Thursday, April 16, 2009

Oblivion retrospective

As explained in my introduction, Oblivion was the first of the Elder Scrolls series that I played. As much as I enjoyed it, I now consider Morrowind to be superior in every way except graphically, and even then only in a technical sense, as Morrowind's graphics have much more variety and imagination.

The state of Elder Scrolls modding

Nevertheless, during my time playing it, I produced a number of mods, and I'll list a few of them here. In the event that TES Nexus ever permanently goes offline, and assuming Blogspot survives longer (or whichever blog I may migrate this to in such an event), I should still be able to be contacted here to re-upload my mods elsewhere, should anyone desire them by then. I imagine it's quite possible, considering how many Morrowind mods have become hard to find or lost entirely in the six years since the game debuted (at the time of this writing).

Moreover, although when I came into the modding scene there was already in place a standardised Readme template (thanks to LHammonds), most Morrowind mods I've downloaded have no such standard. The most noticeable absence from many of these old Readme files is a statement of permissions. Being a largely well-mannered community, most Elder Scrolls modders are loath to re-upload lost mods, without being able to ask the author for permission first (and in fact, it's against the rules to do so on TES Nexus). The reason I only use one site to archive my mods is that user comments and responses are my reward for releasing these mods to the public. I'm not doing it to earn any kind of fame or name-recognition; I'm doing it for the sake of hearing from people and occasionally prompting conversation. Thus, I want all my work in one place where I can keep track of it, and read and respond to people's comments.

Lavish Mage Tower of Alchemy Power

I'll begin with my favourite home, my Lavish Mage Tower of Alchemy Power. Knowing this, you can see why I chose the Magus Realm Tower mod for my home in Morrowind. :) My design philosophy was to have a home that was roomy but conveniently arranged, easy to navigate (hence the floor map), aesthetically pleasing, and with an atmosphere I considered appropriate for my kind of character.

A full description, including more background on what I meant to accomplish is available on the Nexus (and in its readme file), so I won't repeat it here. (People seem to hate the name I chose for it, but with all the other mage towers out there, I didn't want anyone to confuse mine for any of the others, and you have to admit, at least the name is memorable!)

I Wanna Bayou A House!

This, my first house mod, was much humbler than the later tower, though it was tastefully decorated with custom interior textures, and with more of a focus on the house's exterior location. Here, the star of the show was really the location.

During my explorations of the landscape, this swampy area of Blackwood struck me as very pretty and atmospheric, and rather different from most of the forested landscape of Cyrodiil. So, much like one might do in real life, I picked what I thought was the most picturesque area, and built a house there. (And it sank into the swamp.)


  1. Loved the house in the swamp! Looks more like a nice forest though.

    Never played Oblivion, I might try after I finish Morrowind... which will take a long time, since I spend hours just picking up herbs and killing crabs =P

  2. Well, its swampy look depends a bit on the weather and seeing how much of the area is flooded. :) This pic is more atmospheric, but it didn't show the whole property well enough to use as the thumbnail.

    Take your time enjoying Morrowind! I'm looking forward to playing it more this weekend.

  3. Aww that is a nice shot. Can I steal all those stuff on the table? Haha, it's a horrible adiction. The other day while playing WoW I ran to a crate to try and open it, see what it had inside. I felt so dumb. /sigh.

    I will kepp checking here, I like the reviews on the mods!

  4. Yes, you can take all the stuff on the table, though it's not stealing because no one owns it. :)

    That's what I like about these games that you can't do in WoW: Claim a space as your own, and decorate it with all the things you've collected, instead of sticking it away in a bank.

  5. This is one of my favorite mods by the way! :-) Before I decided to drag myself out of retirement and work on my own house, I searched high and low for a house that fit my criteria. I only found about 5 or 6 that matched what I wanted while still having style. This was definitely one of them.

  6. That Lavish Magetower makes me want to play Oblivion again.