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Old 12-27-2011, 11:48 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Noob-friendly Installation/Modding Guide

I posted this over at Tesnexus and thought it might be useful here as well.

For those new to Oblivion I've used this thread to consolidate and explain some of the other Installation and Optimization threads to make it less intimidating to dive into modding the game.

The goal was to make the game look as good as possible without going crazy, keeping most of the original functionality of vanilla oblivion.

System Specs:

AMD Phenom x6
8gb Ram
Radeon 5830 (Forced 16xAnisotropic filtering, AA off - Use application settings, Catalyst A.I. off)

I referred to this Building Oblivion thread during my learning process (and TESCosi), but didn't want as many mods as he had listed, so I will try to build off of it while simplifying.

First, make sure Steam is installed in a new folder like C:\Games rather than program files, you can move it by deleting everything in the Steam folder except the Steam.exe and the Steamapps folder, then run Steam.exe and repatch. Installed Oblivion to C:\Games\Steam\.....Oblivion.

Next, download 7-Zip as you'll be using it to unpack/repack some of the mods. As mentioned in the Building Oblivion thread, you want all of the mod archives to contain the textures/meshes in the root directory, rather than two or three folders deep.

Also, to make use of the in-game console, press ~ key. Enter "Setdebugtext 12" for an FPS counter, "Setdebugtext 13" for fps with vram usage. Enter "tdt" to display or hide debugtext.


I recommend running the game once before any mods, once after Unofficial Patches, again after OBSE and OBGE are installed, then periodically during installing the rest of the mods.


Mod Installers/Managers:
Wrye Bash Standalone Version. Installs mods in archive form such as .7z, .zip, .rar.
This program isn't as intimidating as it looks.

The main focus is the Installers tab, right-click each mod to use Install or Wizard for the mods that have a wand icon indicating a built in installation wizard. Arrange the mods in this tab as they are listed below, with mods at the bottom of the list installed last and overwriting mods above it when applicable.

Mods tab is for ordering and activating mods. Activate all that you plan to use, Click Boss to sort them, then right-click the Bashed Patch and Rebuild Patch, this merges some of the .esp files into one single .esp so Oblivion has less to load.
Oblivion Mod Manager Installs mods saved as .Omod's. Simply right-click each one to activate.
BOSS Plugs in to Wrye Bash to sort the order Oblivion loads your mods.

Start with the unofficial manual patches:
Unofficial Oblivion Patch 3.2 Unselect UOP Vampire Aging
Unofficial Shivering Isles Patch
Unofficial DLC Patch Unselect DLC Thieves Den SSSB
Unofficial Patch Supplemental 3.4.1 - listed under Updates on the 3.2 patch page.

Download the 4gb Patch to allow Oblivion to take advantage of more than 2gb of RAM. Apply to oblivion.exe. Note: This will require you to run Steam in offline mode, as each time you run online mode it will more than likely replace the .exe, and you'll probably have to repatch it.

Supplemental Mods:
Oblivion Script Extender Allows for and launches more complex mods.
OBGE Updated shaders for water reflections, anti-aliasing, depth of field, etc. (I use MDLAA and CrysisDoF with Oblivion's default HDR) Make sure the Oblivion Graphics Extender Support Plugin is not selected anytime you build your Bashed Patch.
TES4LODGen You'll want to run this after installing graphical mods so that distant terrain matches your updates (ie. You don't want the ugly old textures loading in the distance, then you approach them and suddenly the shiny new and completely different textures pop up in their place.) Not really necessary during the install/testing phase, but rerun it later whenever you add new mods or Frostcrag Spire disappears off it's mountaintop for no reason.
Oblivion Stutter Remover. Helps Oblivions loading and optimization processes. See ini settings below.
Fast Exit Keeps the game from freezing on exit.


Now to the addons, to be downloaded into the c:\games\steam\steamapps\common\oblivion mods\Bash Installers folder for archives, or ...oblivion/obmm/mods for .omods.

-World/Environment Mods-
Qarl's Texture Pack - See Below for detailed instructions.
Loosely following the Building Oblivion guide, the reason this is somewhat complicated is because the full version of Qarl's Texture Pack is too large even for people running dual 1gig video cards. The texture pack we're building is a reduced and optimized version of Qarls so it doesn't take up so much Vram, which leaves more for the other mods installed later.

The texture pack format as shown in the other thread (create a .7z file with the following subfolders):

00 QTP3 Redimized - (The reduced and optimized Textures)
01 Optimized QTP3 Meshes - (Meshes for land and architecture)
02 Reduced Lite - (Replaces some of the Redimized textures with even smaller files to save VRam).
03 Reduced Normal - (Replaces some more textures with smaller files)
04 Reduced Max - (Replaces even more of QTP3 Redimized with smaller textures, some visual quality loss)
05 Normal Maps Reduced - (Reduces the texture normal maps which are what gives the textures their depth.)
06 Docs

With this pack, when you install in Wrye Bash, you check the boxes to install 00 and 01 if you have 1gig or more of video ram, check 00-03 for <1gig (This is what I went with even with the 1gb on my Radeon 5830), or check 00-05 to install all of them, reducing the majority of the large files with smaller ones for <500meg video cards.

To create this pack, download the following (moving all readme's to a common Doc's folder):

00 - QTP3 Redimized + Patch. Extract both, overwriting main files with patch files.
01 - Optimized QTP3 Meshes
02, 03, 04 - QTP3 Reduced Download all the packages.
05 - Reduced Normal Maps (I'm not sure why this is in 2 parts, but if you select "Open With" Fyzip on the .001 file it will open the .002 file along with it.)

When you repack the files to create the final .7z, each pack 00-05 should be a direct dump to the \data folder, so the folder layout should be 00\Textures, rather than 00/data/textures.

Once again, Building Oblivion might explain this a little better than me, but since RAEVWD is now seperate you can't follow it completely, as you'll have to install it afterwards.
Landscape LOD Textures. I used 2048 of both, these upgrade distant terrain.
Border Region LOD Optional textures (I'm not currently using these) for mountains and land outside of the travel-able area.
Koldorn's Noise Replacer Replaces the pepper-speckles on distant terrain.
Natural Environments Install Natural Habitat only
.OMOD Enhanced Vegetation Textures and Plugin.
Improved trees and flora 1 and Improved trees and flora 2 + TF2 update.
Enhanced Water
Book Jackets
RAEVWD - Install Forts, Ruins, Wilderness Buildings only.
Alive Waters
Better Nightsky combined with Subtle Sunshine.
Enhanced Seasons Changes hours of daylight to simulate seasons.

-UI Mods-
.OMOD Darnified UI
.OMOD Color Map Mod
Map Marker Overhaul

-Character Mods-
.OMOD HGEC Body with BBB Replaces character models with bouncy boobs, new skeletons, etc.
.OMOD NoMaaM BBB Animations New animations for running/fighting.
.OMOD EVE for HGEC Updates clothes/armor to match HGEC bodies.
BBB for EVE Updates EVE for bouncy boobs while clothed.
Male Body Replacer v5 by Robert
.OMOD Slath Clothing and Armor Replacer
Ren's Beauty Pack
Improved Facial Textures. Just for the aging facial maps.
High Rez Skin/Face Textures for HGEC Self-installing .exe's.
Medieval Oblivion Equipment Balancing System

Sounds of Cyrodiil Adds more world sounds and sound positions.
Storms and Sounds Use/Install just the OBSE Storms & Sounds SI.esp.
Stereo Sound Overhaul
Better Bell Sounds
Atmospheric Oblivion Adds more ambient world noise.
Symphony of Violence Combat Sounds

-Weather - All Natural-
Weather - All Natural Adds weather effects, changes lighting to actually require a source of light, and works with Immersive Interiors for indoor weather effects.
Immersive Interiors Great mod that lets you see out of the windows of the buildings and hear the weather outside.
Animated Window Lighting Lights up exterior windows at night/during rain and adds chimney smoke.

-INI File Edits-

\Documents\My Games\Oblivion\oblivion.ini

uGridDistantTreeRange=20 (15 on laptop)
uGridDistantCount=25 (20 on laptop)
uInterior Cell Buffer=9
uExterior Cell Buffer=72
bUseHardDriveCache=0 (Do not set to 1, causes stuttering)

fShadowLOD2=2500.0000 (1500 on laptop)
fShadowLOD1=2000.0000 (1000 on laptop)
fLightLOD2=4000.0000 (2000 on laptop without OBGE)
fLightLOD1=3500.0000 (1500 on laptop without OBGE)


fDlgFocus=3.4000 (Zooms out character conversation focus slightly)




\oblivion\data\obse\plugins\sr_oblivion_stutter_re mover.ini

bManageFPS = 1
bReplaceHeap = 1

bAllowSlowMotion = 1
MaximumFPS = 30 (this might seem low, but even on my system, all these mods make a steady 30 appropriate to shoot for.)
MinimumFPS = 10

iHeapAlgorithm = 6
iHeapSize = 640

\oblivion\data\ini\All Natural.ini

set ANVars.Luminance to .80 (20% darker nights, adjust to personal preference)

References: TESCosi, Oblivion.ini tweak guide, Optimizing Oblivion v2.0 and Optimizing Oblivion v3.0.

That is where I've stopped for the time being for my first playthrough. I'm sure I'll add more, especially when I start a 2nd character, or finish the first and want Kvatch Rebuilt, Companion Vilja, Unique Landscapes, Better Cities, or the countless others.





Last edited by nitefox98: 04-28-2012 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:18 AM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Bumping this since so many people have been asking lately. Due to the age of alot of the mods, many won't install correctly with Nexus Mod Manager, so you'll have to take a bit of time to learn how to use Wrye Bash.
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:13 PM   #3
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I'm sure this guide will help some people, but why all the spoiler tags?
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:07 PM   #4
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Spoilers were leftover from the other forums just to save space, but I didn't realize over here they just black it out. I suppose I should go back and just indent it instead of spoiler tag, lol.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:28 AM   #5
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any ENB's to recommend?

thanks for this guide btw!
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:22 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by stoli300 View Post
any ENB's to recommend?

thanks for this guide btw!
I never messed with the ENB series, though there are some ENB shaders in OBGE. I've adjusted color/saturation/contrast to my liking with the radeon options in the desktop, then use depth of field and mdlaa through OBGE.
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