A quick re-intro and a few notes

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oldChimer's picture
oldChimer
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Warm Tear,
it's been a while since I've been here and I apologize for not stating two years ago that I had to take a longer time-out; things made me focus completely elsewhere.  However, as I noted over the past few weeks, there was no actual progress here, either — at least, not in the gamer-visible corner of new content.  So what I feared after listening to the discord chat two years ago happened: instead of streamlining the efforts and finalizing the two most-anticipated parts of MML („Morrowind Mainland”) which directly merge into the original game content, Almalexia and the border region to the northern Argonian Swamps (where Sotha Sil's Clockwork City is supposed to be), things are about voice acting, Elder Scrolls Online lore (which has no place at all in Morrowind lore) and other irrelevant stuff, with the exception of the „E-e-excuse me”-problem and similar direct MW←→TR issues.
  As developer as well as a gamer, two years of „nothingness” (from the user's view) and occupation with completely irrelevant stuff like ESO lore, merging assets with two unrelated projects, and unnecessary renamings or replacements, I was about to consider TR as being in the process of dying again, since parts of it seem to head into nowhere and stay there.  Especially since the „spring” release announcement appears not to be fulfilled, too, and shifted yet again into the future, with as much – or as little – progress as in the releases before.
I hope I am wrong, but I will watch a while before I decide whether to actively join again, since a good batch of the changes which happened are not really to my liking – I am sorry for having to say that, but I prefer to be honest. 
So, for now, be well, and good luck with the project!

Gnomey's picture
Gnomey
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Technically there are twelve days to go for Spring yet, though the release will certainly be a buzzer beater even if it meets that deadline. The main hold-ups are in quest implementation and, first and foremost, testing/reviewing, as there are dozens of new quests in the release.
When it does get done, the release certainly won't be like the last few ones, as it adds a significant (due in large part to Old Ebonheart and the amount of activity going on there) playable area to TR_Mainland.
As far as Discord discussion goes, all sorts of things get discussed there on a daily basis, and on the whole the amount of activity there has left the forums less active. Lots of irrelevant stuff does get discussed, but specifically sharing assets with two other projects has given us a lot of high-quality assets that we have used in Old Ebonheart and will be able to use more as we head west.

Either way, nice to have you around again, and for the rest, I hope the results (when they come) will speak for themselves.

Rot's picture
Rot
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You are entirely wrong and the claim and asset browsers of this website are public, so you could have figured out as much in less time than it took to write that post.

oldChimer's picture
oldChimer
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Gnomey, thanks for the welcome.  And I need to state to Rot (and possibly others) that I didn't say „you fools did nothing”, but „there is nothing (much) of new things which is relevant to players”.  I am well aware of the re-tint of one region and ongoing work in several others.  But, alas, those are among those things which are, by and large, irrelevant, because they scatter forces where it makes no sense.  At least, not now, not until the landscape gaps in the release are closed and the land from the eastern coast to the Thirr is in almost-released state (not speaking of the entire Thirr, of course, that would be a little much, although it would make the most sense).   It looks like work if there are claims worked at in this region and that one and over there too, but it gets nowhere as long as those claims aren't directly adjacent to each other and directly adjacent to the currently released sections.  That's not Getting It Done, that's jig-sawing about here and there and even throwing up discussions on several regions at once when there should be a general focus on one single region at any given time.
A quick explanation to my position could be that there are posts about thoughts on ESO lore on the Tamriel Rebuilt TESIII Morrowind Mainland front page — as usual, Bethesda changed the TES lore once again (as with every single TES game) to fit it into its MMORPG hack'n'slay.  For instance, in official lore up to TES V the period „-1000 before Jagar Thorn” had nothing to do with a massive, Tamriel-wide faction war or a similarly massive incursion from oblivion.  Hence, everything invented for ESO must be seen as irrelevant as far as TESIII is concerned (or vanilla TES as a whole).
Another explanation is that the assets merger with SotH and Argonia does only make sense as far as the border regions of those three nations are concerned, and could have been solved in a different way which might have spared a lot of time which, in turn, could have been used to get some heavy-duty work on the dormant regions or known issues in the publicly released „finished” parts.  Same goes for a good batch of renaming and other.  Don't get me wrong, I don't say consolidation and cleaning up are wrong, on the contrary.  But it has to happen in the right places to be efficient.  Items and statics from all three mods could have been thrown together later, when there is enough of a playable and enjoyable mod in all three of the projects; it would have made more sense to let each project continue with its own set of assets and cross-depend or include addition-mods requiring the foreign asset files, if necessary.  For TR as a project, this has been a major drawback in both time and manpower.
Well, enough of ranting criticisms.  I hope everyone understands that this is meant in a constructive, good-natured way.

The more I venture into the realms of wisdom, the more I realize that all wisdom is nothing but illusionary and theoretical.
So, in order to go completely illiterate and bogus, I need to know more about everything.

Fürst Thal's picture
Fürst Thal
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I dont understand some of your criticism. Please tell me if I understood anything wrong.

1. We are working on stuff outside of the next realese area because its pretty much finished and only one guy at a time can work on it. To say that 5 dudes should wait for a year with their work just so that one can finish the next realese area seems pretty inefficient to me. So its neither scattering forces nor is it irrelevant.

2. The asset merger was good and neccesery as it became a nuissance that assets needed to be created 3 times for each project and also because its good to make this stuff earlier than latter when the people who are willing to may be gone or its too much work for people to be motivated enough. 

Rot's picture
Rot
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oldChimer

there is nothing (much) of new things which is relevant to players”.

You are entirely wrong and the claim and asset browsers of this website are public, so you could have figured out as much in less time than it took to write that post.

Repeated for truth and so devs working on the release don't think they have to waste time reading or replying to this

oldChimer's picture
oldChimer
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Hi, Fürst Thal! Well, there was some misunderstanding here — to your points:
1. Those five aren't put to wait or excluded in any way, only all of their claims outside of the designated next-release(s)-region(s) would be put on hold until the according area is eligibile for the next actively-worked-on region.  After all, working on a project together does not mean „I do only the things I care about”, but „I am part of the team and do the work which needs to be done and which I have the competence for”, so those fictional five people ought to be team players in any case (and to be willing to learn things to help where needed).  Instead, they'd be working on free claims in the currently „active” area or doing stuff nobody else has the time for or where additional hands are needed (QA, quests, scripts, dialogue, spelling errors and minor mistakes, history lore check-ups etc).  Efficiency is not having half of the people work on Skyrim borders and Hlaalu, but having everybody work on southern and western Indoril and northern deshaan, up to the Thirr, with a „prep” group already giving finishing touches to outdoors and generic NPCs in western Thirr and below the „current” Deshaan region.  When the region is released, heavy-duty work shifts to western Thirr and deeper into Deshaan, and the prep'ers go farther outward again.  That way, with each release, the borders of the official release are shifted outward with every release, not with one in five or ten.  This gives the developers a real feeling of having accomplished something which players can enjoy and give feedback upon, and to the players the idea that the project is alive and blooming instead of dormant or dead.  Speaking of mutual, continuous motivation by doing it in a sensible way with smaller, but visible, playable results all along the way.
2. There was no need for it!  Especially not for creating additional asset files, which is really a stupid thought (no offense intended).  Simply creating plug-ins alike to TR_ Travel which require the other project's asset files and put them into the playable world of the other mods would have been more than enough!  Example: the modders of the Argonia mod create argonia_mwassets.esp, those of SHotN create skyrim_mwassets.esp, both of which have a dummy TR_Morrowind.esm as its second master (which, in turn, is used to make the contents of TR_Morrowind.bsa available) and, as a result, can place MW mainland stuff into the game.  Same goes the other way around.  If the players want to, they can replace the dummy Morrowind esm with the release file, since they probably have downloaded it as well along with the resources.  Unifying resources can be done when all three of the projects have enough of common borders and quests and form a real land mass.  When there really is a major update of asset files or esm structures, there'll be brief, but intense loads of work for any project to adjust to that, anyways, so there's no real negative catch.

@Rot: A good lot of the claims have been active for ages and not been closed-and-ready-to-merge.  So where's the point in being proud of a huge list of incomplete claims all over the worldspace?  In your stead, I'd be proud if there were, say, one or two hundred claims and more than 90% of them completed and relevant for the next release and the one following it.  There's no need to be pissed just because you don't like my opinion, or even find a little truth in it to your dismay.  I am not into making personal fights from a simple statement of opinion.  I am respecting yours, as you should do with mine.  We disagree, end of it.  And that the developers neither wish to nor have the time to bother to read/answer here is a good sign, from either point of view.

The more I venture into the realms of wisdom, the more I realize that all wisdom is nothing but illusionary and theoretical.
So, in order to go completely illiterate and bogus, I need to know more about everything.

Kevaar's picture
Kevaar
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Every so often we'll get someone asking why the mod isn't being done quicker. The answer invariably is, if you want something done, then best learn about the CS and modelling and file-managing and writing and so on so you can help out--and then you may better understand WHY it's taking so long. Games by fulltime paid dev teams can take 5+ years to create. We're all unpaid and doing this in whatever free time we have left over after jobs, family, and other IRL pursuits, and our mod is 2-3 times the size of the base game (more if you count the PT provinces).

Much of the development chat now happens on Discord (link available on the Community tab) as well which is why you aren't seeing much here. Closed or merged claims also disappear off the main page, so of course you would see only the ones that have gone unclaimed for a long time. As stated before, they have gone unclaimed because they are of lower priority than the OE release. So...we are already doing what you suggest in focusing on one area for releases, so I don't understand many of your criticisms.

Put bluntly, I think because you're not involved in the developing side of things and don't see half our inner workings, your feedback is not entirely relevant or helpful. If you can tell us how this effects your play experience--like problems downloading the mod, playing it, etc, that's something we can make use of. If you can tell us about Public Relations and about how we're not posting news topics that are of interest or that don't make sense, that can be helpful too (though understand most of us would prefer to mod than post about our modding). But critiquing our release structure or file-managing--well, telling a football player how to play when you've never played yourself is about as sensible.

Fürst Thal's picture
Fürst Thal
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About point 1:

Thats what where doing. Except for very small stuff we focus on the areas that are next going to realesed. Roth Roryn and Lake Andaram namly.

About point 2:

We dont create any additional files. The updating of all these different data files also takes much time and makes it problematic to have one asset in more than one province mod. Which is another reason it was unified. It makes it easier to manage, which is still a problem and would be an even bigger one without the merge.

The Violet Euphemism's picture
The Violet Euphemism
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Hi, I'm not going to retread most of what others have said, as they've summed their points up pretty well I feel, however one thing that certainly could go with repeating is that if you want to project to move faster than the easiest way to help in that regard is to sumbit a showcase and work on it with us.

The reason questing has been a bottleneck in the current Old Ebonheart release is that IIRC there's about 57 quests in the release section, that's roughly 1/4th of the amount quests in the last TR_Mainland release (1709). Each one of those quests not only have to be made (all of them that's going to be in are done), but also rigorously playtested & bugfixed on top of that. Currently what's left to be fixed & merged are Mages Guild, Thieves Guild, Stendarr Tower Haunting, and Freedom For a Fiend, the Imperial Cult, East Empire Company, Imperial Legion, and Fighters Guild questlines have all been merged along with all of the dialogue and various other side quests.

That doesn't sound like such a bottleneck but the thing to keep in mind is Mages Guild has 6? quests to it - one of which is very complex and practically its own questline altogether - and Thieves Guild has 10 quests to it. That's still a total of 18 quests left to go that we need to fix as many errors as possible.

As far as things outside of the upcoming release is concerned, the rest of the Aanthiran Region is mostly done with except for quests (not as many as in the upcoming release as that was a special case), dialogue, detailing, and some minor exterior overhauling I think. I doubt it'll take another 5 or so years to release it as it did OE (keep in mind, the reason why OE took so long is in large part due to the project being on lifesupport for a year or two if I'm not mistaken), the release after that that we're currently planning is Roth Roryn, Ascadian Bluffs, and probably Armun Ashlands, which will likely be another  bottleneck due to Andothren and its required quest & dialogue work, although only time will tell I guess. If we had more modders to help out *wink wink nudge nudge* then things will go a lot smoother. However, it's not like these next two planned releases haven't been being worked on either, Roa Dyr has gotten its (most likely) final overhaul to match the final Indoril plans, Roth Roryn's exteriors have gone under a massive rework that looks fantastic and will probably be a lot better on performance, and some of the remaining dungeons in Roth Roryn have also been claimed and are in active development.

As for exterior work outside of the next few releases, Lake Andaram is coming along very nicely and some of its interiors have already been under development. Several of the exterior claims being done and just needing a proper review, whether that'll happen before or after the release only time will tell (probably after tbh, as we're too focused on the upcoming release and its too close for us to worry about them atm).

I hope this answers some of your questions. If you still don't think that's enough please pick up the CS and help out, we could use the help and many of the issues we're dealing with that have caused the bottleneck can only be truly understood once you know what we're dealing with (being told about it doesn't do it justice, the same way being told about a piece of machinery doesn't equate to knowing how it functions).

Rawr.

oldChimer's picture
oldChimer
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Yes, I quite understand and accept the reasoning (and the heated feelings, since we're all humans).  Nonetheless, I have been using the CS for several years to create content of most types, so I am not somebody who is trying to tell a soccer player how to play soccer or a worker at a factories' belt-feed station who tells the techie that something is broken; I'd be one of the players or the techie, respectively.  And I know how long it can take to do or fix things; it is not by accident that the previous teams took intervals of several years between releases (that's the problem with the „every-year-a-release-no-matter-whether-it-makes-any-sense” approach which is so popular these days — most new stuff is under the hood, many things are incomplete or broken because of haste and deadlines, and thus neither seeable by nor of any value to the „consumer” ;-) ).  But you got one important thing wrong: I never meant „do all at once”, which isn't even sensible or purposeful.  I meant „feed the hungry masses”, which is to be read as „give them something to play with, even if it is without quests and full dialogue”.  And there are some things in my previous posts that virtually all of you have seriously misread, so I'd politely request that you'd read them again, especially concerning the asset files on one side and the feed-the-masses aspect I mentioned earlier on another.  And to keep in mind that none of it is a complaint or an accusation, but merely a viewpoint from a look-from-the-outside impression.
As to helping out: I am tempted, but currently, my time is quite limited (as can be seen by the infrequence of my logins, for example).  As is yours, I'd guess, if you ever want to get the release out before sylvester ;-))  So I guess, we'd better quit chit-chatting and go back to work to invest a few minutes more into it *lg*.

The more I venture into the realms of wisdom, the more I realize that all wisdom is nothing but illusionary and theoretical.
So, in order to go completely illiterate and bogus, I need to know more about everything.