There are lots of ambitious full conversion Skyrim mods in development, and one of the most anticipated by Elder Scrolls fans is Skywind. Modders have spent more than decade meticulously recreating The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind in Skyrim's engine, and long-time Bethesda RPG fans are eager to play it.
Unfortunately, the mod isn't finished yet and Skywind still doesn't have a release date, but here's a treat to make the wait a little more bearable. Today the mod team at The Elder Scroll Renewal Project have unveiled a full 20 minutes of new Skywind gameplay footage, and it looks fantastic. You can watch an entire quest, start to finish, in the video below. Check it out:
Morrowind fanatics will probably immediately recognize the setting, and maybe even the quest itself, which is called "Necromancer in Mawia." The video begins in Molag Amur in the Ashlands as the player strides through a dust storm to visit the temple in the city of Molag Mar. The temple master instructs the player to find and eliminate a necromancer named Delvam Andarys. "Show no mercy," he growls.
The player heads out to find the tower of Mawia, located on a small island off the coast. Along the way we see some magic put to use: a slowfall spell to safely leap from the rooftops in Molag Mar, a waterwalking spell to reach the island, and Ondusi's Open Door to unlock a chest. I really dig the custom animations for that lockpicking spell, as the character turns their hand back and forth as if they're mystically raising the unseen tumblers inside the lock.
There are also a few battles scattered throughout the quest: a quick skirmish with a Nix-Hound and a couple Clannfear, plus plenty of skeletons inside the tower at Mawia. Some bigger fights erupt near the end of the quest as the player takes on a summoned Bonewalker and then the dark elf necromancer himself.
Combat looks obviously very Skyrim-y, but the modders do plan to hew as close as possible to the original Morrowind with weapons like spears, crossbows, and throwing knives. They're also hoping to develop custom spells and a more modular armor system than Skyrim has, as well as a major/minor skill system. The mod will also leave out some elements from Skyrim, such as the constellation skill menu and horses—in this video you can see one of the reasons why.
The world of Morrowind looks beautifully recreated, though unfortunately most of the video takes place in the dead of night so you can't really get a great look at the landscape. You can compare the quest in the new Skywind video to a video of the quest in Morrowind and see that it's quite faithful to the original but has also been nicely enhanced, and not just with the addition of voice acting. Empty rooms are now filled with furniture, objects, and lootable items, and while in the original game the necromancer is just standing still in his chamber, in the Skywind video he's prepared in advance and has concealed himself for a surprise attack. That's just what a slippery necromancer would do!
The video ends with the familiar call for more volunteer modders to work on Skywind, which tells me its release is still potentially quite a long way off. But it sure looks like it's shaping up beautifully. While you continue impatiently waiting, you can visit the official Skywind website to learn more about it.
Skywind isn't the only big mod for a Bethesda RPG on the horizon: There's also Skyblivion, which is recreating Oblivion in Skyrim's engine. We got a look at a full four hours of Skyblivion back in January.