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Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I'll try and help tackle this after I finish implementing my Indal-ruhn proposal, which naturally takes priority.
Post Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:01 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Let's have another try at this:



Pale brown is Grazelands rock.
Grey is Red Mountain rock.
Pale green is Ascadian Isles rock.
Dark grey is Ash.

So my suggestions are, moving around the map counter-clockwise from the top:
1. the mountains themselves would use AI rock, would be very high, and would have a few mountain paths winding up and down them.
2. in the north, the mountains transition into GL rock, with Roth Roryn canyons.
3. the squiggles in the ashlands aren't overly important; they mainly indicate that the ashlands slope upwards there, transitioning into the mountains. (There's a specific idea I may want to try out, which is why they look that way).
4. the bit of ashland in the southwest isn't overly important for this proposal, as it belongs more to the Othreleth or maybe Armun Ashlands sections. It's mainly included to complete the picture of how the mountain range could end up looking like.
5. the clear areas in the mass of AI rock indicate the idea I mentioned earlier in this thread. (Basically that the mountain range would continue around and over that Hlaalu outpost).
6. A and B could be part of the mountain range, or could be flattened and turned into TRV. I'm leaning towards the latter at the moment.

There are two sticking points which could delay the completion of the buffer zone, but not the commencement of work:

I. Sort of counter to what I said before in this thread, I think a large OM ruin might be interesting. Specifically, it would represent the abandoned Indoril castle-estate that once controlled the southwestern Thirr. I'm not sure if it should be an uber-leet dungeon or anything; I'm more interested in the visuals it could provide.
The problem is that, before this dungeon is made, I think we need to agree on how the OM set should be used in this mod. I will get to work on making a proposal for this.
II. I think this work could be greatly facilitated -- and the visuals greatly improved -- with the help of new rock models, such as wolli's and most of the ones in the resource linked here.
As I and a few others have access to wolli's WIP models, though, and the resource is naturally publicly available, (if we choose to use it), this isn't much of a problem. Those meshes can be used as placeholders until we can replace them with finished/retextured models.
Either way, those meshes would mostly just be added on top of landscaping work, and as such can be added in later.

I might still pad out this proposal with things like dungeon placement, but the basic landscaping work does not need to wait on that, in my opinion.
Post Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:07 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
sasquatch2o
Developer
15 Jul 2014



New rockforms should not be added form general use in landscaping. Using almost entirely original assets is one of the very wise early decisions that was made on this project. Using only vanilla rockforms helps keep the mod in the same visual style as the original. The smooth rounded curves are seen everywhere and so much is already possible with what we have. It would also open the door to more models of questionable quality and consistency making a very common appearance in the mod.

Frankly I think this are looks pretty good as it is. My main suggestion would be adding a path along the top of the east that would run along the all the way into the new area that is now being planned. The ashland border obviously cant be at a perfect right angle as it is but other than this the area is passable. I'm far more interested in seeing Roa-Dyr or your northern exterior finished since this seems fine to me and there is a lot left to be done.

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Post Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:21 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

To my knowledge TR never made a conscious decision to use mostly original assets. The fact that TR uses vanilla rocks so near-universally is due to TR not having many other assets to use. When assets have appeared, though, such as TR's various cliff models, modders have been quick to adopt them. Bethesda made new rocks for Solstheim, and in my opinion TR should do the same as often as possible for its regions. (Along with stuff like new ground textures and flora).

Among the reasons why I think only using vanilla rocks is a bad idea is the fact that TR is trying to do things Morrowind's rocks were not designed for -- like tall mountains and canyon landscapes -- and that TR is trying to expand and improve on Morrowind. Its regions should provide new and interesting experiences, rather than stretching out Vvardenfell's assets over the whole expanse of Morrowind.

The current buffer zone is sub-par and in high need of a reworking for several reasons that have been stated in this thread, such as linearity, a bad clash of different region sets and a general unfinished look. My Uld Vraech claim is far from being a high priority; I mostly just have it to try out various ideas with. As far as I am concerned, a lot of it may eventually have to be redone anyway once the Uld Vraech section is opened up. As for Roa Dyr, working on this will not stop me from working on Roa Dyr; I generally work better when I can switch between projects every now and then, so as not to get burned out.
Post Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:17 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
sasquatch2o
Developer
15 Jul 2014



Making a ton of new terrain stuff would be a huge mistake. All of Morrowind thus far has been made using those pieces, introducing a wide variety of new forms is likely to bring low quality stuff into the mod (like linked models) and content that is too different from vanilla. The temptation will also be to go back and redo many areas again with new models. This is a whole box that shouldn't be opened. One of the best decision on TR may have actually been an accident, but that doesn't mean it should be corrected now.

More forms for very specialized uses is another issue. This could be very beneficial, but only if they are properly, thoroughly vetted. I'd like some of the existing sets to be completed. The ice interior pieces for example are missing forms that would allow much more interesting caves. If anything is added it should match stylistically and really be needed.

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Post Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:47 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
arvisrend
Lead Developer
04 Oct 2010

Location: substitutional world

sasquatch2o: The currently existing buffer zone is OK if you compare it to the currently existing Telvannis, but we are aiming for something better. We are planning to redo Telvannis eventually, you know?

And well, models of questionable quality... you can say that about many of the vanilla models, which have no dedicated collision geometry and which often casper if you don't place them in a very specific set of angles, which causes our landscapes to look even more copypasted.

My only issue with making new rocks for the AA-RR buffer zone is that I want this buffer zone to be finished ASAP and our model dept is slow and rarely follows our wishlist. If someone makes it, we'll use it.
Post Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:39 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Yeah, skip on the new models for now. I was under the impression we wanted to make these mountains using Ashlands rocks, but I'm fine with substituting AI rocks instead. As long as it gets finished and doesn't use WG, I support your proposal, Gnomey.
Quote:
Pale brown is Grazelands rock.
Grey is Red Mountain rock.
Pale green is Ascadian Isles rock.
Dark grey is Ash.
Call me crazy, but to my eyes your colors don't match the names you've given them at all. Pale brown looks like light orange, pale green looks like white and dark grey looks like a grayish blue to me. I'm not saying it matters, or anything -just a curious oddity I noticed.
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Last edited by Yeti on Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:06 am; edited 2 times in total
Post Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:49 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
sasquatch2o
Developer
15 Jul 2014



I have a plan for this based on the three forks river. It would create a border of only ashlands and green valley from W to E. Would have an impressive valley bowl feature and numerous spires, a path on the mountain ridge between ashland and green. Ashlands would be raised at eastern border as well as the tan area in north. This plan requires no new models and would create one one of the most striking landmark valley's in TR. The gorge could have water or be dry. If open I am willing to draw up a plan based on topography, the linked pictures, and gnomey & Nemon's concepts. I could also the morph the land around in CS to illustrate the idea.


http://www.birdingisfun.com/2013/05/three-forks-of-owyhee-river.html

http://www.pbase.com/briansolar1/image/119581142

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Post Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:46 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
cookie16
Developer
27 Oct 2012

Location: The Great White North

New rock you sayhttp://www.nexusmods.com/morrowind/mods/43239/?tab=1&navtag=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nexusmods.com%2Fmorrowind%2Fajax%2Fmoddescription%2F%3Fid%3D43239%26preview%3D&pUp=1

New rocks are always good, but do you have a specific design for the rocks that will suit this area?
Or do you just want new rocks to give more variation?
Post Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:56 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
sasquatch2o
Developer
15 Jul 2014



Oh, my improved plan will not require those rocks.

My plan will also closely follow the image shown in the tan and green areas circled.

In response to arvisrend:
Redoing Televanis is often mentioned but I think that is rather funny since thus far it is one of the best areas since it is accurate, fairly consistent with vanilla standards, and more or less done, the rest is not. Some of the changes made in the past 8 months are significant most are not. Some are improvements, but others I'd argue are not. This is one area that obviously needs to be border matched. One other thing I haven't mentioned here, but am very curious about are the landscape choices on grand scale.


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Last edited by sasquatch2o on Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:30 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:00 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
cookie16
Developer
27 Oct 2012

Location: The Great White North

sasquatch2o wrote:
I have a plan for this based on the three forks river. It would create a border of only ashlands and green valley from W to E. Would have an impressive valley bowl feature and numerous spires, a path on the mountain ridge between ashland and green. Ashlands would be raised at eastern border as well as the tan area in north. This plan requires no new models and would create one one of the most striking landmark valley's in TR. The gorge could have water or be dry. If open I am willing to draw up a plan based on topography, the linked pictures, and gnomey & Nemon's concepts. I could also the morph the land around in CS to illustrate the idea.


http://www.birdingisfun.com/2013/05/three-forks-of-owyhee-river.html

http://www.pbase.com/briansolar1/image/119581142


We aren't able to alter Morrowinds water level, so I don't know how this would work.
Post Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:29 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
sasquatch2o
Developer
15 Jul 2014



Okay, I was considering raising the whole valley all the sides would be raised so if the water was table surface and a bowl resting on the table the valley, it would be cradled between the two raised sides and sit just above water level. It will make sense once I draw it out.
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Post Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:33 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
cookie16
Developer
27 Oct 2012

Location: The Great White North

We also plan on adventually redoing vvardenfell
Post Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:54 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
sasquatch2o
Developer
15 Jul 2014



You and what other trolls? If TR doesnt change its workflow the mainland wont be finished even in another 12 years.
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Post Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:12 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

cookie16 wrote:
We also plan on adventually redoing vvardenfell
The term "redo" is a bit of an exaggeration. We've only agreed to the idea of changing aspects of Vvardenfell, not the extent to which we will change it.

And yes, many members of the project would like to see a major overhaul of Telvannis eventually. I recommend we don't discuss it here, however.

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Post Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:13 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Yeti wrote:
Call me crazy, but to my eyes your colors don't match the names you've given them at all. Pale brown looks like light orange, pale green looks like white and dark grey looks like a grayish blue to me. I'm not saying it matters, or anything -just a curious oddity I noticed.


You're not crazy. Razz When I wrote that I didn't bother looking up the exact hexadecimal values of the colours I used in my map. The names sort-of match the map, (maybe saying something like 'twilight lavender' or 'dark slate' would have been more accurate, but it would also have been rather silly), but don't match the text.

As far as the rocks are concerned, they aren't a big deal. I suggested them mainly because I have wolli's rocks already, and as such would be able to use them directly. I'm not so sure about the resource myself, but to me it looks as though the models themselves are fairly solid; just the textures are very rough, and we would replace the textures anyway if we were to use the rocks in TR.
As I said, my reason for wanting to use them is that I think new rocks would simplify the creation of the buffer mountains (and thereby speed up the process) and would improve the end visuals.
I might upload an image of what I was thinking of later today, but if people don't like it it's no great loss.

It rather surprises me, though, that a line for model inclusion is being drawn at rocks, or perhaps more broadly terrain. TR adds all sorts of new models, (including, as I mentioned, terrain models), and I think they should all match Morrowind's visuals and quality, not just the terrain models. There are some models already in TR_Data where I have my doubts whether they do. If there are floodgates, they have been opened and shut repeatedly throughout the history of TR.
I frankly don't see the difference between new terrain and, say, the House Dres and Necrom tilesets, or the Velk and Hoom.

As for the three-forks proposal, I'm not sure I can visualize it yet, so I'll wait on a picture before commenting. Whatever proposal we go with, though, I do hope discussion can wrap up within a week, so that this can finally be dealt with. (Note that this isn't me saying stop talking at the end of the week. This is me saying try and say all you have to say within a week, so that we can reach a conclusion then).
Post Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:35 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Well, if we can obtain readily made models from Wolli and re-texture them easily enough, I can get behind using them. I just don't want our struggling model department to slow down progress on this.
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Post Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:02 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I'll say now that I got a little carried away playing with the rock models:

I decided to create a quick mock-up of the rocks so that I could take some in-game screenshots, so I cobbled 13 of wolli's models (that is to say 13 references total) together with no scaling in 10 minutes (I timed myself) and went in-game.



That was the best shot I could take, which means I'll finally get MGE XE installed for its distant land for the sake of this proposal.

In the meantime, though, I decided to see if I could get some decent CS shots. They naturally wouldn't look as pretty and wouldn't show the scale as well, (which is why I didn't realize the rocks were too large to screencap properly without resorting to something like this until I looked at them in-game), but I would at least be able to fully capture the rock formations:



I also made some before/after comparison shots:




Finally, I decided to test to see how long it would take to emulate one of wolli's peak models with existing assets:



The reason why I wrote '~30' for references on the last attempt is because I had accidentally duplicated some of the rocks, which I only noticed when I deleted the formation.

Hopefully the comparison speaks for itself. While there are rock models similar to wolli's in scale, (TR's cliff models and an arch I forgot to include in the comparison, but which would not have yielded a good peak), wolli's clearly looks the best at that scale, (which is a rather unfair comparison because that is what that model was designed to do; Morrowind's rocks were not designed for impressive mountain ranges).
The amount of times it takes to create such an effect is magnified by the variety of models, but more dramatically by the number of models, as more time has to be spent ensuring no rocks are caspering (which gets progressively harder the more models you add into the mix) and that they look half-way natural.
As I was trying to balance speed and technical quality, in my opinion none of the alternatives look as good as wolli's models. If I were to have taken more time, I may have been able to get a peak that looked about as good with Morrowind rocks, but for that single peak I would estimate about half an hour, which is frankly far more time than I would be willing to spend. It would also require dozens of references, as opposed to one.

This is not to say wolli's models are necessary, though. If I were not to use them, I'd probably make the mountain range mostly out of slanted cliff models, and then sprinkle vanilla rocks on-top to try and improve the look. Another method would be to use the heightmap liberally, but in this case I fear the ground textures would be too stretched to look very good. Without a silly reference count I doubt I could get the mountain range to look half as good as it would with wolli's models, and it would take a lot longer.

While I didn't notice any technical issues with wolli's models, and they already look more polished than vanilla models scaled up to a similar size, I only have WG and BM texture variants available, so they would need to be re-textured to use AI and GL textures. I do not think it should take long to re-texture them, but I might be wrong.
As the models are supposedly WIPs, I'd also want to ask wolli before using them to ensure he is fine with the models being used as placeholders in their current state, as some modellers might be uncomfortable with that.
That being said, after trying out the alternatives in the CS, I'd frankly prefer to use wolli's rocks even if I had to make the whole mountain range with WG textures, then search-and-replace every rock model in every cell and replace every ground texture as soon as properly textured variants are available, and then fix any errors that might result from changes to the models, such as smoothing. At this point, I simply think that would take less time and yield a better result, even with those extra steps thrown in.
Post Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:34 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
sasquatch2o
Developer
15 Jul 2014



I like this post, because I can tell your thinking. Total # of faces would also be a good comparison. Also, I think that mountain model could have been approximated with less and more accurately, but it is still a good point. It is difficult to make mountains over large caves exterior with current models. I think what should be made are large versions (2.0 as base scale) of some select vanilla models with upscaled textures. This would reduce tiling allow a mountain model like that to be made much more easily with shapes more similar to vanilla,

What I need to create my plan is a really high resolution image of the entire province please. I cant find one, so if someone would be kind enough to post one here I can start work on it. Ive just finished summer classes and will have some time before I go on trip later this week. I plan on making a region map based on topo.

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Last edited by sasquatch2o on Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:56 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

Wolli's models look a tad too pointy in places. With some improvements, I'd support adding them to TR_Data.
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Last edited by Yeti on Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:19 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:44 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Here are two maps I have at hand:

Createmaps
Edited version of Swiftoak's WIP map

I don't have the uncluttered version of the latter handy, I'm afraid. The former was taken fairly recently. (One would probably not notice any difference to a creatmaps using the current files unless one knew where to look).

As for face counts, I hadn't saved the exact rock formations, so the facecounts may not be quite accurate, but the margin of error shouldn't be too large:

1 Cliff: 1454 faces
1 Peak: 961 faces
1 Morrowind Rock: 176 faces
3 Morrowind Rocks (same type): 528 faces
5 Morrowind Rocks (3 types): 894
30 Morrowind Rocks (5 types; I notice I incorrectly wrote 4 types in the earlier diagram): 4748 faces

This is all assuming, of course, that wolli won't further reduce the face count for the final product; it is also naturally possible that he would increase it somewhat.
Comparing those values to the comparison above, I still think wolli's model wins out. While the single vanilla model is only ~1/4 shorter than the peak model, (though considerably narrower), while having ~1/5 as many faces, I think the quality clearly does not compare; no amount of texture resolution will make that single rock look as good as Wolli's in-game, certainly close-up. It simply has too few polies for its size.
The thirty rocks, more comparable to the peak in appearance, (still ugly, but that was partly because I was going for time), have ~5x as many faces total. The five rocks are a compromise of speed and looks, and have a comparable poly count. I would personally argue that they still look ugly, due to their low poly count, and the time difference would add up to that alternative taking significantly more time to pull off.

And this is where I return to my main point: wolli's rocks were designed for large mountains, Morrowind's were not. While one could get a similar effect through cobbling together various models, a lot of faces would be hidden from the player; it would be an inefficient way to use the model, and an inefficient way to make a mountain range.
Morrowind's models were also not designed to be sized up that much; scaling up a model too much actually results in a lower quality model, as the amount of faces per unit of area falls below Morrowind standards. Just like no amount of texture quality would stop Cyrus from looking out of place next to a Morrowind NPC. Morrowind does, however, have (unused in Vanilla) miniature Daedric statuettes that appear to have about as many polies as Cyrus, and he would probably look right at home in Morrowind as a miniature statuette alongside them.
If one really wanted to exactly emulate vanilla Morrowind's visuals while also making a large mountain range with a reasonable amount of faces, I think one would stay truer to the original game by making a higher-poly version of the rocks, so that the polies-per-unit-of-area does not diverge too sharply from Morrowind's. I think just scaling up the rocks is a rather bad use of assets, and does not display them to their best effect.

Baan Malur is also worth mentioning in this discussion, as it is perhaps the best large-scale use of vanilla (well, BM) rocks I have seen. Baan Malur also apparently has an atrocious poly count, leading to TR trying to get lower-poly alternatives made. Which, again, leads to models like wolli's, which are low-poly purpose-built alternatives.
While I might not be able to get Baan Malur looking as good as Scamp did with those BM models, I think I would have required a fraction of the time to get a comparable -- if lesser -- effect, and while I really like the visuals, I'm frankly happy I wasn't the one who hand-placed all of those models, especially when the time came to check for caspers. (And I did see a few when I looked at Baan Malur; with such a forest of rocks I cannot at all fault Scamp for not spotting them himself).

As for the rocks being too jagged, swapping the peaks out for less jagged alternatives shouldn't create too many caspers, and again even if a lot of caspers were created I would still prefer using wolli's models and fixing the errors afterwards to using vanilla models. Frankly, actually testing them out and comparing them in the CS has made me advocate their use more strongly, as you may have noticed. (Though, as I stated above, there is at least one comparable alternative, in using cliff models).
Post Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:00 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
sasquatch2o
Developer
15 Jul 2014



I would support new models being made from existing rock forms. If the overlapping faces were trimmed and the final model slightly optimized it would maintain the same look but increase performance and save time by having larger pre"merged" models to choose from. I mostly support larger versions of some these rockforms being created. I think that would be the most reasonable fix. ATM though these are still NOT needed. New models for general landscaping should not be used unless they are upscaled versions of vanilla. I think the entire mod should use same rocks, but retextured for consistency and style.

Areas like Baan Malur may need some additional models to be really mod ready. Those are the type of special circumstances that require an exception for new models.

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Post Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:18 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Edit: map removed; a better one was sent.

The main issue that remains there, then, is that those combined models would need to be made. They still haven't been made for Baan Malur, and note when those posts were written. If this proposal is going to stay as a mountain range, those models will be needed sooner rather than (indefinitely) later.
Post Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:58 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
wollibeebee
Developer
29 Apr 2010



Okie-dokie.

Those mountains ARE WIP. That's correct. I began making them for my own Vvardenfell/Solstheim Overhall and at the request of Swiftoak. You guys basically own the rights to use them.

Again, though, they are WIP. I've been playing around with them for the last few days myself, and there's a few things I'd like to change. Namely by making the points a bit less low-poly, and fixing a few UVs here and there.
I'm also keen on reducing their size to about 0.6-0.7% as they can be a bit too large. I prefer the default size to be the optimum size (yet another problem with vanilla rocks, as they have to be scaled to be properly used a lot of the time.)

I'd also like to note that one of the reasons I was making these was to replace the current TR cliffs. Swiftoak and I both wanted that one-forest-whose-name-I-forget to be a little bit less laggy. I already replace the trees in that region, but the main cause for the lag is the old TR cliffs. They're possibly some of the worse models ever, and the exterior team has placed them all over Morrowind. In some cases only an 8th of the actual cliff is above ground, yet all the faces are wastefully rendered (I've created many smaller cliffs that can provide the same look, but without all the hidden faces.) It is a problem we'll always have so long as TR largely consists of level designers and a few modelers, rather than a team of enviromental artists. My cliffs are much more optimized than the originas, and I had hoped we could systematically replace them all (I've already done a lot of map 5).

The problem there is that it could not be done through claims, as the small sections claims offer are not a very good vehicle for placing large landscape features such as mountain ridges and valley cliffs.

I think it is good that if this buffer region gets replaced, it is to be done in one go all together, ensuring a constant aesthetic design.

So I'll try to finish these mountains and cliffs off in the next few days.


Also, It would be really good to get these used in baan Malur, that place is super laggy, and the current rocks seemingly raise up out of the ground at random, it would be good to get some mountain meshes slowly leading into that formation at about a quarter of the face count.
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sasquatch2o
Developer
15 Jul 2014



I'll support this mountain model if it mean wolli will become more active again. However the model should be changed to remove the points to be more in line with vanilla, on this I'm with Yeti. There should also be a full model and a halved model to further reduce faces. The old cliff model is pretty bad frankly. It looks like rock textured bent corrogated steel. Much of the usefulness of the new model could be replaced by up scaled vanilla rockforms however. Cut in half much of the excess polys* would be removed scaled up they would make this model irrelevant.

On the rebuilding of this border area and the ashlands. I have a big plan with implications beyond this mountain range and region. It would extend Sload's notes on difficulty and terrain And MUCH improve the area. I'm asking that you wait for me to work on this because I honestly do not have time over the next 4-5 days to debate the issue and present a plan in a finished enough way that people will be open to it. This area is not a priority especially since we have changed release method to integrate all progress not by region. There is plenty of other exterior work and planning to be done and this is a wilderness area, already playable, and it should remain wilderness, meaning, it is even lower priority than the remaining unifinished, unplayable wilderness. So, I'm asking you put this aside in the interest of good politics, improving the mod, and progress.

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my opinion.


Last edited by sasquatch2o on Fri Aug 22, 2014 4:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:06 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I have managed to get my hands on smoother, AI textured versions of the rocks, and I will continue to play around with them, but I would also be quite prepared to scrap my work if a better idea comes along, so you don't have to worry on that count.

However, this region is a higher priority than you think. This is the western border of the Thirr River Valley, and, the TRV being the center of our first sections, (at least now that Alt Orethan is being reworked), that region will probably be the first complete and properly planned region we will release. TR is still releasing by region -- that is why we have sections -- we are just a little more flexible about it.
I belong to the group that would rather take time in planning and completely forget about releases and more tangible progress until we have ironed out all of those plans, but I rather think I'm in the minority.
That being said, real life trumps TR work, and I do want to see your proposal. In my opinion delaying a final decision on this due to ongoing discussions is in no way as bad as just forgetting about this topic again. That is also the main reason why I will continue to work on this; I want the discussion to continue.
Post Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:56 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
sasquatch2o
Developer
15 Jul 2014



I decided not to make as thorough a plan as I had first intended. Instead I will present this thing in my usually fashion and over a longer timeline and multiple threads. Thus far I have spent a couple hours preparing what I have and many months gathering my thoughts on this. I will continue to expand my ideas by editing old posts with new stuff or making additional comments.

rough heightmap:
http://i.imgur.com/8Qzuccr.jpg

scenery by paths:
http://imgur.com/a/KLEBF


ridge-line
http://i.imgur.com/NFO8DbD.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/7t1ksVJ.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/8tppjBs.jpg

gorge
http://i.imgur.com/iYosFOH.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/h6ibUgk.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/gFlyKBr.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/cMV6AZj.jpg

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my opinion.
Post Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:00 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I honestly have trouble understanding what your plan is from just those images, so feel free to correct me.

Your main suggestions for the buffer zone itself appear to be: extend Roth Roryn southwards more, into a gorge much like this, though yours looks more linear:



And maybe add a river that flows along it.

I have no problem with these changes. I'll see if I can make a mock-up, hopefully tomorrow, incorporating those ideas.
Post Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:23 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
sasquatch2o
Developer
15 Jul 2014



you are shutting down discussion.
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my opinion.
Post Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:29 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Not at all. I want the discussion to continue. Any work I will do is completely reversible, as I have stated. I just feel that, at this stage, it is better to have a concrete reference to discuss and critique.

Edit: in my above post, I also didn't rule out any of your suggestions, at least to my knowledge. I actually suggested incorporating them. If any of your ideas would not fit in with what I have posted there, then I have clearly misunderstood your proposal, and would appreciate some elaboration.
Post Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:32 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
sasquatch2o
Developer
15 Jul 2014



I think on a subconscious level you have a desire to redo old ideas because you have difficulty creating or entertaining new ones. Why don't we open the discussion a bit and brainstorm before rebuilding this area. I think that would be prudent.
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Post Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:36 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

In all honestly Gnomey, I don't think a mockup is necessary here. We've done those before in this thread. I'd rather have a concrete written description and perhaps a piece of rudimentary concept art, to determine what we want for this buffer area. Both of these are far less time-consuming to put together than CS work.

I appreciate the work you've put into this project lately too much to see it exhausted on mockups that might not make it into the mod. Smile

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Post Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:43 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

To be honest, a written description and concept art would take a lot longer than a mock-up, especially if I were to use the new rock assets. About the difference of a day as opposed to a week of work. As my difficulty with sasquatch's proposal is in visualizing it, I think trying it out in the CS and asking for feedback on how it turned out is the fastest way for me to be able to grasp it.

@sasquatch: I feel as though you are reading far more into my last two posts than there is to read into. The only idea I have entertained in them was your own, and I assume that is not what you meant by redoing old ideas. I did post an image of an earlier proposal I made in this thread, but framed it as an approximation of what I understood your proposal to be. If it diverged from your proposal, that is because I have not understood your proposal, as I stated to be the case, which is why I asked for clarification if my understanding was flawed.
Post Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:32 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

Right, I forgot to post this short chat log from a while back:

I brought up the topic of the Hlaalu outpost in the south of the buffer zone in this thread, or more specifically pointed it out through this image, via blurry red text, leading to the following conversation:

<Swiftoak> wjhat do we do with that awkared road
<Swiftoak> and outpost?
<Swiftoak> can we repurpose those ints for indal proper and get rid of it?
[...]
<Gnomey> I was sort of thinking of enveloping it in the mountain range we'll put there.
<Gnomey> I think I posted an example plugin in the buffer zone thread.
<Swiftoak> hm?
<Swiftoak> like another watchtower?
<Swiftoak> i think the mountain range was agreed on
<Gnomey> Basically, the outpost would be under a huge overhang,
<Gnomey> which forms part of the mountain range.
<Gnomey> Not a cave, mind you; just an overhang.
<Swiftoak> but what would it be for
<Swiftoak> a mnine?
<Swiftoak> i think there's a cave there too
<Gnomey> Yeah,
<Gnomey> or maybe a tunnel through the mountain range.
<Gnomey> Or both.
<Swiftoak> like ald erfoud is nearby
<Swiftoak> could be a small pass to the armun or something idk
<Gnomey> Exactly.
<Swiftoak> but the whole idea was to cut armun off from the TRV
<Swiftoak> actually
<Swiftoak> im probably putting too much weight on that
<Gnomey> Maybe it's a smuggler's pass?
<Swiftoak> so long as we don't make it obvious
<Swiftoak> yeah
<Gnomey> The fellow who owns the eggmine could be a sort of small-time local kingpin or something.
<Swiftoak> heh yeah



The result of this conversation was the idea that there would be a wide, direct and well-lit tunnel leading west from the mine beside the Hlaalu outpost to the Armun Ashlands. The tunnel could or could not have natural side-passages with critters or what-not. The fellow controlling the outpost and mine would probably be a CT member, or would at any rate be heavily linked with the Camonna Tong, and would allow the CT (for free) and others who know about the tunnel (for a toll) to use the tunnel.

This idea may or may not already have been mentioned elsewhere in the forum, but either way it ought to go here.
Post Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:16 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

From the Skype summary thread in Internal Discussion:
Gnomey wrote:
Andothren-Thirr South:
I will implement the buffer zone, mostly involving a long canyon with a river flowing along some or most of it. The river will either empty into the Inner Sea, the river Thirr or both, and may be partially subterranean, but those details are of secondary importance; the main focus for now will be on the buffer zone itself and the south merge, not on how the river would pass through the north merge, if at all.
Do we really want another river so close to the Thirr River itself? It seems like overkill to me. I'd rather just put some Ash mountains/canyon here and be done with it.
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Post Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:54 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I'd be fine with either canyons or mountains without a river. Either way I'll probably try knocking out some canyons first to see if they look alright. If they look too squished, we might want to consider going with mountains instead, but I think it should work out. Once that is done, we can figure out if the canyon (and broader landscape) looks better with a river or without it. Even if we go with a river it will probably be a very narrow one, more like a stream.
Post Sun Nov 30, 2014 2:08 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
sasquatch2o
Developer
15 Jul 2014



Finish the NW before you mess with this. Wilderness here is fine. In future I recommend using the plan I presented. The path along ridge line would be a smuggling route. The slot canyon has some water the player will wade through. Route would continue into oreleth valley and circumvent outposts and towns. Following my plan would create one of the most striking valley areas and be explorable top to bottom.

Do not continue with this discussion while ebonheart planning is much needed and other more priority areas (NW included) have yet to be finished.

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my opinion.
Post Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:24 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

The reason we have multiple development sections open is to work on them at the same time. Whether or not this or the NW (I have no idea what you are referring to with this abbreviation) receives priority is up to Gnomey and what he feels like working on at a given time. Making demands does not foster a positive modding environment.
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Post Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:19 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
sasquatch2o
Developer
15 Jul 2014



Working as TR has for the past year will result in very little meaningful progress. Ive made countless posts that give plenty reason to move forward not tinker purposelessly with already created areas. TR is moving so slowly with exteriors that it has lost focus maintaining forward momentum and gear toward discussion of how already finished areas will again be remade This is a functioning wilderness area it should not be remade until more important exteriors have been finished. Anything else not yet done or important, high interactive, high traffic areas should take priority. The compulsion to remake areas without creating new ones will make completing TR an extremely distant,and more unlikely goal.
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Post Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:43 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Ironed Maidens
Developer
23 Feb 2008



Yeah but sas, rome wasn't built in a day. if it takes a month to redo the area, then it takes a month. no one is on a deadline because everyone does this for free, and there is no restriction from a budget or from a boss breathing down anyone's neck. i say if you guys feel it will make the world more immersive and add a bit more character to the region to redo it, then redo it by all means, because THAT is the end goal here. your mentality is understandable, but i think we're all striving to be BETTER than bethesda at this point, if not AT LEAST on par, and so redoing things may be necessary. why not go out and try to recruit more people to open showcases here if progress is the main concern? get modelers and texturers and voice actors and animation makers over here...
Post Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:14 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
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