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Bibliophael
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A Modest Proposal

Hello. I'm Bibliophael. I realize I have no cred in this community, but I hope you'll forgive my impertinence if I offer a suggestion in my first post.

The mods TESRenewal works on are staggeringly ambitious and impressive. This goes without saying. But although Skywind and the others are obviously valuable for their rendition of classic games in updated engines, they remain fundamentally limited by the scope of the originals.

I'm alluding to gamescale. The Elder Scrolls series has always had trouble fitting realistic cities into its open world. Even the largest settlements are barely larger than a small village. It feels weird to run clear across a capital city in less than a minute.

So this is my mad idea. It's borderline heresy and unknowably ambitious, but I wonder if the powers behind TESRenewal would be up to the creation of an overhaul mod that places the player not in an open province, but in a single, closed city of comparable size. This would, of course, necessitate the invention of almost entirely original quests, environments, characters and items; actual game design in addition to the already laborious task of implementation. Even so, I think it could be very exciting. Consider the Imperial City rendered as a great, sprawling metropolis of palatial estates and derelict slums, of busy market squares and hidden waterways.

It would be a colossal undertaking, perhaps bigger than anything TESRenewal has done to date. It might not be my place to suggest something like that, but this is the overhaul I'd most like to see. I hope I'm not the only one who thinks it would be awesome, and I hope some of you modders think it would be worth your time.

alysander
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What city are you talking

What city do you mean?

Bibliophael
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I'm inclined to suggest the

I'm inclined to suggest the Imperial City because of its mythic, political and cultural importance in the setting, and also because I've heard a lot of people moan about its representation in Oblivion, but there are plenty others I'd love to see presented like this. Vivec, Solitude, Falinesti, Stros M'kai. Stormhold might be interesting. New Sheoth if we want to get freaky.

Marius S.
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It's a neat idea, but I don't

It's a neat idea, but I don't see it happening unless you yourself start such a project and produce enough content for others to get interested.

Bibliophael
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Marius S. wrote:

Marius S. wrote:

It's a neat idea, but I don't see it happening unless you yourself start such a project and produce enough content for others to get interested.

I'm afraid if it falls to me the project will wither and die. If no more competent hands than mine can be found I'll do the best I can, but I can't trust myself to see it through.

Smitehammer
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That should have been what

That should have been what the focus of "Oblivion" should have been. All that game size taking up just that little island with the Imperial City. But it was not to be. Maybe when TES VI comes out. I'm a little let down that this proposal had no 'baby eating' ideas.

Malkochson
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That's actually a very good

That's actually a very good idea. I think everyone here agrees that the 'cities' of Tamriel are huge, sprawling metropolises in the lore, but in-game they could barely qualify as a small town (with the possible exception of Vivec City). However, overhauling a city with thousands of citizens is a very ambitious undertaking, not to mention graphically demanding. I don't really see it happening here at TESRenewal in the foreseeable future.

Lets all hope that Elder Scrolls 6 goes a long way in fixing the lack population-or release a Tribunal-like expansion that takes place inside one big city haha

Taerkalith
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If this was ever to be done

If this was ever to be done in the far future, perhaps with the next elder scrolls engine, I'd vote redoing Redguard. Stros Mkai being so small kind of lent itself to this idea to begin with and the city could be greatly expanded upon.

Bibliophael
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I'm gratified by the

I'm gratified by the positivity of your responses, and not altogether surprised by your doubts.

Still, I don't yet have enough experience to recognize an impossible task, so I'll try to get some kind of start on a map or outline or something. Produce some content, as Marius suggested.

Out of deference to Smitehammer and the late Jonathan Swift, I may also keep an eye out for opportunities to continue the Modest Proposal theme.

DIYDeath
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If you're just overhauling

If you're just overhauling cities you could do it yourself no problem, multiple people before you have done so already for vanilla Skyrim, though your scope is a little larger. The only real catch is you'd probably have to wait until Skywind is done before overhauling anything.

HermesTheCat
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I think a problem with

I think a problem with generating a city in its entirety would be populating it accurately while keeping it interesting. I think the act of walking around a space like that would be cool, but you would have to focus on urban style quests, as much of Elders Scrolls is about questing through the wilderness. In a sprawling city Dovahkin would be like a private eye or something. Walking around solving weird magical enigmas, and saving dames. Its a cool concept, but game design wise, and thematically I feel like the cities in TES work as they are. I feel like isolation from people is a major part of the game (which may be why TESO wasn't as widely accepted). Your character's isolation while exploring the world makes visiting cities, and eventually finding companions more engrossing. I'm not saying your idea is bad, but I don't think it fits in with Morrowing or Skyrim. Its a good concept for an original game. Games like Day-Z, Dota, and even Counterstrike all started as mods for popular games.