Oblivion MegaMod: Nehrim In English

The gigantic Oblivion total conversion Nehrim: At Fate’s Edge was release a few months back in its native German. The colossal four-year project is a remarkable undertaking, both revamping the standard Oblivion mechanics (improving skills by use being massively toned down, for example) and creating an world of its own, complete with lore and quest lines. The mod features a hand-crafted “continent-sized” map and a core storyline that could last over forty hours. Boonfully it has now been translated into English, so that all the UI and quest text is in English, and the German voice-acting is now subtitled. Clearly, Oblivion owners are going to want to consider this. But what should they expect? Some thoughts below.

I came quite close to giving up on Nehrim in its opening stages. That would have been a shame. It’s a mod, after all, and so free. It fixes some of the stuff I found frustrating in Oblivion (bows are much more useful among other things). It’ also staggeringly well-produced for an amateur venture – a complete overhaul of the original Elder Scrolls game, with some extremely pretty level design, plenty of scripted sequences, NPCs, new monsters, and so on. The game begins with you in a mine, which you seem to have ended up in, along with a few other innocents, due to responding to a spam letter from a mysterious man making threats. This issue of gullibility aside, you have to try and get out of the mine with due haste, because it’s full of what appear to be gorillas.

The race to the surface is a tease. You get glimpses of the surface, and after about forty minutes, and some scripted puzzles, you break out into the sunlight in a lovely orchestrated moment of release. Freedom! It’s a glorious feeling. A luscious valley stretching before you.

Except you are still trapped in the first couple of hundred metres of it, with no access to the sprawling world of Nehrim unless you… return to the mine to deal with rats? Oh god. This hideous imprisonment continues for a while, with a string of tedious quests, a huge pile of rat corpses, and resulted in me quitting in exasperation when I become trapped in a knee-high ditch.

But persistence will pay off. Surely? I returned to the quest to look for the items required. Wandered around aimlessly for a while longer. Then I went back and started trying to throw myself over the barriers in Nehrim. LET ME OUT LET ME OUT.

One more go? Ah, I’ve found a glowing item cache! Some shovels. Perhaps these are the “something” that the gate guard needs to bolster is defence? And it might have been. But it no longer matters, because there’s a pitched battle at the gate, and I am free. And getting out into the world proper is – as with Oblivion’s original out-into-the-world moment – quite the payoff. And this game still is Oblivion on the surface – the same pastoral landscapes, the same puffy faces, but that’s okay because it has its own sprawling world to explore, too. I shall continue to wander. There’s quite a bit more out there, as we shall see.


  1. qrter says:

    Oh god.. now you’ll have me reinstalling Oblivion.. damn your dreamy face, Rossignol!

    • Fringe says:


    • AndrewC says:

      Oh crapping hell.

      Still: awesome work, German people, and German-translating people!

    • user@example.com says:

      Oblivion is a bit like Deus Ex, except that instead of reinstalling it and playing, people reinstall it and spend six hours installing mods and trying to fix their load order.

    • AndrewC says:

      Man, if you can remember playing Oblivion, it’s because you finally gave up with the mods and just fresh installed the vanilla version. But you try telling the kids that, man; they won’t understand.

    • suibhne says:

      If that’s the case, Andrew, it’s only because Oblivion is so terribad without mods.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      hahah yes. Although I recently installed Jason McCullough’s Ridiculous Oblivion Mod Pack which was pretty easy to do, is very comprehensive, is the only way I know how to get the various large quest mods to work together and once you add darker dungeons is delicious Oblivion modding goodness which actually allows you to play the dang thing.

    • Langman says:

      One of the great myths: vanilla Oblivion is poor without mods. It is not.

    • Dominic White says:

      It’s one of those internet echo-chamber things, repeated loudly enough to the point where it’s assumed to be the truth.

      I still think the one that blows most peoples minds is that comparatively very few people ever play multiplayer games. Even for multiplayer-only stuff like Unreal Tournament, the majority of players only play botmatches.

    • qrter says:

      I thoroughly enjoyed vanilla Oblivion. And then I thoroughly enjoyed Oblivion with the first wave of mods. And I thoroughly enjoyed it with the second wave of mods. And so on, quite thoroughly.

      It also thoroughly ate up my time, which is why I find myself reinstalling Oblivion with a real sense of trepidation. Tinged with the expectance of thorough enjoyment, ofcourse.

    • Wulf says:

      Vanilla Oblivion is very boring without good mods, not particularly bad, just mind-numbingly boring. They even managed to make an insanity dimension boring, and that just baffles me and makes me feel rather sad. There are, however, some great story mods out there which deserve to be installed to play, in fact, you install Oblivion to play them, rather than the other way around. One such mod is Ruined-Tail’s Tale, which is an absolutely fantastic bit of mind-screwish tale weaving.

      There are many content mods and various tweaks that generally just make Oblivion more interesting to play, it’s not a bad game, just an amazingly boring one. Morrowind stands far better as a vanilla game than Oblivion could simply by the merits of Morrowind being far less boring, but there are still some absolutely beautiful story mods for Morrowind that deserve to be played, too, like The White Wolf of Lokken Mountain. In fact, that one is, quite frankly, one of my more memorable RPG experiences.

      A lot of games have this going on though, in the original Neverwinter Nights, the best thing about that was the Penultima mod series by Stephen Gagne, and Baldur’s Gate had some remarkable penmanship done for it by a bloke named Wesley. It’s quite frequent that a modder will take a game and actually provide quite a generally better and more interesting story to play within that game than the game’s own story. I’ve heard the same is true of Fallout 3 as well, but I haven’t quite had the chance to play around with that as of yet, though there are some very promising sounding story mods on the nexus.

      It’s very rare that an RPG will be released that isn’t topped by a bit of writing from a modder, really, and the reason for this is obvious: big developers have to play it safe, they have to be familiar, they can’t really afford to intellectually challenge their audience, and this is why games like Planescape: Torment and Mask of the Betrayer are rare rather than the commonality, instead the more common games are dreadfully dull, because developers believe that players couldn’t handle anything that might screw with their heads too much, believing that the most traditional experience is the only way to go. However, mod authors don’t have to play by these rules, in fact, they never do, and this is why the penmanship of some mods is often far superior to a lot of original games.

      In the case of Oblivion (and many RPGs like it), if you only play the vanilla game with its quests and storyline then you’re really missing out, I can’t force you to try stuff, but I can point out the existence of and ask you to. To be honest, I’m still waiting on the mod that will have made Dragon Age: Origins actually worth buying. I know it’ll come along eventually, it’s just a matter of waiting it out. Given time, a brilliant storytelling experience will become available only via DA:O thanks to modders too, and I’ll end up loving that game as much as I did Oblivion.

      Sometimes I realise just how much gaming would stink without modders throwing me story-based curveballs.

    • Langman says:

      Oh, I don’t deny mods can add to the experience.

      It’s the wildly inflated ‘vanilla Oblivion is shite! It is trufax!!’ droning by the masses that is stupid. A game that was lauded by many at the time can’t suddenly turn shite overnight once a few mods arrive.

    • Heliosicle says:


      So true!

    • StingingVelvet says:

      Modders will always act like mods are ESSENTIAL and vanilla players will always try and insist they are not. The fact that the game’s main success came on a platform with no mods what-so-ever says a lot about the “vanilla Oblivion is a terrible game” statement though. It’s B.S. to be frank.

      Personally I use UI and minor graphics mods but I never mod in new items, enemies or locations, or anything else that contradicts the game the designers meant for me to play. It would be like re-editing a movie to me, messing with someone else’s creation.

    • Arglebargle says:

      I’m in the ‘Oblivion is awful’ camp. Ridiculously overhyped and initially over-rated by reviewers who only played it for an hour. Yeah it looked nice. No, it did not have life mimicking AI or voicing, unless you really like Mudcrabs. A host of other things undelivered, but including game killing, unacknowledged bugs, repetitive play, etc. The list goes on and on. As was mentioned before, the singularly difficult task of making an insane demon world really boring. The one interesting part was the Dark Brotherhood storyline, although that was written by the ‘Thief’ guy apparantly.

      In a household of four gamers, Oblivion was uninstalled by everyone within two months. This took Bethesda games from first day buys to ‘get it if it’s under $10’. And this from a group that played Morrowind for years. ((Though there is a noticeable trend that whatever Elder Scrolls game you play first is the one you think is greatest))

      I’ve been waiting for a total conversion mod to make firing it up again worth the effort. Mods alone were not enough to redeem the game for me.

    • Miko says:

      I concur that although it had its moments, far too much of Oblivion was unacceptably poor. There’s very little in the game that doesn’t feel clumsily banged together in the rush to get to the next thing. The story and dialogue are poor. The combat is poorly executed. The magic is poorly executed. The sneaking/thieving is poorly executed. The conversation system is just plain silly. The skill/experience system is awkward and easily gamed, and may handicap you badly if you don’t. The voice acting is wildly variable. Most of the non-wilderness environments are so repetitive they feel like a chase scene in an old cartoon. Yes, the world is enormous but almost everything in it is clumsily put together and shallow. The non-story characters are so two-dimensional and clone-like that the believability of the game world would be wildly enhanced by making them not talk.

      Everyone was so excited for this masterpiece-to-be they’d been waiting for year after years that it got glowing reviews, but really it deserved ‘mildly amiable’ to ‘conciliatory’. It’s better than Two Worlds or Gothic 3, but hardly in a league of its own. Definitely a title I’m somewhat fond of despite its innumerable flaws rather than an inarguably great work.

    • Wulf says:


      Hm, you know? Fair enough. It wasn’t that bad, and it was brilliantly moddable, it’s just that I often see the ‘vanilla Oblivion was the best’ sentiment tied together with the ‘mods are unprofessional and add nothing to games’ one, which makes me twitch. There are a good number of development teams that started off as modders, I think that counts for the Frictional Games team too, and look at the crazy shit they’re doing now. …I wish I wasn’t such a wuss, I really want to play Amnesia.

      The thing is though, anyway, is that I think what Oblivion was best at being was a fraemework, like NWN1, and like Morrowind. What I mean by this is that the world is actually pretty good, some of the quests are good, and the resources on offer are actually pretty good, the main story is a little dull, and the writing isn’t the most exceptional in the world, but you’re right, vanilla Oblivion isn’t shit. Do you know why it literally cannot be shit? Due to the way modding works in those games, the base game has to be interesting, unless you replace the entire base game, which is a nightmare.

      I think Bethesda came into their own more with Fallout 3 though, which was an excellent vanilla game (though still better with mods, mods for Fallout 3 gave us motorbikes… motorbikes), so Bethesda did master that eventually, it’s just that Oblivion is okay on its own, it isn’t brilliant but it isn’t actually bad either, but if you roll mods into Oblivion then it becomes amazing. Fallout 3 is good by itself, roll in mods and you have a truly exceptional experience, mods can take any game, no matter what it is, and make the experience a great deal better. I hope we’ll always have moddable games, I do worry about the future though, with the GEK being so late-released for Fallout 3. Will we get a development kit with Elder Scrolls V? Who knows? :C

      The thing is, even as much as I loved Obsidian’s games, as much as I completely adored NWN2 and MotB, even they were made better by override mods, a bigger font UI, AI fixes, fixes tot he spell and combat system to make them PnP-like, basically the same sorts of things that I also had in NWN1 with my override folder, the campaigns were fantastic in NWN2, I felt, but they still needed override mods to bring out the best of them, and they worked so well.

      But here’s one great Oblivion example: everything in Oblivion leveled with you, there were mods that fixed this by making some content easier for certain types of classes (like if you were better at stealth or magic), and some areas just a bit harder if they were meant to be handled later on and not right at the start of the game.

      Also there was the whole absurdity thing, which I realise not everyone liked, but I did. Example: At one point I took on a 30ft Mudcrab as a doomspoon wielding werewolf whom could cast a spell that was very much like the Groovitron from Ratchet & Clank (everyone dances!).

      Vanilla Oblivion wasn’t a bad game, but like all games that allowed for mods, it reached its greatness with mods.

      Oh, one final thing before I wrap this up: Does anyone remember Lilarcor for Morrowind? Now that was a great mod! I actually want something like that for Fallout 3, a talking AI gun that upgrades over time and keeps rambling, give said AI gun a very base dislike of ThreeDawg and suddenly radio gets much funnier if there are scripted and timed rants whenever TD comes on the air. *coughs.*

  2. goatmonkey says:

    why did I get the doom pack instead of Oblivion in the quakecon sale I feel very stupid

  3. GenBanks says:

    Sounds intriguing, still haven’t completed the original campaign though, despite having poured quite a few hours into the game. I kept completing sidequests etc. Then after a while I’d stop playing, forget about my save games and accidentally delete them during an upgrade/ reformat. I’ve done this about three or four times :s

    I wish they’d introduce steam cloud saves to the game, hehe.

    • Nick says:

      You aren’t missing much. It’s also very short.

    • Mr. Brand says:

      I’ve spent well over 600 hours just on the vanilla Xbox 360 version of Oblivion. The game is as short as you let the open world make it :)

      (Don’t ask me about hours spent on Morrowind and Oblivion, mods included. It’s pretty sad.)

  4. Baboonanza says:

    I’m tempted, but I’d like to know more about their changes/improvements to the game mechanics.

  5. Fergus says:

    Can’t speak German, so I can’t get far enough into their website to find out just how many people worked on this project. They seem to have had the kind of resources most fan projects could only dream of (recording studio with professional actors?)

    Are you watching, Mesa?

  6. 12kill4 says:

    Here is a quote taken from their website’s info segment:

    Nehrim is a game focusing both on story and classical RPG gameplay. You solve quests, earn experience points, collect better equipment. Although this sounds rather conventional, Nehrim finds a perfect balance between a stunning presentation and the actual game. If you are not motivated to proceed playing once you have started, you are probably doing something wrong.

    How modest of them…

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Heh. I am guessing the rats quest is a little joke, because it’s followed immediately a by a comedy “man’s head stuck in helmet” bit.

      It’s impressive though, really, even if the story is wonky.

    • Azazel says:

      Yeah, it’s not exactly the ‘Valve attitude’ is it?

      Still, cool to see a big project like this out the door and looking so polished.

    • 12kill4 says:

      I dunno Jim… the developers might be laughing, but I can smell kool-aid on their breath….

      Q: How does the player start into the adventure anyways?
      In a prison? That would be traditional; however, Nehrim will not start that way. We don’t want to reveal more, it shall just be noted that Nehrim’s start locations will be far more spectacular than those in Oblivion…

    • 12kill4 says:

      und sie nennen es eine Mine… eine Mine!

    • Rinox says:

      This is what Germans think of modesty:

      With people of limited ability modesty is merely honesty. But with those who possess great talent it is hypocrisy.

      ~ Arthur Schopenhauer


    • 12kill4 says:

      I approve

  7. Ian says:

    “Except you are still trapped in the first couple of hundred metres of it, with no access to the sprawling world of Nehrim unless you… return to the mine to deal with rats?”

    That would grate as I thought one of Oblivion’s best moments was getting out of that damnable sewer and realising the game wasn’t making me go anywhere.

    “Here’s the world. Have fun!”

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Absolutely. It does release you eventually, but it was a true facepalm moment.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      Damnit, why do I always seem to be the one who has immersion breaking moments in open world games? During my one stab at Oblivion, I was in some dungeon(involving vampires if my memory doesn’t betray me), when I heard the echoing footfalls of the guards from the big city. Suddenly I had some NPC telling me to follow him. I tried to ignore him, but he kept blocking my progress. It was as if he was some strange Orpheus and I was Eurydice, except I didn’t return to the underworld when he’d stop to make sure I was following him like a puppy. All the way back to the city. So much for ‘do it your way at your pace’. Needless to say, I uninstalled Oblivion immediately, and vowed to never buy another Bethesda game. But, hell, I recently found the DVD, and have been wondering if I should give it another go. Can anyone recommend a mod that makes the combat, if not fun, at least tolerable?

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      texnexus has a mod that changed it, but I can’t remember the name of it. I never tried it myself.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      Odd question as the combat is usually considered a great part of a flawed game when it comes to Oblivion.

      As for the guard, sounds like a glitch. They happen in open-world games, best to make frequent quick saves and load at signs of trouble.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      @DJ_Phantoon – Thanks, I’ll look it up.

      @StingingVelvet – Thank you, as well. The guard was the captain(a black dude), he grabbed me by the ear because I hadn’t finished some task. And, oh dear. If the combat is the best part(it reminded me of the wire-frame avatar in Punch-Out! arcade, only with polygonal-skin and a lot jerkier. I guess Bethesda makes games I just don’t enjoy.

    • terry says:

      @Ignorant Texan : That mod is probably Deadly Reflex (link to tesnexus.com). It adds decapitations although I’ve yet to see one.

  8. Navagon says:

    Does it alter the less appealing aspects of Oblivion, such as everything levelling up with you?

    • trooperdx3117 says:

      Nothing levels up with you like in Oblivion as far as I can tell. Each area is considered to be for a vertain character level, for instance the opening valley is for characters level 1-7 and a forest is level 4-14 while up on a mountain pass is considered level 20-25

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Yes, it’s level-based as in a classic RPG. Which might limit rapid exploring. Being able to wander everywhere because of that mechanic was one of the things I liked most about Oblivion actually. Playing Divinity recently and not being able to walk 500m down the road because the skeletons were two levels higher was just ludicrous.

    • Clovis says:

      I like that some areas of a game are extremely dangerous though. You can maybe sneak about in an area to get a peek at it. Later you can explore it thoroughly. And even later in the game you can come back and completely thrash all those mobs that were so tough before. I definitely want the ability to search around and suddenly find myself in a very, very dangerous situation. I want to have to run away sometimes.

      Oblivion was the worst of both worlds. I had no idea how Oblivion’s scaling and level system worked, so I spent a lot of my early points on stuff like alchemy and archery since I thought they were fun. When I leveled up and the Oblivion Gates were all over the place I was almost completely outmatched pretty much everywhere I went. I fiddled with the difficult and started gaming the levelling system, but that definitely sucked for awhile.

    • bhlaab says:

      Really? Because NOT being able to wander anywhere is what has endeared me so well to the Gothic series. Having to slowly eke out your territory, being resigned to the beginner areas not because of fake designer-implemented impasses but because you aren’t sure you’re up to the task…

    • Urthman says:

      Oh yes. “Decide for yourself when you’re ready to handle the next area” is so much more fun in an RPG than, “Wait until the story unlocks the next area”.

      I loved the way GTA:San Andreas did it. “Sure, go anywhere you like, but if you set foot outside the (huge) starting area too soon, an entire state’s worth of police and military will come down on you in a ferocious assault that you might survive if you start running back to your ‘hood now.

  9. DarkFenix says:

    I like the look of this, but can anyone tell me how good the translation is? Is it translated into English or ‘Engrish’?

  10. mattwombat says:


    Sounds not too dissimilar to my experience. I reinstalled it about a year ago and said that would be the time I finally completed it. Buuuut, I strayed away from the main quest from the start and stopped playing it after about 3 weeks. Might have to return again now, never to complete it.

  11. Falfa says:

    Aah sh*t. DAO is still wating to get finished, and after that I was already planning to get my hands to Witcher. It’s almost 2 year when I played Oblivion and reinstall is so close atm. Good ad ;)

  12. Ergates says:

    I’ve had my head stuck in a helmet before, it wasn’t funny. Well, not to me anyway – the people I was with seemed to find it quite amusing.

  13. Po0py says:

    One of the things I truly hated about Oblivion and Fallout 3 is the Cut ‘n’ Paste dungeons. I hope they fixed this with a few extra dungeon environments just to mix things up a bit.

  14. Toby says:

    Think I’ll have to reinstall Oblivion again. This looks very good.

  15. pipman3000 says:

    so does it add any new races or skills or something? is the voice acting bad? does the setting punish you for playing a woman? how big are the gorillas? does everyone still look like they have downs syndrome? how many moons are in the sky? can i play a prancy elfy hippy alchemist like i always do?will i want to murder the developers after i’m done with the mine? the faqs already made me want to stab them with a broken bottle.

    i lost my oblivion dvd :(((((((

  16. bhlaab says:

    This isn’t exactly a glowing recommendation. In fact it seems like its the exact opposite of a recommendation. I tried this out got to the outside world, realized that the Oblivion engine still wasn’t as good at having lots of trees as it seems to think it is, and quit.

    The opening dungeon was a linear slog of one scripted event after another as well. Not exactly what I’d call the height of roleplaying. Their XP-based system is also only half implemented as well, with some skills such as acrobatics still levelling based on use.

    • Fwiffo says:

      It gets better. Also the leveling system isn’t so bad. The game is unleveled so you won’t be screwed if you don’t game you skillups like Oblivion.

      You’ll level quickly at first via exp and it might seem your skills are raising too fast through use, but it levels out quite nicely to the point where you have to pay trainers and actively seek out exp to advance so keeping ahead of the game is a doddle.

  17. Fwiffo says:

    I’ve been playing it for a while now. Being unleveled a-la Morrowind is a boon more than a curse. I stumbled into a quest to attack some bandits and while I had to panic and run in circles for the most part, I survived and found a great set of armour and a badass sword of 14 damage (my previous one did 4). Returning to the lower leveled areas, I’ve been having a great time clearing any locations I can find.

    It’s been more fun to play than Oblivion because you really have to use every item you find to survive. Scrolls and potions aren’t just vendor trash for one.

    As long as you funnel points into a kill skill and a defense skill you’ll be free to do what you like with the rest. Just try to buy as many skill ups as you can before you hit the levelup button for better attribute boosts, though it doesn’t seem as crippling if you don’t game the system what with weapons hitting harder and all.

    Last thing: If you’re wanting to play dedicated mage, run for the Sanctum as fast as you can. You can buy your first spells there and go back to the Abbey area for loot and exp.

  18. Heliosicle says:

    Looking at the info on their website, they seem to have used a lot of the mods I install when I install the game, should save me a bit of time!

  19. Stuart Walton says:

    Looking at the differences to Oblivion in the ReadMe file reveals that they are certainly fans of the Gothic series. With skills improved primarily with teachers and costing both gold and learning points. Combat looks as though it will be more brutal too, higher damage modifiers but with effective blocking.

    I have found this style of combat not to be very fun in the Gothic games when you are weak, mainly due to limitations in the controls. I do however think that Oblivion’s controls are less restrictive and more intuitive and the new style should sit well with it.

    • CTRL-ALT-DESTROY says:

      The best part of the Gothic series was the exploration, but only because it was rewarding. There was a sense of foreboding when entering high level areas, like the forest, in Gothic 2. Even though the danger of death lurked around every corner, it was possible to explore and still come out alive. You just had to be crafty. You could do things that made you feel like you were outsmarting the developers, or the AI. For instance, there’s that cave with the two skeleton warriors standing guard over a glowing sword stuck in a stone. Even with no chance of victory in direct combat, you could still swipe the high end weapon at a low level if you were able to pull off the perfect bait and switch and then run for your life all the way out the forest.

      The lack of reward is what kills the fun in exploring Oblivion. If that same instance had occurred in the vanilla game, you wouldn’t think twice before wiping the floor with the two goons and grabbing the sword and continuing on. No danger, no risk, and probably minimal reward. So if it is the case that these guys are fans of the Gothic series, as posted above, and have changed the leveling system, then I will definitely be trying this out. Kudos to developers who understand the difference between rewarding exploration and meaningless tourism.

  20. Sébastien Richer says:

    Is there anyway we can run this on the XBOX version ?

    • Shakermaker says:

      In a word: no.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      That’s the short version. Here’s the long version:

      What the hell are you doing here, console boy?

    • pipman3000 says:

      yeah lynch that dude for owning a console.

      aren’t you all a little old for platform wars

    • thebigJ_A says:

      I was primarily a console player, then I got a better job and a decent pc, now I’m *also* a pc gamer.

      Do I have no right to be here?

      Anyway, I have Oblivion for the 360, too, and this is tempting me to pick it up on Steam so I can play this mod. Think I’ll wait to read the future posts about it.

      Oh, and I played Morrowind on the original Xbox. *GASP!*

    • JurassicPork says:

      My first elder scrolls was Morrowind on the Xbox. I loved that game. Played it in my student halls over the xmas with a mate. Constantly stoned and totally lost in the game world. Good times.

  21. Amasius says:

    I haven’t finished Nehrim yet but I like it much better than (vanilla) Oblivion. The world is relatively empty compared to Oblivion – less people, quests and dungeons – but what’s there is done with much more love to detail.

    What I’ve seen of the story so far is the usual High Fantasy nonsense but well, that’s probably just me. The (german) voice acting is surprisingly good, by far the best I’ve seen in a mod ever. But what really impressed me are the dungeons. Oh boy, the dungeons. Every one is handcrafted and unique. I don’t remember a commercial RPG in the recent years with dungeons that great. The modders really put Bethesda to shame with them.

  22. PoweredByZen says:

    Uh-oh. I’m tempted to give Nehrim a spin because it seems such a great and inspired effort. However..I love TES series because it tries to do away with so many tired CRPG cliches and does it better and better with each iteration.

    Unfortunately (for me, at least) the Sureai Team didn’t want to make a better Oblivion or bigger Oblivion or weirder Oblivion or any kind of Oblivion at all. From the look of it they made a Gothic game that runs on Oblivion engine instead, because apparently Risen and Gothic are not enough.

    Also they are deadly serious about it. I’m all for handcrafted dungeons but apparently every tree and rock in the outside world have also been hand-placed and procedural landscape generation be damned. The guys are immensely proud of this little fact, but it seems a weird way to spend four years.

    And there is also this quote from FAQ:

    Nehrim has nothing to do with Oblivion.

    that kinda makes one wonder: if there are so many things about Oblivion these guys don’t like why didn’t they make Nehrim a standalone game?

  23. terry says:

    Der held des Kvatch! Dies ist wirklich eine ehre!

    Very interested to finally check this out. Unfortunately my Oblivion install is dangerously crash-prone and I installed some mod at some point that sent NPCs beserk and scattered all the quest waypoints randomly all over the place.

  24. danarchist says:

    Ya know, I read about some mod for the original Witcher on here the other day and ended up digging it out of my “Donate” pile, now I read this and im wondering if this has already been shipped off to the street kid center with the rest of my old games or if i can sneak another run out of it hahaha
    I guess its very telling about the sparsity of new games im interested in available right now that im replaying old games for a second, third or fourth time =P

  25. Stuart Walton says:

    I’ve now played up to getting to the Abbey and then a short side quest which confirmed that they’re Gothic fans, my prize was free training.

    Rossignol is a little too harsh on the point of the game not letting you into the (quick)sandbox quick enough. Had he not known it was an open world game then I doubt it would be raised as an issue. It’s best to think of the opening as orientation. A section to clue you in on how it differs from the vanilla game. The hemming in of the player stops them making assumptions about the game’s mechanics and gives them a chance to acclimatise before they can run off and get lost without a clue. This containment is necessary.

    The writing and voice acting is superb for a mod. While my German is no better than high school level, I find that in comparison with other subtitled works Nehrim scores favourably. The German performances are emotively suppressed, which matches my experience of the language as there is little versatility when intoning it. It translates well enough, characters are very direct and information is conveyed efficiently. Sometimes a little too efficiently, and you get a mass of information thrown at you but this is mainly down to translation losing some of the clarity. Thankfully the game manages to terminate info-dumps just as they start to fatigue the player. Whether this is a continuing trend I’ll have to see. Again, for a mod, superb.

    It’s quite a visual delight. With the achievements of the modding community and a deeper familiarity with the engine than Bethesda had with vanilla Oblivion, Nehrim looks pretty damn good. The visual updates developed in the mod community are one thing, but this game excels in its location design too. Every place I’ve been so far has felt unique, a far cry from the modular dungeons that litter Cyrodiil. Arguably Bethesda’s design ethic is spurred by a requirement for a volume of content. Nehrim, as a Gothic inspired entity will have only dungeons linked to quests, and so requires fewer of them, thus allowing greater creative attention upon each one. Or at least, my meagre experience suggests that this is the case. Even the landscapes seem to have a little more attention in their crafting.

    If you like both Elder Scrolls and Gothic/Risen, this is something you can’t pass on.

  26. James says:

    Spoken like a true non-programmer!

    Basically, it’s because building an engine is hard. It took those guys four years with a preexisting engine that already had combat and quests and all sorts of handy things all worked out. They were just creating content for four years. If they had to build an engine, the gameplay probably wouldn’t have been as polished, the game probably wouldn’t have looked as pretty, and we probably wouldn’t be able to play it right now.

    Also, because Oblivion is really popular (what good is an epic mod if nobody owns the game?) and really mod-friendly. You’d be hard pressed to find another modern RPG that was around four years ago with the same ease of modification.

    • PoweredByZen says:

      What? Nah, I understand the choice of Oblivion as modding platform. It’s just that Nehrim seems somewhat ashamed of its heritage and tries to have as little in common with it as possible.

      ‘Oh, that’s my deranged granddad. He keeps babbling about how great it is to start the game in prison, while starting in mines is clearly the way to go.’

  27. Ishy says:

    This is all I’ve been playing the past couple days, loads of fun.

    Some of the cool new stuff:
    There are real benefits to exploring, you get a small hit of XP for finding new areas, and for the careful searcher there are magical runes (100 total on the continent) each granting a chunk of XP, as well as collectible herbs that when eaten slightly improve your attributes. The two varieties I’ve noted so far grant +1 to your weight limit, and the other +1 luck. These are rarely on the beaten path.

    There’s a crafting system, though I’ve yet to be able to make anything. It uses the Armorer skill, and I’ve been dumping most of my points into combat. However part of the system is that you can mine ore, dig through heaps with a shovel, and a few other things.

    Good number of side quests, right now I’m doing some bounty board missions (go to x location, stabby stab a bandit, get some gold) and raiding random dungeons. There’s an easily obtained spell that lets you check enemy’s level and health from a distance, which has been useful.

    You start off horribly weak, but get competent quickly. The spells are much more useful than normal oblivion. Right now my usual combat strat is put three damage over times (an AOE fire, an absorb health, and a damage life) and then block.

    There are giant heaps of poo around towns. Needless to say this needs to be in more medieval games.

    The biggest annoyance so far is that it is a crime to use magic in cities. I’ve been arrested twice for forgetting this and healing wounds in town.

  28. Ignorant Texan says:

    @terry –

    DJ Phantoon, StingVelvet and your polite and helpful replies have made me decide to re-install Oblivion, patch it to current, and take notes to look for mods for what complaints I may develop. Whether I like Oblivion anymore this time matters not; that it has such a devoted player-base tells me this is a special game.

    • KillahMate says:

      Good luck! As an obligatory starting recommendation, I’d go for Oscuro’s Oblivion Overhaul, a sort of ‘Stalker Complete’ for Oblivion. I’ll let the fine chaps at UserCreated explain what it does and why it’s unmissable. Also check that article’s comments for some other suggestions.

    • Dominic White says:

      Oscuro’s Overhaul is the direct opposite of the STALKER Complete mods. The Complete series tries to refine what content is there, while fixing bugs and remedying obvious balance issues. Oscuro’s Overhaul ‘fixes’ enemies scaling to level by putting a boss that can one-shot you in the newbie dungeon.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      KillahMate –

      Thanks, I’d forgotten about that particular overhaul. I’m giving this go as close to vanilla as possible. I do remember being annoyed by ‘trash’ mobs scaling, as wiping the floor with former ‘oh, shit, RUN!!!!’ baddies can be fun. If I get that feeling this time, I’ll probably try Oscuro’s. Once again, thank to everyone who has taken the time to post helpful suggestions.

  29. nigelvibations says:

    Hear hear. People need to double and triple emphasize the fact that this is a *total* conversion, not just a content mod. Most of the controls & game mechanics are the same, but a lot of them are different. No matter how far you are with your character in vanilla Oblivion, this will start you off with the race selection screen at the beginning of level 1 & nothing in your inventory or spellbook. It really is a whole new game that just happens to be running on the Oblivion engine. I’m a fan of both Gothic & Elder Scrolls, so I am of course in hog heaven.

    Also, for what it’s worth, I modded the Steam version on the Windows 7 partition of my 2.4 GHz iMac, and it’s running passably at medium-low settings. Not awesomely, but fast enough that it still feels like I’m running around in a 3d world. And it’s crashed maybe 3 times in 10 hours of play.

  30. LupusAmicus says:

    Feeling nostalgic I, just yesterday reinstalled Oblivion, and today I see that Nehrim is in English… Read about this mod in 2008 and waited and waited till forgot about it! But thanks to RPS i’m dowloading it now :)

  31. fertius willibrordus says:

    iam allways stuck in the rat cave cant close those holes and keep being killed by rats

    • Dingo says:

      Yep, that one started being a PITA. Then I found out you have to put the right size stone in the right hole. Really close to the hole! ^_^ There are 3 sizes of stones.

  32. josoap says:

    How about a spoiler alert on this!!!

  33. Pino says:

    Just check this mod out on moddb. There are trailers, some info and whatnot.

    And for all the Oblivion lovers out there: Nehrim will open your eyes as to why a bunch of people don’t like vanilla Oblivion.

    For the Oblivion haters out there: play this mod anyway, it’s everything Oblivion should have been.

    Also, they’ve did the same thing for Morrowind; they created a totally new game called Arktwend. Now that I haven’t played myself, but I heard it’s very much worth it.