I needed a break from ESO, so I put the Bzuumz mod together, and then looked around to see what other unfinished projects I had.
I got distracted.
So I have no idea how this started, but somewhere along the chain I found a video of someone playing Diablo I on one of the deeper levels, where the mobs were all Knights and Succubi. I tried to install Diablo on my current machine under Win 7 and it won't give me anything but a black screen. To satisfy my need another way, I made a few Succubus characters in Skyrim instead. With the Draugr Overlords being a good match for Diablo's Knights, I may make myself a mod with a single-level dungeon just to be able to go there when the Diablo urge strikes again.
Their wings are vestigial rigid things that just serve to help them balance. Without their weight, they'd probably fall forward. They have spells that send out a ball of destruction, a bit slower than a firebolt, and relatively easy to dodge. I intend to have them attack in numbers, like the Diablo ones did, and run away if you get close.
I'm looking for an appropriate tileset for the dungeon. The Diablo levels had bone everywhere, and impaled bodies for decoration. Skyrim one may have to use Volkihar pieces. I also need a good location for the entrance.
You can play actual Diablo on Windows 7. Use the https://mod.diablo.noktis.pl/. It works on Windows 7, and plays in 1920 x 1080. You still need the original game to play it, and you need to copy the DIABDAT.MPQ file from your cd to the install folder on your hard drive. Then copy the mod to your install folder, and start it with Belzebub.exe.
It is not exactly the same as the original Diablo. Some things have been added, like the assassin and necromancer classes. Skills have been added too. It plays a maybe a bit more like Diablo II. It was fun going down memory lane with it for a while. Back in the day I spent a lot of time playing that game.
I placed an instance of the Solitude Temple of the
Nine Eight (a mesh called "sNine") in the mountains between Valthume and Bilegulch Mine, and called it the Monastery of Dibella. I had a fun time getting a working door to the place, as the one available doorway turned out to be unused in its original location, and the collision mesh for the building blocked any door placed there from being activated. I had to add Bits&Pieces as a porch, to push the door far enough out to be usable. The interior just needed a few items removed, and some Dibella stuff added - mainly statues, shrine, basin from the Markarth one.
The route down to the undercroft is retained, but I'm hacking together a sequence of levels beneath it, from various sources, and making them non-linear, with side-branches from the main path to dead ends. It will copy the Diablo sequence of dressed stone crypt to cave-like catacombs, to bone-lined abyss. The enemies will be skeletons, and draugr, with maybe a few skeevers and other beasts, but not the goat men, golems etc. of the original. The lowest level will have the Succubi, draugr deathlords, and the boss will be an Andariel-like demon, based on my own Diablita (scaled up).
I'll build the main path first, and add the side ones later, so I can test out the idea before getting into too much effort. It's easy enough to replace a wall with a passage in the CK. I can steal clones of existing dungeons for much of it, which will also speed up the test.
I'm thinking that the quest to go down there will be started by a note left by one of the priestesses, who has gone missing. She'll have gone to find out why she was having strange dreams, and been "converted" to a Succubus. Maybe you'll free her, maybe she's too far gone. Reward will be a summon Succubus spell?
I'm having one of those "why doesn't it work?" moments. The boss is supposed to have a poison breath spell, implemented as a shout, like the Afflicted's poison spray, but she just won't use it. The spell is marked harmful etc. and the combat style has Shout weighted at max, but she persists in using her regular spell all the time.
There's a chain of objects from MagicEffect to Spell to Shout, and any one of them could have an error.
I thought I'd found an answer in the FormList that contains all the shouts, but it turns out that it's just used to check when the player uses one, for the "letter from a friend".
I think I may have seen the boss use the poison shout once, but I still can't get it up to being her standard opening salvo. However, the lesser succubi are behaving exactly the way I want, using their spells and backing off, with the player slowed so you can't chase. Ranged attack is a requirement against them.
I ripped the horns off the female iron helmet for the succubus mini-bosses to wear. They'll be slightly larger (1.2x) compared to the regular ones, but use the same kind of spells, and AI. They'll guard chests in the dead-end side-passages of the lowest level.
I did a bit more work on this at the weekend. There are a few more variety of horns for the mini-bosses, and I've established four levels of dungeon, even if some of those only have a single piece of their tileset in place.
First level below the Monastery is catacombs, using dressed stone walls - solitude jail pieces, leading to Imperial fort style. Mostly skeletons, skeevers etc. for enemies.
Second level will be mines - cut rock, rather than natural. Draugr, spiders.
Third is caves with Trolls, bears and who knows what. I want natural beast enemies, but there aren't many tough ones. They're also fixed-level, and the encounter zone thing needs something to level. It might have to be Falmer/chaurus.
Fourth goes to Nordic ruin, and starts introducing the daedric/succubus enemies. Dremora may start to replace draugr down here, and a few atronachs will roam.
Fifth will be a smaller one, lair of the main boss, with succubus and draugr entourage.
You'll have to share when it's done, sounds nifty.
Haha! I know that feeling all too well.
So far, I have:
Monastery, containing new statues of "Dibella with the big boobies", and some priestesses wearing outfits that show sympathy with that idea, from my own published mod. The building uses the Solitude temple, and is on the Reach border, near Valthume, and half buried in the cliff, so only one door is exposed. Fortunately the interior does not have pre-made doorways, so it can match. Side stairs lead to dormitory etc.
The crypt access leads down to an incomplete level of jail/imperial fort dungeon - all dressed stone stuff. I haven't yet cluttered, or added the enemies.
Mine, cave and catacomb levels consist only of a single 4-way hall section placed at 0,0, and are not connected up.
A fifth level lair containing Boss Succubus, four lesser succubi, and a few draugr. All are levelled. The door to this level gets connected to one in the level I'm building, so I can do a run-through any time. There's a chance that levels 2,3,4 might not get done before alpha test. Once I finish level 1 (crypt) I'll do level 4, as that will have the NPC you're rescuing for the quest. Boss in Level 5 will have key to her shackles. That will let me start making the quest.
No quest yet, but the outline is that you are asked to find the NPC, and given clues to location. Find her diary in the Monastery dorm for confirmation, then head down to get her. She's being turned into a succubus by Clavicus Vile, who promised her power over men. Defeat the locals, unlock her, and Azura, or Nocturnal, or both will help you reverse the process. Reward undecided.
Diablo had lava streams in the penultimate cave levels, but there's only lava in Dawnguard (and that only in the one dwarven ruin). I may have to clean-room some of my own, so this doesn't need to required DG. It appears that WaterType has provision for damage to the player when entered, but it's not obvious if that would make NPC's avoid it. It would likely need a custom texture, too.
ETA: I found that marking the underwater triangles of the nav-mesh as "deep water" was enough to stop the Succubi from wandering down there. I've made a simplified version of the Dawnguard lava mesh to use there, too. Water damage doesn't seem to be implemented at all, and the flag won't stay on in the editor.
Level 4 now consists of a small room containing Greta (the one you rescue) who is successfully locked into her pillory in the right posture. I need to tweak the positioning a little (adding a keyword to ensure proper scaling may be all I need). Greta has Gilda's face etc., but longer, darker hair. Whether that's part of her ongoing transformation is not yet certain.
Next step is to add a lot more nodes on that level to let me connect it up to the existing levels, and start developing the quest that ties it together. The hard part will be finding dialog that doesn't need additional voice acting. That's what often kills off my mod projects. The Hearthfires ones worked, because I could do all they needed by letters, and journals. This one will have a diary left behind by Greta, and there's some dialog from other quest that might become shared.
Levels 2 and 3 are still just one token node, and bypassed. I can test without them by connecting level 1 straight to level 4. The key will be using the same kind of door for each level change, so I can insert a level just by adjusting the teleports. Intermediate levels won't contribute anything to the quest beyond more enemies to wade through between the Monastery and Greta. There will be reward chests and mini-bosses in side paths to retain player interest, but they probably won't be required parts of the quest, unless I decide to add a "collect pieces of x to unlock this next part" obstacle. Bethesda did that with skulls and vials of blood in two of the Dragon Priest quests so there's bits I can steal. It would have to be succubus-themed, and I don't yet have a good idea of what to use.
Edit: Archbishop Lazarus was associated in Diablo with two succubi mini-bosses, Blackjade and Red Vex. I may try to work them into level 4, with Lazarus being a Dragon Priest (or a re-skin of one with different armour). If I can do a similar "read book to transport" linkage to side-chambers for this part, it would be even closer to the original. This was a common thing in Dragonborn, so it will also mislead the player into thinking Hermaeus Mora is involved, instead of Clavicus Vile. However, I don't want to include any DB content, and make this dependent on it.
The section of Level 4 that connects to the last one will be Lazarus' chambers, so you have to do that part always. He'll be guarding Greta, but won't have the key to her pillory.
Archbishop Lazarus is becoming Leveque Lazare, a Breton Necromancer who is doing Clavicus Vile's evil work converting the women into sucubi. I intend to have the book portal mechanism match the one in Diablo, with two books taking you to the mini-boss lairs before enabling the one that enters LL's laboratory/surgery. I'm having a few problems with the restraint furniture, unfortunately with the critical one, which is the operating table where he implants the wings.
The various sizes of wings are a lot of work, too, especially getting appropriate positioning. When you shrink a mesh, it also moves in toward the central point, and that starts to hide the wings in the NPC's back. It's a fiddly job for the smallest ones.
I also needed some new costumes for this. Prisoner outfit for the succubus, ragged version of the priestess robe, and they have to work well when the character is restrained, without clipping through the stocks, pillories etc.
I have created myself a problem with the developing succubi, in that they're NPC's who'd logically start off as neutral, or pro-player, and become more aggressive to the player as they grow their wings/boobies. I'm not planning on releasing any of them from their restraints, which they're in exactly because of that, but I need a reason for the player not to do so.
The necromancer-surgeon would restrain them for the same, but opposite purpose. They'd be aggressive to him until sufficiently changed. So anyone who's part-way is potentially hostile, but you don't know which way, maybe against everyone. However, I'll have at least one prisoner who's not yet started, who may just get released and run off.
One (Greta) is the focus of the quest, and does get rescued. The player went looking for her, and she's half-way to being a Succubus, so restrained for the benefit of both sides. I need to find a reason she's singled out, so I can release her alone.
I did a few more things to the mod this weekend, but not much. There's a journal in a nightstand by a bed in the Monastery that lets Greta set the quest to rescue her. I still need something to prompt the player to look for it. I'm also trying to re-work the basement entrance to the crypt away from the "broken in/out" of the Solitude one, probably by moving the door/gate.
I added a Forsworn to the prisoners in the Succubus Factory, with the idea that they might be the starting point of the overall quest. Some of the in-progress succubi have smaller wings, less than fully-grown. Greta has those, too.
No progress on building out the rest of the dungeon, although it was always intended that I'd work from the two ends - Monastery and Boss Lair - and let the middle part decide on its own size. I can make an initial test with the crypt level connected directly to the Abyss level, and leave out mines and caves. That way I still have something if I quit early. The important thing is using the same doors every time.
Writing some Clark narrative didn't help much, as his depiction of the tale starts in Cyrodiil, in the village where Gilda's aunt Hilde, and cousin Greta, live. That won't be part of the mod, so another start is needed. So one option was finding a dead Forsworn with the stubbiest size of wings somewhere in the area with a note on the corpse. But the problem with that is that it discloses the wing part too soon, so I'm reconsidering. Maybe she just has the big boobies.
There are in total four sizes of wings. The stubbiest are the just-implanted ones, and I have a "ground object" version that sits around in bowls waiting to be used. The next ones up are the size Greta has, and the restrained succubi also sport these. The one shown in the initial pictures of the succubi are the largest they get, exceeded only by the animated really large ones that are exclusively for the Boss Succubus (Andariel).
Three of the victims have no wings yet. Two of them are caged, and the third hog-tied near the "operating table". The one on the table has a pair of the smallest wings, although I'm toying with giving her just one, plus an open wound where the other is about to go. It's a lot of work for a small detail, but it might happen.
I've made and discarded a couple of side-chambers for the lairs of Red Vex and Blackjade. They need an entrance chamber where you can port in, and not get immediately attacked, leading to a larger one where the enemies are waiting. I can't decide if these are just mirror images of each other, or more distinct, and how big they need to be.
Then I need the whole section that leads to these. The last chamber in that will have the three books that port you in. Two are initially enabled and lead to the Red Vex and Blackjade parts. Completing both of those enables the third book that take you to Leveque Lazare. Each book disables after you clear its target area.
Another unknown is the final exit. After defeating everyone on Level 5, you return to 4 to fetch Greta, who is now wingless and probably a bit boob-reduced (but still awesome). If i'm having Azura and Nocturnal combine to undo Clavicus Vile's work, maybe they'll port the party back to the Monastery. Or there will be a staircase behind a wall.
Since mALX asked in the furniture thread, a few more details:
I haven't yet decided if/when the other victims will be released. The caged and tied women with no wings yet would be player-friendly and most likely just want to escape, if released before the end. I'd need a way for them to do so, if I take that path.
The ones with the smallest wings would probably still be player-friendly. However, I wouldn't want to release them without a way to remove the wings, or they'd harm themselves trying to do that. If they failed, the transformation would continue, which is also undesirable.
The ones with half-developed wings are assumed hostile to both player and necromancer factions, so would not be released unless the process could be reversed. Since Greta is one of those, it has to be part of the mod anyway. I could just have the Azura/Nocturnal intervention undo all the transformations in progress, and release all the victims into the processing hall, to find their own way out. Defining outfits with and without wings makes it easy to make them disappear at a quest stage.
Full Succubi (and bosses) are enemies that get defeated as you go, and will all be dead by the time Greta is released. I'm considering having Andariel recalled by Clavicus Vile when she reaches bleed-out, taking any remaining minions with her. That gives me options for a sequel, if I want one.
I did some more work on this. The sub-boss lairs for Red Vex and Blackjade have been constructed, complete with leveled mobs, and nav-meshes for them to stand on. Lighting needs a lot of work, and clutter needs to be added.
The books as doors that connect them and the Lazarus lair to the rest of the level are in place and working. They were annoying to place, as the door markers inherited the inclination of the books, and they needed levelling by mouse. There's no way that I've found of setting the x/y/z and rotations of the doors markers.
There will be some scripting to disable/enable them later, but for now they all work all the time for testing. I've run through them with god mode on so far, as firepower balance is the last thing to tweak.
The location with the books needs to be build back to a level start, through some more encounters with mini-boss succubi, who should be a little weaker. I'll probably then connect directly to the crypt level, so I have a full working dungeon, that can be expanded with intermediate levels later.
I now have enough pieces in place to connect it all up. It needs a lot more lighting, nav-meshes, etc. before it can be used, but at least a character can run through from one end to the other (using god mode until I do the mob balancing). It only has crypt and abyss levels, and the mine and cave levels are bypassed (and virtually non-existent).
The crypt part is linear, and side-branches to dead-end mini-boss lairs will be added later. The abyss level will also get some of that treatment. It's not hard to replace a straight section of hallway with a junction, and lead off a side-passage, provided it's done before all the clutter is added.
Some scripts need to be added for enabling and disabling the book doors, and releasing the quest target. I need to decide on a short-cut exit, too, as retracing your steps through the whole thing would be tedious. The same book door mechanism could get used to link out, once I decide which end-points to connect.
Added nav-mesh and a few skeletons to the Crypt. Started on the clutter, adding hay bedrolls, buckets to the cells in the jail section, a few pots, crates and baskets in the jail kitchen, and candle sconces and lights throughout. The Abyss section got roombounds around each separate section, to help rendering performance. It needs cluttering, too. I'm avoiding the usual rubble, even though I'm using "ruins" tilesets, I think Beth overdid it in most cases, and I'm looking for a mis-use, not a dis-use, vibe.
I tried out the Abyss without godmode, and it's possible, but a challenge. Sneaky archer will probably do best. The final lair needs godmode right now, but I'm using a low-level test PC, so it may not be realistic. The Crypt only has level 1 enemies, and is intended to be easy. It will get some scene-setting additions to give clues to what comes later, generally in side-paths that don't exist yet.
I need to do some work on the Quest next. The keys to various doors need to be placed, and the enable/disable for the book doors in the Abyss level needs adding.
The big problem is finding a reason for the player to go and find the Monastery in the first place. I probably need an NPC quest-giver who's missing Greta.
I have several mini-boss characters built for side-lairs, but haven't created their parts of the dungeon yet. So far, there's just the Red Vex and BlackJade halls as ante-rooms to the laboratory/torture chamber of Leveque Lazare (who needs a new robe). The existing two use fire and frost, and have matching attendants, so I'd want to do similar for shock, and maybe a mix, to prevent the player from making assumptions.
However, other than boss chests of loot, I don't have a good reason for the player to go visit them. I suppose they could hold keys to the main path, maybe like the skulls used in one of the dragon priest lairs (Otar the Mad). Fetch and place is a common meme, but I'd like a new variation on it.
I think the skulls and their receptacles may be adaptable to use elsewhere, and the sarcophagus they locked was a regular dragon priest one. If so, they might just open a rotating wall, or similar.
Everything is avoiding the Nord theme, and replacing it with a necromantic, Clavicus Vile one. So animal symbol puzzles aren't an option. Skull sockets are much better.
I've been poking around to find the dungeon that had rotating doors turning a section of corridors into a mutable maze, and I think it was Dead Man's Respite. I want to re-use that idea to shut off the two mini-boss lairs where you'll get the skull keys to unlock a door on the main path. I'll be building back from the current entrance to the penultimate level, and moving that as I go.
I don't want to have Succubi in any earlier levels, (and those may never get added anyway). so all this is in the same one. Except that I'm reconsidering in the light of Diablo having the first Succubi appear one level before Hell in the last of the Caves. I might just have Falmer, Chaurus, Gargoyles and Succubi in a level of caves in mine. Gargoyles would add a dependency on Dawguard, but that's not a major drawback.
Decent progress: I constructed the rotating doors section, using Nordic small hall, rather than catacombs sections, so it matches the rest of the level. Then I hung two lairs for the Succubus min-bosses off the sides of that. I cloned the whole first lair and just rotated it for the second, but I could go back and do a unique one later. Only enough nav-mesh to support the Succubi at present, and the hallways still need to be done.
No lights, clutter etc. I'll do that after the switches are all wired up to the doors, and the path checked out.
Can't wait to see this when it's done haha.
Will there be a SSE version or will I need to download LE?
I always build in LE, as you can convert up to SE, but not the other way. So the LE version will be first to beta, but if I know you need an SE copy then I can convert straight away, instead of waiting for release.
It's about 10% done so far. Half the zones, incomplete nav-meshes, no clutter, not enough lights, and the room bounds are missing their portals. I need a new outfit for the necromancer boss.
Added to that, I unblocked Orc Heartfires' extension, so that's taking my time, too.
Still, I may be able to cobble a teaser together soon, once the main pieces are linked up. Before 2025, anyway.
Well, I'm definitely interested in seeing what you can cobble together.
A lot of frustrating attempts with rotating doors led me to discover that they have to be installed upside-down to work properly. It's the way they're installed everywhere, as it appears that the zone-builders didn't get to send the pieces back for correction.
Now I have to determine the quirks of the two-skull lock mechanism I decided to use. The idea there was to make sure you complete the two side-chambers before proceeding to the next part, by making you collect the skulls. I probably have to re-write the script to do that, as it seems to rely on the quest to activate the next piece. Nothing is ever simple!
The Succubi need adjustments to their health, so a stealth Archer can't just one-shot them before they're detected. I can't find a decent tutorial on enemy balance, so I may have to create one.
I also have to make myself finish this level before I start work on another.
Stealth archers tend to be frail; mine wears cloth. I wouldn't make them so ran my and have a super high detection due to that. Mages are often squishy.
It's a delicate balance. Maybe make enough hiding spots that an archer could work in the shadows from, or need invis pots.
I'm willing to see what you come up with if you need a playtest dummy.
The skull lock I lifted from Ragnvald has given me a lot of issues. I wanted the two skulls to be the death items of the Succubus mini-bosses but the skulls have to exist when the lock script is compiled. That meant putting them on pedestals, guarded by the Succubi, so no big deal. At least it makes more sense than the original, where you battle the (intact) owners of the skulls while they sat in plain view nearby. In my case, I'm not implying that the skulls come from the Succubi.
Now the lock doesn't activate the door. I suspect that it will only respond to an activate parent, so I'll have to bridge with a TrapLinker. The book doors in the next area will probably need one, too, to handle the enable/disable mechanism.
And then there's the nav-mesh, clutter and lighting. And playing ESO.
Haha can't spend ALL your time modding. Gotta get some quality game time in.
Could always put up a youtube video of what you got done when it's in a viable enough preview state.
I'm curious as to how the monster NPCs are looking.
Another creature I'd like to add is the Fire Drake and its kin. They're the equivalent of Tsaesci, being snake-bodied, but having arms that can use swords. However, I can't find a decent model and animations, so it's not looking likely.
I'd help but I don't quite get 3D modelling. I've done it a little, but I just don't "get" it.
I nav-meshed the catacombs, and wired up the lock puzzles. That was the easy part, and when nav-mesh is easy ...
A lot of time was spent figuring out how to capture the death of a leveled character, as the mini-bosses control the book doors to access the Succubus factory. I had to make them aliases of a hidden quest to do that, and even then it wasn't obvious how.
And I made a start on the documentation. The quest that drives it all is only half-formed, so its page is vestigial. Since I put the Monastery at the edge of the map, it probably needs a start for the quest in one of the main cities, or you might never find it. Once you get there, you have to find a key, unlock the crypt, go follow the path down to the Abyss (which may go through multiple levels eventually) and then that level is a maze of corridors, with rotating doors that send you all over the place.
And of course, boobies everywhere. They start in the Monastery, and continue up to the final boss. Azura and Nocturnal come to assist, and let's say they've got into the swing of things, too. http://ghastley.org/Skyrim/Docs/DiabloSuccubus.html reflects that, so follow the link only if you're not offended. Expect broken links, as it's under construction still.
Not bad. The succubus model doesn't look terrible, so that's a plus in my book.
The intent was to match the proportions of the original sprites
That precludes too much exaggeration.
I've reached the point where I have to decide if Azura and Nocturnal are really needed. If I keep them, I don't see any way to avoid them having dialogue, and that means voice acting. So far, the rest of the mod can run from notes, journals etc.
I intend for the start to be from adding a rescue quest to the radiant Bounty Quests list, on a one-time basis. You would get a flyer from an innkeeper, and claim the final reward from the hold steward. I'm not sure whether this location is Markarth or Falkreath, but that's not a major issue. The dialogue for completion is generic enough for this.
However, my feeling is that it would take a Daedric Prince to undo the Succubus conversion process, and was planning their intervention in person, to add more eye-candy. Even if they don't make an appearance, you'd need a voice, so they may as well be there. Not having them would require an extra MacGuffin to enable her reversion to normal, which could be an item the player finds along the way down, or in the lab. But then there's the "how did that get there?" issues, to avoid it being too artificial. Just bringing in the Princesses seems easiest.
Well I'm terrible at voice acting or I'd offer. Too manly as a woman I think.
I added a starter quest to the Bounty quest list for Markarth (as the Monastery is in the Reach) and that part works as intended. Manually setting completion processes the reward properly.
I'm adding triggers to step the rescue quest itself, so you'll see progress in your journal. And I've pieced together another level of mines, so that I have somewhere for the vanilla Succubi. The Soul burners, Hell Spawn, and Frost Witches each have a mini-boss cell to showcase them, so the population is out of balance right now.
The mines have a straight-line path through them, that is not available to the player, who has to take a round-about route to bypass a locked (actually a static) door in the middle. I got that idea from the realisation that the Abyss level was like that. The victim could walk straight through, but the player must take all the side-paths to unlock the direct one. So now the mines are the same.
It needs nav-meshing before I can add the Succubi (or any mobs), and before that, clutter, as it affects the nav-mesh. And lighting, and dust effects etc., which at least can be done at any time.
I'm unsure what other enemies should accompany the Succubi. In Diablo's mine level, there were a large variety of gargoyle-like creatures, and poison-spitting "beasts". I don't want the latter to be chaurus, as those only appear with Falmer, and they don't really belong with Succubi, who'd like enough light to be clearly seen and admired. Maybe another critter will get the chaurus spit attack, just for this.
Could maybe scale the existing gargoyles down? I'm not sure what the poison splitters look like as I've never played Diablo 1.
I'm just using draugr until I come up with a better idea. I connected the new level into the chin, between the crypts and the abyss, and ran a test character through with god-mode on, just make sure there were no holes in the walls, that the nav-mesh worked, and none of the mobs got stuck. It's looking quite functional so far.
The scene that links trying to release Greta from the pillory to unlocking the door to the boss' lair is still to do. So any run-through blocks at the end of the abyss level, but I've already checked that part out before I locked the door. So this is all that remains from the mechanical viewpoint.
Then there will be a lot of cosmetic work, with clutter, dust effects, cobwebs, etc. before it can be released. That's time-consuming, but not challenging. I also need to grind through duplicating the remaining levels of each enemy. The succubi have only three levels, so far, and need at least double that many. That means higher-level spells, more hit points, as they go up. At least the draugr already have that, so I don't have to do the work.
Not all enemies level, and the game uses leveled lists containing multiple types of creature to compensate. So if I wanted wolves, I'd get them replaced by bears at higher levels, and then maybe trolls. That makes the choice harder for a leveled dungeon, where one creature in the list might work, but another wouldn't. The gargoyles have three levels, so they were promising. I'd still have needed to add another creature to the list below them.
Directional ambient lighting is still confusing me. The light in the mines is acceptable in level, but it currently has an illogical source direction, rather than being omni-directional. I may never fix hat.
Because I'm working on the quests, and their scripts, I'm running into save-bake issues, and have to restart often. So I'm now running a fresh character (Orcubus) through it all. I had to console her through getting real Bounty quests before receiving the right one. And she probably needs a decent bow before she can handle the dungeon, which definitely seems to favour the sneaky archer type. We did go get one from Kolskeggr, but she hasn't improved it yet. I may also want to make some more of the early skeletons archers, so there's a supply of arrows in the dungeon itself.
But the mechanisms all work. The scenes run, the costume swaps happen at the right times, and the triggers update the progress as required. All the keys work the doors, or they get unlocked by the quest. Clutter and fx are still sparse, but I may be able to package a beta soon. You'd have to turn on subtitles until there are voice files for Azura and Nocturnal, but nobody else needs any.
Greta ends up returned to Markarth, and I'm leaving myself the choice of having her become a potential follower. She's still wearing the Succubus outfit, but without the wings. I gave her all their spells, so she isn't a burden to escort back home, and she handles the sabre-cats with ease. If I can make her firepower scale as the player grows, it's an option.
I'm looking for a way to connect the abductions to Clavicus Vile before his involvement is declared by Azura. The statue in the final lair is only seen at the end, and it needs a few earlier hints. Barbas is not an option for this one, as the player could do the other quest either before or after this one. There's a slight hint of daedric influence in Greta's journal, but of course she can't know that it's Vile. So I need clues as the player goes through the levels. The best would be a clear connection between Succubi and Vile, as you meet one quite soon.
I added the factions to Greta, and the final stage sets her relationship to the player so she can be recruited as a follower. That has been tested with a fresh Imperial character called Primo. I have not yet tackled the problem of leveling her spells. I toyed with the idea of making a generic leveling mod, but too many other mods mess with the follower mechanism and might break it.
Most of the complaints I get about my mods on Nexus can be traced to changes to shared scripts, and bad SM content breaking the courier etc. These days, I clone everything I use, so I'm not dependent on the vanilla scripts not being "fixed" by USLEEP etc. I started doing that with Dremora Hearthfires, and may even go back and retrofit some of the others.
I'm not sure you can scale followers.
Most third party followers I've seen start out OP and even out as you get stronger, which suggests they don't really scale much if at all(at least to me it does). I know Inigo's skills increase as you play with him, but others don't. Lucien you have to train, for example.
As for requiring Dawnguard, if you really can't find another resource, you might have to go that way. The death hounds also might work, but again, they're Dawnguard. Scale down and reskin something maybe? Melee and spit attack fits frostbite spiders well, but they're not gargoyle like.
Hm. I'm out of ideas.
The leveling of NPC's is done by assigning them appropriate equipment and stats when they're spawned. Normal followers get their stats incremented along with the player, and the game relies on the player giving them new equipment when needed. However, you can't teach a follower a new spell and that's one area where they fall behind. A "teach" dialogue is an option to the level-up events, but I'd still need to prompt the player to do so, which comes back to catching those events anyway.
In this case, I've created a follower who's not going to change equipment, and is spell-based for offense. So I'll catch the player level-ups and add higher level spells as you progress. The game is capable of using the best available spell, so that is effectively a replacement, although I won't take away the old ones. Defensive spells (the xxxflesh ones for example) can take the place of armor upgrades, too.
I'm going with all draugrs as the melee side - except for the skeevers and skeletons in the first level. Those are fixed level mobs of the lowest grade, just to set the scene. There's one Succubus mixed in who's leveled, and will thus warn you what to expect. If I find a good alternative for the draugr, a search-and-replace can be done later.
So far it's crypt, mines, abyss, and Andariel's lair. Since the levels are much smaller than the Diablo game, there's no progression through them, and the mobs just get a little denser as you go, rather than higher-level. The whole dungeon is an encounter zone that gets leveled when you enter, so even if you do a couple of levels and leave, when you come back later, it's still that level.
I've checked the leveling with an artificially adjusted test character running in god mode, just to make sure the right mobs are spawned, so I don't really have a feel for whether the balance is right. There's opportunity for tweaking the easy/normal/hard settings on each spawn point when I get round to that. A fresh-rolled level one character can just about manage a run, although Andariel will be tricky without the best available equipment, and sneak archery.
There are still a lot of small tweaks I need to make before a beta release, but I'll create an alpha soon as a vehicle for recruiting voice actors. I need two for Azura and Nocturnal, for a couple of scenes. They can have unique voices, which don't even have to match the ones for their other avatars, because magic. However, I need to adjust the timing of those scenes a bit before that.
Doing the small details that take a lot of time.
I wanted the woman tied down on the "operating table" to have wounds where her wings were about to be implanted. That required making a layer to overlay her skin, on which the wounds would be textured. Fortunately there's already a wounds texture that's used for the "Blood on the Ice" victims in Windhelm, and I didn't have to make that part.
It did take several attempts to get the wounds in the right place and the right size.
I'm considering swapping the draugr out for Dremora, to add to the Daedric connection. They have several levels, like the draugr, and their armour is spiky enough to match the Diablo vibe. Hopefully there's a melee-only leveled list for them.
Edit: Well, there was a melee LeveledCharacter list, but for some reason, it's not behaving. I'm getting all levels below player, instead of the highest of those. The box that selects between those choices is unchecked, as intended. I'm wondering if that's because I've cloned it (templating the original) in order to set different factions.
I have a dilemma with testing this. If I roll a new character, the low level precludes anything but level 1 dremora (churls) and I can't see if it's working. Using an existing character masks the effect with anything baked into the save. I'll probably have to artificially set a new character's stats to check it, and that causes balance issues, as it's hard to set appropriate skill levels, too.
Greta's journal may get an additional entry about seeing a dog in the monastery. The problem is how to suggest that it's Barbas without Greta thinking that.
That might be your only choice really. If existing characters are wonky with it.
I spent a bit of time working on http://ghastley.org/Skyrim/Docs/DiabloSuccubus.html, and doing a test build of the .bsa file. I'm also checking what permissions I'll need for others' content. The restraint furniture and animations may need negotiation with authors, and the Succubus Factory depends heavily on those.
Usual BOOBIE warning on the link. Even more so now, as every image added contributes more. The main quest is now named "The Boobie Trap" to keep with the theme. I'm still trying to decide if the maps/pictures etc. about the Crypt/Mine/Abyss/Lair levels belong on the Monastery page, or with the quest. So none of that exists yet.
I need to review the AI packages in a bunch of places to suppress "Hellos to Player" that tend to interrupt things. E.g. Greta needs this when freshly released, and Azura and Nocturnal are trying to have a conversation about her. The problem is that testing doesn't always hit the situation where it happens, and it tends to get forgotten.
I found that I had a copy of the Succubus hair with a bad texture oath causing my main issue with the SE port, and of course it needed the same fix for LE, too. I still have some problems with my XPMS and FNIS setup, before I can test properly.
Getting everything up to current releases was a longer process than I'd expected, too. Plus faffing around turning Steam back to offline. They don't want you to find that setting, do they?
Fiddled a bit more with the mod this weekend, and fixed a couple of issues that were holding it up. Still a few remaining, though, the greatest of which is probably balance. I need TGM to get a test character through it.
In the process, I discovered why my OrcChild mod got broken, so that may get re-released, too. There's a problem with the SE Nif Optimizer that breaks the head mesh in the FaceGen folder, but I found a way around that.
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