Dibella’s Watch

Dibella’s Watch for Oblivion (2011) was the precursor to Azura’s Watch. Even the names of the places are similar. Dibella’s Watch was my biggest modding project ever. Azura’s Watch eclipses it. Here are some screenies I took of DW today while playing Oblivion. It still amazes me how much I did on it. It was a lot of fun.

Stroti’s Old Cabin

Stroti was one of the very best who created resources for Oblivion. I used quite a lot of his stuff in Dibella’s Watch. Now, I’m proud to be able to use his Stroti’s Old Cabin Resource as well. This resource is ported to Skyrim from Oblivion by my friend Tamira. This little cabin fits perfectly in Frontier.

I already used it to create a small witch’s cabin out in the woods, and it really does look the part.

Godfrey Dibella’s Monastery

Dibella needs an own part of the Frontier since I’m a fan of hers. I like her ideas about love and beauty. I based my entire Oblivion mod “Dibella’s Watch” on her and now I’m importing her to Frontier too. There’s a small island off the south coast of The Frontier called Godfrey, which I had already assigned to her cult. On this island, I’ve now built the exterior of her temple and monastery, and it’s looking good.

I was really going to do more this weekend. I have some new plants and trees to paste, but I need to add them later.

Finished Dawnguard – back to modding

So I finished Dawnguard as a vampire hunter last night. I still have the other side to do, but I want a character fitting to be a vampire for that. I don’t know yet whether I’ll incorporate this DLC into Frontier or not. It does have some pretty impressive resources though, so it might be a good idea. We’ll see.

I liked the story in Dawnguard. I like Serana too. She’s like a good friend. I had lots of flashbacks to my own Västhelm expansion for Dibella’s Watch in Oblivion. Those who have played that, will see some similarities between Dawnguard and DW. I think I’m a prophet, because I created Västhelm months before Skyrim was even out. Oh well.

Overall Dawnguard is impressive. Just as you think it can’t become any more impressive, it throws something even more shiny at you. The story is also enjoyable and the new stuff you get, such as the crossbows – and a certain bow – are fun to play with. Some of the scenery is really nice too. I recommend Dawnguard, although it has some things I don’t really like. Like the random vampire attacks on settlements and so on.

Back to modding now. I have lots of ideas for Frontier after playing Dawnguard.

No spoilers. Here’s my Breton character visiting one of the scenes in Dawnguard.

More Forest

Let me show you a few more screenies of the deep woods I’m creating right now. I’ve connected the Pine areas with the Aspen around Lake Carnar. In-between these areas, I’ll place the town of Carnar. This forested area of the Frontier should soon be done and then I’ll begin creating the town of Carnar and the areas around that.

Carnar will be a small farming village, but also the seat of the Count of Carnarshire, and as such it will be of some importance. In the main storyline Carnar will play a significant role, much like Wordham in Dibella’s Watch, for those who played that.

What I did in Dibella’s Watch

For those readers who didn’t see Dibella’s Watch for Oblivion, let me mention a few things on what I did back then and what was its purpose. I created a whole continent called Dibella’s Watch, named after the capital city, which in turn was named after the Goddess Dibella. The continent was a Tamriel in miniature. All the areas of the mod were crammed together just to make it all manageable by one single modder, me.

And I did a good job with that. In less than a year, I had completed the landscape, designed all the towns and cities and also written a great number of quests, including a long main storyline. Dibella’s Watch was quite large, although it was to be considered small. There was a huge desert area, as well as a jungle, filled with hand-placed trees, inhabited by hostile bandits and creatures. There were a great number of smaller towns and villages, as well as one major (open) city. There were castles and inns dotted about the beautiful, hand-made landscape.

I created land where I needed it, which ended up with a weird looking continent, filled with action. Everything was crammed together to make the most use of the limited space. The city of Port Constanze was my best expample of city-design that turned out well. Although it was small in expanse, it had all the services and I even had a chapel in there and a university just outside the city gates.

This is how Frontier will be made too, because it will make it absolutely manageable by one single modder (myself), and I can even add to its size as I see fit. the focus will still be on the unexplored areas of the wilderness. Villages and towns will be crammed together to conserve space, but you still don’t have to expect anything as sad as Shor’s Stone; it will all be beautifully detailed to add to the medieval atmosphere frontier I want to create.

The map of Dibella's Watch.

Anvil Nova

I am seriously considering scrapping my Heightmap and do what I did with Dibella’s Watch for Oblivion and hand-design the entire continent. This will result in a much smaller area, but also a more detailed and beautiful one. I don’t get a good feeling from my heightmap and the more I see it, the uglier it gets.I don’t like region generation either. I really don’t want the Frontier to look in any way generated. Not in the least. That’s not me.

In Dibella’s Watch for Oblivion, I hand-designed it all; I even pasted every tree and every rock. I don’t need to go to those lengths here, if I don’t want to, but the fact is that I have a very close, personal relationship with every area, every corner, in DW and I did it all with love and care. The question is – do I want a grand worldspace, which is large and impressive, but empty and lacking passion, or do I want a smaller worlspace which is still packed with features, landscape, quests and action and indeed created with passion. I don’t think anyone will object to me choosing the latter.

If I start creating Frontier like I did with Dibella’s Watch, under the same conditions, I’ll be presenting you with an impressive and exciting mod in no-time anyways. But if I start copying the MERP-project and trying to be as big as possible, I will fail and I won’t have much to show in the future. I should do what I’m good at and in the way I’m good at it.

This is a sketch of Anvil Nova, the capital of the Imperial Colony on the Frontier.