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About this mod

Tweaks game settings related to Block perks, to get rid of the somewhat bugged and limited vanilla bashing mechanics, and replace it with a scripted implementation allowing the player to bash manually. Also affects NPCs.

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Bashing Reworked



As you may know, the Block and Hand To hand skills have perks that allow an Expert or Master at them to counter-attack from a blocked hit in a bash-like maneuver. At Master skill level, this bash can even make the enemy drop his weapon to the ground. These are engine features whose chance to trigger are controlled by a pair of game settings, and as usual when I get involved, the engine presents some bugs in how this works that calls for some tweaks.
  • When performing such a bash, the animation state changes to "BlockAttack", and what's interesting is that technically the actor is no longer considered to be blocking. Since when to perform a bash is not actively controlled but instead has a chance to trigger, the result is that whenever it happens YOU LOSE YOUR COVER, with no say in the matter.
  • These BlockAttack animations have impact sounds defined in them, which will trigger even if you don't connect with anything. The shield one uses the metallic heavy armor impact sounds, and thus that's what you'll hear even when using light armor shields.
  • The way the disarming from the master block perk works is even weirder. You would think this only happens when your bash animation connects with the enemy, but the truth is that the chance to bash and the chance to disarm are rolled semi-independently. If a bash triggers, a disarm can only trigger if it connects. But a disarm can also trigger without there being a bash, and make the enemy drop his weapon no matter his distance to you. Which can result in archers dropping their bow just because you blocked one of their arrows!
  • And finally, while blocking in Hand to Hand mode does use your Block skill, these bashing and disarming perks are determined by your Hand to Hand skill instead, which you may agree on or not, but I didn't. Blocking in hand to hand also has an interesting quirk in that you can make your opponent recoil from a blocked hit even if you aren't facing him.
Many mods add the ability for the player to perform block bashes manually, adding interesting effects and tactics to melee combat. These mods generally go into full Combat Overhaul territory to make the entirety of melee more interesting. While those other mods probably are more suited to an interesting mod setup, in this mod I've mostly limited myself to replacing the bugged engine block bashing mechanics with a better working scripted alternative, both for the player and NPCs. Hopefully it suits your needs too, or you can adapt some the work done here to some other mod.

The game settings iPerkBlockStaggerChance and iPerkBlockDisarmChance are now set to -100, so the above described engine block bashing and disarming perks (should) no longer trigger. You can trigger a bash in one of two ways:
  • By default, when blocking, your normal attack is disabled, and pressing the attack control will instead perform a bash.
  • Or, you can configure a key that will perform the bash when pressed.

The bash uses the game's own animation group for it if you are in hand to hand or if you hold a shield, bow or torch. Otherwise, like when using a two handed weapon or OR's dual wielding, your bash will take the form of a kick. You can't bash while swimming, but you can bash when jumping if you're an apprentice of Acrobatics (useless skills FTW!). All bashes drain your stamina.

If your bash connects with a target, as per being at a short enough distance, then you'll have a chance to stagger them, or possibly make them recoil if the stagger fails, based on a few calculations. Your Strength and Block scores will be opposed to the target's Strength and Agility scores, all of them adjusted for Luck and Fatigue as well. Chance is also lowered if the target is blocking, and increased if the target is recoiling, attacking or power attacking.

You can set custom multipliers to the bash's base chance depending on the kind of bash: Shield, Bow, Torch, Fists and Kick. The weight of what you use to bash, and even its Burden enchantments if any, can also add to this chance: heavy shields can give a hefty bonus, while using your hands or a kick to bash will use the weight of your gauntlets or boots. In retrospective I didn't like this much (bashing with a glass shield MUCH less effective than with a daedric one?), but I kept it for legacy and options.

If you are sneaking and undetected by the target, your chance will be greatly increased by your Sneak critical multiplier, and you may even knock down your target. Bashing can also lower the durability of shields or bows used to bash. If your bash attempt is successful, it will net you advancement in your Block skill.

If using MenuQue, you'll also see an indicator of your block effectiveness (represented by a shield) and base bash chance (represented by a sword) when hovering over the Block skill in the stats menu, just like you can see the damage for the Hand to Hand skill. The number you see is orientative, in an actual bash the parameters relative to the NPC also affect the chance as explained above, but of course the higher the merrier.

Note that bashing is an hostile act, and subject to an assault bounty if you perform it on neutral NPCs. Bashing can optionally damage the opponent's fatigue, whether it succeeds or fails. The idea is that you'll still consume more of your own fatigue in the attempts than what you'll cause, but still, it can help you to quickly overpower weaker foes in melee combat. Bashing with a torch can set the target on fire, and can consume some time left on the torch. By default this works with all torches, but if you use my MigMaster mod, you'll find a custom ini file to define which torches are allowed to do this using the item identifier function, with a list named "TorchBash".

The expert and master Block perks are thus replaced in this system. An expert of Block consumes less fatigue in his bash attempts, while a master of Block can knock down the opponent if you time your bash right, performing it right after blocking a hit. No more disarming shenanigans, plus both blocking with shield and blocking in hand to hand will draw these perks from the Block skill instead of being separated. If the roll to knock down from a master or sneak attack bash fails, you'll also roll to stagger.

NPCs work in a simpler manner. They have a chance to perform a bash after blocking a hit based on their Block skill, and it will always stagger their target if it connects. If they are master level, this bash also has a chance to knock their target down. They can also set fire to their target when bashing with a torch. Bashing doesn't consume the NPC's stamina or his items' durability.

The result of making actors play the BlockAttack animation group instead of letting the engine do it, is thus, that you will not stop blocking when performing a bash. If a hit connects with your shield arm while you were about to perform a bash, the bash will be interrupted but you'll still block the hit. Note that kicks are implemented as an idle animation, so you aren't blocking when performing one (and it makes sense, since they leave you open for attack).

Another IMPORTANT secondary feature added by this mod, is to optionally remove your ability to use the movement controls or use the mouse to look around while recoiling or staggered. A common exploit, for me at least, is to repeatedly tap the move back control in these situations, since while your character can't really break into a walk, it looks like the game does allow for a certain amount of movement for an instant right after tapping the control. So by repeatedly tapping it, you could actually get out of reach of your enemy's counter attack while you are staggered or recoiling.

The package includes animations to replace the standard shield and hand to hand bashing ones, that get rid of the impact sound you'd otherwise hear even when bashing thin air. They now use standard weapon or hand to hand swinging sounds. The scripts can play the impact sounds when appropriate, so that you'll hear the hand to hand impact sounds when bashing with your hands or a torch, the heavy armor ones when bashing with a heavy armor shield, and the light armor ones when bashing with a light armor shield or with a bow. An optional package includes replacements for the hand to hand bashing anims in Sinkpoint's animation replacer, but that's it. If you use another animation replacer, you'll have to tweak the animation files yourself or live with the impact sounds. The mod includes sound definitions for the impact sounds, but if you use REIDs, it can use the game's own sounds together with any tweaks other mods can do to them.

Included is an optional file changing the descriptions of the Block and Hand to Hand skills and perks to reflect the changes done in this mod.

To install, place 'MigBashing.esp' and the rest of the files in your data folder, and get rid of them to uninstall. Almost all of what's explained above can be customized under 'Data/Ini/Migbashing.ini', which includes explanations of how the formulas work.