MGSO is fantastic, at least as a base mod. The default settings aren't vanilla friendly, though. Here is what I have checked in the options:
Vality (NO balmora trees)
Dagoth Ur Voices
New Magic Sounds
New Game Sounds
Detailed and Reflecting
Moon & Star (no other choice is acceptable!)
Magic Items Glow:
I did have a ton of problems with the Steam version of the Morrowind executable, so I backed up and replaced it with with a No-CD version of the executable instead prior to running MSGO Installer. I also install the version of Wrye Mash I linked above, which is the latest/most up to date version, and also has MLOX/TES3CMD integration. Before running MGSO, do the following:
- Download the latest Morrowind Code Patch - https://www.nexusmod...d/mods/19510/?/ and exctact it to a temporary folder
- Download the latest development version of the Morrowind Code Patch - https://www.nexusmod...nd/mods/26348/? and extract it over top of the files you extracted above
- Open the Data Files folder in the temporary folder above and delete the Showcase esp file
- Copy the official ESM files (Morrowind, Bloodmoon, Tribunal) and their BSA files from your Data files folder and paste them into the Data Files folder in the temporary folder
- Run Morrowind Code Patch and select all the options you want/need
- Save this entire folder in a safe location for later.
- I copy the Morrowind.exe over top of the one in my Morrowind directory.
I take a backup of the Morrowind Data Files directory at this point and copy it to the Wrye Mash installers directory as "Data Files - Vanilla Morrowind". Then I install it as a mod in Wrye Mash. At this point, I run MGSO. When MGSO gets to the "Morrowind Code Patch" portion, I run the code patch but do not check any options or fixes or patches, then apply the patch. Then I close the MGSO Installer and copy all the stuff from the Temporary folder above EXCEPT the Data Files folder over into my Morrowind directory, and then run the MGSO installer again. This "tricks" the MGSO installer into thinking the Code Patch was run, but in reality, the latest and greatest Code Patch was run on the Executable. Then I run all the other options.
I don't select Animated Morrowind because I'm not a fan of all the NPCs
it adds, although it is a good mod if that is your thing. I also highly recommend Starfire NPC
Additions if you want more NPCs
in the game. Make sure to install the MGSO temporary patch (https://www.nexusmod...d/mods/43463/?/
) and re-run the MSGO Options executable and select the options above and click "apply", but don't install using Wrye Mash.
After install, I delete the BTB Version of the Morrowind Patch Project. I also right click on Better Weapons and Armor.esp in Wrye Mash and select "Repair Refs" to fix problems with this ESP file. Finally, I delete bm_ex_ice_exit04.nif inside the meshes folder in the Data Files folder, since this mesh causes some doors to be inaccessible. Then I copy the Data Files folder over to the Wrye Mash installers directory and install it as a mod over top of the vanilla Morrowind data files. This gets you MGSO 3.0 and Wrye Mash as a mod manager that is aware of all vanilla and MGSO files and conflicts.
I replace the version of MLOX with MGSO with this updated one: https://www.nexusmod...d/mods/43001/?/
. MLOX is usually law, and it recommends disabling or not using a few of the MGSO mods, so take that as you will.
At this point, you have a few more fixes and updated mods to install in Wrye Mash (except for MGE-XE):
I also install these great Skyrim-like UI Mods - https://www.nexusmod...d/mods/43039/?/ https://www.nexusmod...d/mods/43026/?/ https://www.nexusmod...d/mods/43341/?/
For Better Heads/Better Bodies, I install Better Bodies ZW (Overwriting) - https://www.nexusmod...nd/mods/42395/? , Westly's Head Replacer https://download.fliggerty.com/download-127-874 (closer to vanilla), I install (overwriting) Better Beast Bodies - https://mw.modhistory.com/download-10-10928, Pluginless head replacer for Khajiit - https://www.nexusmods.com/morrowind/mods/43110/?
For MGE-XE, I'm using mostly default settings and automatic generation of all settings, and I have my distant land draw distance at 21 cells (which is close enough to vanilla but still lets you see stuff in the distance.)
That should get you going with a pretty decent and vanilla friendly install.
There are merits to doing it manually, but in my experience MGSO is pretty selective in what goes in, texture quality, etc.
A good guide for supplementing on top of those mods is here - https://steamcommuni...&insideModal=1
If you want to take a DIY approach, instead of installing MGSO, use Knot's Guide - https://www.somethin...-modding-guide/