[WIP] Cerwiden -SMART Healer- Dev Opinion Poll 4
Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:20 PM
First off, thanks to everyone who provided feedback in Cerwiden's previous development polls for versions 1.4 through 1.7. Ceri has grown considerably in the 3 short months since her initial v1.0 release, and in no small part because of the improvements suggested by you. This poll will largely relate to Ceri v1.9, as I'll be using the feedback from Poll 3 to give me ideas for Ceri v1.8. And on that front, I've been speaking with JanusForbeare, DreamKingMods and Emma about how we might add interactivity elements for Ceri, Atvir, Aela and Vilja.
This current poll focuses on fleshing out some additional abilities for Ceri and/or taking a new direction and going back to the original "party framework" concept that I'd envisioned when I first created her. For those of you who've played Ceri v1.7's quest installment and recruited the ally NPCs, you'll see that I took the recognition framework from v1.6 and extended it slightly to accommodate the very basics of archetypes.
There's also one question I'd like to get some feedback on that I've not included in this current poll, simply because it is somewhat of a "loaded question": Should Cerwiden be taken out of the vanilla follower system? There are a few reasons why I'm asking this question now, and it's actually something I'd considered doing when I first created Cerwiden, but decided against. First, I'm spending a fair bit of time associated with developing and testing against the popular follower framework/improvement mods (UFO, EFF, AFT, Convenient Horses, Wearable Lanterns, Followers Relax, etc.). As each of those mods evolve and improve over time, it's becoming increasingly difficult for me to keep up with and test as many permutations/combinations as I'd like, and even with the help of some amazing volunteer testers. Related to this, I'm also spending a fair bit of time "troubleshooting" issues that may relate to these other mods (and that don't have anything in particular to do with Ceri's functionality).
Of course, there are some considerable benefits and drawbacks of each approach. Being in the vanilla follower system means that Ceri inherits the benefits and features associated with the mods that improve the system (e.g., Followers Relax, Convenient Horses, Wearable Lanterns, etc.). If I take her out of the vanilla system, she loses all that, and it may not be practical for me to "reinvent" some of the awesome features provided by those mods, even if I wanted to. By contrast, leaving her "as is", Ceri also inherits any limitations of being in the system, and I'm spending a fair bit of time working "overrides" to get Ceri to do certain things that would have been much easier to do if she wasn't in the vanilla system (one of the reasons it took so long to get v1.7 done was because I was having trouble with one of these "overrides").
There's no right-or-wrong answer to this of course; I'm just wondering how many Ceri users would care one way or the other on this question, and I do recognize that changing would impact many users (e.g., I know many of you use CH with Ceri).
Thanks again to everyone who provided suggestions, comments and feedback for Ceri; Ceri wouldn't be where she is today without each and every one of you.
Posted 24 October 2012 - 06:21 PM
My 2 cents: I really just started using Ceri (I won't take up space to gush about her, but she's my only real follower now) and I'm using AFT. She does work flawlessly with AFT but I've been recently eliminating followers because even on master, with the Deadly Dragons cranked up for NPC's and monsters it's becoming unbalanced, too easy. You've done such a great job balancing and calibrating her abilities that I see no problem at all taking her out of the equation with other mods for everything except still being able to recruit more than one follower at a time. This way you can focus on balancing her by herself and the player has the option to add more followers (I've been giving various Interesting NPC's a wooden sword and no armor just for the company).All the 'tweak' commands I use (gather horses, summon followers, etc.) can be issued to any other followers I have with me, I like her to remain unique. I actually find it a little immersion breaking to have her show unvoiced 'Tweaks' at the top of her conversation list. If that one multiple follower compatibility would remain I think it would be perfect to divorce her from the other mods.
...and maybe continue to ride horses too =)
Edited by Wasbunny, 24 October 2012 - 08:57 PM.
Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:16 PM
I'd definitely be able to get behind her using muffle and/or invisible when the player sneaks. This would be great for minimizing micromanagement (telling her to wait somewhere, etc.) as well as keeping her nearby if she's needed. Having her combat AI also be forced into less aggressive during sneaking would be nice so she doesn't run off and attack when I'm trying to be stealthy.
Having follower archetypes would be amazing, I think you already know my stance on that given that it's in the description page for Ceri. This is also the reason I tend to use more custom followers than vanilla ones at this point.
Regarding her being in the vanilla follower system...I use EFF because it makes managing multiple followers much easier but followers that aren't in the normal system don't benefit from those enhancements anyway. Personally, I think getting in touch with the authors of the popular framework mods (UFO, EFF, etc) would be a good idea as they could help either with making patches for Ceri or with general advice on how to best make her work with their mods. That's just my opinion, though.
Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:25 PM
Regarding other archetypes, I'm also curious as to what you all would like to see. Based on the early feedback right after Ceri's initial release, there were some who had expressed interest in having a warrior archetype with "taunt", and I finally got around to creating the basic functionality for that with the quest NPC Elric in Ceri v.1.7. To balance the "taunt", I made it so that Elric barely attacks in that mode, and instead, goes into more of a defensive posture (as compared with his "Reaver" mode, where he'll attack, but he won't taunt at all). But beyond that particular archetype, what other archetypes would be useful in party combat?
Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:49 PM
as for the followersystemquestion; i like that ceri benefits from the stuff that ufo, convenient horses etc. can do. but if it gets to a point where it becomes difficult for you to build ceri around those features i wont mind if you take her out of the vanillasystem.
Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:49 PM
An archetype I think that would be REALLY fun and balanced would be basically crowd control. Using Illusion / Alteration based spells that do no damage but severely confuse, fear, snare, stun, root, disarm, polymorph etc. Skyrim is lacking in snaring spells (had to make a custom one for my own mod), I miss Oblivion's Burden spells. So you might have to play with some new custom spells. I usually play kind of a Illusion based DPS for this reason, it's just so much fun manipulating the enemy and strategically controlling the battle. I think it would be so interesting to see what your crowd controlling (jester?) follower would do next. I think it would be wise if they were programmed to get out of harms way and elude / evade as much as possible (slightly faster, invisibility spells, Calm when attacked directly...). Man, a sly fiendishly amusing crowd controlling jester adding constant chaos to every battle...I now have my Christmas wishlist.
Edited by Wasbunny, 24 October 2012 - 09:50 PM.
Posted 25 October 2012 - 01:34 PM
now to the poll.
to give ceri conjuration wouldn't be a good thing IMHO. it doesn't seem to fit into her character. elric on the other hand, i think it would fit him much better if he doesn't have it already.
turning ceri into a sneaky priestess doesn't seem to fit with her personality either, at least to me. and well i actually like having to adapt my tactics to account for having non sneaky characters following me, adds a bit of a challenge.
as for removing ceri from the vanilla follower system, well i like having the option of switching to AFT's framework if it suits me, it doesn't at this point in time, but that might change. and if you start making drastic changes it might require a clean save (i've stopped doing those, it seems that when a savefile has been too cleaned it starts to do odd things, at least to me)
but it's your mod after all, and you have an idea of how it's going to evolve, so it's totally your call.
Posted 26 October 2012 - 12:41 AM
I placed my votes into the polls, and we can let politics be politics for the end results.
On the question of moving Ceri out of the vanilla follower system, I also have 2 cents;
First, I believe that taking her out of the vanilla follower system would allow for you to truly make her unique and really focus on her abilities without outside interference to have to work around.
Secondly, I do enjoy the friends recognition feature, and being able to have any number of followers tagging along for different ventures as well as being able to have Ceri take up residence where ever I choose.
These features would be nice to keep if possible.
As always, YOU ROCK!!!!
Edit: Changed my mind about an invisibility spell for Ceri while in sneak
Edited by lexx005, 27 October 2012 - 09:51 PM.
Posted 26 October 2012 - 07:30 PM
*Mujuro wrote about taking her out of the basic follower system. Snipped for space.*
Short answer, I would say yes.
The longer answer is. Ceri as she is now, is an amazing follower. There's a few things she's missing that might be easier to implement if she was removed from the basic system.
The biggest thing I think she's missing is her own personal mount. That can be implemented in any number of ways. A quest, buying or gifting one -to- her as part of a romance subplot. I could be wrong, but I don't think that's possible with her in current form. Another would be her recharging her own weapons.
Two personal additions I would like to see down the line is, an ability to transform into a werewolf, or vampire lord if infected.
That said, if removing her causes waaay more problems than it 'fixes', then the cons outweigh any potential benefit and may end up taking away from development time better spent on improving existing features. I think as her creator you would know better than anyone what might arise.
Its worth noting here, I use two followers at a time. Ceri, and another. Ceri is invaluable for keeping them in the fight -and- me. If removing her affects her party healing abilities I would be extremely sad.
There is one potential 'tweak' I suggest. I do understand she's a priestess but could she at least get decent light armor skill? Sometimes she's a little bit squishy. Or maybe, just maybe have her cast invisibility and break off combat at 20%ish so she can heal up?
One last edit: Final thing I would like included is the ability to set her home through dialogue.
Edited by Agriasbloodmoon, 26 October 2012 - 07:46 PM.