I've forgotten how to mod basically, lol. I never really got the hang of WorldEd, and have been long distracted by real life. However, I am back in school, and am going for a Game Art Design degree and would be happy to contribute art and literature for a project like this. It would be far from first priority though. As far as payment goes, while the offer is genuinely heartfelt, its probably not the best way to go for a casual project like this. Building a team with the same vision able to contribute asyncronously would be the better plan. Find enough people who like the idea for a mod. Then you need a PR guy whose praise of the progress and dream of the final product is enough to inspire both the fan base and the mod team during the course of production.
Firstly what we'd need is the entire mod dev team to replay the game strictly for gathering historical material and building a cohesive timeline from the Age of Legends on up. There will always be some nit pickers out there with a huge mental database waiting to pick anything made apart... rather they work for us than against. Incorporate all the available history as much as possible. Even encode basic changes in the environment to some degree, one king dies, a prince steps up... that kind of thing. The march of Lorek's army from city to city could be triggered by main plot completions, with Loghaires trapping of Lorek's army at Gorgoth Pass in the end near the completion of the main plot. The idea that Lorek's and Loghaires armies are mostly mobile and alternatingly in pursuit of one another means not having to script / place large army encampments until the final battle. What they leave in their wake are towns and villages which are at one stage functional, then wiped ( to some degree ) out after a battle. Most of the technological stuff is picked clean, however.
To be true to the current state of Arcanum, most of what is left behind by the armies is pure junk. Otherwise the Dark Elves would have REASON to blame Dwarves for the spread of tech 1000 years prior. Therefore, a technologists underground, accessible 100% to dwarven characters, and to other characters only through questing. Betrayal of the Tech Underground = permanent expulsion. Towards the end of main plot, the Tech Underground should simply die, to pave the way for the relaxed attitudes that made for BMC stupidity in the main game later on. The same should apply to Magic, Pelojian founded Tulla 1000 years before the main story line, 1000 years after the death of the Elvin Council, Tulla wouldn't be a force of leadership until it was established, in the early years it would be a beacon for any mage and in later years become an exclusive club filtering out folks more than accepting. Therefore, a Magick Underground as it were ( not so much as tech, but still ) available to non Elven characters only through questing. Full blooded elves could gain mastery early with access to Quintarra or T'Sen Ang.
The whole underground concept is basically to introduce materials per level of tech in a given field. Rather than parts hidden in chests and rubbish piles, they are found after recent battles which are found through rumor. The same for magic, scrolls and potions per level of magic tech. Elves would have full access to an entire magic shop at first, and Dwarves to a complete inventors/junk shop as well. Other characters would not. The shops they would have access to would increment its wares based on the level of tech/magic of the player. This could be done through alot of scripting... or by warfare. One shopkeep is killed, another finds his stockpile of wares and adds to it and opens shop. More classification of vendors, making them/their goods available at different stages of aptitude.
Tech characters would be more involved with the Clan wars, the more magically inclined would be on one side or the other of the Molochean Hand/ Derian Ka rift. Those would be the major players in driving the stories. Alternatively, if nuetral attitude towards tech/magic is kept, the character would find more to do on the orcish horde/human barbarian frontier.
High level spells and schematics. What to do here. Well, lets start with steam engines. Dwarves had the tech back then, but it was rusting in a corner. Ok, so arachnids are possible, but a 0 supply of steam engines, except from decaying and recently abandoned Iron Clan strongholds. The schism has mostly picked it clean. The real treasure would not be the steam engines themselves... but the SCHEMATIC for a steam engine. All of the schematics for the high end tech stuff would need alot more schematics added for the main ingredients in high level stuff to be found or quested.
Well, there's my 2 cents... I'm waiting for my change.