Thursday, 9 April 2015

Skyrim Mods: "Immersive" Armors?

This is a WIP post that I'll update periodically

One of the things that gets under my skin about some mods is the overuse of the word "immersive".
An immersive mod would be one that increases your belief in the world of Skyrim. However the way the word is used is as a synonym for "realistic".

One mod that really doesn't fit under either is Hothtrooper44's Immersive Armors. Now don't get me wrong Immersive Armors v7 (IA) is a GREAT mod but it has major issues for a mod claiming to be immersive.

One of the big problems is a lack of CBBE compatibility and generally poor models for female characters.  With version 7 of IA Hothtrooper has integrated his armors with a number of armors and shields made by others. The models made by others tend to be very good (the Storm Lord & Imperial Knight armours by Gechbal & Dragonbone Ebonsteel by Dreogan) the only group of armors not by Hothtrooper that I have a problem with are the lore friend Morrowind Armor Compliation by Thusky. These armors are far too close to the TESIII Morrowind style and I don't mean that in a lore way, I mean that they look dated in a graphics sense.

Hothtrooper's own armors are mashups and retextures (nothing wrong with that BTW) but they are very hard to edit/fix because of this.  And while they make great male armors they are not all appropriate for female bodies.  For example, the Red Guard Knight armor is a fantastic and lore friendly and immersive armor but it looks like crap on women. The same goes fro Trollsbane (which looks great on guys but stupid on women).

So what is the solution? Well if you can't fix them without 3DS Max and 3d modelling skills then replace them. Below is a list of the possible alternative models for this. It's also worth noting that since Hothtrooper44 release v7 a cbbe patch has been made by Nerd of Prey. It converts some of the easier to fix armors to cbbe (or whatever body-type you want using bodyslide). These armors are the Bosmer set; the Barbraian armors; shaman; ranger; and ringmail.

The armors that need replacement are as follows. A possible replacer is linked beside it:

  • Redguard Knight (replace female with Crimson Twilight by Bloodfree)
  • Crimson Archer (replace with Dream Burrow's Regal Huntsman or Regal Assassin for both genders)
  • Seadog
  • Paladin (the most dated looking at this point)
  • Viking Chainmail (Replace with Simple Hauberks by VaultMAn30 for female)
  • Vanguard
  • Vagabond
  • Alduin scale
  • HedgeKnight
  • Glacial crystal
  • Vvardenfel Glass
Having said all that one of the very best armors in the collection is Hothtrooper's very own Warchief set - it's what caught my eye years ago and it's what keeps me with IA despite the problems with some of the female armors. Hothtrooper and the team deserve special praise for the MCM menu and the level of customization they built into it for their end users.