable to cast or run away.

This post is just a huge endorsement of the mod. The name doesn't really convey all the huge changes it can make, all while being a simple .dll file (little/no conflicts, easy to install/uninstall).

Try it out! And if you need help setting up the config file, ask.


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