Home Shopping Steal Holiday Sale 2013: Skyrim, Dark Souls, strategies and best mods

Two days, two more round of Steam deals. Important-to-a-Certain-Religion-Holiday saw Skyrim and all it’s DLC on sale. As of right now, it’s all still on sale, just not at half price or higher. On sale right now is Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition, at the low low price of just six, count them, six ($6)dollars. Find out a few neat ways to enjoy both games below, from a cool tactic and must-have mods.

Skyrim strategies and necessary mods

I’ve gone fairly in-depth with my Skyrim Battlemage Guides, but there are some basic rules of thumb I didn’t cover that any new Skyirm player should know. Bear in mind, the following tips will increase your playtime several-fold, but I think you’ll be happy you followed them.

  1. Do every major sidequest: If you’re completely new to the world of The Elder Scrolls, as I was, each sidequest will help to flesh out the setting and the overall flavor of northern Tamriel. While these quest lines don’t advance the main storyline with any due haste, they grant powerful reward items useful in making the main quest a little less laborious.
  2. Collect every Daedric artifact: As with sidequests, becoming the champion of the Daedric lords and collecting their powerful artifacts increases your power and allows you more freedom in exploring the world. You’ll likely find many locations otherwise missed and you’ll see some pretty cool effects from these lords of Oblivion.
  3. Purchase both Dawnguard and Dragonborl DLCs: While both of Bethesda’s efforts are solid additions to Skyrim, and grant access to some fairly neat and powerful abilities, they are not in themselves the real draw. Instead, the assets created specifically for these DLCs are key to unlocking the full potential of the Skyrim community: Mods!

And what mods do you need? First of all, SkyUI is an essential addition, as is Climates of Tamriel. Deus Mons remains one of the best player abode mods, but if you want to put your DLC purchase to its best use, the Halls of Dovahndor is the only logical choice. There are numerous quest mods worthy of mention, from Inferno – Envoy of End, Moonpath to Elsweyr, and Undeath is a nice creepy mod that makes good use of the Dragonborn DLC.

There are any number of other  mods I could name, and until we get a firm release date for Fallout 4, I think there’ll be plenty more community content for Skyrim. I’ll try to keep you posted with mod reviews if you’re interested.

Dark Souls strategies and the necessary mod

The first and most important rule of playing Dark Souls on the PC is: use a controller. Completely unoptimized for the computer, even the HUD retains the Xbox 360 and PS3 button prompts. Add to this the magical keyboard movements you must perform for basic navigation and combat, and there are few reasons to not use a controller. That is not to say that success is impossible on a keyboard and mouse, it’s just that the game works best on the sticks instead.

Once you’re in the game, then, the best advice I can give you is experiment. Take every encounter as an opportunity to test some new or established skill. Skeletons ahead? See if you can beat them within a self-set time limit without taking damage. A Black Knight standing guard of some treasure? Try and parry his power swing with your shield for a massive counter-attack. In the event that you don’t feel safe  or are just in a hurry, don’t hesitate to runs straight past a group of enemies. Some of them may pursue you, yes, but there’s usually some a ladder, elevator, or long stairway the AI can’t navigate that’ll get them off your tail. You might be robbed of precious souls used to level up, but you also might save yourself a little bit of well-earned rage.

Speaking of which, because the PC port of Dark Souls is so abysmal, a modder created a way to up your framerate, increase the resolution, and other such necessary PC features. It’s a little technical, but DSfix will make Dark Souls a PC player’s dream (for a shitty console port), and give you the ability to actually put in the 80-100 hours a full, 100% playthrough would take. I applaud you if you managed to sink 60 hours into Dark Souls without the patch, but because it was release within 24 hours of the game’s release I don’t see why you’d of had to.

Regardless, I’ll be getting an Xbox controller to finally finish Dark Souls. Hope your many deaths are as frustrating and glorious as my own.

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