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The Fantasy Art of Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - Imperial City Market District

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is a first-person perspective fantasy computer role-playing game set in a vast 3D world with an open-ended storyline that allows the player the freedom to pursue the main quest, side quests, or simply explore the world. The game is set in a different geographic location from the previous in the series (Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind) and in general the architecture and wildlife is more medieval and real-world. The fantasy game art is vastly improved, however, and at the time of its release wowed the world with its realism and attention to physics in its interactivity. This Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion fantasy art / game art page has images from a graphically modified game. For an overview of the major changes, click here. The Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages has detailed information on The Imperial City Market District.

The Fantasy Art of Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

The Fantasy Art of Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

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We were using the Better Cities mod, which adds various features to the area, more shops, and other changes. In the end, however we felt that many of the additions were out of theme with the rest of the game world (e.g., the toyshop) or too outlandish (e.g., the wildly spiralling staircase in the market district piazza and the four large statues perched on the edge of a roof), and combined with the processing power required to draw all the additions to an already processor-intensive location in Oblivion, we uninstalled it and went with the more conservative enhancements from the ImpeREAL City mod.

No longer having to accomodate Better Cities (specifically, the Market District) also allowed us to increase our screen resolution and run Oblivion at a higher resolution (from 1280x1024 to 1920x1200) and with more graphical improvements (such as grass and seeing distant objects; but still no shadows on actors or grass). Inside the Market District, depending on the objects in our viewing direction, our framerate (FPS) dropped to less than 5, sometimes 1 or even 0, and that after reducing resolution and scaling back on graphics quality severely.

The miniskirts and glossy high heels on female characters were from Colourwheels Sexy Stock Armour and Clothing Replacer. Most of the armour replacements came off both sexy and stylish, but the miniskirts on casual clothing became strangely tiresome, not because of the clothing themselves, but because of the strange sameness of the bare legs, which are all drawn from a common body model for all female characters. As well, the high heels didn't show up too well in Oblivion, and the sparkles were overdone. In the end, this mod was also taken out. Some work on our part allowed us to keep the modded armour changes, which were more than simply miniskirts all the time.

We also experimented with various mods for night and darkness, as these ambient elements in Oblivion were more of a dimness for convenient adventuring than to reflect any realism. No best solution presented itself although the most promising ones were Darker Nights and Dungeons and Ambient Dungeons.

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