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NPCs Learn to Aim (by sasnikol)


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NPCs Learn to Aim by sasnikol
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NPCs aiming with ranged weapons (spells/staves included) are based on their skill level vs always aiming with 100% accuracy. This means ranged weapons from NPCs will randomly travel within a circumference of the target, slowly becoming more accurate with higher NPCs skill levels. The mod can also be activated on the player, as well.

Tech:
I've added a testing tag, not official, to remember to discuss this one. Personally, I like the premise of the mod and believe it makes sense; aligning to what one would expect from real training and skill levels. However, does it translate well for balanced and fun gameplay in Skyrim? That's probably the biggest question to answer.

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Hey :) Happy to see my mod discussed here :happy: please, let me know what you'll think after testing. There are some multipliers that I've exposed through INI options, because I wasn't 100% on challenge/fun balancing, tried to make it less pronounced for Player, but might need tweaking it a bit more, since I didn't test it in a real-ish playthrough.

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7 hours ago, arkhlus said:

Hey :) Happy to see my mod discussed here :happy: please, let me know what you'll think after testing. There are some multipliers that I've exposed through INI options, because I wasn't 100% on challenge/fun balancing, tried to make it less pronounced for Player, but might need tweaking it a bit more, since I didn't test it in a real-ish playthrough.

It may be a bit before staff can get around to it, but our members are pretty good with feedback on mods we're considering for a Guide.

If you are the author of this mod, can you please contact me on Nexus via the 'sasnikol' account? We have a "Mod Author" badge that we can give you. This is our way of verify author identities. You can find my Nexus page to send me a message in my signature, below.

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  • 3 weeks later...

If we consider this one, it makes sense to also consider NPCs Learn Skills and Spells.

Thoughts?


As far as applying to PC in addition to NPC, it seems most proper to apply to both.

Mods like this do impact game difficulty though, so there's that. I personally prefer realism and more challenging situations, but all such mods deviate from vanilla. I think it's an acceptable deviation though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This one will require some play time to determine if it's a good fit. Hopefully @Mercury71 and others that actually play the game for real will have some feedback.

I love the premise of this mod and will undoubtedly use it in my personal LO (if I ever have time to actually play for real).

Deferring to next guide iteration.

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that would so cool :happy: though, for NPCs Learn Skills and Spells, I'd say that it.s better to submit 2.0 when I'll finish it, as it will be much better polished compared to current version.

But, either way, the feedback would be greatly appreciated, I pretty much expect that there might be some balancing issues that needs to be tweaked, because I didn't have an extensive testing with different values, so I've put the ones that didn't feel too severe :) if you find values that make experience smoother do let me know and I'll set them as default.

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On 7/5/2024 at 11:30 PM, z929669 said:

This one will require some play time to determine if it's a good fit. Hopefully @Mercury71 and others that actually play the game for real will have some feedback.

I love the premise of this mod and will undoubtedly use it in my personal LO (if I ever have time to actually play for real).

Deferring to next guide iteration.

Ny summer vacation starts tomorrow so unless the weather is sunny i will have some time to test this and other mods marked Testing. :)

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Done some first testing. Used the Campsite alternate start to get a bow and tested against the little bandit camp near the standing stones, there is ona archer there.

The bandit-archer really struggles to hit me unless i stand still and very close. I like it but need to be tested more, it might make the NPCs to bad at aiming.

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Perhaps, multipliers for NPCs needs a little bumping, maybe +0.2

The idea there is that archers (and mages) become more decent at aiming at around 40-50 skill. Aiming gets exponentially worse with lower skill, so close to 0-10 the aim will be really bad (that's probably what gave you the feeling that they might be too bad :)), but they quickly get grip on aiming and around 40-50 they should come close to ~80% accuracy. And then master it from there up to 100% (technically ~99% as there is always a small margin where they can miss).

Tweaking multipliers basically offset their effective skill that is used in the formula, so they'll learning curve will get shorter. But low skill archers will always have poor aim as their skill dictates that they tried using bow a few times at best :D Most likely, perks, like Eagle Eye, that they'll learn in the other NPCs Learn mod referenced here will improve the aim even further.

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42 minutes ago, arkhlus said:

Perhaps, multipliers for NPCs needs a little bumping, maybe +0.2

The idea there is that archers (and mages) become more decent at aiming at around 40-50 skill. Aiming gets exponentially worse with lower skill, so close to 0-10 the aim will be really bad (that's probably what gave you the feeling that they might be too bad :)), but they quickly get grip on aiming and around 40-50 they should come close to ~80% accuracy. And then master it from there up to 100% (technically ~99% as there is always a small margin where they can miss).

Tweaking multipliers basically offset their effective skill that is used in the formula, so they'll learning curve will get shorter. But low skill archers will always have poor aim as their skill dictates that they tried using bow a few times at best :D Most likely, perks, like Eagle Eye, that they'll learn in the other NPCs Learn mod referenced here will improve the aim even further.

I was also thinking a small bumb to the offsets in the INI would resolve. It might be useful to include in the INI comments the native default offsets (as if your mod wasn't enabled) for each of the settings would be helpful. This way there's a baseline for basically adjusting the 'difficulty'.

I did notice most settings are '1.0', but magic is '1.15', so I assume you give a small perk here, since a mage must have a higher baseline just from knowing how to use the relevant spells.

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It might be useful to include in the INI comments the native default offsets (as if your mod wasn't enabled)

TL;DR; those multipliers are basically equivalent of "Skill is X% better", e.g. at skill 20 multiplier 1.5 would make the mod calculate accuracy as if the skill was 30.

There are no native default offsets like that, so you can assume it's 1.0. But that's not a valid comparison, because the mod varies two components for aiming: accuracy and precision, whereas the original game only varied precision.

Here is a nice image that illustrates how each component affects the final shot:

Image-1.png

So what you see at low levels is the top-left target, and it will gradually move towards the bottom-right target as skill progresses. The original game moved from top-left to bottom-left targets. Note that accuracy and precision improve at different rates (have separate multipliers).

With that said, if you'd want to get an understanding on how sensitive the multipliers are and how they compare to vanilla experience, you can set fCombatRangedAimVariance setting to 0, to completely negate accuracy in both vanilla and the mod. And then compare how precision works. But to be fair, with perfect accuracy, precision wouldn't matter much unless you set ridiculous fCombatAimProjectileRandomOffset so that slightest precision deviation would result in significant offset. But that would be very artificial experiment :)

I can say that at multiplier=1.0, precision in the mod is roughly 15% better than in original game at early skill levels 20-40, improves to about 30% better mid-game and then slows down past skill level 70. It never reaches 0 like in vanilla, though, as I wanted to add support for things like Skill Uncapper.

So in theory, you could assume that roughly multiplier=0.7 would be similar precision to what the game has. But again, this is a hardly meaningful comparison.

Sorry, I might've unnecessary overexplained things :D 

 

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I did notice most settings are '1.0', but magic is '1.15', so I assume you give a small perk here, since a mage must have a higher baseline just from knowing how to use the relevant spells.

Yeah, a small variance in multipliers was meant to make experience more diverse, the idea is that Bow is a baseline, and then other ranged options are compared against the bow. This allows, for example, to make Crossbows harder to aim (lower accuracy), but trivialize the shot (almost perfect precision). I feel like I've written too much already :D so if you're curious about other options, I've explained reasons for those values on mod's description.

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1 hour ago, arkhlus said:

TL;DR; those multipliers are basically equivalent of "Skill is X% better", e.g. at skill 20 multiplier 1.5 would make the mod calculate accuracy as if the skill was 30.

There are no native default offsets like that, so you can assume it's 1.0. But that's not a valid comparison, because the mod varies two components for aiming: accuracy and precision, whereas the original game only varied precision.

Here is a nice image that illustrates how each component affects the final shot:

Image-1.png

So what you see at low levels is the top-left target, and it will gradually move towards the bottom-right target as skill progresses. The original game moved from top-left to bottom-left targets. Note that accuracy and precision improve at different rates (have separate multipliers).

With that said, if you'd want to get an understanding on how sensitive the multipliers are and how they compare to vanilla experience, you can set fCombatRangedAimVariance setting to 0, to completely negate accuracy in both vanilla and the mod. And then compare how precision works. But to be fair, with perfect accuracy, precision wouldn't matter much unless you set ridiculous fCombatAimProjectileRandomOffset so that slightest precision deviation would result in significant offset. But that would be very artificial experiment :)

I can say that at multiplier=1.0, precision in the mod is roughly 15% better than in original game at early skill levels 20-40, improves to about 30% better mid-game and then slows down past skill level 70. It never reaches 0 like in vanilla, though, as I wanted to add support for things like Skill Uncapper.

So in theory, you could assume that roughly multiplier=0.7 would be similar precision to what the game has. But again, this is a hardly meaningful comparison.

Sorry, I might've unnecessary overexplained things :D 

 

Yeah, a small variance in multipliers was meant to make experience more diverse, the idea is that Bow is a baseline, and then other ranged options are compared against the bow. This allows, for example, to make Crossbows harder to aim (lower accuracy), but trivialize the shot (almost perfect precision). I feel like I've written too much already :D so if you're curious about other options, I've explained reasons for those values on mod's description.

I wasn't sure if the game used multipliers/offsets, percentages, and or absolute values.

Yeah, I'm a data guy, so I get the precision/accuracy difference, but I didn't know the game only accounted for precision.

So my question is if your offsets are generally more forgiving than vanilla, then why might the player feel like NPCs suck at marksmanship with your mod enabled relative to vanilla? There must be a bit more happening under the hood. Regardless, you mod makes it configurable, which is what I like.

I have not tested myself, so I cannot speak to any of that ATM.

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why might the player feel like NPCs suck at marksmanship with your mod enabled relative to vanilla?

Ah, well, I believe it's mainly because of accuracy being worse than vanilla at low skill level. For example, if default setting for AimVariance is 0.9 at skill level 20 it will be 1.4 (almost 50% worse). It will, however, catch on with vanilla value at skill 37 and then will be improving from there.

Your questions brought be to a quite deep analysis :) now I realized that accuracy multiplier is more sensitive than precision, and I should probably adjust those values independently.

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