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Esmerelde's Recommended Mods: PRACTICAL

 

- Mod Index -
Gameplay / Visual / Realism / Practical / Misc.



Index: This Page

1. In-game Tools:

* Elys Map Markers Be Done
* Expanded Hotkeys and Spell Delete
* Flying Camera Mod
* Map Marker Overhaul
* Quest Award Levellers
* Streamline
* Time Manipulation Spells
* Toggleable Quantity Prompt

2. Utilities:

* Better Oblivion Sorting Software (BOSS)
* Oblivion Script Extender (OBSE)
* Wyre Bash

PRACTICAL

1. In-game tools:

Elys - Map Markers Be Done

This mod adds a spell that allows you to add information to map markers in game. For instance: when you clear out a dungeon you can mark it with "done"; you can tag caves with the enemies within it, eg. "goblin" or "undead" etc.

The mod comes with a customisable ini file, where you can specify up to 8 choices to appear when you cast te spell to add the required tag.

Elys MMBD

Limitations:

This mod requires Pluggy, which can cause various errors and crashes that didn't appear until Elys had left the modding community and thus wasn't around to fix them. Other members of the community have since steped in, but personally I prefer not to use it anymore.

You are limited to only 8 tags, that may only be up to 8 characters in lenth.

Summary and Recommendations:

While this mod does do exactly what it says, it is a bit of a hassle to have to keep casting the spell when you exit the cave/ruin/fort etc (I often forgot). Instead, I would recommend Map Marker Overhaul, which not only allows you to add any custom tag, but also has custom markers.

My Rating: 4/5

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Expanded Hotkeys and Spell Delete

*** Download link no longer active on TES Nexus ***

There are many hotkey mods available, many of them much newer than this one, but this is the one I prefer to stick with. It is very easy to use and provides an additional 16 hotkeys (plus 4 outfit slots) with minimum fuss. Some of the newer hoykey mods may be much more efficient, but they are also more complex (for example, the addition of cycler keys).

This mod works by keeping the default hotkeys and accessing the other 16 by use of the alt and shift keys, ie: shift + (1-8); alt + (1-8). In addition, numbers 9 and 0 may be used to equip a whole outfit. This is a little buggy, as equiping arrows in this way will result in only one arrow being shown in the quiver. Still, it is very useful for quickly changing from "town" gear to "adventure" gear.

The only downside is that there is no hotkey wheel for these additional slots (but as far as I am aware, no other mod has been able to create visual additional hotkey wheels either). Because you need to press and hold an additional key to access them, it will take you slightly longer to access them. However, I find these hot keys useful for stuff you wouldn't normally hotkey, such as repair hammers and charm, detect life and light spells for example.

My Rating: 4.5/5

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Flying Camera Mod

This mod is for us lazy folk who don't always want to be typing in console commands whenever you want to take a good screenshot.

This mod allows you to assign up to three hotkeys for the following console commands:
1. Flying camera only
2. Toggle HUD only
3. Toggle flying camera and HUD

This make taking screenshots quick and easy. Highly recommended.

My Rating: 5/5

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Map Marker Overhaul

This is a brand new mod taking advantage of the new functionaly provided by OBSE v18 Beta 4. If you're anything like me you'll be wary about updating the latest Beta just to use this mod, but trust me it's worth it.

This mod builds on Elys' Map Markers Be Done mod, as well as adding a whole host of new features. For example, custom map markers have been added for the first time. In addition, adding tags to map markers no longer requires the buggy pluggy or an in-game spell. Instead you can just right click (configerable) on the map marker you want to change and the interface opens right up. As well as being more convienient, it has a higher immersion factor, as it's more like opening your map to write on it rather than faffing with spells and so on.

This mod has been very well implemented, and I have found no bugs to report. Additionally, the creater has taken into account that not everyone uses the same icons, and at present has support for vanilla, Elven Map Redux, Adny's Icons, Coloured Icons and Borderless Icons. The example below shows how the new icons look using Elven Map Redux:

MMO

The new icons (for stables, castles, docks, farms, ayleid ruins +) are all done to the highest quality and match the original set extremely well.

There is nothing negative about this mod, I highly recommend you try it out...but be warned, once tried, it will quickly make your "must have" mods list!

My Rating: 5/5

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Quest Award Leveller

This little mod has been through the update wars. Originally released by Quarn it was found to have some minor bugs. As Quarn had left the modding scene, these were fixed by Raziel23x, and in this latest edition, Battlehorn Castle is now supported!

This mod is great if you don't want some quest rewards to become more and more useless as you level up. Instead, these items will level with you meaning they stay useful, no matter what level you complete the quest.

Some may say this is a bit of a cheat, that you should just discard these items and find a better one rather than having it level with you - however it is a nice option to have, and means you don't have to worry about not doing certain quests til later.

My Rating: 4.5/5

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Streamline

This is quite a complex mod which I could not give full justice here, so I'm only going to mention it briefly. This mod has a lot of configerable options and functions, but the basic purpose of this mod is to improve gameplay but "streamlining" many of the game options on the fly.

It is currently in Release Candidate phase, but from my experience is very stable during play, so don't let that put you off. It should load toward the end of your load order, but you may have issues getting it to initialise depending on what other mods you use. If you can get it working it's great, but at the moment it can give you a few issues.

My Rating: 4/5

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Time Manipulation Spells

*** Download location currently unknown ***

I downloaded this mod because I wanted to take action screenshots, and thought pausing the game time would be the best way to do this. This mod does exactly what it says, giving you a spell to pause the time around you (but not yourself), as well as another spell to un-pause.

While I liked the concept very much, I didn't end up using this mod very much before disabling it as getting the enemies to freeze in a good position was tricky and frustrating. No error on the mods part though - perhaps you just need a lot of patience!

My Rating: 4/5

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Toggleable Quantity Prompt

This is an absolute must-have mod for me. Ever get fed up of the "do you want to sell x items?" prompt everytime you're selling something? Yes? Then this mod is for you! This mod adds modifyer keys to allow you to sell items in stacks (shift click) or singly (ctrl click) whilst bypassing the amount slider and subsequent confirmation window. Want the slider to appear? Just click normally and the default system is still there.

You'll wonder how you ever played without this.

My Rating: 5/5

 

2. Utilities

Better Oblivion Sorting Software (BOSS)

This mod was originally developed in order to generate load orders for FCOM, (it was previously released as "FCOM helper") but has now developed in such a way that it is an invaluable load ordering tool no matter what mods you are using.

I used to prefer ordering my mods my hand, but one two many accidental re-sets meant too much frustration. Now I reorder 4-5 mods myself, the rest is done my BOSS. It's not infallible, but it's getting there.

Save yourself a headache and download this mod now!

My Rating: 5/5

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Oblivion Script Extender (OBSE)

This is an essential tool if you want to use any of the more complex mods out there. There is no reason not to use it, and the benefits are that it is still being developed, making new mod possibilities with every update!

My Rating: 5/5

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Wrye Bash

As soon as you are using more than a handful of mods, it's going to be essential that you download and understand Wrye Bash. This is a tool that makes all of your mods work together, essentially "bashing" them together.

At first glace the extensive readme (linked in title!) will probably put you off - but STICK WITH IT! You can do it! Once you get going the features will beome more familiar and eventually you'll probably be tinkering with it more than actually playing!

As well as making your mods play nice it has some great bonus features, such as the ability to import a face onto your save game, and the fairly new BAIN install feature to name just two.

If you want to mod oblivion you might as well throw yourself in at the deepend now rather than later. Get it now!

My Rating: 5/5

 

- Mod Index -
Gameplay / Visual / Realism / Practical / Misc.

This page has been created, updated and maintained by Jenny Hodgetts. All text (and images where stated) are copyrighted to me unless otherwise stated.
Copyright © Jenny Hodgetts 2006-2009