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tjhm4

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About this mod

A zEdit patcher that lets you configure the levels of NPCs according to their type for a truly deleveled Skyrim

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Summary

The Enemy Releveler is a configurable zEdit patcher that lets you edit the levels of NPCs. By default it makes different enemy classes (e.g. bandits and draugr) more distinct, but it makes different ranks of the same class (e.g. draugr scourge and wight) more similar. This greatly amplifies the difficulty difference between different kinds of dungeons, while making the experience within each dungeon more consistent. Certain dungeons will now be off limits to low level characters, while mid and high level characters will find other dungeons easy. It is highly configurable and almost any outcome can be achieved.


What it does

Whenever you would encounter, for instance, a level 13 draugr scourge, you'll now encounter a level X draugr scourge, where you can adjust the value of X. The Releveler does not change which enemies appear so you'll get the same diversity of enemies as usual. So, where the Releveler raises enemy levels, the game will be harder. Where it lowers enemy levels, the game will be easier. By default, the Releveler squashes the levels of bandits and forsworn down making high ranking NPCs easier, but the levels of dwarven automata are pulled others up making them harder. Other enemies, like draugr, have their levels "compressed" without moving much, so low ranking draugr are significantly tougher but high ranking draugr are a bit easier than in vanilla. The end result is a natural progression across enemy types: low level characters fight wild animals, bandits and the forsworn; mid level characters can additionally manage warlocks, monsters and magical beasts; while only high level characters can hope to defeat dwarven automata, vampires and dragons. But all this is configurable, so the user can set things up to their hearts content.

For a full list of all affected NPCs and the default changes to their levels open the spoiler below:

Spoiler:  
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For a more detailed discussion of what this mod does open the spoiler below:

Spoiler:  
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How it works

NPCs in Skyrim are assigned to "factions". These determine how NPCs react to each other and the player. Most NPCs are in several factions, but there is almost always a faction unique to each kind of enemy. So there's a draugr faction, a bandit faction, even a slaughterfish faction, and so on. The Releveler goes through all* NPCs and checks their faction list, finds the diagnostic faction and adjusts their level accordingly.

A handful of enemies don't have a fixed level, but their level scales with the player. In these cases the Releveler adjusts their upper and lower limits but leaves their leveling intact.

*most NPCs inherit their level from various "template" NPCs so the Releveler only needs to edit these templates and not every single NPC record.


Configuration

Within the patcher, the file "enemy_rules.js" defines how NPC levels are changed according to their faction and contains full instructions for configuring the mod (it's very simple). By editing this file you can increase enemy level diversity, extinguish enemy level diversity, add 50 levels to all bandits, make high ranking draugr have a lower level than basic draugr, and so on. The only thing you can't do is give NPCs negative levels. It'll also warn you if you given an enemy a level over 100, but it won't stop you doing this.


Installation

1. Download the patcher
- Download it anywhere, not necessarily your Skyrim directory.

2. Install zEdit
- Download, and install zEdit.

3. Add the patcher to zEdit
- Open zEdit.
- In the top right is a button that looks like 3 little cubes, click it and it will show a list of currently installed patchers.
- Click to install a new patcher. Navigate to where you downloaded the patcher and select it.
- Restart zEdit.

4. Configure the patcher
- Inside your zEdit directory find and edit "enemy_rules.js". The file has full instructions.

5. Run the patcher
- Load your full load order.
- In the top right is a button that looks like a jigsaw puzzle, click it to see a list of installed patchers.
- Build the patch, it takes about 30s.
- Once the patcher is complete exit zEdit, saving the created esp.


Compatibility

Being a patcher this mod is compatible with everything, it will simply overwrite whatever your load order is. It will also automatically patch new NPCs added to vanilla factions by other mods. Where mods add entirely new factions the patcher will need to be told how to respond to that faction otherwise it will ignore those NPCs. If you know of any such factions please let me know and I will add them to the patcher.

This mod is fully compatible with encounter zones mods, in fact I suggest using an encounter zones mod in addition (see below).

Finally, note that although this patcher edits NPC levels it will not affect the enemies drawn from leveled lists because leveled lists make their selections independent of their NPCs levels. So you'll still encounter the same diversity of enemy ranks as before, just the individual NPCs will have different levels.


Future plans

I am open to suggestions. I am particularly interested to hear general feedback about how this changes gameplay.


Synergistic Mods

To see the Releveler's effects very clearly, use Display Enemy Level. Because this mod (by default) makes different ranks of the same kind of enemy more similar in terms of level, it pairs well with mods that give different enemy ranks different combat styles like Skyrim Revamped: Complete Enemy Overhaul. This mod is also fully compatible with traditional encounter zones mods and I suggest Skyrim Revamped: Loot and Encounter Zones which makes larger dungeons contain more high rank enemies and better loot. Finally, in vanilla, high level enemies can be very spongey due to vanilla giving them bonus HP per level, so I strongly suggest using the NPC Stat Rescaler to reduce NPC health growth in addition to several other stat adjustments.


My other mods

Know Your Enemy - A resistance and weakness overhaul for enemies and armors
Trainers Galore - An expansion of the training system designed for "training only" leveling
Challenging Spell Learning - Spell Tomes trigger a costly ritual you must pass to learn spells
Pick Your Poison - An alchemical handbook to support strategic foraging
NPC Stat Rescaler - A patcher that adjusts NPC stats for faster, fairer, and less spongy combat.
XP Editor - A patcher that adjust xp gain and leveling
Curse of the Firmament - A standing stones overhaul that emphasizes tough choices
Enemy Releveler - A patcher that adjusts NPC levels


Acknowledgements

Thanks to nightman0 for feedback and discussion on the idea for this mod. Thanks to the creators of xEdit and zEdit for these incredible tools. Thanks to Bethesda for Skyrim.