Oblivion

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Mercer Meka

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Mercer Meka

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About this mod

This mod rebalances the ingredient effects of ingredients from Oblivion, Shivering Isles and COBL.
Bundled with the mod are patches for OOO, MMM, Creature Diversity, Maskar's Oblivion Overhaul, WAC, Midas Magic and Qarls Harvest Addon.

Requirements
Permissions and credits
Mercer's Ingredient Effect Overhaul:





Requires: 

Shivering Isles
COBL : https://www.nexusmods.com/oblivion/mods/21104  (You only really need the textures, meshes and the cobl main.esm )
    Alternate site for COBL : http://www.theassimilationlab.com/forums/files/file/951-cobl/ 

* Make sure you get the small bugfix update for v 2.0 (missing urn).


Description:

This mod re-balances the ingredient effects of all ingredients from Oblivion, Shivering Isles and COBL.
The main purpose of this mod is to re-balance alchemy by improving the ability to make more complex potions and poisons, by reducing exploits and have there be direct relationship between the rarity of an ingredient and the strength/usefulness of the effects in that ingredient.



The story behind the mod:

The mod began many years ago after I had stumbled upon the mod Pestilent Afflictions. Pestilent Afflictions (which I highly recommend) makes diseases worse in a very interesting way and I saw the need for improving the diseases feature of Oblivion. However, I quickly realized that the mod was practically irrelevant since all I had to do to avoid even the worst of diseases was to take a bite out of the fairly common mandrake root since it has Cure Disease as 1st effect.
To amend this folly I removed the Cure Disease effect from mandrake root and from a few other ingredients. It helped a lot and I was happy for a while getting riddled with diseases that required a bit more to cure.
After a while I returned to the CS to edit a few more things that I felt was an exploit or for other reasons needed changing.
For instance, I always felt it was too easy to create poisons by using Sacred Lotus Seeds which is abundant in several places.
It was also too easy to create Restore Health potions since Fly Amanita Cap has this effect and the Imperial City is full of them.
Precisely because it was too easy to very quickly create a lot of potions and poisons, it began feeling like a chore to do it and I decided to change this.
I began reducing the strength of the ingredients that I felt was too abundant and also began testing effects that were normally only used in spells, but never seen in ingredients.
After much testing of all the magical effects and many revisions I have ended up with this mod. I never thought to release this mod to the public when I first began with my small fixes many years ago, as from the very beginning it was built completely on my own preferences. But over the years it has grown from just a few fixes into a comprehensive overhaul and I realized it would be silly not to release it even if it doesn't cater to everyone's taste.
It is still undergoing development but I believe I have finally found the core group of effects I want to use thus I named this version 1.0.



Overall schemes and changes:


Effect distribution compared to the vanilla game:
In the vanilla game the way the Fortify Attribute effects are assigned to ingredients is in an odd and irregular way. For example:
Fortify Speed exists in 2 ingredients while the Fortify Strength effect exists in 6 ingredients. Furthermore only 1 effect of each Fortify Attribute exists as 1st and 2nd effect which means you are required to be a Journeyman alchemist before you can start making Fortify Attribute potions.
There are similar uneven effect distributions for Restore Attribute, Resist Fire/Frost/Shock & Fire Shield/Frost Shield/Shock Shield.
With my mod all effects are balanced out so there is the same amount of effects within each group of effects.


Effect rarity compared to the vanilla game:

With this mod common ingredients such as Monkshood Root Pulp, from the Monkshood plant of which there are 4631, will have 4 effects that are all weak. While rare ingredients like the very rare Elf Cup Cap of which their are only 110, will have 4 strong/rare effects.
These are just 2 examples that reflects the overall changes I've made to ingredients and this is a wide-ranging change from the vanilla game.
For instance, the extremely rare Emetic Russula Cap (12 mushrooms exists) has the following effects from 1st through 4th effect in the vanilla game:
Restore Agility, Shield, Damage Personality, Damage Endurance.
While the very common Green Stain Cup Cap (4292 plants exists) has the following effects from 1st through 4th:
Restore Fatigue, Damage Speed, Reflect Damage, Damage Health.
It seems to me that for such a rare mushroom you would had hoped for a bit more alchemical punch when finally coming across one of these on your travels. It is just as strange to me to find one of the strongest effects (Reflect Damage) in connection with on one of the most common ingredients in the game.
I have consequently re-balanced all ingredients to gradually have stronger or rare effects as they get rarer.


From Novice to Expert...
Furthermore, the 1st effect for all common and some uncommon ingredients is now weak (e.g. Burden, Resist Poison & Damage Magicka).
I did this because I don't want the free power provided by the Alchemy skill unless I actually pick the skill as a Major Skill. Despite loving the Alchemy feature of Oblivion I sometimes play characters who don't touch alchemy and this change makes a huge difference as I won't be tempted to make potions since they are all weak anyway.
The 1st effect for some uncommon and all rare ingredients does not follow this rule since they are not in abundance and therefore cannot be abused anyway. These ingredients have 1st effects that are medium to strong/rare.

From the 2nd effect the commonly used effects appears (e.g. Restore Health, Restore Magicka & Damage Health). This doesn't apply to the common ingredients.

The 3rd and 4th effect are fairly similar and here the strongest of effects appear (e.g. Reflect Damage, Reflect Spell, Resist Magic). This doesn't apply to the common ingredients.


Alembic usage (and my own thoughts):
In vanilla Oblivion the ingredients often have both poisonous and nonpoisonous effects in them. It seems very random how they have been mixed together and I think it has to do with the alembic which reduces negative effects in potions. I think Bethesda simply decided to have the ingredients very "mixed" in this way so the alembic could be put to use. This leads to many ingredients being inefficient in the sense that many effects mostly just clutter up the ingredients.
My method of adjusting the effects to the ingredients is more efficient since the uncommon and rare ingredients always yield worthwhile effects. This is also the reason why you can make more complex potions and poisons with this mod.
However with my mod the primary usage of the alembic is reduced since most ingredients are heavily pushed towards either poisonous or nonpoisonous. Recall though that the alembic has a secondary usage: Increasing the strength of poisons. Source.


Making more complex potions and poisons:
Since more effects are grouped together in some of the more rare ingredients it is possible to create very complex potions and poison not possible with vanilla ingredients. Check the image section for examples.


Food ingredients:
Since I've been an avid user over the years of hunger mods (mods that require the Player Character to occasionally eat,) I've changed nearly all food ingredients to now have weak effects (and reduced prices). This change means I do not feel I need to save them for alchemy use, I can just eat all the foods I come across without worry.
A second reason for this change is that I do not feel that common vegetables and such should be involved with strong magical potions. It seems more appropriate to use rare flowers, stinky mushrooms and gnarly old roots for that type of magic.


Alchemy shops:
The availability of the lore ingredients from Cobl in this mod, parallels that of Cobl's approach. Quote from Cobl's web site:
Ingredients are added to specific shops, rather than to standard leveled lists. Generally, you'll find Morrowind ingredients in Cheydinhal, Solstheim ingredients and foods in Bruma, Daggerfall ingredients in Chorrol and Anvil. In addition, Sinderion and All Things Alchemical have stocks in Skingrad. Also in the Imperial City, a few of the eating establishments stock Daggerfall or Morrowind food, and The Main Ingredient has a good collection. For non-ingredient items (metals and ores) a few blacksmiths stock several items.

I really like how this reflect the different regions trade impact on Cyrodiil, however I've changed course concerning Cobl's amount and rarity of the ingredients.
With Cobl you get stacks of 10 & 20 and such for each ingredient and they are all equally rare. But I like a bit of variety, so now ingredients will appear in numbers varying for the most common ingredients from 0 to around 20 and for the most rare ingredients from 0 to around 3. I have tried to make each visit to an alchemy shop (including the same one) enticing by randomizing what it has to offer for every respawn.
Cobl contains moldy and spoiled ingredients but doesn't add them to the game world. I've added them to lower class leveled lists.
A word of warning for the Alchemy enthusiast; The Main Ingredient in the Imperial City boasts by far the largest selection of ingredients you will ever find and you might just pass out over shear glee (or brain overload) when you drop by for a look-see.

Almost all of the Morrowind ingredients have no flora that you can find and pick the ingredients from, so most of the time you'll only see the ingredient in the inventory. This is unfortunate since the ingredients looks very good in my opinion.
To remedy this every alchemy shop has a few ingredients on display. Check the image section for examples of this.



A few words on the alchemical effects added by this mod which explains why I included them:

Weakness to Poison increase the Magnitude of all subsequent poisons used. Try using a Weakness to Poison poison and follow up with some Damage Fatigue poisons and you will soon watch your enemy grovel at your feet.
Poisons with effects such as Silence and Paralyze have their Duration extended instead of Magnitude, since they have no Magnitude.

Have your mage deliver a poison soaked dagger thrust with a Weakness to Magic/Fire/Frost/Shock poison and follow up with a barrage of spells for increased damage.

Fortify Blade, Fortify Blunt, Fortify Marksman potions gives only a small bonus at low Alchemy skill but at high skill they provide strong damage amplification and you might even want to use an uncapper mod to get bonuses when passing 100 in skill.

Fortify Heavy Armor & Fortify Light Armor potions not only provide higher Armor Rating but also increase your Spell Effectiveness. Handy for a Spellsword or Battlemage.

Fortify Athletics, Fortify Acrobatics & Fortify Sneak potions all helps getting around.

Drain Blade & Drain Blunt poisons weakens weapon wielding foes but the effects are not terribly strong, although in a long fight against a tough Ringleader it might make all the difference. To compensate for the lesser strength of this effect, ingredients with these effects always has other poison effects as well.

Is a Will-o-the-Wisp blocking your path? Use a Spell Absorption and/or Resist Magic potion and face that magical menace.

The above mentioned effects are the effect additions that I have found to be most usable as potions and poisons. All other effects are either too weak to have any real impact or they are buggy.

Although overall my balance changes removes what I see as exploits and therefore makes Alchemy harder, this mod still allows for the making of even stronger and more varied potions and poisons then in the vanilla game as long as you can collect the rare ingredients required.



Changes only indirectly linked to Alchemy:

The price of the ingredients created by grinding gems in the Cobl Grinders is equal to the flawed version of each specific gem in the game. So to keep the price balance between the gems and the ingredients, I had to edit the prices for every normal and flawless gem also.




Installation & Load Order:

This mod comes with a required core esp file and a number of patches:
I might create other patches in the future as I add new mods to my load order, if they add a lot of ingredients.

MercerIngredientsCore -> Contains all the ingredient changes and adds the ingredients to the alchemy shops. Use 'Stats' and 'Invent' Bash tag if using Wrye Bash.

MercerIngredientsOOO -> Rebalances most ingredients from OOO and the gem prices to keep the same price as the core mod. Use 'Stats' Bash tag if using Wrye Bash.

MercerIngredientsMMM -> Rebalances most ingredients from MMM. Use 'Stats' Bash tag if using Wrye Bash.

MercerIngredientsBC -> Rebalances ingredients from Better Cities. Use 'Stats' Bash tag if using Wrye Bash. (Only needed for BC prior to 5.5.0)

MercerIngredientsMaskarsOO -> Rebalances the unique ingredients from MOO. Does not use Bash tags since MOO loads after the Bashed Patch and my patch loads after MOO.


Enable the chosen esp's in your favorite Oblivion launcher.

Load Order:

MercerIngredientsCore loads after Cobl Glue.esp
MercerIngredientsMerged loads after Cobl Glue.esp
MercerIngredientsOOO loads after Oscuro's_Oblivion_Overhaul.esp
MercerIngredientsMMM loads after all your other MMM esp's
MercerIngredientsBC loads anywhere in your load order
The Creature Diversity replacer patch loads anywhere in your load order (its recognized by BOSS)
MercerIngredientsMaskarsOO loads after Maskar's Oblivion Overhaul.sep (which loads after the Bashed Patch).
MercerIngredientsWAC loads anywhere in your load order.
MercerIngredientsQarlsHarvestAddon load after Qarls Harvest Addon
Notice that Qarls Harvest Addon requires Qarls Harvest.
Qarls mods: https://www.nexusmods.com/oblivion/mods/8113 & https://www.nexusmods.com/oblivion/mods/8285



Note that when adding MercerIngredientsCore (or MercerIngredientsMerged) to an existing game, the alchemy shops won't sell the lore ingredients until you have waited for the shops to respawn their inventory. Just wait 3 days and all alchemy shops will start selling the lore ingredients.

Release thread at the Bethsoft forums for an extra chart, easier reading & the version history: 
http://forums.bethsoft.com/topic/1466403-relz-mercers-ingredient-effect-overhaul/


Mods which goes well with the mod (aesthetically):
I found that the ingredients looks more interesting if using custom spell icons. I use the icons from Spell Icon Replace 1 Final which are also part of the legacy version of Supreme Magicka Update (v 0.90b).


Credits:

- Bethesda for the game and the CS.
- Team Cobl.
- mhahn123 and sinHHHans for the 15 new ingredients/florae added in v 1.51 that I never could have made my self.
- Kaizit for the 47 new meshes and textures which updates the COBL ingredients
- morerunes for the meshes and textures used for my Mammoth Bone Marrow, Minotaur tongue, Gargoyle Ear, Giant's Eye.
- jbvw for the 3 potions.
- All the modders and contributors at the official Elder Scroll Forums who in my opinion makes Oblivion the best game in the world.

Enjoy!