Narsis interior survey: part 8 "St Meris Square"

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Vern's picture
Vern
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2018-08-13 09:52
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1 hour 47 min ago

Part 8 of the Narsis int survey

All devs are encouraged to look through and comment.

https://www.tamriel-rebuilt.org/claims/old-forum-interiors-narsis <files can be downloaded here and are also compartmentalised for ease of navigation.

Key

GOOD: only personal taste concerns, can be merged

OKAY: minor errors that can be fixed after its merged.

NEEDS WORK: Should be fixed as its own claim and then re-reviewed

DOESN'T FIT EXTERIOR/SHELL: Needs to be fixed as its own claim and re-reviewed

SCRAP IT: Needs a new claim be opened to replace it.

TR_i6-104: Read
Number 1 on the map. In brief, there are too many issues practical and conceptual with the council hall and its design to advocate for it to be used in Narsis or anywhere else in current TR. The practical concerns are as follows, 90% of the layout is kitbashed to the detriment of clutter and space, the huge number of kitbashed furniture arrangements (images to be provided in the comments) would need to be stripped out and replaced, lighting is a mess throughout and large parts are simply not cluttered properly. Conceptually its design simplys comes off as a more boring take on either the Parliment of bugs with the presentation of the council chmaber or the Ald Skar with it being underground, which leads into another issue in that House Hlaalu are supposed to build upwards, being about show and excess and this is the opposite being built down and quite empty, which I must admit was the best TR could do with the limitations at the time but we dont have those limitations so should not feel beholden to them now, especially with the modular set and all the assets available to us.
Shell: ex_hlaalu_b_24 and two ex_hlaalu_b_15's built into the mount.

TR_i6-105-hla: Needs work
Number 2 on the map. More conceptual than anything else this “Imperial society of investors” is clearly a leftover from before we were working with PC and feels off with out current world building, from a pure design perspective though this could easily get transferred over as an office of the Council Company or maybe just a hall of records type deal, I'd be leary of making it the office of the EEC since that should probably be larger and use Imperial stuff, same goes for Briacca who would also need the addition of a vault, clutter for tellers ect. The paperwork also should be checked and any that overlap with the generic ones should be replaced, flora replaced with shipal varities, a general clutter update and a pathgrid.
Shell: ex_hlaalu_b_24

TR_i6-106-Hla: Scrap it
Number 3 on the map. This one falls well short of what is to be expected of its residents, it is seriously lacking in clutter and its design is boring, the cobbling just takes away space and distracts from other things, the servants quarters is especially under-done. As the home of the founding and oft ruling clan, this place was due an exterior revamp anyway but this would be bad even as a general high end manor.
Shell: ex_hlaalu_b_12-ex_hlaalu_b_27-ex_hlaalu_b_11-ex_hlaalu_b_06-T_De_SetHla_X_BasementNarsis_01

TR_i6-107-hla: Scrap it
Number 4 on the map. The Ducal palace was up for a redo anyway and the cluttering here doesnt really work for any location this small anyway, the servants quarters is also underwhelming so neither of these really seem worth keeping.
Shell:ex_hlaalu_b_06 (manor) ex_hlaalu_b_27 (servants)

TR_i6-108-hla: Needs work
Number 5 on the map: The tower portion is pointless and looks weird so should be removed making this fit the origonal ex_hlaalu_b_14 shell type, after that, needs its flora updated to shipal appropriate choices, a clutter pass and pathgrid.
Shell: ex_hlaalu_b_14-ex_hlaalu_b_13

TR_i6-109: scrap it
Number 6 on the map. There are a few decent ideas and some good cluttering in places, but the over-all design makes this one pretty hard to justify keeping. Even barring continued discussions as to the proper leader of the house, this manor would be up for a revamp anyway so voting for a fresh start.
Shell: ex_hlaalu_b_24

TR_i6-110-Hla: Needs work
Number 7 on the map. This one has potential, needs its cluttering updated and the jewelers workshop I'd recommend making a basement level for and having the middle floor just as a showroom, but this seems workable. Needs a pathgrid.
Shell: ex_hlaalu_b_06

TR_i6-111-hla: Scrap it
Number 8 on the map. I am tempted to just say “needs work” but the absences here would require gutting out the middle and lower floors and re-cluttering them which at that point a claimant might as well get a new shell with better space to work with instead of working around an old one.
Shell: ex_hlaalu_b_12

TR_i6-112-Hla: Needs work
Number 9 on the map. Closer to recommending this be scrapped, but some of the rooms are well cluttered and might be worth taking either for use in a new manor or apartments. However the over-all layout is just somewhat non-sensical.
Shell: ex_hlaalu_b_21

Vern's picture
Vern
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Last seen:
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Due to the gravity of the Council Hall being removed I have also collected the opinions of several devs as well as several choice examples of the cobbling going on collected by Miner and Chef.

“Hoooooly shit what an interior. I love and hate it to the core of my being, some of the exterior cobbling is amazing, the central area of the council hall is great, but 80% of it is awful. The ferns and furniture-braziers are so awful but also impressive, that room with the ext walls used as a ceiling, this is the work of deranged genius. I don't think it can be rescued at all, or rather, it would be unfair to whoever ended up having to fix it.” -Sirrah

"I really don't like the kit bashed aesthetics. And the Hlaalu being underground goes against their characterisation. They have wealth and they are not afraid to show it. The Council Hall should be a large building that you can see from anywhere in Narsis and the surrounding area (such as when walking around Shipal Shin that surrounds the city)." - Cicero

“All I did was playtest it in openmw and I encountered quite a few sins: Doesn't fit exterior? check Terrible, baffling cobbling, especially using exterior pieces? check Lighting that is ridiculously dark outside of two areas where it is brighter than the surface of the sun? check They cobbled together those awful chair lamps and didn't even bother to scale down the fire so the effect isn't bleeding through the top of the chair Speaking of chairs, in the lounge they just bled the back of one into the wall for stylistic effect.” -Myxinidae

“The rotated canal ceiling looks bad with all the tiling foundation textures, and the lack of wood supports. Lots of bridges and ext walls used to make fancy looking side walls but they just look like a mess of vertex color seams and non matching textures. In the foyer there's a velothi fresco with its in_v pillars, and a massive cluster of different colored lights that I don't even know the purpose of. (https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/597550552217550867/73006963407362...) Wooden chandeliers are cobbled even though a vanilla asset for them exists, and then there's the chair fires.” -Chef

Alright, so the way I see it this is supposed to resemble a parliamentary chamber. This is a good basis for a council hall, for sure, particularly one which is supposed to work like a chamber of commerce or a very large guild. Where it fails is, I think, the details - the underground concept (we are currently building Narsis up not down) - the cavern concept (reminds me too much of a less impressive version of the Parliament of Bugs) - and the greco-roman style (liberally placing columns where they have no business being). That three-bit doorway is something specifically worth pointing out, as are the trees on top of the cliff, which are fairly absurd. In the end, these details add up to too much cruft.” -Atra
 

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MinerMan60101's picture
MinerMan60101
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I took a few hours to look through the Council Hall and noted my thoughts as I went. It ended up being a Gnomey post though...

This is an enormous claim, comprising of 5686 references over 14 interior cells. It is also filled to the brim with cobbling. Almost every shell has its walls and ceilings made with various exterior pieces, and in addition there are so many furniture pieces used for wildly different purposes. I think nearly every instance of the latter cobbling is not worthwhile and should be replaced, since even players can recognize that these are stools and so on which will break their immersion. The shell cobbling makes the interiors look like a jumbled mess in the CS which makes is hard on questers.

Occasionally it looks decent ingame, like the slightly lowered floors, but at the cost of having entire defensive walls for a mere two inches of them. I think the worst looking case of this is "Hlaalu Council North Tower" which can speak for itself. One of the more prevelant cases of cobbling is multi-level walls which can be replaced with the T_De_SetHla_I_Ledge set and T_De_SetHla_I_Wall_Onesided_01. In both towers and the ducal meeting chambers, there are parts of them have off to be off to the side with load doors because the cobbling would otherwise bleed into it. In other interiors in TR, like the Talos Tower, the same happens except the separate parts are just lowered from where they should be.

This claim is just enormous, going far into the mountain from its currently humble exterior. It begins with a foyer that branches off into the two large towers and an enormous Council Hall. This is a total dead end and you instead have to go through the towers to get to the remaining 10 interiors. Starting with the south, going up to the top of the tower brings you to the HoH's Office, which while the same size as the tower, is for some reason misaligned. The top of the north tower brings you to the Duke's offices which is aligned with the tower. Then going down to the basement of either tower brings you to the large "Hlaalu Council Sub-Level". This one links to three 'sub offices', a hall of records, and a lounge. The offices, if not all three, could just be a part of the interior in the first place. Finally it links to the Hlaalu Vaults, whose door is unceremoniously in a corner at the end of a wide hall.

The hall of records is my favorite part of this interior, with tall shelves of books and scaled down crates of documents, but it still suffers from cobbling throughout including an exterior stair whose stairs don't go down far enough, making a large step at the bottom. The interior is also poorly positioned and collides with the outer interior. The vault starts with an office and leads to the vault proper, which has a central section of eight branches of seven identical looking paths and the entrance. Six go to small rooms and the seventh, right across from the entrance goes to the main room. A more linear setup could benefit this. The final room is a bit underwhelming, and I think taking inspiration from the Hlaalu vault in Vivec and Ebon Tower's vault would help here. The other six rooms siphening off the loot is a contributing factor.

After spending a good few hours looking at the interior across two sessions, I don't think the cobbling is very worthwhile, especially the furniture pieces and the exterior pieces. However I think the interior still has a large number of good ideas. One approach to updating this would be to make completely new interior shells for many of the interiors, and possibly changing how they are linked. The cluttering doesn't seem problematic where I've looked and should be carried over to the final interior without issue, except for a number of empty vases on small tables which seem weird to me.

The idea of the entrance branching off into towers works, but having the Council Hall just be a dead end feels off, and I doubt that interior can fit into the rock of the cliff this is built into. It should definitely be downsized, and I wonder if moving the hall to the foyer and expanding that area would work better. Regardless, the most important interior cell should route to the rest of it instead of two purposeless side towers.

I feel a great claim to compare this to is the Ebon Tower Palace, which also has two towers that lead to the rest of the interiors and quite a bit of cobbling, and works as the main claim overall. An element of that I think is direly needed is to make use of the exterior, which helps make that massive tower far more navigable and would help here. While I have not looked through every inch of the interior, I think my points about the overall composition of the interior have been thought out. I didn't put too much focus into the composition of this writeup, nor did I talk about each interior so sorry about that.

Whatever final form this interior takes, I want it to be a good one, and hopefully my thoughts can help lead to that.