Modder's Interview: Abby (Tamriel Rebuilt)

Modder's Interview: Abby (Tamriel Rebuilt)
New Firewatch

How long have you been modding and what was your first mod?  

I guess that depends on your definition of complete. The first time I ever touched the CS was as part of my efforts to figure out how to force the Great House Dagoth mod to progress past a broken quest. The first time I changed something was to give the Cleaver of St. Felms more damage for my axe playthrough. (Never ended up using the thing:D)  Before I started modding in earnest, I'd already learned to do little things like that, which I like to think prepared me for my TR "career".  

How do you approach modding?  

When I'm modding these days, I'm doing them in questline-sized packages for TR. I'm mostly motivated by wanting to help the project get further along -- ideally, we'll be wrapped up with quests and ready to release sometime this year. What really inspires me, of course, is the idea of getting to write and implement Indoril quests in a couple of decades, but oh well.

What's your favorite thing about modding?

Seeing people play and enjoy my work is a good feeling. Just today someone in the TR server who'd gone through the Fort Ancylis questline (only available in the indev files rn) said it was "pretty good" and "just worked". I was very flattered.

What's your favorite mod that you've made so far?

I'm pretty proud of the Firewatch Imperial Legion questline that's going to be added to the city this upcoming release. Without spoiling it too much, it's pretty involved with choices and in-world consequences (within reason), and it has lots of tie-ins to TR's homebrewed Firewatch lore (courtesy of the amazing Taniquetil). So keep an eye out for that whenever we release!

Are you working on a mod these days?

TR, of course; right now I'm supposed to be making the new Helnim Fighter's Guild questline (or rather, our re-fit of the old one we scrapped). I'm planning to get back to work on that soon, as I've recently taken a small break from modding, and before that, I'd taken a break from that questline to fix up the Firewatch IL line.

How much do you play Morrowind, not counting play testing?

Not a lot. Sometimes I'll try to start a playthrough in earnest and get in a few good sessions, but going near Sadrith Mora with the thought of the really cool overhauled Firewatch not being in my Morrowind setup always gets me in the mood to work on TR instead.

How did you discover Morrowind?

Like many of my fellow Morrow-zoomers, I was introduced to Morrowind by the references to it in Skyrim's Dragonborn expansion. I thought the Telvanni on Solsthiem were cool, so I decided I'd get Morrowind on steam so I could be a Telvanni. Years later, it is now my favorite Elder Scrolls game.

What makes Morrowind special for you?

The Dunmer are a very well-made and multi-layered fantasy culture, and their chafing against their cosmopolitan Imperialist overlords is an interesting conflict with a lot of narrative potential. Its theming (Morrowind is about history) is also unparalleled by other Elder Scrolls games.

What are the mods you simply cannot play without?

Madd Leveler is great. Makes it so you don't have to worry about managing your skill increases at all; one thing Skyrim got right, in my view, was ditching the asinine leveling system that Oblivion and Morrowind share. I also never boot up Morrowind without TR installed, but you could've guessed that.

Are there any underrated mods that you really enjoy?

One mod that's interesting that I found recently is "The Blight", a mwse-lua mod that makes the blight a bit more dangerous and contagious. It does that well, and it's certainly an aspect in which vanilla was lacking.

Do you play other games?

Not a video game, but I do play in a DnD game and run one myself. My homebrew setting is a fairly blatant stew of plagiarized PT/TR lore -- my players just got done resolving bootleg Dragonstar. One of the perks of being "in the know", I guess :p The game I'm a player in is a political war campaign taped to the side of a magic school campaign. Fantasy politics have always been my favorite thing to see in a fictional setting.

And by the way, what's the story behind your username?

It's my name lmao

Anything else you'd like to share that we haven't talked about?

I would like to implore any readers to head on down to the Tamriel Rebuilt development discord (which is completely public -- even our future plans are on the public record) and see about making a modding showcase and joining the project. Learning the CS and making Morrowind mods is very easy to pick up, and even making one interior or quest is a big help for the project.

Links here:

Tamriel Rebuilt website

Tamriel Rebuilt Discord