Somnium 1.1

Somnium 1.1... and teasers for Librum 4.0

Jul. 11, 2022

Welcome to the new Captain’s Log! We’ll be releasing new blog posts here every 1–2 months, and we’ll be posting links to this blog in our Discord server, here. If you’d like to be updated with each new blog post, please take the corresponding role (@blog-posts) on the server.

We've been working non-stop since Somnium's release, both in trying to perfect the Somnium experience and in trying to bring what we've learned over to Librum development. This is absolutely not save-compatible with 1.0, due to the massive number of changes we’ve made across the board. Without further ado, let's get into what's new:

Apoapse's Accomplices

‍The main event of Somnium 1.1 is Apoapse’s Accomplices, the largest overhaul of summon mechanics in Skyrim modding to date. In Accomplices, the player no longer has access to distinct summon spells for different creatures – rather, the basic tool in your arsenal is the new talent Open Rift, available halfway up the Entropy tree. Open Rift opens a link to the Sea of Eventualities, bringing forth an otherworldly creature depending on location, skill, active effects, time of day, and more. We’ve introduced more than eight times the number of unique summons from vanilla Enderal, so there’s plenty of exploring to do!

Now, this is only a fraction of what Accomplices does. For one, since Open Rift is so taxing, you won’t have to cast it all the time. Rather, each summon sticks around until killed, and each summon provides unique skill benefits when in your party. As such, finding appropriate summons – and keeping them alive throughout your adventure – is the new name of the game in Entropy.

To keep summons alive, you’ll need to make use of the newly expanded Entropy school. Instead of summon spells, the Entropy school is full of spells to affect summons in unique ways: teleport them around the battlefield or store them in a pocket dimension, absorb their taken damage onto yourself, grant them extra lives, and much more. 

Finally, we’ve implemented the excellent mod A Guiding Light in place of Clairvoyance, and appropriately integrated it into our Entropy system. This gives the spell a nice Somnium twist while more effectively allowing non-mages to find their quest destinations.

Also, keep an eye out for future Captain’s Logs – we’ll be bringing Accomplices (in a changed capacity) over to Librum 4.0, so you’ll be hearing much more about Librum-specific features soon!

Whispers of the Nyght (Dynamic Music Framework)

‍While I’ve been busy scripting up Accomplices, our newest Senior Dev, Tixor, has taken it upon himself to make a dynamic music system using the excellent assets of Nyghtfall. Specifically, you’ll notice that as you build up Arcane Fever, the game’s music changes tone, and with it, the entire atmosphere of the game. Specific tracks depend on your location, but all have been hand-selected and coded to appear as appropriate.

Note that we have not removed any of SureAI’s music! Rather, we’ve worked our dynamic music system around the existing soundtrack of Enderal, so – as with many features of Somnium – the game naturally transitions from adventure to horror and back over the course of your experience.

Remastered Horror Mechanics

The music isn’t all, however – the rest of Somnium’s horror framework has been polished and remastered, as well. At a basic level, the horror mechanics are more closely integrated into the whole game, and the balance has been thoroughly studied and reworked.

For one, the rate at which you gain Arcane Fever has been retuned, and you’ll notice it’s a bit less predictable now. This largely means that you can either play at low AF (~30) or high AF (~90), with a drastically different experience between them – and in particular, you can maintain a high AF if you’re careful. On the flip side, horror mechanics are no longer optional. You’ll need to be a bit more careful now as you venture into darkness; the Sea of Eventualities finds its way into every corner of the world, even at low AF levels.

The interaction between AF and magic has also been rebalanced, to allow mages to keep playing effectively at high AF levels, and a number of related mechanics have been re-implemented. Among other things, the Earthen Sanctuary affects your AF slightly differently now, peaceweed is now a valuable tool for managing your AF (though not without side effects!), and addictive effects from Ambrosia are both more engaging and more dangerous than in 1.0. With regards to the latter, addiction no longer stops you from playing the game; instead, you build up slow (but permanent) debuffs as you cycle through Ambrosia habits. Finally, ice claws take on a very different role now: they decrease your resilience to the effects of Arcane Fever. Be careful with ice claws, but clever players might be able to use this to their advantage.

Rebalanced Combat

‍Along with all of these changes to magic and horror, we’ve listened to user feedback in 1.0 to make the three primary weapon skills (particularly Pistol and Marksmanship) each more balanced and more engaging. Pistol damage formulas have been corrected, rifles have been made slightly more powerful, and perks for both have been re-tuned. Enemy AI has been adjusted, thanks to Wait Your Turn, and we’ve also implemented a great number of new gun animations (at the suggestion of one of our users!), re-introduced a toggle-able first person perspective when not wielding weapons, and added headshots for long gun users.

We’ve also recently made a number of substantial tweaks to melee combat, to round out the gameplay experience. Key here is the mod Precision, which introduces realistic weapon collisions and hit reactions (think HIGGS, but for Flatrim and specific to weapon collisions). We also brought in Disable Recoil, to allow chaining of attacks even when one is blocked, and Elden Counter to allow for natural-feeling counters to attacks you block yourself. Finally, we introduced Shield of Stamina with a handful of our own tweaks and scripts, so blocking is now inherently tied to our stamina system.

UI and Accessibility Improvements

‍With plenty of help from all of you, we’ve been working hard to make Somnium a more accessible experience, and the biggest part of that is with the user interface. We’ve switched the directions of the stamina and mana bars, so you can more easily distinguish them at a glance; we’ve introduced an option for more readable text in books (though I’ll warn, we changed the default to be less readable); we’ve made map markers a bit more readable; and we’ve adjusted Quickloot to be out of your way when walking around. Finally, we’ve added new options for disabling Better Third Person Selection and for brightening the ENB, so check out the launcher for these!

New Help Menu

In the same vein as our accessibility changes, our writing lead, EreEric98, has redone the entire in-game help menu, to explain all of the (myriad) new features we have in Somnium. Anytime you’re looking for a clarification of game mechanics, be sure to open the pause menu (Esc) to read up!

Further, because we’ve made navigation a bit harder, our newest writer, CozyCaco, has written a custom navigation guide that you can find in-game. Be sure to look for it at appropriate vendors!

Endless Bug Fixes

There are far too many fixed bugs to list, but a sampling are listed below. In general, if you’ve reported any bug to us in 1.0, it has probably been fixed. Feel free to reach out with questions!

  1. Silver shots affect appropriate enemies.
  2. Brother Sorrow’s head no longer has a visual bug in Dark Chambers of Our Minds.
  3. Occasional crashes at the Bank of Ark have been fixed.
  4. Occasional crashes on new game on lower-end systems have been fixed.
  5. Powder Keg has been fixed.
  6. Affinity-swapping using the Amnesia shrine has been fixed.
  7. Skill potions and enchantments now affect the appropriate weapons.
  8. A missing texture on a rare snowbank asset has been fixed.
  9. Shadow of Transience animations have been fixed.
  10. Enemy animations during Angel have been fixed.
  11. Powder barrels explode when you shoot them with any gun.
  12. Lost Arcanist AI has been fixed.
  13. Erroneous Iron Hauberk and Firm Nasal Helmet instances have been removed.
  14. Witch Hunter’s Eye of the Storm ability has been fixed.
  15. Some Earthen Reliquaries have been moved.
  16. An autosave point during the Golden Sickle questline has been fixed.
  17. Missing artifacts have been removed from the Ark Marketplace house’s display area.
  18. A rare bug when dying with a pistol in your left hand has been fixed.
  19. Qyranian Stance and Skaraggian Stance have been fixed.
  20. Armors for Duul and the Father have been changed.
  21. The battle with Alyx and Devra has been improved.
  22. The Abandoned Excavation Site has been given new respawn mechanics.
  23. Carbos’ Apothecarii amulet has been replaced.
  24. Bugs with the Amnesia mechanics have been fixed.
  25. A rare bug with Murderous Intent has been fixed.
  26. Erroneous versions of Chaos Nova I have been fixed.
  27. A bug with activating Earthen Reliquaries or soil mounds from horseback has been fixed.
  28. A visual bug with the Protector Helmet has been fixed.
  29. Erroneous crafting recipes on the tanning rack have been removed.
  30. A bugged quest reward from Trails of the Past has been fixed.
  31. Two quests have been given adjusted difficulty rankings.
  32. Erroneous enchantment descriptions have been revised.
  33. Oorbayas have been returned to their vanilla look.
  34. Reliquaries now notify you when saving your game.
  35. A rare bug with dying during Slow effects has been fixed.
  36. Hundreds more!

Librum 4.0

With all of this focus on Somnium, we know that our Librum contingent has been itching for more details. While I won’t spoil too much now, we’re deep in the planning phase of Librum 4.0, and I’m excited to share the ideas we’ve been batting around. We urge you not to wait for Librum 4.0 – it’s the largest update we’ve done so far, and it will take some time to get it right. Instead, Reyqune has been working hard to fix the most critical bugs in Librum 3.0.x, and we’re re-releasing both SE and VR versions alongside Somnium 1.1.

First of all, what’s Librum 4.0 all about? My personal goal here is (a) to re-examine the base principles of Librum, (b) rip all of the pieces of 3.0.x apart, and (c) put the list back together using our newly developed skills and techniques from Somnium. This means that Librum will remain Librum at heart, but that we’re building a brand-new, far superior experience.

For instance, we’ve had a number of discussions with users about our low-magic environment. While Librum 3.0.x achieves a low-magic sort of vibe for the player, the surrounding world is full of spellcasters and magic goodies. In Librum 4.0, we’re diving back into this idea and editing all the spellcasters in the game – no more discrepancy between the player and the environment, and the experience will be all the better for it. Librum 4.0 is all about these sorts of re-implementations: the same thing we had before, but way better and way more careful.

Now, here are a handful of the major branches of development.

Mare Stellarum.

The brainchild of one of our senior devs, Primeval, Mare Stellarum is perhaps the largest perk overhaul in Skyrim modding so far. Instead of a single skill tree for each skill, the perk screen will be redesigned as a sea of smaller, class-specific perk clusters, each containing 3–6 unique, gameplay-changing perks. The goal here is to allow for increased specialization in our low-perk environment, and to introduce dozens of new gameplay mechanics in a fun and Librum-consistent fashion.

As an addendum to Mare Stellarum, the way you raise skills will be entirely new. Though you will be able to raise each skill naturally up to a certain level, all-new skill training mechanics will become the name of the game for mastering your various abilities. Furthermore, we are adding a unique capstone mechanic to each skill in Skyrim. Once you reach the highest level of each skill (which is now 90), you’ll be able to unlock one of several capstone perk clusters by exploring the world.

A lot of discussion has gone into the skill advancement, particularly to (a) try to replicate how someone might improve in a skill in real-life, (b) appropriately connect mechanics back to the foundation of Apoapse’s Advancement, and (c) create the most seamless experience possible for the player. The end result is, while you’ll have an opportunity (if desired) to plan out your character well in advance, you’ll be specializing further and further as you progress in your adventure. While the new skill training mechanics take some inspiration from point-buy sorts of systems, they’re very deeply connected to the actual adventuring you’ll be partaking in, and the very final improvements are based on your own personal discoveries throughout the world.

Cities and Towns.

We’re redoing every city, putting together the very best components of over twenty large city mods. This will give each city its own unique feel, but to maintain a strong level of consistency across the whole of Skyrim (and Bruma, and elsewhere!). 

Survival Mechanics.

We’re cleaning up our survival mechanics, merging all of the various survival mods we have – Frostfall, Sunhelm, Hunterborn, CACO, etc. – into a large, singular survival framework. This will integrate naturally with Mare Stellarum, though details on this integration will be shared later. In particular, we are batting around the idea of introducing a new Wayfarer (or maybe Frontiersman, or what have you) skill, which would allow the player not just to survive, but to thrive in the wilderness; for instance, this may involve taming animals, setting traps, or interacting with weather conditions.

One survival aspect worth mentioning is our new food system, which will leverage the flexibility of Apoapse’s Advancement to create natural, seamless consequences of hunger and of your specific diet, and which will require you to think of food as more than just refilling an abstract hunger meter.

New Staff Mechanics.

Thanks to the hard work of Creed Angelus, staves will take on a new (and much more important!) role in Librum 4.0. As well as being able to cast spells of their own accord, they’ll be important tools for channeling your Magicka and improving your spells in unique ways.

Legacy of the Dragonborn Rework.

Our most controversial change will undoubtedly be that to Legacy of the Dragonborn. I’ve always been tentative about LotD’s inclusion in Librum – despite its incredible quality, certain aspects fight against our general vision. In particular, LotD doesn’t truly exist as a museum within the gameworld, but rather as a sort of hub for all player activities. Since we’re trying to build a realistic vision of the Skyrim world, we’re working hard in 4.0 to scale LotD back to a believable scope within the setting.

Specifically, the museum will be significantly downsized, the Curator’s Companion will be gone, and a handful of the more outlandish quests will be removed. Mod-added exhibits will be streamlined and appropriately integrated, the collecting aspects will be downplayed a bit (and refocused on artifacts), and in general, the museum will be a normal museum, rather than an all-encompassing account of your Skyrim experience.

Thank You!

I’d like to extend a special thanks to everyone who helped put Somnium 1.1 together, and to everyone who has been keeping our Librum work and our community alive in the meantime. In particular, I’d like to thank our testers, devs, and moderators for all of the work put into this -- please have a look at the credits.txt file included in your Somnium install for a full list.

Finally, if you're enjoying our work, please be sure to support us on Patreon!

While we never expect donations from our community, these do allow us to keep the site running and purchase software for devs, and it allows me to spend the time I do on SRG.