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Monday, 27 June 2011

What the hell is Radiant Story?

This wasn't just my question, but the question of thousands. As soon as I head the phrase I set out on a quest to gain an understanding of the meaning behind "Radiant Story."

First of all, if you are more familiar with the term "radiant questing," then I'd just like to mention that it is the exact same thing.

My article on Radiant AI explained how it gave creatures and NPC's rules and needs.

Radiant Story will take a bunch of variable into account and create results from that. As far as I've gathered, there are the Main Quest, alternative quests and "side missions."

The Main quest is almost hand crafted all the way through, with few examples of Radiant Story, alternative quests have a bit more radiant story, and the side missions consists almost entirely of radiant story.

What radiant story does to quests is that it says: Ok, so you've been avoiding this area, so maybe we'll send you over here --->

Let us take an example: A side mission where a woman, a friend of yours, her daughter has been kidnapped and she requests that you retrieve her. Then the radiant quest system notices that you haven't been in Area A, so it sends you to a cave there. Once you arrive, the kidnapper turns out to be a person who hates, one of the people you are on an unfriendly basis with, maybe because you killed his father. The RS (Radiant Story) chose him because of your poor relationship with him. He kidnapped her because he knew that he could get you alone when you came to rescue her, and then he could exact his revenge.

All the variables here, the quest-giver, the quest place, the kidnapper, are all chosen by radiant story in order to give you an awesome, new experience.

Another example straight from Todd: Say your task is to go to a dungeon and retrieve an item, RS sees that you haven't fought high-level undead in a while, so it sends you to a dungeon that has high-level undead.

Also reward items can be affected by radiant story. It can pull in all sorts of variables, for almost everything. If you've been avoiding dragons, it'll make you go fight a dragon.

It also teamworks with Radiant AI to enact random encounters. Say you throw a valuable sword on the ground, two guys might pass by and start fighting over the item, maybe even try to kill each other, should no one be around, another guy might pick it up and ask if you don't want it anymore or a merchant might have the audacity to try and sell it back to you. Of course you kill the merchant for his insolence, which may later result in his two sons finding you in order to avenge their murdered father. That is of course only if they know that you did it, which kind of requires witnesses. Mwahaha.

I hope that this give you a better understanding of radiant story, if not, comment and ask for more.


  1. does radiant quest have its end? Btw your blog is really great!

  2. Technically there is no limit to radiant questing. As you know, some quests are "static", meaning that everything is predetermined. Location, enemies and goal.

    Then there are the radiant quests, such as retrieving a helmet from a cave, or finding a book for someone. These sent you to a dungeon and have you face enemies, based on what you've been doing up until now.

    These quests are limited, but you can always go and talk to an innkeeper or a Jarl's Steward to get a radiant quest that tasks you with hunting down and killing someone or something. There are an infinite number of these bounty missions.

    So no, Radiant Quest has no end.

    And thanks for the compliment. I've don't use it anymore, since Skyrim has been released and all, but I've moved on to, if you'd like to follow me there.

  3. Today I started to look up info about "radiant" and "Skyrim". The reason being that I have a level 12 Skyrim character who just got their clock cleaned by "Old Orc". He hit me twice, Wham Bam and not even a thank you. So I looked him up in the Wiki and it stated that his level was "Radiant" level 1-25. Not sure what that means. Could it be that he gets a random level? Could he have been a level 25 NPC?

    1. Yeah, The Old Orc is a radiant encounter, which means one of many random encounters. The Radiant system, however, doesn't just pick a random level for the orc; it is based on your own level. If you're level 12, he won't be level 25. He might be higher, but not by that much.

    2. Okay, thanks for the info. If I see him again, I'll just shoot him in the back with an arrow and then steal his axe and boots.