Saturday, 28 January 2012

Skyrim - Bad Faendal...Bad!

 I started a new character called Sigrid which was the first name that came to me when I started a new game and then I realized there's an NPC with the same name.  I don't suppose it matters as my Nord is Dragonborn and she isn't.    I usually check out name generators or name sites because names have meaning to me as it helps to develop a feeling for the character among other things.

Ugh! I'm trying to type this under threat of  another massive thunder storm.  We had one a couple of hours ago and the power went off for a millisecond, just enough to shut the computer off.  I only heard the thunder because it was so loud it sounded like it was centered on my house and I was playing music at the time.  I went outside to look, but before I got back to properly shut down the PC the storm did it for me.

Anyway..... no damage done.  Might have to make some corrections later when the storms have passed.  Paranoia,in case something bad happens.  I hate storms.

This is Sigrid.   She has freckles which look a bit blotchy in this pic but I've since downloaded a texture which improves that immensely and looks very good.  She's a Nord, heavy armour, one handed blade and shield with Restoration and Alteration.  Since I was practically addicted to Age of Conan for several months before Skyrim was released I got to like the warrior build although I played that as a Guardian specializing in two handed swords.  I find two handers too slow and cumbersome in Skyrim though and I like shield bash...a lot.   Coupled with Unrelenting Force (haven't yet gotten my other favourite shouts like Ice Form and Fire) it makes for a very intense and satisfying experience.

I wasn't intending to use followers for this build but I decided to take Faendal along for the first few levels as support.  That worked out OK until we were attacked by a Thalmor group...well I asked for it (on purpose) by demanding to know what they were doing with their prisoner.    I never had a problem with friendly fire with my Khajiit and she has a permanent follower, but Faendal suddenly went permanently hostile to me and I couldn't stop him.  I didn't think of the console at the time, but I was ready to go it alone anyway by that time, with Vigilance and my horse.

I ended up knocking him down and leaving him to his own devices by leaving the area and waiting for a few hours thinking he might reset if I went back to find him.  Unfortunately, he was nowhere to be seen when I returned and he took all the gear I'd given him to hold along with him.  Luckily, it was mainly ore and some generic weapons and stuff I planned to sell and nothing really least as far as I remember and it wasn't worth reloading.

Eventually, I traveled to Riverwood and who do I meet on the street but Faendal returned to his default state and without my gear.  He greeted me as if I were his best friend in the world.  I had a few choice words for him but it was like water off a duck's

So, further down the track and I'm doing the Companions quests, one of which was a Radiant one where I had to rescue a hostage.  According to the UESP it can be any non important and non essential NPC and any fort, cave or other random location they have to be rescued from and are ongoing quests.   Imagine my amusement when it turned out to be Faendal who had been kidnapped by Forsworn, though how they grabbed him from a small village on the other side of the map is anyone's guess.  I was so tempted to leave him to their "tender mercy," but then I would still have the quest in my list and no-one would give me another job until I finished it.   After I got him back home and told him to stay there because if he got into trouble again he would have to get himself out of it.  It all fell on deaf ears of course.

Since I'm doing the companions quest line I decided to continue and become the "wolf."  I didn't go that far with my Khjaiit because it just didn't fit her style.  After the initial transformation I decided to clear a few caves and on exiting one of them I thought I would give the beast form a look as I don't really plan to keep or use it except to complete the quests.  Unfortunately, when I exited the cave it was still very early morning and dark so I waited for a few hours, transformed in daylight and discovered I was practically right next to a fort with Storm Cloaks wandering outside.  They attacked of course and I retaliated just for the experience and died soon after.  Werewolf form is very underpowered in my opinion, but I also wasn't really prepared for a fight and didn't check which keys did what or to feed to regain health.

The Storm Cloaks are my buddies so I reloaded, especially after this...
and this...

However, Vigilance thought it was amusing to have a big bad werewolf as a friend.  He wasn't fazed at all.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

My Oblivion Mods at Mods Reloaded and Other Issues

Today I asked "loder" the Admin and site owner of Mods Reloaded (via PM) to remove or allow me to remove my Oblivion files at Mods Reloaded as I can't see or find any option to do it myself.  I will also be removing the links I have here.   This is not personal, however it was prompted by a topic that was bought to my attention recently regarding mods hosted there without permission.   Whether that's true or not I have no idea except that it was mentioned in a topic at the Nexus in the Modders only area.   I also have no desire to discuss it further and am under no obligation to supply an explanation, but I will if necessary.

I dropped in there (Mods Reloaded) today because I haven't been there in awhile and to see if there was anything of interest in the forums.  I found a topic made by a user that says he will take all the "best" adult and non adult mods from the Nexus and re-upload them.  A post was made by another user who said it was unwise and she wouldn't like it if it were her files.   The OP responded by saying if anyone complained they could remove the files...after the fact.  Not good enough.

"loder" who is the site Admin as mentioned above responded by saying permission must be sought beforehand and there were no further responses except mine.

Now onto that response of mine.   I am most likely getting myself banned from there and if that's the case so be it.  I don't have time for drama, but I saw something via links and curiosity that really annoyed me.

I have no wish to offend "loder" as he has always been very nice and helpful as opposed to a couple of his moderators, one of which accused Waalx, and myself by extension since I'm Admin and taking care of his forum, of ripping content from other games for use in Waalx Animals and Creatures.  This is utter rubbish and would have been contested years ago, particularly since WAC has been in production since before 2008 when I found out about it.

The thing that really pissed me off is the other person who commented in the above mentioned topic is someone with whom I had a disagreement late last year and has changed all her user and profile names, at least at MR where it's allowed by the user.   Change your user name if you like, but you're still the same person underneath.  At the time of the (one sided) disagreement and since I'm not good enough to confront except by rapidly removing the forum and blog from view, along with my access and friend adds on other forums, without even having the fortitude to confront me speaks volumes.    All within a couple of hours or less. 

This is her new forum and the post on the main page which really made me angry.

And the post in case it's deleted which wouldn't surpise me.

 Other than myself, there are no moderators/administrators for this forum. After my last moderator felt it was okay to tell me off on my own forum for saying a certain thing should be more carefully considered before posting, I no longer trust the judgement of others. Please do not ask to become a moderator here. You will be refused. Thank you.

I hope I don't need to remind people that yes, I can tell others how to behave in areas that are mine and I can ban them if they refuse to behave themselves. It's no different than showing an unruly guest to the door. Just because you or I may be in the United States, there's no "free speech" on privately owned sites any more than one can cry about free speech in a private residence. If you have something to say you are free to open your own site, forum or blog and say it there."

There are two sides to every story and normally I wouldn't do what I'm doing now and bitching about it publicly, however the truth is a little twisted here.   The basis of the reason for "telling" her off was because certain things finally came to a head.  Telling me how to behave morally in my private life, in the private forum area in particular, which happened more than once.   Your post which came after mine about that stupid "Just Google It" message, and that I found it amusing if used in a non offensive way was over the top and the final straw.  There was the strong hint and assumption that people would play a cruel joke on someone using it and I have in fact seen it happen.  However, the way it was worded like the other moral lessons I've put up with, was very easily interpreted as being directed at me.

I freely admit to responding in an angry manner and wasn't surprised about the resulting defensive action. However I don't regret it as I did not swear or use offending language and spoke the harsh truth even though it broke forum rules.   I won't be accused of unnecessary cruelty or causing embarrassment to others for the sake of it, and as anyone who knows me will testify it's something I am dead against.   Nor was I willing to put up with the fundamentalist religion based, moral judgements any longer.   I agreed with many things that we talked about, but telling me how to live and what to believe just got to be more than I could take.   That post was just the straw that broke the camel's back.  

The basic problem had absolutely nothing to do with forum issues.  It was just unfortunate that that was the catalyst and place it happened.  After being a forum member/moderator and so called friend since 2008 this is how I was treated after one so called infraction.  I was NOT banned or confronted, but cut off in a cowardly manner.

Trust is earned.   Don't mislead others because of your incapacity to assert yourself up front rather than indirectly and with little digs and jabs in private discussion.  That's all I have to say.

Skyrim The Most Annoying NPC I've Yet Encountered In 217 Hours

OK, so last night a courier shoved a letter from a friend into my hand as he rushed by just outside Morthal.  The letter from this ever increasing mysterious friend, directed me to the High Gate Ruins where I subsequently learned the first word of the Storm Call shout.  Haven't tried it out yet, but I believe it kills everyone, friend or foe which is unfortunate.  Since I'm calling the storm you would think I would control who it kills...Oh well it'll be useful for the end of the Main Quest.

The ruin also has one of the Dragon Priests in residence so I took his mask as well as some nice loot.

Anyway, back on track...when you first enter the ruins there's a woman standing nearby.  Her name is Anska and she is constantly using a ward buff, probably Steadfast Ward or Stoneflesh.  She wants help to find a particular scroll but doesn't think she can do it alone, although as it turned out she is a pretty good mage and could have done it by herself.

If people think Barbas the dog was a pain in the rear, this woman is twice as bad.  She pushes so close to me that she's almost under my skin and since I'm a sneaky archer she constantly breaks sneak because she herself doesn't all.  My skill is at 100 anyway so it's not like I'm bothered about leveling it, but she alerts every Draugr Overlord and trash mob way before we get anywhere near them.  

I thought my companions were bad with alerting enemies and stealing my kills, but this woman takes the cake.  When we arrived at the last chamber before the Dragon Priest she ran over half a dozen pressure plate triggers to get to the door.  Needless to say the traps were fire and poison which doesn't hurt me now anyway, but that's not the point.  It's that she sticks to me like flypaper and the traps are triggering every time I move out of the way because SHE steps on them while I'm getting ready to enter the final chamber with the Dragon Priest. 

It's not enough she has to crowd me by standing nose to nose, and I'm not exaggerating, but she says."Get away from me!" over and over.  You have no idea how many times I FUS RO DAH'ed this imbecile off ledges and down long corridors with traps just to get her away from me.  Unfortunately, being an imbecile AI, and obviously immortal, she just gets back up, shakes herself off and continues on as if nothing untoward had happened.  It's quite normal to be thrown with "unrelenting force" way, way down a corridor with lots of sharp objects or down a level onto hard and sharp objects without batting an eyelid....

And to top it all off my reward for getting the scroll which I couldn't read or use if I wanted to as it's called Secret Scroll, was a Spell Tome which is useless at my level, which is 54.   It's a spell to conjure a flaming familiar wolf which explodes when anyone, including the player gets close, although I think it's the timer more than anything which is like 10 seconds.  It does look pretty cool, but does no damage whatsoever even to normal Draugr.   It's not even useful as a distraction as it doesn't last long enough.

Other than that I've now finished the civil war quests in favour of Ulric, who for many reasons I would support again rather then the Imperials.    I think I've almost run out of locations and misc quests for this character, or I should say quests I want to do, and all that's really left is to take on Alduin in the final battle. 

The character I'm playing is my only one thus far and has mainly been a testing run through the game so I know what I want to do and what I don't next time.

Also in case people haven't seen it yet, Bethesda announced yesterday the 1.4 patch and the CK "should" be on track for release in the next couple of weeks.   The list of fixes in the patch is a very good start.

Kharjo:  "But, but I wanted the Dragonscale armour."
Tukassi: "Not this again.  You specialize in heavy and that's what you're getting.  Like it or lump it."
Kharjo:  "But...
Tukassi: "I crafted that armour with my bare hands from the bones of mighty dragons.  Mighty dragons!"
Kharjo:  Bares teeth.....
Tukassi: I saw that you ingrate.  Next time you set off a trap and poison me you won't get any salmon treats."
Kharjo:  Mutters...bares teeth.....

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Skyrim - Saving My Sanity

 I'll get to the reason for the title after a bit.  There is

I'm 191 hours into this game, level 51, and still finding tons of things to do.  I said I was level 49 in the last post I made, but I was actually at 47, but I'm not going to bother changing it.  Something I've noticed is my save games have only just reached 12mb, where I've seen people say they have saves of 18mb or more and are having issues related to it.  I do actually have to keep the number of saves in my save folder very low though or else the game can freeze randomly, OR the mouse lags and freezes on the Main Menu when I want to load or save.

Anyway, I still haven't finished the main quest beyond the summit meeting, have the Companions partly done, some of the Bard's College quests and have joined the Dark Brotherhood but I more than likely won't go any further there, at least with this, my only character so far, as it's not her style.  Or mine now I've seen who I have to kill for my first assignment as that's someone I feel doesn't deserve it and as I have no information as to why he needs to die, I'm not going to do it.  One needs an evil disposition to murder people outright with no info on the reason for the contract and following orders just because I agreed to join their "club" feels wrong to me.  In hindsight I would have put Astrid out of her and my misery when I first met her.  Next time though...

I did the DB quests in Oblivion, but in that game it didn't feel as real and there was at least a little info on the reasons why they had to die.  Besides by the time I did get around to those quests I'd had about enough of the game and did them just as a completionist thing, and the victims never felt like anything more than puppets.  I did hate that Orc who killed the little girl at her party and boasted about it though.  That was just twisted and made me feel uncomfortable.  I know a lot will disagree with me and I don't care, but I find the NPC's in Skyrim to be more personable and "living" than in previous games.  In Oblivion you never or rarely had previous contact with the people you had to kill and it always felt detached and pointless to me.

I've only done some of the Daedric quests and I found a few of those distasteful even knowing beforehand that that would be the case, but I definitely won't be doing Namira or Boethia's quest.  I refuse to murder someone who trusts me particularly when they are not hostile to me or have even become friends via quests. Using an innocent as a meal for cannibals is a pretty low act.  Even gaining the Ebony Blade from Mephala was a letdown because it wants me to "feed" it with the blood of innocents or friends.  I'm not into betrayal I'm a game or real life.   It's also a two handed sword and I don't use them so it sits in a chest in one of my homes because the damn weapon racks keep dropping it on the ground, and in one case with a Daedric longsword I found in loot, made it vanish (probably into Oblivion) so I had to reload. It does look good though I must admit.

Despite that many people say Skyrim has no "soul" story and immersion wise I find it much more morally challenging and dark in some aspects than Oblivion ever was.  It's almost like the developers went to great lengths to come up with quest lines and even non quest situations that portray everything that's wrong with the human race in the real world.  And that's a lot.

And, yes, I suppose now I have to say that I know it's a game and they are pixels and all that crap but it is a role playing game after all, and I choose what I want to do and what I don't.  It's one of the favourite and in my opinion boring and unoriginal platitudes defensive people spout when others have differing views to theirs.  These people should at least try to come up with something different when "shouting' down (pun intended) people who don't follow the herd.

There is still a great lack of choice and consequence though.  If I had never played an Elder Scrolls game before and knew nothing about the series I would be more than annoyed at the lack of decision making regarding some of the quest lines.  It's fine to go along merrily accepting every quest without knowing beforehand that they may lead to something I find just morally wrong, but I would also like the option to have the quest removed from my quest log when I say "No, I don't want to do that" instead of leaving it there in case I change my mind.

Since this is still my first playthrough at least I know what I will and won't accept next time.  I also understand the reason for the dark and depressing quests as it gives players moral choices much like Fallout 3 and New Vegas and there's nothing wrong with that as long as it is a choice and there's a way to refuse or take a different approach.  Some quests do this, but many don't.

Anyway, on another note.  I did a lot of complaining about companions previously, but I still have my Khajiit friend with me even though sometimes I want to throttle him. When he breaks my sneak by leaping out in front of me in a room with 3 Deathlords who haven't yet spotted me, or gets in my way when I'm about to release the perfect arrow shot from my hiding place my blood pressure rises.  I've actually yelled at him a few  As much as he can be a Prima Donna when it comes to getting the first kill I'm still enjoying having him along and I've even started talking to him sometimes when he makes observations about various things. 

I do wish that followers could be more lifelike in that when I ask them to wait they have idles that allow them to wander a short distance if in the wilderness and in towns they could eat, read or interact with the other NPC's.  That way they could also not leave my service if I told them to wait for more than 2 days because they would have something to do.  I think it's a bit dumb to have them leave and have to be rehired unless I do the firing directly.  That's one reason why I made my animal companions with simple function scripts rather than menus in Oblivion and because menus, especially extended ones get to be a drag after awhile...for me anyway.  My companions can wander and idle, but using a menu driven system stopped that from happening and was too unnatural and just made them into interactive statues.

Even though I had a lot of trouble with the game constantly freezing before the 1.3 patch, which has now mostly stopped except for 3 or 4 times in around 50 hours post patch, I've had only one quest glitch thus far.  Even the known Esbern glitch never happened to me so I count myself lucky even though it's easy on the PC to solve it by unpacking the voice files. The one that did glitch was the final Thieves Guild quest where I was named Leader and the ceremony was to take place but didn't, but I fixed that via the console.   I like going to the Thieves Guild because I love Brynjolf''s voice so I keep doing some of the piddly quests for Vex and Delvin, who is quite happy I'm now his boss as opposed to some of the others begrudging acceptance.  It is wearing thin though and I have more money than I will ever need.  I have all the houses and their additions, spent a lot on crafting resources because I'm too lazy, or more that I forget to mine ore when I'm out and about, and the gold still pours in which isn't a bad thing at all.   I have the Notched Pickaxe too, but I still mostly forget to use it when I see ore veins and I have my companion carry it because it's so heavy.

Now the reason for the title.  SAVING MY SANITY!  The NPC greetings and sometimes the repeated discussion they have among themselves was getting so annoying that I was seriously thinking of going on a rampage (saving first) even though it's contrary to what I've said above.  There's nothing worse than trying to listen to a quest giver in a tavern or crowded area, and all the other NPC's start interrupting and babbling about their day or profession as they pass by.   If I've heard that guy say "I work for Belathor at the General Goods Store" when he's in the damn store, I've heard it a hundred times.  That's just one annoying example.

One saving grace I suppose is the conversations are nowhere near as inane and seriously stupid as the Oblivion ones.  They really made me feel like console killing them all sometimes.

I also think Bethesda made the kids in this game (except for a few) so bad mannered and totally unlikeable just to spite us.  And they are immortal.  Not that I want to kill them, but I wish I could tell them to shut up and go stand in a corner for the rest of eternity or until they are old enough to go adventuring in some dark dank cave somewhere.....

Anyway, I found the solution to my problem.  This mod from Skyrim Nexus.
No NPC Greetings - in several versions depending on NPC annoyance level.

Thank you Cipscis once again for saving me from yelling abuse at my monitor at two in the morning when these stupid NPC's start their useless banter for the millionth time.  Just as well my closest neighbour is partially deaf, but my poor dog sometimes thinks I'm yelling at her.  I'm using a few mods but this one is the one I would not play without.

 On another note....Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City comes out next month and I'll definitely be buying it but I'm wondering when I'll get to play with Skyrim taking up all of my game time.   The thing I'm excited about with RE is it's going back to it's roots on a time line with RE2 and Leon Kennedy's story.  No-one does zombies like Capcom.  I'm also thinking about Kingdoms of Amalur, but I want to know it will require Origin or not first so I won't pre-order it.  I do hope it doesn't. 

I have no issue with Steam as a game platform, but I don't like Origin or GFWL for their over intrusive busy body snooping software.  Plus, the one game I have that uses Origin (Alice:Madness Returns) kept having an error related to Origin when just installing the game.  It installed and I could play but it pissed me off no end as it took ages to resolve when all I wanted to do was play. 

OK.  Seems like I've had another whine session which wasn't really intentional.  So, now back to this wonderfully addictive, but flawed game called Skyrim.  And hoping for the release of the CK soon.


Saturday, 7 January 2012

Skyrim - The Cracks Are Starting To Show

OK.  Long Skyrim rant coming... 

Don't get me wrong here.  I love the game immensely and have much more to discover and explore.   There's a lot to love and admire, but also a lot that needs fixing...some of which comes down to choice though as you'll see further down about companions, if you read that far.

Besides the quest bugs which I can live with at the moment, and I assume will be fixed, I'm sick to death of endless Draugr, skeletons I only need to breathe on to disintegrate, the same old spiders everywhere, the Forsworn, the Falmer (although not as prevalent) and lack of variety in dungeon enemies.  I do like the variety of dungeon design and the Dwemer ruins though which is a massive step up from Oblivion.

I play on Adept which gives me enough challenge, although now I'm level 49 (Sneak, Archery, One Handed, Block and Destruction)I can kill almost anything easily using strategy if I'm careful.  I would go to Expert but I can't see the point in upping the difficulty when my character just gets handicapped with lower health and the enemies have increased hit points. 

It would make a lot more sense IMHO if a few more mobs spawned or something to make it harder and more interesting instead of just having to whack mobs over and over for no extra reward rather than just prolonging the fight.  Or maybe a survival mode since there's so much fresh food laying around one would never bottled water though but plenty of rivers and streams...if one could only use them.  That might be an actual reason to role play, but would probably get boring after awhile.  But, then again maybe not if it was well done.

I've seen a lot of complaints about the over abundance of dragons before and after the end of the MQ, but I don't actually see that many, just enough to have half a dozen or so souls in reserve.  I do get them if I fast travel as they seem to be triggered by it, but I don't fast travel that often...maybe if I get bored or have to sell or store gear in a hurry. 

I did meet my first Ancient dragon a couple of nights ago out in the open with nowhere to hide from it's breath attack.  Even Spellbreaker didn't help.  Let's say it didn't go well even though I also have Dragonrend and the sword Dragonbane.  I seem to have skipped Elder dragons unless they are hiding out somewhere.  Anyway, when I got back in game after dying it was distracted by a bear so I legged it while it was occupied and haven't seen it yet.  

Being railroaded into all the Guilds to complete the main and other major quests, or in fact to be able to get all the complete shouts, whether you want to or not was a very bad decision on the developers part.   I don't want to join the Dark Brotherhood, others don't want to join the College of Mages, be a werewolf or join the Thieves Guild, but it's a must to finish certain important quests.   If it were only the fetch and other minor quests it wouldn't matter so much as one can make multiple characters and choose other styles if they want anyway.

One problem with that is for the most part I try to play these games from the standpoint of what I would morally do if I were really in the game.   I do usually join the Thieves Guild though so maybe that says something about me...who knows.  Anyway.

Take the Fallout games for example.  I am against slavery or any kind of subjugation so the quest lines would always have me working against those factions where possible and I never play the opposite sides just to see what it's like because I don't wish to.  I don't murder people just because they may offend me or someone tells me to, not that I haven't thought about it.  It's different in combat where I'm attacked first or I know I'm going to be as in a bandit camp or dungeon etc.

I can hear people scoffing now though ...but it's just pixels in a game.  Blah! Blah ! Blah!   Well, I don't role play to the extent others as in trying to live another life, but I still have a conscience that would bother or not.  I don't use the sick sex mods using animals, necrophilia and other disgusting practices either and they are also pixels.  Highly realistic pixels none the less and the products of disturbed minds.   So, I guess that is role style. 

Anyway.....I personally put a lot of the forced options(??) down to the juvenile console "achievement' mentality and trying to code a game for popularity of the casual gaming masses instead of real role playing.  The lack of consequences and recognition for your actions if also another very big omission, but that's been the same in all Bethesda games.   I have had NPC's call me friend or recognize that I did something good for them, but the Dragonborn remains forever a nobody whose sweet roll was stolen.  I suppose killing Alduin and saving the world was like a top secret dark ops mission and only certain people were need to know so as not to panic the peasants.

Fallout New Vegas is an example of good quest writing with choices and consequences.  So what happened Bethesda?  Perhaps you should have looked more carefully at Obsidian's style and consulted with their writers and quest makers.  New Vegas, in my opinion was a much, much better game story wise and all round actually, than FO3. 

And...changing the subject a little.  Another thing I'm increasing pissed at is the slow walk speed my female Khajiit (and me) has to endure.  This may seem minor to some, but it's really getting to me.  I know Bethesda took a lot of ideas from a lot of Oblivion mods, (and botched the implementation of some of them) but this takes the cake.  I'll eat my hat if they didn't emulate the female "sexy" walk animation rubbish because it seemed popular.

My Khajiit looks like a ridiculously slow walking catwalk model, (no pun intended) sashaying in tiny steps behind any NPC, at a painfully slow pace and she can't keep up without breaking into a run.   She looks like her feet have been tied together at birth and long fast, walking strides are impossible!

It makes follow quests very painful when said NPC won't continue unless you are actually following right behind them.    I absolutely hate it.  Just as well I mainly play in 1st person because I can't stand looking at the walk animation.  Women don't walk like that in daily life and it looks so stupidly fake.   I'm a warrior not a strutting super model wanna be.....

While I'm having a rant....What the hell is with all the dog meat everywhere.  I find it hard to believe anyone but the most desperate losers in Skyrim eat dog meat when deer and elk, rabbits and domestic animals are so prevalent, not to mention plenty of fresh healthy vegetables for Vitamin C so they don't get Scurvy.   I found it in all of my owned houses so I took it out and threw it on the street for the beggars, especially that bastard Degaine in Markarth.   I'll give him "back biters," with a little Nightshade tonic.

Dogs are supposed to be valued as protectors and companions by most "normal" people, not as meals.  It's disgusting, but then so is cannibalism.  I haven't done that quest and probably won't, along with a couple of the other more distasteful Daedric quests. 

Oh Hell....I nearly forgot level ultimate and most hated thing of all from Oblivion.  It was much better in FO3 and FO:NV so why did Bethesda screw it up again in Skyrim.  I could tolerate the rest of the glitches and little annoyances if the scaled quest rewards and other balance issues were fixed.   There should be no need at all for scaled quest rewards.   No-one should be able to complete the main quest and higher level faction quests at low levels or "beat" it in 4 hours as I've seen some mention.   You're basically out of luck if you complete a quest at level five for example, and get what seems to be a nice reward that's totally useless a few levels later because of level scaling. 

Anyway, I've got off track enough and my main gripe today is about followers.  Yes, I know it's a choice to use them or not and it's rapidly becoming "not."  Skyrim can be a lonely place and a traveling companion can be fun and helpful, but there are too many drawbacks to make it enjoyable for me.

Companions in Skyrim are a pain in the neck and are only really uselful as pack mules, especially when it comes to dungeons.  Outdoors they aren't so bad, but often I'm more likely to get help from a bear to kill something rather than my follower who may be busy staring into the twilight or being stuck on part of the landscape, or just not there at all.

Dragons do seem to get their attention though which usually springs them into action so that's something useful I guess. 

Why anyone would want to marry such stupid NPC's even if it's just in a game is beyond me.  It doesn't interest me at all from a role playing point of view, but if the prospective partner just had some kind of personality or even facial expressions when they react to certain situations it might be worth a one time look. 

I've watched some Let's Play videos on Youtube and one followed through the process of proposing to the prospective spouse and on to the very brief, unemotional wedding ceremony.  I found the dialogue that basically says, "there's not much time for courtship in Skyrim" a huge copout and an excuse not to make the quest and wedding a bit more worthwhile.

Not that it bothers me.  There's no marriageable Khajiit for my character and even if there was he would either have to come adventuring with me or be a very lonely stay at home husband.  I only pop in and out of my houses to drop off gear or collect stuff.  I don't even sleep there.  A campsite or bed in a cave is fine with me, if I even remember to sleep.  That can work in my favour as I contracted vampirism last night and didn't check my active effects.  Luckily, a merchant mentioned how peaked I looked and I remembered the vampire cave.  That was a narrow escape as I do not want to be a vamp.  Not that it matters too much as I save a LOT in this game as I never know when or if it's going to crash, so I wouldn't lose much play time by reloading.  I haven't actually had a single CTD since the 1.3 patch though...just a couple of freezes in many, many hours.

Reasons why companions suck....
I should mention I have Vigilance as well, but he never glitches and is always there when I need him to be, unlike the two legged followers who:

1. Get lost just when they are needed or disappear entirely. 
2. Set off every trap it's possible to trigger, even ones that are well hidden.
3. Often stop fighting, standing face to face with tree trunks or walls just staring into space.  Their AI seems to get confused.
4. They bump into me and send me hurtling off cliffs or block me in small corridors and into the    unwelcoming arms of Deathlords.  OR, they pop in front of me just as I'm about to take the perfect shot with my Epic Ebony Bow of Lightning Strikes (sarcasm) and I die to two of said Deathlord's Ebony arrows because I suddenly can't retreat or manoeuvre.
5. They cannot be told to use a particular combat style and  please "Stop your damn complaining when I hit you by accident which wouldn't happen if you kept your distance," or if I could tell you to stay back.
6. I can't ride my horse because I feel guilty that my follower has to run behind like a slave and then gets lost or stuck in combat and risks dying.
7. Because I may want to go it alone for awhile and go horse trekking across the land, they spit the dummy if I'm gone for more than 2 days and go back to their starting point needing to be rehired.
 8. I refuse to have to use console commands to get them to level with me or just to update their skills.  Speaking of which there's no in game way to see what their skills are besides the console so other than looking on the Wiki it's a guessing game outfitting a companions progperly according to their class or just to see what their stats are.  Other games, and indeed mods for previous ones can do it via dialogue so why not this one.
9. Probably more that I'll remember when I play next.

 I should also mention I use a mod that makes all followers essential. However, I'm finding them so damn annoying that I don't care if they die anymore.  The only one I'll be keeping is Vigilance and maybe Meeko when I finally get around to seeking him out.  I remember now why I hated followers so much in Oblivion and they are just as bad, if not worse in Skyrim.

The other alternative which I may have to use due to encumbrance issues, is to tell them to wait just inside a dungeon entrance until I return with spoils for them to carry or tell them to get lost.  I think the best option is to use my Housecarls so they at least go home when I tell them to so I can get them back easily.

Early in the game I had Lydia follow me around, carry my gear, and help save me from certain death a few times.  It wasn't long before I got sick of her whining about carrying my burdens, which I can actually understand to a point because after all she's just following her Jarl's orders.  I wouldn't like being in servitude either I admit, but she just has zero personality.

I told her to stay home and be the Housecarl, and I eventually hired a mercenary called Vorstag to fight with me and to carry my gear (the most important part.)   He is actually a nice guy for an NPC, doesn't talk too much and when he does it's not another vapid annoying comment.  We got along pretty well until I decided that since I'm a Khajiit I would like to try traveling with a Khajiit commpanion.

So I found Kharjo, a mercenary guard traveling with the Khajiit caravans.  I had to recover a lost amulet for him before he would accompany me, but that was simple enough.  This is where it all went 

The other two followers didn't last long enough for most of the annoyances to be as noticeable, but I've had Kharjo with me for around 10 levels or more, and I'm now level 49.   He sneaks well, uses almost any weapon with ease (I don't give him two handers though) and he has pleasant, unobtrusive comments.  If only he could be told to stay at ranged combat, or melee when I want to be a sneaky archer, be able to ride a horse, not trigger traps and then complain about it, NOT steal my kills and other annoying things from the list above in this post, he would be the ideal companion.   Unfortunately, he's probably going back to the caravan and mercenary life quite soon which may well suit him (and me) better.

This is Kharjo dual wielding lighting and fire staves.  He uses them like an expert though it gets pretty hectic in dungeons and I can't see what's going on half the time for the spell effects.  I eventually had to take them away from him.   I always meant to get an action shot but never did.

Finally....Bethesda, release the Creation Kit for heavens sake so we can get on with fixing all these bugs and adding more content.   Unless there's another big surprise (shock) besides the CK being tied to Steamworks thing.   One wonders.