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Deeb Reviews: Creation Club Content - Arcane Accessories

  • October 31, 2017 6:48 PM EDT

    There is a strange little 'mod' going around at the moment. It's free until the 30th of October which is really the only reason that I downloaded it, but anyway. There is a 'Mod' that Bethesda has sold with their Creation Club content that is almost a blatantly terrible piece of trash. I mean, no...that's pretty much what I mean, it's a piece of trash. 

    The Contents of the 'Mod'

    But why, it's not an overly complicated mod. Arcane Accessories adds 16 new spells and a collection of slightly edited robes. By that, I mean there are robes that boost two spell schools (Destruction and Illusion. Restoration and Conjuration. Etc.) that are just a reskin of the College Robes or maybe it's the Expert Robes? Anyway, they just have a different colour to them in the middle and that's really about it. So this isn't a terrible concept, in fact arguably it's a good idea. We get 16 new spells, one of which is actually sort of interesting because it summons a Bear and increases your Frost Resistance and Health Regen, which boils down to three new effects in a single spell. The others are ones you can get for free in other mods with a few changes, I mean Elemental Damage is a common modded spell set, a better cloak is rather basic and then the 'Unbounded' spells are just slightly edited versions of Vanilla Spells (or two spells combined). I wouldn't actually be offended by this if it weren't for the delivery method and the fact that this should cost money to buy.

    No...what is offensive is the way that all of this implemented into the game. Let me make a few things clear. If this was a free, regular mod I wouldn't have an issue with it (nor would I download it, just wouldn't give a shit) but because somebody has been PAID to make this and expects us to PAY for it, that's what kind of blows my mind, because this fits as a very low effort free mod, it's certainly nothing on the level of Phenderix's Magic Evolved, Forgotten Magic or Apocolypse...in fact I feel like I've heavily insulted all three mod creators by even making a comparison. So the first issue is that as soon as you leave Helgan your given two of the Robes for free...they aren't even in a chest, they're dropped straight into your inventory. And you want to know how to get the spells (to be fair, I haven't tested if you can find them in the levelled list but I didn't see any in the inventory of merchants), well you get a quest at complete random called The Lost Library. Now instantly I was reminded of a free mod that involves finding a Library under Windhelm, but no this Library isn't half that inventive...actually it's not even a Library. No, the creator for AA couldn't even be bothered creating a unique dungeon, or even a unique ROOM, instead there's just suddenly a chest in Hob's Fall Cave that contains all the spells.

    Yeah...uhh, that's it. It's not even added in particularly well, and even some of the quicker, easier mods that I've seen adding spells will at least add a small room to the world (Many More Spells is a good example of a slightly quicker, simpler mod than the three I mentioned above. All it does is add the spells to a new room underneath Dragonsreach but it just fits better and the mod has a small bit of writing to justify their location) or even go to the effort of having it makes sense. Would it be that much harder to have the books in a bookcase (those things that are in libraries)? Or you know, even just design a small room or separate area that could act as the Lost Library (make a puzzle to get into it if you really wanted to take it to the extreme)...Even just putting a book in the game to start the quest rather than it being given to you by the Gods.

    So my issue is more that it's lazy...or that it feels very lazy. The spells aren't anything amazing and I think it's a bit stupid of Bethesda to not have gotten someone who could make a new set of Robes so that they can show off the fact that New Assets can be added into the game with CC (a huge plus for PS4 users and something that I'm totally behind). I mean sure there are some new book covers but they're somehow worse than the boring vanilla ones. Ah, anyway, so my issue is that the 'Mod' feels lazy rather than just being bad. I do kind of want to play around with that Bear Summoning Spell but other than that, nothing even seemed interesting.

    How do you fix Arcane Accessories? 

    That's right my dear friends, I'm not just complaining...No, I'm pitching a better version of the 'Mod' in my eyes that would put it, at least up to par with mods that people have spent time, energy and love into making. First, it has to have a more interesting quest around it, maybe you have a new NPC in Winterhold (specifically The College of Winterhold) that talks about The Lost Library of Winterhold which has disappeared since the Great Collapse. 

    Together with [Insert NPC Name Here] the two of you pour over a series of riddles that reveal the location of the Library, or at least the old entrance. Upon heading out to the Library Entrance (I'd put it up North somewhere, get it out on one of those islands that have no other purpose...maybe even on the Serpent Stone Island) you discover that the original entrance has collapsed and there's no way into it that you can see. From there you have to explore the surrounding region to find a new entrance that's under the ocean. There are no quest markers, no real hint to where it is and it requires a little bit of searching to find (and probably some way to breathe underwater to kind of justify that effect a little more). 

    Upon finding the Lost Library, you discover that, like all Nordic Structures, it's really hidden somewhere inside a Nordic Ruin full of Draugr. Now you can have a bit of fun with this area, it's located underwater partially so you can play around with some 'water levels' of the Ruin, puzzles that have been ruined by floods, new 'doors' that have opened up...whatever really, the point is that you can really play around and create something a bit more different than a stock standard Nordic Ruin. Water can play a huge part in the dungeon which isn't something that happens too often. There could be an interesting boss with a unique Staff at the end, or maybe the Gatekeepers of the Library who either have you prove yourself as a competent mage (similar to the entrance test to the College) or Intelligence by providing Riddles (I like Riddles okay), and throughout the dungeon you can have notes from an old Jarl or Wizard who details the origin of the Library, why it's so far from the College, maybe even experimental notes about each spell. Basically you turn it into a quick story, it doesn't have to be that complex but as long as it provides some character to the Quest, and makes it feel a bit more special than 'Go to Cave, kill things, get rewards' even if that's basically all that quests in Skyrim are (with a few exceptions). 

    Then you have a justified location to have your Library, a relatively fresh and interesting quest to add into the game, obviously, you get some unique textures for the Robes and maybe even a Voice Actor for the new NPC (who becomes a follower and can learn all of the new spells). Hell, maybe add a bit of an end-quest where you can refurbish the Library and reveal it's location to the College or Jarl (which further enforces the fact that the two parties don't really get along). 

    Oh and a final note. I'd change the Robes so that they aren't just two Vanilla items put together, and try and work in some special effects into all 5 Robes. Maybe one of them adds a passive Fire Cloak whenever you are holding a Destruction Spell, another provides 2 point Healing a second, and so on. Basically just make them look interesting, give them unique effects and make them really, really count for something.

    The Final Verdict

    If you're on PC or Xbox, don't bother with this one even if it's free. It really doesn't add anything worthwhile to your game unless you're playing 'Vanilla' and it's for free. If you're on PS4 I might actually recommend it because at least it adds that Bear Spell and it's not as overwhelming as some of the mods that add hundreds of new spells. Basically, I only recommend it if your deadset on not downloading mods but want something to add to your game, and even then I'm tempted to say "Shut Up and Download Mods". Oh, and I do actually commend Bethesda for offering some of the content for free for short periods of time, it's a very handy and decent decision that they've made. 

    Final Score: 4/10 for just being rather lazy but not the worst thing to ever exist.

     

     

    Deeb Reviews is a project I've been thinking about starting for a few months (Like two) but originally tried to tackle ESO which is a huge undertaking and I kept changing my mind about it, and never got to a complete version I was happy with. Starting off with a Creation Club piece of content allows me to kind of justify downloading this one and hopefully shed some light on both the good and the bad of the Creation Club (a concept I'm kinda fine with, but that I think is being ruined by rather...simplistic or lazy 'not-mods'.)

    Let me know if you think I'm wrong, if you've got another alternate version of the mod that you think is better than fine, thoughts on the Reivew, the Series, anything really, and thanks for dropping by and giving this a read :D


    This post was edited by Mega-Dragonborn-of-Doom (1921) at October 31, 2017 11:58 PM EDT
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    • 710 posts
    November 1, 2017 1:57 PM EDT

    Really enjoy this idea, Deebs. As far as this post goes, you hit the nail on the head, in my opinion. Creation Club is probably one of the worst designs Bethesda has ever done and it really does show here. I do agree with the whole limited free aspect, though. That is the only thing I can commend Bethesda on.

  • November 1, 2017 8:15 PM EDT

    Really enjoy this idea, Deebs. As far as this post goes, you hit the nail on the head, in my opinion. Creation Club is probably one of the worst designs Bethesda has ever done and it really does show here. I do agree with the whole limited free aspect, though. That is the only thing I can commend Bethesda on.

    Oh, I don't mind the idea (but only as a PS4 player, not as an Xbox or PC player, couldn't say that at all) as a whole, it's just the actual content that was started off really, I mean, it's pretty terrible content. If they posted decent/good content then I'd be 100% supportive of it. Thanks for dropping by Rogue, and for giving it a read :)

    • 205 posts
    November 2, 2017 11:47 PM EDT

    Deeb Reviews needs to continue. Next worst thing on Creation Club please!

  • November 3, 2017 12:33 AM EDT

    Hah, I'm glad you enjoyed it Wulf. I'll have to wait for something to either reduce in price or be given away before another Review is possible because I really don't want to give Bethesa money for any of this, but they do 50% off sales fairly frequently at the moment, so your luck is pretty solid :D

    • 205 posts
    November 3, 2017 1:06 AM EDT

    Fair enough.

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    • 710 posts
    November 3, 2017 11:34 AM EDT

    Dragonborn1921 said:

    Really enjoy this idea, Deebs. As far as this post goes, you hit the nail on the head, in my opinion. Creation Club is probably one of the worst designs Bethesda has ever done and it really does show here. I do agree with the whole limited free aspect, though. That is the only thing I can commend Bethesda on.

    Oh, I don't mind the idea (but only as a PS4 player, not as an Xbox or PC player, couldn't say that at all) as a whole, it's just the actual content that was started off really, I mean, it's pretty terrible content. If they posted decent/good content then I'd be 100% supportive of it. Thanks for dropping by Rogue, and for giving it a read :)

    Fair point, and I totally agree with you. I'm hoping this will turn around and Bethesda will start to create some additional DLC sized mods. You know, stuff people might actually be interested in purchasing.