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Author Topic: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - Impressions  (Read 48472 times)
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Punisher
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« Reply #440 on: March 29, 2006, 06:42:04 PM »

I just thought of something... Since the surrounding things level with you, you could stay at a low level, say 5 or under, but max out your secondary skills, such as blade or whatever it is, thus, being way more powerful them most things. Of course, this wouldn't help for nonleveled-high-leveled creatures.

Also, if I recall correctly, once you go through the 1st gate, things get progressively worse and gates will randomly appear until you finish the main quest. This is one of the reasons I haven't even started the main quest yet. I think I'm at around 30 hours or so...
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« Reply #441 on: March 29, 2006, 06:53:07 PM »

SMART MAN

If I knew it would be like this, I wouldn't have touched the main quest.
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« Reply #442 on: March 29, 2006, 06:59:25 PM »

Well, I had just saw the first gate but something told me I wasn't ready to go in and I headed for anvil. Now I might just wait until I see the whole land and finish alot of questions before I go anyway near Kvatch again.

Anything wrong with this strategy? I hear about this whole leveling up thing and I wonder if this will make the gates too tough when I finally do tackle the main quest.

Part of me does feel bad that I left those three guards their to blockade the first gate while I galavant around the countryside.
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« Reply #443 on: March 29, 2006, 07:09:55 PM »

Please tell me some of you are starting to see how the backward skill system and level scaling nonsense are FUBAR and indicative of poor design.
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« Reply #444 on: March 29, 2006, 07:42:46 PM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Please tell me some of you are starting to see how the backward skill system and level scaling nonsense are FUBAR and indicative of poor design.


Not me, LE, but I really like the system.  Could it be better?  Sure, but this is leaps and bounds better than MW.   Honestly, for me this is the first time a game has entralled me like this in a long time.
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« Reply #445 on: March 29, 2006, 07:50:27 PM »

This is the first time I've felt bad about time wasted when I could be playing it. Like, driving to work, being at work, and driving home from work.

The only problem is, I've got so many home reno's on the go, and then there's time well spent with a my son, and also a beautiful woman and her amazing little boy. (he's a year younger than my boy).

Life, it seems, is closing the gates of oblivion and opening the gates of oblivious-to-gaming . :: sigh ::
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« Reply #446 on: March 29, 2006, 08:00:47 PM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Please tell me some of you are starting to see how the backward skill system and level scaling nonsense are FUBAR and indicative of poor design.


LE I just have to give you a total thumbs up for continually posting how much you really don't like about the game...we are indeed a thread of  mostly fanboys...I personally think this is the best game ever- I loved MW and Oblivion even more.

Yeah maybe there are issues but I just tend to play rather than dissect...but that's just me.

Keep it up-at some point I am sure we will agree on something- I just hope you find something to like- it really is that good-imho smile
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« Reply #447 on: March 29, 2006, 08:08:14 PM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Please tell me some of you are starting to see how the backward skill system and level scaling nonsense are FUBAR and indicative of poor design.


I think may play like the designers expected peope to playand it all works fine for me. I don't get 5x bonus multipliers when leveling up but my two primary stats were maxed by 18 anyhow. The challenge has scaled very well with my level in my opinion.  

I'm not sure I would even know there was a problem with the leveling system if I didn't read the forums. Of course if I hadn't read the character creation stuff in the guide I might have taken cheesed the system like I did in Morrowind with acrobatics and athletics as major skills to make leveling easy. I never even thought to cheese it the other way and I don't think it is necessary.
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« Reply #448 on: March 29, 2006, 08:10:12 PM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Please tell me some of you are starting to see how the backward skill system and level scaling nonsense are FUBAR and indicative of poor design.


I still like the skill system, just like I did in Morrowind.  I think it could be tweaked and improved, but it works reasonably well as it is.

The level scaling stuff I'm still iffy about.  I understand the goal behind it, and in some ways it works, but on the whole I think there's got to be a better way to achieve that goal of challenging the player.  Perhaps limiting what is scaled and what isn't moreso than currently would be a better way?  Perhaps let main characters and primary/"boss" encounters scale with the player, and other creatures scale but less dramatically?

I haven't gotten very high level yet (I'm only 9 currently) and I have yet to find any nice gear at all, which is disappointing.  On the flipside, I'm not encouraged by the reports of all these common brigands having full sets of uber gear on them as I reach higher levels of experience.

I like finding awesome stuff from time to time (like I did in Morrowind at times when I stumbled into the right place), but I still like it to be uncommon enough to generate that feeling of accomplishment and excitement when I find it.

All this said, I'm still immensely enjoying Oblivion and find it better overall than Morrowind at delivering a consistently fun, engaging, and immersive experience.  smile  Oblivion is an instant classic to me, partly because it accomplishes so much so well that even the things that are negatives don't dampen my enjoyment all that much overall.  Every Elder Scrolls game continues to improve, and I'm already looking forward to seeing what Bethesda does with the next one!  biggrin
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« Reply #449 on: March 29, 2006, 08:10:16 PM »

Quote from: "Scoop20906"
--I still can't get the hang of soul gems.

--I liked the twist on the standard kill the rats in the basement fights guild quest.

Soul Gems - when you cast the Soul Trap spell/enchant/whatnot, for the next X number of seconds, when you kill your target, their soul will go into the lowest quality gem that it can fit in. In short - rats will go into the Petty Gem (or anything bigger if you don't have that), and higher level mobs require bigger gems.

As for the rat quest...
Spoiler for Hiden:
The first time I got the quest, I didn't even read the full description and just wandered into her basement to slaughter all the rats (as I remembered a quest like that from the Fighter's Guild from Morrowind). I was rather shocked when I got a 'mission failed' message. biggrin


And I still haven't touched the main quest (and now just shy of 60 hours in). Well, not quite - as I was running by the town that you first find Martin at, I was drawn in to just to visit the town and help. After that, I left Martin where he was, as I wanted to keep on doing my own thing. Glad that I did, after reading this.

Oh, and about the Umbra Sword... There's something better out there. The Umbra Sword is very nice though, especially in conjunction with another Artifact. But for raw damage, there's another weapon... biggrin
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« Reply #450 on: March 29, 2006, 08:35:26 PM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Please tell me some of you are starting to see how the backward skill system and level scaling nonsense are FUBAR and indicative of poor design.

I haven't seen anything yet. Thats why I was asking.
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« Reply #451 on: March 29, 2006, 08:38:33 PM »

Okay, I think I need to visit Umbra.  Where exactly is this place at near the Imperial City.   I've yet to do anything there yet, since I wanted to get access to the Arcane University and I just finished that


Matter of fact I have a question re: Bruma Mages guild

Spoiler for Hiden:
I stole the Mages Spell book as requested, but I really felt bad as she mentioned she was looking for it.  Is there a quest to help her get it back?
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« Reply #452 on: March 29, 2006, 09:20:21 PM »

There's some early game spoilers ahead so beware....

Here's my take on the levelling system.  I played a Knight (premade class) and got him up to level 5 or 6 by doing the initial part of the quest and getting my horse and then just dinking around.  I did some Fighter's Guild quests, some town quests and eventually decided I'd go to Kvatch.

I wasn't prepared for how difficult Kvatch was going to be.  The Oblivion Gate was doable but the siege of the city and saving the duke/count/whoever part was crazy.  The AI companions all died pretty quickly in one plaza which left me and the leader to enter the main building only to find it was populated with Flame Atronarchs and fireball shooting scamps.  They continually kicked my ass.  The leader would die and I'd run for my life until the leader revived and then the whole thing would repeat.  I eventually got past it by "gaming" the system and not playing it like it was meant.

I was extremely frustrated and basically gave up on following the story at that point.  Which is a shame because I'd like to see how the story turns out.

I eventually rolled a new mage character but my concern is: do I do the Mage Guild quests (which I want to do) or do I follow the main story (which I also want to do)?  I have a feeling that if I do both then the game will have upped the difficulty more than I'd like.  Sure I can move the difficulty slider but I don't think I should have to.

That's the problem with a go-anywhere at anytime game like Oblivion.  Gothic I & II were certainly more restrictive in that the essentially blocked certain areas with tougher monsters but I really liked that system better because I knew where to expect difficulty and where to expect an easy gameplay session.

I wonder if something like this (link) would help slow the leveling process?
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« Reply #453 on: March 29, 2006, 09:21:40 PM »

I found the going a bit rougher with my Hand-to-Hand character.  At times it feels nearly impossible to get anywhere against certain monsters.  At the same time I have immense fun fighting things like the ogres.

Which is why I have learned to love the difficulty slider.  If I'm feeling like I'm running full speed into a brick wall I adjust the slider down a bit... when things even out I up it some.

This doesn't address the 'everyone has super gear' problem, but it keeps me from quitting out of frustration with the combat.
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« Reply #454 on: March 29, 2006, 09:37:09 PM »

Quote from: "Farscry_Redux"
I still like the skill system, just like I did in Morrowind.  I think it could be tweaked and improved, but it works reasonably well as it is.
The skill system isn't the problem, really.  It's when it's combined with the level scaling bullshit that it becomes a problem.

Oblivion is probably the first game, let alone RPG, that actually gets HARDER as you grow better at what you declare you're supposed to be good at.
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« Reply #455 on: March 29, 2006, 09:40:59 PM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Oblivion is probably the first game, let alone RPG, that actually gets HARDER as you grow better at what you declare you're supposed to be good at.


Err, just about all the games get harder as you progress through them. In fact, very few games actually get EASIER as you'd go through it, as that'd destroy just about any sort of challenge a game possesses. Only game off the top of my head that does it backwards is perhaps Gothic II.
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« Reply #456 on: March 29, 2006, 09:41:13 PM »

Quote from: "TheMissingLink"
SMART MAN

If I knew it would be like this, I wouldn't have touched the main quest.


Have you tried yanking the difficulty slider to the left when you start those missions?
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« Reply #457 on: March 29, 2006, 09:46:32 PM »

Quote from: "warning"


I wonder if something like this (link) would help slow the leveling process?


This might be a cheat, but it might be what you are looking for...

Make a customer character.
Find a bunch of major skills you do NOT plan on using.
Choose those for your major skills, keeping all of your "real" skills as minor.
Play and level out your minor skills. You characters level won't go up, but they should be more powerful..
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« Reply #458 on: March 29, 2006, 09:55:03 PM »

Quote from: "Mattc0m"
Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Oblivion is probably the first game, let alone RPG, that actually gets HARDER as you grow better at what you declare you're supposed to be good at.


Err, just about all the games get harder as you progress through them. In fact, very few games actually get EASIER as you'd go through it, as that'd destroy just about any sort of challenge a game possesses. Only game off the top of my head that does it backwards is perhaps Gothic II.


He is referring to things that shouldn't be harder.

On the one hand, the leveling system is supposed to keep things fresh, since as you level up, dungeons you have visted in the past are repopulated with newer and harder creatures.

On the other hand, a "typical" RPG will have you level and if you revist some earlier level, they are either empty (from your kills) or respawn with the same stuff.

The first version, provides you with more challenge and tries to keep things fresh. At level 2, those level 4 orcs are a pain in the ass and it showed. When you hit level 10, those level 4 orcs are gone and have been replaced by level 12 trolls, which are still a pain in the ass.

The 2nd version gives you more of a sense of accomplishment as you level. At level 2 those level 4 orcs were a pain in the ass and it showed. When you hit level 10, you can go back and see how easy those level 4 orcs are now. You can see the effects of your advancement.

When I played EQ, I remember having fun and putting the smackdown on lower level (at that point) creatures, who used to put the smackdown on me.

So far I have mixed feelings on the system and will reserve judgement until I finish or I feel that I am getting too frustrated to finish.
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« Reply #459 on: March 30, 2006, 12:05:23 AM »

Quote from: "Mattc0m"
Err, just about all the games get harder as you progress through them. In fact, very few games actually get EASIER as you'd go through it, as that'd destroy just about any sort of challenge a game possesses.
You can't grow more powerful in the game is what I'm getting at.  Indeed, the only way to be more powerful than the 'trash' that you encounter is to actually advance skills that are unrelated to your character concept, and just selectively level when you feel like it.
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« Reply #460 on: March 30, 2006, 03:24:52 AM »

Nice New York Times article on Oblivion.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/29/arts/29obli.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

Gratz to Kathode and his team at Bethesda.  Nice that gaming is considered "Arts" by NYT, or perhaps they couldn't fit the article under a different section.   :wink:
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« Reply #461 on: March 30, 2006, 04:02:10 AM »

LE, how much time have you actually logged in the game?  Most of your stuff seems to be regurgitated talking points from the endless debates about this topic on QT3 with minimal personal examples.  There definitely seem to be some issues with certain character builds and playstyles but it certainly isn't all encompassing.  I've personally encountered very little of it- I've logged 37 hours playing as an Agent and haven't had to "game" the system at all.  Despite the fact that my combat skills have the lowest ranks of my Majors, I have yet to have inordinate difficulty in any area (including the first Oblivion Gate which I'm exploring now at Level 13 which is supposed to be almost impossible for a non-combat oriented character).  I've been successful at thieving, found better loot in dungeons than what I can buy, am able to dispatch everything I've found in the wild including Mountain Lions, and routinely still happen upon Wolves, Rats, and Imps even at this stage.  All things supposedly "impossible" by the rubber banded leveling system.  

And I don't think there will be any easy solutions coming from the mod community.  The most common desire seems to be a switch to a Gothic oriented system that has large areas of land locked at various difficulty levels, effectively prohibiting you from exploring parts of the gameworld until much higher level.  I don't think that will work with the current game, however, due to the way the quest system is implemented.  Quests are given under the assumption that you can explore any part of the gameworld at any time and be successful.  Consequently, progress in several of the guilds could be very prohibited if sectors of the gameworld are effectively locked.  Hell, the very first Mages Guild quest requires you to visit and complete tasks in every city in the province.  And making the areas surrounding cities safe zones won't work either since many of those quests send you off to dungeons deep in the wilderness.

Oblivion's system is by no means perfect, nor does it work for everyone, but I don't think an obvious solution will be forthcoming.  I do think it might have been a good idea not to scale the main quest though since that is what seems to be the most frustrating to people.
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« Reply #462 on: March 30, 2006, 04:46:30 AM »

Wow, I think I just found my favorite item in the game....

Spoiler: unbreakable lockpick!

What other types of 'uber gear' have you guys found?
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« Reply #463 on: March 30, 2006, 04:49:03 AM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
LE, how much time have you actually logged in the game?  Most of your stuff seems to be regurgitated talking points from the endless debates about this topic on QT3 with minimal personal examples.  There definitely seem to be some issues with certain character builds and playstyles but it certainly isn't all encompassing.  I've personally encountered very little of it- I've logged 37 hours playing as an Agent and haven't had to "game" the system at all.  Despite the fact that my combat skills have the lowest ranks of my Majors, I have yet to have inordinate difficulty in any area (including the first Oblivion Gate which I'm exploring now at Level 13 which is supposed to be almost impossible for a non-combat oriented character).  I've been successful at thieving, found better loot in dungeons than what I can buy, am able to dispatch everything I've found in the wild including Mountain Lions, and routinely still happen upon Wolves, Rats, and Imps even at this stage.  All things supposedly "impossible" by the rubber banded leveling system.  

And I don't think there will be any easy solutions coming from the mod community.  The most common desire seems to be a switch to a Gothic oriented system that has large areas of land locked at various difficulty levels, effectively prohibiting you from exploring parts of the gameworld until much higher level.  I don't think that will work with the current game, however, due to the way the quest system is implemented.  Quests are given under the assumption that you can explore any part of the gameworld at any time and be successful.  Consequently, progress in several of the guilds could be very prohibited if sectors of the gameworld are effectively locked.  Hell, the very first Mages Guild quest requires you to visit and complete tasks in every city in the province.  And making the areas surrounding cities safe zones won't work either since many of those quests send you off to dungeons deep in the wilderness.

Oblivion's system is by no means perfect, nor does it work for everyone, but I don't think an obvious solution will be forthcoming.  I do think it might have been a good idea not to scale the main quest though since that is what seems to be the most frustrating to people.


My thief closed the first Oblivion gate at level 2 or 3, I can't recall which.  If you can't pull this off as a thief, its not because the game is broken folks.  Don't have to take my word for it, look at my 360 achievements.
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« Reply #464 on: March 30, 2006, 05:42:38 AM »

Quote from: "warning"
You should be fine unless you just have to have everything maxed.

My system is similar but with a 6600GT 128mb and I run it at 1024x768 on Medium detail and it looks great.


 Thanks and that`s fine by me!
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« Reply #465 on: March 30, 2006, 06:05:40 AM »

Quote from: "Dimmona"
Wow, I think I just found my favorite item in the game....

Spoiler for Hiden:
Spoiler: unbreakable lockpick!


What other types of 'uber gear' have you guys found?

Let's see here...as far as the 'epic' items (which that item is above) go...

(exact descriptions and spoilers below)
Spoiler for Hiden:
Skeleton Key - +40 Security skill. It also never breaks.

The Azura's Star - reusable Grand Soul Gem. Keep your other weapons easily charged up with this thing.

Umbra - 1 handed sword with Soul Trap. Does tons of damage per swing.

Goldbrand - 1 handed sword with 22 Fire Damage, but not as strong in blade damage as the Umbra. But the fire damage makes this pretty much the most powerful sword in the game.

Sanguine Rose - 2 handed staff that can spawn a Daedra type mob when a target is hit with it. Not all that useful, but it has its moments.

Skull of Corruption - 2 handed staff that spawns an 'evil' duplicate of whoever you hit, which then attacks the person you cast the spell on. Tons of fun as I'm such an evil bastard. biggrin

Savior's Hide - Light Armor chestpiece with decent AC, that has a 25% Resist Magic enchant on it.

I believe I have another shrine or two discovered on my map that I need to pay a visit to. Love all the little hidden things everywhere.
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« Reply #466 on: March 30, 2006, 06:19:45 AM »

Damn, that's some cool stuff.  Why the hell am I here posting - I need to be out looking for that 2nd to last item...
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« Reply #467 on: March 30, 2006, 06:50:32 AM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
LE, how much time have you actually logged in the game?

18 hours.  Level 11 or something.

Quote
And I don't think there will be any easy solutions coming from the mod community.

There are at least five modders working on loot-scaling disabler mods.  I'm actually running the earliest released one, by a guy named Tom Servo.  It totally prevents trash mobs (bandits, goblins) from EVER spawning with the 'high-end' gear, (Glass, Ebony, Daedric), and then makes it extremely unlikely for mobs to spawn with anything better than Steel or Silver weapons and Chain / Steel armor.  The good stuff is still in the game -- it's just restricted to 'boss' monsters and chest (usually 'boss' chests) loot.

Additionally, there's talk of some people working on making Daedric armor that drops in Oblivion portals either count as conjured, thus making it disappear when you kill the Daedroth wearing it, or adapting some kind of Underdark-esque system where the stuff works fine in Oblivion, but once you return to the real world, it either disappears or becomes worthless.  Combine this with the mod above, and you might make the good stuff feel rare again.

There are also several people working to cap the level scaling system, already with releases out.  But the levels don't matter much to me -- it's the sheer idiocy of what was unspeakably rare gear in Morrowind being available and common to every NPC once my character hits a certain magical level number.
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« Reply #468 on: March 30, 2006, 07:17:00 AM »

Quote from: "LE"
There are at least five modders working on loot-scaling disabler mods. I'm actually running the earliest released one, by a guy named Tom Servo. It totally prevents trash mobs (bandits, goblins) from EVER spawning with the 'high-end' gear, (Glass, Ebony, Daedric), and then makes it extremely unlikely for mobs to spawn with anything better than Steel or Silver weapons and Chain / Steel armor. The good stuff is still in the game -- it's just restricted to 'boss' monsters and chest (usually 'boss' chests) loot.


The problem with this is by cutting out Glass, Ebony, and Daedric you've just removed a huge portion of the given equipment progression and removed a lot of challenge by mid-game.  That might be preferable to some but its counter to the game design- Bethesda clearly wanted to ensure that there was always some degree of danger when exploring the gameworld or spelunking through a dungeon.  I don't think many people have issue with the ideal itself since it's pretty normal in CRPGs but it's how blatantly these materials go against the gameworld lore since, storywise, it's ludicrous that such materials were to become so common that every bandit you encounter have them.  But if they aren't common then once the player obtains them (relatively early even if the drops are reserved for bosses), the game is a cakewalk after that.  



It's a somewhat unique problem since something like D&D you can give a bandit a +2 sword and most people won't blink while the rare drops aren't defined by material (as it is in Elder Scrolls) but by the enchantment and lore surrounding the item.  

Quote
There are also several people working to cap the level scaling system, already with releases out. But the levels don't matter much to me -- it's the sheer idiocy of what was unspeakably rare gear in Morrowind being available and common to every NPC once my character hits a certain magical level number.


I don't think capping the level scaling system will work well- IIRC, the max new level creature spawn is Level 16 and after that they start scaling to your level.  If you remove the level scaling then you are looking at max 16 level enemies.  I'm level 13 and I have hardly touched the main quest, haven't explored the eastern side of the province at all, have an enormous quest log already with plenty to still explore in the west.  I'll be level 16 in short order and probably won't have seen even half the game.  If enemies levels are capped at 16 then it won't be long after that when the entire game is a cakewalk once again.

Yeah, there are already lots of different mods attempting to fix this stuff but I haven't heard of any being tested to the extent that its clear what the ramifications are on using them through the entire timeline of the game.  Maybe they make the early or middle going better but they kill the endgame.  Hell, I'm sure these concerns were discovered quite a while ago Bethesda but I'm guessing that they ultimately found that the only solution would have been an almost ground up redo of the core game design.  Wouldn't surprise me if that's when the difficulty slider (which is a much quicker and easier solution to a lot of these issues) was put in.
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« Reply #469 on: March 30, 2006, 10:18:23 AM »

Warning, and anyone else having trouble with the difficulty.  Turn down the difficulty slider just a few notches.

The game provides a difficulty setting slider that's in the gameplay options screen that you can change at any time.  I have mine set at just a few notches under the default setting, and I'm playing a knight-like character just like you.

At this setting, it's still pretty challenging, but no longer frustrating, and if you find it to be too easy, you can just turn it up again.  The best thing though is that this only affects the combat damage values.  You take less and give more damage with the slider lower, and vice versa.  The rest of the game is unchanged.

When I first played I had the same problem at Kvach, this time around 3 of the city watch survived, albiet at very low health, at the end of the mission and the whole process was still very challenging.

Yes, it may seem like cheating at first, but honestly, why play a character you're not interested in just to play the system?  Why not play the character you want to play and make the game cater to you like it should.
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« Reply #470 on: March 30, 2006, 12:22:08 PM »

Good points Kevin and Turtle.

Wait... did I just say "Good points Kevin and Turtle"??   I don't think those words ever left my mouth or keyboard before!
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« Reply #471 on: March 30, 2006, 12:53:20 PM »

Quote from: "Turtle"
Warning, and anyone else having trouble with the difficulty.  Turn down the difficulty slider just a few notches.

The game provides a difficulty setting slider that's in the gameplay options screen that you can change at any time.  I have mine set at just a few notches under the default setting, and I'm playing a knight-like character just like you.

At this setting, it's still pretty challenging, but no longer frustrating, and if you find it to be too easy, you can just turn it up again.  The best thing though is that this only affects the combat damage values.  You take less and give more damage with the slider lower, and vice versa.  The rest of the game is unchanged.

When I first played I had the same problem at Kvach, this time around 3 of the city watch survived, albiet at very low health, at the end of the mission and the whole process was still very challenging.

Yes, it may seem like cheating at first, but honestly, why play a character you're not interested in just to play the system?  Why not play the character you want to play and make the game cater to you like it should.


To me raising and lowering that slider is cheating and I refuse to do it.  As a matter of fact, I think it is an absolute horrible decision to even have the slider in there to begin with.  Why not just include the three basic level difficulties like everyone else does?  A good challenge, but fair would be normal.  Less challenging and more forgiving would be Easy.  And for those that are just insane with  their combat skills and know every right move to make there's hard.

Of course, I am a gaming purist and others might actually like the slider, but I don't.  My son hasn't touched the slider and he is level 11 and has just completed all of the arena.  Quite an accomplishment and he's very proud of what he's done because it was hard.  Hard, but not impossible.  Now he has a little friendly rivalry going with some of his friends and yesterday he told me that one of his friends was level 21, had finished the arena, and had closed 14 Oblivion gates.  So he's over at his friend's house last night and the guy is playing the game and he loads his game, walks outside and promptly kills 3 Mythic Dawn guys with one hit each.  He looked at my son kind of embarrassed and said, "Oh, I forgot, I've got to turn this back up" as he's moving the slider back from all the way from the easy side.  So basically, that invalidates his level 21 and all of his oblivion gates if you're scoring at home.

Yes, it is our game and we are allowed to play it like we choose, but you see the problem that the slider causes and why I don't like it.  If nothing else, you should not get an achievement if you play it on anything less than default.  Microsoft put the achievements in as a little challenge system so if someone is allowed to go through the arena getting one hit kills while I die over and over again and yet they get the same achievement as me, it's just wrong.  

Like warning, I thought the Kvatch thing was insanely hard and I can't tell you how many times I died there, but I stuck it out and finally completed it without touching anything.  Again, I can see why some like it, but I still equate it to cheating.
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« Reply #472 on: March 30, 2006, 01:21:03 PM »

I guess I'm the only person who feels that the scalng is great and will give me a challenge no matter what level I am.  I have no desire to be uber-man walking around while wolves and bandits attack me like little gnats.  I have about 30 hours in teh game and am level 9 and just love the game.  I think about it when I'm at work or away from the house, which makes it a very rare game.  If I die or get my ass kicked, I reload and try to figure out a new way to approach the mob.  I will not touch the slider, but instead just try new tactics.
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« Reply #473 on: March 30, 2006, 03:08:26 PM »

Quote from: "DiscoJason"
I guess I'm the only person who feels that the scalng is great and will give me a challenge no matter what level I am.  I have no desire to be uber-man walking around while wolves and bandits attack me like little gnats.  I have about 30 hours in teh game and am level 9 and just love the game.


Before anyone comes and says you're level 9 so you haven't seen the problems... I'm level 27 with a touch under 40 hours in and I completely agree.
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« Reply #474 on: March 30, 2006, 04:13:27 PM »

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But the levels don't matter much to me -- it's the sheer idiocy of what was unspeakably rare gear in Morrowind being available and common to every NPC once my character hits a certain magical level number.


Oddly, I have about 24 hours into the game and havent found ONE single piece of rare armor, weapons or a magical item that offers anthing more than a +10 of any stat...I WISH this stuff dropped  more.
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« Reply #475 on: March 30, 2006, 04:37:40 PM »

I think I am a little over 28+ hours in and my lvl 15 Spellsword has partial Orcish armor and carries a Glass Longsword as main weapon and a Longsword with +20 Mana drain as a back up and I rarely meet Bandits/Maruaders with comparable gear.  Most still have a mix of steel and Iron with a little bit of Dwavern/Orcish and Glass Gear and that is fine.

I have no issue with the scaling system.
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« Reply #476 on: March 30, 2006, 04:53:01 PM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
But if they aren't common then once the player obtains them (relatively early even if the drops are reserved for bosses), the game is a cakewalk after that.

Not necessarily.  Think of, say, Neverwinter Nights' HOTU expansion.  It was one of the only high-level campaigns D&D PC games have ever seen (later segments of BG2's Throne of Bhaal is pretty much the only other one I can think of).  The 'trash' encounters you had in those games, as long as you weren't massively outnumbered, were cake.  High-level content has always been about 'boss' fights.  Everything else is pretty much just filler.

And in context of Oblivion, enjoyable as some random dungeon romps might be, how can you classify them as anything but filler?  Sure, some of the dungeons have stories, and it's sweet when you trip over one of those instead of just a treasure pit, but the vast majority are just randomly populated and geared to your level.

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It's a somewhat unique problem since something like D&D you can give a bandit a +2 sword and most people won't blink while the rare drops aren't defined by material (as it is in Elder Scrolls) but by the enchantment and lore surrounding the item.


Yeah, Bethesda painted themselves into a corner with their lore and their design.  They chose to err on the side of design, that is, on the side of gameplay.  I don't agree with their choice -- while it might help the gameplay stay 'balanced,' (as balanced as any high-level campaign can be...), that little bit of balance is traded for pretty much all the immersion and game lore up to the point where every bandit has full Glass / Daedric.

I guess I'm from the school of RPG playing which doesn't care about every bandit or wolf being a challenge or a good fight for my high-level character.  I favor the RPG aspects -- the lore -- over the FPS aspects -- the balance.
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« Reply #477 on: March 30, 2006, 05:29:11 PM »

Quote from: "The_Man"
Like warning, I thought the Kvatch thing was insanely hard and I can't tell you how many times I died there, but I stuck it out and finally completed it without touching anything.  Again, I can see why some like it, but I still equate it to cheating.

I was around level 20 and some 50 hours in before I did the Kvatch thing, and it was very challenging. Tons of mobs, my partner was on the ground pretty much the whole time, and I still had the time of my life unloading every enchanted whatnot upon my foes.

Of course, now that I have access to enchanting and spell making via the Mages Guild, things have gotten a bit easier again (that and a few artifacts didn't help that either). I might have to mess with the difficulty slider and turn things up a notch, as I loved the constant close calls with pretty much every fight.
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« Reply #478 on: March 30, 2006, 05:55:31 PM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
But if they aren't common then once the player obtains them (relatively early even if the drops are reserved for bosses), the game is a cakewalk after that.

Not necessarily.  Think of, say, Neverwinter Nights' HOTU expansion.  It was one of the only high-level campaigns D&D PC games have ever seen (later segments of BG2's Throne of Bhaal is pretty much the only other one I can think of).  The 'trash' encounters you had in those games, as long as you weren't massively outnumbered, were cake.  High-level content has always been about 'boss' fights.  Everything else is pretty much just filler.


But we aren't really talking about high level content- more like mid-level.  And HOTU and Throne of Bhaal were far more linear than Oblivion.  Most of the proposed mods I'm seeing for Oblivion would be like unleashing your Throne of Bhaal character (literally a walking god by that point) back into Chapter 2 of Baldur's Gate 2.  It would be a bloodbath  (effectively exactly what happend with Morrowind and look at how many complaints that got).  Yeah maybe some people prefer that over Oblivion's system, but I'm seeing plenty of people on the other side of the coin too.  And frankly I'm not sure there is a right answer that retains the ability to explore the world at will without other arbitrary constraints used in the Gothics or even GTA.  And that's what great about the mod system- it really does allow players the ability to tailor the game to their preference.  I just chafe when I see people make blanket proclomations about how the system is "broken", or that you "have to" reverse your Minors and Majors to be successful, and similar stuff like they are facts when they are anything but.  

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And in context of Oblivion, enjoyable as some random dungeon romps might be, how can you classify them as anything but filler? Sure, some of the dungeons have stories, and it's sweet when you trip over one of those instead of just a treasure pit, but the vast majority are just randomly populated and geared to your level.


But what is the alternative?  Yeah dungeons are "filler" but there is a world of difference between a Level 15 character taking on Level 2 mobs in a dungeon, Level 2 character taking on Level 15 mobs, and Level 15 characters fighting mobs roughly their level.  So you've got the choice of coma inducing cakewalk, guaranteed suicide, or decent challenge.  Now, in most games it isn't that arbitrary because the designers probably have a much tighter "expected" level band that you will be when starting an area and can tailor the enemies to suit.  But with Oblivion, the dungeon that you do in Hour 1 might be the dungeon I do in Hour 100 so that almost necessitates some form of automated rubber banding.  The only solution is to do what almost every other RPG on the market does- create geographical restrictions that gradually give way as the story progresses.  Maybe Bethesda should consider that for their next game, but I don't see that being retrofitted into Oblivion without a giant undertaking.
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« Reply #479 on: March 30, 2006, 06:07:28 PM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
Quote from: "TheMissingLink"
SMART MAN

If I knew it would be like this, I wouldn't have touched the main quest.


Have you tried yanking the difficulty slider to the left when you start those missions?


Yes, I do that, but I feel like I'm sort of wussing out.  I found the game difficulty perfected tuned to my character before I stepped into an Oblivion Gate, and to be honest, since I've messed around with the slider, it's near impossible for me to find a perfect balance anymore; it's weird.
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