Appropriate Starting Equipment

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Ralzar
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Appropriate Starting Equipment

Post by Ralzar » Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:29 am

I tried doing a search for this, but couldn't find a topic, but I can't imagine I'm the first one to suggest this.

Starting equipment in Daggerfall is pretty terrible.
Of course, it is supposed to be terrible so you have something to grow from. Still though, it allways seems weird how you start the game with equipment that has no correlation to your character. Like your axe-warrior starting with a sword or your archer without a bow (or even some arrows...).

It would be really nice, and more immersive, if the game did a check for your primary skills and assigned equipment based on this. Where each skill in the game had one item associated with it. In addition, the game should allways throw in a set of clothes, a staff(?) and some torches.

Note: all these items do not have to make perfect sense. Part of the benefit of this mod would be simply mixing up what kind of starting equipment you have.

Looking at the skill list:
Archery/Axe/LBlade/SBlade/Blunt: Iron weapon matching the skill.
Backstabbing: Piece of leather armor (if no leather, then chain, if no chain, then clothing)
Climbing: Leather Helmet (if no leather, then chain, if no chain, then clothing)
Critical Strike: Piece of leather armor (if no leather, then chain, if no chain, then clothing)
Dodging: Casual Cloak
Etiquette: Tunic or Gown
Hand-to-Hand: Monks Robe
Jumping: Pants
Lockpicking: Some gold
Medical: A Potion of Healing
Merchantile: A gem.
Pickpocket: Some gold
Running: Shoes
Stealth: Khajiit Suit
Streetwise: Piece of leather armor (if no leather, then chain, if no chain, then clothing)
Swimming: Potion of Water Breathing

Languages: An ingredient matching the language perhaps?

Magic Skills: Should affect starting spells (which is its own topic)
Last edited by Ralzar on Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Lokkrin Zhataros
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Re: Appropriate Starting Equipment

Post by Lokkrin Zhataros » Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:09 pm

Yes this is great! :) I always found it odd, yet a little challenging that you generally didn't get the weapons your class needs to start with. I have only seen a few similar posts about a character's starting spells.

What about having it check the character's disadvantages so it doesn't pick a material/weapon/armor you are forbidden from using. This has happened several times where it gives me items start with that I couldn't use because it was forbidden from my custom class. To avoid cheating it would only pick from the lowest tier of items.
Using Dagerfall Unity alpha 0.10.17

DigitalMonk
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Re: Appropriate Starting Equipment

Post by DigitalMonk » Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:33 pm

I can kind of see where random starting gear comes from, given that you were shipwrecked and woke up somehow in that cave (I'm still not sure how you got from the ocean to Privateer's Hold -- it seems like that dungeon oughta be on a coast -- but whatever). You wouldn't necessarily have the stuff on you that you'd want to have, and some equipment would have been very unlikely to survive the wreck and floating into the cave with you.

On the other hand, any equipment you _do_ get ought to be something you can use. Presumably, it's something you held tightly to or were already equipping when the ship went down. Especially if you have a weapon skill in your Primaries, it would make sense to me that you would have equipped such a weapon and consider it essentially part of you, and that you would have kept track of it at all cost.

Alternatively, I suppose, a garbage pile of flotsam could be in the starting cave. No good equipment, but something minimally serviceable for pretty much any build (OK, if your character can't touch wood, leather, or iron, you might be in for a rough time, but really? You asked for it :D ) At least enough to give you something to get past a bloody rat to get to the first loot pile (which always sucks for me anyway, but whatever).

The "always take the Ebony Dagger" advice is clearly good for gaming, but kinda weak for role playing options.

And there is _no_ excuse for the default spell selection. I'm sure it's what Classic did, but are we supposed to believe that the shipwreck made you forget spells from your Primaries and Majors? If you got smacked in the head that hard, you wouldn't remember your own name, much less what mission you were on...

I understand that this is all video gaming trope for "start with nothing and git gud", but it's always been hard for me to understand how someone who is clearly in the Emperor's trust could start out so badly. It'd make more sense to me if you weren't the agent from the intro scene. What if you were just an <adventurer> who saw this guy wash up with some wreckage? You hauled him into the nearest cave and built a fire, trying to help him. He knew he was dying, you were the only person around, and the only way he could try to discharge his duty to the emperor was to ask you to try to finish his mission. OK, so now you're a nobody with weak skills and garbage equipment. Makes sense, even if it is cliched (I know of at least one game that does almost exactly this - Betrayal in Antara).

Anybody feel like modding any of that up real quick? :lol:

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Ralzar
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Re: Appropriate Starting Equipment

Post by Ralzar » Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:31 am

DigitalMonk wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:33 pm
Alternatively, I suppose, a garbage pile of flotsam could be in the starting cave. No good equipment, but something minimally serviceable for pretty much any build (OK, if your character can't touch wood, leather, or iron, you might be in for a rough time, but really? You asked for it :D ) At least enough to give you something to get past a bloody rat to get to the first loot pile (which always sucks for me anyway, but whatever).
That would actually be kind of nice. If you just started the game with nothing but a pair of pants and there was a loot pile in the starting cave with a general set of equipment.

(Another mod dicussed: having item condition affect sell price would be great here. Just set all the equipment in the pile to allmost broken, so it's worth next to nothing.)


Anyway, I edited my list in the OP a bit. Among other things, including the possiblity that people are unable to wear leather/chain. I decided to go for Clothes if the player couldn't wear leather/chain as that is allready a bit min/max-y, and I didn't want to reward the behaviour by giving you plate armor.


This seems like something that should be possible to mod relatively easily. The mod just runs when you start in the cave and does:

1: Checks for reward items like the Ebony Dagger/Book etc.

2: Wipes all items that are not equipped (so you're not stripped naked) except reward items.

3: Creates the new items in your inventory based on your primary skills and disadvantages.

Edit: Or possibly just skips step 2. It's not like you'll start with a lot anyway.
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DigitalMonk
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Re: Appropriate Starting Equipment

Post by DigitalMonk » Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:54 pm

DigitalMonk wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:33 pm
I understand that this is all video gaming trope for "start with nothing and git gud", but it's always been hard for me to understand how someone who is clearly in the Emperor's trust could start out so badly. It'd make more sense to me if you weren't the agent from the intro scene. What if you were just an <adventurer> who saw this guy wash up with some wreckage? You hauled him into the nearest cave and built a fire, trying to help him. He knew he was dying, you were the only person around, and the only way he could try to discharge his duty to the emperor was to ask you to try to finish his mission. OK, so now you're a nobody with weak skills and garbage equipment.
Random thought Thursday:

An alternative that would require deeper delving into the main quest logic: Put a corpse in the starting cave. That's the agent from the intro sequence. He might have some basic starting equipment (it would make more sense for him to have an Ebony Dagger than for a level 1 nobody to have one, but that's really mucking about with character creation) On his body is a special <amulet> (or whatever, I'll stick with amulet for this discussion) and a note reminding him of the importance of his mission and that agents in Daggerfall will recognize him by the amulet. That part's easy enough.

The diving into the quest logic would be: don't start the main quest timer when the game starts. Any quests that are related to the main mission don't start until the first time the player travels to a city WHILE WEARING the amulet. Some of the mission text will probably need tweaking to support the "recognize you by your amulet" explanation.

If the player leaves the amulet behind, or just never wears it in public, then the main quest never starts. Alternatively, the player may wander around as long as they want gaining equipment and levels, and when they get curious enough about that important mission, they can put on the amulet and start everything up. (Granted, for better immersion, if a lot of time has passed between game start and "first time in public with amulet", it would be cool if the introductory letters said something about "beginning to worry that you weren't going to appear". Although, I suppose you could just unconditionally change the text to say that -- who knows how long the agent was rotting in that cave before our plucky adventurer stumbled across them?)

Sorry, wandering off topic there...

L57
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Re: Appropriate Starting Equipment

Post by L57 » Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:38 pm

DigitalMonk wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:33 pm
(I'm still not sure how you got from the ocean to Privateer's Hold -- it seems like that dungeon oughta be on a coast -- but whatever)
Have you read the official story behind the shipwreck? Daggerfall User's Guide described how the journey was on until the start of the game — just in case if you forgot or never knew. Ship was very small, and storm was extreme. Agent literally lost almost everything and was on the verge of death. I'd say he's rather lucky that he was able to carry away at least something useful.

Anyway, I always thought that player can always achieve the needed equipment through the correct skill set and correct answers to questions (which depend on your skill set) while creating a character. Isn't it so?

Game apparently encourages narrow specialization, though. If you give your archer skills like archery + short blade + two magic skills, then game won't give you a bow indeed. There would be mage-based questions. But if you limit yourself to one magic skill, you'll have thievery-related questions which allow you to get a bow and arrows.

DigitalMonk
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Re: Appropriate Starting Equipment

Post by DigitalMonk » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:22 pm

L57 wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:38 pm
DigitalMonk wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:33 pm
(I'm still not sure how you got from the ocean to Privateer's Hold -- it seems like that dungeon oughta be on a coast -- but whatever)
Have you read the official story behind the shipwreck? Daggerfall User's Guide described how the journey was on until the start of the game — just in case if you forgot or never knew. Ship was very small, and storm was extreme. Agent literally lost almost everything and was on the verge of death. I'd say he's rather lucky that he was able to carry away at least something useful.
Yep, read it back then, but just to make sure I didn't miss anything, I just re-read it: https://archive.org/details/Elder_Scrol ... l/page/n11

And, um, yeah -- the agent's ship when down "in the bay" and the agent found himself "on a cliff" which then collapsed, depositing him in the cave of Privateer's hold. Privateer's Hold isn't remotely close to the bay or a cliff. Any wave that would have deposited the agent from the bay to Privateer's Hold would have scrubbed at least the southern half of Daggerfall province off into the bay (rendering the game somewhat moot).

Nothing we can do about that. I just never understood why Bethesda started the game off with such a jarring inconsistency...

L57
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Re: Appropriate Starting Equipment

Post by L57 » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:43 pm

DigitalMonk wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:22 pm
L57 wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:38 pm
DigitalMonk wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:33 pm
(I'm still not sure how you got from the ocean to Privateer's Hold -- it seems like that dungeon oughta be on a coast -- but whatever)
Have you read the official story behind the shipwreck? Daggerfall User's Guide described how the journey was on until the start of the game — just in case if you forgot or never knew. Ship was very small, and storm was extreme. Agent literally lost almost everything and was on the verge of death. I'd say he's rather lucky that he was able to carry away at least something useful.
Yep, read it back then, but just to make sure I didn't miss anything, I just re-read it: https://archive.org/details/Elder_Scrol ... l/page/n11

And, um, yeah -- the agent's ship when down "in the bay" and the agent found himself "on a cliff" which then collapsed, depositing him in the cave of Privateer's hold. Privateer's Hold isn't remotely close to the bay or a cliff. Any wave that would have deposited the agent from the bay to Privateer's Hold would have scrubbed at least the southern half of Daggerfall province off into the bay (rendering the game somewhat moot).

Nothing we can do about that. I just never understood why Bethesda started the game off with such a jarring inconsistency...
When I read it I thought it's not Illiac Bay itself, but smaller bay which is close to Privateer' Hold and is between Daggerfall region and neighboring one. The absence of a cliff is not a big deal either I think, given the limitations of game and its flat terrain. But yes, even then it still looks strange how Agent managed to get there. Probably he completely lost and sailed away too far ("you numbly steered the ship in the direction that you hoped was north"), but it was still quite a distance, and guide clearly implies events developed rapidly.

DaveCastle
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Re: Appropriate Starting Equipment

Post by DaveCastle » Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:36 am

DigitalMonk wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:54 pm
Random thought Thursday
So what would you do with your character's backstory that inevitably ties into establishing a previous relationship with the emperor?
I don't get the sense that the level 1 character is incompetent unless I specialise in monster language skills and etiquette - and even then, I'd say he's merely more out of his element in a dungeon far away from civilisation than just hilariously unqualified. Keep in mind that you're not some sort of superspy trained by the Tamriel branch of MI6, just some schmuck who is of the very few the boss man feels he can trust absolutely due to your shared past and is low-profile enough at the same time.
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L57
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Re: Appropriate Starting Equipment

Post by L57 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:47 am

I agree. Agent definitely looks pretty competent. He is capable to kill all human enemies in PH at least in 1x1 battle, that already says a lot. Not the hero yet, just simply strong enough guy who can get out from extremely dangerous dungeon if luck comes along. Your PC is already more durable than all in-game civilians and peasants, and stronger than many bandits and guards (yes, due to the leveling system technically, but that doesn't matter). People tend to forget how strong PC really is, not just in Daggerfall, but in many other games too.

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