(Re)installing Morrowind, Pt. 11

Continued from Part 10, or start at the beginning.

In this part of the guide we will explore detailed texture replacers and fine-tune our graphical updates. We’re going to start with large parts of the outdoors, nature, and buildings, and work our way down to smaller elements.

Note that a few screenshots in this entry include addons that we haven’t gotten to in the guide yet. This is because I installed things in a different order while trying to figure out the best and easiest way to do it. Don’t worry if a couple of random objects in your game don’t quite match up yet, and also consider it a slight preview of the future as well!

Specific Texture Replacers

Now it’s time to turn our attention to things on an individual level. This is where we move past the stopgap of Mixed Textures and make more careful choices. You must absolutely back up your Data Files now! Also, as we get closer and closer to completion, there are more and more files that will try to overwrite that you shouldn’t allow. When copying over a smaller folder with only, say, 10 items in it, it’s no problem to just allow or deny overwrites for specific files one by one, but when installing larger numbers of files you may wish to go into the folders first and simply remove the ones we aren’t allowing to overwrite, so you can just check the box to “allow all.” It’s up to you. Just be sure to read through my instructions beforehand to avoid mistakes (I know that’s why you’re here, but hey, it may need to be said).


Morrowind’s numerous building styles are usually addressed separately by different modders. There may be some overlap with similar styles, but it will often be a single texture that just happens to be used in multiple places. I’ve built the install order pretty cleanly to make sure any conflicts are taken care of.

Dwemer Ruins

Download Darknut’s Dwemer Ruin Textures and install its main Textures folder allowing all overwrites, and then install the single texture in the “Z-Alt” folder. Now, if you want to be really nitpicky, download Westly’s Dwemer Texture Replacer as well, but only install the following files:

  • tx_dwrv_lens00.dds
  • tx_dwrv_oilslick00.dds
  • tx_dwrv_parch00.dds
  • tx_dwrv_parch10.dds
  • tx_dwrv_parch20.dds
  • tx_dwrv_parch30.dds
  • tx_dwrv_parch40.dds
  • tx_dwrv_parch50.dds

Here’s a sample of the results (ignore the grass textures, we’re doing those later):

You might consider also using the file tx_dwrv_floor00.dds from Westly’s replacer as well, if Darknut’s floor looks too rough for your tastes. Westly’s floor contrasts a bit color-wise, but I personally feel (at the moment, anyway) that it looks more like a floor texture and less like riveted metal which seems to me more like an under-floor that would originally have been covered. However, it’s believable that the ruins did in fact have another floor covering that has decayed over time, and Westly’s does depart from the original look. Keep Darknut’s to stay closer to that, but do keep in mind that it is possible in many cases to switch out individual textures this way in order to achieve the look you prefer.

Daedric Ruins

For Daedric ruins, first installย Daedric Ruins Retexture by Bloodinfested and then Daedric Ruins – Arkitektora of Vvardenfell by Tyddy (allow overwrites both times). We’ll be using a lot of Tyddy’s textures, and you may notice he has a patch for bump maps by Lougian. We’re not using those yet, but you have the option of revisiting them at a later point. A sample of our results:

Cities, Towns, and Forts

Download Imperial Housing Retexture V2 by AnOldFriend and the Vanilla-Friendly Retexture by Elmer (for the time being, you want the optional file without bump maps). Now download Saint_Jiub’s HiRez Imperial Architecture (dark interiors version). Install all three in that order and allow all overwrites. Also grab this Dragon Statue Retexture by StoneFrog and install it too. Here are the results (again, a couple of these ground textures are being added later):

MGE Screenshot 2015-08-11

Now we’ll be using the Arkitektora of Vvardenfell series by Tyddy: Redoran (covers cities like Ald-ruhn and Mar Gaan), Hlaalu (Balmora, Suran), Velothi (Vivec, Molag Mar, ancestral tombs and towers), and Telvanni (Sadrith Mora, Tel Fyr). The first three are fairly straightforward (and you should use the HQ versions unless you have a weak computer), but when you get to Telvanni, you have a couple of small issues to deal with.

When you install the Telvanni upgrade, do not overwrite ex_t_clawgrowth_01.nif, ex_t_clawgrowth_02.nif, or ex_t_manor_02.nif as better versions have already been provided by Telvanni Mesh Improvement. There’s also a small matter of a missing texture. The easiest way to deal with this is, after you copy the textures over, find Tx_bark_01.dds, make a duplicate, and name it Tx_bark_01_nm.dds. If you like, you can get it out of the “AoVv Telvanni Bump Maps” optional file corresponding to the resolution of the main file you downloaded, but I have been trying to save bump maps for later because they may require you to make some tweaks to your MGE settings.

Our results so far for Redoran, Hlaalu, Velothi, and Telvanni style cities (including ground textures we’re adding later):

Shacks, Docks, and Ships will round out our towns and cities. Merge its Textures folder with your own, and allow all overwrites. Ignore the Extras folder for now; it’s a patch for Windows Glow that we are not using yet.

Sewers, Strongholds, and Caves

For sewers, Tyddy has again provided us with excellent high-definition retextures. Sewers – Arkitektora of Vvardenfell offers both a vanilla version and a “more realistic dirty version” down in Optional Files. Use the vanilla version. The dirty one is very dirty indeed (you can almost smell it. In fact, you’re lucky I haven’t figured out how to add smells to Morrowind yet), but the dirt seems too uniform in my opinion and tiles in patterns too obviously, so stick with the vanilla. It’s still high-resolution and still gross.

Download Connary’s complete collection of textures (and hang on to it; we’re going to use bits and pieces of it as we go), unzip it and look for “Connarys miscellanea places – Dunmer Stronghold.” It includes both meshes and textures. Merge the meshes folder with yours, but when copying textures over, do not let it overwrite tx_boulder10.dds, tx_hinge00.dds, tx_lockbox00.dds, tx_stucco_10.dds, or Tx_wood_weathered_rings_01.dds. Also download both “PPR_Glow” and “PPR_Index Addon” from Propylon Pillar Retexture by Alaisiagae and install them.

Now, look in your Connary folder and find the subfolder called “caves.” Copy all those into your Data Files\Textures folder and allow all overwrites (caves are something else we can upgrade further but I’m saving that for later because of other tasks involved).

Ground Textures

Download Landscape Retexture by Lougian (no need to download the Bloodmoon one; we are not using it at this point), but before you install, rename tx_wg_cobblestone_01.dds to tx_cobblestone_01.dds. Next install this one that I made and allow all overwrites.

We still have quite a bit to do, but let’s pause and take a look, shall we?

Continue to the next entry in which we apply new textures to the Tribunal and Bloodmoon expansions!


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  1. Samuel

    Just want to notify you that, in the “Sewers, Strongholds and Caves” section of this entry, the link to Connary’s Textures vFinal is broken – it link to [w.modhistory.com/####] instead of [mw.modhistory.com/####]!

    I eagerly await each new posting on this blog. You’re really doing a great service for this game! :[]

    1. Life in Ink and Pixels

      I’m very glad you are enjoying my guide! Thanks for your comment, and thank you for pointing out the broken link. I’ve fixed it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. CreeperLava

    Fantastic guide, very good suggestions ! I especially love how you give instructions for overwriting, especially for meshes that are hard to compare. Very much appreciated !

    I noticed your Morrowind vanilla textures index did not load in my browser, maybe there are too many items ? Subfolders could help.

    1. Life in Ink and Pixels

      Hey, thanks for the kind words (and sorry for the delayed response)! It’s really nice to know that my work is so appreciated, especially the hours of comparing meshes side-by-side in NifSkope. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Are you looking at my Morrowind Texture Replacer Comparison Gallery? It’s an experimental feature I’ve been working on, and I don’t consider it “released” as of yet. It’s currently broken for me too, although it used to work. I’ll probably put them in alphabetized subfolders, yeah. It will take several hours to reorganize it, though, so it will need to wait till I have a block of time to devote to it, preferably after I finally write the next step in the guide. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. CreeperLava

        Glad to know you’re still working on the guide ! I have been quite busy with other stuff and haven’t had time to boot up my Morrowind modded setup yet, is it reasonable to wait a bit more until you finish the guide ?

    2. Life in Ink and Pixels

      I’ve reorganized the existing texture galleries, splitting every huge index into far more pages. They load for me, somewhat slowly but consistently. As of now though it’s still an unreleased project until I can at least add some more replacers to it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. CreeperLava

    Sorry for the triple post, I’m adding these as I go through your guide, feel free to merge my posts :).
    I found a possibly better landscape retexture on a russian site, again by Tyddy. It features different options including 4k textures and seems pretty massive. It’s not on Nexus though, so that may be why no one uses it^^.

    1. Life in Ink and Pixels

      Thanks for finding that! It’s really lovely. That site definitely has a few real gems (makes me wish I could read Russian). Honestly, I have had to comb through so many land texture mods that it’s inevitable a few will escape my notice. I’ll add this one to the list of mods to check out later for possible inclusion.

  4. Danjb

    I’d like to thank you for this truly fantastic guide, it’s helped me a lot with a guide I’m writing myself as I reinstall Morrowind for about the 100th time.

    One thing I noticed about your “Lore-Friendly Balmora Suran and Caldera Ground Textures” is the mipmaps seem to be misconfigured, which results in some very obvious tiling issues between distant ground and ground that is nearby – at least for me. I managed to fix it myself by regenerating the mipmaps, but then I noticed that “Papill6n various graphics things” includes an excellent lore-friendly ground texture of its own which I decided to use instead.

    Nonetheless, keep up the great work!

    1. Life in Ink and Pixels

      Hey, thanks for your comment! You may have actually helped me with an issue some other people on the Nexus have been having with my ground textures not appearing properly; I’ll try regenerating the mipmaps and re-uploading. I’ve never made a texture before in my life, and really just created it as a stopgap for Lougian’s ground textures which many people feel are rather mismatched for Balmora (what with having bright white bricks for the ground). Thank you very much for the suggestion of Papill6n’s textures. I’ll take a look and if they’re closer to vanilla I will probably use them in the guide instead of mine. ๐Ÿ™‚

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