Skyrim

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Mihail

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MihailMods

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About this mod

Model and texture replacer for the vanilla low quality Bone Hawks, in addition to general improvements in their implementation.

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Added by the Dawnguard expansion, Bone Hawks are undead birds, similar in appearance to a normal hawk, but with black feathers with eroded tips and an exposed skull. They are sometimes hunted, with their feathers, claws and skulls being used to create rings and amulets, and are often found flying around vampire strongholds. Though undead, they still manifest, like vampires, an appetite for blood, and especially bloody bones. The few scholars who have managed to capture specimens for study have reported that, although generally apathetic when trapped in cages, they go into a frenzy when they smell blood, which perhaps explains their attraction to vampire hideouts, and what leads to some scholars to believe they are hawks infected with some form of vampirism. In Skyrim, they only appear around Volkihar Castle. With them, several items are added, being 3 items to be looted, and 2 craftable jewerly pieces. Bone Hawk Claw, Skull and Feathers are obtained from the corpses of these birds, and with them it is possible to craft Bone Hawk Amulets and Bone Hawk Rings.

Bone Hawks, like all the other Hawks, are the creatures that in the vanilla game have the lowest graphic quality. Their models look like if they came from a Super Mario game, from the 90's,  part of the animations is problematic and they don't have sounds. Part of this is even understandable, as they were probably initially thought of only as a part of the scenario that would hardly be seen up close, let alone interact with them, something that changed during the development of the game, but the models almost practically of LOD kind of quality were kept in the final release. 
Improving this proved to be complicated by the very way the Hawks and Bone Hawks are inserted in the game, and attempts to retexturize the vanilla models had little effect due to the models's very low quality and quantity of polygons. Regarding specifically the Bone Hawk, this mod solves all these and many other problems simply by (among other things) adding new models and new textures in place of the previous ones, to the Bone Hawk critter.


But, let's go by parts, so that users understand perfectly
what this mod does, and how the Bone Hawks work in the game:



How Bone Hawks are implemented in the vanilla game? - They are implemented as critters that fly in loop around Castle Volkihar, and are not read as creatures/actors, but rather as activators, essentially being collision animated objects that can be activated; 


Is it possible to interact with them? - Yes, because being activators, they differ from simple movable objects in that they can be activated by actions, be they chat, arrows, shouts, etc., in the specific case of Bone Hawks they have destruction data, that is, they can be destroyed, and have a script that notices that the activator has been destroyed, disables it and instead spams a container type static Bone Hawk, which can be looted, as if it were a creature, but that actually functions as a chest, with ragdoll collision. This " Bone Hawk-chest" will land on a spot close to the player, or on the ground below where the Bone Hawk itself was shot, with the position alternation occurring randomly;

Was this the initial plan? - No, because initially the regular Hawks (released prior to the Bone Hawks) were implemented as movable objects, that is, it was not possible to interact with them, therefore, it was impossible to attack them by dropping them from the sky and looting their bodies. This explains why the first ones to be placed in the game are still in this category, and therefore cannot be killed. In the course of development they changed their minds, but they didn't change the ones already placed in the world, only from then on they started putting the Hawks activators on the map, and no longer the movable objects. This explains what I said before, justifying the poor graphic quality of the Hawks by the simple fact that initially they were not intended to be ever seen up close, and would act similar to bats and other vanilla low quality bird critters. Since they made the Bone Hawks simply re-texturizing the common Hawk, and applying some Bone Hawk Feathers and Skull from the loot models to the Bone Hawk model, it remained in very low quality;

What about the absence of sounds? - Unlike the case of the regular Hawks, they actually made an ambient sound for the Bone Hawks to be played around Castle Volkihar, but it doesn't seem to work right. You will see later that this mod solves this as well;

Do they have nests like normal Hawks? - No, being undeads they neither reproduce nor rest, just tirelessly fly around dark areas like castles where vampires confabulate their evil plans.



Knowing this, what this mod does:


- Replaces Bone Hawk vanilla's low-quality lowpoly model with its 512x512 resolution textures,

with a new good quality model with textures and normal maps in 2k resolution. The model is
faithful to the original vanilla's Bone Hawk style, having similar coloration, size and shape; (check image above)

- The sounds that Dawnguard planned for the Bone Hawks but that were
implemented in a non-functional way, are now present and properly working;



- All the loot they drop, and all the jewerly that can be made from them, have
their textures now in 2k resolution, yet true to the original style and concept.
(check image above)




Known issues:

Due to a vanilla bug, in some games, each bone hawk can only be killed once. After respawning,
they become invincible. The problem is inexplicable, and unlike the case of normal Hawks where
I fixed a similar bug in my Hawk Replacer mod, in this case I wasn't able to understand and detect,
let alone solve, what causes it. Its not related to this mod, and happens with it or without it.




This mod is NOT compatible with ABSOLUTELY ANY mod that in any
way modifies
ANYTHING AT ALL in the Bone Hawks. If you want to use it
in combination with any of these mods, use it at your own risk.

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Attention:

I do not supervise or test translations made by other users for my mods, not even those linked 
on my mod pages. So, before using them, make sure they are in the same version as the current 
version of my mods, if not, do not install them or they will mess with my current official version.
The same applies to ports for XBOX, I do not do the ports or test them myself, 
so you should also make sure they are up to date with my official PC releases.

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- The last Skyrim Update
- DLC Hearthfire
- DLC Dawnguard
- DLC Dragonborn





Author: Mihail- models, textures, animations, sound fix, enlargement
and improvement of the Bone Hawk's loot and jewerly textures, game implementation

Some assets used on this mod belong too: Phiit and Tamira (Phiit's Sheogorad Resource Part One)-
i used the more complex Hawk animations made by Phiit and converted/ported to skyrim by Tamira in
order to give to my Hawk replacer neck and head animations besides the vanilla wing and body movement.
My Bone Hawk replacer, despite having differences in comparison to my Hawk replacer, still uses the same
root. 






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