Tamriel Rebuilt - Official Statement of Vision


June 14, 2014

For more than a decade, Tamriel Rebuilt has been a project dedicated to extending and expanding the game world of Morrowind in a manner consistent with the themes, tones, and back story of the original game - as we have often said, “as Bethesda would have done it.” As a fan project which has grown, changed, and learned as it has gone through the process of developing this content, our understanding of what this means has evolved over the years.

Once, there was a time when Tamriel Rebuilt interpreted our self-imposed mandate to mean including every town in Arena, under such wonderfully inspired names as “Reich Parkeep,” “Karththor Dale” (double th in the original) and “Green Heights.” Once there was a time when Tamriel Rebuilt interpreted our mandate to mean we couldn’t raise land higher than Red Mountain (because it is alleged to be the second highest mountain in Tamriel), that we couldn’t use ash or Sixth House or ancient stronghold assets on the Mainland (because of some throwaway lines of dialogue), and so on.

What we’ve realized, though, is that our commitment to creating this game world “as Bethesda would have done it” requires something much more than scouring every line in every book and dialog topic for tiny statements that we could blow up into strict edicts of fact. What it requires is a commitment to the high caliber of storytelling, world-building, and art that makes Morrowind the game we all love so long after its release. Moreover, we have discovered that some aspects of the original content are actually very limiting on our ability to achieve our goal, and that we must sacrifice strict adherence to the literal content of Morrowind to maintain the integrity of our commitment to the themes, narratives, and lore of Morrowind.

These are mainly aspects of the game which have their origin in its limitations. Surely no one believes that if Morrowind were set in all of Morrowind and not only Vvardenfell, it would have one version of each faction on Vvardenfell and another version off of the island. The quarantine, similarly, is a small line of dialogue in order to justify the player’s inability to leave the island, not some integral narrative element that makes the game what it is. In time, Tamriel Rebuilt will make these small changes for the sake of a better final product.

We believe it is vital to treat the province of Morrowind as a single gameworld, a vision that requires the integration of vanilla content. To do otherwise means artificially separating vanilla content from our lands and thus breaking the illusion that Morrowind exists as a single unified fantasy experience. For example, keeping the content of Tribunal separate from the larger city of Almalexia constrains our ability to portray it as the cultural center of House Indoril. What sense does it make for the heart of Great House Indoril’s city, the Mournhold of Tribunal, to have not one single member of House Indoril walking its streets, and instead house dozens of outlanders? To fully take advantage of Morrowind as a storytelling and world-building platform, we feel we must modify Bethesda’s original material to fit alongside our own. There must be one Morrowind, not “Vvardenfell, Mournhold, and everything else.”

All of that said, we wish to summarize our intentions as follows:

  • We intend to avoid conflict with other mods whenever possible, and we do not intend to remove original content without replacing it. This policy is important to us, as we do not want to discourage people from downloading and using Tamriel Rebuilt.
  • Mournhold as depicted in Tribunal will not be a part of Tamriel Rebuilt’s final product. We intend to re-implement its content in time in the main world space, but not in an identical arrangement to its depiction in Tribunal. While Tribunal functioned as a stand-alone world space, it does not meet the needs of our project.
  • We have found a way to disable the Dark Brotherhood attack script without creating load error incompatibility with any other mod or save game. We will enable this in the first release of TR_Mainland.esm to contain Almalexia. Any character which has already been attacked by the Dark Brotherhood will still be able to access Tribunal’s Mournhold, and a plug-in will be distributed with the release that re-enables the Dark Brotherhood attacks script.
  • Over time, similar policies which change vanilla and increase incompatibility with other mods will be announced. While Tamriel Rebuilt does not enjoy being incompatible with other mods, please recognize that Tamriel Rebuilt is the most extensive modification to the world space that exists for Morrowind and it cannot be universally compatible with all modifications.

We have one last point. Over the years, Tamriel Rebuilt has changed, but so too has the larger modding community. There was a time that Tamriel Rebuilt could not be discussed on the official forums because of flame wars initiated by people who had nothing better to do than to tear down a hobbyist project because its goals were unrealistic. Now, Tamriel Rebuilt is widely recognized as one of the most important mods that exists for Morrowind. Please continue to put your trust in us as we attempt to steer our project toward even greater things.