Last updated at 2:39, 3 Mar 2014 Uploaded at 18:31, 4 Jan 2014
All modules work stand-alone.
Fix design problems, add depth. I generally tried to stay true to the vanilla balance and design aesthetic but there are a few key points in which my vision differs:
-Skills should matter like in previous TES titles (decreased 5 rank perks and added the bonus to the skills)
-Choices during a fight should matter (no more invincibility as long as you have health potions, drinking up to three potions now plays an animation)
-Optional depth doesn't make a game less accessible (core to my design)
-Consistent balance is important (no more crafting cycle, all skills, spells, perks are viable)
Table of Contents:
In the Vanilla game frost and shock had secondary effects yet their impact on enemies was meaningless. This resulted in fire being simply the superior choice by being the most efficient and the most damaging. Frost had a slow effect assigned that didn't work 90% of the time due to how the engine checks the Speed value.
-reliable slow that no longer stacks
-lowest damage, least cost
-halts Stamina regeneration for a few seconds
-pronounced damage over time portion
-medium damage, medium cost
-highest damage, highest cost
-halts magicka regeneration for a few seconds
-hits instantly (vanilla)
I had to rebalance all Destruction spells. Every spell now has a purpose with most later spells having unique effects per element. For instance: Fire Rune still does 50 damage like in vanilla but Shock Rune silences for 3 seconds while Frost Rune does 25 damage but has a strong slow.
Specialization is a good thing but not when it results in making combat less interesting by limiting the player's options. All the Augmented [Element] perks were merged into Convergence (0/4) which increases damage by 20% per rank. This also means that damage scaling will be more natural and long-term.
Destruction Dual Casting and Impact were removed and turned into element-specific dual casting perks. Destruction Dual Casting WAS A TRAP! because it actually is disadvantageous until you gain Impact. With Impact however all the challenge in combat was lost and it became solely about magicka reserves.
Intense Flames and Deep Freeze had very limited use because they only worked once the enemy was almost dead with humanoids they only had a 10% range of health where they did anything. Disintegrate on the other hand was potent but boring. All those perks are now chance based and have a bigger health range.
The problem with the vanilla tree was that:
-people who pushed the skill later on had to grind a lot to gain any rewards
-your enchantment power was always about to increase which made enchanting before 100 often feel like a waste
-it was either getting all perks or none which punished experimentation
-the whole weapon enchantment line was pointless after Fire Enchanter
-no interesting choices
Perks are now split up into the different item slots (see image), once you've gained a perk you will gain +100% enchantment power for the respective item. Meaning by spending a perk you get the whole benefit at once but only for one type of item so you'll always know that once you've acquired the related perk you can go ahead and enchant the item. This also has the benefit that Enchanting doesn't immediately make all other magic items pointless and gives a more meaningful progression.
I also made a few balancing adjustments on which items specific enchantments can be applied to. Mainly, Smithing and Alchemy are now in line with Speech in that they can only be enchanted on necklaces. This is to prevent Enchanting from double dipping into those two skills to a ridiculous degree. If you want to create an equip set to buff those skills you still can but will have to find/buy the rest of the set.
All ward spells now have unique and useful effects. NPC's wards were left unchanged.
Ward (Novice Spell): Negates all spell damage or effects for 2 seconds but takes time to prepare.
Charge the spell and time the release.
Sanctuary (Adept Concentrated Spell): Negates all spell damage or effects.
No more breaking or charge time, use the ward only shortly to block off a spell for maximum efficiency.
Reflect (Expert Spell): Reflects all spells to the aimed location for 3 seconds but takes time to prepare.
In the vanilla game there was no point to dual casting restoration spells. Healing spells just became incredibly inefficient, Turn Undead spells only had their duration increased instead of their level requirement.
Healing Spells: +45% heal over 8 seconds (+40% over 4 seconds for concentrated spells)
Turn Undead: Increases the level requirement (just like the Illusion spells)
Wards: Doubled duration
Sun Fire/ Vampire's Bane (Dawnguard): Vampires that are low on health are instantly turned to ashes
Once I started using Healing spells I almost completely stopped taking health potions. Healing spell costs roughly by 15% increased (slightly differs per spell). The perk Regeneration now increases heals by 25% (down from 50%) to be balanced with the potion changes.
Having to constantly recast the mage armor spells got old pretty quick. To remedy this I've added 20s to the duration of every increasing spell rank making Ebonyflesh last 120s (from 60s) so that you progressively earn the convenience. I also gave each of these spells a unique visual effect.
The Mage Armor perk was great until you got Dragonhide and all your perk investments became useless. Mage Armor Rank 3 now also doubles Dragonhide's duration when not wearing armor.
Magelight can now maintain two lights. Transmute Ore transmutes all ores but costs more magicka and appears in the alteration leveled list.
I reorganized the entire perk tree (see image).
The biggest change is that drinking up to three potions will trigger an animation. In the vanilla game if you had enough health potions which isn't difficult to do you were essentially invincible outside of 1-hit kills. This changes that and creates a new tactical element to challenging fights. Search cover, summon a minion or jump down the stairs to safely potion up. Risk/reward - the thing that good game design is made of. This also makes stronger potions vital instead of being merely a minor weight gain. I've made sure to fine-tune the animation to be not too long and made it so that you automatically quickly unsheathe your weapon afterwards.
=Changed Potion Effects=
Potions for Enchanting, Smithing and Barter have new effects because they used to basically act as constant buffs to those skills because why would you not use any of the potions before you did any meaningful crafting or trading (Fortify Persuasion potions can still be found/bought). It just created the need to do a lot of tedious micromanagement that I didn't feel aided the game and disrupted the balance. The new effects are: Night Eye: See in the dark. Foothold: Increase armor at the cost of speed, great for situations where you are trapped in a corner. Waterwalking: very useful to either travel faster or fight enemies from range. Detect Friend: Sense friendly nearby creatures, useful to determine the intentions of a person before attacking or finding your follower. ;) Cure Poison was also replaced with Potion of Respite which gives 3s invincibility which has many uses.
The best way to play in the vanilla game was to PAUSE -> APPLY POISON -> YES, PLEASE APPLY -> ATTACK-> PAUSE... you get the idea. Now all regular poisons do damage over 5s and the lingering poisons do more damage over 25s. There are some rare ingredients that allow you to craft instant poisons though. Ravage Attribute poisons were inconsistent I've made them how I think they were intended to be. They now act like Drain Health from Oblivion and stack. All other poisons of the same effect no longer stack with themselves. Meaning damage stamina and damage health stack but not damage health and damage health.
As it would be obsolete now Concentrated Poison was replaced with Quick Fix which allows you to drink up to 4 potions per animation.
To cut down on buff stacking I made resist magic potions no longer stack with resist fire/frost/shock potions but buffed them in return. The question is now do you want an all-in-one protection or the slightly stronger specific protection.
Some smaller changes to potion costs and strength.
I wanted food to be it's own thing instead of either a weak-sauce and immersion-breaking healing potion alternative or a source of game-breaking buffs.
Every 4 in-game hours you get hungry and gain a random appetite (vegetables, pastry, seafood, cheese, light meat, large meat) which can be found under your active effects. You can then eat food and gain a bonus. Cooked foods have higher bonuses if the food matches your appetite you get an even higher bonus. There are no penalties for not eating.
I rebalanced food prices to incentivize cooking and give a more unique feeling to a lot of rare/quest food items and changed some recipes to allow for more viable options where vanilla had a bunch of simply superior because easier recipes. I also added a few new ones that felt like they were missing. I included unique labeled textures for the bottles and added 3 now uniquely textured vanilla drinks to be bought at inns.
All alcoholic drinks now double food bonuses for 2 - 5 minutes. The duration is based on the rarity and price of the drink.
Requires Merged Thievery Skill(MTS) load my mod after it or simply BOSS.
This mod builds on MTS which combines Lockpicking and Pickpocket into one tree called Thievery which now levels through both picking locks and pockets. The Lockpicking tree is replaced by Unarmored Redesigned.
Pickpocket was very awkward to level and Lockpicking was simply utterly useless and imo not fixable without using artificial contrivances. Now merged only the best perks (see image) of both trees remain and new ones were added or altered to make the tree truly viable.
Traceless: Not receiving a bounty for a day will clear nonviolent crimes.
This power fixes pickpocketing by making failure no longer inevitable (or save scumming required). You can now pickpocket safely until being caught and then either pay the fine or flee and keep a low profile until your bounty is cleared.
Night Thief: During the night, pick locks without being noticed, gain a pickpocketing bonus of 15% and sense gold on civilians while sneaking.
I really like this perk because it incentivises natural thief behaviour, meaning stealing at night. While sneaking you will see a color-coded aura depending on the amount of gold on the civilian (see image).
Max Pickpocket Chance was raised to 95% up from 90%, a 1/10 chance to always fail? WTF?
Requires Merged Thievery Skill load my mod after it or simply BOSS.
Replaces Lockpicking. Inspired by Morrowind and an homage to the cut skills Acrobatics and Athletics. The skill gives you a chance to dodge all damage from physical attacks while unarmored. Dodging will level the skill. It is a complete new skill with 11 perks, skill books, trainers, enchantments and potions.
There are a lot of mods that tweak detection - I liked none of them. They either make backstabbing impossible or a complete reload feast. They all increase the time it takes when an enemy has noticed something. I slightly decreased the time as it's not about challenge at all. Either they see me or they don't having me wait longer makes it in no way more challenging. That said I greatly increased the time they keep searching when you've attacked them meaning the infamous stealth archery hit & run is no longer possible unless you are extremely well hidden. I stealthily completed the entire Thieves Guild quest using these settings on a mid lvl character and it was challenging but fair. This wasn't possible with other sneak mods I tried.
Deadly Aim now also does 4x damage when hitting an enemy in the back to make stealth archer gameplay more interesting. You are now rewarded for taking your time with a shot and observing patrol routines.
Sneak levels 10% slower.
I reorganized the entire perk tree (see image).
Slightly faster leveling, increased bribe cost to reward successful persuasion/intimidation checks.
By the time you could get the perk Intimidation you were already able to win EVERY single persuasion check in the game!
I like Allure it changes the way you think about trading, I added Courtesy which works similarly by improving prices with Nords but made sure that if you wanted to you could only go for raw no-brainer trading bonuses. Courtesy and Allure have great synergy with Merchant and Investor allowing you to sell more to traders with bonuses.
Every perk now increases tempering for all weapons and armor by 10% to make progression more gradual, lock you less into one material type at a time and reward going down both perk paths. Bonuses gained by the skill have been increased in turn so that taking the Heavy Armor path (6 perks) gives you the same benefits as vanilla at skill 100.
In order to craft anything outside of Dragon smithing, DLC armors and lower level materials (Leather, Iron etc) everything requires alloys which can be obtained by smelting down an item made of the related material. What this means is you need to find at least one dwarven item for instance before you will be able to craft your dwarven set. This solves the problem of being able to get the best equipment in the game by never leaving town and in fact incentivizes you to explore and find good items. Because smithing is now balanced and a bit more elaborate with the alloy requirement I could make it less of a grind, it now levels 15% faster.
Combat Skills Redesigned:
Includes: Archery, One-Handed, Two-Handed, Light Armor, Heavy Armor, Block.
It goes to show where Bethesda put their focus when the warrior skills are the ones I have to change the least. This applies the general changes of reducing base perks and increasing skill strength (for the first time any skill needs to be increased for this to take effect). I also reduced some final perk requirements from 100 to 90 to improve progression and Marksman, One-Handed and Two-Handed level 5% slower.
Aside from Storm Enchanter and Frost Enchanter all existing perks will carry over. For Destruction and Thievery you will be given the option to respec after you installed the mods. Thievery and Unarmored require Merged Thievery Skill to be loaded before them or simply BOSS. For everything else just place it in the "Data" folder and check the esps in the launcher.
All perks except for Unarmored will carry back automatically. For Combat Skills Redesigned open the console and enter: "StopQuest CSR" without the quotes and save to revert the skill power and for Smithing Redesigned "Stop Quest SR". For Unarmored Redesigned "Stop Quest UR" to get all Unarmored perks back.
-Leveling Redesigned! Waiting for SKSE 1.7 to get a stable release.
-Armor Animation: Adds an animation to equipping armor/clothing, made by yours truly.
-Yield 2.0: Enemies will actually yield when they are the last survivor or everyone is in bleed out, made by yours truly.
-D13 Faster GET UP STAND UP animation: A great way to make knockdowns/paralysis less overpowered.
-iHud: Customize which HUD's are visible. Try playing without the stealth indicator, you might prefer it.
-Smart Training: Training is absolutely broken imo, this mod saves the number of times you can train across levels. I use it with "iTrainingNumAllowedPerLevel" set to 1 meaning one training per level (2 would also work).
-Summons Difficulty Adjustment: The higher the difficulty the more resiliant summons and followers are (engine limitation). This mod adjusts summon health for the higher difficulty settings.
-DavidSid's Improved Potion Animation for the basis of the potion animation script and manaflow's Potions Animated on which his script was based on.
-LukeH's Merged Thievery Skill for allowing me to base Thievery Redesigned on it and the template for the respec script.
-Sjogga's Reflection Ward and Reflecting Spellbreaker for providing the reflect ward script.
-Axhoff's Ale and Mead Labels for the unique labeled bottle textures.
-Gmania123's Daedric Ingots for the texture used for Daedric alloys.
-mitchalek's Convenient Horses for the script to speed up the unsheathing animation.
-cordsnwires' Cooking Expanded for the Slaughterfish Meat texture.
-UESP.net for being an awesome place to look up TES information.