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"Guest" Blog

  07:03:45 pm, by Cactus   , 749 words  
Viewed 6244 times since 17/11/09
Categories: Games, Elder Scrolls

As the self-proclaimed "UESP Forum Representative, I've decided to be presumptuous and ask a few (read: one) others to slip me the occasional post to publish here. This is my first such post, by r.



After much deliberation, I have finally worked out what it is I don't like about Oblivion. I was introduced to the fine world of Elder Scrolls via Morrowind and bought Oblivion when it came out. I quite liked it, despite the fact that I was playing it on a computer with a 1Hz processor so I had to have all the graphics turned right down and the framerate still plummeted whenever anything interesting was happening. There was something I wasn't sure about, though.

It wasn't the graphics, because I now own the game on PS3, which is hooked up to a 42-inch HD TV and I still don't like it. It's not the way it's been dumbed down - all types of blade are now one category, polearms and medium armour are gone, axes are classed as blunt weapons for some reason and you can't wear a robe, clothes and armour all at the same time. It's not the fact that all the Elves, including the Dunmer, sound like they're from Surrey. No, it's how every single thing in the game is relentlessly and boringly levelled.

In Morrowind, if you knew where to look you could get anything you wanted. For a level 1 character, going into one of the Sixth House Citadels to get a Daedric weapon you're after is probably a bit out of the question, but the point is it's there. Glass, ebony and Daedric weapons are supposed to be rare, bespoke, handcrafted items so it's right that there's only so many of them around, and the people who have them are either going to keep them well-hidden or put up a fight to keep hold of them. You can tell Dram Bero about a cave and get a Daedric weapon of your choice at any point in the game, but do this at level 1 in Cyrodiil and say hello to your nice new iron war axe.

It's fun walking around Morrowind with a Daedric Claymore when your only foes are rats and Scribs. It's not fun firing arrow after arrow into a wolf with an enchanted ebony longbow until it finally dies after 50 hits. Why does this happen? When I was little, I trod on a bee and killed it and its friend stung me, which quite hurt. Fifteen years on, if I trod on a bee I would still kill it, not make a tiny dent in it, and another bee stinging me would quite hurt, not kill me. I haven't noticed the seagulls in Brighton slowly turning into invincible albatrosses while I've been living here.

Going back to rare weapons, why do all NPCs have them as you get higher up the level board? Why would a highwayman need to relieve you of 100 Septims when he could hock his ebony warhammer for 20 times that amount? And how the hell did he come into possession of one in the first place? Certainly not by standing on a bridge in an ever-evolving suit of armour every day. Bandits attack you with Daedric weapons whilst wearing glass armour. Daedric weapons are meant to be the rarest of the rare, so why does every member of a huge bandit den have one? Think about this - it's like yobs racing around a council estate in a Lamborghini, and when you were born, Bill Gates was driving a Volkswagen diesel just like everyone else.

Whilst this never means you'll be substantially weaker than any enemy you face, it also means you'll never be substantially stronger than them. How many of you have given up on travelling by road after getting sick of fighting off 10 bears on the road between two towns, firing arrow after arrow into their faces to no effect? On my current game, my level 20 character, who should be a demi-superhuman, has resorted to turning the difficulty right down for the last bits of the main quest because I'm so sick of Storm Atronachs killing her with 3 punches.

And what's up with levelled quest rewards? "You can have this amulet now, but if you'd told me about your impressive feat of derring-do next year sometime it would have been a lot better".

And it's this reason, the fact that the world constantly changes to adapt to you, why I don't like Oblivion.

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9 comments

Comment from: Wrenward [Visitor]
Wrenward

I haven’t known anyone to vocalise this issue quite so eloquently! However, I don’t know which Brighton you live in - the seagulls are obviously turning into sea eagles! Duh.

20/11/09 @ 01:45 pm
Comment from: The Raven [Member]
The Raven

So true, so true.
I still like Oblivion though.

Probably because I haven’t been able to play Morrowind for a while.
My mind won’t even allow me to get to level two.

20/11/09 @ 02:45 pm
Comment from: Electric Wizard [Visitor]
Electric Wizard

Its a scientifical fact that mods which remove the training wheels of levelled monster/item lists are something you need to enjoy Oblivion properly. The training wheels leveling of enemies was a considerable misstep that marred an otherwise great game, but fortunately a mistep that can be corrected with ease.

23/11/09 @ 08:53 pm
Comment from: Fabio Bittar [Visitor]
Fabio Bittar

I still think you should rewrite the Morrowind recommended mods page!!! And don’t forget Graphics Extended! It’s amazing and now I’m playing Morrowind in widescreen format, plus I can just see the top of one of the cantons of Vivec from the shore of Syeda Neen.

Finally: Oblivion was cool and all… but Morrowind is the best. I just hope they eliminate the adaptative gameplay BS when they start thinking about Elder Scrolls V.

25/11/09 @ 06:13 am
Comment from: Timmeh [Visitor]
Timmeh

Daggerfall had a similar levelling system to Oblivion; however, the chances they had good equipment was very low (I think Daedric items had a single digit or decimal percentage chance to find).

Also, I can’t get enough of that sword swinging action, which is enough to send any albatross flying for cover!

30/11/09 @ 07:25 pm
Comment from: Longknife [Visitor]
Longknife

Personally, I like it when opponents get stronger. It would get boring if everyone was an easy kill, and if I do want to be a demi god, I can actually earn that status by getting damage reflect and some form of magic resistance. And really, only four or five enemies are truly leveled; even Spider Daedra and Daedroths will become easy kills with a matter of time.

However, I do agree that bandits having leveled armor does defeat the purpose of rare armor. It’s not even rare; it’s just like a newer version of a product. Leveled quest rewards is also somewhat annoying.
But I think Bethesda can fix this. They just need to realize that bandits don’t need new armor and weapons to be harder. Give Bandits an increasing amount of health, block skill and weapon skill as the game continues on. Or hell, increase the number of bandits encountered in one spot. They can wear leather armor and still be a threat. I’m pretty sure everyone GETS their rare armor from bandits and marauders anyways, so taking it away from them means taking it away from the player, and thus harder gameplay.

07/12/09 @ 08:27 am
Comment from: Tis_Pony [Visitor]
Tis_Pony

You speak it like it hasn’t been vocalized be every damned Morrowind player who had an internet connection. Instead of masturbating over the armament details of your play Jesus whack-a-mole game, fix the problem presented with an enemy overhaul mod. Presented by someone without severe nostalgia poisoning my opinion, comparably Morrowind has a lack of any user-friendliness, direction, or a NPC outside of their respectable inventory of chain-smoking bastards and paraplegics. No, I do not define user-friendliness and direction as fast travel and quest markers. I can accept their absence as long as they are replaced by directions translated from Middle French and an idea of what stock quest requires what stock mysterious unexplained magical item from what stock repeating magical fortress from the magically mysterious past.

07/12/09 @ 08:56 pm
Comment from: Timmeh [Visitor]
Timmeh

I wouldn’t say that Morrowind was totally un-user friendly. Certainly, Morrowind had a couple of really vague quest destinations; however, the idea of exploring is something that should be akin to roleplaying games with this much landspace and possibility; something that Oblivion seems to lack. I’d hardly say that Morrowind had lack of direction; they were vague for a reason. While this does make it harder on non-US or younger users (I’m not sure if Morrowind had alternative languages?), it would be inappropriate to change the amount of adventure immersion in order to make the game more-friendly to others.

As for your comment about the NPC’s, I have no idea what you are talking about. Sure, commoners have very little actual background and influence; however that is how it should be. All commoners are not interesting individuals with mysterious pasts and problems for you to find out. Some people just want to sell pillows and drink skooma in peace. The NPCs that do have background (which I feel had more depth than the ones in Oblivion), are numerous and tended to hook you onwards. A perfect example is Percius Mercius, who has his own unique attitude in the fighter’s guild questline.

10/12/09 @ 12:41 pm
Comment from: r (author) [Visitor]
r (author)

What nostalgia poisoning? It’s not as if I’ve been playing Morrowind since it came out. For the record, I borrowed Morrowind off a friend who then wanted it back, then Oblivion came out, which I bought because that ever-reliable organ PC Gamer said it was only 4% off being perfect, and 6 months or so later I bought a copy of Morrowind. So I was introduced to both games at more or less the same time and it’s simply my opinion that Morrowind is a better game. And I happen to be able to voice those opinions without being reduced to the level of accusing people of self-pleasure.

I agree with Timmeh about the directions too, some of them are a little vague, like giving someone directions to Reykjavik by saying it’s north of Scotland, but what’s more immersive and believable - that, or a green arrow pointing towards the location of an ancient tomb believed to have been lost for centuries? The whole point of the quest to find the Mythic Dawn shrine using the map that appears in Green Emperor Way is nullified by the Green Arrow Of Stupidity and the cave appearing on your map with what equates to a big neon sign saying ‘Go in this cave and kill everyone’.

13/12/09 @ 12:24 pm


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