Skyrim Mod Sanctuary 72 : Falskaar

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I finally finished the main quest in the epic Falskaar mod and though I would share my experiences and opinions with you guys. There are no real spoilers in the video beyond the odd shot of places and people you might see.

Download Link:
Falskaar

34 comments

  1. chicky540
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    since i just started this mod when i was already like level 50 i was more than happy about those badaxx-bandits he made... i mean, the scaling of those guys was simply great. it gets boring when you can waste everything in your path, and then suddenly getting whacked hard coz like a dozen bandits go berserk on your nutz is... friggin awesome
  2. baltasaronmeth
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    I'm not through the mod yet, but I can clearly see that there are ups and downs.
     
    My ups so far:
    - The narration works well. I like standing between NPC's discussing the situation while still having full control over my character. That feels way more immersive, than the default dialog with a single NPC. There are such scenes in vanilla Skyrim, but Falskaar seems to have this as a default stylistic device.
    - The voices (besides one specific rather high ranked NPC) are well done.
    - The dungeons are well done. Especially the Draugr stuff is more interesting, than most vanilla dungeons.
    - There is at least one quest that features two mutual exclusive locations. If you go to one, you can't go to the other. This adds even more immersion.
    - There was one encouter in a dungeon, that felt way more like a bossfight, than anything I previously had seen in Skyrim. It might be due to a few AI mods I use, but I never had to reload a room five times to get through an encounter before.
     
    My downs so far:
    - The whole land is made with too much quick travel in mind. It's quite tedious to play Falskaar without it. I have not found any carriages or other means of transportation so far and going by horse is still going a long way. Even with Athletics mods. Especially considering the lands layout.
    - Ballancing. I am not sure if it is because I am already at level 50, or if the Immersive Creatures mod messes this up, but one time I just butcher week bandits and puny necros and the other moment I deal with a room full of Deathlords, Overlords and other top tier Draugr, but no normal foot soldiers.
    - I sometimes get lost between the trees, because not only they look all the same, but they are usually not even turned around a few degrees, so I have to use the compass. While this is not a bad thing per se, the identical trees are a bit weird and take away immersion.
    - Performance. I'm not sure why and I am not sure if it's any of the mods I use, but I have to halve the drawing distances and reduce decals ans shadows to have a game as smooth as the usual Skyrim area on the outsides. The dungeons usually are as smooth as ever.
  3. peterclik
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    ..., the much vaunted voice acting a great achievement to organize...


    Yeah.... ummm... no, sorry. It's not THAT hard to organize and cooridinate good voice acting. It's a few phone calls, a good mic, Logic Pro, and some post editing. I've done it myself many times for many commercial projects. The voice acting in this MOD is exactly what ruins the gaming experience and desperately needs improving, especially considering Alex is trying to immerse Falskaar into the Skyrim universe. That is no doubt a crying shame, and I fully understand the author's disadvantages in this area. None-the-less it's worth noting if only for the author's sake.
     
    Alexander is entering this work on a platform poopulated by Bethesda, a company that has an inexhaustible talent pool to draw from, including Academy Award winning actors. So it only makes sense to point out the size of the pond he's swimming in and tell him where the cold spots lay. I do give it up to the author for what amounts to a monumental effort, but when someone who is trying hard to do a quality of work with NO resources gets a few things wrong, it's extremely helpful to hear about the issues via honest critique and not just from a bunch of us blowing smoke up his a$$.
     
    And as for the rest of your post... meh. I think you're really are embellishing quite a few points. It's a rare gem? No. It's a genuinely good effort, sure, but from your post it sounds like this MOD is comparable to the game itself, and it's just simply not. That said, we're all aware that this is a lone-wolf effort without the benefit of logistical support. But critisicm on finer points of an independent effort is helpful ESPECIALLY where creative work like this is concerned. And Falskaar is a very creative and bloody good effort... Thing is, folks like Alexander can only stand to benefit from those of us within the industries he hopes to impress, who have the bones to leave off arbitrary praise long enough to point out the weak points, so that on his next go-round he stands to improve.
     
    No one gets better at their craft by listening only to the fans. Believing you're great by an admirer's standards amounts to mental masturbation. Personally speaking, I don't want Alexander going out for champagne now thinking he's all that and a bag of Doritos. I hope he sees the quality criticism found in these threads and it causes him to obsess over how to improve on his valiant efforts, until we can all come in these forums merely to say "OMFG Alexander's Skyrim DLC IS BRILLIANT, and worth the 30.00 I spent".
     
    Just MHO.
  4. peterclik
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    In response to post #8774856. #8780494, #8800379 are all replies on the same post.
     

    falskaar wasn't made by a single person

    don't forget about the voice actors, modellers & texturers
    falskaar would end up in ruins without them
     


    I'm gonna have to say that the voice actors are what ruined Falskaar, because for me it was the cliched and nonsensical accents, along with the very many cringeworthy bits of perspective-less lines that made me stop playing. In fact I couldn't get through 3 experiences with the first Jarl + the twins nonsense before giving up. Why bother with the Arnold accent when it was so badly done? Just do an Irish accent and be done with it.
     
    Hell, even the opening actor's "ubiquitous old guy" routine was a bad omen. He sounded like Mr. Rogers on meth.
     
    I said this in another thread, and don't get me wrong, Mod author is crazy cool for attempting something this ambitious and almost pulling it off, but straight up, it was broken by the voice acting, which is often the most overlooked aspect of these kinds of games. I couldn't even finish it because the cliched and horrendous acting broke immersion for me even as I was trying hard to suspend disbelief. Have to remember that Bethesda has a talent pool of Academy Award winners to grab at. So if any MOD wants to throw something on a comparable DLC-like platform and see it run with the big dogs, he needs to troll around some acting/film schools and find proper voice acting talent. And dialogue writers. They are out there, this I know. I just finished the audio on an animated short film, using Vancouver Film School actors. They rawked the joint... and did the work for nothing but some cheeseburgers and a hit on their resume.
  5. Kursan
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    It seems no matter how much blood and sweat a modder puts into a mod, and even when producing a rare gem such as Falskaar, it never fails to produce scores of whiners to break out of the brushwork.
    I for one could not agree more with Gopher and while I do not claim that mine or his opinion is more correct than those of the detractors, because that is all relative, I just feel sorry that some people are so spoiled and deadened to the effort that goes into a monumental work such as this that they cannot appreciate how much of an achievement it is, even if it has glitches and flaws, the game it supports (Skyrim) is hardly above reproach when it comes to glitches and glaring flaws.
    Falskaar is beautifully made, incredibly detailed in every aspect, the much vaunted voice acting a great achievement to organize and in my opinion it is a more worthy Expansion to the game than some of its official DLCs. Way to go Alexander Velicky!!!
    Thanks Gopher for that nice intro video!
  6. berlinsmiles
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    sorry, gopher, this is the one time I dont agree with you. falskaar for me was a huge dissapointment due to its end which ruined the whole thing for me. I felt let down. could be he didnt have the time, could be he lost interest. but that cut scene and final was rushed, boring, a fail. the dungeons were great, the main quest a bit repetatrive and boring all in all, but with colorfull characters. and I BET all my cents there will be no second part as announced with a "maybe" (and set ingame with that gate in the nord to the second part of the island) as A. Velicki has already got the attention he wanted - and if he gets a job he wont have the time anyway.

    but, still, this mod took a huge effort to make and I acknoledge that fully. its hours of fresh gameplay and a lot of detail went into it. so the above may sound harsher than it was meant to be. :-)
    1. SamusKnight2K
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      I sort of have to echo the same thoughts here, minus it being a huge disappointment. The storyline had several cliche moments in it, some of the VA I think felt over-dramatic, primarily from the Brother. The ending as well felt a little anti-climatic in addition. The whole screenshot cutscene thing I have to admit was a nice touch but how it suddenly ended as it did left me wondering if it was just rushed. I haven't played Falskaar myself but did watch Gopher's LP videos of it.

      While some things definitely needed work and there were bugs/glitches apparently, Falskaar still is a significantly impressive mod for being worked on by a single author. The design layout of some of the dungeons and areas that Gopher did visit in his LP were impressive and well designed for somebody who created it by himself. I could nitpick about every detail but it's true, the mod author didn't have the same resources that Bethesda had so I can accept some faults of the mod.

      The story however, I'm not really sure about...

      EDIT: Overall the whole mod definitely has the right to be considered on-par with official DLC, but not the exact same quality.

      EDIT 2: Regarding some lines of dialogue I got the feeling of the Braveheart Moment and just expected someone to scream "You can take away our family, but you can't take away OUR FREEDOM!" and charge into battle.
    2. INSIDIOUSRAGE
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      I don`t really get how you can judge a mod that you haven`t played. How exactly does that work? I haven`t played it yet myself but I`m not judging it either. Kinda like saying you don`t like ice cream but you haven`t tasted it yet. Leave the reviews to people that have played it okay.
    3. Loshirai14
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      falskaar wasn't made by a single person

      don't forget about the voice actors, modellers & texturers
      falskaar would end up in ruins without them
  7. User_5463447
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    Falskaar is an amazing little world, with a lot of good atmosphere. I didnt miss the opressive atmosphere back in Skyrim, the stubborn Nord, this greyish civil war, nor did I miss the Dragons. What I enjoyed about Falskaar was the much brighter and positive attitude, mood and feeling.

    Thanks for this wonderful review, really enjoyed watching it! And thanks very much of course to the maker of Falskaar, really a great time spent there!
  8. Lusifanta
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    Hi gopher!
    What do u think about this mod, http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/35564/?
  9. kleinstaff
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    sorry, gopher, this is the one time I dont agree with you. falskaar for me was a huge dissapointment due to its end which ruined the whole thing for me. I felt let down. could be he didnt have the time, could be he lost interest. but that cut scene and final was rushed, boring, a fail. the dungeons were great, the main quest a bit repetatrive and boring all in all, but with colorfull characters. and I BET all my cents there will be no second part as announced with a "maybe" (and set ingame with that gate in the nord to the second part of the island) as A. Velicki has already got the attention he wanted - and if he gets a job he wont have the time anyway.

    but, still, this mod took a huge effort to make and I acknoledge that fully. its hours of fresh gameplay and a lot of detail went into it. so the above may sound harsher than it was meant to be. :-)


    you may have a point but remember the makers didn't had the same resources  bethesda has for making DLC s each officam dlc gave ius  some new gamemechanics with  special effects that can not be created by the CK
    and lets be honest both DLC s are not  really that special  if you look at the quests themselves  both DLC rely more on the shock and awe effect on some of the  terrain and dungons  betheda made  specially for those dlc s
    1. berlinsmiles
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      frankly, I dont think refusing a boss fight in the end and just solving this with a cutscene out of the blue has to do with game mechanics. and yes, those DLCs wenet the best.
    2. Andragon
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      You fought the boss .... instead of being dead he went to a suprising end ... I actually liked it a lot that way
    3. collinmacleod
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      I felt slightly cheated in the end, all that talk and then finally he comes at me, I pull my bow and peg him in the forehead, then, well you know.
  10. TehKaoZ
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    I punched those polar bears in the face, they were mad because there was no ice for them.

    This video was very helpful, I had already intended on playing Falskaar but it's always nice to see a good review. I am in the process of building my game up for the next play-through so that's why I have not played it yet.

    ^.^
    1. Gopher
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      Brick, is that you?
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