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(Re)installing Morrowind, Pt. 9

Continued from Part 8, or start at the beginning.

We’ve upgraded the graphics for characters, clothing, and armor, and now it’s time for weapons. Upgrading weapons is a little more of a process, which is why they get their own entry.

Upgrading Morrowind’s Weapons

There is no one single mod that upgrades every weapon in the game to the same level of quality, but Darknut’s Little Weapons Mod Complete is the best place to start. Pay attention to how you install it. When you unzip the archive, you can copy the “Meshes” folder right into Morrowind\Data Files and let it merge/overwrite, but you can’t do this with the “Textures” folder. Open the “Textures” folder in Darknut’s mod and you’ll see another two folders: “512” and “1024.” These are your choices for resolution. As I mentioned earlier with the armor, even 512×512 is a big upgrade, but if your computer can handle it (most can, nowadays), there’s no reason not to use the 1024×1024. Whichever you choose, open that folder and copy everything inside straight into your Textures folder. Allow any overwrites to happen.

Further Upgrades: Steel

If you wanted to, you could stop there, but there are some further improvements you could make to certain weapon sets. Download Improved Weapon Meshes – Steel by Pherim (also be sure to grab the optional file named “Broadsword alternatives,” but don’t do anything with it just yet). This will upgrade the meshes (basically the 3D shapes) of almost all the steel weapons, still leaving them close enough to the originals to benefit from Darknut’s textures. This is another mod you have to pay attention to while installing, as it includes multiple options. Unzip it, open “00 – Data Files,” and copy ONLY the “meshes” folder into your Morrowind\Data Files (you do not need either .esp file because the correction they provide is already implemented in the Morrowind Patch Project). Next, open “01 – Darknut Style Arrow Texture” and copy the “textures” folder into your Data Files. The third folder, “02 – Alternative,” is up to you. In Pherim’s words, “In the ‘alternative’ folder there are additional alternative meshes and icons for the steel longsword and the steel dagger which are similar in style to the steel shortsword. These are for those people who want a little more consistence in style within the steel category or who find the original dagger design to be to extravagant for such a common weapon.” Below are comparisons of these alternative designs:

You can install both, neither, or just one. If you want both, open “02 – Alternative” and copy both the “icons” and “meshes” folder to Morrowind\Data Files. If you only want one of them, delete the files for the one you don’t want before copying the folders over. The longsword’s files are tx_broadsword_leafbladed.dds in “02 – Alternative\icons\w” and w_broadsword_leafblade.nif in “02 – Alternative\meshes\w.” The other files are for the dagger. If you change your mind later, you can copy both non-alternative meshes out of “00 – Data Files\meshes\w” and simply delete the corresponding icons from Morrowind\Data Files\icons\w. Note that since I originally wrote this post, Pherim added a third version of the steel dagger, with a wavy blade. You can find a picture on the addon page. You now have three to choose from.

Imperial and Steel Broadswords

The regular steel broadsword looks exactly like the Imperial one, which has always bothered me. In my mind, it takes a bit of the fun out of collecting all the weapons when two of them are identical for no reason at all, and also I feel like the Imperial one should be a little fancier— after all, the Imperial and regular steel shortswords are different, so why not the broadswords? If you feel the same way I do about this, you have a few options. Since I originally wrote this post, Pherim created some alternative broadswords at my request. You can choose from the “Broadsword alternatives” that are available with Improved Weapon Meshes: Steel, or, as I originally suggested, use Steel Broadsword Fix by quorn. Make sure you download the right version (depending on whether you have Bloodmoon, which you absolutely should); scroll down for the Bloodmoon version. Whichever mod you use, remember to check its .esp in Data Files.

You now have three different versions of the steel broadsword to choose from (well, three that don’t look identical to the Imperial one). My favorite is Pherim’s design based on the original steel longsword. In the picture below, it’s on the far right.

From left to right: quorn's Steel Broadsword Fix, Pherim's Shortsword-Based, Pherim's Longsword-Based.

From left to right: quorn’s Steel Broadsword Fix, Pherim’s Shortsword-Based, Pherim’s Longsword-Based.

Akaviri Upgrades

Next, install Oriental Mesh Improvements by Psymoniser, which upgrades all the Asian-style weapons in Morrowind such as the tanto, wakizashi, and katana. Of course, in Morrowind, these are Akaviri weapons, since Asia doesn’t exist on the world of Nirn. Unzip the archive and move the “meshes” folder into your Data Files.

Crossbows

Now we are going to upgrade the crossbows using parts of Crossbows by Alaisiagae and WHReaper. This mod adds additional crossbows to the game, but we’re not using that part of it right now; we are only installing the upgraded meshes and icons for the game’s default steel and Dwemer crossbows (remember, we’re trying to stay pluginless as long as possible). In order to accomplish this, extract the mod to its own folder and copy w_crossbow_dwemer.nif and w_crossbow_steel.nif from “Crossbows 1.3\Data Files\Meshes\w\” into Morrowind\Data Files\Meshes\w\. Then, copy tx_crossbow_dwemer.dds and tx_crossbow_steell.dds (yes, it’s misspelled— ignore that) from “Crossbows 1.3\Data Files\Icons\w\” into Morrowind\Data Files\Icons\w\. If you don’t already have a “w” folder inside Icons, just make one. Below are the old and new crossbows.

That’s quite an improvement, no? Before mods, the crossbows were simple recolors of each other. Now, they look appropriately formidable, especially the Dwemer (aka Dwarven) crossbow. We will revisit the Crossbows mod later when we are past the simple “replacement” stage of modding.

Further Upgrades: Iron

Anyway, we’re almost done with the weapons. Install Iron Mesh Improvements – Uniques and activate Psy_IronMeshImprove_Uniques_BME.esp in the Morrowind launcher. Then, download and unzip Real Reflective Weapons – Iron and merge its “Data Files” folder with the one in your Morrowind folder, then copy over the “meshes” and “textures” folders in the “Patch for Psymon’s Iron Mesh Improvements – Uniques” folder, and then finally, copy the ones from the “Bonus” folder (one of these is a steel weapon that would have been overwritten by Improved Weapon Meshes: Steel; that’s why we’re installing in this order). Now finally all our weapons are modded!

The iron weapons in particular need to be seen in action to be fully appreciated, complete with shadows and reflections. I certainly hope Pherim continues his work improving the rest of Morrowind’s weapons.

Further Upgrades: Ebony

Since I originally wrote this entry, Pherim released Improved Weapon Meshes – Ebony, which comes in two flavors with minor differences in the tips of the blades. It also comes with an optional .esp that places an ebony claymore in the game. Download either version, install, and don’t forget to activate the .esp.

Miscellaneous and Further Improvements

There are other addons that further improve Morrowind fashion by giving unique appearances to certain items, but we’ll deal with that level of detail later on in the modding process.

Next time, we we’ll get started on retexturing and reshaping the rest of the world!

6 comments

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  1. Elaura

    You’re not done, are you? (sniffle) I’m following your steps (almost) to the letter.

    1. Life in Ink and Pixels

      Good heavens no! Don’t worry, this isn’t abandoned. I’ll explain what happened: the next entry was intended to cover landscape textures as well as monsters and items, and much to my delight, new Morrowind land textures have been released in the years since my last modding adventure, so I’ve been trying to come up with an ideal set of steps for landscape modding. I’ve also been working on a somewhat technical texture replacer comparison. Basically, retexturing the world proved to be something with an intense number of options.

      Added to that, I’ve been working three jobs for the past several months, AND I managed to somehow break Morrowind (again!) on my computer, but I managed to fix it again too, so this guide is still happening. 🙂

      One last thing: I wasn’t really aware that I had readers (yet), so I was working without much of a sense of urgency. Thank you very much for your comment! You have successfully kicked me in the pants so I can focus. Also, I recognize your name from Wolflore, which is pretty cool.

      I will have another entry up quite soon, work permitting.

  2. Beldin

    Got to the end of this section and nearly cried when I saw there wasn’t another one….then I saw these posts! Phew! Crisis averted! 😀 Glad to see this is still a live project. Gonna 7z my current installation that I have made following your guide and gonna play the MGSO version while we eagerly await your next entry, I can’t wait! What a great guide to follow and very informative. Keep up the awesome work 😀

    1. Life in Ink and Pixels

      Thank you very much! I regret that I haven’t yet had time to continue this guide, but it makes me happy that the work I have done so far is as entertaining and informative as I meant it to be. Do stick around, the next entry is about 50% written but involves loads and loads of screenshots, uninstalling, reinstalling, etc. so it’s quite a time-consuming process. 🙂

  3. Marret

    thank you so much for this guide 😀

    1. Life in Ink and Pixels

      My pleasure!

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