Skyrim Special Edition

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SerpentAI

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SerpentAI

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About this mod

A collection of randomization modules for vanilla-ish Skyrim Anniversary Edition. Sprinkle in as little or as much as you want. Ideal for challenge runs or simply to make Skyrim less predictable for experienced players. == Containers - NPC Outfits - NPC Inventories - Merchant Stock - World Items - Fishing ==

Requirements
Permissions and credits
Changelogs
Development Status: Open Playtest
This mod has a stupidly large scope and does some funky things to the game. Bugs are expected. Report them!

Current roadmap item: Long playtest on 0.6.x in vanilla state with Completionist mod to cover everything. I'd like to improve the current modules as much as possible before adding new ones.

New with version 0.6.3: FOMOD installer

Disclaimers (AKA why this mod might not be for you!)
  • As is generally the case for randomizers for other games, vanilla-ish game data and state is expected. I do love heavily-modded Skyrim as much as everyone but this is something for a different kind of playthrough. I know the temptation to use other mods will be strong but please avoid doing so (UI and texture mods are fine, so are most pure SKSE mods). Things WILL break; more than just gaps in randomization. Developing this is painfully manual so give it the blank slate it deserves for the best results. Vanilla game data and state means vanilla; not even the unofficial patch is recommended as it changes too many things for the randomizer and can cause crashes.
  • Skyrim Anniversary Edition + Paid upgrade is required. I realize that this will make some people upset but developing something like this required spending hundreds of hours manually classifying and giving a rarity tier to absolutely every item in the game in the creation kit. Insanity. I have no desire to maintain the mod for 2 distinct states of game data and so I chose to develop it for the version of the game I own and play. Permission is 100% given to fork this to make it work with other states of game data.
  • There is no promise of "balance". This is made for fun. High effort was put in for character progression to still be satisfying and for the looting to feel similar to unleveled gameplay. There’s just no guarantee people will agree with the amount of loot, weighting between items types and what belongs in which rarity tier.


Overview
As a fan of the occasional randomizer run in other games, I have long waited for mods of the sort to show up for Skyrim. While the game is way too wide and the quests too scripted to have viable randomized logic, it’s still possible to randomize multiple smaller aspects to make it much less predictable and a different experience from one character to the next. We’ve all been playing the game for years; a lot of us know where everything is by heart by now. Surprises are fun.

There have been a few prior attempts at making randomizers but unfortunately none that really scratched the itch for me. The typical problem is that they take the random aspect too literally. Skyrim is a complex game with thousands upon thousands of objects and some very poorly structured game data. Piping everything through random functions does not yield a fun game experience. Garbage in, garbage out.

Let’s use weapons as an example:
  • Some weapons are unique; you do not want to find multiple copies of them
  • Some weapons are tied to quests; obtaining them at the wrong time can break the game
  • Some weapons are not playable; finding them will annoy you and distributing them to NPCs might cause issues
  • Weapons have different perceived value and rarity; without weighting systems in place, you will obtain good weapons too quickly, killing the fun of being on the hunt for a better one
  • The game sees every enchantment applied to a weapon as a different weapon. This means you have ~30X more records of enchanted weapons VS mundane versions; if you randomly pull from all weapon records, it will feel like every weapon you find is enchanted (and it pretty much is)

I think this illustrates the point well enough: You can’t just randomize without additional structure. A randomizer that feels "good" will first define borderline excessive game data structure and then leverage it to achieve what it sets out to do.

Tiered loot system
Recognizing the problem described above, I decided to spend almost all development time painstakingly going through every item in the game (never doing this again, ever, no siree), determining if they are suitable targets for randomization, as well as categorizing them in terms of type and rarity. I then built hundreds of leveled lists and methodically nested them until a recognizable structure around items in the game emerged.

This birthed this mod’s tiered loot system. With it, it’s possible to roll for loot with any precision level while not touching a single vanilla leveled list:
  • Random item? Yep.
  • Random useable item? (i.e. not clutter) Yep.
  • Random weapon? Yep.
  • Random one-handed weapons? Yep.
  • Random dagger? Yep.
  • Random enchanted glass dagger? Yep.

The chance to pull from the rare tier is set to 1% across the board. Uncommon tier is at 4%. This leaves us with a 95% chance to obtain a common item. You will see a lot of common stuff :)

With an exhaustive tiered loot system in place, it was now much easier to build small randomization modules that pull from it as needed to function while maintaining consistency in loot availability.

Mod development tl;dr
  • Spend hundreds of hours categorizing every item in the game and building leveled lists
  • Write a bunch of code to facilitate the dynamic assembly of Base Object Swapper and SPID INI files.
  • Once everything is in place, implement individual randomization modules


Features
  • Modular. Ability to only enable what you are interested in.
  • Zero setup required. Install the mod and play. No MCM configuration or external programs to run.
  • No custom scripting. Uses optimized frameworks to swap and distribute objects. Everything else is driven by custom containers and leveled lists.
  • A tiered looting system that includes pretty much every item in the game!


Requirements


Installation
  • Start the installation with your favorite mod manager and select the desired modules and options using the FOMOD.
  • All the files that are installed through the FOMOD are required for the modules you selected. Do not remove them!
  • Randomizer - Main.esp should be loaded before other plugins from this mod.
  • Depending on your combination of modules, some patches might get installed to allow them to operate together correctly. Load them last.
  • If you want different modules for another playthrough, just reinstall the mod, go through the FOMOD again and replace the existing files.


Modules

Container Module
Randomizes the contents of all non-unique, non-quest containers in the game world in accordance with the tiered loot system. Any item type can show up. Chests will hold from 2-6 items. Boss chests will hold from 3-9 items. Both won’t contain clutter. Other containers will generally hold 1-3 items and can contain clutter.


NPC Outfit Module
Randomizes the outfits (clothing, armor, mage apparel, jewelry) of all human, elf and beast-race NPCs. This includes enemies like bandits, forsworn and vampires. The type of outfit given is based on the class of the NPC. Everything is selected in accordance with the tiered loot system. Corpses (i.e. actors that start dead) are supported but will generally not have equipment in all slots to simulate them having been looted by other adventurers.


NPC Inventory Module
Adds a few randomized non-equipable items to the inventory of every NPC in accordance with the tiered loot system.


Merchant Module
Randomizes the shop inventory of merchants. To make them distinct from containers, merchants have at least 11 items on offer and will only propose items for sale in the uncommon and rare tiers of the loot system. Merchants will also now buy anything from the player to make up for the randomness.


World Items Modules
Randomizes loose items in the game world in accordance with the tiered loot system.


Warning: Swapping loose items may upset the physics slightly more than usual (especially when meshes are not identical). Expect to find some things on the floor. If you think this will bother you too much, it’s recommended to not use this module.

The following item type sub-modules are available:
  • Alchemy Ingredients: 6120 loose items
  • Ammunition: 684 loose items
  • Armor: 1641 loose items
  • Books: 5053 loose items
  • Crafting Materials: 2244 loose items
  • Gold & Gems: 2225 loose items
  • Jewelry: 192 loose items
  • Potions & Poisons: 3291 loose items
  • Scrolls: 134 loose items
  • Soul Gems: 958 loose items
  • Weapons: 3223 loose items

Fishing Module
Modifies the junk catch item pool so it pulls from the randomizer’s tiered loot system instead. Any item is now in theory possible to obtain from fishing. The fish catch system is left alone.


Recommended Randomizer Mod Pairings