oblivion mod guide - play oblivion once more before skyrim!

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  1. svaalbard

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    Replay Oblivion once more before Skyrim hits! –mod guide by svaal-
    Screen shots + video on second page of thread!
    [WARNING] Difficulty: Hard (should be no problem for most of you though, right?)
    This guide assumes that you are proficient with computers. And that you read the readmes.

    This requires a lot of time, roughly 3-4hours(perhaps double that if you read the readmes ), but I would highly recommend the investment of time, as these mods listed/featured in this guide are excellent and well worth the effort. Also, performance with this many different mods will be lower than you expect. This is because the game engine (gamebryo) was mainly optimized for singlecore/dual core.
    Most of these mods are “overhauls” that add a great deal of depth, thanks to the wondrous modding community behind games. Although I have very basic knowledge of the TESconstruction set/TES4Gecko/scripting in general, I have completed this without a PhD in electrical computer quantum engineering(although it would help).

    With all of these ambitious mods installed, the game will push a modern PC hard. All of this was performed on an i7-2630qm (quad dual hyperthread @ 2Ghz), a GTX 560m (1.5GB), and 8GB 1333hz RAM. Usually the graphics card is at 700MB/800MB usage, but mainly my game is CPU bound. Note: There are some multithreading tweaks available, and will be listed later on in the guide.Even if you can run Crysis 2 with 148612 shaders, 74421 lighting effects and 178862xAA, Oblivion will be lower performance wise.


    Recommended System Requirements:
    Code:

    CPU: i3/Phenom2/Core2 clocked as fast as they will go
    GPU: The faster the better, at least 1GB onboard VRAM
    RAM: 6-8GB (4GB free recommended)

    This guide was written against the Steam version of Oblivion with all of the DLC, if you are using a different version then there may be different steps.

    Register yourself an account at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community - you will need to be registered to download files over 2MB (and you will download a lot ). I also strongly recommend upgrading to premium. It's a couple of dollars/quid for a month and lets you skip the annoying videos before downloading. Also might be useful for when Skyrim is released on 11 11.

    Installing Oblivion (steam&disc)
    DO NOT INSTALL TO PROGRAM FILES (OR PROGRAM FILESx86)
    Installation & Patches

    Install the game as normal, if you have a disc based Oblivion install into c:\tes\Oblivion and then download the appropriate patch fromhttp://www.bethsoft.com/downloads_01.html & install it.

    Once Oblivion is installed you will then need to get Oblivion Script Extender (OBSE) from OBSE. Current version at the time of writing is v0020. OBSE allows a number of very clever people a way to extend the original Oblivion engine, this build requires it for two main reasons; Stability and Eye Candy. Unzip this and copy the contents into your Oblivion folder so that the *.dll and *.exe are in the root of the installation.

    [Steam]

    Make a folder C:\tes. Browse to your Steam\steamapps\common\ and Cut the Oblivion folder. Paste it in C:\tes so that you have C:\tes\Oblivion\. You can then uninstall the game later in Steam itself.

    Run Regedit and browse to

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Bethesda Softworks] (this may be in a different place on your machine, this is for Windows 7 64bit)

    Under Oblivion, edit the Installed Path variable.

    [endSteam]

    The 2GB Limit

    One of the key limitations with Oblivion is that the game can only use 2GB of RAM. With a few of the larger graphics mods installed you will often push towards this limit and when it does Oblivion will crash to desktop. Fortunately we can fix this.
    Grab this handy 4GB patcher from NTCore's Homepage & patch Oblivion.exe.
    (instead of the 1.8ish GB RAM maximum, this patch will allocate up to 3.7-3.8GB of RAM)

    Create a shortcut to obse_loader.exe and put it on your desktop, and then run it. Oblivion should start up. Exit out of the game and check for obse_loader.log.

    Graphics Settings

    Start Oblivion up and go to the graphics settings menu.

    * Do not use AA, do not use Bloom, do not use HDR - these all interfere with the Shaders we will plug in later (that add better AA/HDR)
    * Change Texture size to Large. This prevents the game engine (badly) downscaling textures.
    * Turn all Water settings to minimum/off, we are using a replacement Water shader.
    * Turn off Self Shadowing.
    * Everything else to maximum (actor fade+item fade+ Object fade at like 40%, my recc.)

    INI Tweaks

    Edit Oblivion.ini, on Windows 7 this is in My Documents\My Gamers\Oblivion

    bUseBackgroundFileLoader=1 - Offloads loading textures & meshes etc to another Core
    uInterior Cell Buffer=12 - Keeps more areas cached in RAM, cuts down on loading times
    uExterior Cell Buffer=108 – same as above
    iPreloadSizeLimit=104857600 - We have more memory with the 4GB patch, may as well use it


    Wrye Bash

    Wrye Bash is the essential tool of Oblivion modding. It's intimidating, but if you are serious about the best experience possible, invest the time. Hell, this tool might be around for Skyrim as well!

    Download both the 294 archive version & Wrye Python 04a from Wrye Bash at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community then install Python, then extract the Bash archive to C:\tes\ make sure that the Oblivion and Oblivion Mods folders exist in C:\tes
    If you are missing shortcuts at the end of the install, they are in C:\Oblivion\Mopy


    BOSS by random007

    Better Oblivion Sorting Software. It sorts the load order of mods to prevent crashing/incompatibilities. (originally known as FCOMHelper)

    Better Oblivion Sorting Software - BOSS at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    Oblivion mod manager by Timeslip

    This is an alternative package manager to Bash, with some helpful features built in - but is mostly inferior (and now very outdated). You should get this to help with working with OMOD & BSA files. If a file says it is OMOD supported or scripted, open OBMM, click create at the bottom of the screen, then select import archive if you didn’t extract it, or import folder if you did. It will do some chugging for several seconds then prompt you to import omod conversion data, click ok, it may warn about subfolders, but click ok. Also, follow the readme/main page description of the mod as well to avoid future headaches.

    Oblivion mod manager at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    7 Zip

    A lot of mods come in 7z archives, Winrar can handle most. 7z can handle all. Also, I am a 7z fanboy.

    7-Zip


    Stability & Support – get all of these

    A collection of OBSE plugins that make Oblivion run a bit smoother and less crashy.

    Windom Earle's Oblivion Crash Prevention System

    Windom Earle_s Oblivion Crash Prevention System at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    FastExit 2 by skyranger-1

    Fast Exit catches errors when you are quitting Oblivion and prevents them. As soon as you slightly mod Oblivion it will crash on Exit leaving you in Direct X mode with no mouse cursor.

    Fast Exit at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    Oblivion Stutter Remover by skyranger-1

    This plugin makes Oblivion not "stutter" as much, and generally feel smoother or perform better. It prevents or mitigates a number of issues related to stuttering and framerates, and can reduce the frequency of stutter related crashes. Download the OSR_4-1-24_RC version.

    Oblivion Stutter Remover at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    Elys Universal Silent Voice

    This OBSE plugin makes Oblivion:
    - plays a 8 seconds duration silent voice for any missing voice file.
    - uses generic lips moves for 8 seconds for any missing lip synchronization file.
    -used by a ton of mods, So I definitely recommend it

    OBSE -Elys- Universal Silent Voice at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    fyi - Installing a Simple BAIN Package -

    Copy the mod you downloaded to C:\tes\Oblivion Mods\Bash Installers (only do this if you downloaded a Bain style supported mod, you can create your own as well Google in Wrye Bash click the installers tab. Choose to enable Installers. It will do some processing, getting CRC's of all the existing files then present you have. Then right click on the bar at the top left where it says Package/Modified and choose to sort by Order. Enable BSA Redirection. Disable Skip OBSE Plugins.

    Now Right Click on a mod, and select install (if a wizard script is included, use that instead)
    Unofficial Patches

    There is a set of Unofficial Patches made by the Community that fix all sorts of issues that Bethesda should have fixed in the game. These are all essential. Get the Manual version of each (full not hotfix), or grab the OMOD version.

    Unofficial Oblivion Patch - Unofficial Oblivion Patch at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community
    Unofficial Shivering Isles Patch - Unofficial Shivering Isles Patch at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community
    Unofficial Official Oblivion Mods Patch - Unofficial Official Mods Patch at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    For the Unofficial Oblivion Patch make sure the "UOP Vampire Aging & Face Fix" is unselected. For the Unofficial Official Mods make sure the "DLC Thieves Den - Unoffical Patch - SSSB" is unselected.

    After the install, the Unofficial Oblivion Patch icon turns yellow. This indicates that some files from a later install have overwritten ones from this Package. You can see what they are by clicking on the conflicts tab. In this case it's just the readme files so nothing to worry about. One of the most powerful features of Bash (and the reason I no longer use Version control) is that if you uninstall a later file it will replace the conflicting files with something earlier in the load order. In this case if you uninstalled the Shivering Isles patch, the readme's from the Unofficial Oblivion patch will be reinstalled.

    Unofficial Oblivion Patch Supplemental

    Once you have the core Unofficial patches installed get the supplemental patch from TES Nexus. Unofficial Oblivion Patch Supplementals at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    For now just select all of the sub-packages in Bash and choose to install. Note how all of the other Unofficial patches have turned Orange - this indicates that game related files have been replaced.

    Tweaking & Optimisation

    Enable Packages

    You've learnt how to make & install packages, but there's some other tasks that need to be done after you've installed the patches to make sure everything is loading in the right order and integrated properly into the game. Switch to the Mods tab in Oblivion.

    You will be presented with this, some mods are selected, some aren't and there's big red warnings indicating conflicts.


    Right click on the main window and select:

    Sort by -> Load Order
    BOSS Disable Lock Timers
    Auto-Ghost
    Always Update BOSS Masterlist

    Go through all the mods and make sure they are all selected.

    Running BOSS

    Click on the small BOSS icon on the bottom left, this starts a new BOSS run which will create a hint file for Bash and create some output in a HTML window for you (which you should have a read through now). BOSS amongst other things has told Bash exactly which order to load mods so that they don't conflict with each other - it does this by checking a database of over 12,000 mods stored on the web. Once it has run you will see the following in Bash, note the file dates have all been changed so that files loaded later are dated later - this helps avoid some issues with Oblivions file loader.


    Dirty Edits

    One of the things BOSS 1.7 introduced was notification of Dirty Edits, I think this is typically stuff that was not deleted properly in the Editor when making a mod, or unneeded references to objects. I'm not sure how much of an impact on the game they have but the text annoyed me enough to learn how to fix it . The biggest culprit for these are Bethesda themselves, their mods are particularly bad for it - third party mods are typically cleaned properly - whereas Bethsoft just threw stuff out at will.

    You'll see some text like Contains dirty edits: 11 ITM, 2 UDR records. Needs TES4Edit cleaning when it needs fixing. To do so we'll need a copy of TES4Edit by Elminster.

    TES4Edit at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    This is another daunting tool, start it up and you'll see this. Right click and select none - then select ONLY the file you wan't to clean. There's a bunch we'll have to process, but for this example I picked the useless Horse Armor.



    Wait a bit for it to parse stuff.



    Right click on the DLC Horse Armor esp file and apply filter (Not Oblivion.esm!) - you git a big ugly screen. Make sure only "Conflict status inherited from parent" is checked - NOTHING ELSE! (It will remember this setting next time). Wait a bit more.

    Right click on the Horse Armor esp file again and "Remove Identical to Master", wait for the warning and say yes you are sure. Right click and "Undelete & Disable References"

    Close TES4Edit, choosing to save the changed file. Repeat this process for each file that BOSS has said is dirty and needs cleaning. Run BOSS again to make sure you have got them all.

    The Bashed Patch

    This is the thing that glues everything together and ensures compatability between all the mods you have installed. Regardless of whether you use OBMM or Bash, you need to build a Bashed Patch. A nice side effect is it can import some mods, cutting down on the number active and has a whole bunch of bug fixes to Oblivion built in.

    Before building a Bashed patch ALWAYS run BOSS

    Right click on the Bashed Patch and Rebuild Patch. When it prompts about disabling stuff click yes, we can merge these mods into the patch. This time it's just the Spell Tomes Unofficial Patch. You are presented with another scary screen.


    It's not so bad really, on the left hand side is general groups of settings - they need to be selected if anything on the right hand side wants changing. On the right hand side is individual options. Select the ones you specifically want.

    There are a few general rules of thumb that you can apply when building a Bashed Patch, but if you install something complex that changes the game a lot like FCOM then YOU MUST READ THE INSTRUCTIONS FOR THAT MOD CAREFULLY. Nothing in my list of mods needs special attention.

    fyi***For FCOM – check all merged patches, and make sure Leveled lists is checked and automatic is checked, then rebuild the patch.***endfyi

    (more thorough guide/discussion here: http://forums.bethsoft.com/index.php...ash-thread-69/)

    Click Build Patch and wait a minute or so, you'll get a popup telling you all the stuff that has been fixed. Note that any green named mods now have a green + rather than a tick in the Mod list, indicating it has been merged into the bashed patch.

    Start up Oblivion and have a quick run around to make sure nothing has gone awry.

    BSA Redirection

    A lot of people have problems installing mods, textures don't show up and such. This is down to Oblivions funky file loader and the bugs in it. Theoretically it's supposed to work like this: Load the file with the most recent date from loose files in Data or packed in a BSA file, so if you have some Textures unzipped in Data but the date on Oblivion Textures - compressed.bsa is newer then the ones from the BSA file will be used. In practice there's all sorts of funky bugs with this. Bash fixes this by creating an ArchiveInvalidationInvalidated!.bsa file in Data and mangling the dates on BSA files and stuff it drops loose in Data. OBMM also has a solution (but it doesn't quite work so well). Another reason manually installing mods is a bad idea.

    Optional: Optimizing Meshes
    Quote:
    Optimise Meshes

    Continuing the theme of Bethsoft half arsing stuff out of the door, almost all of the Geometry from trees to chairs to hills in the game is really poorly optimised drawing at times twice as many triangles as are needed. To be a little bit fair to them, the state of the art has moved on a great deal in 5 years. The upshot of this is that there is a great way to boost performance in Oblivion (and it is a SERIOUS boost). The downside is that it's complicated, technical and CPU intensive. On my quad i7, one of the files took an hour or so to optimise - and this is a very multicore friendly process, so the CPU was pretty much pegged at 100% leaving the computer virtually unusable. Doing this on an Athlon X2 or Core2 Duo etc is going to take some time!

    You can apply this technique to any meshes in the game, but my experience suggests the biggest wins are with the core game meshes - most of the mods are fairly well optimised already. Also restrict this to landscape stuff, definitely don't people / monsters / armour / weapons as it can and will screw up animations.

    Download the following:
    Windows x86 MSI Installer (64bit if relevant)
    blender-2.49b-windows.exe
    PyFFI
    Oblivion - PyFFI Optimization Kit

    I'm not going to repeat the good instructions, I got my info from the OPTIMISING MESHES WITH PyFFI at:

    http://www.thenexusforums.com/index....tall-adventure

    Note there's some information about speeding up the process of Patching the main Oblivion Mesh file on the Oblivion - PyFFI Optimization Kit page.

    BACK ALL BSA FILES UP BEFORE YOU DO THIS! Might consider backing up your Data folder as well!
    Time to Man UP and FCOM!
    I haven’t used some of the newer versions of this FCOM setup, instead I followed this older release of FCOM. Its stable, but if you wish, you can go ahead and upgrade/invest in the newest and latest fcom build+set up, just navigate to this link for the latest and greatest (meaning the Unnofficial FCOM setup) or the older, my preferred at dev_akm FCOM Cheat Sheet First Time Install devnull.devakm - FCOM Cheat SheetFirst-Time User Install Guide and Redirect . These were the ones I followed but they are out of date! It is very messy but you should do this! FCOM greatly enhances the gameplay of Oblivion to be balanced or harder and way way WAY more depth than vanilla! Things include new buildings, areas, landscapes, npcs, enemy monster types and AI, etc.

    NOTE: This step of installing FCOM is not required for any of the following steps/rest of the guide.

    FCOM - Oblivion Mod Wiki
    another guide to fcom
    fyi***For FCOM –bashed patch – select and check all merged patches, and make sure Leveled lists is checked and automatic is checked, then rebuild the patch.***endfyi
    Textures, LOD & Shaders

    Landscape Colour & Normal Maps

    You can add much more detail and depth to medium to distant range landscapes by replacing the stock Oblivion colour map and normal maps, these don't add a great deal of GPU load - but can require a large amount of VRAM. The stock settings in Oblivion are 512x512, but replacements are available in 512x512, 1024x1024, 2048x2048 and 4096x4096. You can mix and match sizes for the colour map & normal map - but it makes little sense to have a colour map that is larger than the normal map. The VRAM required for each file is as so (remember you need 1 of each)

    512x512 - 2MB
    1024x1024 - 8.6MB
    2048x2048 - 34.6MB
    4096x4096 - 138MB

    If you can spare the VRAM (1.5GB+ onboard) get the big files, otherwise scale down a bit. You will need a QNxxxx file (Normal Map) and a BTQ (Colour Map).

    Grab them these sites:
    http://planetelderscrolls.gamespy.co...Detail&id=1928 (BTQ2048, BTQ4096)
    Reduced LandscapeLOD Textures at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community (QN512, QN1024, QN2048, BTQ512, BTQ1024)
    http://planetelderscrolls.gamespy.co...Detail&id=2246 (QN4096)

    My recommendation if you can manage it is QN4096 + BTQ2048.

    (For more info see: devnull.devakm - World: Distant Landscape 1.2)

    Really Almost Everything Visible When Distant (RAEVWD) by Arthmoor (who is the man)

    This fantastic mod adds a huge amount of optimised graphics to display everything from statues to towns in the far distance, be careful as it's all too easy to completely destroy your framerate with this. Grab RAEVWD & RAEVWD SI Edition. Both of these can be dropped straight into the installer folder, and both have Wizards - so right click and choose Wizard rather than install. To start with I would choose not to install City Architecture, Imperial City Architecture, Cities Plugin or Imperial City Plugin , and see how you perform without those.

    Really AEVWD at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    Qarls Texture Pack 3

    This is the big texture pack for Oblivion, it replaces almost all of the textures in Vanilla with much better high resolution versions with improved normal maps. Normal maps might not mean much to you (it will later!) - but high resolution is worth having. Bomret and dev_akm went through this by hand, and optimised all of the textures on a case by case basis making it smaller and lighter without reducing apparent quality.
    Note: These are large files
    We are going to build our own custom package for QTP3.

    Get both the main pack (1.7GB) + the patch (Rapidshare page sadly) and set them aside.
    http://planetelderscrolls.gamespy.co...Detail&id=3813

    Get PyFFI Optimised Meshes for QTP3 and set it aside (or you can build your own!)
    PYFFI Optimized QTP3 Meshes - Fixed at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    Get Reduced Normal Maps for Qarl's Texture Pack 3
    http://planetelderscrolls.gamespy.co...ionMods.Detail

    Get QTP3 Reduced
    QTP3 Reduced at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    Get RAEVWD QTP3 Texture Pack
    Really AEVWD at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    Copy all of this to a temporary folder, and extract each to its own folder. Apply the QTP3R Patch to the main QTP3R folder. Move the lite2.exe into the lite1 folder. Unzip the self extracting exes using whatever path they suggest. Flatten the structure so no "Data" subfolders exist (move Textures / Meshes). Move all the text files into the very top. You should have something like this:



    Rename the folders, and create so that you have:
    Code:
    00 QTP3 Redimized
    01 QTP3 for RAEVWD
    02 Optimized QTP3 Meshes
    03 Reduced Lite
    04 Reduced Normal
    05 Reduced Max
    06 Normal Maps Reduced
    07 Docs
    Zip it all up and put it in the packages folder. When you come to install it, i'd stick to 00, 01 & 02 for a modern graphics card with plenty of VRAM. If you are struggling then 03 & 04 are probably okay. 05 & 06 will have a noticeable reduction in quality.

    [Recommended] Bomrets Texture Pack for Shivering Isles

    Basically the same thing as Qarls for the SI expansion. (Overlay the RAEVWD texture pack from Really AEVWD at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community over this)

    Bomret Texture Pack for Shivering Isles at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    [Recommended] Improved *stuff* by miknemel1

    This is a series of Texture replacers covering a variety of areas, I’d consider Improved Doors and Flora, Improved Trees and Flora and Improved Trees and Flora 2 to be essential. The other packages are excellent. You should make your own package along the lines of the QTP package for this.

    http://www.tesnexus.com/modules/memb....php?id=153868

    [Recommended] Koldorns Ayleid Ruins

    This Texture Replacer will change the Ayleid Ruins to look a little more aged and rugged. Gates, walls, Welkyd stones, everything has been touched up.

    Koldorns Ayleid Ruins Textures at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community + RAEVWD textures from Really AEVWD at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    [Required] TES4LodGen

    This install works with the meshes RAEVWD installed to regenerate all of the Distant LOD in the game. This will make all sorts of stuff visible from a great distance, at the cost of a largish framerate hit. It's generally okay on a modern graphics card, should be no problem for most of your sigrigs though.

    TES4LODGen at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    If you find the hit too big, just delete the *.lod files in C:\tes\oblivion\Data\DistantLOD


    Quote:
    optional - OBGE Shaders

    Grab OBGE Core, OBGE Standalone Effects, OBGE Luminance HDR, OBGE Parallax Occlusion Mapping from Oblivion Graphics Extender at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    Make double sure you have the latest versions of each as there are multiple files on the page.

    Grab OBGE Water from OBGE Liquid Water at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    There is also a OBGE Physically Correct Sky in development which certainly looks promising, but had some issues that annoyed me a bit too much to use. You may not mind them. There are currently some annoyances with Fog, should be fixed in the next version. Finally there's apparently an improved cloud shadows mod coming soon. OBGE is under rapid development at the moment so check frequently for updates.

    I made a package with the following contents:
    Code:
    00 Core 3.0.1
    01 Standalone Effects 3.0.1
    02 Standalone Effects Godrays Sunglare Fix
    03 Luminance HDR 3.0.2
    04 Parallax Occlusion Mapping 3.0.2
    05 Physically Correct Sky 3.0.2
    06 OBGE Liquid Water 2.0.0
    07 Liquid Water Performance Shaders 2.0.0
    I ran Oblivion one time to generate the file OBGE.ini, and chose not to install Oblivion Graphics Extender Support.

    I then browsed to My Documents\My Games\Oblivion and made the following changes:

    oblivion.ini
    Code:
    bUseWaterReflectionsMisc=1
    bUseWaterReflectionsStatics=1
    bUseWaterReflectionsTrees=1
    bUseWaterReflectionsActors=1
    bUseWaterReflections=1
    obge.ini
    Code:
    bOptimize=1 (twice)
    bCompileSources=1
    To enable individual core shaders you need to edit the file: Oblivion\Data\Shaders\shaderlist.txt - Best to read the OBGE documentation for this.
    Code:
    Volumetric_SSAO.fx
    CrysisDoF.fx
    ColorMood.fx
    HLSLbleachbypass.fx
    MDLAA.fx
    [Optional] Ambient Dungeons

    (optional)This mod combines TheTalkieToaster's You Are Here resource with Scanti's Oblivion Graphics Extender v2 to tweak the atmosphere of Ayleid ruins, forts, caves, etc.

    Ambient Dungeons at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community
    Fun time – Actually installing mods now! Time for the headache onslaught

    [optional]Clocks of Cyrodiil

    Adds a bunch of clocks to the world, some small ones and some big ones. They show the in game time. No need to repackage anything here, just drop it in your install folder.

    Clocks of Cyrodiil at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    [optional]Night Sky

    Pick the pieces (moons, stars, nebula) you like from any combination of the following mods and recombine them into a package.

    Real Night Sky at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community
    Night Sky Fire and Ice 3 at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community
    Better Nightsky at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    [rec]Natural Habitat

    Adds butterflies, birds migrating and such. You'll need to do some work with this one as it also has a bunch of stuff in the archive you don't want (conflicts with other, better, not prone to crashing mods). Unzip and Delete:
    Code:
    Meshes\NaturalEnvironments\sky
    Natural Environments Unsupported Extras
    Textures\menus*
    Textures\sky
    Natural_Weather_HDR_by_Max_Tael.esp
    Natural_Weather_by_Max_Tael.esp
    Natural_Water_by_Max_Tael.esp
    Natural_Vegetation_by_Max_Tael.esp
    Natural Environments at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    [rec]Enhanced Vegetation

    Much better looking textures for distant trees. Choose either high resolution or normal resolution texture pack and download the plugins also. From the plugins zip you want to pick the Enhanced Vegetation [100%].esp file from the timescale 30 folder. But read the instructions, they are clear.

    Enhanced Vegetation at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    [rec]Rainbows in Tamriel v3

    The mod simply adds working rainbows to the world of Tamriel

    Rainbows in Tamriel v3 at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    [ESSENTIAL]Unique Landscapes

    A collection of modifications that does pretty much what it says in the title. There was a compilation made a while back in Bain format, and I believe it’s the most current one:
    Unique Landscapes Compilation OMOD or BAIN at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community
    download the Bain format, and you are good to go!

    [Essential]Unique Landscapes Compatability Patches

    This is a collection of patches for UL and various other mods, the wizard will autodetect (use autowizard not wizard) what other mods you have that collide with UL and apply fixes. In our case I think the only patches should be for some OOO places, Kvatch Rebuilt and Frostcrag. You should keep this at the end of the install order, and rerun the autowizard whenever you install a new mod before you play.

    Unique Landscapes Compatibility Patches at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    [Optional]Better Cities – requires SI as far as I know

    Rejigs all of the areas of all of the cities in the game, essential but some areas can be very resource heavy. There are some special instructions if you have not applied the 4GB patch / nocd and are using QTP3 & RAEVWD.

    Download Permanent Resources, Resources & Better Cities. They are all ready to be dropped straight into your installers folder. They should be activated in the following order:

    Better Cities Permanent Resources
    Better Cities Resources
    Better Cities

    Bananasplit Better Cities at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    [install notes]

    Install the two resource packs. Use the wizard to each. (right click, select wizard). For Resources, choose core & core EV (English Version).

    Better Cities itself.

    The wizard seems to be broken currently, so you need to manually select options. With 4GB patch go for Unified, separate otherwise. Open cities again only for 4GB patch. View when distant if your comp can handle it. If you are using separate then don't install Anvil or Imperial City Waterfront.

    My install looked like this on a 4GB patched machine.
    Code:
    == Configured Files
    Better Cities - All Natural.esp
    Better Cities - Open Better Cities.esp
    Better Cities - Unique Landscape Barrowfields.esp
    Better Cities - Unique Landscape Cheydinhal Falls.esp
    Better Cities - Unique Landscape Chorrol Hinterland.esp
    Better Cities - Unique Landscape Imperial Isle.esp
    Better Cities - Unique Landscape Skingrad Outskirts.esp
    Better Cities - VWD of the IC.esp
    Better Cities B&M - Unique Landscape Barrowfields.esp
    Better Cities Full - B&M Edition.esp
    Better Cities Full.esp
    Better Cities Resources.esm
    Better Imperial City.esp
    ClocksOfCyrodiil_BC_OBC_OC_OCLR_Vanilla.esp
    ONLY USE ONE OF THESE!
    Docs\Better Cities_readme.rtf
    Meshes\Architecture\BetterCitiesResources\Cathedra l\darkercathedralstendarr01_an.nif
    Meshes\Architecture\BetterCitiesResources\Cathedra l\darkercathedralstenintback01.nif
    Meshes\Architecture\BetterCitiesResources\Cathedra l\darkercathedralstenintentrance01.nif
    Meshes\Architecture\BetterCitiesResources\Cathedra l\darkercathedralstenintfrontwin01.nif
    Meshes\Architecture\BetterCitiesResources\Cathedra l\darkercathedralstenintside01.nif
    Meshes\Architecture\BetterCitiesResources\Cathedra l\darkercathedralstenintside02.nif

    A 2GB should look like this
    Code:
    == Configured Files
    Better Cities - All Natural.esp
    Better Cities - Unique Landscape Barrowfields.esp
    Better Cities - Unique Landscape Cheydinhal Falls.esp
    Better Cities - Unique Landscape Chorrol Hinterland.esp
    Better Cities - Unique Landscape Imperial Isle.esp
    Better Cities - Unique Landscape Skingrad Outskirts.esp
    Better Cities - VWD of the IC.esp
    Better Cities B&M - Unique Landscape Barrowfields.esp
    Better Cities BRAVIL - Blood & Mud.esp
    Better Cities BRAVIL.esp
    Better Cities BRUMA.esp
    Better Cities CHEYDINHAL.esp
    Better Cities CHORROL.esp
    Better Cities IC Arboretum.esp
    Better Cities IC Arcane University.esp
    Better Cities IC Arena.esp
    Better Cities IC Elven Gardens.esp
    Better Cities IC Green Emperor Way.esp
    Better Cities IC Market.esp
    Better Cities IC Prison.esp
    Better Cities IC Talos Plaza.esp
    Better Cities IC Temple.esp
    Better Cities LEYAWIIN.esp
    Better Cities Resources.esm
    Better Cities SKINGRAD.esp
    ClocksOfCyrodiil_BC_OBC_OC_OCLR_Vanilla.esp
    ONLY USE ONE OF THESE!
    Docs\Better Cities_readme.rtf
    Meshes\Architecture\BetterCitiesResources\Cathedra l\darkercathedralstendarr01_an.nif
    Meshes\Architecture\BetterCitiesResources\Cathedra l\darkercathedralstenintback01.nif
    Meshes\Architecture\BetterCitiesResources\Cathedra l\darkercathedralstenintentrance01.nif
    Meshes\Architecture\BetterCitiesResources\Cathedra l\darkercathedralstenintfrontwin01.nif
    Meshes\Architecture\BetterCitiesResources\Cathedra l\darkercathedralstenintside01.nif
    Meshes\Architecture\BetterCitiesResources\Cathedra l\darkercathedralstenintside02.nif
    Bananasplit Better Cities at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    /endbettercities

    [Optional] Let the People Drink!
    Quote:
    "Let the People Drink" breathes life into the very dry Imperial City, it adds multitude of fountains as well as a Great Aqueduct running from Charcoal Cave to the city. This Aqueduct was built by none other than Tiber Septim himself. Discover what Bethesda's Imperial City should have been like; take a drink from the fountains and enjoy the view from the aqueducts, this mod is for you!”
    (The Aqueduct conflicts with Glenvar Castle, so install the fountain only version. We don't use COBL)
    You should make a package with the Meshes, Textures, Sound folders only & LetThePeopleDrink-fountainonly.esp

    Let the People Drink at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    [Essential] Weather - All Natural

    All Natural combines a robust custom weather system that allows the use of weather types from all existing weather mods with custom versions of Natural Interiors and Real Lights in order to provide the greatest weather/environment experience possible.

    Download main file and patch, combine and use Wizard.

    Weather - All Natural at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community
    after this installation, in the readme it says to rebuild your patch to also import cells from all natural.

    [Essential] Animated Window Lighting System

    Adds Windows that light up at night time or rainy weather. Requires All Natural. Super Awesome. Adds a lot of immersion to the world. Chimeny smoke may cause a slight fps drop, but that may be placebo as the mod creator claims “absolutely no impact on performance”

    Animated Window Lighting System and Chimneys - AWLS at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    [Optional] Immersive Interiors

    All Naturals spectacular Natural Interiors came along, which allowed you to see through the windows of interiors, and the light levels and weather depended on the weather and time of day outside. Pretty cool, but still a WIP

    Immersive Interiors at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    [Rec]LOD files for Unique Landscapes

    This is no actual mod but additional files for Unique Landscapes mods. They are needed to have correct LOD when using specific UL mods together. Pick the specific combinations that most closely match what you are running in Bash. (but you should be running all UL!)
    I think tes4lodgen does the same thing as these files, but I am not sure. Doesn’t hurt to download this and also run tes4lodgen.

    Unique Landscapes - Landscape LOD files at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community



    [rec]Frostcrag Reborn - If you have the Frostcrag, definitely get this. If you use this disable the Unofficial Frostcrag Patch

    Frostcrag Reborn at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    [rec]Kvatch Rebuilt - A follow on to the early main story quest, rebuild the town of Kvatch and become the Duke/Duchess. I disabled the OOO & Levelled Guards esp's.

    Kvatch Rebuilt at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    [rec]Glenvar Castle - Adds a proper castle you can reclaim for yourself south of the Imperial city. It's not levelled so you need to be around level 20 to do the quests. There's some optional recorded voices for it so get those too, if you wish.

    Glenvar Castle at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community
    Glenvar Castle Voice Add-on now with LIP Animations at The Elder Scrolls Nexus - Oblivion mods and community

    ESSENTIAL: Darnified UI
    Get this OMOD version and install this bad boy to get that clunky 360 interface rid of.

    -or-
    DarkDarnUI’d
    I don’t use this, but it is popular,AFAIK its Darnified but with a grid style inventory like morrowind and textured differently.


    Resorting the Load Order

    Another great feature of Bash is the ability to change the install order of mods, basically in the Installer tab just drag mods to where you want them, select all and right click -> Anneal. This will make sure that in case of a conflict the file from the mod lowest on the screen is installed.
    This is what my Installers looks like after(Fcom was installed manually/OBMM)



    Now go back into the mods tab, activate everything and run Boss. There will be a few mods that have dirty edits so will want cleaning. Assuming BOSS reports no errors, rebuild your Bashed patch using the guidelines mentioned earlier and rerun Tes4LODGEN


    Other cool mods!!! (run a search on google for these mods, sometimes TesNexus search engine sometimes sucks)
    **next to recommended:

    **Midas Magic Spells of Aurum – like 300 new spells, you can cheat to get em all or do fetch quests if you prefer the “legit” way (personally I cheated, and refrain from using the OP ones)
    **The Lost Spires – cool quest mod, adds the “Archaelogy Guild”
    Meg’s Crow Nest Cottage – awesome little anvil house in the harbor
    **Open Cities (classic or reborn, reborn looks cooler imo, but may have a lot of compatibility problems with other mods or quests)
    Tamriel NPC's Revamped
    Capes and Cloaks – some capes and cloaks come with FCOM as well
    **OSSO, Symphony of Violence
    Minimap
    Reneers Guard Overhaul – guard overhaul, awesome
    PJ Disco Spell – for the lol’s. make sure you don’t save if you activate it though, can cause bugs



    Check out these guides to oblivion as well
    http://forums.somethingawful.com/sho...stid=378273294
    and
    http://knotstheinane.blogspot.com/p/...ing-guide.html
    and
    FCOM - Oblivion Mod Wiki
    another guide to fcom

    Have fun playing! Hopefully you did not tear out your hair.
     
  2. DeeVu

    DeeVu That Compsci/Psych Major

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    Holy Oblivion thread of all oblivion threads. O_O this makes me want to play TES again. +1
     
  3. XEROenvy

    XEROenvy Notebook Consultant

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    Man I wish I read the before I started myself.
    I've got most of the stuff you've got, but there are some essentials I missed, and I wonder how performance will be affected with the 4GB patch.
    Now the only issue I have (and will always have) is time. I've yet to beat the expansions on the 360 (my main gaming platform before I got my laptop) and I've got so many games to finish that playing through with the visual overhaul again (and I also got a guide to Morrowind Overhaul :**** JUST GOT REAL: Morrowind Modding Guide, sorry about title - but it looks great huh?) seems out of the question. And it's not like I will be able to game more when I get older, right?
     
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