Monday, January 31, 2011

New Oblivion Mods

As I'm doing anything to avoid bugfixing on NCCS and responding to inane PMs this sleepless morn, I decided I should share a couple new Oblivion mods I hit on the other day, that some of you might not yet know of.

I was in the process of doing some ini optimizing - since it had somehow escaped being done before - and saw some mods listed that purported to improve visual aspects of the game without murdering framerates.

This may not be an important aspect for a lot of you, but it is for me. While my system is far and away more than the base Oblivion needs to run well... once loaded down with HDR, weather improvements, land improvements, 2048x2048 skin textures galore, and high-res armor and weapon replacements... even on a 2.4ghz, the game starts to lag a bit here and there. I could axe some of the higher end textures, yeah... but I'd rather not.

So, I installed the mods that looked interesting, and ended up with this:

This also involved changing some ini settings to ramp up the reflectivity of the water surfaces (enabled trees, statics, and actor reflections rather than the default generic light-and-dark shapes). You can't see it in these wilderness shots, but I also enabled the more complex window reflections that look quite nice.

I think it turned out quite well. Prettier than real life in many places.

In the end, I've wound up with the following such mods running:

Landscape LOD Texture Replacement, Landscape LOD Texture Replacement - Border Regions, Landscape LOD Normalmap Fix, Better Grass Texture Without Tiling, Noise Replacer (HTF3 specifically), The Imperial Waters, Natural Environments, and Let There Be Darkness.

Note, I don't use Unique Landscapes because of the myriad of conflicts it causes with practically every other mod out there that changes any aspect of the open countryside.

ImpeREAL City - Unique Districts is good too, but can really bog your system down (and conflicts with several other mods that add shops or such to the city districts).

And while it's only partially cosmetic, I also highly recommend Realistic Flora, which changes harvestable plants to look harvested, once you've collected components from them. They revert to normal after reset; when they can be picked again. One of those small details that helps immersion, and makes it easy to tell at a glance whether you've harvested a particular area yet or not.


  1. I used some of those when I was running on my Dell (now the red-headed stepchild of my computers), but I also went so far as to use one that replaced the normal maps for just about everything else. I might check out the Let There Be Darkness one as I haven't gotten around to anything like that yet on my latest Oblivion install (which has been going remarkably well past experiences considered). I also will look up the Realistic Flora since I also use the Havok Containers mods. Thanks for posting the links.

  2. I looked at a few that replaced all normal maps; but they didn't seem to make too much of a difference. The ones on the terrain were pretty bad, and warranted replacing... but the normal static maps aren't too bad.

    Let There Be Darkness is kind of different. It's annoying when first installed - since it's all but impossible to see in caves and ruins without a torch or nighteye spell with it running. Once you get used to it though, it helps with realism more than a bit.

    Oblivion is just too bright on its own, in many places; and HDR's "let's make it brighter!" feature doesn't help matters any.

  3. Oddly I can't play Oblivion that well yet the computer will play Fallout 3 and NV somehow.

    However very pretty images.

  4. If you haven't done so already, you should try some ini optimizations. They help a lot with Oblivion.

    There are also guides on that same site for Fallout 3. No idea if there's an NV guide; but since it and FO3 are nearly identical, I found the same settings carried over pretty well.

    Also: make sure that anti-aliasing is off, and you don't have it set to use V-sync. Those options can work beautifully for Oblivion... or they can send your game straight to hell. It's a crap shoot, until you figure out which your system and video card prefer.