27.12.2007 Base Mod List (English Version)
Oblivion is a great game to be modded. There are thousands of mods out there to tailor it to your taste. The sheer number of mods can be overwhelming. Now a list with every great mod doesn't go into the tenthousands, but is still very large. I'm not trying to recreate that. Instead with this list I'm trying to list the areas of Oblivion that most needing improvements, like for example the horrible user interface. So what you're getting here is a list to start from. A list of "base" mods for a better gameplay experience. Therefore many mod categories are not included, like quest mods or houses. On the one hand, there are way better specialized lists for them. On the other hand as great as many for example new houses are, they aren't as essential as taking care of the level scaling. To make a long story short, I'm trying to cut this list down to areas that really needs improvements.
There are several categories. They can have up to two blocks - the first is always listing conflicting mods ("Or "), these are "choose one of them" lists. After that I will list mods that are running with each other and the above mentioned mods ("And "). Please keep in mind that although I'm trying to include as many options for each category as possible, everything written here is highly subjective and highly "imho". I'm not going to say that all over the place.
1. Patches and major annoyances
2. User interface
3. Level Scaling and more content
4. Character levelling system
8. Useful programs / tools
8. Other lists
1. Patches and major annoyances
- Official 1.2 patch: Takes care of a couple problems. It is always recommended to install the offcicial patch. Many newer plugins require the 1.2 patch and will not work otherwise.
- Unofficial Oblivion Patch (releasethread): Unfortunately the official patch doesn't fix everything. The unofficial patch takes care of many (many, many...) leftover problems.
- Unofficial Shivering Isles Patch (releasethread): Same as above, only for Shivering Isles.
- Unofficial Official Mods patch (releasethread): Same as above, only for any official mods.
- Quest popup remover: One of the worst features of Oblivion are the constantly popping up messages telling you exactly what to do. This plugin removes them. This little change alone makes the game much better.
- Body Seam Remover: If you're using any body mod, you'll have some ugly texture color seams. This mod removes them.
- Sheepherder's Vampirism Fix: Fixes the dreadful face revert of Vampire characters (without your face will revert to the male default of your race). Requires OBSE.
2. User Interface
(Note: I don't know of all user interface mods, so if I have missed one, please mention it so I can add it to the list! Also I don't add a description here, because the pictures at the download locations are telling more than words.)
- DarNified UI
- DarkUId DarN
- Phinix Immersive DarkUI | Shivering Isles Compatibility patch
- Choose one: There are several styles available for DarNified UI, you can use one together with it. Light Wood UI, Dark Wood UI, Blue UI, Pink UI
- wz_inventory: Changes the inventory to a Morrowind like resizeable grid. Will only look correctly with "bright" UI mods like the BTmod. There are adaptions for dark UIs on tesnexus like this. Note: Should not be used with any DarNified UI, it's already integrated in them!
- Immersive Interface (affects the HUD, no not use with a DarNified UI)
- various map mods (use one of them. Examples: Elven Map Redux, Color Map Mod, Antiquated Map, Shivering Isles colored map (can be used with any Cyrodiil map)).
Level Scaling and more content
In Oblivion the whole world resolves around you. When you've got to level 20, every lowly bandit will wear glass armor. The mighty Grand Champion of the Arena can be beaten by a level 2 character. And may other oddities can be found in Oblivion. Worse yet, the game has only content for up to level 20, stretches this for the last ~30 levels. So you will then always meet the same enemies, get the same items, and experience a world full of boredom. There's much that needs to be done here! Note: All mods in the "or" categorie are adding many new items and creatures (except TIE), so I don't mention that each time.
- Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul (OOO): It's main feature is the more static world. It doesn't resolve around you anymore. There are always more dangerous areas and more harmless ones. Contains many handplaced loot and enemies. Also removes many side oddities of level scaling, like bandits in Glass Armor or stopping the Oblivion Invasion at level 3. This is for the most "classical" RPG feeling.
- Francesco's Leveled Items and Creatures (Fran's): This mod keeps Oblivion's dynamic world, but makes it more random and removes oddities like bandits in Glass Armor. In OOO there are areas where a lowlevel character shouldn't go to, due to it's more static nature. Not so in Fran's. Although in Fran's you never quite know what you're going to meet. When you're comparing Fran's to OOO, then OOO is the way Oblivion should have been as a true RPG, while Fran's is the way Oblivion's level scaling mechanics should have been implemented.
- Oblivion Warcry: Removes any level adaption from common enemies, but keeps Oblivion's randomness. Also boss monsters and item sets are introduced, kind of like the ones from Diablo 2. While the individual enemies are even more static than OOO, the world itself is as random as Fran's.
- FCOM: An integration of OOO, Fran's, Warcry, MMM and Bob's Armory, with OOO as a base design philosophy. That mod is madness - in a great way. You'll get content to no end. The best of all worlds, so to speak. Although it's installation is a task for itself and, to quote it's readme, "not for the faint of heart". Warning: FCOM may be the best thing ever happened to Oblivion, but I don't think it's a mod suitable for people new to mods. Getting FCOM to work without any knowledge about mods is a very difficult challenge, which is likely to be more frustrating than many people are willing to endure. Getting used to mods first is imho a way better idea - starting with OOO or Fran's, and FCOM later, after you've got some vague ideas about load order and Wrye Bash.
- Tamriel Immersive Experience (TIE): Unlike the other mods listed here, this one doesn't add any new creatures or items. Therefore it has the smallest file size. Also it caters heavily to stealth characters.
For additional informations about available scaling overhauls please read Scaling Overhaul Comparison!
- Martigen's Monster Mod (MMM): Adds very many new creatures to the game. Included in FCOM. Has compatibility modules for Fran's and OOO.
- Bob's Armory: Adds various new items to the game. Included in FCOM. It's FCOM releveller should be used for making their stats consistent with any other level scaling mod.
- Quest Award Leveller: In Oblivion every item you get from a quest is also levelled. So if you're doing quests early, you get useless items. This mechanic isn't a great incentive to do quests before reaching level 20. Not with this little plugin anymore. Highly recommended!
4. Character levelling systems
Oblivion's way of improving your character is not that well received, because it encourages to keep track of what skills you have increaded since your last level up, picking skills so that you get full bonuses at level up, and other things. It detracts from playing. Therefore there are several ways to deal with them. All are trying to create a more natural character development, so you're not hunting after +5 attribute increases.
They can be grouped in two categories. First are the attribute modify mods: They're ranging from a simple "everytime +5 at levelup" mod to much more advanced methods like SPAM. What they have in common is that you still distribute "chips" at levelup, but how they impact your attributes is changed. For the +5 one you'll always get +5, regardless of how many skill raises you had. For SPAM it's class dependend, like a battlemage would get +5 when raising willpower, +3 when raising strength, and +2 when raising agility, regardless if your character just sneaked for three hours. Also Wrye's Leveling falls into this category, but it goes even further - levels must be bought, then skills and attributes can be raised with "chips". Attribute modify mods are:
- Simbacca Player Advancement Method (SPAM)
- All +5 Attribute Modifiers
- Wrye Leveling
The other options are "natural grow" mods. In them you don't distribute chips at all, even the whole levelup screen is omitted in some of them (like nGCD). Instead independent of levelups skill raises raise your attributes while your play, example given after so and so many sword fights strength is automatically increased, also agility but with a much smaller amount. All skill uses contribute to your attributes, regardless of level ups. "Natural grow" mods are:
- AF Leveling
- Kobus Character Advancement System
- Pure Immersion
- Realistic Leveling
- Oblivion XP Leveling
To sum it up: The "attribute modify" mods sever the link between skill use and attribute grow, while the "natural grow" mods change how skill use is linked to attribute grow.
- Progress (OBSE): Allows you to set the leveling speed of your skills to whatever you desire. In Oblivion certain skills (Alchemy, Conjuration come to my mind) level extremely fast, while other (like Mercantile) very slowly. Progress allows you to change this on the fly.
- various Overhauls (OOO, Fran's) include own modules for slower leveling (like 4x slower), but can't be configurated.
- Race Balancing Project (releasethread): From a game mechanic point of view many races and birthsigns are (nearly) identical, while others are clearly overpowered. Example given in Vanilla Oblivion the best birthsign for a pure fighter or thief is the Atronach. After a couple of levels a Nord is only a 1/5 Breton. Unfortunately I don't know of any other mod trying to fix this strange design decision, therefore this mod is a little alone here.
- Unique Landscapes: I'm not going to list each one of them, because they are all extremely well made and beautiful additions to Oblivion. Finally you will have very intersting environments to explore!
This category is quite an exception. While most players will be terrified by the default UI, the atmosphere is a quite different subject. If you're happy with the weather, you don't necessarily need a weather mod. If you're happy with the NPC faces in game, you don't need a mod to replace them. And the list goes on. Also atmosphere covers very many different things - so there's no real "choose this or that" here, more like "for this aspect, these mods are available".
- Harvest Flora: A very great mod. Harvested plants disappear now, or change appearance. Like when you take a tomato from a bush, the tomatos of that bush disappear. I do wonder why this feature wasn't included in Oblivion.
- Visually enchanted Weapos; Another old gem of Oblivion's early days. With this mod swords enchanted with firedamage actually burn, while fog surrounds frost enchanted weapons. Much more impressive than Oblivion's default enchantment effect.
- Initial Glow: On the opposite, this mod removes the ugly self glow when wearing enchanted clothing.
- Choose one - NPC faces : When you're unhappy with default NPC faces in Oblivion, there are several ways to make them more unique. The first is Tamriel's NPC revamped, which gives every NPC a new look, taking their race and background much more into account - so skin color isn't the only difference between Dark and High Elves. A complete different approach is NPCDiversity (part of the above mentioned Race Balancing Project), which gives NPCs much more hair styles and eye variants, so not every Khajiit will have the same eye color, and not all Bretons, Imperials, Nords, High Elves, Redguards and Wood Elves are using the same three eye styles. There's also a combination with TNRs new faces included - which means TNR's faces and new hair and eye styles of NPCDiversity. Both mods should only be used with Wrye Bash, otherwise they cause serious problems with any mods that aims to solve the level scaling issue. Also TNR is also integrated into TIE.
- more music: You can add any mp3 files to the OblivionDatamusic folders (like battle, dungeon, explore). After playing Oblivion for many hours the standard music can become quite boring, so adding new ones can help much. Especially other games are a great source for suitable music. As you may guess I can't give any links - you'd have to have the music somewhere yourself.
- Choose one - Weather : As great as Oblivion's weather is, with having only one type of clear weather, one rain, one storm and the like it can become a bit of redundant after a while. Weather mods can help here. There's either Atmospheric Weather System (AWS) or Natural Environment (NE) (Ryu Doppler's fixed version linked, needs meshes and textures from the original). Both plugins are adding many new, great and unique weather types. The main difference between the two are their color pattern: AWS is more blueish, while NE is more yellowish. There's also "Arthur Natural Environments v2 7" which aims to combine AWS and NE, but I don't know if it uses the more reliable standard weather control functions (as used in AWS and Ryu's fixed NE), or NE's original sometimes problematic scripts. Then there's another combination called All Natural, which uses it's own scripting approach. And there's the new Enhanced Weather.
- Choose one - Body Mod : Unfortunately due to the forum rules I can't link to any of them. Many prefer custom bodies to Bethesda's default, for whatever reasons. SanityCheck has a great comparison page for them, without problematic content.
- Almost Everything Visible When Distand: Ever wondered that you can't see any forts or Ayleid ruins from mountains? Not with this mod anymore! Although be aware that this mod is quite perfomance hungry. There's even a more detailed version available, but that's too much for most current PCs.
- Portable Signs (Releasethread): Ever wanted to mark which cave you have visited, and what's lurking in there? Now you can!
(more will be added later)
Magic in Oblivion is somewhat debateable. On the one hand, as a mage, you're casting and recasting buffs like a rat in a cage is pressing a switch to get food, because most of their duration are extremely short (like 15-20 seconds). On the other hand while some magic schools are giving you many options (like Illusion), others don't have more than one or two intersting spell effects. To make a long shory stort, magic in Oblivion is somewhat lacking. While some spell effects are completely overpowered, others are totally useless. There's much to be done here!
Note: Unlike the other categories you can use more than one here. The last loaded mod takes priority, so you get it's setting for spells, but still all new spells from the other mods.
- Less Annoying Magic Experience (LAME) (releasethread): This plugin's main goal is to take out much of the annoyance factor of magic (like ultra short buff durations, or useless selfenchanted stuff), and to include more spells for various former lackluste schools like Mysticism. As additional features it has various new "druidic" summons and an optional module to balance out existing enchantments.
- Supreme Magicka (SM) (releasethread, requires OBSE): Supreme Magicka's main feature is diversity. Magic becomes much more interesting, because the default magic effects get side effects. Also interesting new spells like disenchanting items are included. Like LAME it also lowers the annoyance factor by extending spell durations and making selfmade enchantments more useful.
For additional informations about available magic overhauls please read Magic Overhaul Comparison!
- Midas Magic: Spells of Aurum (releasethread): This mod, compatible with any of the above, adds many new spells with their own animation to the game. Examples would be running through the air on a trail of ice created at your feet, or summoning Melon Atronachs, or creating tornados.
8. Useful programs / tools
- Wrye Bash: This program is a divine gift. On the one hand you can do many things with it's bashed patch feature, so you don't need dozens of smaller mods (like one to fix chameleon, one to reweight potions, one to...), also there are functions in it to save your savegame (like removing bloat or several bug entries from Oblivion, like the "animation bomb"). On the other hand many mods require that you're using Wrye Bash. Examples would be FCOM (you can't use FCOM without Wrye Bash) or TNR (without using Wrye Bash, you would create disastrous incompatibilities with just any overhaul mod).
- Oblivion Mod Manager: Besides managing your own mods (which can also be done in Wrye Bash), allows you to create and install OMOD-files for easier installation and deinstallation, also to pack or unpack bsa files.
- tes4edit: If you have to find a mod conflict, tes4edit is the way to go.
- OBSE: The Oblivion Script Extender is a program which is necessary to play many mods, like espanded hotkeys or Supreme Magicka, because it gives modders many required script function not available without it.
8. Other lists
This list is only intended as a start. Oblivion gives the possibility to craft it to our own liking. There are many mods for that. The following lists may help with that. Keep in mind that some of them weren't updated for quite a time, and are therefore more or less missing newer versions of listed mods, or newer mods alltogether.
- BallOfFire's Oblivion mod list
- dev_akm's texture overhaul list
- dev_akm's quest mod list
- dev_akm's list of "other mods" (e.g. sounds)
- delte's thread of immersion
- Oblivion Real Estate (house mod list)
- tesnexus top 100
- Aelius' list of recommended mods (outdated)
- buddah's List of Links
- Smokindan's list of Shivering Isles' mods
geschrieben von bg2408