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A configurable overhaul of the vanilla combat system.

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Requirements: OBSE


There are various big combat mods out there that come with completely new mechanics and a lot of minor tweak mods that improve it here and there, but I couldn't find any comprehensive mod that fixes up the vanilla system without turning it into something else entirely and also keeps it somewhat challenging long term. So I put together a comprehensive and configurable collection of tweaks that I found are able to fill this gap. In conjunction with a few other mods that are good enough that I didn't find it necessary to duplicate any of their function here it can be used as a medium sized overhaul of the vanilla combat system (if you are content with the still rather basic mechanics) or as an addition to other mods to tweak certain aspects of combat these mods possibly neglect. You can adjust all combat related game settings I found important as well as enable various other tweaks I found useful to remove annoyances or make combat a little more tactical. Sneak attacks can also be adjusted, daggers and shortswords may get a bonus to make them more effective assassination weapons.

With my default settings the mod works like this:

All weapon damage is doubled. The game is infamous for damage sponginess of both player and enemies so I don't think this needs any further explanation.
Hand to Hand damage is 50% higher, which also means it will do more fatigue damage as well. A master in hand to hand can knock enemies down with the forward power attack.
Power attacks are rebalanced, forward is now most powerful as it has the highest momentum.
Strength is more important for damage. In the vanilla formula it hardly mattered, now both components are important for your total damage. That also means fortifying strength is now worth something and uncapping attributs becomes a good way to still increase your damage at higher levels.(Uncapping skills does not make that much sense to me)
The chance to disarm your opponent via perk is higher and scales with skill level, but can be mitigated by blocking, especially with a shield. So loosing your weapon should be rare now if you play smart.

For creatures there is no universal damage setting and I didn't include one because it is already well handled by other mods. I use the power attack fix in the tweak collection of migck, which gives creatures extra damage on power attacks that they do not get in vanilla, so their damage becomes more appropriate to the visual style of the attack as well. You can double the defaults for the purpose of this mod. The creature damage fix is fine at default settings. The mod also comes with a feature to give elemental damage to hand to hand and other useful things all of which are optional, so it is really a good addition to my mod.
Maskars Oblivion Overhaul already doubles damage for everyone so at least the power attack fix is not necessary there, though the creature damage fix can still be used.

Blocking is more effective. You can now actually prevent damage when blocking with low skill level and almost all damage at high skill level if using a shield. Block amount with weapons depends on the weapon used, the bigger, the better. Blocking always takes some fatigue even after apprentice level, dependend on the damage of the attack.

To make fatigue matter a bit more the fatigue cost for swinging a weapon is higher in general, but power attacks cost less fatigue and are performed a bit faster. The impact of low fatigue on damage is higher.
Changes to fatigue regeneration are disabled by default. I didn't find them necessary to change, the AI has no fatigue management and other mods are sometimes adjusted to the default settings. Also there is a mod that handles this extensively already if you really want it.

Armor is slightly more effective, especially at lower skill levels so you get at least some protection early on. In vanilla especially light armor was rather useless until you were master and/or had the expert armorer perk, high level equipment and not using a shield was a severe penalty as well.
The expert/master perks for light and heavy armor are only about half as effective however to not negate the difference between the two armor types completely.
Your armor and weapons wear down much more slowy, no need to repair them after every fight. Once or twice per dungeon should be enough in most cases. Thus increasing your armorer level rates significantly is a good idea. For some reason the damage done to shields when blocking is not affected by this, so they will break very quickly. Thus getting a durable shield is a priority and the journeyman blocking perk is a godsend. But it also means you will sometimes be able to break your enemies shield before they die if they are not good at blocking.

Powered by some new animations, stagger and recoil are noticeably briefer in most cases, so you are less often open for attacks which is important as the increased damage could too easily mean your death otherwise. Damage affects the chance to be staggered (hardcoded), so you would be staggered half the time at higher levels without these animations, especially if you do not invest a lot in agility.

Successful power attacks now always interrupt the opponents attack and make them stagger if your force, defined by your strength and the type of weapon used, vs theirs is high enough. No more enemies hitting you full in the face after you just bashed theirs in. Creatures are not affected though.

There are some additional changes to creatures that make fighting them more interesting. I included the more dynamic attack animations done by Phitt, that make them able to attack while moving and creatures that are especially big and strong or fast will always stagger you with certain power attacks or even knock you down. This can be prevented or mitigated by blocking(again a shield is preferable) with high enough skill or being stronger than the creature.

NPCs were very wimpy compared to creatures in the vanilla game. In relation to a player of the same level there health was very low. Thus I decided to give them a little more. The "Newbie Bonus" (health penalty for low level NPCs) is removed as well. Being low level is penalty enough already.:D

NPCs also have their healing AI improved.

Run Speed was too fast as well. Player and NPCs were at a permanent sprint making combat easy against the rather sluggish creatures. I reduced it to a normal level. This fixes unrealistic jumping length as well.

Then I included a small fix that is only marginally related to combat but that annoyed me sometimes when I wanted to kill an enemy by throwing him down an Oblivion tower or something similarly deep. He landed, survived and came back at me. That's because fall damage is a flat value that is adjusted to low level characters. Acrobatics doesn't actually impact it, it just seems so because both your health and your skill increase as you play.
Fall damage is now a percentage of the actors health, so anybody can die from falling far enough and acrobatics impacts it properly.

For some additional challenge and a little more realism actions that take some time and a free hand to do like recharging and poisoning your weapon are by default no longer possible during combat.

Another issue was that when you approached a group of enemies often only the closest would take notice and you could easily pull them away from the others. Detection range is now expanded in combat to avoid that.

You can also control how player health increases, though changes to this are disabled by default. If you want the game to stay more challenging for a longer time reducing the amount of health you get per level up based on endurance might be a good idea. For playing in a more static world with uncapped attributs I even found it useful to increase endurance based health(which also means higher starting health) a bit but gain no health automatically on level up at all.


The second esp is a class overhaul which is mainly for the benefit of NPCs who suffered from similar issues as the player in the vanilla leveling system. I balanced their classes better to increase the games level of challenge in a fair way. This affects various vanilla classes as well as they are used by vampires, so you might find some of them more useful now for the player too.


Highly recommended to be used with this:
migcks miscancellous fixes - to bring creatures up to par with the improved combat system

Recommended ini settings for creature power attack fix: forward 0.99 side/back 0.3 stand 0.6 

Other useful additions:
Companion Compatibility: -makes enemies prefer to attack you instead of your companions/summons (or even their own)

Unidirectional attack - prevents enemies you already dodged to turn into your direction the last moment to hit you anyway

If you want to have good archery you can resort to Duke Patricks Combat Archery , which is fully compatible with this mod. I uploaded a patch to fix some bugs in it and make it more compatible with other mods as well. Recommended damage settings: 2-2.5 for bows, 1.5 for arrows.
If you don't use Combat Archery I recommend any kind of slower backwards running mod.

For magic there are various overhauls that work well with this, including my own mod, Balanced Magic .

Installation: Copy the content of the Core folder + the animations for the monster mods you are using into your data folder or use Wrye Bash and make your selection there.

Load Order: Doesn't matter much because almost everything is scripted, somewhere in the middle should be OK.

Compatibility: Should work well with all overhauls, with TIE you can keep damage at vanilla though as it already comes with its own system for that. You shouldn't use my mod with Duke Patricks Melee Combat (at least not without disabling a boatload of stuff), other combat overhauls that mainly just add new mechanics can work, but you might have to disable some things in my mod and some others might just become ineffective within the other mods mechanics. Some features will overlap with other mods that do the same, such as Maskars Oblivion Overhaul, so deactivate them in either mod.
All features from Phitts Phiting Phixes I found important are already included here.

For use with Maskars there are two otpions: either disable weapon and leveled creature damage in my mod to go with his settings or disable the same settings + the overall damage multiplier and go with mine + migcks mod as suggested. If you want to use a magic overhaul I recommend the latter, because magic can become overpowered when Maskars additionally doubles its damage.
Also both mods have settings for NPC health ,how many actors may fight the player, sneak attacks and fall damage that should be deactivated in either mod.

Phitt for the new creature animations
Souldemon for the Stagger and recoil animations
migck for his nice tweak collection
Keter Sephiroth for acrobatic getup animation