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.