Oblivion Mod:Oldblivion

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Oldblivion is a piece of software originally created by asp which allows graphics cards which are pre DirectX9 to run The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion from Bethesda. This means that Oblivion can run on cards such as Geforce 3, Geforce 4, Radeon 9200 and so on. Originally hosted on oldblivion.com, it can now be downloaded here (note: the file is currently not publicly available, per this discussion) (mirror).

Oldblivion attaches to Oblivion and applies certain non-permanent patches to it. This means that once you exit the game these patches will vanish as they are only done in RAM. Some of these patches are for making sure that Oblivion doesn't crash when run on hardware which lacks certain new functionality. It also changes the shaders used by Oblivion from pixel shader 2.0 and vertex shader 2.0 into pixel shader 1.1 and vertex shader 1.1.



1: How do I install Oldblivion?

  • Download the latest version above. If you downloaded the zip version you should extract it to a folder of your choice, and run Oldblivion.exe. The zip version is completely unobtrusive and can be removed cleanly by deleting the output folder.

2: How do I uninstall Oldblivion?

  • If you downloaded the zip version, just delete the Oldblivion folder and run the game normally. The installer does come with an uninstaller and can be accessed in the normal Windows Add/Remove programs interface.
If you installed the custom included settings and mods with 0.11t7 or later you must remove:
My Documents\My Games\Oblivion\
- Oblivion.ini
[Oblivion Install Path]\Data\meshes\magiceffects\
- bindmythicdawn.nif
- reanimate.nif
- turnundead.nif
- summondaedra.nif
- soultrap.nif
- drain.nif
These are left behind since some people don't like it when you delete their settings and mods.

3: What is Oblivion.ini?

  • Oblivion.ini is a simple text file where Oblivion keeps its settings. It is located in your My Documents\My Games\Oblivion folder. Never change Program Files\Bethesda\Oblivion\Oblivion_default.ini.

4: How do I enable the console and use console commands?

  • Press the tilde(~) button on an international or US keyboard, a grave accent(`) on a UK keyboard, or the key to the left of "1" on another country's keyboard that doesn't have either of the above characters. You use console commands by typing them and hitting enter. You can close the console using the same key you used to bring it up.

5: Should I change my Oblivion.ini? How do I do that?

  • If you're content with the results you are getting, probably no. Otherwise, find a configuration that closely matches yours in our config section, and download the file. Backup your original Oblivion.ini and replace it with the new one.
  • To keep the Oblivion launcher from resetting your ini, open both files in notepad, and copy the four lines that start with uVideoDeviceIdentifier from the old ini to the new one.

6: How do I enable screenshots in Oblivion?

  • Change the value of bAllowScreenShot in your INI from 0 to 1. You can now take screenshots with the Print Screen key. Screenshots you can find from your Oblivion game installation folder. Remember to convert the resulting screenshots to JPG before posting them in the forum. Take into account the fact that Oblivion does not allow screenshots to be taken when anti-aliasing is on.

7: Oldblivion crashes and my Oldblivion.exe.log says "Verifying Executable.FAILED".

  • You are using a Direct2Drive or another unsupported version of Oblivion. This will hopefully be accounted for in one of the next updates, though this is likely to take a long while. For the time being, you can find and use a NoDVD executable. You will have to find it yourself since we can not help you for legal reasons.

8: Oldblivion crashes and my Oldblivion.exe.log says "Trying to determine installation path.FAILED" on the last line.

  • Somehow your installation got corrupted or was incorrect from the start. Read this as it may help you fix it.

9: Can I use mods with Oldblivion?

  • Yes. Just set your mods through the ordinary Oblivion launcher, exit, and launch the game through Oldblivion.

10: What is this "SLP" I keep reading about?

  • It is a useful console command for any tweaker or Oldblivion user that controls the types of lighting. A complete explanation can be found here here.

11: What is FPS and how do I know mine?

  • FPS is how many frames a game renders per second. The more, the smoother the game will be. You can view yours by opening the console. To constantly see the framerate you can type tdt in the console.

12: Light flickers and changes colour from coppery to yellow to silvery indoors.

  • Having specular pass enabled will still give you the problem. Without the specular pass, the issue disappears almost completely but you also lose the bright and shiny lighting on objects.

13: My game crashes when entering the sewers.

  • Some people also report success after switching bUseRefractionShader, bDoImageSpaceEffects, bUseWaterShader and bUseFaceGenLOD to 0, as well as bUseMultiThreadedFaceGen to 1 in the Oblivion.INI. Others, yet, seem to have solved this problem by downloading the latest Omega Drivers for their card. They are available here.

14: Trees flicker when running around in wooded areas.

  • In the ingame video menu, drag the tree fade distance up until the bug is solved. For FX cards, you can set the lower fog boundary to a negative number in the configuration program. You can also set the start fog at the distance that correspond to the frontier between 2D and 3D trees. For example, if you have the trees set to ~50%, use the values 5900 & 200000. To find the correct values, you just have to experiment. When it's ok you don't get flickering nor blue trees.

15: Is it possible to run the TES Construction Set using Oldblivion?

  • You can get limited functionality by backing up Oblivion/Data/shaders/shaderpackage001.sdp and replace it with the shader package that comes with Oldblivion.

16: My water looks ugly or dull - blue/purple/white and transparent.

  • If you have a shader model 2.x compatible card, such as the FX series, and are willing to sacrifice some performance for visuals, you can turn on 2.0 water in the Oldblivion configuration utility and make sure bUseWaterShaders is set to 1 in your Oblivion.ini.

If you have a shader model 1.4 compatible card, such as any Radeon with a version number higher than 8500 you can take a look at Zeroed's shader work here. If your card does not support 1.4 or newer shaders, or you want to get the best performance, you can improve this look a bit by downloading a texture from here and saving it to Oblivion\Data\Textures\water\ (create new subfolders if those don't exist). Edit your Oblivion.INI to say bUseWaterShaders=0. It is also recommended to turn bUseWaterReflections* and bUseWaterDisplacements to 0.

17: My specular lighting(shininess, like armor) doesn't work.

  • You can either enable Bloom, enable the Specular pass in Oldblivion's configuration utility, or cast a lightning spell when loading a savegame. Any combination of these three will most likely work too.

18: Some objects look solidly grey/blue.

  • You can fix it by going into the Oldblivion configuration utility and changing the fog start and end values. You might want to try start 60000, end 99999 or start:-12000, end: 200000. One unit is roughly the equivalend of one meter or yard. The start value is the distance at which the fog should begin and the end value is where the fog should end and be at maximum density.

19: The grass and other foliage looks like large squares and aren't transparent. How do I correct it?

  • Tick "Alpha blend foliage" in Oldblivion configuration utility. For solutions to problems that my arise when activating grass, see the next question.

20: My grass has a ghosted transparent look when playing in 3rd person, or looking at it from certain places.

  • You can fix it by setting the lower fog border to a negative value, or zero in Oldblivion configuration utility. This only works with some cards but the issue shouldn't happen much outside of third person view.

21: NPC ears are of a different colour from the rest of their head.

  • This remains and issue with some cards and in certain situations. It has not been fixed yet. Some recommend wearing a hat. ;)

22: Some spell effects, such as Oblivion gates or Mythic Dawn Assassins dying show up as solid black or pink circles.

  • This usually happens if you use the zip version. It can be fixed by taking the meshes directory inside the spellfix directory, which should be in the directory you unzipped Oldblivion in, and copying the meshes directory to the Data subdirectory of your Oblivion installation path.

23: NPC teeth are black, or turn black after a while of playing.

  • This should be extremely rare. I have personally never seen it but it has not been fixed yet.

24: I get messed up and ugly mountains.

  • If you mean blurry, that's Oblivion's fault, not Oldblivion's. Look for a "LOD" mod on one of the many Oblivion mod sites such as tessource.

25: I get cartoony looking striped or purple mountains.

  • This is caused by some "LOD" mods running with Oldblivion. Try another.

26: I get weird artifacts on my screen that mess up the whole display or part of it, such as lines or triangles.

  • This has been fixed on all cards. However some Linux users have reported the issue but it seems unrelated to the previous issues. A fix for Linux users has not been discovered.

27: Oblivion freezes often. It's usually around spellcasters and particle effects. Is there a fix for it?

  • Yes, a recent discovery by Captaintoenail on our forums was made that pointed out that the Spellstrip mod fixes this issue. You can read more about it in the topic.

28: My mouse lags or turns into the ordinary Windows cursor when moved to the edge of the screen.

  • Toggle Background Mouse in the INI(set it to 0 if it's 1, or 1 if it's 0).
Disable all unnecessary background processes, such as update managers.

29: Sound stutters and is not adequate, the game produces a constant buzzing sound, or it crashes at specific situations where many sound effects are being used.

  • Make sure you have latest drivers sound card drivers.
Uninstall or disable the DivX or FFDShow audio codecs.
Change either bDSoundHWAcceleration to 0 or bUseSoftwareAudio3D to 1 in Oblivion.INI to force sound to be managed by software.
You can set iMaxImpactSoundCount to 16 or 8 to lower the maximum number of sound effects played simultaneously.
You can disable all sounds by setting bSoundEnabled to 0 in Oblivion.INI.

30: My framerate suffers heavily when an NPC or creature is displayed, or battles are going on. What slould I do?

  • NPCs and creatures are very complicated geometry-wise, so this requires more processing than most other objects. In future versions of Oldblivion, this might be improved by dynamically changing settings to try and keep the framerate stable. As of now, it is recommended to use the TLB command in the console to disable fancy lighting and gain up to 30 FPS. You can use the same command to turn this effect off.
Adaptive lighting forces TLB whenever you hit the lower threshold for 5 or more seconds, and turns it off if you keep the FPS over the upper threshold for 5 or more seconds.

31: I start Oldblivion and an Oblivion error comes up that says "GetAdapterDesc() failed" or something that says at least "GetAdapterDesc()" and then Oldblivion and Oblivion shut down.

  • Run the Oblivion Launcher and click Options, then in the Graphics Card box select your graphics card, close the launcher, and then start Oldblivion again.

32: My game crashes after character creation or at some point in the beginning of the game.

  • A fix that has helped some of our users is to put the Oldblivion folder on the same drive as Oblivion. We also recommend putting it inside the Oblivion folder.

33: Does Oldblivion improve framerate on current generation cards such as Geforce 6 and better?

  • In general, no. While the shaders Oldblivion uses is much shorter than the shaders Oblivion uses, there is a chance that your card either emulates or translates the 1.1 shaders to the version your card primarily supports. Oldblivion isn't a compromise between visuals and performance. It's more of a solution for people who have cards that perform horribly under 2.0 or simply don't support it at all.

34: Oldblivion takes a long time to start up.

  • This is caused by a firewall blocking the connection Oldblivion attempts to set up for the automatic update feature, or a long TCP/IP timeout setting on your machine. To fix this, disable automatic updates in the Oldblivion configuration program.

35: The blur affect when getting hit is not working.

  • This effect is not implemented yet.

36: NPCs that are supposed to be half-transparent, such as ghosts are solid, with blue hair, and have holes in their heads.

  • This bug still stands uncorrected.

37: What cards are supported?

  • The following cards have been tested, and run successfully with Oldblivion:
GeForce 3 series
GeForce 4 TI series
GeForce 4 Go 4xxx series
GeForce FX series
GeForce PCX 5300
Radeon 9550
Radeon 9200 series
Radeon 9000 series
Radeon 8500 series
Intel 9xxGM Express
Intel GMA 3150 (lags a small amount in some areas)
The following have been reported to be working, but have some unresolved issues:
SiS 760
GeForce FX 5100 GO
And finally, these plainly don't work:
S3 series integrated cards
Most Intel series integrated cards
GeForce 4 MX series
GeForce 4xx Go series
GeForce 2
If you have a card which works well with Oldblivion but is not listed here, please let us know.

38: Is Direct2Drive supported?

  • Direct2Drive is not supported at this time nor does it look like it will be in the future. However there is a way to run Oldblivion by replacing the executable with a nodvd version. For copyright reasons we can't help you with obtaining one but it should be possible to find one through google. Make sure you back your original version up first or you may not be able to apply official direct2drive patches in the future.

39: Oblivion crashes when it is about to start, how do I fix it?

  • While the requirements are lower than that of Oblivion, there're a few things your computer has to support with Oldblivion as well. In particular:
Your processor must support SSE.
Your video card must support pixel shader 1.1 and vertex shader 1.1.
You may also be running an unsupported version of Oblivion. The versions supported are 1.0.228 and 1.1.511. You can get it from www.elderscrolls.com.

40: My antivirus detects a "HEUR/BACKDOOR.Generic" virus in Oldblivion.exe

  • This is a false alarm. The approach Oldblivion uses to interact with Oblivion can be exploited maliciously, so some anti virus programs will consider it a trojan. Oldblivion is NOT one.