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Sakedo

So how's your game? Birth of a mod.

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So I have an itch and I'm creating a mod.

I believe, in an attempt to become popular and minimize the installation burden, most major overhauls try and do everything themselves. This lets them control exactly what's in the mod, but it neglects the excellent work of others -- specialists who've already spent countless hours trying to hone and perfect one specific segment of the game.

 

Case in point: Requiem. It does a lot of things really well, and for the most part it fits together seamlessly. The problem is that, as soon as you start adding things, it breaks down quickly. Worldspaces and Cells conflict. Levelled items don't bash together well without upsetting the balance, and certain parts of it are just lackluster (food?) or overly frustrating.

 

My solution is to build a mod that has STEP Core as a dependency, and then layers specific mods (much like the many existing Packs) on top of it.

 

Then, add a custom Patch and extra scripts where necessary to interweave them all together, possibly including some small bits of custom content. I will do a lot of hand editing of values and resolve all conflicts with the various mods.

 

The end result, hopefully, is something that's more easily expanded but likely already includes everything you might want in your experience. I don't really care how many people play it, because it's what I want to play.

 

Ultimately, I am after a lore friendly Skyrim experience that harkens back to the days of old. I want combat to feel fast paced and deadly. It should never involve just standing there clicking the mouse button until something dies. You should be afraid, and you should lose. Often.  It just makes the sweet taste of victory all that much sweeter.  You should be afraid of a man in cloth wielding an iron two handed sword, and you should probably take care of that guy aiming a high velocity pointy bit of steel at your head. Nothing should feel quaint or pointless.

 

With that in mind, I'm interested in what your opinion of the "best of the best" in each aspect of Skyrim. What mods do you install on top of STEP or Skyrim: LE? If you had to delete them all, what's that one piece of gameplay content that you would really miss?

 

Here's some thoughts, opinions, and my own experience:

Alternate Start - Live Another Life: I'll likely tweak and balance many of the starts for loot drops. They won't all be completely even, but they'll be a little bit closer. It's a great way of adjusting your starting difficulty while making your decision mostly irrelevant after a few levels.

Open Encounter Zones: Things won't just give up when you leave.

NPCs will use arrows: You'll be able to take cover and run them out of arrows, if you're very very careful.

Weapon damage scaling: Above and beyond whichever combat mod is selected. Similar to Requiem or SkyRe, but without the need for Reproccer

Most everything kryptopyr is involved with -- I think they're probably going to all end up in STEP anyhow. Complete Crafting Overhaul, Weapon and Armor Fixes, and Clothing and Clutter Fixes will be the base level that I'll balance the game around. Trade and Barter (activated) seems like a nice choice for the economy.

Tweaked Stamina, Health Regen, Magicka Regen, Carry weight - I'm already pretty happy with the values I've found for these. Health will regenerate as slow as molasses, but not be off entirely. You won't be able to carry much, but you'll be able to have backpacks and bags to expand it. And it won't go up as you level. Stamina and magicka regenerate about half what they do in vanilla, and the former has more things that deduct Stamina. Jumping will deduct stamina, but it won't be like Requiem where if you get stuck on geometry and have to jump again you won't have to just stand there for two minutes waiting to recover enough to start moving again.

Flatter levelling - Levels are important, but our growth will be incremental rather than exponential. 

Trap Tweaks - Traps shouldn't deal so little damage, and shouldn't be so poorly hidden.

All the DLC - I don't want to fuss with permutations of compatibility patches

Some extra content - Falskaar, Wyrmstooth, Civil War Overhaul, Cutting Room Floor, etc. Anything that's well made enough to pass as part of the original game.

A lot of mods from Skyrim Revisisted - Legendary Edition and STEP: Extended - I think right now I'm actually running all the mods in STEP, SR:LE, and most of STEP: Extended. Users or either should be able to install just a few mods to get to a usable state.

Immersive Patrols - Probably even Battles. With the new Mem Patch, it's perfectly stable and really makes the civil war come to life. You do end up with a lot of loot from the many dead bodies, and the game will have to be balanced around the idea that you'll have a pretty decent set of armor/weapons right from the start. I may add some scripts that looks at the faction of the armor you're wearing and has the various faction soldiers treat you accordingly (you probably don't want to walk around Windhelm in full Imperial regalia)

A major combat overhaul - Deadly Combat? DUEL: Hardcore? Ultimate Combat? What's your favorite and why?

Make food not worthless - Realistic Needs and Diseases - Or is Imp's More Complex needs better? Something else?

Perk Trees - I plan on slicing and dicing perk trees from many sources. Which are your favorites of each?

New Lore-Friendly Weapons/Armors - Trying to stay as lore-friendly as possible. Requiring a few lets me adjust the levelled lists by hand and balance the item stats.

Customized Loot tables - These will likely need some hand editing to be balanced right from the start.

Magic overhauls - Apocalypse seems great but it doesn't affect perks. How might we create a great experience?

 

If you've read this far, then what mods come to mind in your head and make you think "He should add X"?

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While I'm brainstorming here,

I'm considering a SkyProc patcher that would live on top of this mod and ensure that the game is a little different each time you play it. You'd want to run it once per character, and keep the resulting esp in a Profile in Mod Organizer (or manage it somehow) so that unique items in your game won't get moved into chests you've already opened, etc.

 

It could adjust levels of encounter zones, locations of items, difficulty of various chests, and maybe shuffle perks to some degree -- but it'd need some intelligence to give armor/weapon things to NPCs that use them, etc.


Other things I'm after:

Partners. Have a similar vision, and want to help out? I'd love to hear from you.

Playtesters. Want to give it a whirl? I'll probably set up a repo for my patch and script work. Maybe I'll set up an auto-build system that posts compiled snapshots somewhere for people without source control software handy.

Art Help/People with their feet on the ground. I'll likely set this all up as a Pack on the wiki eventually once I've stopped making radical changes in which mods I'm including, possibly one that requires some other STEP packs as pre-requisites, but it'll be on NexusMods as well with some detailed instructions to follow the STEP guide, along with the Assets to install after STEP. I'll need some help on the visual end of things. Logos, layout help, and possibly some help in technical writing. I have a programmer brain and am firmly in the camp of seeing the forest but not always the trees; as such, somebody with a keen attention on those trees would be a great asset or some artistic talent would be a great help.

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Perk Tree:

SkyRe author is apparently working on a PERK only mod called Perkus Maximus which hopefully will be the reference in terms of perk in the future. During this time I think the best candidate would probably be SPERG in combination of specialized perk mods like Enchanting Awakened, Path of Shadows, Stealth Skills Rebalanced to name a few.

 

Health Regen, Carry Weight, etc:

I really like the playable race balance of Requiem. No health regen and low starting stats.

 

Traps:

I stopped on Requiem again for these... However I did not profoundly search the nexus for all potential trap mod. I did find Deadlier Traps & Sickly Disease and after looking through the .esp I wouldn't recommend using it.

 

Magic:

The only magic mods I'm using and feel the need to be using is Forgotten Magic Redone.

 

Potions & Foods?

I haven't dig into potion yet but when I do i'll be checking both of them.

Phitts Alchemy and Food Overhaul

Alchemy and Food Balanced Overhaul (Based off Phitts)

 

Random Mods:

Populated Forts Towers Places

Bandit Squad and Town Militia Patrol only. It can create interesting random confrontation.

 

Populated Lands Roads Paths

Some of the new NPC (Mercenary, Bouty Hunter, etc) have fixed level and can be somewhat OP at low level. However the Adventurer level with the player and really make the world more alive.

 

Organized Bandits of Skyrim & Skyrim Immersive Creature

Simply a must :)

 

 

Hoperfully this give you some stuff to look at ;)

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Trap Tweaks:

Doesn't STEP already cover that?

 

Immersive Patrols:

The populated series of mods might be good to consider also.

 

New Lore-Friendly Weapons/Armors:

Might be better to ensure compatibility with existing sets such as Immersive Armors and Immersive Weapons.

 

Magic Overhauls:

Something like Apocalypse Magic (or even possibly Forgotten Magic Reborn) together with the balancing/scaling of a mod like Mighty Magick Skyrim (scaling part only), Balanced Magic or Empowered Magic

 

SkyProc:

Although I think SkyProc is a great tool with a lot of untapped potential (why oh why was SkyBash abandoned...) which I am also looking into using, I think that what you want to do is probably covered already, at least in part, by WTF - Random Encounter Zones by T3nd0. If it doesn't cover what you are envisioning, it could be a good source for inspiration.

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SPERG seems almost like an all or nothing system, because it seems like it'd be weird to have "free auto perk at skill level X" for only a subset of the skills. I've never tried it myself, but it was my first instinct to use as a one stop perk overhaul based off of the positive feedback that I've heard from people. I worry about the comments I hear about it making you too powerful, although perhaps the hardcore edition is what's called for.

 

Right now I'm kicking around a version using

Enchanting: Enchanting Awakened

Alchemy: Path of Shadows

Smithing: Smithing Perks Overhaul

Stealth: Stealth Perks Overhaul

Armors, Weapons: ACE

 

I haven't played a pure magic character for any great length of time, at least since switching from SkyRe to Requiem... where you have the potential to be insanely powerful but, at the start, you're very soft and fleshy and you lack the magica to actually cast your spell more than once or twice :)

 

For SkyProc, I'm actually thinking that instead of hand altering all the records I could instead code up a rules system that arrives at the result dynamically. Not necessarily with randomness. By making a patch creator that iterates through, say, a user's encounter zones and toggles the correct flags, I'm able to offer the user a way to maintain computability with any set of mods they want to run. And it's a whole lot less tedious than dragging 150 flag records from one field to the next. Doing manual item placement this way would let me alter Cell and Worldspace records without overwriting the user's Imagespaces, and automatically tag weapons that have an ammo defined with "NPCs use ammo" rather than having to require specific mods and then doing all of that by hand.

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Although ACE looks nice, the changes that it makes to archery (splitting bows) will make it incompatible with any weapon mods that also include new bows.

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I just tested Duel: HC and Deadly Combat and I have to say Deadly Combat seems superior at fast-paced combat similar to Requiem.

 

I quickly tested using coc riverwood at adept difficulty.

 

First I tried Duel: HC and I stood there taking arrow and my health bar was barely moving. It was the same when engaging in melee... it was just a hack n slash spam for both me and the npc. Then I tried Deadly Combat and now the arrow and melee weapon did much more damage. What makes Deadly Combat even more amazing is that you can tweak the weapon damage and armor rating for both npc and player in-game. However there's still issue remaining since combat overhaul does not seem to affect magic damage and creature damage. The wolf were barely scratching my health.

 

Right now I'm guessing Deadly Combat would be best because it can have a huge impact if the setting are set right and you don't have to change every single weapon damage output hence increasing compatibility. I'm pretty sure however that it would have to be combined with tweaked creatures damage and a mod that increase magic damage like Empowered Magic.

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I tried Deadly Combat on its own, without any settings tweaks, and it still felt like it needed a little something. Scaling up the damage with some weapon Damage Multiplier settings made the combats satisfyingly lethal, but it'll still need some tweaking.

 

I've been playing with Req under the hood, trying to figure out what makes it tick and the technical side of how they've linked things together to accomplish certain things. I think I'll need to add an armor/projectile impact script somewhat similar to how Requiem nerfs arrows against heavy armor. But all requiem does is look for the keyword "Heavy Armor" and then lay the nerf hammer down on the damage. I'd like to compare the material of the arrowhead to the material type of the armor and then scale the damage based on how far apart the two are

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Last I read in one of the IA7 patch threads in Nexus (I think the ReProccer one, not 100% sure) they mentioned that in some of the armors in IA7 multiple materials are mentioned or materials that don't match the appearance are used.

How would you go around something like that in your script to also support this mod (without a patch) or any other armor mod that decides to do the same?

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I'm not entirely certain, and it may not even be a great idea to begin with. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense that a keyword tag item with the same stats works 50 times better at stopping an arrow than a magic spell that's supposedly just as effective but doesn't get any special script bonuses.

 

I'm tempted to give SPERG another try. After some thought, I think I can fix most of the issues I have with it with some game settings and ini tweaks. It has some great ideas, and I think it can be tuned to suit my needs.

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