Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Creatures Alive

Moving away once again from mods that enhance the graphical quality of the game, I thought I'd talk for a bit about animal behavior in Cyrodiil. It's hard to say that any mods really "fix" anything with creatures in the game because several of the animals that live in Cyrodiil don't exist in the real world. However, based on how animals act on Earth, we can infer that certain behaviors would be present if creatures were exposed to certain environments. With this in mind, I'd like to present Creatures Alive.

The original game did a few things right when making Oblivion, and their approach to animal behavior was actually something I really enjoyed. There was a chance you could run into a wolf hunting deer, which would travel in herds and run at the slightest movement it detected. Creatures Alive takes this idea of mimicking animals in the real world and applies it to more of the creatures in Oblivion. It also increases the chances of seeing this by giving the player a good idea of where to look. Animals will likely be found near water, especially wild boar and mud crabs. There's a greater chance of seeing offspring with the animals, such as a lion cub or a baby deer. And to add even further realism, it provides more equal opportunity, so stumbling upon a mountain lion isn't reserved for those strong enough to kill one. All of this makes for a much more dynamic world that the player has to survive in.

As you can see, it occasionally makes things pretty dangerous, especially for my Level 1 character that I've been using for testing these mods. A lot of what I discuss is about adding more challenge and adventure to the world, though. There are other options of mods that change animal behavior, but this one stood out due to the very specific changes it made to how the creatures are seen. Most of the others that can be found outside of overhaul mods generally focus more on levels of aggression. This did that and more. For those of you that are interested in learning more, you can find Creatures Alive at TESNexus.

That's all for now. As you can probably tell, I think I'll be a lot more consistent the rest of this week. Until next time, have a wonderful Mardi Gras.

A side note: A separate author on the official forums made some tweaks to Creatures Alive in an attempt to make behavior a bit less glitchy. If you experience any issues with the original mod, be sure to download this version by him first before deciding to remove it.

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