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Monday, May 7, 2012

Attack of the Fifty Foot Nord

Played with the setscale command at console in PC Skyrim last night, in my own little remake of Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman.

 The basics are easy. Hit a tilda to bring up the console. Type "player.setscale " where 1 is normal size, and the number you type in is the multiple of normal height. Close the console with another tilda and stomp about giant size or run around tiny. If you click on another character or object while in console to get its ID, you can then type setscale 3 to make that object three times as big. I had a couple followers going thanks to the Ultimate Followers Overhaul mod, so I made both of them giants with me for awhile. 

 Things I learned as a giant: 

You may be 40 feet tall and intend to step on real in game giants but if you are low level, they will still clean your clock unless you bump up your hitpoints a lot (player.setav health 1000, for instance) or otherwise boost your combat to match your size. They just won't send you flying like normal when they swing for the bleachers with a club. 

 Your jump height is proportional to your size, but your fall damage works like normal, so if you are big enough, you can jump high enough to hurt yourself, and that seemingly small downhill jump can be lethal. Its not square-cube law tough, but enough to be dangerous. 

 Your over the shoulder camera does not reposition with size. If you try archery while at setscale 5 for instance, you'll be shooting while targeting between your character's legs. Follower "personal space" follow distance does not adjust automatically with size, so while stomping around Whiterun at 10x, if I stood still long, we'd end up as an intermingled clump of giant bodies. Animation gets a bit wonky when vastly resized. I saw a lot of twitching up and down of my character or followers when trying to stand on rough ground while over about 5x height. Looked like either collision or different ground height of where the right and left foot stood made for instability. 

 You learn about bounding boxes and hidden limits when resized. 

You can't step over the walls of Whiterun even when 100 feet tall. But you can pass through a gate too small to fit under. 

You can't walk under a horse when you are 1 foot tall, there is an invisible bounding box for the horse that extends to the ground between front and rear legs. 

 If you play with setscale a lot going up and down, it can kind of lose track of an assortment of things. My setscale 1 left my character about a head taller than normal size followers. Had to do 0.95 or something to match back up. 

Speeds got a bit wonky. I had a spell after returning to normal size of being about double speed, which was kind of fun, and then really slow after being small and then normal sized again. Also had a bit where I'd lost the run animation and walked fast or walked slow instead, overall a bit slower than normal. 

Its probably a good idea to go back to a save from before playing with size if you do this on an actively adventuring character and want to keep adventuring. 

 NPC face tracking means you can get some funny screen shots as people crane up to look at you or look down at you when your size is extremely changed. 

NPC dialog can be funnier when you're a giant, as the kid obliviously says "I'm not scared of you even if you are my elder," without noticing you could step on her by accident (well not really, unmodded kids are invulnerable in Skyrim). 

 setscale 0.1 is tiny but visible. setscale 0.01 I couldn't find my character, but it was at night so maybe there was a half inch tall PC there somewhere. 

 So a Potion of Growth would need to set size, follower follow distance, camera height, and probably hit points and melee & shooting damage (maybe knockback physics?) to feel right. If possible make you harder for NPCs to hit with arrows and ranged spells when small, easier when large. Then reset it all back and maybe speed too, when it wears off. I don't know what to do about run animation issues though.