I have been playing Skyrim for years now. Recently I decided to try turning on CACO's hunger and sleep system (generally I'd ignore this) and set my 'Trade & Barter' to 'Difficult'. I am having so much more fun playing the game when there is a real need for sleep and food, and I can't buy a mansion after looting one or two dungeons. I stopped using the Enchanting and Smithing trees awhile back when I discovered Honed Metal. With Trade and Barter, the sharpening of weapons or improvement of armor can be very expensive (10k+ for your full outfit and more depending on the base items), and I have a much harder time coming up with that money. Enchanting is also super expensive, and the system forces me to use found items much more than I used to, which I absolutely love. It's strange how restricting enchanting and weapon/armor improvement lead to more satisfaction from the standard loot system. I also like having to bring meals out with me, and needing to stay aware of how long it'll be until I need to rest (maybe it makes sense to plop down outside the cave for a few hours before starting). Generally it feels like inventory management is more meaningful, and everything in the game has some purpose.
So anyway, this got me thinking that I'd actually really enjoy some additional mods like 'Campfire' or 'Frostfall'. I've been cheating occasionally with the sleep system and using 'Rain's Shelter' (from LOTD) when I get into a sleepy pinch deep in a dungeon – I'd love to be able to just 'set up camp' a little more realistically. It'd be really great if somehow you had a chance to get interrupted while sleeping in dungeons? I think it might get a bit tiresome in the wilderness, but if you nap halfway through a bandit hideout, it would make sense if an inhabitant found you.
The only thing I worry about is the survival needs 'taking over' the game. I like the idea of needing to switch to a furrier outfit to go into the colder areas, and you can't just swim through rivers in a blizzard wearing steel plate armor. But I don't want to spend more time managing my characters needs than I do fighting. Being forced to look for a bridge is fun if I have to fight a couple polar bears, being forced to pop into a cave to get out of the cold is a great reason to clear out a random Falmer den, but I don't want to just be spending a bunch of time watching 'survival mod' animations.
The more I tweak my modlist lately, the more I realize I want my game to be more like D&D. You can't just be an expert at everything, good services and equipment are expensive, inventory management is important, and you have 'some' level of basic survival needs that must be met. At the end of the day, though, the modlist I have is set up to make a dope custom combat system, and that is what's important. I don't wan to have to spend 5 minutes apply bandages and whatnot after every random saber cat encounter.
TL:DR – What are your favorite survival mods and do you have some recommended settings? Does anyone have a suite they like that doesn't totally take over the game? My desire is more to have a reason to get out of the cold, or keep a set of improved Fur armor around than to spend ten minutes of every hour I play just managing needs that I added to the game.
Looking for reviews on Frostfall and Campfire in particular. Happy to hear about experiences with other mods as well. My biggest worry with Frostfall is that it's a bit old, and the 'warmth data' is not necessarily included with a lot of other equipment mods.
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