Skyrim Special Edition
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tjhm4

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tjhm4

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About this mod

A zEdit patcher that gives the user near total control over NPC and player stats, including health, magicka, stamina, regeneration rates, carry weight and combat penalties.

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Summary

Stats in Skyrim are a little odd: NPCs suffer from severe stat bloat. As their level increases, their health pool grows extremely quickly, turning mid level enemies onward into damage sponges. In addition, many NPCs have ludicrously fast magicka regeneration, making it effectively impossible for them to run out. Even the playable races could be said to be a touch overpowered with 300 carry weight off the bat and troll-esque health regeneration. The NPC Stat Rescaler fixes this, but more importantly, it gives the user near total control over NPC and player stats, including health, magicka, stamina, regeneration rates, carry weight and combat penalties. Users can tweak it to their hearts desire, but the default config produces a fairer, faster and more balanced Skyrim.



Racial Health, Magicka and Stamina

All races start with baseline values for health, magicka and stamina. These are the stats the player or an NPC would have at level 1 assuming they had no specific offsets (see below for more on offsets). The patcher treats playable races (including children and vampires) and non-playable races differently. For the non-playable races (trolls, rabbits etc.) the NPC Stat rescaler allows you to change these with the following parameters:

  1. Racial health shift (default = 50)
  2. Racial health scale (0.5)
  3. Racial magicka shift (0)
  4. Racial magicka scale (1)
  5. Racial stamina shift (0)
  6. Racial stamina scale (1)

When the patcher runs it changes the values as follows:

new stat = old stat * scale + shift

Overall the vanilla values aren't too bad, but some races have a lot of health. As such, the default patcher behavior halves all racial health values (racial health scale = 0.5) but adds 50 health back on as otherwise low hp races (like wolves) end up very frail.

For the playable races (argonians, nords etc.), rather than use the above formula, players can set specific values for each of the races. This is done with parameters called "Racial Health, Orc", "Racial Magicka, Wood Elf" and so on. Carry weight is also exposed in this way so you can change the starting carry weights of the different races. Whatever values you choose these will will be the starting values should you choose to play as that race. The default patcher behavior is to set health, magicka and stamina to 100 for all playable races, and carry weight to 200 (vanilla's 300 is excessive if you ask me), but the user is free to customize them.

Racial starting stats of child and vampire races are a scaled version of the corresponding regular adult race. The scaling can be configured for each stat (e.g., Child Health Scale, Vampire Stamina Scale). By default children have lower health, magicka and carry weight than adults (but similar stamina), while vampires have more magicka and stamina than the uninfected (but similar health and carry weight).



Class Health, Magicka and Stamina Weights

All NPCs are assigned a class (even things like draugr and rabbits) that determines how their health, magicka and stamina change as they level up. Just like the player they get 10 "stat points" per level and can assign them to health, magicka or stamina and each class has weights for each stat that determine how many points go into that stat. In vanilla the classes tend to favor health, meaning that as enemies level up they get quite tanky, even for NPCs that should really be putting their stats elsewhere (like mages). The NPC Stat Rescaler lets the user shift class weights via three parameters:

  1. Class health scale (default = 1)
  2. Class magicka scale (1.5)
  3. Class stamina scale (1.5)

When the patcher runs it changes the values as follows:

new weight = old weight * scale

So by default, classes place a little more emphasis on magicka and stamina, and (as a consequence) a little less on health.



NPC Health, Magicka and Stamina Offsets

In addition to their racial baseline stats, and stat gains from leveling, many NPCs gain "bonus" stats called offsets. These offsets are widespread and can run into the thousands. The NPC Stat Rescaler allows you to adjust them with the following parameters:

  1. NPC health offset mult (default=0.2)
  2. NPC magicka offset mult (1)
  3. NPC stamina offset mult (1)

When the patcher runs, it changes the values as follows:

new offset = old offset * mult

So by default the patcher greatly reduces the health offset of NPCs, but leaves the magicka and stamina offsets intact. This is because the health offsets are often responsible for turning NPCs into total sponges, while the magicka and stamina offsets are typically more reasonable. As ever, users are free to change these however they wish.

Two notes:
1 - The patcher skips over some of the NPCs encountered in the Sheogorath quest as they high extremely high health offsets for quest purposes.
2 - The patcher sets the offsets of the player to 0.



NPC bonus health per level

Despite NPCs getting health from all of the above factors, in vanilla they get an extra 5 health per level. This is extensively responsible for turning high level NPCs into sponges. Its value can be changed by the parameter NPC bonus health per level, and the default is 0.



Racial Health, Magicka and Stamina Regeneration

That rate at which both the player and NPCs regenerate their stats is determined by their race. In vanilla very few races get any health regeneration, its limited to the playable races, trolls, dragons and some special "boss" type races. On the other hand, many non-playable races get obscene magicka regen rates (10% per second is not unusual). Player health regeneration I think makes the game a little dull and is why the player always ends up with a vast stock of potions. Meanwhile, fast enemy magicka regen means you can never cause an enemy mage to run dry. To fix this the regeneration rates can be adjusted by patcher. Magicka and stamina regeneration is easy, so let's start there:

  1. Racial magicka regen shift (default = 0)
  2. Racial magicka regen scale (0.3)
  3. Racial stamina regen shift (0)
  4. Racial stamina regen scale (1)

When the patcher runs it changes the regen rates as follows:

new rate = old rate * scale + shift

So, by default, the patcher significantly reduces magicka regen, while leaving stamina regen alone. By default playable races now regenerate just 1% of their magicka per second (down from 3%, though see next section for the player's magicka regen) and so if you can dodge their spells, mages will eventually be forced out of spell casting. Powerful magical enemies like dragon priests have their magicka regen reduced from 10% per sec to 3%, so they can be slowed, but even then they can fire off spells reasonably often.

Note for Vokrii users: The Vokrii perk "inner light" has an additive effect on your magicka regen and so the patcher will scale the effect of these perks according to the magicka regen scale parameter for consistency. Nonetheless, you can disable this using the "Scale additive magic regen buffs accordingly?" toggle in the patcher config.

Health regeneration is more complicated though. This is because if you set it to 0 to disable player health regeneration (a good idea) you break all items that fortify your heal rate (a bad idea) because these effects are multiplicative, not additive. This is common with food mods, where foods often give long lasting buffs to your heal rate. The solution is to give the playable races a hidden ability that reduces their effective heal rate, even though the base rate stays the same. This allows food to work, even though the player has no natural health regen (this is also the same strategy used by Bethesda for survival mode). As such heal rate has a shift and scale parameter, just like magicka and stamina, but these default to having no effect, while the hidden debuff to the playable races is controlled by the parameter "playable race health regen debuff". 0 = no hidden debuff, 1 (the default) = a hidden debuff that entirely disables health regen, 0.5 = a hidden debuff that halves natural health regen. By default, vampires are exempted from this debuff, but the config includes a checkbox to have them receive the debuff also.



Player Regen Combat Penalties

Unlike all other NPCs, the player's health, magicka and stamina regeneration is affected by whether or not they are in combat. Health regen goes from 0.7% to 0.5%, magicka from 3% to 1% and stamina from 5% to 1.7%. This is why the player can run out of magicka, but NPCs of the same race seem unable to - their magicka regen is 3 times higher! The NPC Stat Rescaler includes three parameters that allow you to change the values of these penalties

  1. Player health regen combat penalty (default = 1)
  2. Player magicka regen combat penalty (1)
  3. Player stamina regen combat penalty (1)

where:

regen in combat = base regen * penalty

The default behavior of the patcher then turns the combat penalties off by setting them all to 1, whereas in vanilla the values are 0.7, 0.33 and 0.35 for h/m/s respectively. This means the players stat regeneration is as fast in combat as it is outside of combat. But because the patcher also lowers the base rate of health and magicka regeneration (see above section) this means magicka regeneration in combat is the same as in vanilla, while health doesn't regenerate at all. Stamina does regenerate more quickly than in vanilla though, and if users wish to change this they can either reintroduce the penalty or lower the base rate.


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
- In the top right of zEdit is a button that looks like a jigsaw piece. Click it to bring up a list of your installed patchers.
- On the left is a list of which patchers have config options. Go through the parameters, adjusting them to your taste. The mod description above tells you what each of them does. 

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.


Future plans

I am open to user suggestions for other stats to tweak and so on. I am particularly interested to hear general impressions about how this changes gameplay.


Synergistic Mods

This mod is pretty much a standalone, but you'll see its effects very clearly if you use display enemy level which shows the numeric value of enemy health. I also built it in response to playing with a deleveled world as I found high level areas were totally off limits as there enemies therein were all damage sponges, with this mod high level areas are still noticeably harder than low level areas, but they're more accessible to a well prepared player. Finally, I suspect vanilla enemies get hugh stat buffs because they are relatively dumb and harmless, because this mod takes reduces their stat advantages you might want to pair it with another mod that buffs their AI and offensive capabilities. I favor SRCEO and Know Your Enemy.


My other mods

The player, enemies and combat
Know Your Enemy
 - A resistance and weakness overhaul for enemies and armors.
NPC Stat Rescaler - A patcher that adjusts player and NPC stats for faster, fairer, and less spongy combat.
Enemy Releveler - A patcher that adjusts NPC levels to truly delevel the world.
Curse of the Firmament - A standing stones overhaul that emphasizes tough choices.
Legacy - A race overhaul that bring strengths and weaknesses to each race.

Skills and leveling
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.
XP Editor - A patcher that adjust xp gain and leveling.

Other
Pick Your Poison - An alchemical handbook to support strategic foraging.
Thoughtful Skyrim - A small, gameplay-focussed modlist that rewards preparation and planning.



Acknowledgements

Thanks to r/skyrimmods for feedback and discussion on an earlier version of this mod.