Tes4Mod:Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul/Creature Changes

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This is one of the most exciting features of Oscuro’s Oblivion Overhaul; creatures are now much more unique and particular. Not only are there now many more sizes, items, special behaviors and characteristics to all old creatures; OOO also adds many new ones into the world, each with their own specific behaviors, items, lairs and spawn lists.

As usual, the additions are not limited to new models, like the ones above, but also include many other types of creatures that are slight variations of existing types. Examples include Prowler Wolves, which are highly aggressive and tend to travel on packs; or Ravenous Ogres, who are solitary, although at times gregarious, Ogres of great power and might; and many, many more!). The following is a list of the most important changes given with the addition of these new creatures.


Creature Factions

There are now more than 24 creature factions. There is one for each of the creature types, and several new ones for creatures added by Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul. Each faction interacts differently with every other faction. Some are friendly to each other, some are neutral, and some are aggressive. Even within each faction, some of its members, which may be a bit more aggressive than the rest, will react aggressively against members of an otherwise friendly faction. For example, some Crazed Imps are violent enough to dislike Shadow Wolves, and they will attack them on sight even if most Crazed Imps will not. This applies to all faction relations.

Generally, however, there are two main groups of factions: "Neutral" and "Evil". Each group is generally on friendly terms with creatures from the same group and on unfriendly terms with creatures from the opposing group. Shadow Wolves, Ogres, Goblins, and Trolls, for example, will tolerate each other in most cases, and will dislike animals, Minotaurs, Land Dreughs, and even Spriggans. Animals are usually neutral to each other, although some may, more than others, tolerate (and even have a liking for) members of a different faction within the general "animal-faction" group. For example, bears generally tolerate boars, and vice versa. Only a few bears, from time to time, if hungry or inexperienced, may be aggressive enough to attack boars, whereas they would be much more suspicious of wolves. Lions will be aggressive toward horses or boars a lot more readily than they would ever be aggressive against bears. Of course, this change meant that the creature spawns could not remain as they were set in default Oblivion. Previously, all creatures would be in the same faction, and all of them could appear together, clumped, inside a creature lair. This is no longer the case. This leads to the second big change.


Creature Lairs

Some dungeons have "Evil" group factions. These dungeons are highly dangerous and difficult, with the corpses of brave adventurers littering the floors. Great treasures await those that can defeat these dark places.

Other dungeons are now home to specific faction types. In default Oblivion, all animals would appear together in dungeons like a happy family. Wolves, bears, lions, and boars would share living space. This is not the case anymore. Every animal dungeon has been changed to belong to one type of animal faction. Now there are wolf dens, tundra wolf dens, bear dens, boar dens, and feline (lions, snow lions, jaguars, snow leopard) dens. Some of these dens may have very old and powerful animal "bosses" who command the rest of their pack and herd.


Creature A.I.

Earlier versions of Oscuro’s Oblivion Overhaul used Tag’s excellent Natural Wildlife mod to change the behavior of creatures towards the player. Now, the original script is modified heavily to the point that it has become a completely new script with many distinctive and unique functions. This script is probably the most sophisticated animal behavior enhancement for Oblivion to-date. Not only it is prepared to handle many more response types, dynamically, than older wildlife scripts; it is also perfected to work in tandem with several of the new features of OOO, such as the greatly expanded creature faction diversity and the possibility of gaining creature faction through a quest (see the section Creature Faction Quest below).


Animal-to-Player Behavior

Now, animals may respond to the player in several ways. They may be outright aggressive, cautious, shy, or even friendly. Each of these responses depends on many factors. The creatures’ reactions are calculated dynamically as the situations change around them, and the calculations take into account the following:

  • The creatures' aggression rating (remember, creatures of the same type may be more or less aggressive, confident, strong, fast, etc., than others of their kin)
  • The creature’s confidence.
  • The player’s Personality and Willpower.
  • The demeanor of the player (weapon sheathed or unsheathed).
  • The actions of the player (pestering the animal by getting too close, attacking it from a distance, etc.)

This means that you could approach an animal, and it may decide to run away from you. Then you could try to chase it, and if you get too close to it (depending on their aggression and confidence they will consider you as "too close for comfort" differently) it will try to defend itself and attack you. Now, you could decide to run away. If you make enough distance in between you and the beast, it will stop chasing you and will try to get on with its own business. However, you may decide to go chasing after it again, at which point you may fire an arrow and provoke the beast, which decides to run instead of fight (or may decide to fight instead).

Now, imagine the possibilities this opens when seen in light of the other changes pertaining creatures. The beast, the second time you go looking for it, may decide to run after you instead, right on sight, and without giving you time to draw the bow. Then, as you try to run again, a different animal appears nearby, this new animal may be aggressive to the creature chasing you more than to you, so it would try to attack it and save your hide in the process. Literally, the possible gameplay scenarios are multiplied several fold thanks to OOO’s changes to creatures.


Animal-to-Animal Behavior

Last, but not least, every creature has now different behavior types that suit their nature. For example, wolves will routinely hunt for preys, like boars, deer, and so forth. Bears and other vegetarian animals will graze and search for ingredients with which to feed themselves. All animals will seek water to drink, especially at dawn and dusk.


Creature Faction Quest

It is now possible, thanks to an involved new quest, to gain faction with animals. This will allow the player to befriend most animals, except maybe the most aggressive of their kind, and of course depending on the player’s Personality, Willpower, and aggressive demeanor (like approaching creatures with a weapon unsheathed). Should the player gain faction with the natural world, many new possibilities will open up for the player, who would be able to summon animals to aid in battle, and also pick up a few along the way, when they are found near places of need.


Creature Diversity

Creatures have great variety and clear differences even within each species, or "type". They may come in different sizes, with different values for their aggression and confidence ratings, with different items and statistics. In addition, now, every creature type has magical weaknesses assigned to them that match their specific nature. For example, Clannfears are cold-blooded Daedra of lizard-like qualities, they are thus more susceptible to frost-based magic, however, they are, by the same token, more resistant to poisons (for they do not act as efficiently in slow-moving and cold bloodstreams.) Minotaurs are somewhat opposite; they resist cold very well, but their hot blood makes them weaker against poison attacks. Every creature has similarly assigned weaknesses and strengths.


Water Life

If you wish, you can enable fishes for the previously rather dead-looking underwater environments of default Oblivion. These fishes will wander around and do their own thing. They can be killed, and they may also follow the player, curious. However, they may also get a little alarmed should you approach them quickly. This change is paired with many fixes to the underwater world (floating rocks, etc.) as well as with the inclusion of water reeds, weeds, and other underwater "grass" (optional, included in the plugin OOO-Water_Weeds.esp).

To enable the fish, enter the following into the console:

Set OOOFishSpawn to 1

Alternately, in v1.34 and above, you can activate the Options item in your inventory; close the inventory window, and a new window will appear with various options.

The reason this is optional is the performance impact it has. If you experience slow-downs when near water-bodies, change the 1 for 0 to disable the fish again.


Changes to NPCs & Creature Spawns

Progressive Dungeon Difficulty

This is a massive change. Almost every single pertinent dungeon in Cyrodiil has been edited to adjust the type of encounters one finds. The difficulty grows proportionally to the depth to which one may adventure – the same is true of the quality of treasures that may lie deep into the darkest corners of the land.


More Unpredictable Encounters

Not only are enemies more difficult and rewarding as you progress down the levels of a dungeon, but the form in which you encounter them is also very different. Previously, most dungeons had enemy spawn points placed at regular intervals – you would end up fighting most of the time you entered a dungeon also at regular intervals (every-other room or hallway). The location and orientation of most of the spawns for every tweaked dungeon have been changed. Now, encounters are more unpredictable. They lend themselves to better experience of exploration and suspense. It is never clear whether enemies may lie in the next corridor or only at the end of the dungeon. This change will force you to stay alert and engaged with your surroundings while adventuring in-doors, rather than disinterested because of the obvious patterns with which encounters were previously found.


Unaffected Dungeons

There are some dungeons that remain unaffected by this change. Usually, these are quest-related locations. Some of the Main Quest locales are left untouched on purpose, or only tweaked slightly to provide rewards after special occasions. In addition, the Oblivion gate realms have not been altered as extensively as Cyrodiil, and Shivering Isles has not been touched at all (though an add-on called Shivering OOO deals with this).


Spawn Rate

Significant changes have been made in this area of Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul. Now, when adventuring both in the wilderness and indoors, you are bound to find more creatures/NPCs than before. Instead of only finding a single actor per spawn point in the world, now you may see several. The maximum number of creatures differs among types. Weaker creatures will appear in higher numbers than strong ones. Rarely will you see more than four creatures in a single spot, if ever. Usually between one and three is much more likely. No more actors than that are wanted for two reasons:

1. OOO already increases the difficulty of many NPCs, offers a much wider range of enemies. The last thing that the fledgling adventurer needs is a mob of angry enemies in hot pursuit every time he enters a dungeon or explores the wilderness.
2. Oblivion is a demanding game in terms of computer-processing power. It is not desirable to hamper the enjoyment of the game for those that do not have the latest and most shiny hardware. The maximum number of actors on-screen is as far as possible kept within what could be found in the original version of the game. With that said; if you decide to enter a dungeon and run from one end to the other, then it is likely that you will have a throng of pissed-off baddies chasing their next meal and, odds are, they will get it.


Static Difficulty

Many dungeons and enemies have a fairly static degree of difficulty. As with everything else in Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul, this is somewhat fluid, for all types of enemies and locations, so that a sense of unpredictability, variety, and realism are enhanced. Even within the same types of enemies, it is possible to find both powerful and weak instances of them. For example, a group of bandits may have powerful members that could be 10 or even 16 levels above the weakest members, depending on the level of the player. The way this works is by using offset flags in the level data of NPCs. What this means is that some NPCs may be a number of levels above you (governed by the offset) up to a max cap that they will never pass (a bandit will never be over level 22, for example) or they may be a number of levels below you (again governed by offset) down to a minimum cap under which they can never go (for example, an Amazon Raging Priestess will never be lower than level 14 or 16, even if her offset is set to go 8 levels below the player).

Note that if you use an existing savegame started before you added OOO, then the updated stats for NPCs will not show up in-game. This problem can be corrected by using Wrye Bash to Update NPC Levels on your savegame, as described in the section Updating Savegames.


Guild Quests

Guild quests – those that define the main thread of each guild's story – are now scaled in progressive difficulty. Early guild quests remain largely untouched, except for hand placed rewards in the locations where they take place and except for the capping of their difficulty at a suitable level. Once you complete those beginning quests, and as soon as the main quest of each guild begins, you can expect the difficulty to increase progressively – culminating in dangerous and epic battles that will offer great rewards.


Daedra Lord Quests

The minimum levels necessary to receive Daedra Lord’s quests at their shrines are now almost completely changed. No longer do you need a high level to begin some of these quests. You can start them at any time. Whether you succeed or not will not depend on the abstract measure of your level, but instead on your skill, ingenuity, and creativity. Now, in order to be a worthy champion, you are going to need to know how to skin some beast other than sheep!


Regional Wilderness Difficulty and Changes

New Regional Creature Types

There is much more variety now between each region's inhabitants than before. As listed above, there are now several new types of creatures that are specific to each region. The northern lands of Cyrodiil are home to the "arctic" variety of creatures, such as polar bears, tundra wolves, snow mountain lions, snow leopards and frost titans. The marshes near Blackwood and other areas along the eastern border of Cyrodiil are inhabited by bog ogres and jaguars.


Variety in Regional Creature Percentages

Each region has greater or lesser percentages of each animal type. Boars, for example, are much more common in humid, forested areas than in plains. The same is true of Will-o-the-Wisps and trolls. These are just a couple of examples – every creature type, and every class within each type, has much more specific homes. These changes really help to make the regions more distinct and special.


Regional Difficulty

The difficulty of wilderness areas is proportional to their climate’s harshness and their distance to urban centers. This is also no mere trick of leveled list editing. Many special spawn points have been added to the world, by hand, in several areas that before lacked specificity. For example, snow-creature spawn points have been placed in the northern mountains, from one end to the other. This is also the case in the eastern borders, near the marshes and rainforests, where proper spawn points were lacking severely.


Traveling by Road

Roads are now much safer to travel. Spawn points around roads have been removed, displaced, or changed, so that they might offer safer passage. In addition, patrols on the roads have doubled, which should help those who run into trouble while traveling along the roads of Cyrodiil.


Bosses

"Bosses", traditionally NPCs of great power, are a staple of Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul. Not only NPCs, but also creatures, have a high numbers of bosses. These special characters have unique names and homes. They are also keepers of very special items of power. OOO revamps every "boss" found in default Oblivion. Now they are deadlier, tougher, diverse, and unique, with dozens of very high‐level rewards.