Newcomer introduction & experience feedback

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Starsheep
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Joined: 06 Jun 2018, 16:09

Newcomer introduction & experience feedback

Post by Starsheep » 09 Jun 2018, 18:47

Hello guys,

Started playing TES with Oblivion, naturally moved onto Skyrim which I heavily modded over the years, I ended up deciding to give a go at Morrowind, after all the praise I've read about it. Never too late, one could say

I was looking at my options to make it run properly on two machines at a time, a window one and a macbook pro when I'm on the move and this is how I discovered your project and man, what a bliss it's been so far.

So this is a little post to say hello, to thank you all for what you're doing here and to share a bit of my end-user journey as a power-modder, moderate scripter, and definitely not low-level coder.
This is more of a feedback thread, not a support one, and as many of you might find obvious things in it, maybe it can help other newcomers like me to get their feet wet with OpenMW.


Workflow wise, I initially tried the manual way (nope) and played a bit with Wrye Mash but I found happiness with Mod Organizer 2.1.3 (not for its VFS obviously) which I use for its nxm:// handler (and subsequent update tracking for mods hosted on the nexus), folders structure, conflict checking, asset comparison and preview and esp load order with mlox run from within MO.

This nifty little MO script does the job to build my openmw.cfg out of my MO loadout. Wonderful. Too bad MO (and hence this script) doesn't handle .omwaddon files but no big deal, I just add them manually after, there aren't many.

My load order is mostly based on Morrowind 2017: Cynderal Edition from this pastebin with a few addition from the STEP guide and perusing through your own mod status wiki page

I then found out about the MCP fake bump mapping feature added to vanilla morrowind and the issues it gives with OpenMW. Well, instead on giving up on a few excellent mods, I ended up doing a lot of manual editing of nif files texture properties and dds renaming to make normal mapping work properly. Maybe I'll upload the corrected files on the nexus at some point, but I'd need to check with their original authors if it's okay to do so.
Btw, I don't know if there is a way to script Nifskope, but if there is something to batch edit references, I'd love it until eternity.

Then I was observing that strange behaviour that not all of my texture replacers were working properly on the Win10 rig but everything was working well on the mac.
Some research led me to Bug #4402 and yeah, using the GOG version, I had a ton of loose vanilla .tga files that were getting higher priority over my mods .dds.
Well, I ended up getting rid of those loose .tga files manually (should have scripted that, that was a pain in the a** to compare filenames and extensions from two different folders) but hopefully you guys will find a proper way to solve that issue so that other windows newcomers won't hit that unintended behaviour.

Performance wise, it's so nice to have an embedded profiler, but I admit having been a bit surprised with the results. No issues with scripts, mechanics or physics except on the odd mesh somewhere, but the cull and especially the draw call phase are totally hitting the roof. GPUs are fine but the CPU is the bottleneck on both of my machines, one core out of 8 burning at 100% capacity all the time.
Played a bit with the settings.cfg to keep things under control with viewing distance, exterior grid size, small feature culling pixel size etc... but this matter still needs a bit of investigation to make better use of my hardware and hit the sweetspot between eye candiness and playability.

Last, I'm now looking for a way to visualize and patch conflicts in my esp load order, a bit like what xEdit for Skyrim does. I don't know if such a thing exists for morrowind. I don't have a huge amount of esp yet but I know that load order sorters like mlox, boss, loot... can only be trusted up to a certain extent, and manual checking and patching needs to be done so that nothing's broken or badly overriden.

Last, my game save files are synced over a cloud service on both rigs and I can resume a playthrough seamlessly from one computer to another with a different system without thinking about it, on this true multiplatform beauty that is OpenMW.

Anyway, Thanks again guys for making all of this possible. Cheers!
Computer 1: Win10 - Good ol' i7-920 OC@3.6GHz - 6GB RAM - GTX 770 4GB
Computer 2: MBP MacOS 10.13.4 - i7-4870HQ 3.7GHz - 16GB RAM - Radeon R9 M370X 2GB - M.2 SSD

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