It took me longer than I expected but I recently finished all the quests available for the mods Legacy of the Dragonborn SSE and Helgen Reborn. When I installed them I was feeling a mix of curiosity and apprehension since I wasn’t sure if I’d like them or not. Now that I know what kind of content they both offer I can decide if they are mods that I want to keep in future playthroughs.
Before we get into all that though, let me just share my bias when it comes to quest mods. Basically, I tend to not give them a try. It is just that I have a very strict view when it comes to the game’s lore and tone. I am also very picky when it comes to voice-acting. Considering both of these, quest mods can be something of a gamble for me.
Ok. I think that is enough of rambling about it, let’s get to the point of this post.
Legacy of the Dragonborn SSE
When I installed Legacy of the Dragonborn SSE I was only really looking for a place where I could display all the special items I get while playing the game, like the Daedric artifacts.
While doing some research on it I found out it also had some questlines which I thought would be something short, like “go to this place, get this artifact and then bring it to the museum”. Although there are quests like that, mainly as a way to direct the player to items that will fill the museum, the meat of the quests are a lot more involved.
The first two quests, the ones that involved the museum directly, I actually liked quite a lot. It was just the last quest and the ones from the Explorer’s Society that I didn’t like as much. Those quests also happen to be the ones that involved some dungeons added by the mod.
I am trying to think of a good way to put down my feelings about those dungeons but I just can’t come up with something that makes sense. They just… feel off for me.
As far as lore is concerned it feels right at home in an Elder Scrolls game. Not only the museum can display items from Skyrim itself, the mod also brings and can display items from other games in the franchise, with lore notes about them.
The voice-acting, in general, is also pretty good. So much that if I never played Skyrim before and saw someone playing through Legacy of the Dragonborn SSE I’d never think it was a mod. Big props to the voice-actors of the mod and the people who wrote the dialogues.
The only part I have a real problem with the mod, and this isn’t really a criticism just a difference in preferences, is that the mod expects you do all the content in the game. That means, participating in the Civil War, doing the questlines for all the factions, completing the main quests for the base game and DLCs, exploring a ton of dungeons, leveling a bunch of different skills and so on.
I get that it would be too complicated to make the mod to suit differently play styles. Plus even Bethesda expects people to play like that as they pretty much shove every quest in the player’s journal whether they want to do it or not.
But the way I prefer to play is to actually roleplay my characters. Thus a warrior-like character would join the Companions, maybe join the Civil War and ignore as much as possible anything about the other factions. If I played a mage they would join the College of Winterhold, then proceed to ignore as much as possible the Civil War and the other factions and so on.
It is just the way I prefer to play, as it gives me more replayability and allowed me to see everything the game had to offer on my own terms. The way the Legacy of the Dragonborn SSE and Bethesda expect people to play the game however feels like it takes way too long and is exhausting for me.
To be fair, Legacy of Dragonborn SSE doesn’t force you in any way to join all those factions or do those quests. But you will end up with some noticeable empty spaces in the museum if you decide to ignore them.
This makes me conflicted about the mod. I love the museum itself. I also love the NPCs the mod adds. But playing through the amount of content necessary to fill the entirety of the museum is just too exhausting. Because of that I am inclined to not include Legacy of the Dragonborn SSE in my future playthroughs. I just prefer to just indulge in whatever content feels right for the character I am playing at the moment.
For the longest time I completely ignored Helgen Reborn. I was fine with leaving Helgen as a ruin. I mean, I barely spent any time there and most of that time was trying to escape the attack from an angry dragon. Not exactly the best way to make someone care about a place.
However after playing the game so many times I am now tired of having to kill bandits every time I have to travel through the area on the way to do a quest. So I figured if I can never kill those bandits permanently I might as well install this mod so I can pass through Helgen in peace.
One of the things I was curious about was how they would explain the rebuilding, in a lore-friendly way. After all, none of the base game factions seemed to care about Helgen after it was destroyed. Yeah, yeah, there was a whole civil war going on, dragons attacks and what-not that were probably tying up all of their resources. But even then they could have at least have spent a line acknowledging it.
Anyway, I won’t spoil the solution the mod came up for it but it felt fitting. I also liked that the quest line had a at least one point with a significant choice thus giving it some replayability. The entire quest line isn’t very long but the length feels just about right. Consequently there are no world-threats to be dealt with here, it just concerns itself with securing the area for the town to be rebuilt and helping a person on his quest for revenge against someone evil.
The voice acting is, again on average, pretty good. There was just one NPC I didn’t really like his voice acting much. The main villain had a pretty good voice actor but his microphone wasn’t so great thus taking away some of the immersion.
My only real complaint, and this is just an insignificant nitpick, is that the gates to Helgen kept locking themselves up after a few days. That is how it works in the base game but still took me by surprise that the mod didn’t change that part after the whole town was rebuilt.
Nitpick aside I think I will keep this mod installed for the foreseeable future. It is just nice to see the place rebuilt even if I don’t particularly care about it.
Despite my feelings on the mod, I’d still highly recommend Legacy of the Dragonborn SSE for anyone who loves the lore of the Elder Scrolls universe or just want a cool place to show off all of their trophies.
Helgen Reborn I’d recommend for anyone who just wants more adventure or want to see the town rebuilt.
One thing I didn’t mention above but the two mods also add player homes with some pretty cool features. If I recall correctly on the Legacy of Dragonborn you can get it pretty early in the questline while in Helgen Reborn the town needs to be rebuilt to a certain point before you get it.
Overall both mods are pretty fun in their own right. Even if you find them to not be your particular cup of tea I still think they are worth giving a try at least once to see what they have to offer.