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Oblivion Reviews


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#1 AussieMacGamer

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 05:03 AM

What do you think of ESIV:oblivion? well what do you think? :huh:

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#2 Tetsuya

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 05:54 AM

i'm no more impressed by it than i was by any of the other Elder Scrolls games.

in fact, other than the really pretty graphics (which actually arent pretty unless you have some SERIOUS hardware backing it up - the lower quality settings look worse than NWN) and the voice acting (which is actually kind of annoying after a while - having to listen to every NPC in the entire world blabber on about something before i can buy stuff from them annoys the crap out of me) its almost *exactly* like Daggerfall, and that game is ancient.  

I dont like the leveling system (unchanged since Daggerfall, and maybe even since Arena, but i never played that) since it is insanely hard to level some skills (since they only level with use) and stupid-easy to level others (any spell you can cast on yourself will allow you to cap that magic skill virtually at will) which creates some pretty severe imbalances.  Questing is also pretty much pointless - a lot of the side quests do nothing for you at all, not even a gold reward - and you cant gain exp from questing, so it feels worthless in the extreme.  

Then there is the fact that the game auto-adjusts all of the dungeons and all of the main-quest-line NPC's to your level, which basically means that there is never any point in the entire game, no matter how powerful your character is, that you feel accomplished - the NPC's are always just as tough as you are.  I cant even begin to tell you how lame that is, and how dissapointed it makes me - eventually, i just got annoyed with it and stopped playing.  

some of the skills are a real pain in the ass to use, too, which doesnt help (Lockpicking makes me want to tear my hair out - not to mention you have to pick dozens of locks to even gain one point - i actually restarted the game and dropped that skill in favor of Alteration magic, and just leveled that skill to its cap right away and bought the spell to unlock the hardest locks immediately, rather than use that skill).

the main quest line is decent, though there is very little in the way of a real motivation for your charcter to be doing all these heroic deeds - especially if you are playing a dastardly character, why would you care what some dead guy wanted you to do ?  

I do like the fact a lot of the quests require thought and timing to complete well, and a lot of the faction-related quests (for the Mages guild and Thieves guild) are fun and well laid out.  All in all, though, Oblivion is all hype and zero delivery in my book.

Wow, its a prettied up version of Daggerfall with so-so voice acting.  Big whoop.  Maybe if there were some kind of innovation, i'd care.  But i can just play Daggerfall and have more fun - not to mention a world that is MUCH larger to play around in - so i dont get why everyons is so hot and bothered over what is actually a very mediocre game.

#3 Huntn

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 07:18 AM

After Tet's review, I'm wondering why am I having fun with this game. :D

It's A+ feature is the world of Cyrodiil. Very immersive IMO.

Innovative? I'm sure there are many here with much more RPG than I so I won't argue how innovative it is. Compared to Morrowind, "the world" is much more immersive and the NPCs actually appear alive, versus talking statues. I'm enjoying exploring the world and discovering things and after WoW feeling like I have the time to explore on my schedule.

The point of quests?- to get them done, either for reward or to help out someone in need. After playing about 24 hours of the game, I do see some repetitive features of combat while questing. But name me a game that does not have repetitive combat elements? The quests subject matter seem innovative and enjoyable to me.

Lock picking- yep a pain in the butt. It can stop you in your questing tracks unless you address it directly through effort or cheating. I admit, that I have given myself, through cheats, enough picks to get the access I need.

Scalable mobs- I've wrestled with this issue. Leveling is a dilemma for RPGs. In WoW after you out-level an area there is no point in going back there. As you get better you must move on. In WoW there are areas that I totally missed by leveling.

But it can be argued that if all the mobs scale with you, what is the point? The biggest drawback with this system (I've not verified) is- do you ever get in over your head? In ES4, I don't know. The good thing is that you can do any dungeon in any order you desire, and always face a challenge. I'd argue that ES4 makes the best use of content, but it all boils down to personal preference.

Very recently I've played these games: Neverwinter Nights, Baldur's Gate II, Dungeon Siege and the Ultima V mod. Many of the combat elements with these games and ES4 are similiar, but ES4 by far outshines these other titles mostly due to the immersive nature of its world. I do appreciate the fact that I can dodge and block attacks which give ES4 a dynamic feel to combat.

I'm still having a great time with it.

#4 the Battle Cat

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 08:16 AM

Isn't this a PC game played by dual booting into Windows?
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#5 Huntn

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 08:42 AM

View Postthe Battle Cat, on May 10th 2006, 09:16 AM, said:

Isn't this a PC game played by dual booting into Windows?

You are correct sir.

#6 the Battle Cat

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 09:35 AM

View PostHuntn, on May 10th 2006, 07:42 AM, said:

You are correct sir.
I've got to move it into Windows Gaming on Mac then.  

::tBC casts a teleportation spell::
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#7 AussieMacGamer

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 01:15 AM

pfft lame... :glare:

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#8 Tomatocow

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 01:19 AM

At least he didn't merge it into an existing Oblivion thread :P

#9 Whaleman

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 01:24 AM

View PostHuntn, on May 10th 2006, 04:42 PM, said:

You are correct sir.

Well, only 50% correct, some of us play in on Xbox 360 as well ;)
You shouldn't ask yourself such worthless questions. Aim higher. Try this: why am I here? Why do I exist, and what is my purpose in this universe?

(Answers: 'Cause you are. 'Cause you do. 'Cause I got a shotgun, and you ain't got one.)

***END MESSAGE***

#10 Huntn

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 05:44 AM

View PostWhaleman, on May 12th 2006, 02:24 AM, said:

Well, only 50% correct, some of us play in on Xbox 360 as well ;)

You know xbox does not count in these forums and TBC was doing moderator duties when he asked the question. :)

BTW, can the 360 play original xbox titles?

#11 the Battle Cat

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 09:33 AM

View PostHuntn, on May 12th 2006, 04:44 AM, said:

BTW, can the 360 play original xbox titles?

Not all but a lot.
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#12 Huntn

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 10:03 PM

View Postthe Battle Cat, on May 12th 2006, 10:33 AM, said:

Not all but a lot.

If I had a xbox 360, I'd be playing Halo and Oblivion on it. Thanks for the link!

#13 PeopleLikeFrank

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 12:59 PM

Been playing for a while, and really enjoying it, though I can understand the criticism it gets.

The best feature is definitely the immersive world - having a meticulously rendered, detailed landscape to wander around in, and the open-ended gameplay allowing you to do that, is great.

I really like rpg/action hybrids (System Shock and Deus Ex are my favorite games ever), and so the play style really suits me. Combat is fun, especially with Havok, so arrows thwack into your shield, and opponents stumble when you hit them hard enough.

I'm on the fence with the levelling system - it's flawed, but not an entirely bad idea. The main disappointment about it is since my character is a thief, I like sneaking into places where I shouldn't be and finding loot, but since the loot is levelled, it's not usually super exciting. Still, I've found enough good items to keep me interested.

I think perhaps a "semi-levelled" system, where things are scaled, but not exactly to your level, would be good. So lower level monsters would get tougher as you levelled, but would lag further behind, so that you could feel that you had become more powerful without losing all challenge. Similarly, there should be some areas which are higher level, and the monsters, etc., there should be tough (not scaled all the way down to meet you), so that you can challenge yourself trying to survive in a tough area, with the possibility of high rewards but the danger of getting in over your head. A good part of RPGs is wandering around, finding areas that are too tough for you, and being able to go back later and handle it, so it shouldn't totally lose that.

I don't really understand people's difficulty with lockpicking. Maybe it's because my character is stealth oriented, but I've never had to cheat or use alternate methods. The nice thing about the lockpicking system is that you can open a lock that's way above your level if you're patient enough.

The much vaunted AI is nothing special. Monsters and NPCs are frankly dumb as bricks. I like that NPCs have a semblance of daily activity, but going to a pub or a shop and staring at the wall for five hours before going somewhere else and doing the same is not totally convincing. Neither are the stilted, awkward conversations. It's a step in the right direction, but it would be nice if an effort was made to at least make some more animations, so blacksmiths could at least be hammering, etc.

I'm having a lot of fun with it. The really disappointing thing about the flaws is that you see how great it could be, given the flexibility of the game. But the immersive world, fun combat, good quests, and the fact that my character (who is no angel) can just piss off and ignore the main quest and find something else to do make up for the problems, IMO.
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#14 Huntn

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 08:26 AM

View Postnobody, on May 13th 2006, 01:59 PM, said:

I think perhaps a "semi-levelled" system, where things are scaled, but not exactly to your level, would be good. So lower level monsters would get tougher as you levelled, but would lag further behind, so that you could feel that you had become more powerful without losing all challenge. Similarly, there should be some areas which are higher level, and the monsters, etc., there should be tough (not scaled all the way down to meet you), so that you can challenge yourself trying to survive in a tough area, with the possibility of high rewards but the danger of getting in over your head. A good part of RPGs is wandering around, finding areas that are too tough for you, and being able to go back later and handle it, so it shouldn't totally lose that.

I like the sound of that.

View Postnobody, on May 13th 2006, 01:59 PM, said:

I don't really understand people's difficulty with lockpicking. Maybe it's because my character is stealth oriented, but I've never had to cheat or use alternate methods. The nice thing about the lockpicking system is that you can open a lock that's way above your level if you're patient enough.

I'm not stealth oriented and have found that the inability to pick certain vital locks, would stop certain quests in their tracks. If I was more patient, I'd just wait and come back to those quests after acquiring the required picks. I found money was very tight in the beginning of the game so I was hesitant to purchase them.

I'd be interested to hear what choices you made for your character at the beginning. Being stealth oriented do you find that you acquire enough picks to get the job done or do you have to purchase lock picks to get your skill high enough?

View Postnobody, on May 13th 2006, 01:59 PM, said:

The much vaunted AI is nothing special. Monsters and NPCs are frankly dumb as bricks. I like that NPCs have a semblance of daily activity, but going to a pub or a shop and staring at the wall for five hours before going somewhere else and doing the same is not totally convincing. Neither are the stilted, awkward conversations. It's a step in the right direction, but it would be nice if an effort was made to at least make some more animations, so blacksmiths could at least be hammering, etc.

I have no idea why the AI would be praised other than the NPCs making the rounds. The mobs use no tactics other than "rush" making them pretty easy to defeat s long as you don't stand there and take a beating. I spend a substantial amount of my fighting running away and then coming back. :) I thought conversations were for the purpose of passing on important info to the player. I have picked up 2 quests by listening to conversations but the quality of conversations is hit, mostly miss.

View Postnobody, on May 13th 2006, 01:59 PM, said:

I'm having a lot of fun with it. The really disappointing thing about the flaws is that you see how great it could be, given the flexibility of the game. But the immersive world, fun combat, good quests, and the fact that my character (who is no angel) can just piss off and ignore the main quest and find something else to do make up for the problems, IMO.

I don't really know what to make of this aspect of the game. You can ignore this dire threat, and go about your questing routine without consequences. I've only closed one gate, but so far that was my least favorite part of the game. Second time through, I might totally ignore the primary premise of the game. :D

#15 PeopleLikeFrank

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 12:50 PM

View PostHuntn, on May 14th 2006, 10:26 AM, said:

I'd be interested to hear what choices you made for your character at the beginning. Being stealth oriented do you find that you acquire enough picks to get the job done or do you have to purchase lock picks to get your skill high enough?

My character is a Kahjit, born under the sign of the Thief, which combined gave me 60 in agility and luck at the start of the game. Class is Assassin (alchemy, marksman, blade, light armor, security, sneak, specialize in stealth), so security started at 25 and is easier to level up, being both a major skill and having the stealth specialization. I also found a doomstone early on which gave me the "cheater's nip" major power which boosts agility and luck by 20 for a short time.

So the character is pretty well geared up for lockpicking. Even so, I found early in the game I would use them slightly faster than I found them, so occasionaly I would restock (being in the thieves guild makes this easier). Now I basically accumulate them, since I can't resist picking them up whenever I find them, but rarely break them unless I'm being impatient (this is ever since the skill hit around 50-ish, I've gotten some helpful equipment too).

The way I find is best to pick locks is to listen to the sound. When you get the slow rising tumblers is when you want to lock them in place, and they'll make a distinct double-clink sound when that happens. Much easier IMO than watching them rise.

If you find you're having trouble, there is a quest to get an artifact that's basically an unbreakable pick which also boosts the skill by 40. A bit absurdly powerful methinks, and I don't use it since it kills the point of my character, but it would be good for a non-stealth character to use without cheating.

View PostHuntn, on May 14th 2006, 10:26 AM, said:

I don't really know what to make of this aspect of the game. You can ignore this dire threat, and go about your questing routine without consequences. I've only closed one gate, but so far that was my least favorite part of the game. Second time through, I might totally ignore the primary premise of the game. :D

Yeah the main problem with this is that I'm presented with a dire scenario at the start of the game, and when I proceed to ignore it, nothing bad happens. It's been weeks or months of game time by this point, and this dire threat is politely waiting for me to get on with the main quest before showing up. It would be kind of neat if things slowly started to change if you ignored the main quest, but it would be difficult of course to balance that with the open-endedness of it.
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#16 Huntn

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 09:27 PM

View Postnobody, on May 14th 2006, 01:50 PM, said:

If you find you're having trouble, there is a quest to get an artifact that's basically an unbreakable pick which also boosts the skill by 40. A bit absurdly powerful methinks, and I don't use it since it kills the point of my character, but it would be good for a non-stealth character to use without cheating.

Do you remember the name or where you picked this quest up? Hopefully it's not a Thieves Guild quest. :)

#17 kingarthur_kom

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 11:03 PM

View PostHuntn, on May 14th 2006, 10:27 PM, said:

Do you remember the name or where you picked this quest up? Hopefully it's not a Thieves Guild quest. :)

It is one of those Daedric shrines quests.
I play on a PC.
On the level system... well modders have changed it so you can get into trouble in some places.
I probably wouldn't care that much about this game but the mods do make it more enjoyable.
Some screenshots =
http://www.geocities...h/oblivion.html
The beggar army can be gotten with a very cool mod called Companion Share/Recruit by Talkie Toaster. Basicly it is a mod to allow you to recruit NPCs you are on good terms with. A small quest gives you access to 4 generals. Those modders are quite good.
I get most of my mods here =
http://planetelderscrolls.gamespy.com/

#18 Huntn

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 11:18 AM

View Postkingarthur_kom, on May 15th 2006, 12:03 AM, said:

It is one of those Daedric shrines quests.
I play on a PC.
On the level system... well modders have changed it so you can get into trouble in some places.
I probably wouldn't care that much about this game but the mods do make it more enjoyable.
Some screenshots =
http://www.geocities...h/oblivion.html
The beggar army can be gotten with a very cool mod called Companion Share/Recruit by Talkie Toaster. Basicly it is a mod to allow you to recruit NPCs you are on good terms with. A small quest gives you access to 4 generals. Those modders are quite good.
I get most of my mods here =
http://planetelderscrolls.gamespy.com/

Thanks for the links! Once a mod is installed can it be removed easily?

#19 kingarthur_kom

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 04:12 PM

View PostHuntn, on May 15th 2006, 12:18 PM, said:

Thanks for the links! Once a mod is installed can it be removed easily?

Of course! Open the Oblivion launcher exe and it gives you a list of options. One of those options is "data". This is where you find a list of mods. You can check and uncheck the ones you want.

#20 PeopleLikeFrank

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 06:37 AM

View PostHuntn, on May 14th 2006, 11:27 PM, said:

Do you remember the name or where you picked this quest up? Hopefully it's not a Thieves Guild quest. :)

It's the quest from Nocturnal's shrine, which is north east of Leyawin. Ask mages about Daedric shrines, and they'll mark them on your map.
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