From Oblivion Mod Wiki
|Last Updated:||March 30th, 2007|
|Download(s):||TES Nexus, TES Nexus (OBMM installation script), Planet Elder Scrolls|
Natural Environments is my personal attempt to enhance and improve environmental components of Elder's Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The 2.0 version of the mod introduces dozens of new features, such as seasonal weather patterns, improved visualization of most celestial features found in the game, more than 40 new weather types (the default number is 7), and additional ambient wildlife species, such as birds and insects.
The mod also removes several minor annoyances found in the original product, such as opaque water surfaces, muddy underwater vision, visibly pixelated cloud textures, and unrealistic meteoric conditions. Most of the changes are cosmetic and should not affect the game's performance noticeably. For a more complete and detailed list of this mod's features, please read the Version Changes part of this file.
 List Of Features
 Seasonal weather patterns and climate changes
Each season affects probability factors of different weather types. Winters are characterized by periodic snowfalls and 'colder looking' environments. Summer days look more lively and saturated with vivid colors. Falls and springs are transitional periods characterized by more often occurrences of severe weather conditions, such as rains and thunderstorms. Snow-covered Bruma region is confined to the 'deep winter' weather conditions. In addition, there are some time changes for all in-game sunsets and sunrises that allow them to last longer and look more natural.
 Additional weather types
Here's the breakdown on the new types. The total number of possible weather variations went from 7 to 44. There are 31 completely distinctive weather types. Each of the original 7 classes has been completely remade and improved; in total, they contain 7 Clear, 6 Cloudy, 3 Fog, 4 Overcast, 4 Rain, 4 Snow, and 3 Thunderstorm unique weather types. There are 13 additional types that copy cloud formations of the new Clear and Cloudy types mentioned above, but apply paler lighting than their counterparts, which makes their use more suitable in colder regions or during winter months.
 Visual Improvements and Fixes
All sky, moon, and stars textures have been replaced with better looking versions. Color and luminescence properties of the sun have been dramatically altered. The nebula has a new high-resolution texture. Moons no longer have unrealistic black borders around them.
 New Precipitation Effects
There are several new subtypes for each precipitation class. Snow and Rain particle emitters now produce more realistic weather effects. Raindrop size varies with each rain subtype, but generally, all of them look thinner, smaller, and more transparent than the original.
 Birds and Insects
More than a dozen of new creatures now inhabit vast expanses of Cyrodiil's airspace. These creatures are subjects of numerous limitations, they can't be killed or interacted with in any way, and they serve no other purpose but to provide players with additional levels of in-game immersion and realism. Although all aerial creatures tend to hide from severe weather conditions, their individual endurance levels may vary. All new creatures are sensitive to the seasonal climate changes. For example, all insect types hibernate and cannot be seen during winter months, and some birds can be observed traveling in flocks during the spring and fall migration seasons. Natural Habitat is the most recent addition to the package, and, although it's stable and safe to install, it has not been tested properly at the time of release. If you notice any severe abnormalities in the birds' behavior, please contact me though the mod's official forum thread or email me.
 Natural Water
General description: this part of the package adds transparency to default opaque water surfaces, changes underwater visibility settings, and considerably improves quality of water reflections.
 HUD Elements and Extras
There are new visual styles included for the health/mana/fatigue bars and for the compass. Those who want to try an alternative visual style for the in-game Breathmeter, may find it in Extras. There is also a file named Bright_Torches.esp (Extras) that makes torches emit twice the light. If you find the nights too dark, you may want to try to enable this mod.
I would like to thank the following contributors:
- Mike Langman, for allowing me to use his excellent bird artwork (http://www.mikelangman.co.uk).
- Artur, for providing me with base drawings of insects (http://www.arthursclipart.com).
- "bloodystump", the author of SeasonalWeather, for providing me with a template for my own seasonal mod development (http://www.tessource.net/files/author.php?id=37213).
- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, for their contributions to the public domain collections (http://www.fws.gov , http://www.archive.org).
- Bethesda Softworks, for their strategic thinking.
- Svetlana Tael and all other supporters of the project, for keeping me motivated.
You may pick up possible conflicts from the file names. Natural Water will conflict with any other mods that modify water surfaces, such as Advanced Water and Better Water. Natural Weather is quite complex; it will probably be incompatible with most other weather and climates changing mods. I had to sacrifice some things and unnecessarily complicate others to achieve this, but, as a result, at the time of this release I'm not aware of any mods that directly conflict with Natural Habitat.
 Additional Notes
Due to unexpected popularity of the project, I decided to start treating it accordingly and took more professional approach to its development. I will continue supporting it for the time being, and I am grateful for any feedback and assistance you provide. For those who wish to integrate their resources (such as textures, scripts, sounds, and etc.) into this project: in order for any external materials to be included into the future versions, they must be able to blend in and make a positive impact on the overall quality of the mod. I will not accept any copyrighted and proprietary materials without their legal owners' clearly expressed consent. Any contributions will be attributed in a clear and succinct manner. If you have any questions, you can contact me through email@example.com or the Elder Scrolls forums (http://www.elderscrolls.com/forums).
 Copyright terms and conditions
Be advised that some of the replacement textures I used were based on original artwork that belongs to several different individuals and organizations, including (but not limited to) Bethesda Softworks, Mike Langman, and Arthur's Clipart. These affiliated groups own all rights to redistribution of their artwork outside of the Natural Environments project space. You are free to copy, distribute and display the work, but you are denied to make any commercial use of it. Due to abovementioned copyright issues, you need to contact me or the copyright owners if you're planning on updating, modifying, or creating any derivative works based upon this whole mod or any parts of it. I see no problem with your use of components that constitute my personal intellectual property in any kind of future developments. You can obtain my explicit permission to do so by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Generally, I would prefer to receive some sort of attribution of credit.
 Liability Disclaimer
Use at your own risk. This data is being given to you free of charge, and I do not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for your use of it.
OMFG, yes I am definitely NOT satisfied with the gorgeousness of Oblivion that is default, as you probably noticed by my continued reviews of graphic related mods. This mod gives a much more realistic feel to the game's environment. As I wandered around the vast world Cyrodill, I always felt that the game's environment lacked the feeling of *life*. The environment seemed bleak to me for some reason. This mod fixed it. It adjusts the lighting within the game to give a warmer glow to the game when fitting, and a bleaker, more depressing, dark, and menacing mood to the game at night. Definitely a must have.
 Review by Steel_Grunty
As of version 1.1, this mod is great. Rather than the dull-ish default look, the environments have a much more lush look to them. The greens of shrubs, grass, and trees really stand out and make for some wonderful vistas. The lighting is adjusted to a vibrant, warmer look during day and a darker, more fitting look at night and rainstorms. However, the underwater effects (or lack thereof) need improvement, and the mod only really shines with HDR. If your rig can handle it, though, this mod is definitely a good choice.
Version 2.0 edit: The new rain and snow effects are much, much better than the original Oblivion ones; and they add to the value of this mod. More now than ever, this is a choice mod.
Generally great implementation, but some minor flaws such as butterflies fluttering around underwater as if they were waterbreathing and experienced the same fluid viscosity in water as in air...pretty amazing butterflies! Also the snow flakes are very bright white which is only realistic on a snowfall in bright daylight at high noon...which is a rare event as snow usually falls under an overcast sky and therefore should be greyer unless reflecting light from a torch or other spot illumination. As a general rule, the color of the snowflake should vary according as some percent of the mean ambient scene lighting to make it look realistic. For example, at night it would always be darker than during the day.