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Skyrim inner workings - enemies


Quahogs

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I'm curious as to how Skyrim handles creature encounters.  I assume there are areas - dungeons, forests, caves etc that have a quest generated "bad guy" that is a fixed and part of a storyline.   I assume the other areas spawn different creatures at different times.    Which leads me to ask...:D

 

1)Is Skyrim's code for spawning occurrence % per cell a fixed or random % ?      

2) Is there a random enemy creature generator per spawned cell also ?  

3) How often (in hours or days ) does a particular cell re-spawn ?  

4) does a monster mod like SIC sit on top of skyrim (work like an ADDITIONAL creature spawn) or

    does it replace how skyrim treats spawns in cells ?

 

In my never ending quest for realism I'm wondering how to reconcile encounters that are repetitive or too frequent.  I suppose I'm looking for more of a static game so if I walk from point A to point B that once I clear out some baddies clear stays clear - at least for a reasonable time.   Realism.  Sure in time a power vacuum will occur and a "cell" or area in real life will fill again.  But it should happen over time and not necessarily the same location.   Am I asking for too much AI from a game ?

 

I'm not into the shoot em up console game but instead a strategic RPG type with realistic encounters.  

 

That being said yes I have SIC installed (there goes realism ! :lol:) But it looks like I can really scale down the spawning and I DO like the monster variety..

 

Sorry, I'm pretty sure this is in the wrong forum but didn't see a better fit.    Thank for any insights here.  

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I haven't really looked at the spawning system but I'm sure one of the guys here will know about it. You might want to have a look at the Skyrim GEMS website as it has a whole section of suggested mods for dealing with this sort of thing, including removing the levelled enemies and setting fixed levels of enemies in each location. I like these ideas, though it can make the game much harder to begin with. Skyrim Unleashed is an interesting mod that does something similar, and also alters enemy AI so that bandits will largely ignore you while you're a lowly peasant with no decent loot, and animals will growl to warn you off before attacking.

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Disclaimer: I've not really worked with spawns, so the following information may not be 100% correct.  However, from what I've viewed in the CK, and other mods, I believe that this is more or less how spawns work...

 

Certain places definitely have specific (generally quest-related) creatures or NPCs that are placed there (and generally don't respawn). Generic spawns, on the other hand, are placed in cells as "spawn markers" and not reference a specific creature. I believe that individual markers are then linked to certain leveled lists. So you could have a marker in a wilderness cell that is linked to a creature leveled list that includes wolves, foxes, rabbits, bears, etc. Or you could have a marker placed in a dungeon linked to a leveled list that includes different types of bandits (or draugr or falmer or necromancers etc).

 

I believe the % chance for a spawn to occur is probably set by the leveled list that's used (some may be set at 100%, others at 50%, etc).

 

There are also different levels of spawns (i.e. easy, average, difficult). I'm not entirely sure how these work with the lists, but this determines how difficult the NPC/creature is that gets spawned. I believe these work as a multiple of the players level so an "easy" spawn might result in a bandit that is 0.75x the players level, while a "difficult" spawn might result in a bandit that is 1.5x the player's level (just an example, I don't know what the actual multipliers are).

 

The mods that add creatures and monsters can do so in two different ways (I don't know specifically which one SIC uses, or if it uses both)... 1) they can edit the leveled lists. Basically, just adding their creature into the existing list, so that there is a chance it will spawn instead of a vanilla bear or bandit. As far as I know, this is really no different than mods that add new weapons or clothing to various leveled lists so that the added items will occur as loot or in merchant inventories. 2) They can add new spawn markers to the world, and then link those newly added markers to their new creatures. This requires editing cells and it also increases the number of spawns in the world. There's nothing inherently wrong with this approach, but because each additional spawn point means more stuff going on that the game engine has to deal with, it's best to limit the number of mods you have that add new spawns.

 

I forget what the vanilla cell reset time is, but there are two different settings (one for "Cleared" locations and one for all other locations). I think it's 30 days for cleared and 10 days otherwise. I'm pretty sure this is probably a simple game setting tweak.

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MontyMM: I have SU installed so am looking forward to how this all shakes out. Looks like I'll have to do a lot of avoiding !

 

Kryptopyr: Thanks for the explanation. I have SU set up(but havent launched my game playing char yet) so the level = level spawns are out the window. Which is great because SU adjustments match my gaming philosophy.

 

SIC has a nice detailed explanation of how it works and it sounds similar to how you described. You mention the vanilla reset time settings being a simple game setting tweak. Under what hood would that info be do you think ?

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SIC uses both methods.

 

Also as far as I recall then the vanilla spawning system is made so that the enemies in general always are a few levels below you in terms of power, but they get progressively better and better gear. Also certain enemy types do not scale after a certain level... I think bandits stop at like level 15 or so.

Which is why you suddenly have every lowly bandit wearing glass and daedric and somehow they all robbed the great enchanted weapons store somewhere.

 

This is also why the game effectively stops being a challenge once you cross like level 25... Since then you have godlike enchants and the enemies just do not scale with you anymore...

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SIC uses both methods.

 

Also as far as I recall then the vanilla spawning system is made so that the enemies in general always are a few levels below you in terms of power, but they get progressively better and better gear. Also certain enemy types do not scale after a certain level... I think bandits stop at like level 15 or so.

Which is why you suddenly have every lowly bandit wearing glass and daedric and somehow they all robbed the great enchanted weapons store somewhere.

 

This is also why the game effectively stops being a challenge once you cross like level 25... Since then you have godlike enchants and the enemies just do not scale with you anymore...

After level 40 or so the game got way too easy. I had to up the difficulty to expert. It's still extremely easy since I have ridiculously enchanted daedric armor and weapons. 
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