Morrowind

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RandomPal and the Morrowind Modding Community

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RandomPal

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About this mod

Overhaul of almost every settlement of Morrowind, inspired by concept art and aimed at a vanilla+ feeling.

Requirements
Permissions and credits
Changelogs
Donations
Here we are! This is the culmination of my work on the settlements of Morrowind.
My love letter to this old and beautiful game. To its alien and magic atmosphere that still manages to draw me in, 20 years after its release.

Hours upon hours of work at my desk, with Aphex Twin on the background and my girlfriend telling me I should stop spending my time tweaking the position of a barrel or a crate while running around as an half naked dark elf with a bun.


EXPLANATION FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE NEW TO MY TOWN OVERHAULS

This is a comprehensive overhaul project focused on town and cities, inspired by an appreciation for Morrowind's original worldbuilding design and Michael Kirkbride's concept art work.

Rather than forcing something new into the game, the goal was to enhance vanilla, adding details and restoring some elements seen in concept art but never implemented by Bethesda.


A big effort has also been made to keep the FPS cost as low as possible, and the archive has over 80 compatibility patches, as one of the goals of this project was to be highly compatible with other mods.

The only mods that are utterly incompatible are town overhauls that touch the same areas.
Because of how they work, house mods too are, usually, incompatible. There's only three house mods I patched for this: Welcome Home and Apartments of Morrowind and Buyable Houses, the most vanilla-friendly and extensive ones I could find.



List of edited locations

Ald'Ruhn, Balmora, Seyda Neen, Hla Oad, Gnaar Mok, Balmora, Gnisis, Khuul, Ald Velothi, Sadrith Mora, Wolverine Hall, Tel Aruhn, Ebonheart, Caldera, Pelagiad, Moonmoth Imperial Fort, Buckmoth Imperial Fort, Vivec, Molag Mar, Maar Gan, Holamayan Monastery, Ghostgate Fortress, Seven Shrines, Mount Assarnibibi and Ashlander Camps.

Some locations were not edited for compatibility with a few mods that complement this project and that are recommended: OAAB Grazelands, OAAB Tel Mora, Nordic Dagon Fel.



Why use this instead of standalone mods - what's new here?

Beautiful Cities is more than a simple merge of mods

The modpage used to have a list of merged mods, as the mod started as a merge of standalone mods.
Overtime, the project has evolved into something that's quite different from what you'd get by simply using all the credited mods together. Those mods, and their respective authors, are credited in the credits section, but the mod list is no longer representative of what you're getting. The general principles that guided my throughout the long updating history of this project were:

  1. Less is more. Too many new additions, too much clutter, too many "clever" or "creative ideas" are not good for a project whose goal is to mimic the original atmosphere.
  2. Coherence and consistency. If you introduce a new asset, that asset should be distributed organically across the entire game. Likewise, cluttering style and density should be consistent from location to location.
  3. An issue with installing different mods, from different authors, for different towns, is that you can easily perceive a lack of a unique artistic direction.


Practically speaking, this is what's been done: 

  • In many cases, the mods I used as a base have been reworked dramatically, to ensure the quality is up to standards. The polishing process has been going on for over a year at this point and it wasn't just about fixing issues and little bugs. Over time I gained more knowledge about Morrowind, I started working with the TR team and I simply improved as a modder.
  • Some of the fundamental issues with the mods merged into this were related to design rather than lack of polish, and I'm convinced I fixed that too at this point.
  • Assets and FPS optimization: don't underestimate this point. To give you an example, the original HOTV (used as a base for Gnisis) had over 1200 refs in the main cell. The version included here has a bit more than 800, plus optimized and atlased versions of the new assets, resulting in a 15 FPS gain when compared with the original, standalone mod.
  • TR_data and OAAB_data integration for an overall more organic experience when using Tamriel Rebuilt and the OAAB mod series. Using OAAB and TR_Data also means that assets are going to be consistent and coherent for each location while most standalone overhaul mods make use of different resources.
  • A LOT of new content that's not available as standalone mods. At some point I started to focus more on interiors so there's many interior overhauls. For example, every common/imperial shop has been overhauled using the expanded set provided by TR_data and OAAB_data. A showcase of this is my Verick Germain's shop overhaul, released as a standalone mod. Another example of this is the intergration of the dunmer middle class set, covering more than 30 dunmer interiors.
  • More consistent and logical integration of Animated Morrowind's content. Some of the included mods had their own animated npcs, which is not something I wanted to force in this project. All the animated NPCs have been moved to the Animated Morrowind patches.
  • Compatibility with many mods: the zip has over 80 compatibility patches, something that comprehensive, large scale overhauls usually lack.



INSTALLATION STEPS


The mod uses a fomod installer with instructions about requirements, how the various patches should be used etc.

Requirements

OAAB_data
Tamriel_Data


GRASS PATCHES

A couple of notes about the grass patches: 


- Remiros Groundcover has full support with every single region covered

- Aesthesia Groundcover is mostly supported but currently lacks patches for the West Gash. I don't personally use Aesthesia Groundcover for the WG region so the motivation to make patches for it is quite low.

- The only patch available here for the Ashlands module of Remiros Groundocover is meant to be used alongside both Red Mountain Reborn and Kogoruhn Expanded.
If you're not using these two mods, you can just use the original Rem_AL module.

- Likewise, the only Grazelands module for Remiros Groundcover bundled here is for people using Trackless Grazelands. Those NOT using Trackless GL can simply use the original Rem_GL as this doesn't actually need any patch for the GL.


Many regions have multiple patches, use the readme inside the individual folders if you're not sure what patch you should use.
They all work as replacer for the original esp files and can't be used together.
For example, the WG folder for Remiros Groundcover has two options:

- Rem_WG - StoneWood Pass -> to be used if you're also using any of the esp that has the StoneWood pass merged into it

- Rem_WG -> to be used if you're not using the StoneWood pass

The naming scheme should be pretty straightforward.


MOLX USER FILE

For those who don't know about it, Mlox is a simple program that will sort your load order. 
This is an addon to the list of Mlox rules, mantained by me and a few other modders. It has a ton of rules and will fix countless issues for you in just one click.
Get it here: https://github.com/DanaePlays/mlox-rules

Make sure to download the latest version, update by rfuzzo: 
https://github.com/rfuzzo/mlox/releases



CREDITS

Details about the credits are in the specific tab.
What I'd like to say here is that this project stands on the shoulders of many many members of the community who let me use their work or who helped me out during the course of the last year. I'm am grateful to all of you.