A bit of Morrowind again

Morrowind 2014-07-22

Right now, I feel a need to play old Morrowind. I remember back in the day when Morrowind was new (like 2005 or something) and I had a crappy computer and I spent an entire summer with it. Took me ages to load each cell and I had serious lag, summer days were steaming hot and the sun reflected irritatingly in my 800×600 screen. What a wonderful experience! I was hooked, and that was before I even discovered its thriving modding community. I still have the CD, but I also picked it up on Steam. They’re having a sale at €4,99. In fact, all the Elder Scrolls games are on sale right now, so go get yourself Morrowind or Oblivion right now if you don’t have them.

Morrowind can be modded pretty substantially to rival modern games in looks and behaviour. In the screenie above, I have several mods active, among others MGE XE, which allows for distant LOD, shaders, Depth of Field and other graphics goodies. Also, it’s widely considered the best Elder Scrolls game ever, and I tend to agree with that. The modding atmosphere was simply awesome, and it’s actually still going quite strong. Morrowind is the prime example of a game living forever only because of its modding.

Frontier: Azura’s Watch

In 2011, I published a grand mod for Oblivion called Dibella’s Watch. In a way, Azura’s Watch for Skyrim is going to be its spiritual successor. Also, I consider Azura’s Watch a part of my Frontier project.

The old mod Frontier is not dead at all. Back when I was most hard at work upon it, I met some setbacks that eradicated a lot of my work on it and was really demoralizing. I then got into YouTube Let’s Playing and creating videos was so much fun that it took most of my free time. I never got around to repairing the damage on Frontier. I’ve been pondering what to do with it; I’ve been thinking about everything from just giving it away to other modders, to involving a modding team and to actually just giving it up. But Hell no. It will take a long time though, to finish, but that’s what I said when I started it as well. If it so takes ten years, I’m going to finish it and I’m going to finish it the way I set out to do it.

I have spent a lot of time playing Skyrim, and I really want to give something back, and do it while the game is “still alive” (I expect Fallout 4 to be announced soon and then everyone’s out of here). That’s why I’ve decided to start Azura’s Watch, a side project to Frontier. I’m working with a smaller landmass this time, in fact, it’s much smaller than the very large Frontier landmass and it’s even somewhat smaller than Dibella’s Watch for Oblivion. This makes it so that I can realistically push the mod out with a lot of good-looking and well-functioning content in a short time and also have realistic hopes of finishing the stuff while people are still playing Skyrim.

The goals with Azura’s Watch are simple and not pretentious in any way. I’m setting out to create a beautiful Caribbean-looking island, a resort for the Dragonborn; colourful, full of Caribbean/Pirate/Tropical clichées. Landscape and interiors will be astonishingly beautiful and detailed. Screw lorefriendliness, although I’m going to stick to it wherever possible. Quest implementation won’t be imperative, but I’m going to try and get together some missions if I have the time. If the island remains a peaceful paradise with no quests or enemies, I’m good. Azura’s Watch is an own worldspace and an own mod, but when the old Frontier gets done, I’m going to tie them together.

I was going to put out version 01 tonight, but I met some problems. LOD won’t work with my BSA file. Need to find a way around it. Maybe publish the LOD independent of the BSA and at the side. Anyways, you’re soon going to get to visit the island and witness its beauty. The whole exterior area is done at this point, and I’ve started on the interiors, which is phase 2. Phase 3 involves the NPC’s and I’m also going to make a specific new race, based on Imperials.