Requiem started as a personal project to turn Skyrim into a more realistic, internally consistent roleplaying experience... and it has grown greatly ever since. Built and developed by a small team of dedicated modders, writers and testers - the Requiem Dungeon Masters - Requiem is the result of several thousand hours of continual development and refinement.
This mod changes nearly aspect of the vanilla game, including basic gameplay concepts such as combat, magic and player statistics, rebalances items across the game world, introduces interface and aesthetic treatments, and so much more. Perhaps most importantly, it also completely delevels the game world's challenges and rewards. Taken as a whole, Requiem creates a vastly different playing experience compared to vanilla Skyrim - it encourages more intelligent, tactical play, allows for creative, emergent game styles, and gives the player a much more enriching and rewarding path of character growth inside the game world.
A few things worth mentioning up front: One, Requiem requires a new game - the changes made by Requiem are far too extensive to apply to an existing save file. Two, the lack of modular .esps is intended, and the whole mod consists of a single .esp. This ensures that everything in the game intertwines correctly, that everything fits perfectly together as intended. And three, while the mod is not modular, Requiem features several user-requested options found in the Mod Configuration Menu. You can learn more about them in the readme. But we imagine that if you only wanted a few aspects of what Requiem does, it's likely that you'd probably use a smaller mod package in the first place!
There are a few common misconceptions about Requiem. It is not intended to serve as a difficulty mod, or to turn Skyrim into a hardcore-only experience. That being said, Requiem does increase the difficulty greatly compared to vanilla. However, compared to simply changing the difficulty setting to make enemies deal more damage and be harder to kill, Requiem's extensive changes are designed to make the game world more dangerous, in a logical and immersive fashion.
This distinction between "harder" and "more dangerous" is the key to Requiem's magic - the end result is a more organic, believable world that boosts immersion by providing challenges that your character can only overcome by growing in power and adapting to encounters in real time.
A list of the important changes can be found in the Requiem Manual, in the chapter "What is Requiem About." If you are not in the mood for reading, lean back instead and let Brodual and his awesome video series explain Requiem to you.
Here are a few examples of how you might experience Requiem's design goals in action during your play-through:
- New adventurers lack the skill and equipment to tackle the dangers of Skyrim. During early levels, a lack of healthy fear and preparation will quickly result in death. Even as you grow in experience, combat will always remain deadly, as a sword or arrow in the gut is a death sentence without some measure of protection.
- Properly trained and equipped warriors can smash through enemy lines and shrug off flying arrows, but powerful mages can incinerate them from afar. Meanwhile, sneaky rogue- or ranger-type characters may be able to move with stealth and kill an unarmored mage with a well-aimed strike. This rock-paper-scissors approach to combat encourages flexible tactics and smart play - but rest assured, there are always multiple options available to you to fight and thrive in Requiem's version of Skyrim.
- Powerful foes may seem unbeatable at first, but they will fall when confronted with clever planning and strategy, giving access to items of incredible power. Items of all sorts are balanced to match the challenges required to claim them, even if you have to wrestle them from the cold, dead hands of their previous owners!
- Non-combat skills are heavily reworked, to bring balance, immersion and tangible character growth to crafting, trading, inventory management and even your mastery of the Voice.
However, Requiem's mission and resulting gameplay changes are not suited for the average player who simply wants to explore vanilla Skyrim and then be done with it. Requiem's world is dangerous and deadly for the unprepared and unskilled. Requiem requires patience, planning and a willingness to invest time in growing your character from a humble adventurer into a true savior of Tamriel. One of the most important things to remember about your character in Requiem is that you are defined by your perks, as skills primarily allow you to unlock perks, but affect little else. Invest your perks into the character you want to play, not the character you think you should play.
Much of our inspiration for Requiem came from older titles like previous Elder Scrolls Titles (mainly Morrowind and Daggerfall), Gothic, Deus Ex, Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Planescape: Torment and so on. You might also see bits of the Witcher series or even Dark Souls, too. But just as importantly, we also looked to traditional pen-and-paper roleplaying games for ideas on how to build the world, give players more freedom and inject a sense of realism into our vision for Skyrim.
Remember, all this began with a personal project that was built to be shared with like-minded individuals who enjoy an immersive and challenging roleplaying experience. We have tried to create something unique, and we aren't doing this for fame, money or popularity. We love this game, and want to share the joy we found in working, improving and building upon an existing piece of art. Thanks to everyone for your feedback, bug reports, criticism, suggestions and comments. Now get out there and save Tamriel!