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Polemecist's picture
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Converting Morrowind mods to Morroblivion?

Is this even possible?

I'm very interested in getting the Less Generic NPC project to work for Morroblivion. I remember hearing sometime in the past that someone had gotten the Tamriel Rebuilt maps 1 and 2 to work in Morroblivion. What about city expansions? New Suran Extended? Balmora Extended? Mournhold Extended? 

I'd love to get that stuff to work. Any tips?

Edited by: thermador on 06/11/2012 - 08:53
thermador's picture
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The basic process

The basic process (hypothetically) would be:

Look at the MW Mod

  • Install Morrowind and the MW Mod that you want to convert
  • Open your Morrowind Mod in MW Enchanted Editor, a quick way to view everything in the Mod without opening it in the Morrowind Construction Set
  • Make a list of everything in the mod, or just keep the program open, so you know what things the MW Mod does
    - Create a copy of the file[s] that came with the original MW Mod as backup

Convert the MW Mod

  • Convert your MW Mod using the Converter, which is available on the download page here
    - Make sure to set up the Converter to convert your file using the INI as shown here
    - If you already have Morroblivion installed, you probably want to move Morrowind_ob.esm out of your /Oblivion/Data/ directory so it doesn't get overwritten by the converter or something.
  • The Converter produces one ESM file with ALL of the content from Morrowind AND all of the content from your Morrowind Mod, all in one ESM file (named Morrowind_ob.esm I think)
  • Create a backup copy and rename the ESM file to the name of your original MW Mod.

Convert the new ESM file to an ESP file

  • Open the ESM file in in Wrye Bash or TES4 Gecko or whatever, and convert it to an ESP.  In Wrye Bash, you right-click it and select "Copy to ESP".
  • Save this ESP with the new name (name of the original MW Mod for example).  This file is going to be your mod for Morroblivion.

Open the new ESP file in the Construction Set

Assign Morroblivion as the ESP's master

  • Open this new ESP file in Wrye Bash and assign its Master File to be Morrowind_ob.esm (that is, the Morroblivion master file from Morroblivion.com), so that when you load Oblivion, it knows that your converted MW Mod ESP file is a mod for the Morroblivion ESM file.
    - Good time to make a backup copy too

Clean the new ESP file

  • Open this new ESP in TES4Edit (or TES4 Gecko), and compare it to the original mod in MW Enchanted Editor, then edit the new ESP to make them the same (remove all of the unneeded converted content)
    - If you are using TES4Edit, delete everything that isn't part of the MW Mod ("like bugs bunny whittling a toothpick out of a log").  This is the step that probably takes the longest, as you are deleting everything in Morrowind from a file that contains all of Morrowind's content as well as the content of your MW Mod.
  • - If you are using TES4 Gecko, you can try using the Split Plugins function to separate the selected content (I have not used this program myself).  This may be much faster.
  • Be careful! Save often! Ctrl+S in TES4Edit, which automatically makes backup files each time you save.

Open the ESP in the Oblivion Construction Set and get to work

  • Finally, open this new ESP file in the Oblivion Construction Set, ideally with Construction Set Extender plugin for Oblivion Script Extender.   
  • Now comes the long process of:
    - Assigning new editor ID's, REF ID's etc.
    - Re-writing scripts to function with Oblivion's script engine
    - Fixing object placement issues (rotating and placing objects in the render window)
    - Fixing NPC dialogue that didn't get converted
    - Re-linking doors, etc.
    - Testing, testing, testing, testing in the game!
  • This final process is basically a microcosm of the whole Morroblivion Project, and how much work this is depends completely on what type of Morrowind Mod you originally converted and how complicated it was. You will want to have the original MW Mod open in the Morrowind Construction Set and the new one in the Oblivion Construction Set at the same time so you can compare the two. Likewise, when cleaning, having both open in TES4Edit and MW Enchanted Editor at the same time helps with this process as well.

Tools needed, at a minimum:

Helpful reading:

Anyone else feel free to jump in here, I would like to get a good guide set up because this question comes up a lot and having it in the FAQ would be a good idea.

Update 1/31/12: updated post to reflect additional steps.

Additionally, I think it's important to note that creating the Morrowing Mod from scratch just using the Oblivion construction set might take less time than converting (depending on what Morrowind Mod it is, obviously.)

RPG-KING117's picture
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Can I pay someone to do that

Can I pay someone to do that with the "Fallen Angel" mod from Morrowind I'm a noob at modding and I really like that mod

ponyrider0's picture
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Hi Thermador, 

EDIT:  Thank you to brainslasher for pointing out that the method below will not work well for complex mods, especially with quests & dialog, due to the limitations of the ESP Converter's inability to fully convert dialog and quests and its maximum number of records for certain categories.  This method is better suited for just ESP-based texture/mesh replacers.

Hi Thermador,

Thanks for the great guide on using ESP converter!  I think this thread should be stickied for reference to other potential mod porters/makers.  I have developed a variation on this method and successfully ported Vurt's Bittercoast Trees II v1.1 to Morroblivion.  Here is a quick overview:  

1. Use a separate clean Oblivion installation just for ESP converter output.
2. Make a base-line conversion without your mod.  Backup this Morrowind_ob.esm.
3. Make a second conversion that contains your mod.  Rename this to whatever you want, ex. mymod.esm.  Rename the base-line ESM file back to Morrowind_ob.esm.
4. Use Wryebash to add Morrowind_ob.esm to whatever.esm.
5. Using TES4Edit, clean your mymod.esm with "Apply Filter For Cleaning" and then "Remove Identical to Master records".  Hopefully, you now have a converted ESM file with only your mod's records and not the entire Morrowind conversion!
6. Move your mymod.esm to your working Morroblivion installation, then load and save it in the Construction Set to get rid of left-over corrupted data.  Now edit/renumber IDs as needed.  Also, copy any converted NIF/DDS to your working Morroblivion directory as well.

More detailed discussion of the above process:  

1. Directory Setup
Make a separate clean Oblivion installation directory specifically for the output of ESP Converter.  Be sure to specify this directory in the ESP Converter's Morroblivion.INI.  The ESP converter will over-write any ESM/ESPs it generates.  However, it will skip the conversion process on any textures or meshes if the output filename already exists in the Data folder (check Data\Meshes\morro and Data\Textures\morro).  You will need to clean out any DDS/NIF files which you want re-converted.  Also, it will generate LOD files in the Data\distantlod directory, but I haven't had much luck using those files.  I just regenerate them with tes4ll and tes4lodgen.  

1.a Setting up the INI file
I found that it is better to be a minimalist when specifying ESMs/ESPs in the ESP converter's Morroblivion.INI.  If you can remove tribunal/bloodmoon dependencies, then I suggest just using Morrowind.esm as the only master.  This makes the conversion faster and the output ESM file smaller.  If you need to specify multiple ESMs/ESPs, remember that ordering of ESMs and ESPs is important because the ESP converter will generate Oblivion FormIDs in the order that they appear in the INI.  Also be sure to specify any additional BSAs that your mod uses in the BSA section of the INI.  If you have any files installed in your Morrowind's Data Files directory, these should automatically over-ride the BSAs.  

2. Make a base-line conversion without your mod
Now create a base-line Morrowind_ob.esm by commenting your mod (use a semicolon) out of the converter's Morroblivion.INI.  Once it's done, rename this Morrowind_ob.esm so it does not get over-written by the next step.  There should not be any errors if you just use the GOTY esms (morrowind.esm with or without tribunal/bloodmoon.esm).  The ESP converter generates a Morroblivion.log (in its own directory) that contains all the commandline output, so use this to search for any error messages.  

3. Make a second conversion with your mod
If you have any NIF/DDS files to be converted, note the system time that you start this step -- your mymod.esm's generated files will have a creation date later than this time.  Now, uncomment your mod out of the converter's Morroblivion.INI and run the ESP Converter again.  If there are errors, check the Morroblivion.log.  If everything went fine, rename this new Morrowind_ob.esm to whatever you like (mymod.esm).  Now rename the base-line ESM from the previous step back to Morrowind_ob.esm.  

4. Add Morrowind_ob.esm as master
Using Wryebash, right-click on your mymod.esm and select "Add Master..." and select Morrowind_ob.esm.  Don't convert to ESP at this point, since you want to use TES4Edit in the next step to purge all records that are identical to the baseline output.  

5. Clean ITM records
Open TES4Edit, open just your mymod.esm by double-clicking on its name - do not click OK.  Your mymod.esm should now be loaded with its masters (Oblivion.esm and Morrowind_ob.esm).  Now wait for the Background Loader to finish (check the messages tab).  Once it's done, Right-click on your mymod.esm and select "Apply Filter for Cleaning" and let it run.  Wait for the "[Filtering done]..." line in the messages tab, then right-click again on your mymod.esm and select "Remove Identical to Master reords".  You will be prompted with a warning if you are absolutely sure.  Double check yourself and proceed.  Wait for the line "[Removing 'Identical to Master' records done]..." in the messages tab.  This may take a long time, especially if your baseline contains all 3 GOTY ESMs.  Now exit TES4Edit and be sure to save your ESM when prompted.  

6. Copy to your working Morroblivion installation
Congratulations, if everything was successful, you should have isolated your Morrowind mod from the Morrowind.esm!  Now copy this esm file to your working Morroblivion installation.  If your original mod had any mesh/texture files, copy the converted versions from the Data directory to your working Morroblivion installation too.  A quick way to find them is to sort or search for files that have a creation date later than the time you started step 3.  Note that if you do not clean out these files, they will be skipped during the conversion step and have an older creation date.  Also, while the official Morroblivion BSAs already include most of the data files converted during the baseline conversion step, some files are replaced with custom files.  So, if you have missing textures or meshes in your mymod.esm, try looking for the appropriate files among the converted files in your converter output directory (Data\Meshes\morro and Data\Textures\morro).  Refer to Thermador's guide for copying to ESP, renumbering IDs, etc.

On renumbering IDs: If you use my method, you will almost definitely have IDs that conflict with your working Morroblivion install since the ESP Converter will start generating IDs for your mymod.esm with numbers sequentially after the numbers it generated for the baseline Morrowind.esm.  If your mod is small, you can renumber by hand.  You could also try the Construction Set Extender's renumbering feature under File->Tools->Resave with New IDs.  However, this method will assign new IDs to all records.  This will invalidate any "over-ride" records your mod has, since they no longer match IDs from the original record.  Depending on the number of new records vs old records, you may decide that it's better to assign new IDs to all records then go back using TES4Edit and change the appropriate records' IDs so that they over-ride their intended records again.

FYI: I'm using TES4Edit 3.1.2 from nexusmods and Wrye Bash 306 from the installer download also from nexusmods.

Brainslasher's picture
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Having converted several

Having converted several Morrowind mods, even complex quest mods, sadly it's not that simple. There's a whole bunch of steps you can do to improve your end result when it comes to actually converting the whole mod and not having the converter leave out important data like dialogues, items or even landscape, which you might have to add in later. Even removing itm recors leaves a lot of unnecessary data that needs to be removed. In my experience it's best to even clean the mod manually because something always tends to go wrong. Your methodology for FormIds can also be done more efficiently. However it of course depends on how complex the mod is.

If there's any interest I can share the way I've converted big mods with the Morroblivion converter with practically 0 loss of data, except for scripts and my cleaning routine for them. Sadly I still havent figured out a way to bypass some of the limits that prevents the TR mod to be converted.

ponyrider0's picture
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Thanks for the feedback!  I

Thanks for the feedback!  I would definitely like to learn any tips you might have so please share when you are able.  You are quite right that my method is not great for complex quest mods.  This method is really best suited for ESP-based mesh/texture replacers, I'll update the main post to reflect that.

Regarding TR, I've been working on it too.  Since it's so big and complex, I usually trim out the morrowind base-line code by hand.  It is definitely very tedious and mind-numbing -- I've timed myself to an average rate of 2 hours per ~1000 records.  I've repeatedly converted, tested and reconverted a few regions about 4-5 times per day over the last 2 weeks.  What I've been able to do is use MW enchanted editor to split the TR_Data.esm and TR_Mainland.esm and TR_Preview.esp files into multiple sections, mainly organized by REGN code.  Another idea I've come up with is to leave the TR worldspace separate from Morroblivion and just do a zone transition when you cross into Vvardenfell regions.  But I'm very hopeful that I will make progress.  Here's a screenshot of the Northen Velothi mountains from over Solstheim.  The second screenshot is the void left by the Oblivion Construction editor throwing out all of the Roth Roryn Region due to some data corruption that I haven't tracked down yet.