[This page is outdated! See instead the wiki page: https://wiki.project-tamriel.com/wiki/Playtesting_Guidelines]
How to Set Up
- First things first, you need Tamriel Data and TD_Addon, which serve as asset repositories for other plugins.
- Next, you need the latest version of TR_Mainland.esp (not .esm) and section files relevant to the quest found here. Be sure to download Mainland from here (the last link on the left-hand bar) and not TR_Mainland.esm, which is usually outdated for ongoing work.
- Most importantly, you need the quest you’re playtesting. To find such quests, look at the claims browser. The quests that are pending review are the best to test, because that means that they are completed but no one has reviewed it yet. For the quests that are under review, it’s best to collaborate with the reviewer and ask if they need help.
- Alternatively you can also playtest quests that are ready to merge, or merged quests inside the section files, but generally they’ll be polished and should have few bugs – still, testing them doesn’t hurt.
- Optional: For making playtesting easier, we also recommend downloading Templates for playtesting, which allows you to choose from among a variety of classes and levels, or even start as a vampire, so you can test multiple possibilities easily.
- Finally, set your load order to look like this:
- TR_Mainland.esp (and NOT .esm)
- Character_Templates.esp (If you’re using it.)
These couple of changes will allow you to skip character creation and dive straight into the game, generating a default character. This makes it less tedious to play from the start multiple times.
Vanilla Morrowind engine:
Open Morrowind.ini. It should have this line close to the top of it.
Remove the first semicolon and change the starting cell from Pelagiad to any named cell close to where the quest takes place.
In the launcher, go to Advanced settings -> Testing. Check “skip menu and generate default character” and type the location in the box below. Sometimes if you do this, you can get stuck inside meshes. If that happens, type TCL in the console (generally accessed using the ~ key) and get out. Type TCL again to make things normal again.
After you have set up, you can just go ahead and try to break the quests. These are just practices that make playtesting smoother.
- When starting the game, don't click "Cancel"/"Yes to all" to skip warnings and errors - if you do, error messages will never display later on in the game.
- A good way to write things in-game is beta comments.
To make the latter possible, first you have to open your "Morrowind.ini" text file, look for the line:
Beta Comment File=
Then you can add any file name, say “Betacomments.txt” so that it becomes
Beta Comment File=BetaComment.txt
Now, whenever you want to write something in-game, you can open the console (generally the ~ key), select the relevant object (if there is none relevant, just select the nearest one), and write
bc "your comment"
This will log your comment in BetaComments.txt together with the location of the selected object.
Of course, you can also Alt-Tab and write in a separate txt file if this seems too much.
- Check all messages that have “Warning” in OpenMW.log for errors. That file can be found in Documents\My Games\OpenMW.
- You can use beta comments here too, but they’ll be logged in OpenMW.log.
Things to Look For While Playtesting
- Is it clear that you're taking on a quest? If you didn't want to do that, is it stuck in your Journal list?
- If not, does it have an option to turn it down? Does it need one?
- Can you come back and take the quest after turning it down? Would it be in character to (not) be able to?
Whenever the Journal updates:
- Check the new journal entry.
- Talk to every NPC involved on every topic associated with the quest. Does their dialogue make sense in the new context?
- If the change came from a NPC greeting, reload and contract a disease (In templates for playtesting esp/console: Player->AddSpell, "rotbone"). Does it still work?
If you need a certain item/gold to progress:
- What happens if you don’t have enough? Does the npc react correctly?
- What if you have more than needed? Does it work?
- Are the items taken from your inventory? Are the correct number of items taken if you have more than required?
Taking an item triggers an event:
- Does the same thing happen if you pick it up while the inventory is open?
- An NPC walks somewhere. Does this break if you get near them, stand in their way, rest, change cells?
- NPCs attack you or fight each other. What happens if you use Calm/Command spells? If you talk to them, what happens? What happens if you save and reload?
- If your actions make it impossible to complete the quest, does it properly fail?
- If completed, is the Journal entry closed?
- Does the plot make sense? Do the motivations of NPCs make sense?
- Does the player have appropriate motivations to do the quest? If not, are they needed?
- Is the reward appropriate for the quest?
- Is the quest interesting? Should it be? (Fetch quests are generally not the most interesting, but there should be some of them, as lows to other highs, or as a way to introduce the player to new areas.)
Finally, you can report your findings as a comment on the claim (if the quest is pending review or ready to merge) or to the reviewer (if it is under review). If you were playtesting a merged quest and found errors, you can report them at the bugtracker as a bug with the relevant section file selected.