Friday, June 10, 2011

But Wait, There's More!

In hopes of saving some time this weekend by spreading these mods across several posts, I decided to do another post similar to "What Else?" and touch lightly on all the mods I recommend but chose not to previously write about. Again, like that past post of mine, this will read much more like a list than an in-depth discussion, so feel free to skip this one if that's not what you're looking for.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Immersive Prison Sewer Exit

Before getting into more mods that will affect your regular interactions with the world and the people living in it, I thought I'd take a moment to talk a little about one that alters the beginning of the game. It's very simple, and I was rather surprised to find that nobody else has a made a mod similar to this until now.

All Immersive Prison Sewer Exit does is make a smoother transition between the tutorial dungeon and the rest of Cyrodiil. This is done by moving the final section of the sewer into the exterior worldspace, giving the illusion that the character is closer to the exit when fighting through the last of the rats and goblins. This obviously makes a lot of sense, since the prison sewer is indeed the last part of the tutorial dungeon. If you'd rather see how this is all done in-game for yourself, be sure to skip the video, since I walk through the entire section that this mod changes.

I'm particularly fond of the changes to the lighting and how you can actually see the world outside when looking through the bars at the end of the sewer. The view of the sewer looking back in seems a bit two-dimensional when you give it close examination, but it's nothing absolutely game-breaking. All in all, this little mod will likely find a permanent home in my load order, especially since it's compatible with both Liquid Water and Unique Landscapes. If Immersive Prison Sewer Exit looks just as appealing to you as it did to me, you can download it for yourself from TESNexus.

That's all for now; a tiny post for a tiny mod, but definitely worth the trouble. If I find myself with more time this week, I'll do my best to get more into the larger stuff. Until then, goodbye for now.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Unique Landscapes

I'm sorry to say that once again I have been lured into discussing yet another environmental mod over one that directly affects gameplay. However, this is one that should have been covered a long time ago, so it hardly seems like a crime for me to take the time to do so.

Unique Landscapes is an on-going project by a number of mod authors that seeks to flesh out the generic world of Cyrodiil and redesign the wilderness in a much more eye-catching fashion. The project is divided into several sections, each corresponding to a different region. While each fits right into Oblivion in its own little way, I've decided to instead zoom out and generalize by discussing the project as a whole. Whether it be the wind-swept Jerall Mountains or the humid swamps of Blackwood, every region touched by the Unique Landscapes project comes to life with breath-taking scenery and sophisticated intrigue unlike any landscape mod before it. Cyrodiil has never before felt so full and lush with the foliage, cliffs, rivers, and valleys that the mod adds to the environment. But of course, as many have noted when it comes to mods that solely relate to graphical additions, only a video can really demonstrate the admiration that the project deserves.

While some may like some sections of the project more than others, I've elected to install the compilation package that includes all of the sections that are currently released. If you install the package with the Oblivion Mod Manager, it should provide you with the opportunity to select specific sections if you would rather not install them all. However, all are at least worth seeing in-game for yourself, and I personally recommend the entire compilation. If you're interested in trying it out for yourself, you can find the Unique Landscapes compilation on TESNexus.

I'm not entirely sure which direction I'd like to take the blog next, but I'll do my best to attempt putting more of a focus on gameplay-related mods in the future. Until next time, have a terrific Sunday.