Oblivion Plugins

So I've been on another Oblivion kick lately and have been sampling some user mods that are out there. Most of what I'm using are graphic enhancements to make the game look better, and I've got tons of those. They're all pretty snazzy and all of them definitely worth the download if your system can handle it. I'll leave it up to you to find some, as my list of them would be way too long to go into here. This kind of thing is largely a matter of personal taste too.

I've got the usual unofficial patch mods installed, an interface modifier mod that makes the user interface less obstructive, a visual enhancement mod for lava, new loading screens taken from someone's actual game screenshots, a new intro video, and a couple of new spell affect animations too.

What I enjoy more are mods that add a lot of content to the game without interfering greatly with the world as a whole and don't step all over everything in sight. The major exception to stepping all over things is the Unique Landscapes series. By their very nature they're meant to make large sweeping changes.

Bartholm - 5.0

This mod seems pretty light on the surface, and when I first found it last year it wasn't anywhere close to this well done. The mod consists of a city on the Panther River called, oddly enough, Bartholm. It is populated with the usual things you would expect. Shops, inns, houses, guilds, and a ruling palace. The city itself has several quick but interesting quests, as well as a couple of extended item hunts. There's also an arena outside the city - I haven't been to it yet so I'm not sure how overdone that might be. The real meat of the mod comes when you board the ship in the harbor and set sail for Slartholm. It's a small village situated on an island in a new world space. It's pretty good size and has plenty of things to do. I'm partway through exploring what's there, but so far it's all been pretty good. The highlight of the island area takes place on one of the estates where you get to conduct an investigation. I'll leave the details for you to find out. The quest ends and gives you a short evaluation of how thorough you were in gathering clues and interrogating people. In addition to that, the people who worked on this one did actual voice acting for it and it's well done. Nothing overly cheesy, though it's not professional stuff like the rest of the game. Definitely one you should check out.

Nascosto Isles 3

Apparently the 3rd revision of this mod, Nascosto Isles adds a large group of islands in a new world space, accessed via a ship docked along the Niben Bay. The landscaping and graphics work for this one includes a lot of original work, in addition to some very clever uses of existing material to produce some cool stuff. I've got a few screenshots of this one in my gallery for the curious. When I first tried this one, there wasn't much in the way of quests, but it seems that the authors have added on to it with V3. It sill feels like it's a work in progress, but so far it's doing great. The explorable area is fairly large too, though nowhere near the size of Shivering Isles. Lots of potential for updates, and perhaps even sub-mods.

Daggerfall Memories: The Liberation of Cybiades

As I understand it this mod is supposed to be reminiscent of time spent in Daggerfall. I apparently don't remember it all that well. The island of Cybiades is located off the coast of Hammerfell. After installing this mod, a guy will come running up to find you eventually, the farther away you are from cities the longer it takes. Upon arriving at the island, you find a deserted village and something very strange going on just outside. This particular mod feels very unfinished, but what is there turned out to be very interesting. I think it's supposed to be a teaser for a much larger effort. I'll only say that if they plan to keep going with it, they should consider livening up the terrain some. I understand there's supposed to be a bit of a sparse feel to it, but this isn't 1999 anymore either :)

Gates To Aesgaard - Episode 1

A very well done quest involving an old friend you probably didn't know you had. This one takes a very dark and sinister turn once you've reached the main content of it, which is not hinted at when the quest note is first delivered to you. The mod is very well designed and presents the dark, evil feeling perfectly. There's even a pair of really good videos that accompany this one. The first time I've ever seen a mod use them, and they fit the mood perfectly. It's meant for higher level PCs to run and I'd recommend you get reacquainted with your game if you've been away awhile. You're going to need to be on your toes with this one. Definitely looking forward to seeing an Episode 2 from these guys.

Open Cities - Complete

This isn't a new quest mod, nor does it strictly add any new content to the game. The idea here is to transfer all of the existing city cells from their current world space into the Tamriel outdoor world space. This allows you to walk into and out of every city in the game just like you could in Morrowind. No more waiting for the load screens as you arrive. The mod is extremely well done, though old. I've only encountered a few retarded bugs that were easily overcome using the console commands. You best have a good video card for this since it will bog you down hardcore on a slow machine. You'll also have more issues if you've loaded yourself down with too many high quality textures and meshes, like I have. The game can stutter a bit in the busy places. The mod is no longer being actively maintained by the original authors but I've been fiddling and editing things on my own copy getting the feel for both the CS and for some of the mod utilities that are available today. As it shipped in 2006 the mod is not compatible with Knights of the Nine and you'll either need to finish the Anvil portions of KOTN before installing this plugin, or rip it from the game long enough to do the stuff with the prophet as he's the only one affected. Despite all this it's well worth the install. Cities were not meant to be any other way. It's also not going to do anything for add-on cities, such as Bartholm. Those will still function normally unless the mod authors provide an open version.

Unique Landscapes

Apparently a ginormous project to mod up Cyrodiil with a whole bunch of unique landscape modifications. Things like farms and villages outside of Chorrol ( where there is just forest now ). A working watermill, ruins in the Colovian Highlands. Farming east of the Imperial City. Forests with new trees that are only found in that region. I haven't been to all of the thing yet that this mod does, but what I have found has a few problems that I'm not sure were its fault. For one, the landscape mods east of IC are busted. The mountain has been raised well above the proper level. You can see underneath it, and unfortunately cannot walk around behind to come up on it from the back. I can see that there should be a lot of farm houses up there with a windmill and such, but can't get there. A disappointment. All of the other ones I think I've found have been fairly good though. Especially the ruins in the Colovian Highlands. Whoever put those things together came up with some very devious traps - I actually got killed for the first time in ages by one of them. I'll reserve judgment on the rest for after I've actually visited. Cyrodiil is still a very big place to trot around in :)

Dwip's Weye Mod

Yes, our very own Dwip has also produced a mod. For now I believe he's kept it private, but it's still good. A manor and a bowyer have been added to the little town of Weye just across the bridge from the Imperial City, along with another merchant who hasn't yet put down solid roots. Though he'll buy anything you can sell. I got to be one of the guinea pigs in getting the bugs worked out. The quest, though short, is put together nicely. And by some miracle Dwip avoided mod conflict with my other stuff without even trying - and one portion of it even fits in with both the Chorrol UL mods and the official Battlehorn Castle mod from Bethesda without causing a problem.

Silgrad Tower

Though I haven't yet visited the area this mod covers, it sounded too good to pass up. It's part of the Tamriel Rebuilt project for Oblivion and is the first major chunk of that work to see the light of day. Though getting there is still a bit forced from what I can see. I'll have more on this one when I've finally paid it a visit.

So. Played any Oblivion lately? If so, got any cool mods to share? :)
.........................
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

       
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Posted on Mar 9, 2008 6:36 pm by Samson in: | 7 comment(s) [Closed]
Comments
Alright, I said I'd comment after visiting, and now I have. The Silgrad Tower mod has boatloads of potential but right now is simply not in a playable form. I'm sure the authors would tell you as much, but the download of it I grabbed indicated more than I got. The two cities it adds are so bloody far away from anything after you go through the hacky doorway they added that my Khajiit was able to gain two hits of athletics skill running to them. That's a ginormous distance. The landscape alone is easily twice the size of Cyrodiil so far.

Once you get there, the twin cities of Reich Parkeep/Soluthis are sprawling megatropolises ( is that even a word? ). The area covered would easily be 5 times that of the Imperial City. There isn't a whole lot to do there yet, and barely any NPCs to poke around with. Steadhelm is just as far in the other direction from the entry point. Imagine my surprise upon getting there to find that the authors have added temporary travel portals to shorten the distance up. That might have been better placed at the dude's cabin in the Valus Mountains.... *hint hint*. Steadhelm is a little better done IMO, maybe because it feels more finished. It's not as big, but is still at least as large as Anvil. A big plus for me - both cities have been placed in the open. No clicking on the doors to load into alternate world space. There's a few quests in place in Steadhelm as well as a player house that's not too bad. Overpriced, but when your cat has 450,000 gold it's no problem :)

A word of caution. There are plenty of doors and buildings which are not finished. I found myself stuck inside the graphics more than once, which led to having to reload saves to get out. So saving often would be wise. I also hesitate to think of how long it's going to take to fully flesh this land area out. The readme with the mod claims it's 9 times larger than Cyrodiil. Which is crazy. Just crazy. Morrowind is that big? :)

       
Samson said:

...are sprawling megatropolises ( is that even a word? ).

Well, a quick google search for that word indicates that, while it's apparently not in any dictionaries out there currently, it's rather commonly used to refer to Major Metropolises like New York City, Los Angelos, New Dheli, and so on. ;)

       
You guys should check out Silgrad Tower now, we are now only a few months from a near-completed release.
In Soluthis-Reich Parkeep almost all the interiors are complete, you can join house Redoran and do a few quests for them. You can buy a house in Reich Parkeep and visit the docks with a huge Dwemer galleon docked there.
The only downside is that it has been "un-openfied" becuase alot of people had major FPS drop inside the city.
Steadhelm is 100% finished along with the area around it, having several dungeons, farms and ruins.

The latest addition to the city roster, Silgrad City has been added, and if you thought Soluthis was big this one is approx 2-3x the size of that.
It is controlled by House Hlaau so you should be able to join them in the near future. \

The fairly small fishing Village of Ebbedin has been completed, it is roughly 1/2 the size of Steadhelm and is controlled by House Redoran.

As for the worldspace, it is actually 9x the size of Cyrodiil, 36 Quads exactly.


I might post screenies soon.



EDIT: If you haven't played it already grab the Forgotten Garden Beta, you can explore the Forgotten Garden aswell as the surrounding area, you can complete 3 quests, 1 multipart quest that is really quite long.

Mind my Advertising, we need it before the Release, lawl.

DOWNLOAD, FREE TODAY



       
Edited by AnImpatientFan on Sep 3, 2010 1:20 am
Sounds like a huge download, so I'll have to check it out one night after 1am my time.. nice thread necromancy though. ;)

       
Yay, Silgrad Tower less than 60 days from release.

       
Cool :cool:, you'll have to remember to let us know when it's finally released. :)

       
Looking forward to it. :)

       
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