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[WIP] Call of Hircine: Bloodmoon Rising


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TheElderInfinity

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Update: We've been assessing the current problems with the creation kit, and we've determined that things aren't as bad as we thought. In fact, I think we may be alright to start working on prototypes for the questline content once we're done with the werewolf overhaul. Of course, development right now is at a bottleneck. I've been attempting to contact a user who made a rather fascinating mod which adds werewolves and werewolf infection, no response so far, and he's not a nexus user as far as I know. Werewolves will most likely loose their sprinting attack, but that's acceptable.


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(the original werewolf overhaul mod request thread started by Dianna777 can be found HERE )


I've seen a lot of complaints on this forum and others regarding the implementation of werewolves, and just as many requests for mods to change them. While many of those mods have been released already, so far, what we've seen has mostly been tweaks to the combat abilities, and in one rather impressive case, the ability to toggle beast form on and off with a key. This project aims to combine the various tweaks to werewolves that the Skyrim community has made already with a number of more substantial features to make the werewolf experience in Skyrim more in line with fantastic Oblivion mods such as Curse of Hircine Resurrected than the one minute super mode (which becomes obsolete at level 10 or so) in vanilla Skyrim. Our team currently consists of two people, myself and Dianna777, though we've been talking quite a bit with LogicDragon, one of the developers of Curse of Hircine Ressurected, and have a fair idea of how to implement most of the planned features. Without further digression, I'd like to introduce you all to Call Of Hirince: Bloodmoon Rising.

Call of Hircine is, or rather is going to be a complete revamp of werewolves in Skyrim. As the name implies, it draws heavily from the popular Oblivion mod Curse of Hircine, which in our opinion was just about perfect in its implementation of werewolves in Oblivion. In this mod, being a werewolf in Skyrim will no longer consist of a one minute super mode that becomes obsolete at high levels. On nights where the moon is full, werewolves will roam the land of Skyrim, hungering for the blood of unwary traveler. Being bitten by one carries the possibility of becoming a werewolf. Once afflicted with the curse, you will transform on nights when the moon is full, and sometimes on those where it is merely close to full. On such nights, it will be your burden to satisfy the hunger for the flesh that your kind is cursed with; either by hunting men and mer, or, if you possess the willpower and determination to control the beast within you, for the flesh of animals and monsters. But regardless of whether you not you sucumb to the bloodlust within you, there will be those that hate and fear your kind; in addition to werewolves, werewolf hunters will patrol the lands of Skyrim, looking for any sign of the taint of lycanthropy, and eradicating it wherever it is found. However, this mod aims to be more than just a remake of Curse of Hircine; in addition to changing the way a werewolf character plays in Skyrim, it will also add a extensive, though optional questline which enables you to join the ranks of werewolves or those who hunt them.




Planned Features


While the majority of Call of Hircine's development will have to wait until the release of Skyrim's mod API due to the need to add several global variables to control the transformation timing, the Creation Kit,we have come of with a list of major features that Call of Hircine will include. The mod is divided into two major versions: The Werewolf Overhaul, which contains the changes to werewolf gameplay, and the Bloodmoon Rising Campaign, which contains the questline associated with said gameplay enhancements. Entries marked in green are high priority and/or likely to be released shortly after the launch of the Creation Kit. Those marked in yellow require talent our current team doesn't posses, and those marked in red are low priority or implausible, and will likely not be added until the later stages of the Werewolf Overhaul, if ever.


-Part I: The Werewolf Overhaul


  • Improved werewolf combat: This one is pretty much a given, considering its already been done in several other mods. While we haven't come up with specific numbers, we've got a number of abilities we'd like to add to werewolves.
    - Rapid health regeneration in Beast form: Considering that transformations in Call of Hircine will primarily be lunar based and last an entire night (see below), giving the player combat health regeneration is pretty important, since in a long fight, you won't be able to just wait out your transformation. Making this regeneration high and scaled to the player's level will also help balance the currently rather pathetic werewolf abilities at high levels.
    - More balanced werewolf ability progression: As previously mentioned, werewolves in Skyrim are rather underpowered at high levels. They also happen to be godly at low levels. Fixing both of those problems is something we aim to do quite early in the development of Call of Hircine, probably in the very first functional build. This will entail altering the scaling of werewolf health, stamina and attack power, and most likely altered their running speed a bit. (this is being worked on by Argan)
    - Stealth and sneak attacks in beast form: The first time one of my characters became a werewolf, the very first thing I did was try to sneak, and naturally found that werewolves in Skyrim can't sneak. Now I'd very much like to stealth in as soon as possible, but I'm afraid that's going to be rather difficult; werewolves don't have an animation for sneaking, therefore we'll need to create one ourselves, as well as one for sneak attacks.
    - First Person View As a Werewolf: First person view for werewolves runs into a similar problem to sneaking as a werewolf; there's no animations for it. While this isn't as big of a problem as sneaking since an invisible first person werewolf (the most likely outcome of trying to give werewolves first person view) isn't game breaking, it definitely kills immersion.
  • Lunar Transformations: One of the most disappointing thing about Skyrim's werewolves is the lack of any sort of moon based buffs, transformation triggers, or really anything to do with the moon. In Call of Hircine, transformations will work much like they did in Curse of Hircine: You will transform into a werewolf on the night of the full moon at approximately 8:00 PM, and remain a werewolf until approximately 5:00 AM. There will also be a chance for you to transform on nights with partially full moons; any night besides the new moon and the crescent moon is fair game, though the chances decrease every night after the full moon passes. Holding with Elder Scrolls lore,werewolves will have a power that allows them to trigger a voluntary transformation once a day. The transformation will last for one hour unless it is trigger on a night on which a voluntary transformation could occur but didn't due to chance (Gibbous, first, or third quarter nights have a transformation chence less than 100%), in which case it will last until 6 AM the follownig morning
  • Lycanthropy as a Disease[/color]: Rather than becoming a werewolf through a blood ritual which is only part of the local warrior's guild questline, in Call of Hircine, it is also possible during combat with a werewolf to become infected a disease which, if uncured, will turn you into a werewolf as well. Naturally, this will work like it did in Morrowind and Curse of Hircine: After being infected, you have a few days to cure the disease before you become a werewolf. Once afflicted with the curse, curing it will be quite difficult.
  • Better models for werewolves: This part in being worked on as we speak! (by DreamCodex and several other people)
  • Access to the map and character menus: If your going to spend an entire night in beast form, the map is absolutely essential, as is the ability to look through the character menus. You'll most likely be locked out of the inventory, though you'll be able to pick up stray objects as a werewolf, and remove quest items from containers or bodies.

  • Werebears: Good news! A modeler by the name of NateNeurotic has provided us with an excellent model of a werebear based on the werewolf skeleton. Obviously it'll still be more difficult than adding werewolves, but it should be doable.



-Part II: The Bloodmoon Rising


  • The Bloodmoon Questline: An expansive and branching questline that allows the player to join one of three organized groups of werewolves, or become a member of an elite group of werewolf hunters founded shortly after the fulfillment of the last Bloodmoon Prophecy.
  • All new items and abilities: In addition the Bloodmoon Questline, Bloodmoon Rising will contain a number of new items, abilities and recipes geared towards werewolves and werewolf hunters. These changes will range from revamps for current items such as the ring of Hircine, which will be changed to better suit the new werewolves, to poisons, items, and spells specifically designed to combat lycanthropes. In order to facilitate the updated level design, a new perk tree called "athletics" will be added. Investments in athletics will increase the player's running speed and jumping height, both of which will play a role in certain areas of the quests.
  • All new dungeons designed to support a variety of playstyles: Skyrim's level design is heavily oriented towards warrior characters who simply run in and attack with weapons; in most dungeons there's only a single, linear path through the level, and enemies will be placed in such ways that they are looking directly at paths the player must traverse for the majority of the time. The quest locations in Bloodmoon Rising will follow a different philosophy, more in line with say Deus Ex than the current linear dungeons, and they will all support a variety of approaches. For an example, in one werewolf quest, you are tasked with acquiring a tome containing certain spoilers within a heavily guarded fort. In addition to simply running in the heavily patrolled front entrance and starting a fight with the guards, its also possible, if your lock picking abilities are good, to break in through an unguarded guarded entrance on the roof, quite possibly avoiding the death of a single guard. However, if you're no good at lockpicking or run out of lockpicks, you can try your hand at another subtle approach; scaling a collapsed section of the fort's wall and entering through a poorly guarded entrance in the back. If you've been leveling your jumping abilities, you might be able to reach an unsecured window on the roof of the fort, bypassing a large number of guards and netting yourself a healthy experience bonus to your stealth skills. If none of that sounds good to you, and you fancy yourself a conman, you can always try talking your way in, though words will only carry you so far; you'll eventually have to either sneak or fight.
  • [color="#FFFF00"]Choice and Consequence: While Skyrim was much better than Oblivion in regards to giving the players choices to make in character, the consequences of these choices generally weren't all that tangible; at most NPCs would say different things, or a certain quest would play out in a slightly different manner. Bloodmoon Rising will be different in that regard: each quest in the story will have a number of decisions which the player can make that will impact the overall storyline. Sparing a certain character may result in them coming back later in the quest as an ally, or an enemy depending on the circumstances of your mercy, for example.


Development Benchmarks


In addition to the list of planned features, we have also come up with a rough outline of how we expect the development of the Werewolf Overhaul to proceed, and when the major features will be added in. So far we've planned for two proof of concept builds that will proceed an initial public release of the alpha version of the mod.


The first benchmark is the Proof of Concept 1 version:

- Werewolf transformations occur every night at 8 PM and last until 5 AM (just to ensure the transformation is working like it should, which is our first priority.)
- Werewolves stats are tweaked to make them more effective in high level combat, they are given rapid level scaled health regeneration.
- Beast form is made temporarily unavailable to player werewolves (for debug purposes).
- No sneaking or sneak attack animations.

The second benchmark is the Proof of Concept 2, still too basic to release on a large scale:

- Like PoC 1 except as noted below.
- Werewolf transformations occur on nights with full moons and gibbous moons.
- Still no sneaking or attack animations.
- NPC werewolves added into the game scattered across Skyrim which transform on the same nights as a player werewolf.

The third benchmark is Alpha Release 1, the point at which I think we have enough features to merit a public release:

- Like PoC 2/1 except as noted below.
- No sneak or sneak attack animations yet.
- NPC werewolves now carry a disease that causes the player to become a werewolf on the next night a transformation can occur on that is at least three days after the time of infection.
- Beast form added back to player werewolves, allows the player to voluntarily trigger their transformation on any night except those of the new moon.
- Companion player werewolves also get the ability to transform back to humans on any night except for those of a full moon.
- Non-companion werewolves must feed on dead humanoids every time they transform, if they do not, they gain a debuff that grows more potent every night they go without feeding. On the other hand, for every humanoid consumed beyond the first one in a given transformation, they gain a powerful buff to their stats and health regeneration. Companion werewolves gain the buff, but not the debuff.
- Allow players to access a limited version of the character menu and map.

After that point, I haven't made any benchmarks, but I've come up with a list of features for releases that drop in the vicinity of the Alpha 1 release:

- Give werewolves a sneak and sneak attack animation, and naturally the ability to do both.
- Make the werewolf model sleeker (so the sneaking doesn't seem weird) and make its face less silly looking.
- Make an altered version of the new werewolf models to distinguish males from females. (even sleaker, larger thighs, lowered shoulder width, narrower face. There will be no breasts officially added period.)
- Give werewolves a "return to human" animation, that most likely consists of a reversed and altered version of the transformation animation.
- Make the transformations on gibbous nights be chance based rather than 100%, and allow transformations to occur during first and third quarter phases, albeit at a smaller (~25% chance/night) chance than on the nights of gibbous moons. Ideally this chance should increase every night leadingup to the full moon, reaching 100% on the nights of the full moon, and decrease every night after the full moon, reaching 0% at the start of the waning crescent phase.
- Add in werewolf hunters with most of their relevant abilities.
- Add in first person view for werewolves with matching animations.
- Debug everything.



Development of the Werewolf Overhaul will begin as soon as the construction set is released, the Bloodmoon Rising will be developed some time after all of the above goals are fulfilled. While our team is currently looking for people who can make and alter 3d animations, models, and/or textures, as well as people who are familiar with using the TES scripting language, at this point, we're willing to take any input or help people can provide. Feel free to post in this topic with your opinion on the project, advice on how we should proceed with development, or ideas regarding what features we should add, and how we should implement them.

Have fun!

- The Call of Hircine Team


(current credits; subject to change, sorry if I'm not too quick about it

Scripting (Quest Related and main scripts):
DieBySword
TheElderInfinity

Scripting (Gameplay Related,Tweak and other scripts,Sound modifications):
Argan
6Templar9
Xahstur


-Character Art (modeling and texturing)-
DreamCodex
sergyu2500
nateneurotic
wrig675

-Testing-
Argan
diannacat777

-Writing-
diannacat777
roslinthelso
TheElderInfinity

-Special Thanks-

diannacat777 for creating the original mod request topic that inspired this
samogen for his many miscellaneous contributions and his support throughout the project

Edited by TheElderInfinity, 04 March 2012 - 02:36 AM.


#2
dianacat777

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Thanks, Infinity!

One other thing; we also want the ability to customise your own werewolf, picking from a variety of coat and eye colors. Wild werewolves will accordingly have their own colors. I've created a mod that has multiple eye colors, and Aikospacerogue offered us his coat recolors, so for now, we have those resources.

Many other things have been addressed in the old thread; if people are interested in those, I'll bring them forth.

Our planned main questline has several different factions you can join - both werewolf and hunter. And as Infinity said, even then, you're not shoehorned into one path, or even two. That guy is a genius, I tell you. I'm lucky to have found him.

I'm willing to write dialogue and books, plan quests, and conceptualize, but I'm afraid I can't model and I understand very little of scripting.

Edited by dianacat777, 23 December 2011 - 06:18 PM.


#3
TheElderInfinity

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I'm aware of all of those things. After a lengthy discussion with LogicDragon, I think I know enough about how CoH worked in Oblivion and how those things are applicable to Skyrim that I'll be able to write to timing scripts and make the changes to werewolves in terms of mechanics. Anything that involves modeling or animating is going to be beyond me.

#4
dianacat777

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Hopefully, once we've gotten the basics of this mod out, it'll attract interest and bring in some modelers.

For the basics, extra models aren't that necessary. The current roaring animation works all right for howling, given a different sound. Sneaking... that's going to be a problem, but there might actually be something already there if you remove the block tha prevents werewolves from accessing most keys and actions. Might be being the key word, but regardless. And changing the model is a goal, but not necessary for the mod's base functionality.

I'm really excited for the CS to come out. I'm not sure how much I can contribute, but I'm ready to give this my all.

#5
TheElderInfinity

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No, people have actually datamined the files, werewolves have no sneak animation.

#6
iokuu153

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I really like the idea! Being A werewolf is a little underwhelming in Skyrim right now, So I look forward to this!

#7
dianacat777

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Yeah, that was my thought upon playing Skyrim. I had seen the leaked videos of werewolf gameplay, and I was positively bursting with excitement... and I built up my expectations so high that when the game actually came out (doing the Companions line was the first thing I did), I was terribly let down. I remember just waiting, praying that the lunar cycle would do something... but nope. And now I can hardly use my werewolf form, because at level 77, the werewolf isn't even a glass cannon anymore. I can do more damage with daggers than I can with its claws, to say nothing of how quickly it bites the dust. It's a novelty, a fun thing for screenshots and to say you can. Right now, that's about it.

The Curse of Hircine: Resurrected mod for Oblivion was positively brilliant, and I think I had come to expect that sort of gameplay in Skyrim. But even Morrowind's system would have been preferable to this. (Werewolves were always overpowered at every level; merely moreso at lower ones. Sneak was godly, you actually felt like a werewolf, and the little frustrated noises you'd make when you tried to activate an object - I loved those.)

Edit: Ooh, Infinity, a thought for later. You know how CoH had a good/evil werewolf thing? This is obviously something that can only be considered at a much later stage of development, but what if your form changed over time to reflect yourself? Imagine we had two werewolf models. The current, bulky-berserker-styled one would befit a werewolf that did evil deeds and revelled in murder, while the thinner, sleeker one we plan to create is your starting model, but also the one you keep if you avoid senseless death and limit your kills?

-I don't really buy into the 'neutral' werewolf. You're either fighting against your instincts or glorying in them. To avoid killing is an act of good in and of itself. A clan as a whole could be neutral, but neutral really only ever served as a starting point for the player.

Edited by dianacat777, 23 December 2011 - 07:32 PM.


#8
TheElderInfinity

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I'd certainly like to do something along those lines if we incorporated a good/evil system, though I rather dislike karma meters.

Maybe something more like a "feral/tame" system?

#9
boomnuke35

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I've been watching all the talk for this mod and honestly can't wait! I wish the CS would come out all ready!

#10
runicNomad

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AWESOME!




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