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Mod review: Lord of Dragons

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Anonymous
February 8, 2005 9:16:04 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.morrowind (More info?)

I'm still trying to get my lower jaw back into position after it dropped
down playing this mod. It is one of those "Oh My God, Very Cool !" mods.
Really.

What's "Lord of Dragons" about? Well, you guessed: Dragons. While that
by itself is nothing new after the appearance of dragons in Children of
the Night, it is to my knowledge the first and only mod which allows you
to ride them. This is a travel mod, basically, similar to Pega Horse
Ranch - what is not surprising as it's written by the same author.
Saying that, anyone who saw Pega Horse Ranch knows that MadMax, the
author, is truly the god of Morrowind scripting.
If anyone does not know Pega Horse Ranch, read my earlier review at
http://groups-beta.google.com/group/alt.games.morrowind...

Exactly as you buy, train and ride horses in Pega Horse Ranch, you can
train and ride dragons in Lord of Dragons. Well, cannot buy dragons; no
surprise here. The dragons are beautiful and fly with an excellent
animation. You can mount the dragon and fly all over Vvardenfell.
Controlling the dragons is quite similar to riding horses from the Pega
mod, with a couple of keyboard combinations you can control their speed,
make them ascend or descend, and steer the direction with the mouse.
Overall the controls are very smooth and easy to use, but make sure you
read the Readme.txt file first.

So, how do you get access to a dragon to ride? Good question. The mod
includes a mini-quest in which your task is to kill the evil, bad and
mad Dragon Lord. You guessed right, after getting rid of that dude you
will be the new Dragon Lord and inherit his lair. The quest is a quick
hack&slash fun, but please keep in mind this is a travel mod, not a
quest mod.
Fighting the Dragon Lord is no easy task, though: The battle is
extremely tough. I managed it after a couple of reloads and gulping down
a heap of around 40 restore health potions and another heap of shield
potions with a level 19 spellsword. This is nothing for a beginner
character. I'd estimate it roughly same difficulty as late Tribunal or
Suran Underworld fights (late Bloodfang Tong that is, not as tough as
late Aktheron fights). I only managed that fight with a relatively low
level (lvl 19 isn't *that* tough) due to the huge stock of restore
health potions and a quite good alchemy skill. On the other hand, it's
absolutely worth to invest some time gathering the herbs for this battle.
I generally agree you shouldn't stumble out of the prison ship and
instantly inherit a herd of dragons. But you do not need to be the
Nerevarine or invest insane amounts of money like for some other travel
mods. So no complains here.

After defeating the evil and mad former Dragon Lord, you gain access to
three dragons: A red, a green and a black one. With time, each of them
will gain experience. Depending on their experience, the dragon will fly
faster, get more health and spit more devastating fireballs (red
dragon), poisonballs (green) or shockballs (black). That's right, you
can fry those cliffracers from the back of your dragon with his breath.
Much fun. First time I'm glad to see a cliffracer, preparing the dragon
breath trigger.

Unlike the Pega horses, dragons cannot follow you or use fast-travel -
like you could travel by ship with your horse in tow. However, this is
not needed as you gain a ring which lets you recall a dragon to your
current position or send the dragon back to their lair. So whereever you
need a dragon, just call one to you. When you don't need him anymore,
send him back. This is extremely convinient.

Like the horses, dragons can also carry your loot using the companion
share option. My red dragon currently carries a nice ranger tent, so
whereever I am going I have my little home with me. Much fun for
exploring some mods I havn't seen yet.

Best of all, your companion can also ride with you on the dragon! They
are big and strong enough to easily carry two of those tiny humans.
Similar to the companion riding in Pega Horse Ranch, you need to
"prepare" your companion for dragon riding using a special dialog topic,
then they will automatically mount and dismount the dragon when you do.

Chances this mod conflicts with other mods are close to zero. It adds
one area somewhere north of the Sheogorad island, which is quite
unlikely to be used anywhere else. You can use both Lords of Dragons and
Pega Horse ranch in the same game, but of course not ride a dragon and
horse at the same time - Duh.

A nice technical bonus is, you can save and load a game during flight.
Considering how often Morrowind crashes when changing cells, a lengthly
dragon-back trip will eventually lead to a crash (at least on my box),
so it is very convinient to be able to quicksave&quickload without
dismounting the dragon.
I don't want to create the wrong impression that this mod is guilty for
crashes. No, Morrowind is. When I run from Balmora to Aldruhn, I usually
need to reload once or twice because the game crashes on some cell
change. And that's not a big distance. However, when flying on your
dragon, you move *much* faster so you change cells more often and
Morrowind just crashes sooner. That said, travelling on dragon back
crashes the game quite regulary on my box, but Morrowind would crash
just the same if I'd walk the same distance on feet. Overall not an
issue one could blame the mod author for. If you want to play or write
stable mods, you should select another game. Sad but true.


To sum it up, this is a most excellent mod. If you liked Pega Horse
Ranch, you will love Lord of Dragons. If you havn't seen any of them
yet, try both. Now.


Available for download at MadMax webpage:
http://www.highpressure-morrowind.com/Madmax_Morrowind....
and on Morrowind Summit:
http://www.rpgplanet.com/morrowind/modcontrols/mods.asp

PS: Check out "Ultimate Galleon" on MadMax page! I tried it today, and
although it is still in beta, it looks like just another "Oh My God!" mod.


Peter
Anonymous
February 9, 2005 3:47:47 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.morrowind (More info?)

> To sum it up, this is a most excellent mod. If you liked Pega Horse
> Ranch, you will love Lord of Dragons. If you havn't seen any of them
> yet, try both. Now.

Just out of curiosity, how does dragon flight speed compare with running
with BoBS? I tried Pegas Horse Ranch, and I didn't like it very much,
because the horses were far too slow. Also, the saddle replaces your boots,
so when I dismounted, I had to do the Resist Magicka trick every time to put
my boots back on. Does the dragon mod suffer from the same inconvenience?
It sounds like a great way to travel, but if it's piss-slow like the horses
were, I don't think I'd like it very much. I'm quite addicted to BoBS, and
playing without them just seems tedious now. (If dragons are fast enough, I
might even be convinced to try playing a Khajit or Argonian again. I had
been avoiding them before due to the no-boots restriction...)
Anonymous
February 9, 2005 5:43:58 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.morrowind (More info?)

> Just out of curiosity, how does dragon flight speed compare with running
> with BoBS?

Dragons gain experience, just like the horses can be trained. More
experience - faster flight. From comparing the values, a low-level
dragon seems slower than BOBS, a high-level dragon faster. On the other
hand, I personally don't use BOBS, so I cannot really tell for sure.
!