Sunday, February 27, 2011

Animated Window Lighting System

I decided I had to go back to talk about at least one more atmospheric mod because this one does wonders to the towns and cities of Cyrodiil. In the original game, night time brought darkness to the exterior world, as I suppose it should, given the lack of electricity. But when you went inside a person's home, the candles always seemed bright enough to light up the whole place. If they really are that bright, why doesn't the light show through the windows? Animated Window Lighting System (AWLS) fixes this.

The easiest way to install this mod is through the Oblivion Mod Manager, which I've mentioned before. Included in the download are numerous customizable options such as the color of the lighting and the addition of chimney smoke, which I chose to exclude from my game when taking this video. I enjoy the look that the smoke adds, but I feel like I tend not to give it much attention when I walk around, so I decided not to exaggerate my interest in it in the video. However, I've been informed that the smoke is extremely compatible with other mods that I might be discussing in the future, so it would be best for you to make the decision about adding it yourself. If you'd like to learn more, you can get AWLS at TESNexus.

Luckily I had the time to post this today. Maybe this means I'll start being more consistent again. Until whenever next time may be, goodbye for now.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Zombie Diversity

I always thought it a bit odd that the human races were the only ones that were reanimated as zombies. Why would the other races be excluded? In an attempt to add a bit more variety to the ranks of the undead, Zombie Diversity was created. It doesn't have Khajiit, but all the other different races can be considered represented as zombies. I would go on to describe how disturbing Argonian undead are and how terrifying they all are together in one place, but I figured a video would be much more effective.

As you can see, they're a bit more distracting than your average walking corpse. That being said, their stats are the same and should only appear where any human zombie would normally be. Just don't expect to lose them as you gain level; there are all races of dread zombies, too. If you'd like to be mutilated by some of these zombies yourself, you can find Zombie Diversity right here.

I must once again apologize for the delay, but I suppose life can't always be so predictable. Hopefully next time will be tomorrow. Until then, have a good night.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Deadlier Traps

I thought I would attempt to break the monotony of all the passive additions I've been making to Cyrodiil for a bit to bring you all a something a little more violent. Deadlier Traps makes dungeon diving a little more nerve-racking by doing exactly what the title implies, making most large traps fatal. The difference is simple and fun to watch, so I'll let the video show the rest.

As you can see, this mod will definitely make you walk with a little more caution through ruins. If you're interested in making your dungeons a little more dangerous, you can get Deadlier Traps at TESNexus.

I'm sure I'll probably have time to post at least one more today, so I'll probably stick to the dangerous theme for a little while. If you know of any frightening, suspenseful, or realistically painful mods that I should look into, don't hesitate to let me know. Until next time, goodbye for now.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Alive Waters

As I mentioned previously, one of the main things that tends of bother people about the water in Cyrodiil is the fact that slaughterfish seem to completely dominate the environment. They've eliminated all forms of competition for the player's attention, and they seem to have devoured all the plants that the competition might have been interested in.

Alive Waters adds two very important features to Cyrodiil. It adds believable flora to the ground of the water and creates and entire community of water life that was previously assumed to be extinct. The fish that are added come in a multitude of varieties, but sadly it's much more difficult to capture them on film than I originally expected; they swim away when you try to get close to them. I'm a little disappointed in the video I made because of this issue, but I still wanted to show the seaweed and such because of how much I enjoy the difference this mod makes.

As I noted in the video, the only reason the lack of life underwater is so apparent in my game is due to Enhanced Water, which I previously described in detail earlier. If you'd like to learn more about Alive Waters and see what else it adds to the game, you can find it on Planet Elder Scrolls.

I apologize for the lack of blogging over the past couple days; I've been recovering from illness and haven't exactly been in the right mind to be able to write. Hopefully I'll be cured and ready to provide more tomorrow morning. Until then, have a lovely Presidents' Day.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Enhanced Economy

One thing that I never seemed to understand was how other citizens of Cyrodiil always seemed to have endless supplies of Septims at their disposal while I would have to run through countless quests and sift through limitless clutter in search of something that might let me get as wealthy as I'd like. In an attempt to redistribute this unfair placement of wealth in Oblivion, Enhanced Economy was created.

Unlike previous mods that I've discussed in this blog, Enhanced Economy will directly affect your decisions while playing. The main things I present in the video are the two reasons why I have an interest in this mod. The first one I've already mentioned. Merchants and traders in Cyrodiil will never run out of gold, no matter how many pieces of armor, weapons, precious stones, and family heirlooms you manage to sell them. Enhanced Economy fixes that. The more you sell, the less they have. It's as simple as that. Well, sort of. Depending on what time of day you come in, they could potentially have more or less gold than the last time you happened to visit. This is meant to simulate other customers coming into their establishment during the time you aren't present. It makes perfect sense, which is why it seems so desirable.

The second reason I enjoy this mod is because of its item repricing. I always found it so depressing to find some clutter in a crate that the world collectively decided was worthless. In an effort to provide a bit more promise of fortune for looting, Enhanced Economy includes customizable price lists, giving the player the option to almost completely eliminate the worthlessness of miscellaneous items. I'll attempt to explain the technicalities of this after the video.

While watching, pay attention to the value of the items in my inventory and the merchant's total barter gold.

Like All Natural, Enhanced Economy requires the same external programs in order to be installed. The benefit of this system is the opportunity it gives the player to customize the changes of the mod on an individual basis. Keep in mind as well that I didn't cover every aspect of Enhanced Economy. Even though I may provide a detailed account of a mod's capabilities, this shouldn't compensate for the author's description or the text document included in the mod. Always be aware of everything that you add to your game before you play, otherwise the results may be undesirable. If you'd like to read more about what Enhanced Economy can do, you can find it on Planet Elder Scrolls.

As I go on, the mods I'll be discussing will begin to be much more fine-tuned for very specific additions and replacements for the game's characters, combat, items, creatures, and more. Again, if you ever have any suggestions for where I should go from here, don't hesitant to contact me. Until next time, farewell.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Subtle Sunshine

Continuing on with little atmospheric mods, I thought I'd cover the sun, since it was such a disappointment in the original game. Only in Oblivion have I been able to look at the sun and see a nice, little, perfect circle of light in the sky. Such a tiny thing could never illuminate a huge planet like Nirn (in case you weren't aware, that's the name of the world Cyrodiil is a part of in the Elder Scrolls games). The first sun mod I tried was also the most popular, which goes by the name of Beaming Sunglare. As much as I enjoyed the dramatic difference it made, I decided this time I would go for a more realistic look. That's when I discovered Subtle Sunshine.

The difference between the original sun and Subtle Sunshine's replacement is quite impressive when you look for it, but once the texture is replaced, the result is so natural that it seemed like the sun always should have looked the way it does, which is the way something so standard as the presence of the sun should be. You can find Subtle Sunshine right here.

For those that have no interest in changing the appearance of the atmosphere of Cyrodiil, I apologize for these first few posts. I promise more excitement is on its way. Until then, have a wonderful Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Enhanced Water

Today I'll be displaying a pretty simple mod that changes the world's atmosphere. This time we're dealing with water. Many people complained about Oblivion's water being unnaturally blue and blurry. Enhanced Water attempts to clear things up by making the water clearer and adding more visibility while underwater. This is great if you have a mod that makes water-life a bit more diverse because making water clearer only reveals more of Oblivion's tragic flaws. I'll go into more detail on making underwater experiences more exciting in the future. For now, take a look at the difference above the surface and see the massive improvements made by Enhanced Water.

Although life underwater currently seems quite lonely in the original game, at least with Enhanced Water you're able to see it. Plus it's hard to argue with the beauty of the water's reflections of the surrounding landscape. If you like what you see, you can find Enhanced Water on TESNexus.

Given the simplicity of this mod, I have nothing more to say. Maybe I'll have time later to post another before the end of the day. Until then, goodbye for now.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Weather - All Natural

It appears I've been blessed with the gift of free time this Valentine's Day, so I thought I'd take advantage of it by giving some more to the community. Double the fun, right?

All Natural is a weather mod. Like Cava Obscura, its sole purpose is to create a more realistic atmosphere, but this time the mod also affects the outside world. Although the video I made for this post only covers the weather element of the mod, All Natural is actually divided into three major sections: weather, interior atmosphere, and interior light sourcing. The first part is the main reason why most people are interested in this mod, though, which is why I've decided to pay more attention to it.

The goal of the weather aspect of All Natural is to change cloud movements, climate variations, nighttime lighting, and weather visibility. To put all of this in simpler terms, All Natural redesigns the weather system in a way that the player deems most realistic. The degree of change is fully customizable using an INI file included in the mod's installation, and the result varies depending on what specifications you prefer. When watching the video I made to display this mod, keep in mind that I elected to lower the brightness level at night to 20% of default. Anyone who properly installs the mod can change this as much as they would like.

All Natural is a little more tricky than the first two mods I've described, as I'm sure you've noticed. It requires three very important external programs: The Oblivion Mod Manager(OBMM), Wrye Bash, The Oblivion Script Extender, and The Better Oblivion Sorting Software(BOSS). I won't pretend to be an expert when it comes to using these utilities, but the sites I've linked to should more than give you a nudge in the right direction. Once you learn to use them, though, they'll become second-nature, which will be important for the more complex mods I may describe in the future. And if all that didn't scare you off already, you can get Weather - All Natural right here.

That's all for now. Hopefully I'll keep having so much luck with my schedule. Happy Valentine's Day everyone.

Cava Obscura

Next on the list is Cava Obscura, which can be best described as an atmospheric enhancer. In the original game, ruins, caves, and dungeons were generally pretty easy to dive into without a torch. For those that think this is unrealistic, Cava Obscura creates a darker setting in all the dungeons in Cyrodiil which still preserving the game's original feel. There are a few other mods that attempt to make these areas darker (such as Darker Dungeons), but the author of Cava Obscura took the time to edit each individual dungeon's light levels rather than just remove light completely. You can see the result in my video.

Some claim that this mod is equally comparable to others like it, but I prefer the looks of this over any others that I've tried. If you aren't convinced by my video, feel free to try it for yourself. You can get Cava Obscura for yourself at TESNexus.

These first two mods I've displayed are both very easy to install. As I go on, keep in mind that the process of installation gets a little more complicated and may require additional mods or third-party programs such as a load order software or a mod manager. I'll be sure to go into more detail about that when it becomes necessary. Until then, be sure to let me know if you find what I have to say useful or informative. I'm all ears for constructive criticism. Goodbye for now.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

QTP 3 Redimized

To get the ball rolling, I thought I'd start with something simple. QTP 3 Redimized is a world texture replacer. For those that aren't familiar with Oblivion modding terms, this means that the mod is designed to enhance the visual details of the world as a whole. Installing a mod like this only requires the player to replace the current game's texture files with the new ones, which is relatively simple when it comes to modding. The result is very stunning though, as you can hopefully see in the video. Pay close attention to the bricks in the sewer and the ground outside.

Although there are several different varieties of this texture pack, the Redimized version seems to work the best with most people's computers. That being said, I've never personally tried to use any others. If you're interested in getting this mod for yourself, you can find it here.

As I go forward, keep in mind that I'll be layering these mods on top of each other. That means that if you see a video in the future of me displaying another texture replacer, QTP 3 Redimized will be present as well unless otherwise stated. I'll be making more videos and posts on here as I continue to add more mods, so be sure to let me know if there's anything you'd like to see. Thanks for your time, and goodbye for now.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Hello all,

I just thought I'd take the time to explain what it is I'll be doing on here. The purpose is rather simple. I intend to post videos and descriptions of all the mods I install or create and use for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

For those of you that stumble upon this without any prior knowledge, mods are essentially addons to the game made by individuals like myself in order to enhance the gaming experience. They come in many varieties, and the online modding community for Oblivion is one of the largest.

 The categories I'll be discussing on this blog will range from texture replacers to gameplay overhauls. I'll take any suggestions that people make and will do my best to make my posts both entertaining and useful. Of course, if you are someone who has never played Oblivion or is unable to run the game on your computer, my contributions may seem boring to you. Consider this a disclaimer.

I hope I can get this going very soon, so be sure to keep an eye on it. But for now, this all I have to say. Blessings of Akatosh upon ye.