The Elder Scrolls

Skyrim scaling, enemies, and difficulty – a.k.a. arbitrary and stupid AOE is not fun

Hi there!

During years of modding, I tried a plethora of enemy and encounter zones mods. I begin to notice that most mods focus on mechanics that are just not fun albeit they are of great quality. What do I mean?

How do I like my game? In one word, it could be described as scaled, or action-based. I am not a fan of old RPG mechanics – static encounter zones and enemy levels, numbers being super important and your character level being the strength indicator rather than player skill. And I love to play in 1st person. I am not saying others can't enjoy Skyrim in ways I personally don't like, but it is not what I look for.

I never use static encounter zones modes. I love {Arena – An Encounter Zone Overhaul} because it is scaled but harder than Vanilla. I love {Ultimate Combat} for its new and fun attacks for enemies and its AI. I use dodge mods. I use {CGO} and Enai's mods. Also {Resistances Rescaled}. I like horizontal player character growth – many new abilities to get an edge in combat, not +5% damage buffs or higher health. And since I have so many tools at my disposal, new spells, perks, and some followers, I need to make the enemies harder as well. And you know using multipliers to make them hit harder and make me weaker is not going to cut it.

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First, some mods I don't like. {SRCEO} is such a great mod, but even with various patches and rebalance mods, it loves to throw enemies with undodgeable and high damage spells and abilities at the player. The enemies from this mod are cool, but not fun to play against. They are ridiculously strong when you are low level, but become laughably weak after you hit 60+. The dragon priests from this mod haunt me to this day, I had to face some of them early and they just spam huge spells you just can't play around. The same goes for {Advanced Adversary Encounters}. Undodgeable AOE spells for enemies are the opposite of fun! I also don't like {Know your enemy} because it feels forced and you have to learn the traits yourself. There is no in-game way to learn it (reading a book does not count, you'd need some visual proc to play around the traits) and all the traits are just plain modifiers, that's no fun. These mods are awesome and high-quality, but they suit the type of gameplay I don't look for.

Now mods I like. I think Ultimate Combat is awesome for the new attacks. Draugr combo attacks are so fun, cool, and scary, but they can be dodged or blocked. The timed block in this mod is awesome. Locational hits are a very fun and interactive mechanic. {Mortal enemies} is a must for me. For dragons, I use {Diverse Dragons Collection}, {Ultimate Dragons}, {Zim's Dragon Improvements} (middle option) and {Dodgeable Dragon Shouts}.

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Now my questions for other modders.

  1. What mods do you like for this kind of gameplay? Which do you think do not suit it well?
  2. Do you know about alternatives to Dodgeable Spells (no longer on nexus)?
  3. What about enemy mods? I use OBIS, Heritage, High-Level Enemies, Draugr Updates and Improvements, and Briraka's Draugrs. Do they play nice together (with a bashed patch)? I am not sure if High Level Enemies won't conflict with the others, but it also has various enemies others won't touch like stronger animal types. What other enemy mods would you recommend?
  4. What about Enemy (R)Evolution of Skyrim? Would it fit my kind of game? I am experimenting with it, but I can't tell what abilities come out of this mod and what comes out of Heritage and others. Does EEOS contain a lot of undodgeable AOE bullcrap?
  5. Any other mods you'd like to discuss in terms of action/fun vs. RPG-like?


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