So, after planning, preparing, and actually recording a video to show the mission system in all its mediocre glory, everything that could go wrong went wrong and I am sadly left unable to display what I’ve been working on through the miracle of moving picture.
First both my microphone and webcam broke, meaning I couldn’t talk about what was going on- so I decided to just record things happening and write a blog piece explaining it all. However it would seem Ol’ Rusty is starting to pack in, as suddenly even with a load of settings turned down, recording anything was unwatchable laggy and slow (why, I have no idea).
So…. I guess I’m left making a blog piece with nothing but a bunch of decidedly less exciting non-moving pictures to show for my efforts. Which is certainly a shame, as everything makes much more sense when you see it in motion!
Essentially, now you are able to activate a map on your desk to organise raids, take on mercenary work, or complete quests.
Each day the mod will generate a set of opportunities to complete missions, and you can organise one raid, take one mercenary job, and complete one quest per day. Each opportunity has randomised attributes- the location, task, target and difficulty are all generated semi-randomly. Whilst the player can complete one of those three himself (or will be able to, once I finish that aspect- the code is in place, just needs fleshing out) you are also able to send a team of your soldiers instead. If you are running a combat focused faction (like a mercenary outfit, a bandit camp, a civil war outpost or anything inbetween) this is how you will earn most of your resources to keep everyone fed and expand the camp, with teams of soldiers constantly arriving or departing.
(or reading books and sitting by fires, if this image is to be believed)
This is the menu the mission map brings up- it has a brief overview of current stocks and political relations.
From here you can choose to view opportunities for the three “archetypes” of mission: raids, mercenary jobs, and quests. These all work a little differently:
- Raids target the four factions in the above image- you have one fresh opportunity each day to raid each of the four factions, but can only pick one. They are the high risk, high reward option: They earn a lot more gold, rations and materials than the other options, but obviously they piss off whoever you decide to raid, instantly sending your standing with them into negative numbers. You can’t trade with a faction that is hostile to you, and the more you annoy them the more likely they are to send raids against your own camp.
- Mercenary Jobs, unlike raids, do not target the four factions- instead, you get five job postings per day asking you to take on the riff-raff of skyrim, whether that means defending a location from wild animals, finding a band of thieves that have gone into hiding, or assaulting a stronghold of vampires. Though the reward is obviously scaled to the difficulty of the task, you earn a lot less for completing one of these jobs than you would for completing a raid, making mercenary work a safe option- though you don’t earn as much, you aren’t reducing your standing with anyone.
- Questsare completed on behalf of the four factions. Each day you will have a chance to earn favour with a faction by sending a team (or yourself) to take up arms in their name. Quests could be described as a long-term option: though you raise your standing with someone, you are paid even less than mercenary work, and other factions will take notice, so if you are friendly with bandits and they hear of you working for Whiterun, your standing with them will be reduced to zero. Getting friendly with a faction pays off in the long run though, as you will be able to request military support, receive more trade opportunities, and eventually be able to set up a trading route, which is the best way to ensure a steady stream of resources.
If I choose to organise a raid, I will see this screen:
You can see the fighting ability and status of all your available teams, and the difficulty of the four possible raids this day. It may be that the only faction I want to raid are bandits- if this were the case, I would have to wait to see if there is an easier opportunity to raid them tomorrow, or bring a team (or two) with me to complete the raid myself. Since I’m targeting the Stormcloaks in this run and they are easy, I’ll choose them.
This brings up a “mission card” of sorts.
You can see the location of the raid- each opportunity the mod generates pulls a random location from a list of 21 in-game locations. You can then see how the reward is distributed- you always receive resources of value appropriate to the mission difficulty, but how they are spread between gold, materials, and rations is random. This means even if you are able to raid a faction you are ok with raiding, you might not get what you need from them- you can always stockpile a resource to trade later, however.
You then have the choice of adding a quest to complete the raid yourself, or sending any of your availble teams. Since either green or blue team would be more than capable, I’ll send the weakest.
Once you’ve chosen a faction to raid and decided who to send, the raid begins. You will be taken to a “review” screen where you can see the raid that is in progress- any attempt to access to raid menu will bring you here until the raid is complete, since you can’t perform more than one raid a day.
(you might notice the wrong location is showing…. this is actual fixed now, but since I took these photos with an older character that I had been playing the mod properly with, the bug is still there)
Blue team (all two of them) will now leave their positions and head out to complete their mission. All missions take about a day to complete- so in roughly 24 hours, the mod will simulate a battle between your team and the defenders and if all goes well, the team comes back to camp and the reward is added to the camps stockpiles. If you take a risky mission however, or send to weak of a team, there is a chance that not everyone will come back, or that the entire team will be lost and the mission will fail. This is fairly realistic- there is a chance a weak team will complete successfully, and there is a chance a strong team will suffer casualties (though if you are as safe as I am being here, this will never happen).
Everything went ok, and blue team return successful, sauntering back into camp like it was no big deal. My relations with the Stormcloaks has gone down, and the reward has been added to my stockpiles.
Mercenary work is went about in much the same way, but the interface is slightly different.
Instead of viewing a raid then returning to the menu to view another, you cycle through job postings like so:
As you can see here, the mission task, target, and location are all random. Well, semi-random: the way the generator works is it first picks a location from the list. It then checks if any other missions are using this location. It then assigns a task suitable to the location. It then assigns a target suitable to the task. This means you don’t end up assaulting a stronghold of rats in the middle of an empty field, or ambushing a patrol of werewolves inside a cave, but its still totally unpredictable as to who, where, and how your faction will be fighting next.
Thats about it for this update really! I’m going to add the ability for players to do quests, add the menus for the trading system, and then everything is pretty much complete apart from gloss. (I SAY gloss…. this includes the fact that though the camp store gets more and more items for the player to buy as you improve it, it still doesn’t have anyone to buy them from).
Until next time then, and if anyone has any questions just drop me a message or leave them in the chatbox- I know its kind of hard to make sense of how everything works when you cant see it in motion.