Morrowind Expanded

A 12 step-guide to reinstalling a better Morrowind

Step 11: refine the graphics, text, models, and sounds 20 December 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — David Haden @ 8:23 pm

11. Refine the graphics, text, models, and sounds:-

 

All of these have been tested together, and with the items in previous steps. Be aware that many mods package themselves in several different versions: one for Morrowind alone, one for people with Tribunal and Morrowind, one for those who have the GOTY edition. There are also sometimes versions for Tamriel. Some mods have ‘lite’ versions alongside the full version. So if you’ve just dumped the mod .zip into the data directory, sorting out which version you want can take quite some time. Such ‘double mods loaded’ conflicts are the likely cause of many game crashes. If there are multiple versions of a mod inside a zip file, it’s best to select only the version you know you need – and copy it manually to the Data Files directory. Or carefully weed out the variant mods from your Data Files directory after installing each batch of mods.

 

Heads and bodies:

Better Bodies + Tribunal Better Clothes (for Better Bodies)

Better Beasts + neck fix (included).

Better Heads v2 + Dunmer texture fix for Better Heads AND/OR Vvardenfell Visages Vol. 1 + Ren’s Oblivion Hair for Morrowind.

Clothes:

Better Clothes + patch. Better Clothes does not replace the robes — for better robes, add Robe Replacer Using Hurdy Gurdy’s Meshes.

Weapons:

Weapon replacer, simply using sharpened textures. Should not conflict with levelling mods.

Monsters:

Classical Monster Replacer. Replaces the textures of various common monsters such as the Nix Hound, with better (sharper/clearer) versions.

Skies:

Enhanced Sky. A daytime higher-resolution texture replacer, very similar to the originals. It doesn’t touch Morrowind’s lovely stars or moons.

If you also have a copy of Oblivion installed, you may want to experiment with Oblivion Skies for Morrowind. A Windows .bat file finds and converts the Oblivion sky textures, and places them into your Morrowind directory. But the .bat file doesn’t seem to work on Vista, for me.

Sundry items:

Misc Items Replacer. Makes plates, bowls, baskets, crates etc look so much better.

Weathered Signs.

Better Books and (they don’t conflict) Daleth’s Book Jackets (plus Book Jackets for Tribunal and Bloodmoon)

Trees and grass:

Vality’s Bitter Coast Mod v4 and Vality’s Ascadian Isles Mod v2 adds incredible SpeedTree-like forests, where they should be in the game, and nowhere else. Superb.

Vality’s Morrowind Grass Mod adds excellent Oblivion-style grass. And with no noticable frame-rate hit. Superb.

OR Vurt’s Groundcover 1.0 for MGE, an advanced animated alternative to Vality’s Grass (see above). Excellent. However… as with all MGE-dependent stuff it’s rather tricky to set up, and runs only when you enable the Distant Lands function of the Morrowind Graphics Extender — so I’d be very reluctant to recommend it to those who are new to applying mods to Morrowind. This is really only for advanced users only — those who know how to generate Distant Lands from the proper .esp files, and can then dial down their MGE Distant Lands view to a sensible 1 or 2 cells.

Text and dialogue:

Text Patch for Morrowind with Tribunal & Bloodmoon. Fixes thousands of typing errors in the dialogue and books. (Not required if you use Morrowind Patch v1.6.4.esm instead).

Reduced (Passing) Commentary mod will very usefully limit the number of spoken greetings you hear from NPCs. This can add greatly to immersion in the game. Vital.

Less Lore. Removes generic heard-it-all-before dialogue, through complex scripting.

Population:

Morrowind Comes Alive and Tamriel Rebuilt Comes Alive v.2. You might want to get the “Lite” version of MCA, if you have frame-rate problems.

Living Cities of Vvardenfell. Puts NPCs on a schedule, they lock their doors at night. And much more. A major mod.

Illuminated Windows, with Bloodmoon expansion mod. People’s windows glow at night, flicker with candlelight. Comes with two additional mods that serve as Tribunal and Bloodmoon addons to the Atmospheric Sound Effects mod (see below). Requires simple .ini file tweaking (use Notepad, and don’t forget to backup first).

Ecology:

Sabregirl’s Ecology of Morrowind. Also causes healthy wild animals to be far less aggressive — stops constant cliff-racer attacks! Diseased and injured animals still attack.

Where Are All The Birds Going? 1.15. Adds beautifully-animated birds and flying creatures. Superb. Consider also adding A Flock of Seagulls for coastal birds. They don’t conflict.

Water Life 1.18. Adds new beautifully-animated water creatures in and around bodies of water. Excellent. (If it causes errors, you may need to also install the Water Seraphs mod).

Important gameplay tweaks:

Nymeria’s Faster Walk. Increase walking speed by 10%. Also seems to increase the frame-rate on a fast modern PC, and generally makes for a far better experience.

Water Life v1.18 (see above) comes with a Tempus Fugit ring (to be easily found in your inventory) which when worn allows you to set how much you want the game to slow down the passage of days (i.e.: to a more realistic level such as x2). If for some reason you can’t run Water Life, then use the alternative 2x Time Mod — but this can only be used when you start a brand new game (i.e.: starting from scratch, getting off the ship).

Sounds:

Kirel’s Interior Weather.

Atmospheric Sound Effects 3. Adds 200 new sounds from 13,000 emission points. Some are controlled by weather effects and night/day cycles. Also works in Tribunal and Bloodmoon, but the main ACE mod must be selected for those to work. You will also need to manually edit morrowind.ini (use Notepad) from….

[Weather Blight]
Ambient Loop Sound ID=Blight

to

[Weather Blight]
Ambient Loop Sound ID=_ase_blight loop01

While you’re editing the .ini file, if you’re using a 2x time mod, you may also want to change:

Hours Between Weather Changes=20

to

Hours Between Weather Changes=4

 

Phew! You’ve now installed all of the above. Does everything work? Load Morrowind and double-click on the mods you want to load at start-up. If it all works (praise Fargoth!), now would be a good time to archive your whole C:/Morrowind folder to a DVD-R or external hard-drive. At the end of the install process described on this website I have more than 3.7Gb (!) in my Morrowind directory.

Other retexturing mods can be found and installed as you happen to notice parts of the game that are lacking. The Stilt Rider textures may look a little low-res now, for instance. Or you may feel the Telvanni architecture needs a coat of paint.

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2 Responses to “Step 11: refine the graphics, text, models, and sounds”

  1. john.moonsugar Says:

    I would recommend against “2x Time Mod” as if you load “Water Life” by abot, you will get a “Tempus Fugit Ring”, which lets you change the timescale at any time during a running game, rendering the 2x Time mod fairly useless. This ring is also available as a separate mod http://planetelderscrolls.gamespy.com/View.php?view=Mods.Detail&id=648

  2. asdjfdlkf Says:

    Many thanks; I’ll adjust the text to take account of this info.


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