Last updated at 22:45, 11 Feb 2014 Uploaded at 23:33, 9 Feb 2014
Idle Stagger and Recoil
Staggering, the bane of Oblivion players, is caused by a melee hit or arrow strong enough to make the actor flinch, becoming defenseless for a few precious seconds until he regains his composture. Among the ways to prevent this nuisance is investing more into Agility to reduce the chance of staggering, or... simply having no weapon out.
A rough explanation: the way the animation selector works, is that it needs an animation suitably named for the actor's current animgroup in its skeleton folder before it decides to play anything at all. In the case of staggering and human NPCs, you'll see there's an animation for staggering when holding a one handed weapon (onehandstagger.kf), a two handed weapon (twohandstagger.kf), a staff (staffstagger.kf), when holding no weapon (handtohandstagger.kf), and even when swimming (swimstagger.kf), but all these are named so that they can only play when the weapon is out, or at least if the actor is swimming.
So what happens when there's no weapon out and the actor is in a regular idle, is that no stagger animation can play. Only an animation named stagger.kf can be played in this circumstance, which would also be the default one that the animation selector would choose if there's no specialized stagger file. But there's no such file in the NPCs' skeleton folder.
For creatures, this varies, since some do have a plain stagger.kf file in their model folder while others only have a handtohandstagger.kf or such, which means those also can't play a stagger animation when not being readied for combat.
A similar thing happens with recoiling. It requires a recoil.kf file, which is also lacking where stagger.kf does. But this is less serious since under normal circumstances, recoiling only occurs when an actor's hit is blocked, it requires a drawn weapon per design. However, I've added plain recoil.kf files where needed so that the PlayGroup Recoil command can work on idle actors as well.
The meat of it
In this package I've provided three (four) things:
- Plain stagger.kf and/or recoil.kf files renamed from any handtohandstagger.kf and handtohandrecoil.kf found in creatures' model folders which lack such a file. This fixes vanilla and SI creatures, and any mod added creatures that use the same folder as those for their models.
- A pair of creatures had handtohandblock animation files, but due to what seems like an engine bug, creatures cannot block at all unless they also have plain blockidle.kf and blockhit.kf files. I've given these to the clannfear and Jyggalag, renamed from their handtohand ones. The xivilai suffers from the same problem, but because it only has twohandblock files, these don't look sensical when they wield no weapon, so unfortunately I can't fix it in the same way.
- For overhauls that add "new" creatures in custom folders, I've tried to provide a suitable stagger.kf and/or recoil.kf, going by: the folders included in the Deadlier Creatures mod (which I also recommend), and my own memory of which creatures used which animations. Which means I may have missed a few, or got something wrong. It would have been much better that the overhaul authors just use the regular folders so that animations need not be duplicated everywhere, but...
- stagger.kf and recoil.kf renamed from Meshes/Characters/_Male/Handtohandstagger.kf and handtohandrecoil.kf, which should give idle staggering and recoiling to all NPCs using a skeleton under this folder, and to the player when in third person view. Note that some pose or animation mods may change the player's skeleton to another folder for various purposes.
- stagger.kf and recoil.kf files renamed from Meshes/Characters/_1stPerson/Handtohandstagger.kfand handtohandrecoil.kf, which should give idle staggering and recoiling to the PC when in first person. Again, some mods might replace the first person animations entirely (Deadly Reflex, Unnecessary Violence), and the animation included here is not compatible with those.
The package is BAIN-ready, and with a wizard to boot! You can choose which components to install, in case you want to avoid compatibility problems with mods that change the PC or NPC animations as described above. I'll also provide compatibility instructions that might help.
The 00 Vanilla creatures folder contains a stagger.kf and recoil.kf file for the: clannfear, daedroth, horse, imp, dreugh, lich, ogre, rat (also swimstagger.kf), scamp, skeleton, slaughterfish and spriggan, plus plain blockidle.kf and blockhit.kf files for the clannfear.
The 01 SI creatures folder contains a stagger.kf and recoil.kf file for the: baliwog (also swimstagger.kf), flesh atronach, gatekeeper, gnarl, scalon, shambles and Jyggalag, plus plain blockidle.kf and blockhit.kf files for Jyggalag.
The 02 NPCs folder contains a stagger.kf and recoil.kf under Meshes/Characters/_Male. If your PC or NPCs use another folder for their skeleton, try looking under those folders for a handtohandstagger.kf file. If it exists, copy and paste it right there renaming it to stagger.kf. If not, simply copy the provided stagger.kf and recoil.kf files to those folders.
The 03 1st person folder contains a stagger.kf and recoil.kf under Meshes/Characters/_1stPerson. Don't install if you use another mod replacing the first person animations, like Deadly Reflex, Unnecessary Violence, 3rd person anims in 1st person view... Instead, check that folder first to see if there's a handtohandstagger.kf or handtohandrecoil.kf. If so, copy and paste it right there renaming it to stagger.kf and recoil.kf.
The various 04 folders include creature animations for Francesco's, MMM, OOO and Creature Diversity mods. See the above section to learn how that works. In general, if one of your mod added creatures is lacking a stagger.kf or recoil.kf, and you can tell whose animations it uses, you can copy the corresponding stagger.kf file to its model folder and fix it.
Drop the contents of the folders you want to use into Data, or do yourself a favour and install with BAIN. The wizard should be good enough. Hopefully.
Using these files, you'll find that actors (and you!) can now stagger even when not being readied for combat. Your sneak attack criticals may get a bonus in the form of some extra seconds of operation as the surprised enemy staggers. Enemy spellcasters with no staff readied will no longer be immune to staggering. Or you may find yourself staggering from enemy fire even if you never ready your weapons since you only rely on spellcasting. Plus, scripts using the PlayGroup Stagger command or similar can now cause staggering even when the actor is idle.
This mod was made with the BSA extractor utility from OBMM, by simply extracting the needed animations and renaming them.