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RyanS
Lead Developer
19 Aug 2013

Location: California

I've decided to put together this planning document for the distributions and concepts of dungeons. While it may be incomplete in some sections, I think what is displayed should be good enough for the moment.

Thoughts are welcome. Smile

EDIT:
I'm providing a link to the document on google docs so that anyone can view what progress is being made. All advice and information for the WIP is appreciated.

DUNGEON DISTRIBUTIONS AND CONCEPTS

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Last edited by RyanS on Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:46 am; edited 2 times in total
Post Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:49 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Ironed Maidens
Developer
23 Feb 2008



So long as we don't use it as a strict basis I am okay with it. The only issue I have is that with Daedric ruins there can only be so much rare loot otherwise it provides too many easy routes for new characters to go in and get powerful. I think that smaller shrines could be considered upper-low-level (level 4 or 5) while larger ones could certainly prove a challenge to even a level 7 or 8 character. I think the important thing to remember is that, on average, once the player reaches level 10 or 11 they are very likely to be god-like, and the amazing thing about TR is there is the ability to make areas that are both interesting and very hard up to even level 15 characters; not by just throwing powerful enemies by the boatload, but by having expansive places, puzzles, and intriguing plotlines to guide them along. As they say in Morrowind, "Variety is the spice of life." and that holds true to everything development has to offer.

From the dungeon types, to regional planning, to House planning, to models and quests and books and etc etc; it is important to keep things up in the air for every player. And THAT is what makes Morrowind vanilla so great. You could find artifacts hidden beneath a bed at an inn, or go through a very large Dwemer ruin and not find any loot out of the ordinary, but maybe get to read a few interesting long lost books about the Dwemer in the process. The payoff doesn't always have to be gold or items. It made players always second-guess themselves before passing by any dungeon. "Should I really skip this cave? There could be a nice shield in it..."

And by this point in time everyone who's everyone knows where every artifact is on Vvardenfell, and every secret merchant, and every good place to find equipment. But with TR, I think the best thing to do is keep in mind that we should assume people will load up the mod with a new character and not even bother with Vvardenfell, they will go straight to the Mainland, and from there the experience is new to them. They don't know where the Daedric longsword is, or which cave has Eldion's Ward, or where Keening and Sunder are. They are blind to it, and honestly we have the luxury of being able to take even more time and put more thought and care and love and effort into it all than Bethesda ever did. That's part of the reason why I hate the fact that people here are opposed to new tilesets for poor Indoril architecture, or getting new meshes for Indoril ruins, or even new meshes for barrows or Daedric ruins; WHY NOT? Time, yes. I get it. It's hard to get new meshes made and we need to work NOW. But that doesn't mean it should just be disregarded all together. That's a bit of a tangent but it still applies to the very same idea.

With dungeons where should be a general guideline on what the dungeon functions as and what to fill it with as far as enemies, but each story behind each dungeon and the rewards and locations to be found should be taken into account dependently.
Post Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:58 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

You raise many good points, Ironed Maidens. Naturally, not every dungeon needs to follow a concept mold strictly. They can vary in terms of loot and difficulty within the general range of the region.
Quote:
That's part of the reason why I hate the fact that people here are opposed to new tilesets for poor Indoril architecture, or getting new meshes for Indoril ruins, or even new meshes for barrows or Daedric ruins; WHY NOT?
Opposition to the poor Indoril architecture stems from there not being a clear use for such a set within the mod anymore. There are no "poor" Indoril. The Indoril in our mod are aristocratic lords, clerks and lawyers who rule over the commoners of their land. These commoners dwell in traditional Velothi and shack dwellings, and the lack of a poor version of the Mournhold tileset puts emphasis on the social and cultural divide between them and their lords.

No one to my knowledge is opposed outright to new meshes for existing tilesets. We simply don't have anyone around to make them. We'd gladly accept new pieces if they were provided - like the barrow pieces Worsas gave us from Skyrim: Home of the Nords.

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Post Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:47 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
RyanS
Lead Developer
19 Aug 2013

Location: California

Ironed Maidens wrote:
So long as we don't use it as a strict basis I am okay with it.
Absolutely.
Ironed Maidens wrote:
As they say in Morrowind, "Variety is the spice of life." and that holds true to everything development has to offer.
Again, I fully agree. It should be known that the document is not dismissing variety or creativity. Instead, it is showing the basic concepts of the dungeons, and those concepts can easily be expanded upon.
Ironed Maidens wrote:
But with TR, I think the best thing to do is keep in mind that we should assume people will load up the mod with a new character and not even bother with Vvardenfell, they will go straight to the Mainland, and from there the experience is new to them.
I can't easily agree with this statement. I constantly find myself drifting into Vvardenfell before going to the mainland. I guess it's just the thought of knowing that the land is already complete, official, and fully thought out. Also, keep in mind that most players want to finish the main quest before too long, and will likely stick around for that reason.
Ironed Maidens wrote:
With dungeons where should be a general guideline on what the dungeon functions as and what to fill it with as far as enemies, but each story behind each dungeon and the rewards and locations to be found should be taken into account dependently.
Yep. And the document follows those guidelines. Very Happy
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Post Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:35 am Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I've moved an off-topic discussion about Indoril and Velothi architecture to the The Indoril problem thread. I opted to move it there rather than to the generic Indoril brainstorming thread as the topic at hand was originally dealt with in the former thread.

A few notes on the document itself; I plan to visit a lot of these dungeon types in more detail further down the line, but this is basically the gist of my current thoughts on dungeon purposes and implementation:

On the gameplay side of things, one slight change I'd make to the difficulty map would be to make Alt Orethan green as well. I doubt either the Indoril or the Ordinators would allow the land around their sacred capital to harbour dangers to its citizens.

On the story side of things, one thing to keep in mind with pre-Tribunal ruins are the major geographical changes wrought to Morrowind around the time of the War of the First Council; primarily the creation of the Inner Sea (though this may have happened later, the point still stands) and the covering of much of Morrowind with ash. Before then, what is now the Inner Sea would have probably supported a very large population indeed, and ashlands would have been plains which -- even if they may have been too arid to support proper agriculture in some cases -- would have supported bug herding populations.
As such, a lot of dungeons that would have traditionally been found near places of settlement would now be located in the middle of ashlands or around the coastlines.

Daedric Ruins: keep in mind that these were Chimer places of worship. While half of them could reasonably have been built in out-of-the-way places, which might have served as secluded sanctuaries of special cults, (such as the ancient Morag Tong), a lot of them -- perhaps the majority -- would have been built near Chimer settlements. While, as above, some of those would now be located in out-of-the-way places as well, others would be in places still very suited to settlement.
This can be seen very well on Vvardenfell; note especially Ald Sotha, which is right next to the current settlement of Vivec; the ruins of the shrine of Boethiah and the string of ruins to the south, which would have overlooked the lower Thirr in their day; and the ruins of the northern ashlands, which I'll discuss further down.

In Morrowind dialogue, it's mentioned (if I remember correctly) that the Temple had kept Daedric ruins clear in the past but, in more recent times, has been distracted by other developments, allowing cultists to reestablish themselves in certain shrines. Now while this worked very well for Vvardenfell, and many other parts of Morrowind, I think it's less convicing when you get to low-level areas like the Thirr River Region and (as I propose above) Alt Orethan. To address this, we decided to simply not place a lot of Daedric ruins in these areas, but now that I think about it I think this solution is fairly weak as far as story is concerned, as those regions would have traditionally been settled by Chimer, and consequently one would expect a lot of Daedric ruins.
With that in mind, I'd actually consider having a sub-type of Daedric ruins for these locations, either completely lacking interiors or with only small interiors, and at most filled with random critters rather than Daedra. These surface ruins would both show the former presence of Daedra worship in those regions, while at the same time also showing how House Indoril and the Temple have striven to bring order to Morrowind and keep the peace.

Aside from that, I think the distribution of Daedric creatures as well as Daedric princes in ruins across Morrowind will need to be discussed in greater detail, but that will probably best be done in the separate thread.

Dunmer Strongholds: First of all, I've quoted GT Noonan on this before and I'll do it again:
GT Noonan on Dunmer Strongholds wrote:
Best Westerns. The were basically fortified stronghold/checkpoint/hotels for travelers. There are no records of any of the strongholds ever being held under siege or used in any battles/wars, but it is quite possible that they were used for warriors as layover posts while travelling.
Dunmer strongholds seem to be a transitional development between the earlier nomadic lifestyle still represented by the Ashlanders and the sedentary lifestyle of the Great Houses. From their construction, association with Ashlanders and placement on Vvardenfell, I think they should generally be located on plains. Or places which used to be plains, of course, like the Inner Sea.
This is where the northern ashlands of Morrowind come in again; they are plains dotten by plenty of Daedric ruins as well as strongholds. There's even Valenvaryon, an atypical stronghold composed of a series of huts on a platform, which appears to represent a stage between traditional strongholds-as-layover-posts and permanent House settlements.

Imperial Ruins: I'd actually go the opposite direction. A good argument has been made for a string of Imperial ruins in eastern Morrowind; that they were built as a line of defence against Akavir, but that in the end it proved too much of a hassle to maintain them when they clearly weren't welcome by the locals, so they were abandoned, and instead eastern Morrowind is treated as a buffer zone while the new line of defence has been established along the Thirr/the Inner Sea. I see no reason why Imperials would have abandoned forts in western Morrowind, though an argument could perhaps be made for the border between Morrowind and Argonia.

Indoril Ruins: I still need to revisit the old thread I made on OE ruins, now that I have a bit more hands-on experience with the set thanks to my work on the buffer zone, but basically I think we should have different types of OE ruins: surface ruins -- or ruins with small interiors -- which represent small settlements, much like the Velothi hamlets; ancestor shrines, somewhere between ancestral tombs and Daedric ruins; and former Indoril Castle-estates, of which there would be very few. (Off the top of my head Dun Aamul, the buffer zone estate, possibly one around/below Andothren, possibly one around/below Old Ebonheart, and Id Vano).
All of these might, and in the case of the castle-estate variety almost all of them will, appear outside of modern Indoril territory, especially in the west, as they present a way of showing that House Indoril used to control certain territories but no longer does.
As a sidenote, as I'm contractually obligated to nitpick every time Durzogs are mentioned, in my opinion they seem to be associated with goblins in Tribunal rather than with OE ruins.

Edit: I almost forgot, as this post already ended up long as it is: as far as variety is concerned, I think pretty much all planning documents should be treated as starting and not ending points. If we establish that an area should have low-level dungeons, I think that should only mean we treat low-level as the default. It allows us to consciously diverge from the norm to provide the player with unique and memorable experiences, rather than having dungeons be an uncoordinated mess with no rhyme or reason to them.
Post Sun May 03, 2015 12:26 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
RyanS
Lead Developer
19 Aug 2013

Location: California

Thanks for this information, Gnomey! I'll be sure to add as much of it as I can in the next version of the document, which is coming very soon. Smile
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Post Sun May 03, 2015 1:31 am Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
RyanS
Lead Developer
19 Aug 2013

Location: California

Sorry it's been so long, but here is the updated document.


DungeonDistributionsandConcepts-V2.pdf
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Post Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:20 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
RyanS
Lead Developer
19 Aug 2013

Location: California

For those who might be wondering, progress on the document continues - just at a slower rate than before. I've edited the top post so that anyone can view the changes being made on google docs. I'll appreciate any given advice as work persists. Smile
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Post Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:55 am Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
RyanS
Lead Developer
19 Aug 2013

Location: California

With the help and contributions from various people on IRC, I've brought this document to a sort of beta stage. If anyone out there feels like commenting on particular topics or adding information to the document, please let me know by posting here on the forums or on the google docs page itself. Just click on the link in the first post to see how things currently stand.
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Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. –Albert Einstein

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Post Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:00 am Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
sasquatch2o
Developer
15 Jul 2014



My main critique is that difficulty should be scaled more exponentially with most things in mainland being at least as difficult as anything on vvardenfell. Or. Scaling up difficulty of red zones on vvardefell.


http://tamriel-rebuilt.org/old_forum/viewtopic.php?t=24291


I posted on this in another thread here with another difficulty map roughed in:


"Regions don't scale high enough for a world as large as TR. Tribunal was meant for characters around level 20 and bloodmoon for 15, more or less depending on what character build. Red regions of highest difficulty should be geared toward the most skilled characters (30+). Within each region there should also be local difficulty variation based on elevation, accessibility and ruin type much like old RPGs. It wouldn't be too cliche for players to assume the further they get from civilization or the deeper or higher they explore the greater the difficulty they should encounter. Much of this is already in sload's document. For example, a secluded and extremely deep and infamous daedric ruin in a red difficulty region should be far more perilous than a relatively more accessible more level daedric ruin, even within the same region type and general difficulty zone."

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Post Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:12 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
NathanJ
Member
30 Aug 2015



Hey guys, ive got some thoughts about this difficulty-thing. Correct me if I got something wrong or so ^-^

Here we go:
TES tries to be a game that is based on an authentic world/universe that is logical in itself. A planet where some peoples arrange themselves in states which inhabitants arrange themselves in factions, build up cities, and so on, just like in the real world - its kind of a fictional alternative to the reality.
And here is the problem: unlike rpgs like torchlight or diablo where its natural to have dungeons designed only to challenge the player (or his avatar), TES has to explain why cave xy is there and occupied by things that want to kill the player.
So inside the TES-world there is no "dungeon-concept", there are only more or less dangerous places - also like in the real world. So maybe its good to check the meaning of ruin/cave... xy inside the lore and then check the specific difficulty that fits into that - even if the player faces an extremely difficult or easy task in order to get through it.

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Post Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:52 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
RyanS
Lead Developer
19 Aug 2013

Location: California

Thanks for the feedback.
sasquatch2o wrote:
My main critique is that difficulty should be scaled more exponentially with most things in mainland being at least as difficult as anything on vvardenfell. Or. Scaling up difficulty of red zones on vvardefell.

I don't exactly think this is a necessary or very plausible approach to region/dungeon difficulty. I'll explain why.

For one, Morrowind's mainland has been settled for thousands of years, and over that time many regions have been made safe by various groups and factions. There are still plenty of unsafe and high-level areas around, though just not enough to make the majority of mainland Morrowind noticeably tougher than Vvardenfell.

Second of all, Morrowind is already difficult enough for most players, and in my mind there isn't much of a need to boost the difficulty from where it is now. Many who download our mod look for a continuation of the experiences and memories that they got on Vvardenfell. While some are looking for an all around tougher experience, the majority of people are not.

Lastly, Vvardenfell is supposed to be among the toughest areas of the province. Making most of the mainland at least as tough wouldn't make much sense. Note, however, that this does not mean I agree with making Vvardenfell more difficult than how it currently is, as you suggested. I think both Vvardenfell and the mainland will serve as big enough challenges if we follow Theminimanx's map. (Which actually was based off of Sload's master plan map)

Don't take the above post as meaning that I disagree with making parts of the mainland more difficult than Vvardenfell. We will likely have more than just a handful of those areas. In fact we already do, and I think we should. Overall, though, making the majority of the mainland tougher than Vvardenfell doesn't seem to me like the right way to go.

These are just my thoughts on the topic. I'll be willing to hear if other people support what you proposed.

As for the rest of your post, I agree for the most part. Just about all of what you have said there has, in fact, already been addressed in the document. If there is anything you think I missed, however, please point it out to me.

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Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. –Albert Einstein

A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others. -Ayn Rand
Post Sat Sep 12, 2015 12:48 am Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

My notes:

Ancestral Tombs:
Liches - we should probably discuss these in future, but I'd hold off of them for now; it's possible that the Temple abhors this form of undead.
Bonelords - associated with Tribunal; maybe in some important tombs...
Daedra could indicate important, much older tombs. Not sure on this.
There may be a bit to be said about layout, but I haven't really looked into it yet.
I've been wondering a little about the ghostfence situation. It's possible that the use of urns containing ashes came about as an answer to ghostfence; the bones are sent to Necrom, while the other remains are cremated and kept in the tombs. As such, it's possible that a lot of mainland tombs should actually look less decrepit. Not to mention that, even if tombs are no longer expanded, families would still take care of their older ancestors.

Caves:
I think caves shouldn't really be associated with a lower level; I think they should just be treated as a very versatile and broad dungeon type that can be used for virtually any situation, whether low-level or high-level. But in regards to specific dungeon types, they would indeed probably have associated levels; no bandits in Daedric armour and such.
Smuggler caves should not be common on the mainland, in my opinion, aside from the coast of the Inner Sea and a few other key locations, such as near Almas Thirr. Bandits, however, should be, naturally.
Natural caves should, for the most part, have a pretty regional distribution, I think; some parts of Uld Vraech and Telvannis may have such a low population that smugglers or bandits wouldn't really make much sense at all.

Daedric Shines:
Vvardenfell Daedric shrines have a pretty strict layout, or at least parts of them do, and I think we should consider going that route as well, though with plenty of exceptions. The layouts are pretty complex, however, as they vary from prince to prince, so there's a lot to look into there.
I think, to a degree, we should consider shrines on a prince-by-prince basis, though specifically the divide between the good and bad Daedra. Each of the good Daedra has a shrine in (or near, in the case of Boethiah) Vvardenfell, but they are very unlike the other shrines, and Mephala's is in the Velothi tileset, so we need to figure out what we want to do with their shrines on the mainland.

Dwarven Ruins:
There may be a bit to be said on the topic of layout, but I doubt there's much. Mainly that layouts should generally be pretty functional, I suppose, with no random hallways that end in dead-ends, unless caved in or something. Though that may be more a question of good dungeon design in general.
Specifically, Dwarven ruins are generally near volcanic activity; there may be a bit of consideration required here.

Imperial Ruins:
A lot of thought needs to be put into these ones, as they're essentially a new dungeon type. As far as layout is concerned, I'd say they should generally evoke legion forts. Also, Tiber Septim either never invaded Morrowind (vanilla lore) or the invasion went really quickly (possibly our lore); the Armistice was signed to avoid a bloody war, not to end one. He may have established some forts in Morrowind directly after the Armistice, but almost certainly not before.

Indoril Ruins:
Indoril ruins should just represent ruined Indoril settlements, or settlements associated with House Indoril. They can be from the first era or the third, as far as I'm concerned. Most ruins would probably date to the late second era, specifically all of the ruins west of the Thirr River intended to indicate past Indoril control of the region.
I think there should be three varieties of OM ruins:
-chapel ruins, including Old Mournhold -- which is somewhat of a special case -- and Dun Akafell (now Dun Aamul), which are generally sprawling and high-level.
-ancestor shrines, in my opinion what the set is best suited for; something between ancestral tombs, Ashlander burials and Daedric temples and very old. Probably high level, likely filled with a mixture of Daedra and undead and really good loot.
-surface (village) ruins, which often represent Velothi ruins rather than Indoril ruins. These either have no interiors or small ones, such as basements. These simply exist to represent former Indoril control, or former prosperity in a region that has since fallen on hard times.
My general dislike of using Durzogs in Morrowind locations is probably clear, but I really don't think we should use them in OM ruins. They were part of Helseth's goblin army he brought with him to Morrowind and hid in the Mournhold sewers, according to Tribunal.

Strongholds:
I disagree with the last point. Before the creation of the Inner Sea, Vvardenfell was connected to the mainland, and was largely fertile. Red Mountain at that time is described as forested, and you can still see petrified trees scattered about the ashlands. I don't think pre-Inner Sea Vvardenfell should be treated as its own region; one would expect western Vvardenfell, which would have been the highlands alongside the vast alluvial plains of what was then the lower Thirr, to have been fairly well populated, northeastern Vvardenfell less so, and southeastern Vvardenfell was probably rugged mountainous terrain with virtually no settlements.

Velothi Towers:
I'd say a few, rather than most, would have been built above the ancient Aldmeri towers; mostly the coastal towers.
Post Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:43 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
RyanS
Lead Developer
19 Aug 2013

Location: California

Gnomey wrote:
My notes:

Ancestral Tombs:
Liches - we should probably discuss these in future, but I'd hold off of them for now; it's possible that the Temple abhors this form of undead.
Bonelords - associated with Tribunal; maybe in some important tombs...
Daedra could indicate important, much older tombs. Not sure on this.
There may be a bit to be said about layout, but I haven't really looked into it yet.
I've been wondering a little about the ghostfence situation. It's possible that the use of urns containing ashes came about as an answer to ghostfence; the bones are sent to Necrom, while the other remains are cremated and kept in the tombs. As such, it's possible that a lot of mainland tombs should actually look less decrepit. Not to mention that, even if tombs are no longer expanded, families would still take care of their older ancestors.

I agree with most of this, though I would think urns have been in use for much longer than the creation of the ghostfence. Also, I believe bonelords should exist in tombs as frequently as they do on Vvardenfell. They aren't too important, and the majority of players find them as easy to subdue as other undead creatures, such as skeletons. Perhaps the TR-made "Greater Bonelords" could be reserved for the more important tombs.

Gnomey wrote:
Caves:
I think caves shouldn't really be associated with a lower level; I think they should just be treated as a very versatile and broad dungeon type that can be used for virtually any situation, whether low-level or high-level. But in regards to specific dungeon types, they would indeed probably have associated levels; no bandits in Daedric armour and such.
Smuggler caves should not be common on the mainland, in my opinion, aside from the coast of the Inner Sea and a few other key locations, such as near Almas Thirr. Bandits, however, should be, naturally.
Natural caves should, for the most part, have a pretty regional distribution, I think; some parts of Uld Vraech and Telvannis may have such a low population that smugglers or bandits wouldn't really make much sense at all.

Agreed. I will add these things to the document.

Gnomey wrote:
Daedric Shines:
Vvardenfell Daedric shrines have a pretty strict layout, or at least parts of them do, and I think we should consider going that route as well, though with plenty of exceptions. The layouts are pretty complex, however, as they vary from prince to prince, so there's a lot to look into there.
I think, to a degree, we should consider shrines on a prince-by-prince basis, though specifically the divide between the good and bad Daedra. Each of the good Daedra has a shrine in (or near, in the case of Boethiah) Vvardenfell, but they are very unlike the other shrines, and Mephala's is in the Velothi tileset, so we need to figure out what we want to do with their shrines on the mainland.

Daedric shrines don't follow a very strict layout other than with the offering chambers. And while many daedric shrines follow a very similar layout on Vvardenfell, many of them do not. So I don't think we should focus on having developers follow any particular layout. I am open to looking into the subject though. I might even do it myself.

I agree about the division between the shrines of good and bad daedra.

Gnomey wrote:
Dwarven Ruins:
There may be a bit to be said on the topic of layout, but I doubt there's much. Mainly that layouts should generally be pretty functional, I suppose, with no random hallways that end in dead-ends, unless caved in or something. Though that may be more a question of good dungeon design in general.
Specifically, Dwarven ruins are generally near volcanic activity; there may be a bit of consideration required here.

I've looked around in the cs and found that dwarven ruins really are randomly made, so we shouldn't focus on making particular layouts. Though of course I agree with not adding random halls and the like.

While many dwarven ruins are near volcanic activity on Vvardenfell, this doesn't exactly apply to the mainland at all. The ruins are numerous in the Velothi Mountains, where there should be little to no volcanic activity. They are also fairly regular in other non-volcanic areas, even on Vvardenfell, where many can be found on the shores of the bitter coast, in the Sheogorad region, and other areas.

Gnomey wrote:
Imperial Ruins:
A lot of thought needs to be put into these ones, as they're essentially a new dungeon type. As far as layout is concerned, I'd say they should generally evoke legion forts. Also, Tiber Septim either never invaded Morrowind (vanilla lore) or the invasion went really quickly (possibly our lore); the Armistice was signed to avoid a bloody war, not to end one. He may have established some forts in Morrowind directly after the Armistice, but almost certainly not before.

I agree that the majority of imperial ruins should follow the imperial fort layouts. However, most were built a few hundred years before the modern forts. So I think we could loosen some constraints with the layout.

And for now I'll add to the document that imperial ruins were built following the armistice. Someone brought up a possibility that the forts could date back to the Reman Empire. I'm not sure what other's thoughts are about that.

Gnomey wrote:
Indoril Ruins:
Indoril ruins should just represent ruined Indoril settlements, or settlements associated with House Indoril. They can be from the first era or the third, as far as I'm concerned. Most ruins would probably date to the late second era, specifically all of the ruins west of the Thirr River intended to indicate past Indoril control of the region.
I think there should be three varieties of OM ruins:
-chapel ruins, including Old Mournhold -- which is somewhat of a special case -- and Dun Akafell (now Dun Aamul), which are generally sprawling and high-level.
-ancestor shrines, in my opinion what the set is best suited for; something between ancestral tombs, Ashlander burials and Daedric temples and very old. Probably high level, likely filled with a mixture of Daedra and undead and really good loot.
-surface (village) ruins, which often represent Velothi ruins rather than Indoril ruins. These either have no interiors or small ones, such as basements. These simply exist to represent former Indoril control, or former prosperity in a region that has since fallen on hard times.
My general dislike of using Durzogs in Morrowind locations is probably clear, but I really don't think we should use them in OM ruins. They were part of Helseth's goblin army he brought with him to Morrowind and hid in the Mournhold sewers, according to Tribunal.

What about the castle-estates? Should those be split into a whole new dungeon type? Or would they be considered a part of one of the above varieties?

With durzogs, I'm not so sure Helseth brought all of them to Mournhold for his 'army.' (Now that I think about it, there are quite a few Wild Durzogs in the sewers) If you have proof on the matter, though, we should probably remove the durzogs from the inlet bog, or whatever we renamed the region to.

Gnomey wrote:
Strongholds:
I disagree with the last point. Before the creation of the Inner Sea, Vvardenfell was connected to the mainland, and was largely fertile. Red Mountain at that time is described as forested, and you can still see petrified trees scattered about the ashlands. I don't think pre-Inner Sea Vvardenfell should be treated as its own region; one would expect western Vvardenfell, which would have been the highlands alongside the vast alluvial plains of what was then the lower Thirr, to have been fairly well populated, northeastern Vvardenfell less so, and southeastern Vvardenfell was probably rugged mountainous terrain with virtually no settlements.

If you were referring to my last point in the paragraph, I agree. If you were referring to the last bullet point, though, I was thinking more that Vvardenfell strongholds have been isolated for much longer than the mainland strongholds. Therefore, they would have been less vulnerable to bandits, outlaws, and the like. I will change my notes in the document to make the matters more clear.

Gnomey wrote:
Velothi Towers:
I'd say a few, rather than most, would have been built above the ancient Aldmeri towers; mostly the coastal towers.

Makes sense. I'll change this in the document.

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Post Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:02 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

RyanS wrote:
Also, I believe bonelords should exist in tombs as frequently as they do on Vvardenfell.
True, when in doubt it's probably better to just follow Vvardenfell conventions.
RyanS wrote:
Daedric shrines don't follow a very strict layout other than with the offering chambers. And while many daedric shrines follow a very similar layout on Vvardenfell, many of them do not. So I don't think we should focus on having developers follow any particular layout. I am open to looking into the subject though. I might even do it myself.
Yeah, the shrine rooms are the main bit I looked into, so I'm not sure about the rest of the interiors; I read that the entrances might be similar in some way, but never really looked into it.
RyanS wrote:
While many dwarven ruins are near volcanic activity on Vvardenfell, this doesn't exactly apply to the mainland at all. The ruins are numerous in the Velothi Mountains, where there should be little to no volcanic activity. They are also fairly regular in other non-volcanic areas, even on Vvardenfell, where many can be found on the shores of the bitter coast, in the Sheogorad region, and other areas.
A lot of Dwemer ruins have lava in them, which has to come from somewhere, and they use steam. My guess would be that Dwemer ruins are often located on underground lava veins probably generally extending from Red Mountain, which may or may not also often hold ebony.
As for the Velothi mountains, they could have volcanic activity of their own. I'm not really sure on any of this, though.
RyanS wrote:
Someone brought up a possibility that the forts could date back to the Reman Empire. I'm not sure what other's thoughts are about that.
I'd not be completely against it, but as Reman's invasion failed I doubt he'd have been able to establish any permanent forts in Morrowind.
RyanS wrote:
What about the castle-estates? Should those be split into a whole new dungeon type? Or would they be considered a part of one of the above varieties?
Sorry, castle-estates are chapels. Castle-estates are more-or-less the development name, chapels are what we call them in-game.
RyanS wrote:
With durzogs, I'm not so sure Helseth brought all of them to Mournhold for his 'army.' (Now that I think about it, there are quite a few Wild Durzogs in the sewers) If you have proof on the matter, though, we should probably remove the durzogs from the inlet bog, or whatever we renamed the region to.
You make a good point here, they may be endemic to Morrowind after all. Though I'm not sure if they should be common to OM ruins or Inlet bog.
RyanS wrote:
If you were referring to my last point in the paragraph, I agree. If you were referring to the last bullet point, though, I was thinking more that Vvardenfell strongholds have been isolated for much longer than the mainland strongholds. Therefore, they would have been less vulnerable to bandits, outlaws, and the like. I will change my notes in the document to make the matters more clear.
Ah, yeah, that wasn't clear, but makes sense.
Post Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:45 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

I don't recall there being any indication that Durzogs aren't native to Morrowind. We could certainly use the extra creature for our wilderness level lists. I don't, however, think they should be common to Indoril ruins in payicular.

Great to see progress on this discussion!

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Post Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:49 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
sirrah
Developer
20 Feb 2012



I'd dare say transporting the Durzogs and goblins from High Rock unnoticed would be quite the feat, so it might make more sense for them to be native to Morrowind (it certainly lends an interesting perspective to the resourcefulness of goblins!)

I tend to think the most compelling reason to have Durzogs be native is that most players probably already assume they are. Are we going to have de-mechanized Fabricants?
Post Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:35 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Anonytroll
Website Administrator
12 Aug 2005



As the mysterious person who made the point about Reman forts was me, I recall reading in The Last Year of the first Era that Reman's Morrowind campaign was an actual campaign - unlike Tiber Septims' (which makes sense, considering that Dagoth Ur was already awake during Tiber Septim's days and a very pressing concern to the Tribunal).

So it would make sense that his forces would occupy a border region then immediatly went on fortifying it in face of the onslaught of the defenders. This would limit them to the Velothi Mountains largely, of course.

RyanS raised the issue of there not being enough to differenciate Reman's forts from Septim's. Which is true, I guess, but there are some nice tileset recolours available (even now), so if that is really the stopping point, it can be easily circumvented. For example, this one has that nice "bleached by the sun" look that 1000 year old fort should have.


Last edited by Anonytroll on Sat Sep 26, 2015 6:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:42 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Skyrim: Home of the Nords has some assets for Reman fort ruins. We could use those if we ever see the need to add them.
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Post Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:00 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I'm not against having some Reman fort ruins on the border. I still don't think it's entirely realistic; even if it was a longer campaign proper stone forts take a long time to construct. But I also think realism doesn't matter in this case, especially in a world of magic where construction could have been accelerated any number of ways. Having Reman era forts seems interesting and not completely out of place.

If we do go that route, I would be very much in favour of asking SHoTN for their models, both to maintain some semblance of consistency and because that seems more interesting.
Post Sat Sep 26, 2015 11:32 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
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