Skyrim Mod Enderal’s Trailer Explores The Undercity

The developers of upcoming Skyrim total conversion Enderal: The Shards of Order have released a new trailer, showing off a location dubbed the Undercity.

I’m curious: just how does one acquire a Shard of Order? First you’d need to shatter an intangible concept, which seems like a lot of hard work, even for a fantasy big boss. Ordering a Shard seems a lot easier: you can just have one custom-made by any number of Skyrim merchants. Enderal, whoever you are – you have my number. Call me.

Title aside, this trailer suggests that the dev team may have nailed at least one thing: a really strong sense of place. Have a watch and see if you agree about the Undercity. It looks to me like a place in which people might actually live, something a lot of open world games miss.

It’s possible that the combination of atmospheric music, slick camera work and general resemblance to the grimy, hopeless underground communities of the Metro games has slipped the wool over my eyes, but I like to retain an open mind. And it does look rather lovely, yes? It’s almost like a Skyrim version of the documentary Dark Days.

The TC’s Moddb page doesn’t feature a whole lot of information about the game, so there’s no suggestion of whether this is Skyrim’s mechanics transplanted into this new setting – of which the Undercity is just one part – or whether developers SureAI are aiming to shake the core game up and offer us a remixed interpretation. Either way, I have to say I’m curious to explore this intriguing city.

The trailer was released to help promote Enderal for the 2014 Moddb Mod of the Year Awards, and apparently Enderal took 2nd place last year. SureAI are shooting for 1st place this year: good luck to them. But seriously, Enderal, get in touch. I’ve got contacts who can make your life a lot easier.

19 Comments

  1. Zorlan says:

    As someone who’s followed the project since it’s birth and official reveal, please correct the name in the title as it is spelled “Enderal”!

    Enderal is the successor to the team’s previous mod/Total Conversion, Nehrim, which was made using The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion’s Construction Set in the second half of the last decade. I believe that mod was also featured here on RPS prior to release and after, with some articles to describe it and so on. If you haven’t played it yet, you should! While the engine’s graphics are a bit dated, they can be enhanced greatly with some excellent mods and you can find the total conversion (free!!) link to sureai.net . They’ve ironed out most of the bugs that were in the first release so be sure to just grab the “Full Version incl. Patch – English” if you’re going to give it a go. In terms of playtime, it’s about 100h of content in a vast, beautiful world, all hand-made by the team.

    Enderal, like Nehrim, will use an exp-system to increase character strength, instead of leveling up purely via skill gain. Increasing skills might (no full data on this yet) give some exp, but mostly exp will be rewarded for slaying mosters, completing quests and exploring the world. Enderal is one of my most anticipated games to release, with a release date probably being somewhere in 2015/2016. The team has made some great progress over the three years’ development and I honestly can’t wait for the closed beta version. Please put up a link to the team’s website, as there is a lot more content there for people to see! http://www.sureai.net

    • Sorhin says:

      Good to see someone giving proper info about the mod, this article seemed a bit shallow to be honest. Btw they are heavily inspired by the experience system from the Gothic series.

    • Stuart Walton says:

      I tried Nehrim and enjoyed it but I think some other game pulled me away and I never gave it the time it deserved.

      • Zorlan says:

        Revisit! I recommend you to either play the game fresh with a new save or continue where you left off as it’s very worth playing through from start to end!

    • Wigbold says:

      FAQ

      So, what exactly is Enderal?

      Enderal is a Total-Conversion-Mod for Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Basically, a Total Conversion (TC) is a new game built from from scratch, using the original game`s ressources as well as additional ones. Skyrim and Tamriel do not exist any more. However, by using Skyrim´s Engine and its models a new game is developed. It comes with its very own story and world, and new as well as changed and complemented gameyphsics. In conclusion, for you Enderal is a brand new game, that will approximately provide you with 30 – 150 hours of gaming.

      What distinguishes Enderal from Skyrim?

      One could say that we try to combine the concept of open world gaming with a complex and profound storyline. Furthermore, we try to merge the strengths of various open world games into one RPG. Enderal is a mixture of The Elder Scrolls and Gothic, added up with a multi-faceted and complex story. Enderal comes with a big world filled by tombs, ruins and acient fortresses and lots of interesting landmarks to explore. We will also add new Features such as experience points, special classes and talents and set-items.

      When will Enderal be released?

      As we work on a purely voluntary basis we can only approximate the time we still need to completion. It is dependent on how much free time our members have to work on the game and pogress varies, but we keep up to Milestones and Deadlines, we set up ourselves. However, we won´t name any dates, untill we are sure that we can fulfill the timetable. Instead we´ll inform you regularily about developments and the progress we´re making.

      To what extent do you change the gameplay?:

      Enderal will use Skyrim´s combatsystem in its basic terms. Other parts, such as the skillsystem are being changed and rebuilt completely. We will use an experience point system instead of Skyrim´s Skill-based levelingsystem – By using experience points the player can be awarded for many different actions(decisions, exploring, combat, quests). So you really get to feel to the progress your character is making much more, it motivates constantly. By leveling up you gain learning points, which you may use to train your abilities in exchange for money. (Costs do not increase with higher level, so you may save your learning points for later training). Skyrim´s skilltrees are exchanged for class specific skilltrees(disciplines), which will merge Skyrims various skills in class specific bundles. Dragon Shouts will be changed to special talents, which can be achieved in within the classtrees. These talents will provide many completely new abilities which will add to the strategic depth of combat in Enderal. In combination with a more crucial importance of food and alchemy, we want to complement Skyrim´s action-based combat with a tactical challenge. We are integrating challenging scripted bossfights througout story and dungeons that will put up a good fight and will demand the player to use his tactical abilities.

      So what about these companions you mentioned?

      Two complex and detailed personalities will acompany the player through Enderal´s story. We put a lot of effort into creating authentic, ambivalent characters, who have their own ambition and motivation, instead of just being merry company. You will have the possibility to talk to your companions from time to time so as to get to know them well. There will be an invisible sympathy system that will react to your answers. I will, for example, loose some of my companions sympathy if I make decisions against his or her moral values. However, I can gain sympathy by being on the “same wavelength” as my companion. The tone of your long term relationship is dependent on the amount of sympathy you gain from your companions. What is more, the actual outcome of Enderal´s story and what finally is left to choose from may be changed by the way you interact with them. Of course, you won´t be with company all the time, just on special missions. It´s all about emotional bounds.

      Can you give us an insight into the world and story?

      Enderal is closely connected to its predecessor “Nehrim – At Fate´s Edge”. You, a fugitive from Nehrim, find yourself aboard a ship heading for Enderal. Accompanied by strange circumstances, visions and dreams you get involved in a mystical conflict whose roots may be found in Enderal – All to soon this conflict rises to a phenomenon of global impact set rolling by the events on Nehrim. The remains of an acient civilization long lost and forgotten that vanished mysteriously from the surface of Vyn are to be explored, the memories of the dead to be ventured. Enderals deepest wilderness needs to be roamed in search of salvation. You will encounter spiritul abysses, crypitcal entities and ambivalent personalities. Finally, you will have to face a huge fight in which the real enemy is far from clear.

      And who exactly are you?

      We are a german speaking Modding-Team that was founded by SureAi veterans Dennis(Hoxyd) and Johannes(LordDagon). To this day we have finished numerous successful projects for Bethesda´s titles Morrowind, Oblivion and Fallout3 with varying member lineups. SureAi´s “CubeExperimental” made it to the top 5 of “Best Singleplayer Mod 2009”. Our most extensive projects “Nehrim – At Fate´s Edge”, developed over four years time, even won “Best Singleplayer Mod 2010” – Award by Moddb.com, “Best Mod of the Year” – Award by PCGamerUS, and finally entered into Moddb.com´s “Mod Hall of Fame” where it ranks alongside mods such as Counter-Strike and DayZ. We work nonpaid and only because of passion, with endurance and lot of patience. It is our ambition to create our own visions, but also to endow gamers with an adventurous and unforgettable time.

  2. sabrage says:

    Immediate Arx flashbacks from that waterwheel. Environments look a bit… Grid-dy though.

    • Zorlan says:

      That’s because the game is built with Skyrim’s Creation Kit. It’s all built in a grid which is why the game looks like it does. If you play Skyrim and use the tfc (toggle free camera) console command in a dungeon for example, you’ll notice that the devs have built pretty much the whole world by using grid height to manipulate the look of the environment. It’s easy to see they made the game with as low cost as possible in mind since most grid pieces are re-used in nearly every single location of the game. See here: link to youtube.com

      • fish99 says:

        Given the amount of content the game has and the price they sell it for, it’s pretty much inevitable that it’s going to involve tile based dungeons and a height map based outdoors. To hand craft every poly in such a big game, they just wouldn’t make any money.

        For the record they did a much better job in Skyrim of hiding that it was tile based. It was much more obvious in previous ES games.

      • Razumen says:

        It’s also why the game isn’t terribly optimized, as a result of the piece-meal level design. a lot of the assets clip through each other, resulting in lots of polygons that end up being rendered but the player can’t and will never see. Of course there is occlusion culling, but that’s a hard technique to pull off correctly, they should have ran the levels through a cleanup compiler of sorts, and left the source files on the disk for modders to tinker with.

  3. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Shattering order? No problem. I do it every day.
    It always comes back though.

  4. Chaz says:

    Watching that video reminded me of going on the ride at the Jorvik Viking Centre back in the summer. If only they’d finished it with an old guy sat on a toilet.

    • Shaun Green says:

      Wow, now there’s an unexpected flashback to my childhood.

      The Jorvik Viking Centre, I mean. Not an actual old man sitting on a toilet. That would just be odd.

  5. baozi says:

    I’d like to see an Arx Fatalis 2. Loved the atmosphere.

  6. Psychomorph says:

    Underworld – The Dark Project

  7. RedViv says:

    Nehrim was one of my favourite RPG experiences of the last five, probably even ten years. Very much looking forward to this. Probably already said so, but I can’t add anything until I held this in my dirty grubby figurative palms.

  8. AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

    It’s very easy to get a shard of order. Go to any fast food place, and when the person says “May I take your order?” let them, the push them. Your order will fall and break. The shards will be safe to pick up using a chaotic towel.

  9. Myrdinn says:

    I’m hesitant to give Nehrim another try as the Oblivion engine hasn’t exactly aged well. It was however looking as a well crafted project with much attention to detail.

  10. Wigbold says:

    SureAI just released a new trailer! Check it out!