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Recommended Mods for an Oblivion Newbie? [2011]


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#1
PsalmLove

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Hey guys,


Long time Morrowind fan, newbie Oblivion player. With the trailer for Skyrim recently being revealed, I decided to finally dust off Oblivion, which has been sitting in my Steam folder for a while. I've never played Oblivion before, mostly because when it first came out my system wasn't able to handle it. Now that I have an OC'd Core i7, 6gb of RAM, and a triple monitor Eyefinity setup, I thought it was time to give it a proper try. I'd like to skip the pain of the vanilla edition and jump right into a modded world.

So far, after reading pages and pages of lists and recommendations, I've become more confused about which I should install first in order to have a decent base to start with. Most of the lists I've found are pretty old as well, from 2009 and early 2010. With 2011 here and Skyrim on the horizon at the end of this year, I was hoping to get a more up-to-date list.

I'm looking for essential mods, mainly focusing on core stability and game tweaks, and also immersive mods, both graphical and gameplay-wise. Give me a shortlist of the mods you'd think a newbie MUST have in order to make his first experience with Oblivion a good one.

I hope you can help me, with a few suggestions and what they essentially do, I'd appreciate it a lot =]


Thanks!

Edited by PsalmLove, 11 January 2011 - 04:19 PM.


#2
Smooth613

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Recommended mods for a first time player? None. And by none a mean a few. By a few I mean a handful. But none of these are mods that alter the core of Oblivion. Start with the Unofficial Patches, Unofficial Official Mods Patch, and Supplementals. Thousands of bug fixes are covered by these.

Next you might consider some small tweaks, but first you need to play the game for a while to see what you dislike and want to tweak. I suggest at least 20-30 hours before adding any mods that alter the core of the game. Graphic mods are your preference, many are available. I personally don't use one graphics overhaul package but mix and match many smaller replacers. However I will suggest one visual mod, Oblivion Graphics Extender (OBGE). Adds the ability to use many custom shaders ranging from cell-shading to color moods, depth-of-field, god-rays, and much more.

You're going to need Oblivion Script Extender (OBSE).

For tools; You'll need a mod manager and Better Oblivion Sorting Software (BOSS). BOSS automatically sorts your mods for best chances of compatibility and does so via an always updated masterlist. There are two mod managers available; Wrye Bash and Oblivion Mod Manager (OBMM). I suggest you go ahead and get accustomed to Wrye Bash as it's leaps and bounds ahead of OBMM in every way imaginable. You will need Wrye Bash eventually anyway for certain mods to function and to ensure compatibility amongst other mods. OBMM is simpler but you really limit yourself to just an installer basically. While Wrye Bash is much much more than that, and not that difficult to learn either. If you've ever used Wrye Mash (Morrowind) or Wrye Flash (Fallout) then you'll be right at home. Think of it as about 20 or so tools wrapped in one. You may never need all of it's functions or simply choose not to use some of it's functions, but it's nice to have them available when needed. It also has it's own installer just as OBMM uses OMOD's, but again it's leaps and bounds ahead of the competition; if you can even call it competition. Instead of using special files (OMOD's) BAIN (BAsh INstaller) operates directly from archives such as .zip, .rar, .7z, etc... Take the time to read over The Wrye Bash Pictorial Guide for Newbies. It'll help you greatly. That section was a little long-winded but necessarily so. I could have elaborated much much more on the subject but for now that's as simple as I could break it down. Later you can dig deeper into the subject.

For stability and smoother gameplay I suggest the following.

Streamline - Only use the Purge function unless you really need the others. You shouldn't unless you're playing on a lower to bottom-mid-range system.

Oblivion Stutter Remover (OSR) - Increases performance and smoothness overall. Highly recommended.

Fast Exit 2 - Oblivion is known to crash on exit even in vanilla state. It's less likely but still happens. The frequency of crashes increases exponentially as you add more mods it seems. This simple mod fixes that.

You'll likely want a User Interface (UI) mod to get rid of the clunky console-ish vanilla one. For this I suggest DarNified UI or Dark UI'd DarN.

I will suggest you look at some of TheNiceOne's mods such as Enhanced Hotkeys (Easily the best Hotkey mod available),HUD Status Bars, Display Stats, Dynamic Map, Quest Log Manager, and Map Marker Overhaul. These are all excellent mods that only enhance but do not alter gameplay. Check his profile for the full list of mods. All are excellent, and the support for them is also top-notch.

#3
bben46

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There as as many essential mods as there are players, as what is essential is a matter of personal opinion. What I would not play without may be trash to you. If you look through the top 100 list you will find 97% of what most consider the 'essential' mods. The other 3% will either be too new to be on the lists or too obscure. :thumbsup:

The top 100 lists are also some of the more stable mods and the ones it will be easier to get help for when you have the inevitable problems.

#4
Jagermh

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listen to smooth --> OBSE IS ESSENTIAL!
A UI mod is quite helpful
You will need HGEC if you want to download armour mods
You will need OBMM to organise those mods

I find that fast exit doesn't work after 50 or so mods

Edited by Jagermh, 11 January 2011 - 05:20 PM.


#5
Smooth613

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  • You don't need HGEC, or any other body replacer. There are many armor mods that work just fine with the vanilla body. There are more options for other body mods but it's not needed.
  • You don't need OBMM, especially since there is a much better alternative in Wrye Bash. And it's very likely you will need Wrye Bash at some point. If you care anything about compatibility that is.
  • Fast Exit 2 works just fine and I have used it with well over 300 mods before. Currently I have about 175 mods and nearly 350 hours on my character and have only crashed a handful, less that five or so, times in those 350 hours. So it definitely works no matter the amount of mods. Although some users, evidently Jagermh is unfortunately one of them, experience varied results but the common consensus is that it works, and works well.

Just wanted to touch on those and clear that up. Remember this is a completely new Oblivion player we're dealing with. You have to be exact in the information you give out, and careful with your wording. Otherwise they get false information and this is how all these ridiculous Oblivion modding myths come about and poison the minds of newer players.

Additional note: I forgot to link you to TESIV:POSItive in my initial response. It's an excellent resource site loaded with information for user's from beginner to advanced. Be sure to take the time and read over the information. It will also guide you through installation orders for patches and mods, plus much much more.

#6
PsalmLove

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Wow, thanks for the fast and informative replies.

Special thanks Smooth for the solid, well-written words of advice. I now have a set of starter mods I can use to gain a firm foothold in my Oblivion experience. I already have BOSS, the Unofficial Patches, and OBMM. I'll uninstall that and get Wyre Bash as per your recommendation. I was also looking at DarNified UI & OBGE. With patches, tweaks, and functionality taken care of, I'm looking to make everything pretty and immersive graphics-wise (and that's mostly straightforward). What I might need help navigating are the gameplay tweaks. I'm considering installing one of the 'overhauls'. So far I am looking at OOO but I'm worried that might change the gaming experience too much, unless that is the goal and it is for the better.

This is why PC gaming holds a special place with me; aside from the great community, the ability to mod an otherwise vanilla game into something close to exactly what you want is something the console purists will never realize. Not to mention the occasional complexity of getting something to just run on your system without crashing, drives the shall we say, 'crass' and immature people away and attracts the more thoughtful, mature gamers.

Thanks again, I'll pop back in if I have any more questions. Kudos all around :)

#7
InAComaDial999

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You should really play the game as it was meant to be played before adding tons of mods to it.

Here's what I would install for a first-time player. Installation in this order:

Install and run BOSS to ensure everything is in the right order.

And that's it.

Edited by InAComaDial999, 11 January 2011 - 08:58 PM.


#8
PsalmLove

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Thanks for the additional suggestions! I like the hair and face mods

Any suggested texture mods for the environment / architecture? Cheers =]

#9
Jagermh

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Thanks for the additional suggestions! I like the hair and face mods

Any suggested texture mods for the environment / architecture? Cheers =]


Natural Environments

Edited by Jagermh, 12 January 2011 - 04:47 AM.


#10
LFact

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-snip- and OBMM. I'll uninstall that and get Wyre Bash as per your recommendation.


Do not uninstall it. You can use both, and you will need it if you're going to install OMOD-only(I know some mods are).




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