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What does it mean to be Essential?

Trick Question

Sort of, nothing and everything is essential, what is and isn’t essential is determined by you and you alone. The only thing that’s absolutely essential is getting the game to begin with, in which you have 3 choices. We'll talk about Unity shortly.

Good Old Games (GOG)Steam
The game is free regardless, but with GOG you can have it more easily available just by going into your GOG account and redownloading the game on a whim. If you aren’t already aware, GOG is DRM free so there isn’t going to be any problems getting the game to run because of it, you also don’t need the launcher to run the game. That being said you can more easily manage it with said launcher though I personally don't recommend it. However, if for any reason your account is terminated, by your hands or GOG’s, you’ll lose access to redownloading Daggerfall (you can still play it if you installed it) and will have to make another one (if you’re allowed). Here is the linkSteam is unrecommended. You can definitely still run it fine, even install Daggerfall Unity, but having that Steam DRM so you have to run the game through Steam is not ideal (maybe, not all games you buy on Steam need to have steam running when you open the executable, I have not checked with Daggerfall). Only install through Steam if you have most of your games on Steam and want to keep things organized and in one easy install location. Here is the linkOr you can forgo the launchers entirely and just download the game from either the Daggerfall Unity website or through other means such as the The Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages although I recommend the former link. No choice is wrong, but some are better for the average consumer.


At this point you're done and can just play Daggerfall, though I highly doubt that’s what you came for. No, I suspect you came for Daggerfall Unity and the mods that are made for it. Daggerfall Unity is an very faithful remake of Daggerfall for…well, Unity. No shit right? Well, let me stop wasting your time then.

The first thing you’ll need is to download Daggerfall Unity (which I shall henceforth refer to as DFU and Daggerfall as simply DF, though some may want to call it DAF in case you're talking to Dwarf Fortress fans) from their Official Site, it was released into version 1.0 at the end of 2023 so no better time to get it then now. Than simply follow the tutorial they made, I already linked it in the first Daggerfall download link in the “neither” section. For an abridged version:

1. Download both DF and DFU (for DFU, pick the zip that is appropriate to your OS)

2. Unzip them both into separate folders, preferably somewhere high in your drive

3. Run DFU

4. It'll ask you for the DF directory, point it towards where you unzipped Daggerfall (not unity)

Done, just configure your settings. I recommend lowering the volume first since that shit is loud by default but everything else is up to you, look up any settings you don’t understand.

Can we mod now?

Yes! But also, no. Firstly, if you’ve never played unmodded DF (in this case DFU) I recommend you play the game to completion first. Unity won’t look as “crusty” so if you’re worried about graphics (you fucking zoomer), don’t. Unless you need it to look like the average modern day slop where they dump everything into graphics to make zoomers shovel money into the dying AAA industry, in which case why are you here? I mean it's still relatively possible with texture and model mods like DREAM but there are still limitations. For mod installation, you have two ways of doing it:

Manual InstallationMod Manager
Manual is how people modded back in the day for many games, including the original DF. It’s a bit less practical and can go wrong if you delete or replace the wrong files but you have far more control and it’s not hard to do it properly. This is especially the case if the mod comes in a .dfmod variant. .dfmod files are simply compact mods that you can drop into StreamingAssets/Mods, but always read the mod page in case it requires a certain way to install.This is the only time you will ever read me say this, but Vortex is the preferred Mod Manager…this hurt to type. That being said, it’s not perfect, it can accidentally install mods incorrectly or even not at all, so always check where a mod is installed so that it’s installed correctly. Mod Organizer 2 can work but also requires a bit of set up that makes it impractical for just wanting to install mods without setting up a bunch of extra shit. I do encourage it out of good practice and habits, but otherwise just go manual.

—- Now we can finally get you into modding, firstly let's get you up and going with some mods that I find should be everyone’s starting mods. Remember, what is and isn’t essential is entirely up to you, I’m just going to recommend mods that make DFU better without it ruining the overall vibe of the game.

Quest Pack 1This mod is just that, a bunch of new quests that add on to the quests already in the game, more guild quests, more quests for general exploration, the works. There’s a bunch of quests for every type of character so you can’t really go wrong with this mod. Something to remember is that there can be a few things that might throw you off. Firstly, some quests have skill checks that can help you with said quest, or hinder you if you fail. If you don’t plan to risk it or if you don’t like save scumming, don’t do skill checks unless you have enough points in the skill it’s asking for, not doing skill checks is fine as the game won’t choke slam you for dismissing it. You also might just get stuck in a dungeon with no exit, just use the teleport console command (press ~ or equivalent on your keyboard).
Optional Main QuestAlready played the main quest so many times that it’s getting stale? Well, this mod does what it says on the tin, allowing you to completely bypass the main quest and get to roleplaying as anything other than The Agent/Hero of Daggerfall. I believe only certain items you can get from the main quest are still obtainable, just go to where you’d get them. It’s not perfect, but it works.
No Rush Main QuestDo you like the main quest but feel like the time limit is annoying, even if it is “realistic?” Well look no further. Oldfags and mainly newfags rejoice as now you can take your time without having to rush (although the main quest timer was lenient) through the parts of the story with a timer just to be able to do what you want.
Random Little Quests I bet you’re noticing a running theme with quests, especially considering these past few mods were by the same author. This is probably the last mod I’ll include of his but his mods are great for this list, well a few of them. The difference between this mod and the quest pack is this mod is the stuff that didn’t quite make the cut or were a bit too different for a simple quest pack. It adds, like its namesake, random minor events in between the usual aimless adventuring and questing. What makes this mod special is its trigger conditions, depending on the weather and location, there will be events that’ll happen, usually nothing too big but it adds some immersion to the game and makes the world seem “livelier” as the mod page states.
Better Background QuestionsI lied, here’s one more but this is highly optional. It changes the character creation questions (reduces the question amount but makes them more meaningful), instead of just constant bonuses, you’ll have to pick choices that can hinder your character as well. Better for roleplaying, but if you just want to powergame, I’d avoid it.
Better Default ClassesRight, this one is also highly optional, only for people who don’t make custom classes. The default classes in Daggerfall can be a hit or miss, which is why most make custom classes, this changes the default classes (obviously) into something that is more playable. From my personal experience, nothing really beats a custom class, but for roleplaying this makes it significantly more enjoyable as you’re far less gimped. If you aren’t sure, check the “docs” tab and it’ll list a detailed changelog for the classes as well as linking a comparison to you can decide if this mod is right for you.
ajrb’s whole ass mod pageAnd you thought I’d link to a bunch of mods from one author? Ajrb’s mods are fantastic for improving the base game, more than any other I found. The first mod I’ll mention is Archaeologists. Aside from the new guild that focuses the most on dungeon delving, it enhances the mostly useless language skill, making it a viable stat and even letting you make a build based around it. Easier pacification, easier language leveling, language trainers, hand-to-hand trainers, and my favorite part which is the inclusion of a locator device to make dungeon delving less tedious. Also features teleport potions and the recall spell to all initiates that can greatly help navigate said dungeon, now you have more incentive to opt out of the “smaller dungeons” option in the configurations menu, because fuck me do those dungeons go on for ages. The Roleplay and Realism mods does just that, adds QoL and roleplay additions to the game. Advanced archery allows one to affect how a bow functions, meaning if you draw your bow for too long or not long enough, it’ll affect how much damage and the hitchance of your bow, meaning skill points aren’t the only thing that makes a bow good, you have to be skilled at timing as well. Usable Bandages makes bandages actually heal you, the amount is dependent on the medical skill. Enemy Appearance Redux changes up the sprites of the enemies and adds more classes to them. Now you’re not the only one getting magic’d in the face. There’s a bunch but I highly recommend reading the mod page instead, the mod is also fully modular so if there’s anything you don’t like, feel free to ax it.

And that’s a wrap!

That’s all I’ll mention. Essentials should be kept short and meaningful, and these few mods do just that. Expanding on the player’s choices outside of the main quest, adding on to immersion, and overall greatly increasing the playtime of the player. I will always recommend making your own mod list and doing your own research rather than looking for what mods you “should” use, but suggestions and pointers are always a good idea.

The GOG cut

You’ve probably heard of this before, but GOG, more specifically GamerZakh made their own mod list for players to download on GOG. A nice idea in practice, but the execution deserves execution. It’s like Sinitar made it. No consideration for mod compatibility or “flow,” throwing shit at the wall and seeing what sticks, even if it overlaps or barely clings on. Not to mention they didn’t even bother maintaining and updating it, it’s outdated by many versions now. They also messed with the configurations of the base game so you’re essentially playing GamerZakh’s DFU. Do yourself a favor and watch Zaric Zhakaron’s video on it, does a better job at explaining the problem than I did. Also just check out his videos in general, good fellow, been in the game for years and he has been consistently good to watch for just as long.

daggerfall_essentials.txt · Last modified: 2024/07/01 22:18 by melkor