I didn't make it!
[COLOR=royalblue]¤~::[/COLOR][COLOR=blue]What is Silgrad Tower?[/COLOR][COLOR=royalblue]::~¤[/COLOR]
The goal is to create a region of the Morrowind Province's mainland on the opposite side of Vvardenfell's western coast, stretching in latitude as far north as Ald'Ruhn and as far south as Hla Oad. To get a better sense of where our region is situated you might want to take a look at Bethesda's old concept map for Morrowind (link); notice the two cities 'Soluthis' and 'Silgrad Tower' in the northwest? Our mod takes place roughly between those two cities (while at the same time adding in new cities and settlements). The layout of Morrowind changed quite a bit between that concept map and the real game, and our landmass (depicted here) follows the latest official map more closely.
Three major cities are situated in the region we're creating. The twin cities Soluthis/Reich Parkeep in the forested hills to the north is the district seat of House Redoran. The Hlaalu metropolis Silgrad Tower in the fertile, pleasant south is said to be the second largest city in Morrowind, rivalled only by the capital Almalexia and is a natural center for trade and commerce. Steadhelm is an Imperial charter town on the coast of the Inner Sea, bordered by mountains to the north and a huge swamp to the south. Several smaller Dunmer villages and Imperial settlements can also be found in the region, as can numerous farms.
Our goal is also to have plenty of adventure beyond the comfort of the city walls. Huge burial tombs lie forgotten in the wilderness, mountain strongholds shelter warlords, renegade Daedra worshippers carry out their sinister rituals in remote shrines, highwaymen rob travellers of loot and life alike - and war drums sound from the west, as barbarians from Skyrim prepare to drive Redoran into the sea.
Some of you may be thinking, "Morrowind? Vvardenfell? Is this a TES3 mod, or... what?" And the answer is no, it's not a TES3 mod, it's an Oblivion mod - but we've painstakingly modelled pretty much everything you'll see in our mod from scratch to make you think you're in Morrowind again. Our teammembers have come together with one thing in common above all else - a shared love for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, and we want to see the spirit of Morrowind, and the spirit of the lands our team modded for TES3, live on through the new game.
Since Reich Parkeep v9 was released we've come a long way towards realizing those goals. To name a few; - There's finally a landmass, allowing us to string together our previous city mods into a single release. - The city exterior in Soluthis is mostly finished. - Steadhelm is nearing completion, and now sports over half a dozen finished interiors as well as distant LOD. - We can now count 1448 models in our folder, 99% of which our team itself created. - All Redoran interior models have been modelled, enabling us to open every claim in Soluthis. - Soluthis itself is looking even better this time around after the buildings were reskinned. - Guards in Reich Parkeep now sport unique armor. - All objects the player can pick up now have icons. There's almost 200 of them. - All plants and flowers can now be harvested for ingredients. - Many more furniture pieces are now useable, like the Redoran bed. - The city wall around Soluthis has been totally reworked with new models, which should behave better in-game. - A Dunmer shack tileset has been created, which will give a familiar touch of Morrowind to Ebbedin and other villages in our lands.
[COLOR=royalblue]¤~::[/COLOR][COLOR=blue]How to install[/COLOR][COLOR=royalblue]::~¤[/COLOR]
The release comes in four packages to keep your download times to a minimum. The Data Files package contain what you would call the real release - the data files, meshes, textures, sound effects, voice and music that make our mod what it is. The Playing Files package contains the data files needed to play the mod. The LOD packages are optional and enables distant land while playing the mod, and while you don't have to download it, it makes the mod look a lot better.
Silgrad Tower uses the excellent archive format ".7z", which achieves superior compression ratio compared to other zip programs. To extract .7z files, please download and install the freeware program 7-zip from the website 7-zip.org.
To play the mod, launch the game and tick the following data files: - Silgrad_Tower.esm - Silgrad_Tower_Portal.esp Once you start playing, travel to Cheydinhal where you'll find two large portals standing freely next to the road leading up to the castle. The left one takes you to Steadhelm, the right one to Soluthis/Reich Parkeep. There's a number of quests to play in Reich Parkeep (the Imperial part of the city), while Soluthis is more "under construction".
[COLOR=royalblue]¤~::[/COLOR][COLOR=blue]How do I mod for Silgrad Tower?[/COLOR][COLOR=royalblue]::~¤[/COLOR]
The team is in need of modders to stake claims in Soluthis and Steadhelm. To get the process started, please register on our forum and then pick out a modders' abbreviation for yourself. You'll also need to download the modders file pack. The modding section on our website has a few informative articles that can prove helpful in understanding how modding for Silgrad Tower works.
After that you can browse our claims boards to find something that interests you. When you've found it, post a reply in the thread to claim it and then you can start modding it. If you get stuck you might want to consult the Technical Info concerning Interiors thread to see if the answer is explained there, but if it doesn't then don't hesitate to post the question in your claims thread. Once you've completed a claim, please post it as an attachment in a reply to your claim thread for reviewing.
[COLOR=blue]Steadhelm is looking for a modder interested in decorating the area outside the town's walls as well as develop the local harbor. For more information please contact sandor. Apart from that, the city is always looking for modders interested in modding the city's remaining open claims.[/COLOR]
On the other hand if you're a modeller or texture artist you should head on over to our Visual Development board. There you can start a thread to show what you've done before and discuss with us what you'd like to do together with our team in the future, or if you prefer you can browse the pinned threads on that board to find open jobs.
[COLOR=royalblue]¤~::[/COLOR][COLOR=blue]Frequently Asked Questions[/COLOR][COLOR=royalblue]::~¤[/COLOR]
1. When I go through the portal, the land disappears and I start falling! This is because a mod conflicts with ours. Esm's can't affect other esm's without causing landscape bugs, but if the other esm doesn't alter the landscape then the problem doesn't appear until you play with a mod that does change landscape - like Silgrad Tower does. A simple way of solving the problem is to just untick other mods than Silgrad Tower's, but it's of course not the best solution. Another way is to use Timeslip's Oblivion Mod Manager to change the load order so that Silgrad Tower's esm's are loaded right after Oblivion.esm. That technique works most of the time, but the problem may persist with some esm's and then the only solution is, regrettably, to untick them.
2. I don't see any portals in Cheydinhal? Please ensure that you ticked "Silgrad_Tower_Portal.esp" on your launch screen, as playing without it causes the portals to disappear (among other problems).
3. The portals are silly. Why don't you make it so players can walk to Silgrad Tower? Ultimately that is our goal, however, solving more important concerns have taken precedence so far. It's only until now we have a landmass to walk onto, for instance.
4. When will this mod be finished? The mod will become more and more playable over time, offering dozens of quests and plenty of unique visuals. We'll never reach a point where we say, "Ok it's finished, let's disband and go do something else" - we'll continue adding to our mod throughout Oblivion's lifespan (and most likely beyond that seeing as our TES3 mod is still being worked on as well). Setting goals for ourselves is another matter though, and our goal is as was mentioned above to finish the three major cities and mod numerous cool dungeons and other locations around our lands. We should reach that goal before autumn 2007, and have a blast along the way modding all that fantastic stuff. When we reach that point we may decide to expand our area and/or create additional quests.
5. What is there to do in this mod? To a large extent there's no denying that right now it's a 'window' mod, as one person called it - a display of what we've done so far in the modelling department and an outline of what we want to do in the future, geared towards piquing the interest of new modders in our team. Having said that there's several quests in Reich Parkeep the player can pursue - don't forget to stop by the Guild of Fighters, for instance. But above all, what our team needs are more modders.
6. Why don't you just use TES3 models? It's illegal to distribute Bethesda's models and other assets, meaning that if we ripped TES3 models we would be regarded as an illegal mod and couldn't operate on ESF and other crucial places. We're in it for the long haul, and some of us are already looking forward to an eventual fifth Elder Scrolls game which makes it even more important that we have a firm platform to stand on that doesn't compromise Bethesda's copyrights in any way. Besides that consideration the models in TES3 were highly optimized, to make them run on a mid-range computer in 2002, and would have needed extensive work on them just to bring them up to technical par with what you'd expect from Oblivion. For an experienced modeller, editing an old model in that way and making it look good is usually more work than creating it from scratch.
7. Are you modding Vvardenfell? No, we are modding a region of the Morrowind Province's mainland situated west of Vvardenfell.
8. Will you make the whole Morrowind Province? Perhaps we will expand our landmass in the future as the existing region gets completed, but modding the whole Morrowind Province is not our goal. Our goal is to make the part that we DO mod the best we possibly can.
9. How do I uninstall the splash screen? The splash screen is totally independant from the mod and is enabled through the existence of three files. Deleting the following three files from your computer returns your game to normal. Deleting them doesn't affect the Silgrad Tower mod. Oblivion\Data\menus\options\main_menu.xml Oblivion\Data\Textures\menus\loading\tes_oblivion_logo_bink.dds Oblivion\Data\Textures\menus\loading\tes_oblivion_logo_final.dds
10. What does the term "Dunmer" mean? "Dunmer" is the name dark elves prefer to call themselves. The term "dark elf" is an Imperial invention.
11. What does the term "Redoran" mean? To say it succinctly, it is a political power in the Morrowind Province who controls the western-most sliver of the Province. More information on them can be found on wikipedia.
12. Reich Parkeep sounds like it has something to do with Nazism. It doesn't - in fact, the name was created by Bethesda themselves. Reich Parkeep was even an in-game town you could visit in the very first game, Arena, and we're bringing back a lot of quaint details from those dusty annals of lore.[/i]
13. What does the name Soluthis come from? In the early stages of Morrowind's development, Bethesda planned to mod the whole Province - but only bits and pieces of it. In the end, only Vvardenfell was modded, but modded in whole. However their original plans for TES3 became known when they released an old concept map to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Elder Scrolls in late 2004. Apparantly, they had changed the name of Reich Parkeep to Soluthis. We like the old name, because the town existed in our TES3 mod and it's grown on us. So then we decided to use both names, but use them separately for the two different districts.
14. Can I use your models in my mod? No.
For a full list of credits, please see this article on our website.
In brief, we would like to thank Ayse, Lord Gabryael, Qarl, Raptre & Zuldazug for creating 'Morrowind Visual Pack', skydye and Headlesswonder for creating 'Vibrant Morrowind'; And ScripterRon (TES4 Plugin Utility) and the Niftools group for making this possible in the first place.
If you have general questions regarding the Silgrad Tower mod you should feel free to post them in this thread, and one of our teammembers will do his or her best to answer them as soon as possible. Posting the question on our forum will usually yield the fastest answer, and might serve as an opportunity for you to get acquanited with our many discussions.