SDR series 9 is currently in the Beta test phase. If you wish to try it, please read all of the information provided below first:

What is Alpha/Beta Testing?

Alpha/Beta Testing is a pre-release review of the mod, with opportunities to find bugs, provide feedback, and critique documentation. Whenever you test a new version, you should always back up the previous one as a precaution. You have been warned!

For series 9, the production cycle is as follows:

Development

Me, programming, a lot.

Pre-Alpha

A very, very rough working version. Features and functions will be buggy. Focus will be on fixing all features, verifying formulas, game settings and completing the Player's Handbook.

Alpha

A rough working version. Should be relatively stable with all features working-ish. Focus will be on fixing bugs, updating the Modder's Resource Pack, and reviewing all the currently assigned race/creature traits - in particular the new Sprint Factor settings.

Beta

A nearly working version. Focus will be on bug fixes, stress testing under extreme conditions, testing 3rd party mod compatibility, and working on the Quick Start Guide.

Release Candidate

During this phase, everything should basically be working. Focus is going to be on overall experience, fine tuning the default game settings, cleaning up any documentation issues, working on the OBMM/omod installer version, and bringing the new website up to date.

Official Release

Files will be uploaded to the Nexus and made availble to the public, information pages updated, links pointed to the new website, and old links forwarded.

You can find a list of all the most recent changes on the Beta Change Log page.

Known Issues

Following are issues that I am already aware of. If there are any workarounds for the problem, they will be noted.

  • The following web pages for the SDR site have not been updated for series 9:
    • About/Introduction
    • About/History
    • About/Version Change Log
    • Documentation/Modder's Resource Pack (*partially updated)
    • Support/Mod Compatibility Guide
    • Support/Tech Support / Q&A
    • Experiment/SDR's Formulas
  • OBMM/omod installer has not been created yet
  • Dynamic Night Eye Shader for Oblivion Reloaded not available yet. Workaround: use the Scanti's Switch Night Eye Shader alternative.

Testing Instructions

In the Quick Start Guide, there is enough information to get you up and running with the basics.

In the Player's Handbook, there is a complete break down of every single game setting. Each section also has information on how to debug the relevant feature. So in addition to your usual tweaks, you can copy over the debug settings to your tweaks file as well.

In addition, you can find a list of every single default race/creature trait set here to copy/edit into your SDR Race Creature Trait Tweaks.ini: Race/Creature Traits list.

In general, whenever you debug, data is spewed to the console. In some cases, you can filter the data to be for a specific person by clicking on them in console mode. That "tags" them, and makes sure only their info gets displayed.

It highly recommend you install ConScribe so that the console log is saved to a local disk.

There is a LOT of stuff going on. I do not expect anyone to actually test out every single feature. Therefore, I've grouped related things together. Select the chunks that you are most interested in and let me know that you are testing them so I have some idea of what people are doing. If each person could test out at least three groups thoroughly, that would be awesome. But even just two will be very helpful.

Installation Process

Instructions for installing can be found here.

  • Were the instructions easy to follow?
  • Did you use the Wrye Bash Installation Wizard? If so, how was your experience?
  • Were you able to apply the tweaks that were selected as part of the installation process?
  • Any suggestions to improve it?

The Detection Formula

  • Are the Audio Factor calculations correct?
  • Are the Visual Factor calculations correct?
  • Are the Skill Factor calculations correct?
  • Are the Meta Factor calculations correct?
  • Does it "feel" right?
  • Are the default settings good?

Performance

  • How is the performance in general?
  • Interiors vs. Exteriors?
  • Sparsely populated areas vs. dense
  • Did you find yourself using the fps performance game setting? If so, did it seem to work?
  • What is the performance difference with SDR installed vs. without in the above scenarios?
  • Specs on rig used for testing: chip, memory, OS, clock speed, graphics card
  • How are your save game sizes? What are they like after extended gameplay? If you unistall SDR and save the game without SDR active, is there a significant difference? Did you get any save game bloat warnings?

General Immersion Features

  • Invisibility snuffer: when invisible, it should dispel if under a light effect (such as putting on a ring of light) or using a torch
  • Transparency: Chameleon mode vs. sneaking. With or without Chameleon refraction turned on. Also, when actors are first assigned a token, their base alpha value is saved and stored. Does anyone look like they shouldn't?
  • NPC Detection Magic: NPCs may be assigned night eye or detect life spells, and may use them if they are spooked or in combat. Is that happening? Does the timing feel right?
  • Night Eye shader effects: How does it look? Did you try it with the toggling/lesser power option? Does it work?

Alternate Skill Up System

How it is supposed to work: Points are based on who is the closest possible detector and what their distances is to the player. Points are awarded at a fraction of the norm according to distance. Followers are ignored, as are sleeping detectors.

  • Does it seem to be working
  • Points should not be gained from followers.
  • Should points be gained by owned horses???
  • Test with Oblivion XP. Should not be gaining any points.
  • How does it feel compared to regular system?

Alternate Detect Life Shaders

How it is supposed to work: Various possible combinations depending on whether you are normal, or daedra or vampire and whether or not you are detecting normals, undead, or daedra.

  • Does disabling a category prevent you from seeing them?
  • Have you tried all the variations?
  • Do you like all the possible shader options to pick from? Are there any missing? Are there any that should get dumped?

New spells / magical effects

  • Blindness: Does the spell work on others? Does the spell work on you? How are the visuals? Currently it is set for vision to slowly return over time. Would it be better to stay with the same visual effect for the entire duration? Does it correctly update the detection formula?
  • Deafness: Does the spell seem to work on others? Does the spell work on you? How are the audio effects (or lack there of?). Currently it's set to fade in over time. Would it be better to kill all noise for the entire duration? Does it correctly update the detection formula?
  • Muffle: Only the player really has access/can use this. Does it seem to work properly? Are only the player's footsteps silenced? How does it feel? Does it correctly update the detection formula?
  • Custom spell icons for the above: Can you even tell what they are supposed to be? Is the quality on par with the regular Oblivion icons?

New/Alternative Perks

  • Sneak Attack Multipliers: Is the option you select the one that is loading? How about custom? Are they working properly?
  • Pressure Plate / Trip Wires: If your sneak is Journeyman or more, and you are sneaking at a walking pace, you should be able to pass through and over tripwire/pressure plate traps without setting them off. Does it work?
  • Assassination Skillup: Lot's of options. Try 'em. Do they work? Do they work with Oblivion XP? (hint: they shouldn't)
  • Sprinting: Default key is "v" to activate. You will run out of steam and be forced to run when you hit a certain fatigue point. Sprint factors are now determined via a race/creature trait. How does it feel? Does it seem like anyone tried to sprint? (Because in theory they can.)

SM Combat Hide for SDR

New and (hopefully) improved version.

  • Hide time: Does it feel like the right amount of time before they end combat with you?
  • Behavior: When combat is ended, how do they treat you when they find you again. Does it make sense for that particular character/creature/circumstances.
  • Overall Feeling: Do you like the feature? What would you add/change?

New AI Behavior Features

  • Combat Shout: Does it feel like when you are engaged in combat that the allies come to help every so often? Or at the very least, if they happen to walk into the area, they don't ignore the combat?
  • Trailing Guards: Do you get trailed by a guard if you have your weapon out or are sneaking? Does it feel right?
  • Recent Kills: Do you notice any behavior changes if an actor stumbles across a recent kill?
  • Projectile Tracking: Do actors occasionally seem detect near misses and hunt you down? Does it feel realistic?

Patches

The following have had absolutely no programming changes, so don't really need testing. But if you happen to have any of the mods installed, please let me know how SDR seems to be working in conjunction with them.

  • Reality mods: Real Sleep Extended, Basic Primary Needs, Bare Necessities: Being hungry/thirsty/sleepy will affect your effective sneak skill, making you more prone to mistakes and being detected and making it more difficult for you to spot others. The effect may be too subtle to notice, but in theory it's there.
  • Druid Mod Remade: when you shape shift, it's actually an "invisible" rider technique on a specialized mount. Make sure the rider is invisible
  • Reneer's Guard Overhaul (requires RGO for SDR patch): There should be (by default) a 2.5 second delay from the time you go into sneak mode near a guard to the time they notice and start following you. Also, following guards are not counted as "followers" in the usual sense when it comes to detection and transparency.

Reboot/Uninstall Utilities

Reboot

The reboot option which *should* allow you to update to a new version of SDR without having to use a clean save with SDR deactivated. There is now an option that allows you to keep or wipe out assigned spells. Activate in console with 'startquest sdrQReboot'.

Uninstall

The uninstall option is in case everything goes nutty. In which case use 'startquest sdrQUninstall'. It should clear out and reset various transparency and other settings that were modified by SDR in a saved array and return them to normal. Any active shaders should be cleared and innate night eye abilities/powers removed. It will also automatically disable SDR and create a clean save. At this point, you should be able to restart Oblivion with SDR inactive and it should work fine.

SDR's new CAV system

SDR has a new Custom Actor Value (CAV) tracking system that completely replaces the previous Add Actor Values plug-in. So that plug-in is no longer required and can be uninstalled if it is not being used by any other mod. The new system uses a triple tier array system which is described in detail as part of the Modder's Resource Pack.

In general, I'm not really worried about this part. It's been thoroughly tested. However, if you notice any weird things happening, let me know.

Documentation

The Player's Handbook is still being updated, but feedback is still helpful.

  • How is the layout?
  • Is it easy on the eyes?
  • Is there enough information? Too much? Too little?
  • Any suggestions to improve it?

The Modder's Resource Manual is being updated, and feedback would be helpful.

  • How is the layout?
  • Is it easy on the eyes?
  • Is there enough information? Too much? Too little?
  • Any suggestions to improve it?

Website

I have created a new websiste dedicated to SDR.

  • How are the aesthetics?
  • Any problems navigating?
  • Did you have any issues reading it?
  • Any suggestions to improve it?

Overall Review

  • How is the new SDR performance?
  • Which features did you like best?
  • Do you like the new Quick Start Guide for initial set up?
  • Do you like the new Player's Handbook as a detailed reference guide?
  • How was the debugging process? Was the data useful? Was it comprehensible?
  • Were you experiencing any weird bugs, crashes, NPC behavior?
  • How does it seem to be working with your load order?
  • Any other suggestions, notes, issues, recommendations?
  • If you are a Nehrim player, did you try it with Nehrim?

Closing notes

I would like to give a special thanks/shout out to shademe and alenet for their assistance in moving the last bits of the detection formula out of the .esp/.esm scripts and into the .dll. I would also like to thank you, oh Beta Tester, in advance for being a willing guinea pig in this experiment

If you have any questions or issues, please post them in the SDR Bethsoft Forum. That way if other people run into the same problems, it'll be easier to answer/discuss.

THANKS!

saebel