Using the destroyed ruins of Helgen as your base of operations?

#1RobrainPosted 7/2/2013 2:30:18 AM
So I've traveled back there on foot a few times (I love collecting unique items, those bottles of Mead with Juniper Berries have been collected in most of my playthroughs), and after reading that there's actually a Safe Storage container at the Inn there, I was thinking...

Has anyone ever done an RP playthrough where they solely used the destroyed ruins of Helgen as their base of operations for the Dragonborn? Would be kind of fitting, since only bandits randomly show up there, as it seems both sides are too busy with everything else going on to bother retaking it, especially after a Dragon already proved that he can lay waste to that place if he wants to.

I was going to do a Khajiit Thief character, but wanted to know if it was viable to use that place. It's near enough to Whiterun / Falkreath I suppose, is there also a fairly safe route East from Helgen to Ivarstead?

I think I'd probably need to get a horse ASAP though, since traveling on foot to and from Helgen seems like it would waste a lot of time. Wasn't sure if Khajiit tend to not use horses, since the caravans all seem to go on foot (though that might have been a gameplay mechanic so the player can catch up to them?).

http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim_talk:Helgen_Keep

"General Notes about Helgen Keep:
It's important to distinguish between Helgen and Helgen Keep when discussing this. Helgen is an exterior cell and resets after 10 days of inactivity. The 7 or so assorted Bandits who inhabit Helgen will respawn. Helgen Keep, however, is a separate and different cell from Helgen. Once the Bandits who inhabit the Keep's interior are slain, they are perma-corpses and do not respawn. Similarly, any bodies remaining from the Unbound mission are perma-corpses as well, as are the bodies of the Frostbite Spiders in the spider cavern of the Keep. In the final chamber of the Keep, where the player encounters his first Bear during Unbound, the Bear is gone and is replaced by a live Frostbite Spider. After this spider is slain, it too becomes a perma-corpse."

Testing Method:
I have tested every container object in Helgen Keep and can confirm that every container is Safe. I tested by completely stripping Helgen Keep of every clutter object, and placing 1 Iron Arrow and 1 Leather Strip inside every possible container object. After waiting 31 in-game days in another cell, (Dawnstar), I re-entered Helgen Keep and checked every container. None of the containers reset or lost the inventory I placed in them, and no clutter items respawned within the Keep. As far as resetting/respawning goes, Helgen Keep is 100% inert. After the first test, I moved some of the grab-able container items and placed them in different areas of the Keep to see if they would stay where they were dropped. Again, waited 31 in-game days in another cell, and re-entered Helgen Keep. Bodies and Skeletons will remain where they are dropped, and their inventory contents remain Safe. (Exploring Helgen Keep does not place a Cleared notation on the game Map, indicating that the Helgen exterior cell is on a 10 day reset schedule. I can confirm this. However, just to be extra cautious and safe, I used a 30+ day testing cycle for the Helgen Keep interior zone.)

"...On the game I tested, this amounts to 56 Safe Storage Containers."

"The technical CK details are that the Helgen Keep cell (HelgenKeep01) has its encounter zone (XEZN field) set to HelgenZone. That encounter zone has the flag "Never Resets" set to true. It's the same flag that is used for the player's houses to prevent all of their contents from ever resetting. So none of the contents of Helgen Keep will ever respawn."

http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Helgen_Homestead

Also, I believe the Helgen Inn (officially called Helgen Homestead) has an end table and dresser that are Safe Storage, as well as an unowned bed.
#2theonyxphoenixPosted 7/2/2013 4:46:29 AM
I've used the resources in Helgen Inn a few times until I was able to establish a more permanent abode. The keep just lacks an unowned bed.
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#3Lord_Shadow_19Posted 7/2/2013 5:52:01 AM
Anise's cabin imo.

The containers never reset and there's an enchanting and alchemy table.

Just west of the guardian stones.
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#4SoulOfFaythPosted 7/2/2013 6:31:30 AM
UESP says (or used to say) there's an unowned bed on the second floor of the inn, but it is, in fact, owned. Maybe there's a usable bedroll in the keep somewhere, I'm not sure. I do believe there are safe containers. Except for the bandits spawning it could be a nice base, it's relatively central. Although Anise's cabin is closer to Riverwood than Helgen is to the nearest town.
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#5JOExHIGASHIPosted 7/2/2013 6:37:19 AM
There is a path to Ivarsted and imo it is the easiest path as well
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#6agentspoonPosted 7/2/2013 7:10:16 AM
I do use Helgen as my Homebase.

But I have it rebuilt and inhabited by NPC's and my Followers.
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#7turn_basedPosted 7/2/2013 9:56:18 AM
Interesting.

Not sure I'd prefer it over Cracked Tusk Keep though. Them vaults, alchemy table, forge, shelves and containers and a master bed make it one of the best joints to occupy!
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#8Robrain(Topic Creator)Posted 7/2/2013 11:22:44 AM
Okay, for starters, I wanted to say:

1) Above, there was supposedly confirmation that the corpses were permanent. That may have been that player's experience, but my own is differs. I played through the opening escape from Helgen, then did a couple of quick things (killed a few random bandits near Riverwood, did NOT go in the mine though), went and had the Ralof/Gerdur speech in Riverwood, then circled back to Helgen. NOT ALL THE CORPSES WERE THERE. The only corpses that I can confirm are permanent inside Helgen Keep were Gunjar (the dead Stormcloak that you loot your initial gear off of when you follow Ralof), the Mage-in-the-Cage (Torturer's Room, middle cage), and the corpse with the Ragged Robes a little further inside the Keep. The Skeletons were all there, naturally (though the Skeleton on the wall in the Torturer's Room had fallen down, even though I made sure it was untouched when I escaped). But the Torturer, the Torturer's Assistant, and all the Stormcloaks and Imperials I killed during the escape from Helgen, were ALL gone. This is one of the reasons I never, ever store anything on corpses.

1b) Further details, I followed Ralof, killed all the Imperial Soldiers, then killed the two Stormcloaks (no bounty occurs). Took everyone's gear and stored it in the Warden's Chest at the beginning of Helgen Keep before continuing to follow Ralof past the point of no return (where the ceiling collapses and takes out the bridge). Not sure if killing the two Stormcloaks may have triggered the disappearance of all the miscellaneous Imperial / Stormcloak bodies, but again, I wouldn't trust storing anything on corpses if I were you.

2) I don't use fast travel at all. Thus, Helgen being right smack in the middle of Skyrim is prime location for me.

Also, as far as useful things in the nearby area, you have the Forge, Grindstone, Worktable, and Leather Rack all inside Embershard Mine (which is between Helgen and Riverwood). You have the Alchemist Table and Enchanter's Table in Anise's Cabin. You have the firepit (for Cooking Food) on the hill up above Riverwood (mini-camp with a pair of bandits and a chest), as well as at the bandit camp with the 3 bandits, the Black Mage Robes, the skill book, and the treasure map. There's also a wood-chopping block for Firewood at the same 3-bandit camp. There might also be one just outside of Embershard Mine, though I'm not entirely sure about that. If you leave Helgen via the road in the direction of Riverwood, but take it left (instead of right towards Riverwood / the Guardian Stones), there's the Shrine of Talos, an enemy Mage / Necromancer at his table, and the dead woodcutter with The Woodsman's Friend unique Iron Battleaxe. Might be a woodcutting block in that general area as well, but I don't remember offhand.

That pretty much takes care of all the essentials except for a Smelter for making ingots out of ores.

If I'm claiming Helgen as the Dragonborn's base of operations, for RP purposes I like to believe that all of those locations are part of a single faction (the Dragonborn's). As in, Helgen is the main area, the location above Riverwood with the Cooking Spit is the lookout point, the 3-bandit camp is the same for the opposite direction, Anise's Cabin is a secondary lookout shack / decentralized gear storage, and Embershard Mine and the underground exit out of Helgen are the subterranean areas. All under control of the same faction (the Dragonborn). With Helgen already all destroyed, it would make some sense to keep things separated, in case a dragon returns it doesn't destroy everything again in one swoop.
#9Robrain(Topic Creator)Posted 7/2/2013 11:24:25 AM
Oh, and I believe the bed that is usable (unowned) is actually on the first floor of the inn. All the ones in what is essentially the guard barracks inside Helgen Keep have no action available (they're not even "Owned", you simply can't interact with them at all). So your bed is in the inn, first floor.
#10FMLGPosted 7/2/2013 11:25:17 AM
agentspoon posted...
I do use Helgen as my Homebase.

But I have it rebuilt and inhabited by NPC's and my Followers.


Assuming you're referring to the mod I think you are, how is it? I saw it and was intrigued but I never got around to installing it.
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