Lebinor (Oblivion mod)…

Lebinor (Oblivion mod) after the break…

Lebinor (Oblivion mod)…

It always seemed like, in the video game “Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion” (“Oblivion” for short), non-walled cities were built for a single reason – As the location of a quest & nothing more. For instance, you could rent a room in the village of Border Watch but aside from a quest that involved stealing some exotic cheeses, there wasn’t anything to do there. There was no LIFE in Border Watch – Just a bunch of NPCs hanging around waiting for you to fulfill an optional quest that started somewhere else.

“Lebinor” (author: Frosty10001) is just one of many mods for Oblivion that attempts to create a town that is more then just the proverbial punchline to a joke started somewhere else in the game. Situated right next to “Wind Cave” (Or South-Southwest of Chorrol, for those without fully-explored maps), “Lebinor” is a mod that tries but fails to be competent in bringing a living, breathing town to the province of Cyrodiil.

The list of quibbles is long but all journeys must start with a single step.

First, don’t be fooled by the “1.0” version number. When something reaches “1.0,” people have the reasonable expectation that this is how the product was to be initially presented. No one is saying that you can’t fix something from a 1.0 version but a 1.0 version ought to be the first “complete” version of a mod. All the quests, all the NPCs, all of the buildings & all of the details that the mod author envisioned for their mod ought to be in the 1.0 mod. In the case of this mod, however, there are no quests despite the author’s comments on TESNexus that they want to place quests into the mod. Why, then, the 1.0 version?

Second, although a text “readme” file comes with the mod, it ought to include where you find the town. No, I don’t want to go back to the TESNexus site to read your “Description” tab of the mod. Your description tab & the readme file should be one & the same, with neither leaving out details that the other file has.

There were no glaring building problems with this mod, which was nice to see. I couldn’t see under any of the buildings. Nothing appeared to be floating, such as trees, rocks or other objects.

However, a chief gripe of mine was realized quite readily in this mod – The insides of the buildings often did not match the outsides of those buildings. For instance, the lookout post tower is far roomier on the inside then how it appears on the outside. Other buildings had mismatched windows (Ex. If a building on the outside has only one window to the left of the door but, on the inside, has two windows there). Not all buildings had mismatched outside-inside appearances & this inconsistent consistency was appreciated (although not as much as if it had been consistently consistent).

NPCs had unique names & topics (no actual voices, just text) but had no quests or other personalizing aspects about them. I could not join an Archer’s Guild even though there was one such guild available. A ghost resided in a graveyard for no other reason then… To hang around? In many cases, the NPCs felt as though they were primed to be placed inside a quest that had yet to be programmed into the town. Although the distinctive NPCs were nice to see, they didn’t quite distinguish themselves much – Was my personality simply too low to elicit more topics from them? I suspect not.

There were several technical issues with this mod that diluted it’s immersiveness.

First, in the lookout tower, one has the ability to climb a ladder to the top of the tower to a lookout post. However, that “lookout post” consists of a door, a bit of floor around that door & a black void all around. Is this section still being made? Is this the intended effect?

Also, when one simply tries to enter the lookout tower, one has to concentrate the crosshairs on the FRAME of the door, not the door ITSELF. I had not idea why this occurred but less patient players may have thought that the door was inactive & that the tower was just “for show.” In fact, there were several doors in buildings throughout Lebinor that were inactive. Of course, these doors were not only intended to be inactive, they were intended not to be seen, which leads me to…

Tapestries. The designer of this mod has a peculiar trick towards interior decorating. Whenever they do not want a door to be seen, instead of getting rid of it, they just throw a tapestry over it. In fact, tapestries are even thrown over a painting(!) for no apparent reason in the Archer’s Guild. Can’t the doors simply be deleted?

A NPC named “Falster” had a weird graphic glitch wherever he went. Did I need another mod to see this glitch correctly? The glitch was green/red in nature & looked as though a mesh was not properly formed, causing points of the mesh to “splash” throughout the area.

Finally, this modest village has some sophisticated sewers that you can reach by going into the well or finding the “exit” nearby away from the village. I have no idea what a fairly sophisticated stone sewer is doing underneath a village… Was there a city once where the village was?

This mod, in conclusion, is far from being completed. I never felt once as though this mod was a natural extension of the game. There were several issues with this mod that prevented me from enjoying it as the author had probably intended. As a result, I would recommend that players skip this mod until it is completed or, at the very least, until it’s many technical issues are resolved.

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