Return to the Mane

Moonpaths… it’s an odd beast to be sure. If you love it you absolutely adore it, if not, you wonder what the fuss is all about. Since V13.0 of Legacy of the Dragonborn was released, I was given permission by MuppetPuppet to incorporate Moonpaths entirely into Legacy and to continue providing support in some way for development of future content. Until tonight I have not really been able to nail down exactly what I wanted to do with Moonpaths that I already have not achieved in the V13.whatever release. To date all I have done is fixed a couple bugs I’ve seen, I’ve merged the typo patch into it and I’ve added my NPC Rakis for the staff of Indarys quest also with the Thurassian Plague Blade to the Sload boss and set up Rakis to visit with a new gift of an awesome airship in the form of the amazing Dev Aveza. Missions accomplished, let’s head home boys… or is it?

After having JUST (like 30 minutes ago) finished my third play through of Moonpaths right after having spent the last two evenings playing through “Gray cowl of Nocturnal” by MannyGT I’ve finally nailed down what I want to do with Moonpaths. My initial idea when I asked for permission to utilize it was to have a nice tie in for the Halls of Colossus which will be coming as a major dungeon for Odyssey of the Dragonborn (which happens to be in Elsweyr of course), but I think now in order to do Moonpaths justice and to have the halls be that much more exciting and impressive, I think that moonpaths needs a revitalization and expansion. Please note, Spoilers below:

  • All exterior cells will be combined into one massive exterior worldspace with map markers, world view, day and night cycle and the whole shebang
  • NPC’s will get greeting and goodbye dialog (if I can find the original voice actors then maybe even get them voiced by the original people)
  • NPC’s will get improved AI packages so they actually look like they are doing things in accordance with the new aforementioned day/night cycle. Homes/tents with beds will exist for each NPC
  • More definitive ending to the existing content that actually says “Thanks for all your help, you can go now” Rather than just having it leave you hanging.
  • Stop #1 on the moonpath: There are lots of invisible pits in the area which will get fixed by the worldspace transition for sure, other than that, I am including my NPC “Wagon watcher” Khajiit as an NPC who will actually go with you to fight the bandits, rather than just sending you alone. Just feels more immersive.
  • Stop #2 on the moonpath: The “bridge is out” jungle stop makes zero sense to me. How does wading into the river and fighting some spiders and walking to an undefined spot help the caravan across? I am going to add a large ruin pillar that leans over the river and you knock it over where it will bridge the gap for a believable method for the caravan to get across.
  • Stop #3: It doesn’t exist. Once your get to the base your caravan suddenly disappears? I am going to add a staging area where the caravan will end up at the end, so you can actually talk to the Khajiit you came in with and say your farewells and they can go about their business as well, rather than POOF!
  • The Player “house” area that surrounds the initial base area will be reset as a staging area for the NPC’s and the entire reason they are there in the waterways to begin with; which is to thwart the Thalmor and to contine smuggling supplies to the Khajiit in hiding and keep the profits with the true children of the Mane.
  • Player will actually get a interior home at the main base and a small place as well as the Topal island base
  • Additional quests to strike back against the Thalmor in the region by raiding a Thalmor base, taking the air ship and firebombing their airfield and finally a mission to retake the Mane and purge the Thalmor influence over them
  • Lighting overhaul. This is a tough one, because the lighting is one element that really makes Moonpaths amazing looking, BUT it also induces migraines, which yes a jungle certainly can do, but hey we are playing a video game here 🙂 A lot of what would be changed will get changed inherently by the day/night cycle exterior lighting system, but I also want to do some adjustments to the imagespace modifiers that cause the feathered distance blur, which does need to be there to some degree but I’ll toy with other possibilities.
  • A few additional side quests. Nothing huge, just a couple of your typical “go and get me” or “take this to this person because I’m too lazy” quests, yeah boring right? but hey it’s those simple quests that actually make the NPC’s feel like they have better shit to do than just wait for you to finish with the big picture.
  • My overall intent is to preserve the overall spirit of Moonpaths and to give it that new life and new content that people who love it have wanted so badly. In addition to the core Moonpath areas I will attach the topal island base area as part of the worldspace, so you can actually get there by foot if you wanted, or take the airship there. Along this coastal area you will see a large cape where the halls of colossus can been seen, possibly also from within the forest at certain spots. The halls will be inaccessible until the appropriate stage of Odyessy.

My goal would be to release this as a stand along mod, as a sequel or “reborn” version of the original moonpaths, and then I would include the new content as an Oddysey patch that would effectively rebuild the Legacy content that gets you to Elsweyr.

My hope is that I can start working on this fairly soon. It all builds towards Odyssey content, though it may be a longer term build because the content is not relevant to Odyssey until the end of the entire cycle which is a LONG ways off.

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