Tes4Mod:Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul/NPC Changes
Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul aims for a more static world, where NPCs do not constantly get stronger alongside the player's progression in skills and power. However, the features of “level scaling”, as it is often called, are not completely taken away. These features are actually very useful in providing variety and diversity of challenges. They are used to enhance the believability, immersion, and unpredictability of the Cyrodiil's inhabitants. OOO changes most of the default NPCs to make them more static in terms of how strong they may become or be right at the start of your game. This applies not only to their abilities but also to their equipment (no lowly bandits with glass armors and mighty enemies with worn iron swords).
OOO also introduces many new exciting features to old and new NPCs. The goal – to transform Cyrodiil's NPCs into more alive, more believable, more challenging, and more unique beings – has been taken to extremes. Here follows a summary of the most notable changes in this respect.
Default types of NPCs, including citizens, characters of the main quest, guards, bandits, marauders, necromancers, conjurers, vampires and Dremoras are now much more unique than ever before. With the addition of thousands of new armor and item types, the variety of looks and possessions that NPCs boast increases immensely. Every type of NPC has now much more unique items, abilities, and spells that are proper to their profession and status. These features belong to them whether you are a fledgling adventurer or an acclaimed hero. This step was the first in creating a much more static and realistic world.
Listing every change here would spoil the sense of discovery that you will get when encountering all of these old NPCs in their new settings and apparels. The changes here are massive. Every type of default NPC has their own loot lists, with items designed, named, and balanced to fit their role and relative power. These changes apply to all almost all NPCs without exception.
All of the additions and changes were made with other concerns in mind, specifically the changes to their homes, their backgrounds, default quests, and interrelation with the new NPCs, locales, stories, and quests introduced by Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul. The following list is a quick summary of these factors:
- NPCs' status reflects the items that may be found in their homes. This was a feature of default Oblivion, but OOO greatly expands upon this by introducing dozens of new housewares, clothing, jewelry, armor, weapons, books, and so forth. Thousands and thousands of items all over the homes, caverns, lairs, manors, castles, camps and every other type of dwelling of the default NPCs have been placed by hand, and not through mere loot‐list tweaking. A few lines cannot do justice to the amount of work and attention put in making every location seem more proper to its owner's role and class.
- NPC's levels are tweaked to offer the greatest gameplay that mixes very static and slightly leveled features. These changes apply to all NPCs, whether friend or enemy, involved in the Main Quest, as well as every other Guild's guest.
- The backgrounds in lore for the different factions and individual NPCs were taken into account when designing their base abilities, spells, and gear. Whenever there was no such prior background, OOO tries to introduce new stories that appear in the form of books, notes, quest messages and the associated special items that go with them.
- The interrelation of the old NPC factions and individuals was, whenever possible, given depth by the addition of the above noted books, notes and quests. It is relevant to the scope of the mod to keep developing the surrounding histories and events that are relevant to these NPCs and factions in order to make the world of Cyrodiil seem more alive and inheritor to the rich storyline tradition of past TES series' games.
New Fleeing Scripts
Another important feature of OOO is the perfection of the fleeing scripts included responsible for the fleeing of enemy NPCs. Previously, before version 1.3, these scripts were very simple and prone to overly unrealistic behaviors. Now, NPCs take into account their remaining Health, the level difference between them and the player and the fame or infamy of the player, in order to determine the chance of fleeing when they are hit by a player's weapon or spell. (So, if you are several levels over an enemy, and have a lot of fame, then the enemy may run away more readily than if the level difference was the same but you had very little fame – though level difference also changes the percentage.)
Infamy has a greater impact than fame in making enemies cower in fear away from you. Moreover, when they run away, depending on how low their Health may be, they will lose speed and become easy prey for your blows. However, beware – they will not sit idly and let you whack them while they run. Should you hit them enough times, they will turn again on you! This behavior is one of the most realistic available.
Bandits, Marauders, Conjurers and Necromancers
These NPCs are capped, and their loot lists are adjusted and spread at a variety of level ranges so that some difference between them is apparent. Bandits can range from very low level to early twenties. Some exceptions are the bandit bosses and the infamous Black Bow Bandit crew. Marauders tend to be slightly more powerful. Necromancers and Conjurers will give some trouble to the inexperienced adventurer, but later on, they will easily become cannon fodder. However, the boss versions are rather powerful. The expulsion of necromancers from the Mages Guild has bred resentment. Necromancers of Tamriel, under the guide of the experienced Fayth Noor, gather in Cyrodiil to plot against the Arch-Mage.
However, new players in this game of betrayal and revenge have appeared in the scene. Now there are even more factions vying for power that clash directly with these default Oblivion factions. It is up to you to discover the nature of their intended plans and the locations from whence their power flows.
NPC vampires are very different now. There are four different types of vampires: Regular, Fearsome, Deadly and Ancient. Many of these are "leveled" so they will appear in the usual vampire havens and dungeons based on the strength of the player. The space between the intervals allows the player to experience both challenge and a good ol' fashioned vampire‐killing spree. However, many lairs house extremely powerful vampires that appear regardless of the player's level. They are, of course, geared accordingly and they also guard treasures of great value.
Vampires have special abilities and equipment depending on their type and class. Deadly and Ancient vampires have, naturally, very powerful skills that they will unleash upon all who dare enter their havens. Rumor has it that a very powerful vampire lord has brought a feared relic to Cyrodiil and seeks to taint its dangerous power. Now, he is aided by even more special vampires, who have their own unique items and treasures after centuries of unlife.
Dremoras are now significantly more powerful. Markynaz and Valkynaz have their levels capped but with a range where they keep up with the player. Every leveled list that included Dremoras, even quest ones, is now updated. This means that some quests, especially the main quest, will be more difficult and the player will not be able to complete them at low levels. Roughly, a level 20‐25 will stand a chance, anything below that and it will be a world of hurt. At a player level of 40+, almost all Dremoras will be lower than the player level, with the exception of some special cases. At level 50, the player should be able to mop the floor with just about every creature in Cyrodiil. (Example: Kynval are level 12; in most cases they will not spawn unless the player is level 13 – the intervals of Dremora reach near level 40.) In addition, new Dremoras now guard special items and stages of the Main Quest. These terrible new foes have unique Daedric items of amazing power. Be ready - saving Cyrodiil from the threat of the Daedra will be a very challenging task.
All guards in the game are now level‐capped. They are not lowly beginners, but you will not get the feeling that they are so powerful that your presence in Cyrodiil is a nuisance. At high levels, you will be able to school most guards. Some towns have stronger regiments, while others have weaker. Guards in the stages of the main quest are leveled appropriately, stocked with some healing potions and ready to rumble. Still, powerful enemies will take them down more easily than they can do the same to you. This also applies to the blades and the imperial guards.
Guards in the wilderness are battle‐hardened and will usually be stronger than those found in the comfort of cities will. Without fail, the Imperial Legion has the strongest of members. The Imperial City houses several types of ranks. Each guard has their own distinctive armor and attire to distinguish their position in the hierarchy of the Legion. Their armors are the best kept of the entire Legion, to honor the privilege of guarding the Imperial Capital. Imperial Legion's soldiers that patrol the wilderness have suffered many years of harsh living. Therefore, in contrast, their armor shows the ravages of time and climate. The further away from civilization that they may patrol, and the deeper into the wild that they may venture to root out evil, the more worn and ragged will their attires look.
The number of patrols in the wilderness is now doubled. Some guards will patrol in pairs, and others will do so alone, but their numbers are certainly much higher – which is a blessing to those who need to travel the oftentimes‐dangerous wilderness of Cyrodiil.
Lastly, and most importantly, now there are many guards who are female. They were sorely unrepresented in the original Oblivion. OOO seeks to bring them back a more rightful position within the lore of TES. Their strengths and power have nothing to envy to those of men.
All citizens of Cyrodiil, friendly or not, are level capped, when possible, accordant with the difficulty of the quests with which they are associated. They are given a generous level range so as not to stifle or demean the quest progression. With that said, a lot of NPCs involved in quests have minimum level caps which means that you may not be able to finish the hard guild quests early on. A great feature of this change is that you will no longer get your ass handed to you by a hoe-wielding punk of a farmer after you pilfer his house clean or take his daughter to the "barn".
Those citizens involved in the stages of the Main quest and Guild quests are now progressively harder to beat, when possible. This change is part of the re‐balance of important quests done by OOO. Citizens have had their personal belongings adjusted and tailored to their status and nature. Each citizen's house now holds items suited to reflect their role. Moreover, every home of middle-, upper- and noble-class citizens has special containers that hold items appropriate to their status.
The progression of strength and skill in the Arena ranks is completely revamped in OOO. The difficulty is much higher the greater the rank. The Champion of the Arena has also grown in power considerably and now carries even more unique items.