Saturday, May 7, 2011

Weekend Oblivion Mods

Well, I had planned to type out a big piece on "big mods"; discussing a couple of the "big ideas" I've had, that others have had, and why they invariably almost never come to fruition - whether mine or other.

But... Friday sucked. Today sucked more. I'm wiped, and just not feelin' it.

So, instead, I hope to placate the rabid masses with an offering of some more obscure Japanese mods.

I know we all love companions, 'round these parts. CM is the standard, but what bout taking other characters as companions? Well, there's CSR, but it has some issues.

I ran across a new mod that's (supposedly) considerably better. It's called Mad Companionship Spells or simply MCS. Despite the page being in moonrunes, the mod itself is supposed to be in English.

If you take a look at the screenshot, it also appears to keep track of recruited NPC locations.

On that note, I may have to dig into the scripting to see how they did that. Would make for a great addition to NCCS - even if NVSE was required (which it almost certainly would be).

Now, I use qualifiers like "seems to" and "supposed to be" because I haven't tested the mod, yet. It's downloaded, and installed; but I haven't fired it up just yet.

I do have some small modicum of trust in the source, though; so I don't foresee many problems. Interestingly, one of the forum-goers reports that MCS is so good it's completely replaced CSR in his install. Apparently there are fewer problems with ex-Bandits getting into fights with the guards, and NPCs in general wandering away when left in their new homes.

There's also the MCS Extension. Machine translations are dodgy at best, but the extension appears to... add new functionality. (ZOMG AN EXTENSION THAT EXTENDS? WHAT NEXT?!)

Specifically, it seems to add things like better inventory management - I see one function here that's supposed to get your new companions to equip tail-slot items; long the bane of we CM players. There is also a sort of 'sleep now' order; something here about telling them whether to wear clothes or armor, some stuff about managing factions to prevent companions from attacking you or each other... and something about an escape portal from "Oburibiongeto" (Oblivion?).

Hell, I dunno. I'll edit the post and report more when I've played it. I would suggest some caution while figuring out what's what, but the system on the whole appears to have quite a bit of potential.

Edit: As promised, I fired the game up and actually had a lookie-see at MCS.

Interestingly, as the name implies, it is not the traditional dialogue-based companion system most of us are used to. MCS is spell based (hence the word 'Spells' in the title, I suppose...).

Rather than speak to a potential or current companion to issue orders, you hit them with the spell:

Now, one of the things that sets MCS apart from other mods, are the other spells:

You get to clear bounties for one, but if you look below it; there's also MCS Repair/Recharge. Hit someone with that spell, and it repairs and recharges all their equipment. Handy.

Not only is this less trouble than CM's dialogue option, but it works on any NPC regardless of their companion system framework - or more to the point lack thereof.

I still haven't gotten to play with it heavily - or use the extension at all - but so far it seems a straightforward and user-friendly universal companion system. I doubt it will wholly replace CM in my game, but it's nonetheless pretty cool.

(and of course, you can also see my hot-as-fucking-hell redhead-wolfgirl character. MBP, how did I live without you...?)

Edit the second:

Done some more playing with MCS, and I'm rather impressed. The MCS extension includes the outfit selector that I mentioned before. What I didn't realize, was that when the setting says "auto", it means it - when weapons are sheathed, the companion dressed in clothing; but when weapons drawn and they go into alert status, they switch to armor automatically. Less than amazingly realistic, the insta-change... but it's nonetheless much better than other systems I've seen.


  1. Hmm.... MCS... intriguing...

    ...I just might have to check that out.

    As always, thanks for sharing, and for giving us detailed info rather than just posting a link and telling us we should get it (not that you would do that, but I've seen it elsewhere).

  2. Sheesh, you're right. Here I waste all this time qualifying my statements and recommendations, when all I really need to do is go "Here link. It good. You download now."

    MMyes. Thog like.

    In slightly more seriousness, I did come across a reference to one flaw in MCS - that being that it reportedly does not work well with "generic" enemies (bandits and such). Seems to only work well with "named NPCs" which I took to mean ones that are uniquely placed in the world, and not a random spawn. Haven't tested that part yet, though.

    I am really digging that outfit auto-changer, though. It solves a long held dilemma of mine: how to have companions follow me in slinky attire when at home or in town, but put on something protecting when there's gonna be a fight on. Y'know, without having to manually rearrange their inventory every ten minutes, I mean.

  3. I would assume that the manual inventory use for you would be sort of the same for me: take way to long due to the number of companions in tow.

    My group of Oblivion companions is in no way as large as it is in FO3 (I think its just 4 or 5 in Oblivion), but talking to each one to get them to change something every time I want/need to can get a wee bit tedious.

    It does sound like something worth checking out, assuming I get back to playing Oblivion :)

  4. Well, my groups tend not to be too large. I generally try to keep it to fireteam size (four people, including me) as I do in FO3/NV; just to keep traffic jams and blue fire to a minimum. I like a light-armored melee; a heavy armored tank; a spell-caster; and an archer. I generally have to play archer because the CMs don't understand "NO DON'T SHOOT PEOPLE ON YOUR OWN TEAM!"

    Anyway, my biggest problem with the attire isn't manually switching it, so much as the armor sets for both melee combatants end up weighing enough oftentimes that I can't pack it and the loot I'm in town to sell; so I'm constantly having to swap stuff back and forth between my inventory and the party containers...

    ...which I just realized I sent to Herculine, but never did upload for general download.