PC gamers still lovingly holding on to their copy of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim now have something new to try. The English release of the total conversion mod Enderal: The Shards of Order hit over the weekend, with an all-new world featuring its own lore to adventure in.
Enderal: The Shards of Order comes from the German hobbyist studio SureAI. This is the same outfit that developed Nehrim: At Fate’s Edge, an award-winning total conversion mod for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. SureAI has created mods for Bethesda Softworks titles since 2005 for both The Elder Scrolls and Fallout series.
A German version of Enderal was released first at the beginning of July. It includes its own voice acting, so this shows a unique level of dedication for an independent mod team to release a multi-language version for their work and then give it away for free.
The Enderal total conversion mod is ambitious, as it touts 30 to 100 hours of playtime for those who wish to try it out. It does require a copy of PC version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to play, however. Those interested in trying it out will need to download the Enderal launcher from the official website or ModDB and run it. This will backup the existing Skyrim folders and install the total conversion mod, which will then need to be updated.
As a total conversion mod, similarities between Skyrim and Enderal will be present. The melee combat is largely unchanged, for example, but there are huge differences present as well. The most obvious will be the completely new open-world landmass to explore along with new characters, quests, and more. The magic system has been altered greatly while the leveling system has been changed to a more traditional experience based system which no longer resembles Skyrim‘s skill-based leveling system.
Here is an explanation of those differences in the developer’s own words.
“In Enderal, we have attempted to combine open world gaming with a complex and profound storyline,” SureAI explains. “While the game world of Enderal is smaller than Skyrim’s and the quests are fewer, we believe that the depth of our story and the complexity of our characters both surpass those in recent Elder Scrolls games.
“Enderal also differs in its game mechanics: While some have been taken over from Skyrim unchanged, others have been refined (for example, some armor sets in Enderal give set bonuses when several pieces are worn), and yet others (such as leveling up and the raising of skills) have been overhauled so greatly that they hardly resemble Skyrim mechanics any more (most noticeably, Skyrim’s ‘learning by doing’ skill-ups have been replaced by experience points and skill books).
“Finally, a few (such as levelscaling and randomly spawning enemies) have been completely removed. As far as level design is concerned, Enderal spans several climate zones and regions, only some of which share Skyrim’s distinctive Nordic atmosphere and color palette.”
This is hardly the only total conversion mod being worked on for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Skywind is an effort to translate The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind to the most recent engine in the series.
While The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is getting a re-release on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this fall with mod support, console owners should not expect to see releases of Enderal or Skywind available. These mods are built outside of the Bethesda Softwork’s Creation Kit open-source toolkit, so it would take lots of extra work to make the playable and available on consoles.
What do you think of the Enderal: The Shards of Order total conversion mod for Skyrim? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image via SureAI]