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vahndaar

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vahndaar

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About this mod

This mod started as a small combat tweak but has evolved into pretty much a complete gameplay overhaul. There is a plethora of changes, improvements and new additions to the gameplay, many of which are user customiseable so that the experience can be fine tuned. The overall aim was to make the game more immersive and the gameplay experience even mo

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Welcome to Brutal Combat!

This is the latest and last version of this mod - which is long overdue! - and has followed thorough testing including a complete playthrough of every quest and bit of story content - including every single question mark in the game - including B&W and HoS.

I apologise this has taken so long - life took over but working on this mod was always a hobby, I just didn't want to release another version until I was happy with it. I kept finding other things I wanted to add or change, plus I wanted to actually finish the game which thankfully I've now been able to do.

The game was played on Death March difficulty and it WAS NOT a new game+. It is compatible with V1.31 of the game with both B&W and HoS. It will not work with prior versions and it may not work with versions without these 2 extensions. It should be compatible with the GOTY version.

Now, although the mod will work with other difficulties and new game+ - I can't vouch for how balanced it will be as I simply couldn't test all difficulties on normal and all difficulties on new game+ as well. I recommend using my settings and tweaking the various options to tailor the difficulty as players see fit.

In terms of compatibility with other mods - this mod changes A LOT of stuff both in the script files as well as xml files and various other assets as well. There is code all over the place that I've changed. I've tried to comment all the changes where possible to make merging easier but I just don't have time to be as thorough with the code documentation as I'd like. I can't vouch for whether it will merge well with other mods.

I would strongly recommend starting a new game from scratch. It will work with current saves and will detect a save which doesn't have the mod running (you'll need to reassign your skills), however you may not get the full benefit of the mod - and I can't guarantee it will completely work, though it should.

This mod has been a labour of love which has taken literally years of me tinkering and fine tuning every aspect of the game to get it exactly how I wanted it. What began as a rather simple combat tweak has morphed into pretty much a complete gameplay overhaul. The result feels like a very different game. I feel the combat is now much more honest, rewarding and, well, fun! My goal with most of these tweaks was to give the player a more immersive, challenging but ultimately rewarding experience. It is visceral, punishing, but fair. It is up to the players to tip the balance in their favour for each combat scenario.

There are a lot of things that players may or may not agree with in here but I present the mod as is and, for me, it is now complete. At some point I need to put it down and move on. So I present it to you, the community, in the hope you will enjoy it and share in the fun it brings to this masterpiece of a game.

I won't always be active on these forums, and I may or may not release further updates. If I do they will likely be bugfixes, documentation or code commenting - but I can't make any promises. There comes a time where I have to say right, we're done here, and move on.

So with that, I'll hand this over to you folks...enjoy!

Vahndaar

COMPATIBILITY NOTE: This mod will likely break if used with any other mod which isn't very carefully merged. This mod changes 'lots' of code. Also, it is recommended to ensure it is at the bottom of your mod load order. To do this, insert 'ZZZ' into the name of the mod folder, so that it is alphabetically at the bottom of the folder.

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Version Compatibility
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Each version of the mod is only compatible with one version of the game. Versions are not backwards compatible, so please note version compatibility as follows:

Game Version   Mod Version
V1.08               V0.1 - V0.6.2
V1.10               V0.6.3 - V0.6.4
V1.11               V0.6.5
V1.12               V0.6.6
V1.12               V0.7
V1.12               V0.8
V1.12               V0.9 + V0.9.1
V1.12               V1.0 + V1.0.1
V1.21               V1.21
V1.31               V1.31 including GOTY version

***Please ensure your game version matches the mod version, or you will get errors. The latest version will ONLY work with versions of the game with BOTH expansion packs, or the GOTY version.

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Installation
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  •    Select and download the package(s) you want from the 'files' tab
  •    Open the .rar file and find the folder beginning 'mod' (lowercase)
  •    Copy this folder to the 'mods' directory in your Witcher 3 root folder
  •    You'll find a file called modBrutalCombatConfig.xml in the .rar - pop this here: <Witcher 3 Dir>\bin\config\r4game\user_config_matrix\pc\
  •    Also in the package is EXAMPLEinput.settings. Add these settings to input.settings, normally located at C:\Users\<UserName>\Documents\The Witcher 3\
  •    If using the Blood FX component, please edit <Witcher 3 Dir>\bin\config\base\rendering.ini as follows:

  •                DynamicDecalsLimit=60 - Change to 600
                   DynamicDecalsChunkLimit=30 - Change to 300
                   DecalBudget=100 - Change to 1000

  •    Set Enemy Upscaling to 'off' in the Gameplay settings.
  •    Go into the mod options and select the difficulty preset you wish to play with.
  •    Have a look through the documentation as required.
  •    Play!

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  •    Start a new game. You don't have to, but it's recommended if you want the full gameplay experience.
  •    Set difficulty to Death March. The mod has been balanced to play on this level of difficulty, although easier difficulty will work.
  •    Play a normal game, not New Game+. Although it will work, I can't guarantee any 'oddities' as haven't tested it extensively.


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Principles
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The mod is based on some key principles. These principles were something I established early on in the mods development. Their purpose was intended to ensure that the changes I was making were targeted at achieving a particular outcome. The mod did, however, take on a life of its own. So new principles emerged as a superset of the original ones:

NEW PRINCIPLES

  • Make gameplay as rewarding as possible. This is an overriding principle. Everything in this mod is aimed at making the experience as rewarding and enjoyable as possible.
  • Changes should enhance and not detract from immerstion - Where possible changes should help the player get immersed in their role and the world.
  • Changes should not break the lore - doing so would break immersion, so everything should support the world and it's lore.
  • Changes should enhance realism without hurting gameplay. For example is it realistic that Geralt can lug 100kg of gear around? No. But would realistic encumbrance hurt gameplay? Yes. Quality of life wins out here.

ORIGINAL PRINCIPLES

  • Opponents should not have superhuman levels of 'health'. No damage sponges here!
  • Higher level opponents should have more stamina. So they will be more likely to dodge, evade, parry and counter.
  • Opponents will deal lethal damage. Because you also aren't a damage sponge!
  • Reduced buffs for 'High' and 'Deadly' opponents. Because, well, it's a bit of a hack really.
  • Slightly increased experience for monsters. As a reward for defeating tougher foes!
  • Realistic human combat. No more being stopped in your tracks by pesky blackjacks!
  • Persistent challenge through to late game. Because such an awesome game should stay consistently awesome!

The reasoning for these is explained a bit further down for those who are interested...


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Components List
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Note, all these components are now thoroughly documented in the Mod Documentation found in the download package. There's a lot of them now, some small, some large. The sheer number of them can be somewhat disorientating however, they're all designed to come together to form one homogenous, seamless, 'whole'. So you don't need to be an expert on each of these, you can learn them as you play.

XML File Modifications

  • Modified Human Combat Behaviour
  • Fistfighting
  • Difficulty Bonuses
  • Per-Level Adjustments
  • Companion Boost
  • Player Levelling
  • Signs Ordering
  • Enhanced Weapons and Armour
  • Difficulty Levels
  • Mutagen Overhaul
  • Crafting Repair Components
  • Geralt the Brewer!
  • Dye Raw Materials
  • Trophies Overhauled

Script File Modifications

  • Opponent Hurt Reactions
  • Allow High Level Opponent Parrying and Counters
  • Reload Level XML
  • Enhanced Weapons and Armour
  • XP Overhaul
  • Stamina Overhaul
  • Hourly Merchant Money
  • Improved Stash Performance
  • Restored Item Weights
  • More Miraculous Guide To Gwent!
  • Green Mutagen Adrenaline Vitality Regeneration
  • Blue Mutagen Adrenaline Max Stamina
  • Passive & Active Skill Equipping
  • Equipping Skill on Purchase
  • Stop Rolling Down Stairs!
  • Damage Amplifiers
  • No Bleed Out
  • Crossbow Boost
  • Restrict Armour Resistance
  • Fistfighting Damage Tweak
  • Strong Attack Overhaul
  • Encumbrance Overhaul
  • Quen Discharge Restriction
  • Level Uncapper
  • Pickup Reward Display Time
  • Dynamic Level Scaling
  • Alchemy Ingredients Consumed Fix
  • Alchemy Category Tweak
  • Bonus Herbs Tweak
  • Fatigue, Thirst and Hunger
  • The Drunken Master!
  • Thieving Overhaul
  • Display Welcome Message
  • Alchemy XP
  • Crafting XP
  • Gourmet Update
  • Mutagen Stats Tweak
  • Dynamic Quest Scaling
  • Quest Recommended Level Display
  • Increase Max Submerge Depth
  • Use of Roach As Stash
  • Auto Sword Sheathe
  • Auto Sword Unsheathe
  • No Alarm If Grindstone Nearby
  • Jog On Entering Combat
  • Walk On Ending Combat
  • Scaled Player Levelling
  • Companion Boost
  • More Stamina For Ciri Special Action
  • Roach Movement Overhaul
  • Walk On Dismount
  • Guards Are Deadly
  • Guards Are Mortal
  • Guards Award XP

Other Modifications

  • Beard Fix
  • Blood FX
  • Ciri Snowball Bug
  • Hunters Actually Kill Stuff
  • Fixed Han Fibre
  • 60 FPS GUI
  • Collapsed Drop Down Menus
  • Flesh For Cash Quest Tweak
  • Succubus and Doppler Mutagens


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Change Log
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UPDATE V1.31 - COMPATIBILITY WITH V1.31 + GOTY AND LOADS OF CHANGES/ADDITIONS

Stamina Overhaul

Stamina has had a general overhaul and now is an important factor in many aspects of the game. All actions now consume stamina - for both the player and opponents.

Being hit not only reduces health but also stamina.

Stamina regeneration is proportional to health remaining - the more injured you or opponents are the slower stamina will regenerate.

The player can still move and attack as normal even if stamina is drained - but they cannot cast spells (I coded a version which does restrict attacks etc. and it killed the flow of combat too much and you just spent time dodging and running, and so never had stamina to attack and it got real boring)

Opponents cannot use actions that require stamina if it is drained. So yes, if you wear down opponents then they literally might not have the energy to even attack.

Opponents cannot parry if they do not have stamina to do so. So draining opponents stamina through injury or tiring them out then it will leave them defenceless until they can recover. Note this also applies to the player, so you won't be able to parry if you don't have the energy.

Pain Reactions

Opponents now react to when attacks that deal damage 'hurt' them. Hurt by definition is any attack that deals more than 10% damage. If hurt, attacks will cause the opponent to flinch, leaving them open to follow up attacks. This will be more prominent in stronger opponents where you should chip away at them or use stonger attacks. Once weakened enough, your attacks will begin to hurt them constantly - take advantage of this opening and go in for the kill!

Beard Overhaul!

Getting a beard trim at the barbers actually means that, your beard will be trimmed to the short variety which now actually shows in the game as opposed to going from stubble to full on mountain man.

Opponent Balancing

All opponents in the game have been reviewed and balanced. This includes B&W and HoS. Bear in mind however that opponents in the expansion packs are naturally tougher than their vanilla versions, I've aimed for them to still be challenging but not overpowered given their level etc. So you can still gain chunky experience from them in late game and it will still be very tough.
I've also tested every single quest in the game - everything - and checked unique opponents from quests. Hopefully I haven't missed anything but it should all be pretty balanced.

Blood FX

I've reviewed all opponents and checked their blood pools etc. I know folks don't always like the blood that hits Geralt and I'm not 100% happy with it but unfortunately that's tied to the blood pools and their duration, so can't separate the logic there. Yes, it's a bit funny sometimes but I kinda like it. I've still included a version which doesn't have the blood fx.

Ciri Snowball Bug

Fixed a wierd bug where you could kill Ciri when throwing a snowball at her :-|

Hunters Actually Kill Stuff

It bugged me that when watching villagers hunt they would NEVER hit anything they shot their bows at! No longer. Prepare for mass rabbit culling!

Fixed Han Fibre

So this plant was actually using a completely different plant mesh. Fixed. Now it's actually Han Fibre!

Geralt The Brewer!

I've added recipies for all the base alcohols in the game. So you can brew everything from scratch required to produce all the high level alcohols needed for alchemy. To do this I've introduced Grain and Bags of Grain as collectibles as grain is required for distilling some alcohols.

60 FPS GUI

Right, so by default the menus in the game were running at something like 30 FPS. This is fixed, now all interfaces run at full 60 FPS which makes the whole thing much smoother. Except Gwent, because 60FPS also speeds up all the animations and was just odd.

Drop Down Menus Fixed

Menus are now collapsed by default and the game will remember which ones you have open, so you can better manage all the clutter in the various lists.

Trophies are Actually Interesting

I've overhauled the trophies as was bored with the few vanilla varieties you get which were largely replicas of a few types. Now each and every monster trophy and reward trophy is unique and tailored for that specific monster/reward. I've also tweaked the types of bonuses you get. So for example, Leshen's which are woodland type creatures give you benefits to the number of herbs harvested etc.

DIY Repair Kits

I've added recipies for the base ingredients for repair kits. Now you can craft basic whetstones and smithing tools and then create your own elven/dwarven etc. It's onerous yes, and probably a lot quicker just buying them but there's a measure of satisfaction from doing it yourself.

XP for Alchemy and Crafting

You get XP rewards for crafting and alchemy, dependent on the level of item being created and the number of components required. It's not much but every little helps and encourages players to craft and brew more and rewards you for doing so.

Thieving Overhaul!

I didn't like the auto-alarm behaviour of the standard thieving mechanic, so now when you open a container which is guarded you'll be informed that it's guarded, how many guards are watching and the chance of detection and alarm.

There are 3 outcomes from theft:

    Undetected               No-one batted an eyelid - maximum XP reward
    Detected, No Alarm   You got away with it, but the guards are suspicious which makes further thefts more difficult for a while. Lesser XP reward.
    Detected, Alarm        Get ready to fight! No XP
 
All XP gained from thieving factors into improving the odds of a successful theft - so the more you steal without setting off alarms, the better you get at it.

Sleep, Food and Drink

Now your witcher gets hungry, thirsty and actually needs sleep! The original food and drink bonuses weren't great so this has been overhauled. I strived to avoid making it a chore, but also wanted to make better use of all the food and drink lying around. So there are benefits for managing the needs of your witcher. I've also tried to ensure there is plenty food and drink available in shops, for example water is more plentiful.

Needless to say food and water don't bestow instant benefits, they contribute to gradual healing - so managing your vitality is important.

    Hunger begins after 8 hours and maxes out after 96 hours
    Thirst begins after 6 hours and maxes our after 72 hours
    Fatigue begins after 18 hours and maxes out after 48 hours
 
When either of these 3 kick in you'll see a negative effect icon appear and the bar will gradually ramp up the longer you go without.

All three contribute to reducing your max vitality over time. Time passing via cutscenes also factored in, so be wary of that. So after sleep or time passing in a cutscene you'll likely be hungry and thirsty - first thing you should do is eat and drink something. This actually feels quite natural after a while!

Now, if that sounds like a chore, there is an upside:

Drinking, Eating or Sleeping all provide beneficial, restorative buffs. These buffs provide gentle healing both in and out of combat. So a well rested, fed and watered witcher will heal and generally be more healthy than one who isn't.

Sleep is quite simple, the well rested benefit lasts quite long and there is a long lead time before you begin to feel tired. Half of the time rested goes towards reducing existing fatigue. So if you rest 8 hours this removes 4 hours of fatigue.

Different food provides different benefits. Hearty foods like chicken and fish will give a benefit which lasts longer and will go further to satiating the player. Light foods like berries and snacks will provide a smaller benefit.

In terms of drinks, water reigns supreme in that it provides the most satiation and the longest benefit, however juices & milk etc. provide faster healing but don't last as long.

That leads us to the third category of...

The Drunken Master!

Ok, so this is a bit of fun but I wanted to make use of all that booze floating around going to waste. If you read the books you'll find that Geralt is partial to the odd drink, so I wanted to make some use of this in some way.

Drinking beer and wine, like Redanian Lager or Erveluce etc., now not only imbues drunkenness but also for a short period of the effect boosts attack power, stamina regen and healing! The downside is that it drastically accelerates thirst...so make sure you have water on standby. Is it realistic, probably not - in character, yes i'd say so and the upsides and downsides are fairly balanced.

Gourmet Updated

Gourmet used to provide a stock benefit of 20 mins from food and drink. With the above changes this is redundant - instead the benefits from food and drink have their duration doubled with this perk.

Miraculous Guide To Gwent Now Does What It Says On The Tin

So, the gwent almanac was a bit naff and didn't help locate gwent cards a whole lot for the Collect Em All quest. Now the book lists, by region:

    The name of every card needed that hasn't been collected (including alternative locations where relevant)
    Whether the card is found in a store, as part of a quest, or from a random encounter
    The name of the store or quest where the card can be found
 
Finding these cards is fun, trying to remember which ones you have and don't have and where they are is not. Particularly if you miss one and have to backtrack.

Succubus and Doppler Mutagens

So, there are two mutagens that cannot be obtained unless the player is particularly merciless : the succubus mutagen and the doppler mutagen. I thought this was rather unfair, therefore I introduced a couple of tweaks that allow the player to obtain these without being murderous:

There are 2 succubi in the game - Salma from the Deadly Delights quest and the Succubus of Ard Skellig. Both award a Succubus Trophy for completing their quests. You can now dismantle this trophy and it will yield Monster Hair and a Succubus Mutagen! So you can have the trophy from one, and the mutagen from the other - without killing them!

The doppler mutagen required a bit of thought as it can only be obtained by killing the Doppler in the quest An Elusive Thief. However if you've done the rather hilarious quest Harassing A Troll you'll know that if you do well defending Boris then he'll award you with an Elf Head. Now, this would otherwise be junk, however if you dismantle (eurgh!) the head then you'll discover that it's actually the head of a Doppler! And so you can find the Doppler mutagen without having to kill the poor Doppler.

Flesh For Cash Quest Tweak

So of all the quests in the game, this one is a bit annoying in that if you start the related quest Following The Thread with Lambert, then because of the content of that quest, this one becomes unavailable and subsequently a lot of the loot etc. in the slavers village is locked off. So to soften the blow a bit for those who start Following The Thread first, when you kill the slaver leader (Hammond) he will drop a key which will unlock his hut so the player can still loot it - win win!

Award Sound Plays for Each Scroll/Manuscript

A very minor tweak but when you loot a chest which has a couple of recipes/scrolls then the award sound would only ring out once because the sound sample is too long for the interval between messages being displayed. I find this sound quite rewarding, so now it sounds each time!

Roach Movement Overhaul!

Ok, so I love Roach, he's a great and trusty steed. But I did wish he wouldn't just stop at every rock and boulder that gets in the way. Well, no more! So I've tweaked him so that he perseveres a lot more when navigating. Also, he will now properly attempt to auto jump fences and low objects instead of coming to a complete halt - this works while galloping and cantering.

He will still naturally try and avoid stuff but if you're holding the forward key he will try and leap obstacles. You can also push him to leap from heights by holding the gallop/canter key, instead of stopping he will leap off cliffs and ledges and glide through the air! Just make sure the fall isn't too high or you'll be realoading quickly!

Additionally, Roach will follow roads whilst walking instead of just when galloping or cantering. This makes navigation much more pleasant as you can just hold the forward key and admire the scenery at a leisurely pace!

Finally, I've added a slower trotting speed, in the same manner that Geralt can walk or jog, Roach can saunter along if you want to just enjoy the ambience.

Multiple Damage Amplifiers

I wanted to get away from having multiple versions for different opponent difficulty. So I've introduced additional damage multipliers for the Player Attacks, Human Opponents, Animals and Monsters. Players can now fine tune exactly how damaging these various types of enemies are. Want a real challenge? Bump up the enemies and nerf the player - enjoy!

Difficulty Presets

I've removed the need for separate 'versions' of the files and now I've included 4 presets in the mod settings - Casual, Normal, Hardcore and Insane. I would say Normal is the most balanced, Hardcore and Insane are there purely for players wanting a tougher challenge!

Guards Are Deadly, Mortal and Award XP

Three settings have been introduced that are purely optional - Guards can kill you, you can kill guards, and you can enable XP awards for defeating guards as well.

Various Movement Tweaks

Options introduced for walking on dismount, after combat and jogging on entering combat.


UPDATE V1.21 - COMPATIBILITY WITH V1.21 + OTHER STUFF


Blue Mutagen Stamina Overhaul

Similar to the green mutagen tweak, except this one increases max stamina proportionately with adrenaline. The effect is the ability to cast more than one sign at a time, eventually the player will become a whirlwind of sign casting - excellent for sign builds.

Encumbrance Mod

The effects of encumbrance are now much more gradual, player speed gradually decreases as encumbrance increases. When the threshold is reached, the player can no longer sprint but can jog, as encumbrance increases further the player will be restricted to walking and fast walking. Eventually players will be planted on the spot.

Restored Item Weights

All item weights zeroed out in a previous patch are restored.

Use of Roach as Stash

Players can interact when near or mounted on roach to open their stash and offload junk to their trusty steed.

Merchant Money Calculated Hourly

Previously merchants received money once every 5 days which was extremely frustrating so I've changed this to hourly and let players set the interval, amounts of money awarded etc.

High Level Opponent Scaling

Dynamic Level Scaling is now 2 Pass - one for enemies lower than the player and one for high level enemies.


UPDATE V1.0 - LOTS OF GOODIES

Heavy Attack Overhaul

Various players were calling out that heavy attacks by the player were rather unimpressive and I tended to agree. So, I've overhauled them and introduced a bunch of variables players can tweak:

         Speed Factor - Use this to adjust the speed of strong attacks to compensate damage etc.
         Stagger Change - Change opponents will stumble back when hit
         Long Stagger Chance - Chance opponents will stagger and fall back when hit
         Knockdown Change - Chance opponents will be knocked down
         Damage Bonus % - Damage increase for strong hits
         Critical Chance - Increase in critical hit % chance

Can be toggled on and off completely.

1st and 3rd Tier Signs Swap

Swaps these two tiers of signs, feels a bit better for sign builds. To use this tweak, you'll need the console activated. Use the command SwapSigns to execute, this will reload the skills XML. So, install the bundle mod - modBrutalCombatSignSkillSwitch, then run the game, load a save, bring up the console and key in SwapSigns and they'll be swapped. You'll need to repurchase the skills you want.

To remove, the same approach applies - remove the mod, run the game, load a save, bring up the console and key in SwapSigns and boom - back to normal.

Skill Active Abilities can be Activated on Purchase

So each skill you buy has an 'active' and a 'passive' bonus. For combat skills, the passive bonus is adrenaline, for signs it's sign intensity, for alchemy it's potion duration. With this tweak the active skill is activated on purchase but the passive skills are only given when the skill is slotted. Can be toggled on and off.

Improved Green Mutagens

Green mutagens now give better health benefits, slight health regen, and increase max toxicity. Perfect for alchemy builds. On if you install the associated modBrutalCombatGreenMutagenStats, off if you remove it.

Adrenaline-Based Green Mutagen Combat Regen

When green mutagens are slotted adrenaline will trigger a fast acting healing mechanism during combat. More green mutagens and more adrenaline means more health generated. The effect is a bit like a kindof beserker or bloodlust mode which builds up during combat. It rewards players for being aggressive and continually attacking and generating adrenaline. Can be toggled on and off.

Weapon and Armour Maintenance Overhaul

Ok, this is a fairly big change. The system of weapon and armour maintenance using whetstones and armourers benches has been completely overhauled - in my mind to the way it should have been from the start. Standard maintenance still works as normal; ie weapons and armour degrade and need repaired using kits. Haven't touched that. But now, you can sharpen individual swords on whetstones and maintain specific armour on benches - note CHEST armour pieces only (far too much faff applying this to individual components and it didn't really work so I've simplified a bit).

How to use: For weapons - approach a whetstone and draw the sword you want to sharpen, interact and you'll restore the sharpness of the sword. The HUD icon will display 100/100. Every time you hit an enemy with your sword this number will reduce slightly, more so for heavy attacks. The attack benefit applied is based on the proportion of sharpness remaining, so 80/100 confers 80% of the damage bonus. So, as you gradually wear down your sword the benefit reduces until it's back to stock values.

For armour - approach the armourers bench and interact. The chest armour you're wearing will receive a bonus and the HUD icon will display 100/100. Every time you get hit, the number will reduce depending on the amount of damage being taken; some of which will be absorbed by your armour. The lower the number gets, the less damage is absorbed through this bonus.

The items which receive bonuses are remembered, if you unequip a sword it will retain it's maintenance stats and when you next equip it you'll see how many points it has left. Same for armour.

I've exposed some variables that players can customise:

         Weapon Maintenance Endurance Factor    Affects how quickly weapon sharpness degrades
         Weapon Maintenance Damage Factor        Affects the size of damage bonus conferred for sharp weapons
         Armour Maintenance Endurance Factor     Affects how quickly armour condition degrades
         Armour Maintenance Damage Factor         Affects the amount of damage armour can absorb when in good condition

When loading a save game where the old maintenance mechanic is active the game will detect this and deactivate it as the old mechanic no longer works with this new version.

Because this is a very complex tweak with a fair bit of code attached, it cannot be deactivated and is an integral part of the mod i'm afraid.

Global Damage Multiplier

So there were a few folks complaining that the game was still too easy, or opponents still were taking too many hits or whatnot. No longer! This is a global damage modifier which affects ALL damage issued in the game. Bump this up and everything gets more lethal: the player deals more damage, but so does everything else. Find your own sweet spot.

Tweaked XP Levelling Stuff...for the last time!

Ok, I've finally got this where I want it and have pottered about and it finally feels about right.

Fixed a few lingering bugs

Player blood decal - was a bit OTT. Managed to fix however 'splashed' blood from opponents will still linger, unavoidable i'm afraid as it's tied to how long blood decals last.

Quest XP Calculation - found a wierd bug where quest XP was being doubled and so quests were issuing ridiculous amounts of XP. Fixed. Don't know if this was just me or whether other folks noticed!

Probably other stuff as well but I can't remember as I've been at this update for a while!


UPDATE V0.9 - RESTRUCTURED MOD, XP OVERHAUL, COMPANION BOOST & SCALED LEVELING XML LOADING

Allowed easy configuration of mod settings in a custom class file, XP was given a huge overhaul, companions were given a health boost when using Dynamic Level Scaling & functionality was added to allow for in-game loading of the revised levelling XML.

UPDATE V0.8 - CROSSBOW BOOST & REVISED BLOOD MOD

This version expanded and finalised the blood mod, adding several different types of blood and much more variety. I also fixed crossbow damage when using Dynamic Level Scaling as it was very weak against the stronger opponents.

UPDATE V0.7 - BLOOD MOD AND TWEAK TO STAMINA REGEN

I've wanted to do my own blood mod for ages as I just wasn't satisfied with the stock blood. Combat is now much more visceral and persists so that you can witness the carnage you cause!

I've also started looking into modding stamina. I've created a simply tweak which varies the rate of stamina regeneration proportionately to the amount of health remaining. Less health means slower stamina regeneration. Reason being that if you're injured then generally you won't recover as quick. This changes the dynamics of combat slightly. When injured signs cannot be relied on as much and players are forced to use skill rather than spamming Quen. However opponents are also affected, therefore as they weaken through injury they recover slower and their options for evasion and powerful attacks become limited.


UPDATE V0.6.6 - V1.12 COMPATIBILITY & NO MORE KILLER RATS!

Now compatible with V1.12! Mutant rats now finally fixed properly!

UPDATE V0.6.5 - V1.11 COMPATIBILITY

Now compatible with V1.11. Also attempted to fix the scary mutant rat issue - haven't tested though. Code is now annotated as well where I've made changes so should be easier for folks who are merging files etc.

UPDATE V0.6.4 - BUG FIXING

Fixed a bug where humans were appearing immortal and with negative health on Casual and Rebalanced versions. (Also fixed for Full Package).

Fixed a bug in the level uncapper introduced in V0.6.3 - now works correctly.


UPDATE V0.6.3 - V1.10 COMPATIBILITY

Code tweaked to ensure compatibility with the new V1.10.

UPDATE V0.6.2 - MORE BUG FIXES & TWEAKS

This update contains the following tweaks:

Enemy levelling component updated to fix a bug where opponents were showing up at considerably higher levels than they should. This mainly occurred on quests. The component has been rewritten to now ensure the game correctly levels up opponents in all circumstances.

Fistfighting has been reviewed and adjusted to fix a bug where opponents would have too much health and/or do too much damage; making the bouts one sided. Now they're more balanced. Tough opponents will however still be just that - tough.

Hardcore and Insane tweaks to opponent damage due to comments that opponents are not tough enough. I've resisted the urge to buff opponent health, it's not required and not in keeping with the spirit of the mod.


UPDATE V0.6.1 - BUG FIXES

Fixed a bug where humans and wolves had 'negative' health, making them immortal.

UPDATE V0.6 - VARIOUS GOODIES ADDED

Fairly chunky update; this introduces the following components and changes:

Extended Weapon and Armor Enhancements

When using grindstones or benches the duration of the benefit has been increased to 2 days. Keeping your blades and armor in good condition is increasingly important for combative advantage, however the usual 15 minute nonsense was just tedious. To save the continual trips back and forth to the blacksmith, this has now been extended to 2 in-game days.

Level Uncapper

The level 70 restriction has been set to 100 now, so players can keep levelling beyond the mandatory cap.

Restricted Armour Resistance

Several players were experiencing issues with armour being too effective. Armor resistances across the board have been reduced by 25% to compensate. Armour is still essential, but no longer can you tank your way through encounters.

Scaled Player Levelling

Levels in the stock game were separated by 1000, 1500 or 2000 blocks of experience. This has now been changed so that the interval between each level is incremental - ie greater than the last with significantly more experience being required as players progress through the game. Level 2 also begins at 500 instead of 1000. This should help with the experience gained from highly level enemies. Unfortunately it requires a new game in order to become effective as it is baked into characters when a new game begins.

More Rebalancing

Wolves and Dogs specifically have been rebalanced with respect their health and damage dealt which was a bit too harsh. Balance has been tweaked overall following feedback. Opponents will deal considerably more damage as they level up and will not gain quite so much health. Enemy health has been reviewed to ensure that it remains realistic, ie no damage sponges. Basically trying to stick to the principles. Ensuring you have the best gear at all times is critical to retaining an edge over opponents. XP rewards considerably reduced following feedback as well as players were reporting that far too much XP was being dished out.


UPDATE V0.5.6 - FIXING OVERLY GENEROUS XP

Reviewed the mod's XP awards for monster opponents as few folks were pointing out that it was too generous; particularly at high levels. Hopefully this fixes that - I've adjusted all levels. Insane is exactly the same as the vanilla game. Hardcore gives slightly more, Rebalanced slightly more again, and similarly with Casual. Ironically this might actually make Insane and Hardcore a bit easier, as levelling up on those actually makes the game increasingly difficult - so slowing that down staves off the difficulty curve.

Standalone Human Behaviour has also been updated with the tweaks introduced into Casual V0.5.5.


UPDATE V0.5.5 - CASUAL MODE, HUMAN BEHAVIOUR

Tinkered with how often Peasants, Thugs and Brigands put up their guard again, still felt a bit too much.

UPDATE V0.5.4 - CASUAL MODE, HUMAN HEALTH

Nerfed human opponent base health for early game fairness and realism. Given that I'm shooting for realism with Casual, this is in keeping with the aim here.

UPDATE V0.5.3 - CASUAL MODE, FURTHER BALANCING

After feedback the new modes were a bit tough (got a bit carried away buffing health and wandered from Principle 1), I've eased off the opponent health on the Rebalanced version and added a Casual version which keeps the principles and the challenge but makes things a tad easier.

UPDATE V0.5.2 - INSANE MODE, FURTHER BALANCING

Rebalancing for different difficulties to balance the challenge. I felt there was too much of a difference between Broken Bones and Death March for example so I've smoothed it out. I've always designed the mod in Death March, and found that switching to other difficulties it became a bit easy.

Insane mode added as well so that there are now 3 modes that players can pick from in order to find something that suits their taste. Insane will be very tough, even with the best gear for your level each battle will be an endurance contest where one wrong step could mean death. Hardcore will push you to have the best gear to manage the challenge. Standard should be manageable for most players. For all three, enemies are just as deadly; but their health is modified. Standard, or 'Rebalanced Opponents' is closest to the vision I was aiming for; however some peeps like that extra challenge :)

Also sorted the files so that you can install them with NMM now. Just say no, install the mod normally if it shows an upgrade dialog when installing separate options.


UPDATE V0.5.1 - MORE REBALANCING, HARDCORE MODE, & SCALING BUG FIX

So after some great feedback, an issue was spotted by players at late game with buffed abilities and gear which was making opponents too easy to kill. So, this has now been addressed and the game should feel a bit more balanced. In addition, I've taken the opportunity to create a 'hardcore' version. The change is simple - give humans and monsters a bit more health as they level up along with you. The effect is quite something. Coupled with the deadly damage these high level opponents do, you cannot rely on quick wins. You also cannot rely on your equipment keeping you safe. You simply will not survive if you don't keep searching out the best gear. Finally, I spotted a bug where occasionally enemies would appear showing level 0. This has now been fixed.

UPDATE V0.5 - LOW LEVEL SCALING!

This is the final addition to the mod package. This one dynamically scales opponents levels if they're below you. Means that the world should now stay challenging all the way into late game. This keeps the world gritty and tough, and although you will become more deadly and lethal as you level up, enemies will continue to present a challenge, so you will need to increasingly rely on your abilities and skill to survive!

UPDATE V0.4 - BRUTAL COMBAT!

Took some time to address other aspects of combat which was giving me grief. Combat is now much more realistic and deadlier, with mistakes often  leading to instant death or serious injury. Your blows will deal much more realistic damage, and the focus of combat should shift to tactics, timing and simply not getting hit! Success in combat is now through outwitting and out maneouvering opponents. Combined with the modified human combat behaviour I hope the combat is now much more fluid and rewarding!

UPDATE V0.3 - IMPROVED HUMAN COMBAT

This update now drastically increases the chance of human opponents dodging, parrying and countering you. This is to offset the reduced human vitality and keeps things fair.

UPDATE V0.2 - NOW WORKS IN NG+

Added tweaks to NG+ files.

UPDATE V0.1 - MODIFIED HUMAN PARRYING

First release. This stops humans constantly parrying your attacks, which just breaks the immersion when it's a peasant with a blackjack!

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Principles Explained
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The original principles were purely focused on making combat brutal and realistic - the original focus of the mod.

1.   All creatures will have considerably less 'health'

Whilst opponents still gain a small amount of health per level, they will appear to be able to take much less damage before death. Blows will definitely make an impact. If we take humans for example, experience gained through 'levelling' in reality would manifest itself in more agile, adept opponents; capable of wielding their weapons with more skill and dealing deadlier, more precise blows. It does not come from them being able to absorb more damage. Regardless of how experienced you are, a human can only take a few blows before critical injury or death. This reasoning is applied to all creatures in the game. Creatures have a 'base' health and this is incremented by a small amount for each level.

2.   Experience, or levels, give creatures more stamina

Increasingly experienced or levelled creatures should be more used to combat, more agile and responsive to anticipating your moves. As they level they are now given more stamina and therefore are more able to dodge, parry, counter and respond to your movements.

3.   Attack Power of creatures increased considerably

Opponents cannot take much of a beating, and now neither can you. Damage dealt by opponents will be crippling, particularly higher level opponents. Expect to die. Often. In ways you hadn't anticipated (Getting one-shotted by archers is an eye opener and definitely makes you think). Whilst you can deal significant damage, you must think whether or not your attack will leave you open.

4.   Buffs for High level and Deadly enemies Adjusted

Because there shouldn't be an epic shift in opponent difficulty between one level and the next. Opponents improve each incremental level from their base in a reasonable way; high level and deadly level buffs are one off modifiers applied to enemies that are significantly higher than Geralt but shouldn't be prohibitive. The buffs are still there, however the health multipliers are significantly reduced; instead stamina recovery is boosted, along with attack power. NG+ Buffs are particularly challenging, but victory should still be achievable.

5.   Experience increased for monster kills

Well, to recognise achievement really. Taking down a buffed high or deadly level creature should be recognised with a decent reward and recognition for your accomplishment rather than the paltry experience the game dishes out.

6.   Realistic human combat

Because nothing gives me rage more than humans of all levels having the almost superhuman ability to block barrages of attacks. There is nothing more infuriating than a country bumpkin with a blackjack repeatedly blocking the strikes of one of the most skilled swordsmasters in the land!

Wanted to fix some issues with the levelling - notably the fact that it takes ages to level early game, and players end up racing through the levels towards mid game. The XP required for each level is now incremental - starting at 500 for level 2, 650 for level 3, 800 for level 4 ... right up to level 100 which needs a whopping 15,200 XP from level 99 in order to reach. Should make things very interesting when coupled with the enemy level scaling...however the downside is that it needs a new game because the levels are baked into the player when they start a new game. Sorry!
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