Oblivion

About this mod

Redesigned city layouts focusing more on strategic placement. Follows concept art where practical (and available).

Requirements
Permissions and credits
Mirrors
Changelogs
Donations

Open Cities Reborn takes the concept of Open Cities and steps it up to the next level. The project redesigns each city covered by the original Open Cities in such a way that would make more sense strategically. The castles become a more central focus of each city's layout, with housing, commerce, and the cathedrals spread out around them in more distinct ways. When possible, concept art provided by Bethesda was followed as closely as space restrictions would allow. Where none was provided or where it was not practical to follow, creative license was used instead. City walls in several cities have been modified to suit the location. For example, Bruma now uses wooden palisades, Cheydinhal has lower brick walls that reflect Dunmer influence, and the city part of Bravil has no walls at all instead relying on their island nature. This has the added bonus that each city is now more visible as you approach. Rather than large imposing walls that block the entire view, you can see buildings on the other side along with most of the trees and bushes.

To avoid any serious compatibility issues, and because lore calls for it to remain fortified, Kvatch is not touched in any way.

The Imperial City will also remain in the layout it now has since strategically speaking, it's already built the way it should be. Although there is room in the concept art for some somewhat radical adjustments to be made. That may or may not come at a later time.
 
Open Cities: New Sheoth
 
"Cat's out of the bag! Why do people put cats in bags? Cats hate bags." - Lord Sheogorath

Continuing in the tradition, if it could be called that, of Open Cities, I bring you Open Cities: New Sheoth. The first, last, best, and worst, Open Cities mod for the Shivering Isles. Madness has never been so much fun!

The twin cities of Bliss and Crucible have been transferred from their own individual worldspaces out into the SEWorld worldspace, which is SI's equivalent of being in the Tamriel worldspace. Though it may seem somewhat silly given the small size of both cities, the results are still pretty good. Everything blends in with the immediate surroundings of the cities so if you didn't know any better.....

As with other Open Cities mods I feel this adds greater realism to the cities by not having to transition from one outdoor worldspace into another. It may seem silly but give it a shot. It really does enhance the gameplay by quite a bit.

I would like to give a big thank you shout out to Sjors_Boomscors, without him this project would have died on the table a long time ago without every really having a chance. It was because of his help in getting some critical model work done that I was able to proceed even after he moved on to other things.

The New Sheoth module obviously requires Shivering Isles.

Since New Sheoth is a fortified city on purpose, it will remain intact as-is and is only being included here for convenience.

For those who want accurate maps:
Dynamic Map has a correct overlay for Leyawiin, and will soon have one for Anvil as well.
Elven Map Compilations includes the correct Leyawiin.

Screenshots are available at Nexus. 30 links is a bit much to muster up :)

To get the most out of these changes, it is highly recommended to download Animated Window Lighting System and Chimneys. This is the evolution of Texian's Window Lighting System and is fully compatible with Open Cities Reborn.

To go with that, and provide LOD for all the new goodies, I also recommend: Really AEVWD. Just be aware that there's a bit of a performance hit in activating all the extra LOD that Open Cities will provide that's directly proportional to the power of your PC, and how many other mods you have installed.

Installation Requirements

Official Oblivion patch version 1.2.406.
Shivering Isles patch 1.2.0.416 required for the New Sheoth module.
Bartholm 7.0+ is required to use the open cities version of that city.
Blood & Mud is required for the open version of Ryan's Blood & Mud.

The Quick Install

Ok, for those of you who want to just jump right in, Open Cities Reborn is packaged as a BAIN archive for easy setup. That was probably somewhat obvious though :)

First: Make sure BAIN is set to allow OBSE plugins to be installed. You will need to be using Bash 291 or higher for this. Right click the "Package" column header, then find "Enable installation of OBSE plugins" and make sure it's checkmarked.

00 Core - All files here are required. This folder contains the necessary OBSE plugin file as well.

01 Blood & Mud Version - Use this if you wish to alter Bravil to fit in with the Blood & Mud version. This requires Ryan's Blood & Mud in order to work.

Pick only one file from the 01 folders. Do not use them both!

10 Outer Districts - If you want the Prison and Arcane University opened as well, install this folder's contents.

20 New Sheoth - If you have Shivering Isles, this will turn Bliss and Crucible into open cities.

30 Bartholm - If you have J.Sera's Bartholm 7.0+, you can elect to have the city opened with this.

Landscape LOD compatibility:

Pick one of the combinations in the 40 folders based on which combinations of mods you're using. If you don't have any of the specified mods, do not use the 40 folders.

Pick another one of the combinations in the 50 folders based on the combination of mods you're using. If you don't have any of them installed, do not use anything from the 50 folders.

Activate the rest of the files and you're off and running.

For those of you who want a bit more detail for installations, or prefer manually installing, read on:

Installation - Switching From Open Cities Classic

You will need to first remove *ALL* files associated with Open Cities Classic in order to use these new layouts and perform a clean save, including the ESM file. It does not matter which version of OCC you are using, failure to follow this procedure properly will result in major anomalies. If I hear about seeing braziers where guards are trying to stand, and tales of Ayleid ruin towers where a building should be, I'll know you didn't do this right.

The procedure is as follows:

* Load your game, and move to a location away from any of the cities. Don't use an interior attached to a city for this. Save and exit the game.
* Deactivate any patches you installed for other mods first. Load your game, then save in a new slot and exit the game.
* Remove the patch ESPs from your Data folder. Keep them somewhere safe if you want, but they need to be out of the way.
* Deactivate the city plugins, and the ESM file. Load the save you just made and save again in another new slot.
* Uninstall Open Cities Classic from the game, either manually or by using BAIN. Make sure the plugin files are gone once you do this.
* Rebuild your Bashed Patch if you have one, as it is possible it may have pulled records from the plugins.

Once you've done that, proceed with normal installation as outlined below.

Installation - New or Existing Game, First Time User

Main Components:

* As a precaution, backup your saved games. You never know.
* Unpack the files from the archive into a new folder. Don't just blindly dump into your Data folder. It won't work.
* Just in case, if installing to an existing save, make sure you are not standing outdoors in a city.
* Copy everything from the "00 Core" folder into your Data folder now.
* Copy one of the ESPs from a 01 folder, but DO NOT USE BOTH.

LOD Compatibility:

There are 7 folders that start with "40". The naming on these should be self explanatory. Choose the LOD files that match most closely with the mods you are currently using.
This is not strictly necessary but landscape LOD will look wrong if you don't use one.

There are also 7 more folders that start with "50". The naming on these should be self explanatory. Choose the LOD files that match most closely with the mods you are currently using.
This is not strictly necessary but landscape LOD will look wrong if you don't use one.

Optional Components:

* If you want the IC Outer Districts, you need to copy everything from the "10 Outter Districts" folder into your Data folder now.
* If you want New Sheoth, copy everything from the "20 New Sheoth" folder into your Data folder now.
* If you want Bartholm to be open, copy the ESP file from the "30 Bartholm" folder into your Data folder now. Make sure you already have Bartholm 7.0 installed first.

At this point you should be ready to activate the plugins. You should consult the load order section for tips, or just use BOSS to take care of that for you.

* Install any needed compatibility patches.
* Rebuild your Bashed Patch if you have one. It's possible it may need to pull records from the plugins you're using now.

When you get done, it is highly recommended that you update your LOD using tes4lodgen if you are using RAEVWD so that the rearranged city layouts will be correct from a distance.

Once the game loads, you need to allow 24 game hours to pass for AI to fully update in each city.

Once the main mod is settled, you need to upgrade any patches you are using for other mods.
Get those files here.

Uninstalling Open Cities Reborn

Oh, now why would you want to go and do a thing like that? :)

But, since this isn't going to be for everyone, and you may decide you don't like what it does, the following procedure needs to be followed to remove the mod:

* Load your game, and move to a location away from any of the cities. Don't use an interior attached to a city for this. Save and exit the game.
* Deactivate any patches you installed for other mods first. Load your game, then save in a new slot and exit the game.
* Remove the patch ESPs from your Data folder.
* Deactivate the city plugins, and the ESM file. Load the save you just made and save again in another new slot.
* Uninstall Open Cities Reborn from the game, either manually or by using BAIN. Make sure the plugin files are gone once you do this.
* Rebuild your Bashed Patch if you have one, as it is possible it may have pulled records from the plugins.
* Regenerate your LOD so the proper visuals are restored.

You will need to allow 24 game hours to pass for AI to recover.

Load Order

Open Cities Reborn is stable and has given plenty of people trouble-free play. But it is still wise and proper to observe some load order placement to get the best experience possible out of it, as well as avoiding any potential conflicts that might result in crashes.

I would strongly recommend the use of LOOT to manage your load order. All of the Open Cities Reborn files and patches should be supported by the current version. If you prefer to manage by hand, read on :)

First off, it's best if the cities you're going to use are all set to load late in your order. The later the better, but it's not always possible ( or best ) to load right before your bashed patch if you have one. The main reason for this is because OCR makes major alterations to both landscape and path grids. Both of these types of records are winner-take-all, and anything loading later that alters the same records will severely distort your pretty new cities. Or send your NPCs to their deaths. Neither of which is fun.

Weather mods such as All Natural, Natural Interiors, Weather Inside, or any other mod altering interior cell climate/weather behavior need to be tagged with an appropriate Wrye Bash tag and the data imported into your Bashed Patch. This is usually accomplished with the C.Climate tag. If in doubt, ask. Someone should be able to provide an answer. Manually moving files like this too far down in your load order can cause other unrelated problems to occur.

Open Cities Reborn should load *AFTER* any of the Unique Landscapes mods. Landscaping and path grids near the cities will need to take priority. If conflicts such as land tears remain, these will need to be corrected with ESP patches. Please report any such conditions with a full accounting of your load order so they can be investigated.

Open Cities Reborn needs to load after Knights of the Nine, and any patches affecting it such as the UODP and SM Plugins Refurbished.

Strictly speaking, overhauls such as OOO, MMM, Frans, and by extension FCOM should not be load order dependent with Open Cities Reborn. Usually these overhauls will load well before Open Cities Reborn anyway due to their own requirements.

Open Cities Reborn should be loaded after any mods which make changes to the following quests:

Nocturnal's daedric artifact quest.
Dark Brotherhood quest "A Knife in the Dark"
Dark Brotherhood quest "Affairs of a Wizard"
Dark Brotherhood quest "A Kiss Before Dying"
Dark Brotherhood quest "Following a Lead"
Dark Brotherhood quest "Whispers of Death"
Mages Guild quest "A Plot Revealed"
Main Quest "Defense of Bruma"
Side quest "Caught in the Hunt"
Side quest "A Brotherhood Betrayed"
Side quest "A Brush with Death"
Side quest "Paranoia"
Thieves Guild quest "Lost Histories"

The reason for this is because these quests have targets within the cities that needed to be changed or they would be pointing to the wrong worldspaces, leading to confusion even though the quests themselves would not be broken.

Credits

Texian & Godhugh for the original groundwork on the Open Cities mods. A hell of a lot of work went into that and I've only built upon it.
Sjors Boomscors for providing optimized and corrected meshes for the Outer Districts module.
Ryan, for allowing an open version of Bravil Blood & Mud to be created.
J. Sera for allowing me to produce an Open Cities extension for Bartholm.
Fearrabbit for providing the retexture and LOD for the new lighthouse in Leyawiin. (https://www.nexusmods.com/oblivion/mods/18575)
Vorians and Ismelda for being cooperative on sharing compatibility tricks we can both use in each other's mods.
Firespark for the flags flying over each city's castle. (https://www.nexusmods.com/oblivion/mods/29047)
Ceano and AxlRocks for the clean version of the Ayleid statue in Chorrol. (https://www.nexusmods.com/oblivion/mods/28132)
Vacuity - various leaf generators used in cities. (https://www.nexusmods.com/oblivion/mods/35590)
Da Mage and throttlekitty, the water mesh used in the fountain in Chorrol. (https://www.nexusmods.com/oblivion/mods/18905)
Mr. Siika, for the pigs used in Chorrol. (https://www.nexusmods.com/oblivion/mods/14265)
Hanaisse, for the new wall set in Chorrol.
Liu Pingguo, for the apple trees in Chorrol.
Phitt - Dagon Fel wall models and textures used in Cheydinhal. From the Sheogorad mod. Check it out, well worth it! (https://www.nexusmods.com/oblivion/mods/37329)
Spoons aka Trizt - Gallows model. (https://www.nexusmods.com/oblivion/mods/14563)
Sigurd Stormhand - Castleworks - Gates & Bridges. With minor alterations in the meshes for texture paths.

Open Cities users everywhere, for being patient enough to put up with my bumbling efforts to get things right. Maybe one day I finally will :)

Disclaimer

This mod is not made, guaranteed, or supported by Zenimax, Bethesda Game Studios, or any of their affiliates.

Troubleshooting Problems

If you have a problem with an Open Cities mod and wish to report it, I'd appreciate as much information as possible, preferably in the form of a screenshot with console data showing if it's something that can be screened. The FormID of the affected object would help greatly to narrow down any problems that might result. Post this information along with your load order. Reports with less than detailed information may result in delays in getting it fixed, or result in being ignored entirely. It helps everyone to provide details. I am especially interested in verifiable conflicts, as I wish for Open Cities to be as conflict-free as is humanly possible given the circumstances. If the situation requires a patch, I can only work something out if I know what to look for.

I have Knights of the Nine but I can't find the Prophet!

He's there, just not where he should be. You need the patch for Knights of the Nine.

I loaded the game while near a city gate and saw it vanish in front of me, what's wrong?

Nothing. This is expected. With OCR 0.8.1 and higher, the OBSE plugin that comes with the mod will move the doors to the cities out of position each time the game is loaded. This was done to get around an engine bug which has plagued Open Cities for ages. Doors would get moved, then snap back if you reloaded without exiting to the desktop first. That should no longer happen, but as a consequence, if you saved within visual range of one of the vanilla city load doors, you will see it disappear very shortly after the game loads and the scripts have had a chance to kick in.

Ok, but I tried to walk past where the door was and something invisible is blocking me now.

This is also normal and expected, and unfortunately a side effect of the method being used to suppress the doors now. You'll need to leave the area and get far enough away for that gate to switch out to LOD view instead of close up, or enter a nearby interior and exit again. Then you'll be able to return and the obstruction will be gone. Cities are usually large enough that you should be able to use another gate instead if you REALLY don't want to leave the area. Also, not every city in OCR has gates that will obstruct your path, you might simply be able to go around it and continue on your way.

There is a second chapel and cloister in Anvil hovering over the water.

Update the Unofficial Oblivion Patch to version 3.41 or above.

The game crashes while doing character generation.

Update "Knights - Unofficial Patch.esp" with the new version from the Unofficial Oblivion DLC Patches v16 or above.

There is a floating rock next to the Anvil Castle bridge.

It belongs to the Thieves' Den DLC. Update your "DLCThievesDen - Unofficial Patch.esp" with the new version from the UODP v16 or above.

But there are MORE ROCKS floating there!!!

You probably use TIE. Update to version 1.36 or higher to resolve the rest of the rogue rocks and other items in the harbor.

TIE NPCs are not visiting the cities.

Update to TIE 1.36 or higher.

Tamriel Travelers NPCs don't visit the cities.

AI support in TT is pending an update from Corepc. In the meantime, the NPCs will be unavailable on the days they should be visiting the cities. They resume their normal schedules in the wilderness afterward.

In "Big Business", Bauggi goes to Anvil and then vanishes.

He has an AI pack set to send him to Anvil, possibly just for the realism effect. He does nothing once there though, so fixing it isn't important. Just wait for him to come back out and return to your farm.

Locations of AI Doors

The AI doors are entry ways into the closed wordspaces should it become necessary. Not everything that is placed in a city by a mod is worth the time it takes to create a patch. Mods that drop items for a one-time pickup are a good example of this. It's much easier to just go through the door, get what you need, then exit the city as normal.

Anvil: Next to the abandoned house in the southeast corner of the city.
Bravil: In the garden area immediately outside the castle in the NW corner.
Bruma: A small snow rock in the castle courtyard area, in the northeast corner.
Cheydinhal: In the castle area between the well and the guard barracks tower, along the wall.
Chorrol: On the back side of the castle, directly south of the guard tower.
Leyawiin: In the castle area, along the wall near the guard barracks.
Skingrad: Near the horse statue on the north side, between the red tree and the archery targets.
SKingrad Castle Courtyard: Tucked against the wall immediately to the right as you come through the gate.
New Sheoth - Bliss: Small rock cluster next to the entry to Sheogorath's Palace, right in front of the barrel.
New Sheoth - Crucible: At the bottom of the stairs to the palace, on the ledge next to the sewer grate.
Bartholm: Along the south city wall, directly behind Rufus' house.
Arcane University: On the west side, along the wall, right across from the well.
Prison District: Also on the west side, next to the wall, to the left of the practice target.

Use of the AI doors to reach the closed worldspaces may present some problems with the differences in landscape height. Objectives may be buried or floating overhead. In cases like this, use the console to turn off collision long enough to get there.

Performance and FPS

Rumors continue to persist about Open Cities being an FPS killer. In and of itself, Open Cities will not represent a significant hit to your gaming performance. If you are playing the stock game, with stock graphics, go run around near the Imperial City, then around Chorrol. Measure the performance you get. Add Open Cities, and perform the same test again. The Imperial City will remain unchanged, and your trip around Chorrol will see a minimal impact of 3-5 frames. In other words, if your system is low end, it'll still feel low end after installing Open Cities. If you have a midrange to high end system, installing Open Cities will not be a noticeable drain on your resources.

The problem most people have is that they're not playing in a stock configuration. They load up a bunch of graphical enchancers ( guilty as charged! ) and a ton of graphically heavy mods, all at the same time. So suddenly trips around the Imperial City are a bit sluggish, and that trip around Chorrol is bogging things down. In the process of adding mods, they not only activated huge memory sinks like QTP3, but also activated a large set of LOD mods, FCOM, 18 quest mods, a lighting overhaul, a weather overhaul, and higher quality sound files. So when the game slows down, it takes all of two seconds of "OC is an FPS killer" and people believe it, because, by coincidence, removing it results in what they think is smoother play. However, removing any one of the other elements would have done the same. Bog the system down with enough stuff, it will buckle. There are tradeoffs to be had. I am aware of how this may sound, but in the grand scheme of things, Open Cities is not the FPS killer everyone says it is. Do yourself a favor and be objective enough to try it first and see for yourself before believing some random forum poster. The vast majority of the negative attention was from 2006. We're entering 2009. The mod has been trimmed and polished a lot since then. Systems have also evolved considerably at the same time.

That said, there may be some additional load placed on your game if you install the new Outer Districts module. Sjors has provided me with some updated collision optimized meshes to use for the large walls and towers that enclose the two districts. Without them, there was significant lag while in the Arcane University and slight lag while in the Prison. After the optimized meshes were installed and tested, the lag is all but gone and it's about as smooth for me as it is to be in the closed versions of these districts. That does not mean however that your experience will be the same. These districts are made up of large high detail meshes. A low end machine struggling with the Imperial City in general is going to have trouble here as well. Midrange PCs may see some significant additional lag. Higher end PCs should notice little if any difference, but this will depend greatly on both your CPU and GPU. Visible images tax the GPU. Collision meshes tax the CPU due to the Havok physics involved. Be prepared for some tradeoffs. The Imperial City has always been and will likely continue to be a resource hog whether or not you fling them open to the world.