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[RELz] Open Cities Classic


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Open Cities Classic is a comprehensive project that aims to bring back at least part of the feel of Morrowind - specifically with how most of the cities were a natural part of the world and you could just walk in without loading screens. The added immersion and realism goes a long way, probably a lot more than you might think. Ever wanted to ride your horse into the center of Cheydinhal? Well now you can. Need to get some help from the city guards to vanquish a foe? Run toward the gates and the guards will do their duty while you can seek safety within the walls. The town guards make for some very interesting interactions this way.

The only cities not covered by this project are Kvatch and the Imperial City's central districts. Kvatch has too much main quest material setup in very specific ways to mess with it, and the Imperial City is simply too large and unwieldy to properly open up.

Highly recommended complimentary mod: Animated Window Lighting System and Chimneys - This is the evolution of Texian's Window Lighting System and is fully compatible with Open Cities.

To go with that, and provide LOD for all the new goodies, I also recommend: Really AEVWD. Just be aware that there's a bit of a performance hit in activating all the extra LOD that Open Cities will provide that's directly proportional to the power of your PC, and how many other mods you have installed.

My Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/arthmoor


AFK Mods
TES Alliance

Highly recommended complimentary mod: Animated Window Lighting System - This is the evolution of Texian's Window Lighting System and is fully compatible with Open Cities.

To go with that, and provide LOD for all the new goodies, I also recommend: Really AEVWD. Just be aware that there's a bit of a performance hit in activating all the extra LOD that Open Cities will provide that's directly proportional to the power of your PC, and how many other mods you have installed.

Open Cities: New Sheoth

"Cat's out of the bag! Why do people put cats in bags? Cats hate bags." - Lord Sheogorath

Continuing in the tradition, if it could be called that, of Open Cities, I bring you Open Cities: New Sheoth. The first, last, best, and worst, Open Cities mod for the Shivering Isles. Madness has never been so much fun!

The twin cities of Bliss and Crucible have been transferred from their own individual worldspaces out into the SEWorld worldspace, which is SI's equivalent of being in the Tamriel worldspace. Though it may seem somewhat silly given the small size of both cities, the results are still pretty good. Everything blends in with the immediate surroundings of the cities so if you didn't know any better.....

As with other Open Cities mods I feel this adds greater realism to the cities by not having to transition from one outdoor worldspace into another. It may seem silly but give it a shot. It really does enhance the gameplay by quite a bit.

I would like to give a big thank you shout out to Sjors_Boomscors, without him this project would have died on the table a long time ago without every really having a chance. It was because of his help in getting some critical model work done that I was able to proceed even after he moved on to other things.

The New Sheoth module obviously requires Shivering Isles.

Installation Requirements

Official Oblivion patch version 1.2.406.
Shivering Isles patch required for the New Sheoth module.
OBSE 0020 or higher.
Bravil Blood & Mud is required if using the open version of that city.
Bartholm 7.0+ is required to use the open cities version of that city.

The Quick Install

Ok, for those of you who want to just jump right in, Open Cities Classic is now packaged as a BAIN archive for easy setup. That was probably somewhat obvious though :smile:

First: Make sure BAIN is set to allow OBSE plugins to be installed. You will need to be using Bash 291 or higher for this. Right click the "Package" column header, then find "Enable installation of OBSE plugins" and make sure it's checkmarked.

00 Core - All files here are required. This folder contains the necessary OBSE plugin file as well.

01 Blood & Mud Version - Use this if you wish to alter Bravil to fit in with the Blood & Mud version. This requires Ryan's Blood & Mud in order to work.

10 Outer Districts - If you want the Prison and Arcane University opened as well, install this folder's contents.

20 New Sheoth - If you have Shivering Isles, this will turn Bliss and Crucible into open cities.

30 Bartholm - If you have J.Sera's Bartholm 7.0+, you can elect to have the city opened with this.

Activate the rest of the files and you're off and running.

For those of you who want a bit more detail for installations, or prefer manually installing, read on:

Installation - Upgrading from Open Cities Prior to Version 3.5

The following procedure is necessary in order to upgrade from a version of Open Cities Classic prior to 3.5:

* If you bought the player home in Anvil Bay (from the bay expansion) clear out any items you don't want to lose.
* Go to any location not within the city walls of a city affected by the mod, save, and exit the game.
* Deactivate all of the patch files for OCC you may have installed.
* Load the save you just made, wait a few seconds, save again in a new slot, then exit the game again.
* Deactivate all of the Open Cities plugin files you are using now, including the resource ESM file.
* Load the save you just made, wait a few seconds, save in another new slot, then exit the game.

You may wish to wait 24 in-game hours to reset the AI first, but this is not strictly necessary.

At this point you should be ready to proceed with either the BAIN install or a manual install of Open Cities Classic 3.5.

If during upgrading the game will not load, rebuild your Bashed Patch as it may have pulled in records from one of the mod files.

Once the main mod is settled, you need to upgrade any patches you are using for other mods.

Installation - New or Existing Game, First Time User

Main Components:

* As a precaution, backup your saved games. You never know.
* Unpack the files from the archive into a new folder. Don't just blindly dump into your Data folder. It won't work.
* Just in case, if installing to an existing save, make sure you are not standing outdoors in a city.
* Copy everything from the "00 Core" folder into your Data folder now.
* Copy one of the ESPs from a 01 folder, but DO NOT USE BOTH.

Optional Components:

* If you want the IC Outer Districts, you need to copy everything from the "10 Outter Districts" folder into your Data folder now.
* If you want New Sheoth, copy everything from the "20 New Sheoth" folder into your Data folder now.
* If you want Bartholm to be open, copy the ESP file from the "30 Bartholm" folder into your Data folder now. Make sure you already have Bartholm 7.0 installed first.

At this point you should be ready to activate the plugins. You should consult the load order section for tips, or just use BOSS to take care of that for you.

* Install any needed compatibility patches.
* Rebuild your Bashed Patch if you have one. It's possible it may need to pull records from the plugins you're using now.

When you get done, it is highly recommended that you update your LOD using tes4lodgen if you are using RAEVWD.

Once the game loads, you should allow 24 game hours to pass for AI to fully update in each city, though this is not strictly required.

Uninstalling Open Cities Classic

Oh, now why would you want to go and do a thing like that? :smile:

But, since this isn't going to be for everyone, and you may decide you don't like what it does, the following procedure needs to be followed to remove the mod:

* Load your game, and move to a location away from any of the cities. Don't use an interior attached to a city for this. Save and exit the game.
* Deactivate any patches you installed for other mods first. Load your game, then save in a new slot and exit the game.
* Remove the patch ESPs from your Data folder.
* Deactivate the city plugins, and the ESM file. Load the save you just made and save again in another new slot.
* Uninstall Open Cities Classic from the game, either manually or by using BAIN. Make sure the plugin files are gone once you do this.
* Rebuild your Bashed Patch if you have one, as it is possible it may have pulled records from the plugins.
* Regenerate your LOD so the proper visuals are restored.

You will need to allow 24 game hours to pass for AI to recover.


Texian & Godhugh for the original groundwork on the Open Cities mods. A hell of a lot of work went into that and I've only built upon it.
Sigurd Stormhand - Castleworks - Gates & Bridges. With minor alterations in the meshes for texture paths.
Sjors Boomscors for providing optimized and corrected meshes for the Outer Districts module.
Ryan for allowing me to produce an Open Cities extension for his Blood&Mud mod.
J. Sera for allowing me to produce an Open Cities extension for Bartholm.
Vorians and Ismelda for being cooperative on sharing compatibility tricks we can both use in each other's mods.
Firespark for the flags flying over each city's castle.

Open Cities users everywhere, for being patient enough to put up with my bumbling efforts to get things right. Maybe one day I finally will :smile:


This mod is not made, guaranteed, or supported by Microsoft, Zenimax, Bethesda Game Studios, or any of their affiliates.

Troubleshooting Problems

If you have a problem with an Open Cities mod and wish to report it, I'd appreciate as much information as possible, preferably in the form of a screenshot with console data showing if it's something that can be screened. The FormID of the affected object would help greatly to narrow down any problems that might result. Post this information along with your load order. Reports with less than detailed information may result in delays in getting it fixed, or result in being ignored entirely. It helps everyone to provide details. I am especially interested in verifiable conflicts, as I wish for Open Cities to be as conflict-free as is humanly possible given the circumstances. If the situation requires a patch, I can only work something out if I know what to look for.

I have Knights of the Nine but I can't find the Prophet!

He's there, just not where he should be. You need the patch for Knights of the Nine.

I loaded the game while near a city gate and saw it vanish in front of me, what's wrong?

Nothing. This is expected. With OCC 4.1 and higher, the OBSE plugin that comes with the mod will move the doors to the cities out of position each time the game is loaded. This was done to get around an engine bug which has plagued Open Cities for ages. Doors would get moved, then snap back if you reloaded without exiting to the desktop first. That should no longer happen, but as a consequence, if you saved within visual range of one of the vanilla city load doors, you will see it disappear very shortly after the game loads and the scripts have had a chance to kick in.

Ok, but I tried to walk past where the door was and something invisible is blocking me now.

This is also normal and expected, and unfortunately a side effect of the method being used to suppress the doors now. You'll need to leave the area and get far enough away for that gate to switch out to LOD view instead of close up, or enter a nearby interior and exit again. Then you'll be able to return and the obstruction will be gone. Cities are usually large enough that you should be able to use another gate instead if you REALLY don't want to leave the area.

There is a second chapel superimposed on top of the first one in Anvil.

Update the Unofficial Oblivion Patch to version 3.41 or above.

The game crashes while doing character generation.

Update "Knights - Unofficial Patch.esp" with the new version from the Unofficial Oblivion DLC Patches v16 or above.

TIE NPCs are not visiting the cities

Update to TIE 1.36 or higher.

Tamriel Travelers NPCs don't visit the cities

AI support in TT is pending an update from Corepc. In the meantime, the NPCs will be unavailable on the days they should be visiting the cities. They resume their normal schedules in the wilderness afterward.

In "Big Business", Bauggi goes to Anvil and then vanishes

He has an AI pack set to send him to Anvil, possibly just for the realism effect. He does nothing once there though, so fixing it isn't important. Just wait for him to come back out and return to your farm.

Locations of AI Doors

The AI doors are entry ways into the closed wordspaces should it become necessary. Not everything that is placed in a city by a mod is worth the time it takes to create a patch. Mods that drop items for a one-time pickup are a good example of this. It's much easier to just go through the door, get what you need, then exit the city as normal.

Anvil: Along the city wall behind the abandoned house.
Anvil Castle: In the garden that's in front of the guard barracks.
Bravil: In the garden area immediately outside the castle in the NW corner.
Bruma: A small snow rock in the castle courtyard area, along the wall south of the gateway arch.
Cheydinhal: In the castle area between the well and the guard barracks tower, along the wall.
Chorrol: On the back side of the castle, directly south of the guard tower.
Leyawiin: Southeast corner of the castle area.
Skingrad: Near the horse statue on the north side, between the red tree and the archery targets.
SKingrad Castle Courtyard: Tucked against the wall immediately to the right as you come through the gate.
New Sheoth - Bliss: Small rock cluster next to the entry to Sheogorath's Palace, right in front of the barrel.
New Sheoth - Crucible: At the bottom of the stairs to the palace, on the ledge next to the sewer grate.
Bartholm: Along the south city wall, directly behind Rufus' house.
Arcane University: On the west side, along the wall, right across from the well.
Prison District: Also on the west side, next to the wall, to the left of the practice target.

Performance and FPS

Rumors continue to persist about Open Cities being an FPS killer. In and of itself, Open Cities will not represent a significant hit to your gaming performance. If you are playing the stock game, with stock graphics, go run around near the Imperial City, then around Chorrol. Measure the performance you get. Add Open Cities, and perform the same test again. The Imperial City will remain unchanged, and your trip around Chorrol will see a minimal impact of 3-5 frames. In other words, if your system is low end, it'll still feel low end after installing Open Cities. If you have a midrange to high end system, installing Open Cities will not be a noticeable drain on your resources.

The problem most people have is that they're not playing in a stock configuration. They load up a bunch of graphical enchancers ( guilty as charged! ) and a ton of graphically heavy mods, all at the same time. So suddenly trips around the Imperial City are a bit sluggish, and that trip around Chorrol is bogging things down. In the process of adding mods, they not only activated huge memory sinks like QTP3, but also activated a large set of LOD mods, FCOM, 18 quest mods, a lighting overhaul, a weather overhaul, and higher quality sound files. So when the game slows down, it takes all of two seconds of "OC is an FPS killer" and people believe it, because, by coincidence, removing it results in what they think is smoother play. However, removing any one of the other elements would have done the same. Bog the system down with enough stuff, it will buckle. There are tradeoffs to be had. I am aware of how this may sound, but in the grand scheme of things, Open Cities is not the FPS killer everyone says it is. Do yourself a favor and be objective enough to try it first and see for yourself before believing some random forum poster. The vast majority of the negative attention was from 2006. We're entering 2009. The mod has been trimmed and polished a lot since then. Systems have also evolved considerably at the same time.

That said, there may be some additional load placed on your game if you install the new Outer Districts module. Sjors has provided me with some updated collision optimized meshes to use for the large walls and towers that enclose the two districts. Without them, there was significant lag while in the Arcane University and slight lag while in the Prison. After the optimized meshes were installed and tested, the lag is all but gone and it's about as smooth for me as it is to be in the closed versions of these districts. That does not mean however that your experience will be the same. These districts are made up of large high detail meshes. A low end machine struggling with the Imperial City in general is going to have trouble here as well. Midrange PCs may see some significant additional lag. Higher end PCs should notice little if any difference, but this will depend greatly on both your CPU and GPU. Visible images tax the GPU. Collision meshes tax the CPU due to the Havok physics involved. Be prepared for some tradeoffs. The Imperial City has always been and will likely continue to be a resource hog whether or not you fling them open to the world.

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  • 1 year later...

Open Cities Classic v4.1.7

* Synchronized fixes from UOP 3.5.3, 3.54, and 3.5.5 + USIP 1.5.7, 1.5.8, and 1.5.9.
* All: Updated all city gates to new meshes made by Sigurd Stormhand. These resources should not end up clipping at all with the gatehouses.
* Bravil: Restored the vanilla water gates to where they belong now that an animated door is available for those.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi Arthmoor,
I'm using Open Cities Classic & RAEVWD, and trying to run TES4LODGen. However, I get the error:

Fatal: <Exception: "Open Cities Resources.esm" requires master "Oblivion.esm" to be loaded before it.>

I used Wrye Bash to install all of my mods, and LOOT to set load order. Wrye Bash shows Oblivion.esm [SI] coming before Open Cities Resources.esm in my load order, but TES4LODGen doesn't seem to be respecting that. How can I make Oblivion.esm load first? I tried setting Open Cities Resources.esm to "Load After Oblivion.esm" in LOOT, but that doesn't seem to matter to TES4LODGen.  Any idea how to fix this?  I would really prefer to keep Open Cities if possible.  Thanks in advance for any help.

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Open Bash, right-click the column header, select "Sort By" and be sure "Load Order" is selected.  I'd recommend BOSS for Oblivion, not LOOT.  I'm basing this on results from an version of LOOT that is outdated, so things may have improved since then.  I'd still recommend BOSS over LOOT for Oblivion--all other games are good with LOOT.

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Just keep in mind that BOSS still sorts the official DLCs incorrectly because it's doing so assuming everyone uses FCOM. LOOT has those in the correct order but a lot of other stuff is pretty scattered because the metadata list hasn't had much attention.

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On 2/6/2018 at 2:40 PM, Arthmoor said:

Just keep in mind that BOSS still sorts the official DLCs incorrectly because it's doing so assuming everyone uses FCOM. LOOT has those in the correct order but a lot of other stuff is pretty scattered because the metadata list hasn't had much attention.

I have been learned.  But the only official DLC I use is Knights, so it probably isn't an issue for me.

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Knights is actually one of the ones it sorts much farther down the list than it should be.

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The way I always do it is to treat them all as official content. They load before any user mods, other than the unofficial patches that by necessity must squeeze in between each one. They're ESPs though, so obviously anything as an ESM would go before them. As an example, the top end of my load order looks like this:

00  Oblivion.esm
01  Cobl Main.esm  [Version 1.73]
02  TR_OoT_Main.esm
03  All Natural Base.esm  [Version 1.36]
04  Open Cities Resources.esm  [Version 4.1.7]
05  SettlementsOfCyrodiil.esm  [Version 1.3]
06  Armamentarium.esm  [Version 1.35]
07  Artifacts.esm  [Version 1.1]
08  VASE - core.esm
09  TamrielTravellers.esm  [Version 1.39c]
0A  CM Partners.esm
0B  Children Of Rourken.esm
0C  Oblivifall Master File.esm  [Version 1.2]
0D  Knights - Revelation.esm
0E  Unofficial Oblivion Patch.esp  [Version 3.5.5]
0F  DLCShiveringIsles.esp
10  Unofficial Shivering Isles Patch.esp  [Version 1.5.9]
11  DLCHorseArmor.esp
12  DLCHorseArmor - Unofficial Patch.esp  [Version 1.0.9]
13  DLCOrrery.esp
14  DLCOrrery - Unofficial Patch.esp  [Version 1.0.7]
15  DLCFrostcrag.esp
16  DLCFrostcrag - Unofficial Patch.esp  [Version 1.0.10]
++  OCOD+FrostcragSpire Patch.esp
17  DLCThievesDen.esp
18  DLCThievesDen - Unofficial Patch.esp  [Version 1.0.15]
19  DLCVileLair.esp
1A  DLCVileLair - Unofficial Patch.esp  [Version 1.0.11]
1B  DLCMehrunesRazor.esp
1C  DLCMehrunesRazor - Unofficial Patch.esp  [Version 1.0.7]
1D  DLCSpellTomes.esp
++  DLCSpellTomes - Unofficial Patch.esp  [Version 1.0.1]
1E  Knights.esp
1F  Knights - Unofficial Patch.esp  [Version 1.1.8]
++  OCC-KOTN-Patch.esp  [Version 3.1]
20  DLCBattlehornCastle.esp
21  DLCBattlehornCastle - Unofficial Patch.esp  [Version 1.0.12]

All of the other mods come after those.

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