The Popehat Oblivion OMODs Project FAQ
Introductory note to players:
Awesome! Finally a mod compilation that all self-installs and doesn’t require anything of it’s users. How cool is that?
Or not. That isn’t what POOP is, and it isn’t one of the goals of the Popehat Oblivion Omods Project at all.
I’m of the opinion that there are two kinds of folks who’ll be interested in this collection. The first is the looky-loos, who’ll spend a day or two in Cyrodiil and then move on to something else. Hey, there are few folks that have “gaming ADD” as badly as some of the POOP team (including myself), so believe me, we get it. The gamers in this first group are probably more curious than anything, wanting to see what Oblivion looks like with a bunch of mods installed to it. The folks in this first group are looking for a “fire and forget” mod compilation that will self-install while they’re out at the movies. They’re like my friend Jim, who last month offered me ten bucks and a six-pack of beer to come over to his house and install all his mods for him.
For folks in this first group, POOP probably isn’t for you. It doesn’t self-install, it requires you to read documentation, and it will take the better part of an evening to get everything up and running. For folks in the first group, looking to see what a fully-modded out game of Oblivion looks and plays like, I’d suggest Oscuro’s Oblivion Overhaul; OOO is a magnificent piece of work, and it installs a whole lot easier than POOP does.
I think a lot of folks interested in this Project will be folks like the POOP team itself, and we fall into the second group. We’re gamers who bought Oblivion on release day, spent a bunch of time with it and eventually got frustrated with some of the gameplay conventions in Vanilla Oblivion. We also saw a bunch of cool graphics mods come out that were far beyond the reach of our 2006 GPU’s and CPU’s. We moved on, but always looked at Oblivion as a game that held a ton of promise, thanks to its infinite moddability. We’d set aside a weekend to reinstall the game and get a good start on a character…and then find ourselves at sea when it came to modding the game, facing a paralyzing number of choices and an almost inscrutable set of instructions all resulting in a learning curve that looked like a sheer cliff. For gamers in this second group, the purpose of POOP is simple: we’ll give you a bunch of baseline mods and show you how to install and manage them and how to use a bunch of tools that smooth everything out…and then we hope you’ll take the knowledge you picked up installing POOP and run with it. We hope you’ll install many more mods, graphic overhauls, and user-made quests and campaigns. We hope you’ll find mods that are especially suited for the class of character you’re playing. Heck, we even hope you’ll decide to second-guess some of the mod choices in POOP and uninstall them and use other mods. When you finish installing this collection, you’re going to know more about mod installation, troubleshooting, and management than most of the folks installing mods in Oblivion ever learn. That’s what POOP is—instead of giving you fish, hopefully we’re giving you a fishing pole.
Introductory Note to Modders:
We know you hate mod compilations, and we understand why. We’ve talked to modders and gotten the straight dope from you; mod compilations are silly, and past comps have really done a disservice to modders by having little regard for conflicts, documentation, or understanding how mods act with one another. Mod compilations invariably result in a bunch of folks who’ve been led down a path into the wilderness with no idea how they got there or how to go further, and then they fill up forum threads, email boxes, and PM space with questions that show not even the least bit of familiarity with how your mods are supposed to install. They go to TES Nexus and give your hard work a rating of 3/10, and post a nasty note about how they unzipped your OMOD into their textures folder, and why won’t it work?
We’d like you to try to meet us halfway, though. Realize that with two years of modding (longer if you figure that a lot of Oblivion modders got started with Morrowind), the Oblivion Mod Community has its own shorthand and lingo much like any other group of hobbyists. Mods have been created on top of mods that depend on other mods and all require knowing how to use tools like OBMM, OBSE, Wrye Bash, and more recently stuff like TES4LODgen. Those are just the circumstances and requirements of making more and more ingenious and complicated mods, but boy does it make for a nasty learning curve for even the savviest of gamers outside the community. Spend a little time on the Bethsoft or TESNexus boards, and sometimes it almost feels like the same 40 or 50 folks are making mods for one another, to the exclusion of a larger group of potential fans.
That seems like an incredible shame to me. The stuff you all have created over the last two years is some amazing and astonishingly polished, professional work. There’s a wider, hungry audience out there dying to appreciate what you’ve done…but they don’t know how to do it. That’s what we hope POOP will do for them—create a new-user friendly means of discovering the larger world of the mod community at large.
Frequently Asked Questions About POOP
(fair warning, from the point on, the POOP puns fly fast and furious. Yuck.)
1.So these mods are the best available for what they do? They’re “canon”? No! These mods are just a group of mods that play well together and make Oblivion look and play better than it did at release. Realize though that there are so many Oblivion mods out there that these are all choices, based on personal preference of Team POOP as much as anything. This isn’t THE collection of mods, it’s just A collection of mods.
2.Why did these mods get picked then? There were a variety of factors that entered into the choices here. We have a group of longtime Oblivion players helping us out, and comparing their mod loadouts, we noticed there were areas where there seemed to be some consensus among them. A great modder named Dev_AKM has a site at http://devnull.devakm.googlepages.com/obliviontextureoverhaul that does a masterful job of explaining how various graphic overhauls and related mods work and work together. It was a tremendous resource in putting this all together. One of the final things that went into our choices was a desire to not get too class- or race-specific. There are a bunch of great mods for various races, great mods geared to rogue classes, magic classes, and fighter classes, but we tried to stay with more generalized mods to put a baseline down, and then let individual players go from there and install mods to customize and flavor Oblivion to their own respective tastes.
3.What are the system requirements? We’ve tried to put enough different choices in the Project to give a variety of rigs and hardware setups the ability to get something out of this. But since you asked, we’d recommend at least an 8xxx generation nVidia card, or 3850 or higher ATI card with at least 512mb of video RAM. A dual-core processor will help, as will at least 1-2 gigs of system RAM.
4.What about VISTA? Yep, it’ll run.
5.What about language? The Project has been tested extensively with North American/English versions of Oblivion. It appears to work well with UK/English versions as well. All the mods are english-language versions.
6.Will I need the official expansion packs? We recommend the expansions, but they’re not necessary. The OMODs in the pack are scripted in a way that allows you to tell the mod whether you’re running an expansion pack or not.
7.Hey, are these mods or OMODs? What’s an OMOD? POOP is indeed full of mods that will modify various things in Oblivion. They’re packaged here in a special file extension format that ends in .omod. OMODs are a proprietary file format that works only with Timeslip’s Oblivion Mod Manager, or OBMM. One of the first things you do when installing POOP is install OBMM.
8.Why use OMODs though? What’s great about OMODs is that if they’re correctly made and scripted, they should install with a simple click of a button (ok, a few more clicks if the OMOD is scripted in a way that it needs you to answer questions about your Oblivion install). Better yet, you can remove them with another single click. This is incredibly useful to someone installing a whole bunch of mods, since it allows you to plug them in and unplug them if suddenly your framerates fall off or your game crashes entirely. After about the third mod you install as an OMOD, you’ll never install mods any other way.
9.Why not just give links to where these mods are, and let people download them on their own? Many reasons, but we’ll start with the obvious: downloading individual mods takes a long time, certainly longer than just a few hours. Once you get the biggest mods, you’re doing a lot clicking on each separate mod, you’re jumping from one site to another, and one of those sites moves rather slow on download speeds. With POOP you start off by doing the only “fire and forget” move in the installation: you download one massive zip archive. With POOP we also know for sure that you’ve got the exact version of the mod we’re installing that doesn’t conflict with other mods.
10.Do I have to read the POOP install documentation? Nope, only do that if you want the game to run when you’re finished.