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Weapon and Staff Specialties (OBSE) Version: 1.0
Requirements: OBSE 16
Author: Mr. Pimburton
Like a lot of folks, I was disappointed in the reduction in the number of weapon skills from Morrowind to Oblivion. This mod is an attempt to bring some of that \"specialized\" feel back, while adding some more niceties for archers and wizards. Thanks to the latest version of OBSE (16 fyi), this has been made far less complicated than it would have been otherwise.
Simply put, as you use one-handed blades, two-handed blades, one handed \"blunt\" weapons (I usually refer to them as \"Hafted\" for the sake of my sanity), and two-handed blunt weapons, you will get damage bonuses--over and above your normal skill damage--that only apply while wielding items of these types. So if you want to play a barbarian who uses giant axes and hammers, the mod will reward that specialization with (eventually) significant bonuses.
In addition to melee specialties, this mod provides two \"paths\" you can take with marksmanship: the Moblie Archer and the Sniper. Mobile Archers shoot enemies while on the move, lightly encumbered, and out in the open (not sneaking), and gain damage bonuses for doing so. Snipers gain damage bonuses for sneaking and shooting while being completely still, though they need not be entirely undetected to do so. As a side feature, snipers will also gain a bit of Stealth training by shooting in this mode, though nothing overwhelming.
Finally, and this may be the most interesting aspect of the mod, I have added the ability to gain proficiency in using staffs. When activating a staff or casting spells while holding one, your charge effeciency will go up and your spell effectiveness will, as well. This means that the item will have some of its charge restored every time you use it, based on your proficiency level. No matter how proficient you become, however, the minimum amount of charge spent per staff activation will be one (though you have to have enough charge left for a normal use to use the staff at all). Also, while you are holding a staff, you gain a passive bonus to your Spell Effectiveness attribute, which will push it above 100% and affect the magnitude or duration of your cast spells. Think of the staff as a spell focus in this regard.
In order to get the staff proficiency to work smoothly, I have altered the GMSTs controlling your armor penalties such that wearing armor no longer affects your spellcasting ability. The mod MIGHT work without these changes, but this hasn\'t been tested and, frankly, I can\'t stand the idea that wizards somehow become less able to cast spells because of their fashion sense. Morrowind didn\'t have such a \"feature\" and it was better for it: Divayth Fyr, anyone?
This mod is intended to be fairly balanced, and as such I have erred on the side of conservatism with regards to the rate at which you gain bonuses. Since the damage bonuses for weapon specialties stack with normal damage (and in the case of Sniping, with sneak attacks), a more measured approach is appropriate. As a balancing measure, Weapon and Staff Specialties imposes a starting -1 damage penalty that applies to all weapons at all times; it is relatively easy to gain proficiency in one of the specialties at first, though, reducing this penalty to zero. With a bit more practice, you will get a +1 bonus. +2 and beyond are harder and although these bonuses are not capped in any real way, I wouldn\'t expect much beyond the single digits for a reasonably-paced game. I could be wrong, however.
Single handed specialties increase more slowly than two-handed specialties, and Mobile Archery increases faster than Sniping.Staff proficiency faces no penalty and in fact increases faster than the other specialties since it is trying to fill the hole left by the loss of the Enchant skill. Its bonuses, however, are fairly modest and the difficulty in increasing them is on the same scale as the weapons\'. Don\'t expect to use those \"hard\" hitting staffs for 1 charge or to send your Spell Effectiveness through the roof! Still, it would be fairly easy to get your proficiency high enough that the less powerful staffs become extremely charge efficient, and also so that your spells are noticibly more powerful.
Weapon and Staff Specialties, upon startup, gives your character a lesser power known as \"Focus,\" which will, when used, give you context-sensitive information about how much of an attack bonus/charge efficiency/spell bonus you have. This changes depending upon what weapon you are wielding, or in the case of Sniping, whether you are sneaking or not. Periodically the mod will inform you when you gain a full bonus point (the first time you use a staff you will get one informing you your bonuses are 0, but this only happens once).
This mod is fairly efficient, consisting only of 3 scripts (two of which are almost trivially short), so you should not have any framerate issues with it. Let me know if such is not the case.
How To Improve Your Specialties
1H Blade, 2H Blade, 1h Blunt, 2h Blunt:
Simply attack with the weapons of the appropriate type, as normal. Keep with a specific type.
This specialty only improves if you shoot (hit) a target while moving, while not sneaking, and while carrying less than half of your total encumberance. A bit tricky, but this does cover doing the \"backpedal shooting\" run-and-gunners favor. Use a backwards running limiter mod for extra challenge.
Shoot (hit) targets while in sneak mode and without moving. If you are moving in any direction while making your shots or immediately after, you will not improve your proficiency. Stay still and take careful aim. Note that you don\'t actually have to be undetected to make progress.
Use staffs as normal. Cast spells of any type while holding them. This gives you a reason to run around constantly with one of the things, all wizardlike!
Weapon Damage Bonus = (Square Root of # of uses / x ) - 1
Where X =
7 (1h Blades)
6 (2h Blades)
6.75 (1h Blunt)
5.75 (2h Blunt)
4.75 (Mobile Archery)
Charge Return and % Spell Effectiveness bonus = (Square Root of # of Staff Uses / 3)
Functionally, This mod works by noticing when you increase your current \"progress\" in whatever weapon you are using. This does mean that if you have have maxed out the weapon skill controlling the specialty, you will not gain any bonuses from it. As such it is probably better to use this mod with a new game, a \"skill slowdown\" mod (I recommend \"Progress\" by Tejon), Elys\'s cap remover, or better yet, all three. A skill slowdown mod will also help balance the damage bonuses a bit, and I made the mod for use with a pretty strict advancement scheme, myself.
Staff proficiency is not limited in the above way; the mod improves it by noticing the reduction in the charge level of your currently-wielded staff. It also improves, albeit more slowly, as you gain progress in spellcasting skills while holding a staff. Of course, the latter improvement is not possible if all your magic schools are maxed out, but that is a rather extreme case.
1. Extract the files to \\Oblivion\\Data\\
2. Start Oblivion Launcher, click \'Data Files\', place a checkmark beside the .esp file(s). Start/load a game.
Uncheck and remove the .esp.
This mod messes around with the SpellEffectiveness and AttackBonus Actor Values and the following GMSTs: fMagicArmorPenaltyMax and fMagicArmorPenaltyMin. As such it is completely incompatible with any mod that touches these. The OBSE spell effectiveness functions are so new I don\'t imagine there are many mods that use them, but AttackBonus might be a different story. Weapon and Staff Specialties does not alter or add any items to the game: all the bonuses and enhancements are handled through a few Global variables and actor values.
None so far
Mr. Pimburton at the Nexus
Credits & Thanks:
The OBSE crew. Easily the best addon for Oblivion modders.