SME - Skyrim Medieval Economy by Sukeban
Skyrim » Gameplay Effects and Changes
Added: 09/05/2012 - 01:44AM
Updated: 26/05/2016 - 02:20AM

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Last updated at 2:20, 26 May 2016 Uploaded at 1:44, 9 May 2012


SME (Skyrim Medieval Economy) - Legendary Edition is out!

Huzzah and hello all!

This is a test version of SME, the successor mod to SkBBP. The description for SkBBP is below, so I will instead deal with what is new and changed in SME.

SME is similar to SkBBP in the sense that both mods deal primarily with the economy of Skyrim, and with itemization and balance. SkBBP went the “high road” with this—inflating the prices and rarity of high-level items to give a feeling of scarcity for the player when making equipment decisions. SME takes the opposite tack, drastically deflating the prices of items whilst at the same time draining away the amount of gold found in the world. Prices are therefore “realistic” in a medieval sense (10 gold coins suddenly becomes quite a bit of money) and gaining access to even meager amounts of gold becomes a major undertaking.

Beyond deflation, SME does the usual SkBBP “realistic vendor” thing, moving medium- and high-level items out of merchant chests and into the game world. Reflecting history, most vendor inventories will not contain much more than iron and steel grade weapon and armors, almost all unenchanted—for magic is considered to be quite rare and valuable in SME. Orcish is the highest tier of equipment that will appear with any regularity in merchant inventories, and only in the inventories of Orcish smiths, of course. Anything higher than that will likely not be found in regular inventories, instead becoming the domain of specialty peddlers and criminals.

To this effect, SME institutes a far more rigorous vendor specialization system than SkBBP, with EVERY VENDOR having a 100% new and custom-made Formlist from which they will buy and sell. Nordic blacksmiths will not buy anything above Steel grade, nor will they sell it; an apothecary specializing in healing potions will not touch a poison; law-abiding general merchants will no longer accept necromantic items like Warlock robes or “controlled substances” like moon sugar or skooma; and vegetable peddlers will no longer buy anything more than produce. This goes beyond vendor stocks that operated in a one-way fashion (selling), forcing the player to search out the appropriate type of merchant both when buying (as it was in SkBBP) and selling items. This results in a far more realistic, satisfying, and immersion-friendly economy.

SME also “unlocks” loads of vanilla assets that were otherwise unavailable in-game without the use of console commands. This includes items like clothing and robe styles, but also includes new clutter items, new alchemy ingredients, new potions, and other items available from the general merchants. It also fixes many of the keywords on items (foods and alchemy ingredients, primarily) allowing them to be properly bought and sold by their respective vendors. Many of these new items do not affect gameplay, but are created with an eye on roleplaying and immersion, with new outfits to customize a character with or with new clutter items to flesh out vendor inventories and/or decorate a player home.

Along these lines, SME also changes the names of MANY, MANY items—from outfits to potions to clutter items, to make them less generic and more roleplay-friendly. Tired of seeing “Basket” printed over and over again for each of the seven iterations in the game? The generic “basket” has now been transformed into “Narrow Wicker Basket,” “Tapered Wicker Basket,” “Stout Wicker Basket,” etc. reflecting its in-game mesh and texture. Clothing items are no longer generic like “Merchant Clothes” and “Farm Clothes,” instead becoming “Peddler’s Attire, Puce” and “Peddler’s Attire, Indigo,” “Burgher Garb, Heather,” and “Burgher Garb, Sage.” Furniture is no longer the generic “Cupboard,” but rather “Stately Wardrobe,” “Ornate Armoire,” “Stately Chest of Drawers,” “Ornate Bureau” etc., again reflecting the in-game mesh and texture styles. These changes are indeed small (though they required much thought), but I find that they add tremendously to immersion and help facilitate roleplaying.

Additionally, I have combined another mod I was making into SME, adding more than 100 all-new potions and poisons to the game, mostly extensions of vanilla conventions, but also adding some fun, new ones. Added are things like Elemental Poisons, Speed Potions/Poisons, Armor Rating Potions/Poisons, bottled diseases, Spell Absorption Potions, Morality Poisons, etc. They are not meant to be imbalanced nor to detract for actual magic use, but they are added due to the extremely lame and uninspired nature of potions/poisons in the vanilla game. This component makes alchemists worth going to, and also gives a wide enough breadth of potions so as to allow specialization in inventories, with the game’s apothecaries divided into Healers and Poisoners.

Beyond this, I have also (still ongoing process) changed many/most of the leveled lists for quest rewards, enemy equipment, container inventories, etc. Quest rewards are now entirely un-leveled and dole out WAY less gold—in keeping with the theme of the mod. Enemies and their corpses also have way less gold (if any at all) and equipment befitting their “station” in Skyrim. For example, bandits will only have up to Steel weaponry and Iron armor, and their chieftains scale only up to Orcish weapons and Steel armor. Their treasure chests contain primarily heavy armor, weapons, and “plunder”—gold ingots, gold, treasures, jewels, etc. No longer will bandits have ebony gear nor scrolls, soul gems, staves, robes, etc. as they have no use for these things. Mages, OTOH, will have these things—though they will not have any weapons and armor. Dwarven chests will have Dwarven items; Draugr chests will have Draugr items; Kitchen cupboards will have pots and pans, whereas bedstands will have books, rings, paper, quills, inkwells, etc. Noble furniture will have chances to spawn higher-level items (silver cookware, jewelry, gold) than middle class furniture, and middle class furniture will hold the same relationship with working class furniture.

Finally, I have an ongoing attempt to create “Conditional Merchants”—regular folks in the world who will only become vendors after you gain their trust or favor. I will be doing this for (ideally) most of the NPCs that have favor quests, and I will modify NPC inventories so that the items that they are willing to sell are both lore-friendly and worthwhile to buy. Ideally, I would like most NPCs to function as vendors of one sort or another, though likely their inventory will be a small set of items that will NOT respawn.

I am also working on making most normal business “Conditional”—that certain prerequisites must be met before they will agree to do business with you. For example, Radiant Raiment will only serve you if you are not wearing any armor or clothes tagged as “Poor” as they are respectable merchants whose clientele does not include beggars or warriors. Stormcloak and Imperial Quartermasters will only sell to you if you are in their respective faction—ditto with the town blacksmiths of Solitude and Windhelm. NPCs will not trade with you if they dislike you, meaning that if you assassinate the Wood Elf in Whiterun, his brother will no longer sell to you. Obviously, not all establishments lend themselves as well to Conditions as others, and they are not meant to be onerous to the player; rather, Conditions are meant to heighten immersion and roleplaying, making the world feel a bit more alive and responsive to the player’s actions.

So then, a recap of what is in SME:

1. Immense price deflation, raising the relative value of currency.
2. Realistic vendors selling only lore-friendly wares.
3. 100% new Formlists restricting what a vendor will buy and sell.
4. Loads of “unlocked” vanilla assets, adding new items to the game.
5. Comprehensive item re-name, eliminating boring and generic item names.
6. Loads of new Potions and Poisons available at apothecaries.
7. New, un-leveled lists for quest gold rewards
8. New, rational lists for enemy equipment and containers
9. New “Conditional Merchants” selling unique items when you gain their trust.
10. Conditional normal merchants emphasizing roleplaying and immersion.


If possible, I would prefer that beta testers begin a new character with SME installed. This is because I am ACUTELY interested as to how the first ~20 or so levels play out for a new character. I have gone through to level 10 a handful of times and have squashed the "economy busting" windfalls of gold or gear that I have received along the way. But I am only one person, and surely there must be more ways out there to "break the economy" by receiving a vanilla amount of gold.

Basically, play through as normal and report back when/where you got vanilla amounts of gold. If possible, I would caution against picking up this gold, as it will destroy the balance of the mod if you do.

Beyond that, I would be VERY interested to get your general thoughts and comments. Does the economy feel better organized to you? Does the world feel more believable? Do you feel more like a participant in the world rather than floating on above it? Is the game more/less fun to play in this style? What are your thoughts for improvement? Does anything feel lore-unfriendly or out of place? Would you revise any item prices or weights? Any suggestions for changing a particular NPC's inventory?

Anyway, a HUGE "Thank You!" in advance to beta testers! SME has the potential to blow the doors of SkBBP and I want to make it the best it can be. Your input is central to accomplishing this task.