Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Categories

Axis & Allies 1942 Online is now available in Early Access! Buy it on Steam. The FAQ is available.
New Premium Module: Tyrants of the Moonsea! Read More
Attention, new and old users! Please read the new rules of conduct for the forums, and we hope you enjoy your stay!

TES4: Oblivion: EE

subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,211
edited January 13 in Off-Topic
Preface: I've been kind of burned out on the Infinity Engine, as well as making a long-overdue hardware upgrade. Reinstalling Windows means a fresh install of various games, which of course tend to be heavily modded on my system.

I relished making Oblivion the first one - I haven't played it in a couple years, and haven't installed/modded it in four or five. There are some great modding guides out there now, and I finally learned how to properly use Wrye Bash. I downloaded about 150 mods (which create about 250 .esp files, which is the hard limit on the number of mods you can use). I unzipped them and repackaged them for proper Wrye Bash installation and uninstallation, resulting in a situation in which, if becomes necessary to do a complete reinstall of the game and all mods, it can be done in a matter of minutes hours, rather than hours days.

I planned to get the massive modded install going and get back to spending some time in Tamriel, with a bit better graphics and better performance this time. I figured I would talk about it a bit in a thread here, to get people talking/reminiscing about Oblivion, and give some perspective to e.g. @Vallmyr who had once mentioned never playing the game. I could describe why I think that, properly modded, the game exceeds both its predecessor Morrowind and its successor Skyrim.

Unfortunately, remember that "complete reinstall" thing? Looks like it's going to be necessary, because my well-guided, exquisitely modded install is crashing to desktop every 2-4 minutes. Troubleshooting has been impossible - the problem could be in some mod, or in Windows, or maybe even a hardware problem that hasn't manifested otherwise. I just can't pin it down. The game is - well, was :cry: - far more stable on my creaky six-year-old laptop with a Win7 install that I had ceased to update, than on brand-new 2018 hardware and Win10.

Oblivion, love it though I do, is made of freakin' glass. Look at it the wrong way and it falls apart. (Literally - pointing the in-game camera in the wrong direction could result in a CTD.) @Beamdog, this cries for your attention! Bethesda is giving us Skyrim Special Edition, but let me reiterate: Skyrim sucks! Please give Bethesda a call and get the rights to make Oblivion Enhanced Edition! The game needs exactly what has been done for BG1/BG2/PST: a bit of interface cleaning, a lot of stability and load-time improvement, a few cross-platform ports, and continued/expanded support for modding.

Gah, off to reinstall...

Post edited by subtledoctor on
semiticgodVallmyrLudwig_IIBalrog99

Comments

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,598
    Getting Morrowind would be awesome too.

    lefreut
  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,368
    I need to do a playthrough of Oblivion, I plan to just use the character creation overhaul to make the models look better and that mod that removes scaling so the game is better balanced. I also might add the Elswyr mod because Khajiit are my jam.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,069
    edited January 13
    What's really needed isn't so much TES IV: Oblivion Enhanced Edition, which will realistically speaking never happen. Given that Beamdog hasn't exactly got the pocket money for aquire the rights anyway. But a completely new engine in Gamebryo's place. And no, I don't just mean an "enhanced" Gamebryo engine either.

    Morrowind received such attention thanks to OpenMW. The merits are clear as day: native Windows, Linux, Mac and even Android support being some of the more prominent ones. As well as a brand new and far more powerful Construction Set... and best of all? OpenMW CS works natively on Linux and Mac, too! Something which even NwN:EE didn't manage with its toolset.

    Heck, even Daggerfall followed OpenMW's example with it's Daggerfall Unity engine.

    KuronaFinneousPJ
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,211
    edited January 13
    Raduziel said:

    Getting Morrowind would be awesome too.

    My first post was gong to be about how this was unnecessary. Before the crashing started, I got a new Oblivion game going - I decided the face and race of my protagonist, then went through the short indoors beginning section of the game, and then had that iconic moment when you emerge into the daylight... and this is what I saw:

    Vivec!


    Yes, I have the entire Morrowind game installed, ready to play in the far superior Oblivion engine. If I can stabilize this install (making some headway there... surprisingly, removing ENBoost has reduced crashing), then we'll get into the ins and outs of how it plays.

    @Kamigoroshi honestly I think a stabilized Gamebryo engine would be just fine. I've never heard anyone complain that the Oblivion CS isn't powerful enough - is there a more modded and moddable game?? - and that would maintain compatibility with all the existing mods out there.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,069
    @subtledoctor Really? People complained rather loudly that Oblivion's CS was more than just one step backwards from Morrowind's more powerful CS. Enough so that even Todd Howard and Bethesda got rather pissed off by those massive complains.

    If we go for what game is the most modded one out there, then the clear winner is Skyrim (the original one). According to the Nexus it currently hosts 59.3k Oldrim mods, 28.9k Oblivion mods, 15.4k Skyrim SE mods and 5.3k Morrowind mods. Honestly, the latter really deserves more love.

  • KuronaKurona Member Posts: 881
    The golden era of Morrowind modding happened when there wasn't a big centralized website like the Nexus (named Morrowind Chronicles back then iirc). The end result is that the mods are a bit everywhere on the internet and a lot of them has been lost to history :(

    As for Morrowind-in-Oblivion-engine I personally never liked it. On top of lacking certain things that made the original memorable (levitation, complete enchanting freedom, etc...) the art direction is simply too different to faithfully recreate the atmosphere. In my eyes at least, but this is a YMMV case.

    OpenMW is frankly the best thing for Morrowind lovers.

    Kamigoroshi
  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 962
    @subtledoctor I always felt that you can't separate most games from their engines. Morrowind in the engine of Oblivion will never be a proper Morrowind. I also don't agree that the Oblivion engine is superior, at least for MW.
    • Oblivion dialogue system is totally unsuited for the amounts of dialogue in MW
    • MW had superior spell-making and enchanting. Oblivion does not even have on-use items
    • MW had many more equipment slots, which *matters*. Getting all pieces of Daedric Armor was a real achievement in MW and even Wraithguard does not have a proper place in the Oblivion equipment system
    • Most-controversial one in the list: I like the combat in MW much better. It is fast and governed by your in-game skills.
    • Finding things was a core part of Morrowind; it needs neither map markers (as in your screenshot) nor quest markers.
    OpenMW is fine, but I personally will never touch Skywind or Morroblivion. And when I look at that screenshot I don't see Morrowind.

    Nothing specific to Elder Scrolls, really. I will the same about Ultima or BG remakes. E.g. Ultima V: Lazarus is a great game in it's own right, but it is not Ultima V.

    lefreutKamigoroshiKurona
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,211
    edited January 13

    If we go for what game is the most modded one out there, then the clear winner is Skyrim (the original one). According to the Nexus it currently hosts 59.3k Oldrim mods, 28.9k Oblivion mods, 15.4k Skyrim SE mods and 5.3k Morrowind mods.

    I don't think that's really meaningful. Morrowind is from a time before broadband was plentiful and robust modding sites like Nexus existed. Skyrim has lots of mods but a) it took off like that largely because Oblivion had laid the foundation for it, in the fanbase and in online resources for modding; and b) I'd venture there is less variety among Skyrim's mods, compared to Oblivion's. The engine itself is less flexible as far as what it lets you do. There are a bunch of quest mods that seem very good; a few "new lands" mods but far less than what is available for Oblivion; some UI mods that I almost consider unofficial patches, because the Skyrim interface is so terrible; and a metric ton of mods that are about aesthetics only. Aesthetic mods are fine and good, but if I'm modding a game I want to be able to mod more than just the way it looks.

    As an example of why I prefer the Oblivion engine: with mods you can reproduce a large portion of the Morrowind magic and enchanting system within Oblivion. Whereas, from reading about the Skyblivion project, I gather that reproducing an Oblivion-style magic system in Skyrim (never mind Morrowind-style!) is just utterly impossible.
    Kurona said:

    Morrowind-in-Oblivion-engine ... [lacks] certain things that made the original memorable (levitation, complete enchanting freedom, etc...)

    Ammar said:

    • MW had superior spell-making and enchanting. Oblivion does not even have on-use items
    • MW had many more equipment slots,
    • Finding things was a core part of Morrowind; it needs neither map markers (as in your screenshot) nor quest markers.
    Incorrect! All of that can be had in Oblivion!
    Kurona said:

    the [Morroblivion] art direction is simply too different to faithfully recreate the atmosphere. In my eyes at least, but this is a YMMV case.

    This can actually be addressed to a fair extent with mods (in the screenshot I had not yet added stuff like Vurt's Tree Replacer), but it's still a valid point. I'm not arguing that Morroblivion is "Morrowind+" ... only that the content of Morrowind (which is great) can be had in the engine of Oblivion. It's a different game from Morrowind itself... but it's a game I actually prefer to the real Morrowind. Because...
    Ammar said:

    I like the combat in MW much better.

    I've never disagreed with something more. I came to Morrowind off the heels of BG2. The idea of using an abstracted dice-roll system is great, but not abstracting things like your perspective and your physical actions made it a near-complete failure IMHO. Just watching people play Morrowind on Youtube, you can see what a facile clickfest the combat is. If the sword swing is based on dice rolls, why make me click to swing the sword?? Why make me aim? Just abstract those parts too. I think Morrowind combat fell into a deep and awful uncanny valley between a fully-abstracted system like BG2 and an unabstracted FPS system like Oblivion. I liked Morrowind, but it was like PS:T - I gritted my teeth and tolerated the combat in order to see further content.

    In Oblivion, (suitably modded of course) the combat is... well, not great exactly. Frankly I've never seen melee-based FPS combat that was actually good. But it's good enough that I don't mind it, and even enjoy it in some places.

    This - all of it - is entirely subjective. But it's more or less why I subjectively think Oblivion hits the sweet spot in most regards.

    If only it didn't crash. so. damn. much.

    semiticgod
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,628
    Oblivion did have the most solid gameplay in terms of complexity and diversity. Morrowind can't support all the same things, and Skyrim simply doesn't have a lot of tools to diversify gameplay. Skyrim is fun, but for modding purposes, Oblivion does open up more possibilities for gameplay. The only shortcoming is the dialog system--I'm not sure how that would be fixed. That's the sort of problem that you'd need the source code to truly fix.

    subtledoctor
  • KuronaKurona Member Posts: 881

    Incorrect! All of that can be had in Oblivion!

    I haven't played Oblivion in quite a while so I'm a bit behind the news. If that's true (I assume by way of OBSE plugins?) then it's a pretty cool thing. Not enough to make me play Morroblivion though.

    In any case Oblivion is fairly enjoyable by itself, assuming one gets rid of its horrible level scaling. I still prefer Morrowind all around but Oblivion is colorful and kind of silly at times and I vaaaaastly prefer it over the bland attempt at a quote-unquote-grimdark world that Skyrim ended up to be. It also has some of the best quests in the franchise.

  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 962

    Oblivion did have the most solid gameplay in terms of complexity and diversity. Morrowind can't support all the same things, and Skyrim simply doesn't have a lot of tools to diversify gameplay. Skyrim is fun, but for modding purposes, Oblivion does open up more possibilities for gameplay. The only shortcoming is the dialog system--I'm not sure how that would be fixed. That's the sort of problem that you'd need the source code to truly fix.

    What exactly does Oblivion support that Morrowind does not? The only thing that comes to mind is Radiant AI. If you think the combat is that much better in Oblivion you can equally well mod Morrowind to make it the same as in Oblivion.

    Incorrect! All of that can be had in Oblivion!

    Elaborate please. I have seen mods that try to add equipment slots, but they are had significant issues, as in for example requiring very specific orders in which to equip the items and/or clipping issues.

    I also have not seen any good on-use enchanting mod. You can do a by-item workaround using scripting, but 1000s of additional scripts running in the background will certainly not help performance or stability. The closest I am aware of is is this: http://tesrenewal.com/forums/morroblivion/mods/2657. And it still has very significant limitations.

    All this with the caveat, that I have not looked for these kinds of mods in a long time (though I now did a quick google search.

    As for map markers and quest markers, those can obviously be turned off. But once this feature is there, both the official and the mod designer start to work under the assumption that you have them on. Skyrim radiant quests point to a random location, without dialogue. It's often similar in Oblivion. They don't really support directions instead of markers.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,211
    I have always just used the "Oblivionized Enchants" mod that converts Morrowind cast-when-used items into permanent-effect items, because while Oblivion lacks Morrowind's cast-when-used system... I never really cared. This install I'm using the UCWUS mod and it's working fine. I did just now see that you can't enchant items that way, which is a shame; but again, it's not a difference my character will ever care about.

    The extra armor slots thing does indeed look like it involves more issues than I'm willing to deal with, so I'm not bothering with it. So no, I can't mix a netch leather left pauldron with an imperial chain right pauldron, or a chitin left boot with an Ordinator's right boot. Honestly, I'm not losing any sleep over it. Thing is, as I said, I like the Oblivion system. Yes it's a bit simplified next to Morrowind but not nearly as much as Skyrim. As I said, I think it hits the sweet spot. Do we really need a whole category for "medium" armor?? Do we really need separate proficiencies for axes outside of blunt heavy swinging weapons, or spears outside of blades with a shorter handle-to-blade ratio?

    You seem to think I argued that Morroblivion can recreate Morrowind, which certainly isn't the case. The point is that IMO Oblivion is superior in many ways; and I can play it with, effectively, a huge expansion bigger than the base game, consisting of content that itself was a very successful and very good game. And can get some of the flavor and technical details of that earlier game with none of its inferior visual and gameplay aspects and without dealing with two separate UI/control schemes.

    If you don't like Oblivion because you don't like the way it plays, that's totally fair enough. But if you don't mind the ganeplay, and your beef with Oblivion is centered around the boring generic locations and boring annoying main quest... then it's worth giving Morroblivion a fair try.

    I'm even making some progress with stability! I changed tbe MoreHeap algorithm to "3" and removed ENBoost. Adding mods and testing more carefully, I've got all of my gameplay and UI tweaks installed and the recurring crash seems to be gone. I still have to add quests and major expansions (Silgrad Tower, Elsweyr Anequina, TWMP Skyrim Improved, TWMP Hammerfell) and the big texture/VWD/LOD mods, so we'll see if the crash gets reintroduced. But I'm mildly optimistic. This thread was intended to be a bit of a 'Let's Play' rather than a debate, here's hoping it can still go in that direction. :smile:

    semiticgod
  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 962
    @subtledoctor That is absolutely fair and my point was simply that for me if *I* want to play Morrowind, I would want to do it in the proper engines.

    On-use items are part of my play-style, so any issue with that is larger for me anyway. As for how many armor types/equipment slots there are, I don't have strong feelings about it in general, but again, would argue that Morrowind is designed and balanced with this in mind.

    As said, I would feel something is missing if I don't need to track down all the Daedric Armor items that old Morrowind has. Or necessarily running around with a bare arm if I have Wraithguard equipped. There are other minor things, as e.g. I really like collecting all the books in Elderscrolls Game, and they just display nicer in bookshelves in Morrowind. The physics for this can really mess it up (btw I am the author of the original book placement mod for Oblivion, so I actually worked on improving that part).

    But of course everyone can play it in whatever engine preferred.

    And maybe I am surprised in the future and those features will be added without issues, but I doubt it unless they work directly on the engine. As said, it is the other way around for MW: there are mods that add Oblivion style combat, followers and daily routines, but they are always hacked-in a bit and have minor issues due to that.

    subtledoctor
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    Why should TES4 be the first EE? What about 1-3?

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,211

    Why should TES4 be the first EE? What about 1-3?

    Well, the idea is not serious. I only said it because I was extremely frustrated trying to set up a new TES4 install. Google searches while troubleshooting turned up a ton of comments to the tune of "Morrowind and Skyrim install just fine, but Oblivion just crashes on startup - what am I doing wrong??"

    So the point is: a) Oblivion happens to be the game I'm trying (and failing) to play right now; and b) Oblivion needs EE-style treatment more than the others in the series.

    FinneousPJ
Sign In or Register to comment.