Arwen's Oblivion Journal

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(updated August 01, 2011)

Arwen's Mod List
part one

Page Menu: Utilities | Interface | Rebalancing & Leveling | Quest Fixing & Patches

Mod Utilities

Oblivion Mod Manager [OBMM] v.1.1.12 (11/28/08) - by Timeslip:

" . . . which can be used to manage your oblivion mod collection. It handles the installation and uninstallation of MODs, and can also detect some conflicts between them. Never again will a mod overwrite some of your favorite textures without warning. This program mainly deals with MODs stored in the omod format. You can use it as a more advanced version of the data files menu on the oblivion launcher, but to use all of its features you will need to convert MODs into omod format. As long as the modder has packaged the mod nicely, then this should be a simple case of clicking 'create omod', 'add archive', selecting your newly downloaded mod and clicking create."


Oblivion Script Extender [OBSE] version 20 (04/08/11) - by Ian Patterson and Stephen Abel:

"The Oblivion Script Extender, or OBSE for short, is a modder's resource that expands the scripting capabilities of Oblivion. It doesn't make any modifications to oblivion.exe, TESConstructionSet.exe, or any other files in your oblivion install, so don't worry about permanent side effects."

Arwen Note: the OBSE enables modders to do all sorts of cool things with scripts in their mods, which were not possible in the vanilla game. Any mod that has [requires OBSE] needs to have this utility installed on your computer.

Oblivion Script Extender Website

OBSE Plugin MenuQue [MenuQue] version 9a (03/12/11) - by kyoma:

"This plugin for the Oblivion Script Extender is the result of me looking into how both OBSE works and how the game works. It began as a small plugin with only a handful of UI and quest functions. But it quickly grew far larger than I could have ever imagined. For a full list of functions and descriptions check out the documentation in the archive. But it is safe to say that the bulk of these functions allow for greater and/or easier manipulation of the UI (through script) aswell as help create new UI elements or whole new menus. The possibilities are nearly endless."

Other features:
* The ability to load an additional 25 extra fonts, giving a much larger variaty. Name is "Extra Fonts".
* The ability to load additional strings.xml files, which the game uses as a source for string localization (e.g. language and translation). Name is "Extra Strings".
* Easy to use replication of the few hardcoded behaviours of the UI, like scrolling, dragging or small typing boxes. Name is "Tile Systems".

Arwen Note: Any mod that has [requires MenuQue] needs to have this utility installed on your computer.


Oblivion Graphics Extender [OBGE] v.4.2 (01/14/11) by scanti:

"The Oblivion Graphics Extender is an OBSE plugin created by Timeslip that adds extra functionality to Oblivion's scripting language, focussed on the implementation and manipulation of graphics effects. It adds support for fullscreen shaders and extra HUD elements, provides information about graphics memory and screen resolution and allows you to clear some of oblivions textures from graphics memory."

Arwen Note: This is a plugin for the Oblivion Script Extender, which adds additional graphic capabilities, made by the creator of the OBMM. Any mod that has [requires OBGE] needs to have this utility installed on your computer (as well as the OBSE)

Oblivion Graphics Extender

Pluggy version 132 (11/06/09) - original by Elys, updates by Haama:

"Pluggy is a multifunction OBSE plugin that adds new functions to Oblivion, and is a further extension to Oblivion Script Extender. The functions allow modders to create and manipulate arrays, strings, .ini files, text files, both text and surface/image HUDs, and change object names."

Arwen Note: This is a plugin for the Oblivion Script Extender. Any mod that has [requires OBSE and Pluggy] needs to have this utility installed on your computer (as well as the OBSE).

Pluggy Webpage


Fast Exit [requires OBSE] v.2.0 (2/05/09) - original mod by Scanti; version 2 by skyranger-1:

"It makes Oblivion quit instantly and without errors."

Advantages of FastExit 2 over the original FastExit:
FastExit 2 saves the ini files before quitting. So, with FastExit 2 changes made to your video settings, keyboard & mouse configuration, etc will stay after you quit and restart Oblivion, unlike in FastExit. That's it, the only difference.

Advantages of FastExit 2 over Clean Quit aka Exit Oblivion With No Crash Guaranteed:
The big advantage for the moment is that FastExit 2 does not require Pluggy, which has recently been discovered to be causing crashes for some people. The other advantage is that FastExit 2 is an OBSE plugin that hooks Oblivions quitting code rather than a script, so it does not suffer from the weaknesses of scripts. This means that FastExit 2 will work on the main menus quit button, unlike Clean Quit. And FastExit 2 will work even if you quit in the first few seconds after starting a game, when Clean Quit will sometimes fail to work.

Install: This is an OBSE plugin (which a different from an OBSE mod): copy its data folder into your Oblivion folder. In particular, the .dll file in it needs to end up in Oblivion\Data\obse\plugins
There is no esp or esm file. You do not need to enable anything. So long as you are using a recent version of OBSE correctly, and the FastExit2.dll file is in the right directory, this should work.

Fast Exit

Wrye Bash version 291 (01/22/11) - by Wrye:

"Wrye Bash is a Swiss Army Mod Tool! I.e., it does a bunch of stuff, so it's kind of hard to categorize! However, in general, it does two types of things:

1.) Manage Oblivion mods and savegames in a general way.
- Sort rename, reorder, preview, etc.
- Load savegame masters
- Separate savegames into profiles.
2.) Provide a few special purpose functions. E.g.:
- Import NPC levels (useful for Oscuro's, Francesco's and similar releveling mods)
- Import PC face from one game to another.
- Fix the door/flame animation bug that occurs around 200 hours.

Tes4Mod:Wrye Bash (the unofficial help page for Wrye Bash): "Wrye Bash is a mod/save game management utility for Oblivion. Aside from file management, it also provides advanced features for manipulating save games and mod files."

Wrye Bash Website: Online Readme and download links

Arwen Note: This is a bit difficult to install and rather complex to use, but it is an amazing tool that can greatly reduce compatibility problems between mods. It also has some really nice game tweaks - such as fixing all your armor and robs so that they will no longer hide amulets that your character is wearing. I'm still learning to use this wonderful tool myself, so please let me know if I've made any mistakes in my basic instructions (also visit the two sites listed above for more complete instructions).

First of all, if you have Windows Vista, you'll have problems if you have OB installed in in the default directory [C:\Program Files\Bethesda Softworks\Oblivion]. I have two disk drives, and my larger one is D:, so I installed the game to:D:\Program Files\Bethesda Softworks\Oblivion (which works for me).
1.) Follow theWyre install instructions
2.) I have Python installed inD:\Program Files\Bethesda Softworks\Python25
3.) I have Wyre installed inD:\Program Files\Bethesda Softworks\Oblivion\Mopy
4.) You should be able to start Wyre by double clicking onWrye Bash Launcher.pyw [in myD:\Program Files\Bethesda Softworks\Oblivion\Mopy folder].

Wrye Bash Basic Instructions [Updated 12/19/19/09]:

1.) Open bash (start Wrye Bash)
2.) Select the Mods tab (you'll then see a list of all mods you use).
3.) Select the Oblivion.esm (must always be the first esm in your load order)
4.) Shift+click (hold down Shift and left-click) on the last mod in your list (or the last mod you want to merge) - all the mods you want to merge must turn blue.
5.) Right-click within this blue field - and a list of options will open
6.) [Now done automatically] Choose "Mark Mergeable" and left click on it. Wait until bash finishes the process.
7.) [Now done automatically] Any mergeable esps will turn green. This next part is important!!! (it took me a while to get it) You have to uncheck the esp if you want to merge it into the bash patch (after the batch patch is rebuilt, any esps that have been merged in to the patch will be marked with a +)
8.) [Now done automatically] Tag any mods that need special treatment (see my Special Tagging Instructions, below)
9.) Right-Click on Bashed patch (find "Rebuild Batch"and right-click on it)
10.) A window opens and now starts your selection of tasks:
a.) Check Alias Mods
b.) Check Merge Patches, sub-window will open with all mergeable files bash has found in your order. Check them all (very few exceptions)
c.) Check Import Graphics, check everything in the sub-window that pops up
d.) Check all the options you want: if you want to wear Unlimited Amulets in your game, check the box next to that option; if you want Bow Reach Fix, check that box; etc.
e.) If you're using a DarN UI, you can also DarNify the books. Just check "Tweak Assorted" and then check "Darnified Books" to reformat all the books and scrolls for the DarN UI.
11.) When ready with your selection click OK and wait for the Bash Patch to be rebuilt
12.) When it the patch is completed, the Batch Patch readme will open (so you can see exactly what it now does).
13.) Make sure that the Bashed Patched.esp is checked and loads last in OBMM (or after all the mods you want it to affect).
14.) Load Order: Bashed Patch ignores any mods that load after it.
15.) In the OBMM, any esps that were merged into the bashed patch should be unchecked (otherwise you will be loading them twice, which probably won't hurt anything - but it defeats the whole purpose of merging them). Note: you NEED to leave these esps in your OB/data directory, as they need to be present every time that the batch patch is rebuilt.

Wrye does more things automatically than it used to:

(Basically steps 3 - 6 in the above list are now done for you by Wrye Bash.)
It will now identify the mergable esps automatically (the ones with green text). But you still have to manually click on the check mark, which will mark the esp to be merged into the patch. If you don't do this, the esp will not be merged. Also make sure that these mods are selected in the merged mods tab (part of the options that come up when you rebuild the Batch Patch). You also have to tag certain mods (like TNR) or they probably won't be merged correctly.

Special Tagging Instructions - for compatibility of the following mods prior to rebuilding the Bash Patch [this apparently is now done automatically, but I haven't tested it yet]:

Atmospheric Loading Screens - Tag the description field of the Atmospheric Loading Screens - Original Text.esp {{BASH:Graphics,NoMerge}} Uncheck the esp (leave it installed, but make the esp inactive in OBMM

BAB Adventuress Body - Tag the description field of the Bab.esp with {{BASH:Body-F}} and Merge into the Bash Patch (the mod should be unchecked in the OBMM)

Book Jackets Oblivion - Load early (before any mods that affect books). Tag the description field of the Book Jackets Oblivion - BP.esp (or the regular, non-BP, esp) with {{BASH:Graphics}} and use "Import Graphics" in the Bashed patch. Leave the esp active (checked) in OBMM.

Corean Hair for Original Race - Tag the description field of the Corean_hair_for_Original_race.esp with {{BASH:Hair}}

Darker Dungeons - Tag the description field of the Darker Dungeons.esp (or Darker Dungeons-SI.esp) with {{BASH:C.Light}}

DarkUId DarN - to Darnify books, follow step #9-e above.

Ethereal - Eyes - Tag the description field of the Ethereal - Eyes.esp with {{BASH:Eyes}} and leave active.

TNR All Races Final - Tag the description field of the TNR All Races Final.esp with {{BASH:NpcFaces, NoMerge}}. If you also have the SI add-on installed, Tag TNR - ShiveringIsles no helms.esp with {{BASH:NpcFaces, Invent, NoMerge}} Uncheck the TNR esps in OBMM

Item Interchange [requires Wrye Bash and COBL] v.0.78 (11/13/09) - by Vacuity:

"I got annoyed at the fact that while many mods add items and ingredients to the game, they generally have very limited integration with the rest of the game. When you're running 200 or more mods you'll often find that you hardly ever see a lot of the stuff available in the game unless the developer consciously decided to add their new ingredients into the vanilla vendor and loot lists, and few do. I decided that I wanted the ingredients from Alive Waters to be available for sale alongside slaughterfish scales. I wanted the MMM daedric ingredients to be found on conjurers along with the vanilla daedric ingredients. I'd particularly like those Tamriel Traveller merchants to carry some unusual ingredients from outside Tamriel, well they are travellers after all; who's more likely to be carrying exotic ingredients from Morrowind?"

Arwen Note: the goal of this mod is to share items between mods, in much the way that COBL does, only on a broader scale (since COBL needs Cobalized mods/patches to do this).

Item Interchange

Streamline [requires OBSE] v.3.1 Open Beta (10/04/08) by jaga: "Streamline enhances the performance of Oblivion by reducing stuttering and lag, and smoothing out gameplay. It does this by maintaining much cleaner cell buffer and video ram caches while the game is running and the player is moving from place to place.

As a result, average FPS performance over a gaming session should be higher, and the lag generally experienced as gameplay progresses should be significantly reduced (or eliminated entirely). Further, due to the manner and frequency in which memory is cleared, people that were unable to use higher resolution texture packs in the past, may be capable of doing so now. The extremely intelligent algorithms that run ensure that memory is cleared on a regular basis, only when it is safe to do so, and so that nearby conversations by NPCs pose little risk of being interrupted, unlike in the past.

Streamline will enable itself with the default mode (performance) which should be adequate for most people, but can be configured to run in three additional modes (both faster and slower) to suit different needs. The faster the script runs, the more often cell buffers will be cleared. The scripts used should have virtually no impact on real FPS performance, despite whichever mode is selected."

Arwen Note: This mod is still in beta, so caution needs to be used. Make sure that you read the documentation before installing this mod. And back up your oblivion.ini file! The mod is modular, so you can only use what you need. There are four parts:

Streampurge: "An automated memory-cleansing feature that can help reduce large stutters when loading
new areas in the world of Cyrodiil."

Streamsmooth: "A feature that will help smooth out your average FPS level, and will adjust visual details to compensate when your FPS goes under a configured range. Very helpful for combat and low-FPS areas, and completelyautomated."

Streamsave: "An autosave/quicksave replacer, it can help with the tedious need of saving your game on a regular basis for you. It is very configurable, and can perform a save when a user-defined hotkey is pressed. It makes use of a circular list of saves that it writes games to, starting over again when it reaches the end."

Streamsight: "The new crown jewel in Streamline, it can boost FPS rates as high as +200% by trading distant hard-to-see details for increased visual performance. It also includes highly realistic and immersive distant fog, which helps the player feel like they are in a much larger world."

I'm currently only using Streampurge and Streamsmooth (with my FPS set at a minimum of 15)

Compatibility: If you're using a weather mod like Enhanced Weather, be sure to change

set SLv.WeatherUnsticker to 0 (in Oblivion/Data/Streamline/sl.ini) Note any ini changes have to be followed by going to the SL Main Menu (while in the game, hold down CTRL + HOME); choosing the "Special Actions" button; and selecting Re-Initialize. If you don't do this last step, the ini edits won't take effect.


Page Menu:  |  |  |

Page Index | Utilities | Interface | Rebalancing & Leveling | Quest Fixing & Patches
Interface Mods

Arwen Note: The interface is how you get information about your character, how you navigate through the game world, and how you gain access to your inventory. This includes the Journal Menus, the HUD, other menus (such as dialog), popup menus, and on-screen text. I found the default interface very frustrating and the default HUD was absolutely horrid (see below). The following mods greatly improve both:

***DarkUId DarN v.1.6 (2/06/09) - by Gothic251:

"I worked my butt off (150 plus hours) changing the colors, fixing small bugs, and generally making a perfect DarkUI-ified DarNified UI. I've changed the colors of certain things in certain places that differ from the normal DarkUI, simply because the changes of DarNified UI called for this. For instance, when choosing a dialog option, the person's name is now whiter than the dialog choices, so as to make it easier to discern between the person's name and the options. I also worked out a lot of niggles and bugs, such as when you are over encumbered, now in the inventory, like in the container, only the current encumbrance is red, not the max and the current and the slash."

"This package includes the whole of DarNified UI version 1.3.1, and all of DarkUI version 2.40. It also contains Darkbirdy's DarkUI Loading Screens, and the Shivering Isles DarkUI Loading Screens by HTF. It also includes a DarkUI-ified Main Menu Video and Map-Scroll Video by Fritzdog. This also fixes tiling issues with the textures in the map and inventory screens, as thanks to the amazing work of Brumbek and Belinda."

Arwen Note: This is the overall best improvement of the default interface and menu that I have seen. As you can see above, this adds a lot more information to the menus. It also allows you to customize everything in the HUD and do things like remove location icons and arrows from the compass and from the maps. I also really like the dark menu screens, especially at night or in a dark cave.

This MOD comes in an OMOD Version [requires the Oblivion Mod Manager] and a Manual Version. (The manual install requires you to edit the oblivion.ini file, so that the fonts will work correctly.)

Important! You have to edit hudmainmenu_config.xml (in Data\Menus\Prefabs\darn) to keep any customized HUD and menu changes. You also have to edit map_config.xml if you want to toggle off map arrows (which you can still temporarily toggle back on from the map itself)

On my Graphic Tweaks Page, you may have noticed that the HUD was very different in my final screenshots. One on the first things that really bothered me about Oblivion was the horrid HUD - the thing was HUGE! It was 2 or 3 times larger than Morrowind's HUD. My first thought was that I must have something set up wrong. I mean, why would they put so much effort into the graphics and then stick this thing on top of them? It still makes no sense to me. But I found a great mod to fix this, which replaces the HUGE HUD with one that actually looks as good as the rest of the graphics.

I have my HUD set up with transparency and a no-frame compass for more immersion, but it can also be set to be more visible. Here's how the two HUDs actually looked at full screen size on my old computer (1280 x 800). The default HUD is the top one - if that isn't obvious to everyone. (The lower one is actually from when I was using the Immersive Interface mod, which is incorporated in the DarNified mods).

Wrye Bash: When you're rebuilding your Bash Patch, check "Tweak Assorted" and check "Darnified Books" to reformat all the books and scrolls for the DarN UI.

DarkUId DarN

Optional DarkUI Supplemental Pack v.1.0 (9/08/06) - by Hyperion_5:

"In order to complete my favorite user interface mod Dark UI by Greybird, I have replaced the two video files: maploop, and oblivion iv logo.bik, as well as many icons in the game such as the skills, attributes, and faction icons with Dark UI styled versions. I have also even changed the quick key wheel into a Dark UI version." Download Link

Recolored Versions:

DarkUI DarN Recolored - Black and Blood Red

DarkUI DarN Recolored - Black and Gold

DarkUI Darn Recolored - Dark Blue

DarkUI DarN Recolored - Dark Green

Alternative User Interface: The original DarNified UI (retains the default light color for the menus).

Elven Map Redux v.2.0 (3/29/08) - by Xythen:

"This mod changes the default brown map to a full colour map with a slightly "elven" feel to it, accurately detailing all the changes in landscape type across the whole of Cyrodiil. Also included are new full colour 3-D map icons (including a better door icon for the local map), as well as a more detailed "You Are Here" arrow marker and quest markers."

Arwen Note: These maps are totally compatible with the DarkUId DarN interface.

Elven Map Redux

Elven Map For Shivering Isles v.1.0 (4/15/08) - by Odin_ml:

"This mod changes the default brown map to a full colour map with a slightly "elven" feel to it. I made it to be used along side the "Elven Map Redux" Mod by "xythen"

Elven Map For Shivering Isles

Menu Escape [requires OBSE] v.0.7.1 (3/21/08) - by Mmmpld:

"This mod enables spacebar and RMB as (hopefully) 'do what I want' buttons for the various menus. It detects what menu you are in and then attempts to simulate the keypresses needed to get out. It also has (limited) functionality to automatically leave a menu. Simply press spacebar or click the Right Mouse Button (RMB) to perform either a 'close' or 'ok' action."

The action taken depends on the current menu, for example:

at the first menu it will continue the last game...
at the how many prompt it will agree to the quantity selected...
at the load screen it will load the last save...

Arwen Note: This mod adds right mouse button (and/or space bar) functionality to the menus. Not a big change, but it does speed up menu navigation a bit - and you really have to wonder why this was not implemented in the original PC version.

Menu Escape

Toggleable Quantity Prompt Updated v.3.2.0 (09/20/10) - by Waruddar and kea:

"With this mod, you can auto-confirm the quantity prompt ("How many?") and confirmation prompt that you get when an item or spell is transacted (moving/buying/selling/dropping). Items may be transacted one at a time with by holding down either ctrl key, or an entire stack at a time by holding down either shift key. These hotkeys may be customized ingame.

You may also set the Default Action that occurs whenever you select an item without any hotkeys pressed. It can be set to Prompt (the normal behavior), Single (auto-confirm a single item), and Stack (auto-confirm a stack of items).

For example, if you set the Default Action to Stack:
Clicking without any hotkeys pressed will auto-confirm the entire stack.
Clicking while holding one of the Stack hotkeys will cause the Prompts to appear. You may manually confirm the prompts, or press the Single or Stack hotkeys to auto-confirm the requisite amount.
Clicking while holding one of the Single hotkeys will auto-confirm one item from the stack."

v3.2.0 Changes:
- Support for Total Conversions added by removing COBL support.
- Spell purchasing is no longer affected by the Default Action.
- Scripts simplified by using newer OBSE functions: OBSE v17+ now required.
- Added support for the prompt that appears when picking up certain items.
- Added INI support.

Arwen Note: This little mod makes it so much easier and faster to select multiple numbers of items in your inventory.

Toggleable Quantity Prompt Updated

2nd to 1st Person v.1.5 (10/27/07) - by HenryRat:

"This is a fairly simple mod. All it does is change all of the skill-up pop-ups, loading screen texts, attribute descriptions, etc. to reflect a more 1st person, roleplaying atmosphere. The reason I put it together is because I had a small flash of insight and I realized that it seems the title of the series "The Elder Scrolls" should be more like a first-person story (writing your own elder scroll) instead of having it told to you by some narrator that you never see."

Arwen Note: This mod adds a nice improvement on how the game is presented in the dialog. It's not a huge change, but it does add a little more immersion - and I like it.

2nd to 1st Person

Auto-save and time [requires OBSE and Pluggy] v.0.995 (11/29/09) - by Kuertee:

Arwen Note: This mod does what I was previously relying on three mods to do - and it does it all better. All the features are easily configurable in the INI file (including intervals).

1.) Auto-save: up to 20 normal and 20 post-combat cyclical save-files. Different intervals for when in the wild and when in cities or indoors can be set.
2.) Immersive clock: "It's been 2 hours after the rising of the sun." (or set to display the hours & minutes)
3.) Alarm clock: will pop-up a message on how long you've been playing - only time in-game is counted
4.) PurgeCellBuffers and "crucified poses" remover
5.) Variable TimeScale: TimeScale changes depending on three situations: indoors, outdoors, and in combat.
6.) Respawn interval setting: a convenient way to set how often a game-location (cell) is reset. Oblivion's default is 72 hours (3 days). This mod's default is 240 hours (10 days).
7.) MenuMode time: Time spent in any of these screens are added to the time in-game: Container, Barter; Dialog; LockPick; Map; Negotiate; Book; Persuasion; Repair, Ingredient selection for Alchemy;Spell purchase; Alchemy; Spell making; Enchantment; Effect setting; Sigil stone; and Recharge.
Auto-save and time

Days & Months v.1.0 (1/08/08) - by Darkelfwsv:

"Days & Months is VERY simple plug-in made that adds Earth's names for the months and days of the week after Tamriel's"

Arwen Note: If you're like me and can't remember how Tamriel's days and months relate to our calendar, you might enjoy having this mod - so that you can tell what time of the year it is and where you are in the week.

Days & Months

Storage Sacks [requires OBSE] v.1.3 (10/25/10) - by Tekuromoto:

"Tired of all those configuration items cluttering up your inventory? Want to stop loading Grand soulgems with rat souls by accident? Want to carry a few extra 'utility' potions on your travels but don't want them in the way when you need to down a health potion really quick? Sort your stuff into Storage Sacks!

Storage Sacks adds 10 configurable, carryable sacks to the game. They can be accessed from within your inventory or you can drop them and access them in the gameworld. They can also be accessed via hotkeys, just like normal inventory items. With the included configuration file, you can rename the sacks for ease of identification as well as adjust the encumbrance of each sack."

Arwen Note: I have not play tested this mod, so I can't really comment on it yet. Currently I'm just listing it here as a possible alternative to Carry Sacks - but it looks like a much better alternative.

Storage Sacks

Page Menu: Utilities | Interface | Rebalancing & Leveling | Quest Fixing & Patches

Page Index | Utilities | Interface | Rebalancing & Leveling | Quest Fixing & Patches
Rebalancing & Leveling

Arwen Note: OOO is a huge mod that makes major changes to Oblivion. I have tried all the popular Mod packs and this one seems to come the closest to matching my type of game play - and is the totally compatible with all the other MODs that I've listed. OOO helps to make Oblivion a much better role playing game.

Warning! This mod makes the game much more challenging. So don't install this mod unless that is what you actually want.

*** Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul v.1.33 (2/20/08) [1.34 beta5 Patch (11/24/08)] - by Oscuro:

"In the 'vanilla' (unmodded) version of the Oblivion, your character's level acts as a hard-cap - certain items, quests, creatures and other items do not appear in the game world until your character's level reaches the appropriate level for these items."

"Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul seeks to erode the hard-caps placed on the possibility of encountering content in the game world. Essentially, it makes almost all content available at any given time. The hierarchy of item quality, quest and creature difficulty is preserved by balancing the difficulty in acquiring, completing and defeating them, respectively. The result is a world with less boundaries, more diverse and mysterious, where excelling in exploration, skill, wit and resourcefulness leads to higher kinds of rewards for the effort spent in attaining them. The world does not reward you, or place difficulty against you, solely based on chance or a solidified scale based on level, which tends to equate to how much time you have invested in the game. Now you can experience at any time the thrill of facing almost insurmountable odds and receiving a well deserved reward for your courage and skill."

"Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul also adds many new things to the game world, ranging from new creatures and NPCs, to new sets of armors and even new text books. The addition of all of these actors and objects are carefully balanced against the original design of TES IV: Oblivion, as well as attempting to fit within the Lore of the TES series as much as possible. Many of these new additions are product of the modding community of texture and model artists, programmers and other miscellaneous roles. I am very grateful for their work and for featuring it within the world of Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul."

"Finally, this plug-in balances many smaller and less sweeping aspects of TES IV: Oblivion's gameplay. These changes affect things as diverse as combat AI, previously lackluster skills, character birthsigns, quest difficulty design, random bug fixes and enhanced functionality."

Arwen Note: OOO comes in two versions: the "Full" and the "Lite". I'm using the "Full" version. This mod requires you to start a new game to work correctly (there is apparently a way to alter your saved game with Wrye Bash, but I have not tried this yet).

OOO has several other MODs merged into it. The following MODs are part the Full version (some of these are also optional in the Lite version):
- Combat Behavior by Lyrondor
- Drop Lit Torches v.1.6 by Frugal
- DoofDilla's Potions Recolored + Ceano's Textures + Potable Pastiche
- Ebony Blade Fix by Dheer
- Gem Dust by Turgothh
- Geomancy by Momaw
- Guild Item Ownership v.1.2 by Tandem
- [Harvest] Containers by Dejunai
- Independent Thievery Rebalance (Hard Setting) by AdelieDreams
- Inebriation by Lap
- LockBash v.1.1 by Scruggswussy the Ferret (modified to work with Lap's SR)
- Natural Wildlife v.1.3 by Tag
- Security Rebalance by Lap (modified to work with Scruggswussy's LB)
- Tamriel's Glittering Geology by Gristle and XMarksTheSpot

Download Links also at Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul Webpage - by dev_akm

Patch: OOO 1.34 beta5 Patch (11/24/08) Download now available at Download Link (below)

Updated 6/09/09: Bethesda's Oblivion Mod forum "OOO v1.33 - Thread #24"

Tes4Mod:FCOM site - includes information on mods that conflict with OOO

Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul

Arwen Note: When I first began playing Oblivion, I found that it really didn't matter much which race or birthsign you chose - you could become a powerful warrior just as easily as a powerful mage - and your choice of race made very little difference. The other thing that I noticed was that combat really overbalanced magic. This next mod changes all this.

*** Race Balancing Project (RBP) v.10.0.5 [v.10.0.0 for light version] (2/20/09) - by bg2408:

"An overhaul of all races, birthsigns and the whole Magicka system (Magicka pool, regeneration, armor penalty, spell cost progression). This project has two goals: Make everything equal but different, and keeping things as lore correct as possible."

1.) Races and birthsigns Changes (from the vanilla game):
a.) Makes Atronach and Bretons weaker, and improves all other races and birthsigns
b.) Each race and birthsign has unique abilities. Starting skills and attributes don't matter much on the long run (and not at all for NPCs), but abilities do.
c.) Races and birthsigns are organized in three groups:
- Some are better wizards (like High Elves). A Breton will be a much better mage than a Nord.
- Other are better warriors (like Nords). The above Nord will be a better warrior than said Breton.
- Others are more Jack of all trades (like Imperials)
But races are not limited to that role -
- A High Elf can become a good pure fighter - he'll just never be as good as a Nord.
- And a Nord can become a mighty wizard, but he'll have a hard time at the beginning (low mental stats, no innate magicka bonus except birthsigns) and never be as great as an Altmer. But he will have other benefits the High Elf doesn't have.
d.) The roles help the races as enemies and player characters to feel different from each other. In Vanilla Oblivion there weren't many differences between a Wood Elf and a Khajiit. Now there will be some.
e.) The changes as lore correct as possible, but some drastic changes were necessary, to create actual differences between all races and birthsigns. Gameplay came first, lore second.
f.) Races and birthsigns now offer many choices:
- There are some with small benefits and no drawbacks.
- Others have considerable strengths with a few weaknesses
- Others have strong bonuses, but severe disadvantages to make up for them.
g.) There are also some unique powers: Wood Elves can craft bone arrows, those born under the Ritual can spot evil, Warrior born can provoke enemies to draw their attention from allies onto himself, and some more.
h.) A few bonus races are included, as lore correct as possible:
Xivilai (Slof's "Playable Xivilai"), Ohmes-rath (Luchaire's "Tabaxi"), Hidden Elves (Ren's "Mystic Elves"), and of course Aureal (Golden Saints) and Mazken (Dark Seducer). They're even playable without Shivering Isles, thanks to some texture tricks.
Version 10 adds 3 additional bonus races: Daedra Seducer (a winged humanoid Daedra), Sea Elves (an elven variant), and Ohmes (a Khajiit variant)
h.) Endurance works retroactively now, and also does take race into account. An Orc will always have more health than a Wood Elf with the same level and Endurance.
For the complete list of changes, read RBP's Online Readme
2.) Magicka Changes: "RBP includes a new "Magicka" system.
While LAME is about spells (magic), this is about Magicka (mana pools in other games). This part of RBP is kind of optional, there are files included to switch nearly everything back to how it is in Vanilla, nevertheless I don't recommend using them. Magicka is a currency for spells. You buy spells for Magicka, so to speak. This is important to keep in mind, because without spell costs numbers don't say much. RBP changes provide a more natural grow of Magicka. That is it's main intention, and this is how it is done:
a.) Magicka bonuses from races and birthsigns are now intelligence dependent, kind of like they were in Morrowind. This prevents huge bonuses at the beginning of the game, which then never increased anymore. And more combat heavy characters can't simply pick a Magicka birthsign and never invest points in intelligence anymore.
b.) How spell costs are calculated is changed (not the spells itself - RBP is fully compatible with Supreme Magicka, LAME and all other magic mods). This creates a more linear spell cost progression. In medium levels you'll have considerable more Magicka than in Vanilla, while a maxed out character can "buy" about the same number of spells as a maxed out character in Vanilla. While I found Vanilla's magicka pool in medium levels much too small, I think it's kind of more balanced at higher levels.
c.) Willpower plays a much greater role now. It's impact was so small in Vanilla that even a point of intelligence granted a higher regeneration than a willpower point. Not anymore! Characters with a willpower below ~55 have a slower regeneration, to the point that characters starting with 25 need several minutes to regenerate their Magicka. Characters with a willpower of 100 regenerate their entire pool about ten seconds faster than in Vanilla with 100 (which is not to be underestimated, because Magicka regeneration is also kind of quick in Vanilla with this value). [So in the end Mages in RBP will have a slight boon over their buddies from Vanilla - but not because of their Magicka pool, but because of their better regeneration.]
d.) Going unarmored now has benefits! Armor penalizes magic users more. Spell cost progression is adjusted to that, so if you take off your armors, you'll have a bonus. Another small edge above Vanilla mages. Combined with the changes to Willpower playing the famous "warrior/thief/mage" now becomes more difficulty. It's quite possible, of course, but now it finally makes sense to not take this route.
e.) Fatigue affects now spell effectiveness. Only in a very small way, but nevertheless a mage constantly running around swinging weapons will cast slightly weaker spells.
3.) Beautification Part: RBP is one of the biggest beautification mods. These mods are included:
a.) Ren's beauty pack
b.) Capucine's character expansion
c.) Babe's hairs; Corean hair; Soya's hair pack; throttlekitty's hair pack; kafeidotour's short hair style
d.) Eyes for Elves; Elveon's photorealistic eyes
e.) Since you can now combine all cosmetic mods using Wrye Bash, there is a "bash ready" version included ("Light"), which doesn't have any beauty additions included.

IMPORTANT Download Links and Installation Information for RBP

The Race Balancing Project is modular - which is great, as you can set it up exactly as you like - but it does makes it a bit complicated to figure out exactly what you need to download and install. Read the first section of the Race Balancing Project's Online Readme for the complete installation instructions to find out what your options are.

Basically you have two main download choices:

  • Light Version: If you don't want or need the bonus races or the cosmetic changes:
    All you have to download and install is the RLight [EV - English Version] - this gives you all the changes of both #1 and #2 above (race, birthsigns, and magicka changes).
    A folder called "Modules" is also included, that will enable you to revert any of the Magicka changes back to how they were in the vanilla game).
    The light version requires SI (but there is a non-SI esp included in the English Main Files download)

  • Full Version: If you also want the bonus races and the cosmetic changes:
    You also need to download and install both the English Main Files AND the Installation Files, either the Manual Version or the OMOD Version

Arwen Note: I'm currently using just the Light Version of RBP in my game, as I didn't need the other races right now.

New Game: RBP obviously works best with a new character, but it does not require that you start a new game (but you have to enter a console command, and you will have to restore the game from an earlier save if you ever uninstall RPG)

Load Order: Load after any mod that touches races or birthsigns (like OOO).

Updated 6/19/09: Elder Scrolls OB-Mods RBP Thread

Arwen Note: I hated Oblivion's player leveling system so I tried a number of Player's Character (PC) leveling mods, and am currently using Realistic Leveling, which seems to work the best for me.

*** Realistic Leveling v.1.13 (3/10/10) [requires OBSE] - by Donovan Baarda (ABO):

"This mod changes leveling and attribute advances to be more realistic and provide better game play. Level and attributes will increase naturally as your skills improve, without the need to micromanage them or worry about what skills to use to optimize your advancement. Since v1.7 the level progress meter on the stats menu will work correctly."

Compatibility: "Other UI mods like DarnUI can provide alternative levelup menus compatible with AFLeveling, KCAS, and RealisticLeveling. However these alternative menus are also normally bundled with alternative stats menus that remove the level progress meter. If you want to see the progress meter, do not install the other mod's AFLeveling/KCAS compatible menus and install the levelup menu provided with RealisticLeveling."

Arwen Note: I tried this mod quite a while ago, but found that I was leveling too fast, so I switched to S.P.A.M. Now I just switched back to Realistic Leveling (on 1/21/09) since it has just been updated, with a number of improvements and works great with Realistic Fatigue (since ABO made both mods).I personally find that Realistic Leveling just handles the leveling process in a better way. And I can easily configure it in its ini file, so that it works exactly the way that I want it to. For instance, I felt that my skills were progressing too fast so I made the following edit:

setGS fSkillUseFactor 0.73 [the default setting was 0.35]

Realistic Leveling

Page Menu: Utilities | Interface | Rebalancing & Leveling | Quest Fixing & Patches

Page Index | Utilities | Interface | Rebalancing & Leveling | Quest Fixing & Patches
Quest Fixing & Patches

Arwen Note: the mods in this section remove some of the handholding "features" of vanilla Oblivion, or they fix broken quests.

When you have an active quest in Oblivion, large quest arrows are displayed on your compass, and large text windows popup, telling you exactly what you have to do to solve each quest. These two game "features" completely spoiled the fun of doing any quests for me - and I instantly hated them. What was Bethesda thinking?

The basic definition of the word quest is: "the act of searching for something." Hey, it's not much of a search when you are told exactly what to do and have arrows showing you exactly where to go! These MODs make Oblivion a much a better role playing game, but they also make the game much more challenging. So don't install these MODs unless that's what you actually want.

***DarkUId DarN (in my mod Interface Section) allows you to customize everything in the HUD and remove any or all of the location icons and arrows from the compass and from the maps.

You may find that some quests are very difficult to tell where you're supposed to go with the quest markers turned off. This is because Bethesda relied so much on the compass, and didn't always include the necessary directional information elsewhere - such as in NPC dialog. But there is an easy way around this: You can toggle any of the pointer arrows on and off from the map menu. So, when you need more direction to solve a quest, you can just peek at your map. Ok, I realize that this is sort of like using the compass quest arrows, but at least you have to read the map now - plus you can check the map only when you can't figure out where you have to go in a quest.

Note: for the map/challenged, the compass arrows can also be toggled on and off from the Darnified Settings menu.

No More Annoying Messages v.1.3 (6/14/06) - by MaXiMiUS:

"Fixes strange letter bug from original version." Original mod by MackeMan: "Removes annoying messages that appears now and then. For example 'Your horse is stabled outside the city gate' and the infamous Loading area..."

Arwen Note: You do not need this mod if you installed Choices and Consequences.

No More Annoying Messages

Quest Message Popup Remover v.0.1 (4/26/06) - by Androgeny:

"Sick of being told what to do? Would you just rather figure out who to talk to next on your own? Aren't quests in RPGs supposed to make you think? If you've answered yes to any of these questions, this quick little modification is for you. It completely removes the Quest Message Popup window."

Arwen Note: Use this one with caution, as some mods use the Quest Message Popup window to give you important quest information. Generally you can find most of what you need to solve quests in the quest part of the journal.

During installation of DarkUId DarN, you have the option to turn off the quest popup windows, so I'm using that instead of installing this mod.

Quest Message Popup Remover

These next three mods are patches that fix a lot of quest bugs (and a bunch of other bugs):

*** Unofficial Oblivion Patch v.3.2.0 (8/30/08) - by Quarn and Kivan:

"This mod is a joint effort to fix the vast amount of bugs currently existing in Oblivion v1.2.0.416, fixing over 1,800 bugs so far!"

Arwen Note: There is also an Unofficial Shivering Isles Patch, an Unofficial Official MODs Patch, and Marine O'Keefe's Lore Dialog MOD available at this website.

Load order: The Unofficial Oblivion Patch is the first esp that you should load, so if you're using OBMM, put it at top (right after the esm files) - unless a specific MOD's ReadMe states otherwise.

Baldurdash Website

Unofficial Oblivion Patch

*** Unofficial Shivering Isles Patch v.1.4.0 (8/28/08) - by Quarn and Kivan:

"Fixes over 270 bugs in the Shivering Isles expansion."

Load order: Load this near the top of your mod list (before most other mods) - it should load right after the DLCShiveringIsles.esp

Unofficial Shivering Isles Patch

Unofficial Official MODs Patch v.15 (8/28/08) - by Quarn and Kivan:

"The aim of this mod is to fix the bugs existing in the official mods released by Bethesda. NOTE: These fixed plugins use the ESP master (aka mod de-isolation) method which means you still need the original plugins for these plugins to work! The plug-ins are not a redistribution of modified original Bethesda plug-ins, but contain only changes and have the original plug-ins set as masters."

Unofficial Official MODs Patch

SM Plugin Refurbish v.1.3 (04/06/10) - by Strategy Master:

"Annoyed by the constant official plugin pop ups at the start of a new game? Wished that the official plugins would start in more appropriate fashions? These esps will stop the official plugins from starting automatically and require you to do certain things to start the quests."

Horse Armor: Look around these Imperial City taverns (Merchant's Inn, King and Queen Tavern, Tiber Septim hotel) for the horse armor note.
Orrery: To start the quest you must first complete the Mages Guild quest 'Necromancer's Moon'. Once the quest is completed you can talk to Bothiel about the Imperial Orrery. (The reason for this is because the mages guild quest dialog assumes the Orrery is not operational and so it makes sense you can only repair the Orrery after this quest).
Wizard's Tower: You get the deed from the Countess of Bruma once your skills in magicka are noticeable and you can prove your inheritance to the countess. You can either reach a high rank in the Mages Guild as proof, or the average skill of your 7 magic skills must be high enough.
Thieves' Den: Citizens in Anvil may tell you the rumor of the cavern as long as you have stolen enough. When the den is yours, your infamy will determine who you can hire: No Infamy: Supplier, Fletcher; Low Infamy: Security Expert; Moderate Infamy: Spymaster; High Infamy: Fence.
Mehrunes Razor: If you have adventured enough, someone may mention to you a rumor about Varsa Baalim.
The Vile Lair: Sleeping after committing enough murders will have this message delivered to you mysteriously.
Knights of the Nine: The church is not initially destroyed at the start of the game. Once your fame is high enough, the church gets attacked and rumors about Anvil's destruction will soon spread.
Shivering Isles: The rumor will pop up randomly as a normal rumor for the people in Bravil. Of course, you can still head directly over to Shivering Isles yourself without the rumor.
Battlehorn Castle: Read the Black Horse Courier article about the Blackwood Company to see a snippet about the castle and the quest will activate.

Arwen Note: If you're using any of the official add-ons (including Shivering Isles), adding this mod will make the add-on start in a seamless, and more immersive way. I highly recommend this mod.

Load Order: load after the add-on. See my Mod Load Order

SM Plugin Refurbish

Page Menu: Utilities | Interface | Rebalancing & Leveling | Quest Fixing & Patches

Arwen's Mod List - Part Two

Next: Cosmetic Mods

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