This giant amongst mods adds a region of mainland Morrowind to the game.
Silgrad Tower v2.5
¤~::What is Silgrad Tower?::~¤
Silgrad Tower creates a region of the Morrowind Province's mainland, which you can reach in this version by following the roadsigns starting at Cheydinhal's eastern gate. The region is situated in its own worldspace, which spans 36 quads (or 34596 cells), effectively making it nine times the size of Cyrodiil. Two major cities are situated on the landmass; the twin cities of Reich Parkeep/Soluthis and the Imperial charter town Steadhelm. A third city, our capital named Silgrad Tower, is in the wings but not fully placed as of yet.
The region is theoretically located on the opposite side of Vvardenfell's western coast, stretching in latitude as far north as Ald'Ruhn and as far south as Hla Oad. To get a better sense of where our region is situated you might want to take a look at Bethesda's old concept map for Morrowind ( Silgrad.com ); notice the two cities 'Soluthis' and 'Silgrad Tower' in the northwest? Our mod takes place roughly between those two cities (while at the same time adding in new cities and settlements). The layout of Morrowind changed quite a bit between that concept map and the real game, and our landmass follows the latest official map more closely.
Soluthis lies in the forested hills to the north, and is the district seat of House Redoran. When the Empire took control of Morrowind some four hundred years ago they began constructing fortifications in the city on two hills, which have now grown to become a small town called Reich Parkeep. The Hlaalu metropolis Silgrad Tower, currently not available, is situated in the fertile, pleasant south. It's said to be the second largest city in Morrowind, rivalled only by the capital Almalexia and is a natural center for trade and commerce. Steadhelm is an Imperial charter town on the coast of the Inner Sea, bordered by mountains to the north and a huge swamp to the south. Several smaller Dunmer villages and Imperial settlements can also be found in the region, as can numerous farms.
Our goal is also to have plenty of adventure beyond the comfort of the city walls. Huge burial tombs lie forgotten in the wilderness, mountain strongholds shelter warlords, renegade Daedra worshippers carry out their sinister rituals in remote shrines, highwaymen rob travellers of loot and life alike - and war drums sound from the west, as barbarians from Skyrim prepare to drive Redoran into the sea.
Some of you may be thinking, "Morrowind? Vvardenfell? Is this a TES3 mod, or... what?" And the answer is no, it's not a TES3 mod, it's an Oblivion mod - but we've painstakingly modelled pretty much everything you'll see in our mod from scratch to make you think you're in Morrowind again. Our teammembers have come together with one thing in common above all else - a shared love for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, and we want to see the spirit of Morrowind, and the spirit of the lands our team modded for TES3, live on through the new game.
¤~::How do I install Silgrad Tower?::~¤
Notice folders called "distantlod", "meshes", "textures", and so on? Copy these folders and the other folders to your C:\Program Files\Bethesda Softworks\Oblivion\Data\ directory. Make sure you also copy the data files "Silgrad_Tower.esm" and "Silgrad_Tower_Travel.esp" to the Data directory.
Then start Oblivion, tick Oblivion.esm and Silgrad_Tower.esm and Silgrad_Tower_Travel.esp, and you can start playing the mod.
¤~::How do I get to Silgrad Tower?::~¤
Make your way to Cheydinhal and exit through the eastern gate. You should immediately notice peculiar roadsigns in front of your path. The roadsigns are dotted along the way to our lands, eventually taking you to a cave north-by-northwest of Lord Rugdumph's Estate. After you go through the cave you'll find yourself in Morrowind. A friendly face should appear soon after your entry and provide further details.
¤~::What is there to do in this mod?::~¤
There are several quests in Reich Parkeep and Steadhelm. Not so many in Soluthis. Stopping by the Fighters Guild in Reich Parkeep is a good tip.
¤~::Differences between the public and private version of the mod::~¤
Silgrad Tower comes in two versions. The public version, which you've downloaded, and the private version which is only accessible to modders in our team. The key difference is that the public version lacks some of the visual flair of the private version. There is no difference in functionality (havok physics etc) or in playable content.
Throughout our mod's development our stance has been that the assets we create are exclusive to our team. We don't want our assets used in other mods because we're a team, and we'd rather see that modders who want to use our assets join our team instead and help with our effort to bring a part of the Morrowind Province to Oblivion. So far we've been fortunate in that our wish has been respected, but it's a fortune that has only come through vigilance in defending our rights.
Weary of living on the brink of having our assets stolen, we decided to maintain two versions of the mod where the assets we care the most about had been dulled down to lessen their appeal to rogue modders. It may not be as fun for players, but it's better than closing down the public version completely.
This does NOT mean that the assets in the public release are free for anyone to use in their mods. The reason *they* aren't protected is because we want to strike a balance between our concern for our own material and our concern for players having a good time playing the mod.
As time goes on, visual improvements made on the existing models will be sorted into the private version.
To experience Silgrad Tower the way it's intended to be experienced -- take the step and become a modder on the team! :-)
¤~::How do I mod for Silgrad Tower?::~¤
All information regarding this can be found in sandor's article, which is also linked at the top of our forum's overview page:
Everyone starts out modding with the public version. It may not always look like the private version, but the havok/collision are identical so you should have no problems for instance decorating an interior. After you complete a sufficient number of claims or work on other things together with the team the core will eventually promote you to ST Modder. As ST Modder you'll get access to the private version as well as continual access to internal updates as we work towards "Silgrad Tower v3". The key ingredient in the equation is that the core votes on all promotions, there are no fixed rules of which circumstances can result in a promotion. Prove your sincerity, take your claims seriously, stick around long enough, and it'll happen.
¤~::Frequently Asked Questions::~¤
1. I don't see any roadsigns or caves?
Please ensure that you ticked "Silgrad_Tower_Travel.esp" on your launch screen, since playing without it causes the roadsigns to disappear (among other problems).
2. The cave is silly. Why don't you make a broad road so the player can just walk to Silgrad Tower?
Ultimately that is our goal, however, solving more important concerns have taken precedence so far. The current solution is still better than the old one, which saw a weird portal standing freely inside Cheydinhal.
3. When will this mod be finished?
The mod will become more and more playable over time, offering dozens of quests and plenty of unique visuals. We'll never reach a point where we say, "Ok it's finished, let's disband and go do something else" - we'll continue adding to our mod throughout Oblivion's lifespan (and most likely beyond that seeing as our TES3 mod is still being worked on as well). Setting goals for ourselves is another matter though, and our goal is as was mentioned above to finish the three major cities and mod numerous cool dungeons and other locations around our lands. We should reach that goal before autumn 2007, and have a blast along the way modding all that fantastic stuff. When we reach that point we may decide to expand our area and/or create additional quests.
4. Why don't you just use TES3 models?
It's illegal to distribute Bethesda's models and other assets, meaning that if we ripped TES3 models we would be regarded as an illegal mod and couldn't operate on ESF and other crucial places. We're in it for the long haul, and some of us are already looking forward to an eventual fifth Elder Scrolls game which makes it even more important that we have a firm platform to stand on that doesn't compromise Bethesda's copyrights in any way. Besides that consideration the models in TES3 were highly optimized, to make them run on a mid-range computer in 2002, and would have needed extensive work on them just to bring them up to technical par with what you'd expect from Oblivion. For an experienced modeller, editing an old model in that way and making it look good is usually more work than creating it from scratch.
5. Are you modding Vvardenfell?
No, we are modding a region of the Morrowind Province's mainland situated west of Vvardenfell.
6. Will you make the whole Morrowind Province?
Perhaps we will expand our landmass in the future as the existing region gets completed, but modding the whole Morrowind Province is not our goal. Our goal is to make the part that we DO mod the best we possibly can.
7. The Silgrad Tower splash screen.
First install Silgrad Tower.
If you like to use the splash screen with the Silgrad Tower logo copy the folders (textures and menus) contained in the "ST Splash Screen" folder (located in your data folder) into your "Oblivion\data" folder.
In case you deleted your bsa files, make a backup of the following files (before you copy the content of the "ST Splash Screen" folder):
To reverse the process (when you deleted your bsa files) copy the backuped files to their original location.
To reverse the process in case you didn't delete your bsa files, delete the following files:
8. What does the term "Dunmer" mean?
"Dunmer" is the name dark elves prefer to call themselves. The term "dark elf" is an Imperial invention.
9. What does the term "Redoran" mean?
To say it succinctly, it is a political power in the Morrowind Province who controls the western-most sliver of the Province. More information on them can be found on wikipedia ( En.wikipedia.org ).
10. Reich Parkeep sounds like it has something to do with Nazism.
It doesn't - in fact, the name was created by Bethesda themselves. Reich Parkeep was even an in-game town you could visit in the very first game, Arena, and we're bringing back a lot of quaint details from those dusty annals of lore.
11. What does the name Soluthis come from?
In the early stages of Morrowind's development, Bethesda planned to mod the whole Province - but only bits and pieces of it. In the end, only Vvardenfell was modded, but modded in whole. However their original plans for TES3 became known when they released an old concept map to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Elder Scrolls in late 2004. Apparantly, they had changed the name of Reich Parkeep to Soluthis. We like the old name, because the town existed in our TES3 mod and it's grown on us. So then we decided to use both names, but use them separately for the two different districts.
12. Can I use your models/textures in my mod?
The short answer is no. The longer answer is that if you want to use something *specific* then please contact Razorwing (email@example.com), because you might be allowed to use it. An example is Tarnsman, who was granted personal permission to use the ingredient meshes in his "Morrowind Ingredients" mod.
Breaking our right to exclusivitivity would be a copyright violation and only result in locked threads/deleted uploads for you and tighter privacy arrangements for us. Given that a lot of modellers share their work freely as modders' resources there's no apparant reason why anyone would want to take our stuff; the only reason one can think of is if they are pursuing the same ideas we are - that of recreating the Morrowind Province. They would be welcome to do so, because a little healthy competition is just a good thing, but to try and do so using our own models and textures against us is unfair.
If someone wants to use our assets we would like them to become part of the team instead. We have a history of giving a wide berth to modders who come to us and wants to work together with us on their own pet projects, and they enjoy substantial freedom in the framework of the Silgrad Tower team. Not to mention access to helpful teammembers whom holds expertise in a wide area of the realm of modding, and whom all work towards the same goal. That's what is so great about being in a team, there's always someone there who knows more than you do about something who can help you out when you get stuck, and you may know more about something than he does, and so everyone has a good time and gets to see their creative dreams fulfilled in our massive, sprawling lands. The writer of this very readme was in the same place three years ago as any new modder in the team is. I'm still here, and having more fun than ever. Give our team a chance and I'm sure it will grow on you the same way it has on me.
For a full and up-to-date list of credits, please see this article on our website:
New entries in the credit list include Barabus for his crypt set (edited by Razorwing), Brillo for his N'Dib models, and Qarl and Mikal33 for the landscape textures.
If you have questions regarding the Silgrad Tower mod, please post them on our forum at Forum.silgrad.com and someone will answer you promptly.