As recently as yesterday morning, I was questioning the supposed wisdom in keeping Skyrim in my list of five games for another year. I wasn’t quite feeling the desire to jump in and play it, so the prospect of running through the process of getting Mods installed with a refined load-order and whatnot.. Nrgh.

That was yesterday morning.

I can’t tell you what switch flipped, but come evening I was busily running through reinstalling Vortex mod manager, getting Skyrim Script Extender 64 installed and running again, and then embarking on installing 180+ mods. It didn’t even end up taking as long as I expected it to, either.

Last year I wrote about my surprise and delight in using the Vortex installer for mods and this year that still held true, with the added benefit of the experience of having done it before. Although I suppose I should also note that we’re still not at a point of having mod ‘Collections’ ala Steam Workshop. It’s still a matter of downloading each and every mod individually. Albeit with the assistance of a link that recognises Vortex as the managing application though.

Turns out that November is a pretty good time of year for an annual trot out of modded-up-the-wazoo Skyrim too. The mod-list I referred to last year, here had been updated just a little over a week ago. :D

Do you recognise this hallway? It leads to the first of the ‘Claw’ puzzles, after freeing the thief who stole it. (That same thief then ran headlong into a bunch of angry Draughr, so, you know. Karma.)

It still never fails to amaze me just how good you can make Skyrim look with mods. Yes — there are certainly artifacts here and there that belie the games age to a knowing eye, but still. Eesh!

In any case — I got all that done and then jumped in ‘just to test’ and ended up whiling away almost 2-hours without really feeling the time pass me by. And other than the fact it was getting past my bed time, it was great!

I didn’t get overly far. I just spent the time making my new character — a 2H axe-wielding Orc this time around, for something a bit different from my usual — pottering around in the various mines and camps between Helgen and Riverrun and just generally taking things at my own pace.

I hadn’t even bothered to run through the process of getting the game to run in 32:9 yet, so I was only running it on half my screen but even that wasn’t enough to break the spell.

Today I’ve gone and set it up for 32:9 and let me tell you — it’s pretty glorious.

Last year, I was able to get views similar to these. But as I noted in the comments as a reply to Everwake, modding Skyrim that extensively was a pretty good way to turn a (relatively) good PC into a console-like experience re: framerates.

But as you might hope with something like an RTX 3080 providing the graphical grunt (over and above the 1080ti I had last year) it remains buttery smooth no matter how many higher poly models and 4K textures you throw into the fray.

Yet to be seen whether Skyrim becomes my main played game this time around. But at this point it certainly feels like it has the potential.