What is Oblivion like...?

effee

Golden Member
Sep 4, 2004
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Played both the NWN series and found it impossible to play past the first chapter as I got bored pretty quick. I'm now thinking of buying Oblivion, as I see alot of people have been playing it, just wondering is it similiar to NWN? If so I'll save my money :D
 

Bateluer

Lifer
Jun 23, 2001
27,730
8
0
Well, Oblivion has more in common with FPSs than RPGs. From a graphical standpoint, Oblivion is a better looking than NWN1 or 2 easily. Its UI is very console based, having been released on the 360 before the PC version. There are UI mods available for it to address that deficiency though. Other mods add better looking armor, weapons, clothing, terrain, skins, undergarments, etc. Since the game also scales to your character's level, you will always be challenged in fights. Unfortunately, this means that if you are level 30 and taking a stroll through the woods near the Imperial city and a wolf attacks you, you'll experience the same level of fight at level 30 as you did at level 1. Combat in Oblivion is also very simple, far from the involvement of the NWN series and no where near the strategic level of the BG and IWD games. In Oblivion, simply click to swing your weapon at the target until it dies. Or, if a castor class, hit your cast button at the target until it dies. Very very simple.

Oblivion falls short on story and plot, falls flat on its face in the dialogue and character development departments, and story/plot oriented mods don't exist. You are the only character you can control directly in Oblivion, though there are some companion mods, that all are better described as henchmen than party members. You have no dialogue to speak. You approach NPCs, initiate 'conversation', and you click on single words to get more information from the NPCs. Words include 'Gossip', 'Location', and quest inquiries. On that note, while all the NPCs in Oblivion do have audio dialogue, the game has roughly 6 voice actors and Patrick Stewart, who only does the Emperor. You will very quickly get a 'Haven't I heard you before' feeling in Oblivion.

The NWN titles aren't without their flaws, especially NWN2, however their far superior game play and modding abilities put them over Oblivion, IMO. NWN1 has thousands of mods to play, virtually unlimited replay potential. NWN2 isn't at that point yet, but there are a number of mods available now and the patches have refined the game considerably.
 

MarcVenice

Moderator Emeritus <br>
Apr 2, 2007
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Two Worlds, should come out on august 6th or so. Bateluer does kinda paint a bad picture that Oblivion might not deserve, although it's not my favority game either. I kinda liked Two Worlds though, which might be worth trying over Oblivion, and with it's multiplayer component it can be even more fun.
 

Schadenfroh

Elite Member
Mar 8, 2003
38,416
4
0
Do not even play the original campaign of neverwinter nights 1, it is garbage by Bioware standards. Chapter 1 of the expansion pack Shadows of Undertide is tolerable (2nd chapter sucked) and the 2nd and 3rd chapters of Hordes of the Underdark are good (1st chapter was a hack and slash grindfest)

Download and play this module and its sequel if you want a great story driven game with focus on plot / character development, but action RPG lovers beware, there are only about 3 "forced" combat encounters in the entire first module, it focuses on plot, dialog, and roleplaying.

The module
http://nwvault.ign.com/View.ph...modules.Detail&id=4046

It's sequel (and a better game)
http://nwvault.ign.com/View.ph...etail&id=29643&id=4047


A more action oriented game (that still has great story / roleplaying) would be:
http://nwvault.ign.com/View.ph...Modules.Detail&id=4290

But, I highly suggest the first two modules that I linked.

See The NeverWinter Nights Module Thread for more:
http://forums.anandtech.com/me...y&keyword1=neverwinter


My standard NWN1 replay aside:

If you like Action RPGs / FPShooters, might I suggest Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines (get the latest community patch) and Deus Ex? Both are available on STEAM and are far superior games to Oblivion.
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
82,854
17,364
136
I have to agree completely with Bateluer about Oblivion, (which is funny, because he and I dont totally agree about NWN 2 in another thread).

The two franchises should not really be compared. A person is looking for two different types of games when they play Elder Scrolls or Neverwinter Nights.
If you got bored in the first chapter of NWN 1 you will probably like its expansions and sequel better.
 

Polish3d

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2005
5,501
0
0
I found the Oblivion storyline to be totally unengaging to be honest. I really try to get into the game but it's difficult
 

LightningRider

Senior member
Feb 16, 2007
558
0
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I think they could have done so much more with the story, it had potential but they just didn't seem to do much with it and there weren't enough memorable characters or moments. But the game is still very fun, I find. The story idea itself is kinda cool but just badly executed I guess.

Still I love the game.
 

Bateluer

Lifer
Jun 23, 2001
27,730
8
0
I paint a brutally honest picture of my opinion of Oblivion. However, I did not play Shivering Isles or Nights of Nine. I just didn't see anything in their notes that made me want to buy them.

To be fair though, I am looking forward to see if Bethseda can deliver in Fallout 3. Some of what I've heard is promising.
 

aCynic2

Senior member
Apr 28, 2007
710
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Oblivion is good if you like fantasy medieval games in the first person.

If you prefer such things in the third person, you're better off building up your mods for NWN/2.

They are two different styles, each with their own mechanics.
 

apoppin

Lifer
Mar 9, 2000
34,890
1
0
alienbabeltech.com
Originally posted by: Bateluer
I paint a brutally honest picture of my opinion of Oblivion. However, I did not play Shivering Isles or Nights of Nine. I just didn't see anything in their notes that made me want to buy them.

To be fair though, I am looking forward to see if Bethseda can deliver in Fallout 3. Some of what I've heard is promising.

it is your picture just as i paint a brutally honest picture of my opinion of NWN2 ... i "finished" both games

i really liked Oblivion enough to play for over 1,200 hours, max my original character to Level 92 without cheating, play most of the mods and all of the original plugins including SI

Oblivion is about as "different" from NWN2 as two RPG-type games can be

and i will be picking up 2worlds also

 

mundane

Diamond Member
Jun 7, 2002
5,603
8
81
Shivering Isles was what the original Oblivion campaign should have been. Knights of the Nine also added some decent content - each well worth the $20. I didn't find the original main plot engrossing except for the first and last fifths.

I'm really enjoying NWN2, just started that yesterday.
 

apoppin

Lifer
Mar 9, 2000
34,890
1
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alienbabeltech.com
agreed .. SI was far better then the MQ .. and the 'world' adapted much better to your becoming a god and Knights/9 was the best plugin
--however, the vanilla Oblivion has some great quests ... especially the 'dark brotherhood' that grappled with moral choices and was especially well-written

... and MOST of Bateluer's gripes are addressed by OOO - Obscuro's Oblivion Overhaul modification if you like more 'traditional' RPGs

BTW, i just reinstalled it and am going to compare performance of my 2900xt with my 8800GTS 640-OC ... want to check-out Quarl's texture pack also and see how it goes ... one of the most beautiful games visually [period] and exceptional in WS.
 

mundane

Diamond Member
Jun 7, 2002
5,603
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Yes, the guild quests were a lot of fun, especially the Dark Brotherhood and the Thieve's finale (the stuff of legends).
 

lousydood

Member
Aug 1, 2005
158
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While combat in Oblivion is fairly simple, it's not just point and mash as he characterizes it. I haven't achieved very high levels yet (too indecisive) but even on my mage I spent a good amount of time designing spells and testing them out. You can play a straight up destruction style and just shoot fireballs at things, but it's not the only way. I've been playing around with damage-over-time, slow and haste spells, summoning spells, etc. Alchemy lets you brew up potions and poisons which you can then apply to your blade or arrows, to deliver effects. You can get some damage bonuses for sneakiness even if you don't specialize in it. Warrior-types appear to be more hack-n-slash, so I haven't played them as much. You still need to control the direction of your swing, power attacks, blocking, and timing.

I'm trying out a character right now which just steals stuff and avoids fights. Screw the main quest.
 

Oyeve

Lifer
Oct 18, 1999
21,841
778
126
My only problem with Oblivion is if you start the game and dont play for a long time (like I did), you have no freaking clue as what to do! :) I restarted it from the beginning a few weeks ago because I havent played it in 5 months and forgot what the hell I was doing. I was in the middle of an oblivion gate and dont remember what I opened or how far I was into it.
 

m1ldslide1

Platinum Member
Feb 20, 2006
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It's all subjective but I tend to disagree with others in this thread. To me, Diablo was "very simplistic combat". Oblivion isn't that for me - if you're using a sword or melee weapon then so long as you can keep your target on the enemy then it isn't very complicated. However there are a ton of angles you can take from the game.. spellcrafters and alchemists add a whole new experience. Also bow/arrow types. You can get very involved in all the different elements of the game and learn to manipulate them to your advantage. Between skills/attributes, ingredients, potions, stealing, enchants, spells and spellcrafting, leveling, quests (of which there are hundreds), 4 guilds with full storylines, and the physical size of the game I'd say there are a ton of variations on gameplay available.

That aside, I can't say that I was SUPER engaged in the storylines for the most part, although they were enjoyable. Overall I agree with the pc mag critics, and I think it's a great game. I'm not finished with shivering isles expansion, but it's pretty slick so far too.

You could always check out the oblivion wiki to get a feel for how large and involved the game can be if you want it to be.
 

ielmox

Member
Jul 4, 2007
53
0
0
My Oblivion experience began on a pretty good high, and quickly plummeted to some pretty depressing lows.

Oblivion looks gorgeous but plays horribly and sounds atrocious. The thousands of lines of character dialogue are a grating and boring pain, delivered by a very few uninspired voice actors who play hundreds of different characters. All characters you meet invariably speak in a deadpan monotone, which just adds to the "where am I" feeling you get (it's very very easy to get lost in Oblivion because so many places look and sound the same). Your interaction options with NPCs are limited to grunting out single words - a norm for consoles perhaps, but a royal embarrassment for a PC game.

After you've played the game for about 2-3 hours you will have been exposed to everything this title has to offer. Although the wilderness is beautifully done, most indoor environments are very similar to each other - some are even identical (again, making you lose track of where you are). Combat is somewhat interesting because it incorporates specific melee moves (e.g., left +click or diagonal + click to perform different strikes) but this is not enough to make the game memorable. Spells are a big let down: the highest level fireball you can obtain looks and sounds the same as the beginning level flare attack (i.e. unimpressive).

The storyline never really comes to the fore, never builds any tension or suspense. You may take a trip to a specific city and close a specific Oblivion Gate (an experience that is interesting the first time but becomes increasingly dreary as you repeat it ad nauseam). Maybe you will be involved in a group based skirmish with some NPC allies, which you will curse and hate because they always get in front of every single attack you aim at the enemy, and that will be the highlight of your trip. There's very little else.

In terms of the engine, the game is almost unplayable without mods. The GUI is lifted straight from the console version of the game, meaning you have very large clunky windows that show very little information but take up most of the screen real estate. Different screens for character stats, skills, inventory, spells, and effects only complicate things by making information as difficult to correlate and navigate as possible. Fortunately there are quite a few mods that can help (but never wholly fix) these grave shortcomings.

Crafting is unnecessarily complicated. To give you an idea, alchemy requires you to collect hundreds of different components and then combine them. How to combine them is not clear (unless you use a mod). Since you're dealing with combinations of different classes of ingredients it would make sense to use multiple windows for your arcane dabblings, but instead you are limited to going backwards and forwards between single screens of uninformative and lengthy lists of plant names.

In terms of combat and progression, it doesn't matter what level or skill you are, because (as others have said) the game scales every encounter to your level, removing both the challenge of the game and also the "pwnage" satisfaction of demolishing your opponents through overwhelming brutality or magical cunning or what have you.

Really, apart from the environment graphics (which are extremely good) I found this game soporific. I still boggle at how highly this game scored in many game reviews. It is perhaps acceptable as a console RPG, perhaps even innovative in some ways, but PC users have had access to better for several years (excepting graphics of course).

Comparison to Neverwinter Nights - though the two games are very different - is swift and brutal. NWN has heaps of story and content, dialogue that involves more than a single word and a single choice, a myriad exciting particle effects, radically different foes and NPCs, countless items, skills, and spells that actually make a difference, etc.

As an FPS-RPG hybrid in my opinion Oblivion fails miserably, whereas Neverwinter is a pretty good isometric RPG.
 

effee

Golden Member
Sep 4, 2004
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Thanks for your replies! I guess I'll stay away from Oblivion and give NWN2 another shot.
 

Bateluer

Lifer
Jun 23, 2001
27,730
8
0
Originally posted by: effee
Thanks for your replies! I guess I'll stay away from Oblivion and give NWN2 another shot.

Be aware that NWN2 is not without its own flaws. It was released several months too early to keep Atari in black ink. Obsidian has been great with patching the game, and as of the 1.06 patch, its gotten most of the kinks worked out.

Modules worth playing are released every day though, check out the NWVault for those.

Also, Rogue Dao Studios is supposed to release their first Planescape module 'soon'. Reportedly though, its supposed to be around 700MB in size. I think that qualifies it as the largest single module that I have ever seen.
 

Schadenfroh

Elite Member
Mar 8, 2003
38,416
4
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Originally posted by: effee
Thanks for your replies! I guess I'll stay away from Oblivion and give NWN2 another shot.

Get the latest patch for NWN2 (1.06), do not try to play it in it's out of the box state. Also, it probably would be a good idea to grab a few essential mods. IIRC, 1.06 broke shadows of certain creatures, there is a mod to fix that though... one of the advantages of having a good toolset.
 

apoppin

Lifer
Mar 9, 2000
34,890
1
0
alienbabeltech.com
Originally posted by: ielmox
My Oblivion experience began on a pretty good high, and quickly plummeted to some pretty depressing lows.

Oblivion looks gorgeous but plays horribly and sounds atrocious. The thousands of lines of character dialogue are a grating and boring pain, delivered by a very few uninspired voice actors who play hundreds of different characters. All characters you meet invariably speak in a deadpan monotone, which just adds to the "where am I" feeling you get (it's very very easy to get lost in Oblivion because so many places look and sound the same). Your interaction options with NPCs are limited to grunting out single words - a norm for consoles perhaps, but a royal embarrassment for a PC game.

After you've played the game for about 2-3 hours you will have been exposed to everything this title has to offer. Although the wilderness is beautifully done, most indoor environments are very similar to each other - some are even identical (again, making you lose track of where you are). Combat is somewhat interesting because it incorporates specific melee moves (e.g., left +click or diagonal + click to perform different strikes) but this is not enough to make the game memorable. Spells are a big let down: the highest level fireball you can obtain looks and sounds the same as the beginning level flare attack (i.e. unimpressive).

The storyline never really comes to the fore, never builds any tension or suspense. You may take a trip to a specific city and close a specific Oblivion Gate (an experience that is interesting the first time but becomes increasingly dreary as you repeat it ad nauseam). Maybe you will be involved in a group based skirmish with some NPC allies, which you will curse and hate because they always get in front of every single attack you aim at the enemy, and that will be the highlight of your trip. There's very little else.

In terms of the engine, the game is almost unplayable without mods. The GUI is lifted straight from the console version of the game, meaning you have very large clunky windows that show very little information but take up most of the screen real estate. Different screens for character stats, skills, inventory, spells, and effects only complicate things by making information as difficult to correlate and navigate as possible. Fortunately there are quite a few mods that can help (but never wholly fix) these grave shortcomings.

Crafting is unnecessarily complicated. To give you an idea, alchemy requires you to collect hundreds of different components and then combine them. How to combine them is not clear (unless you use a mod). Since you're dealing with combinations of different classes of ingredients it would make sense to use multiple windows for your arcane dabblings, but instead you are limited to going backwards and forwards between single screens of uninformative and lengthy lists of plant names.

In terms of combat and progression, it doesn't matter what level or skill you are, because (as others have said) the game scales every encounter to your level, removing both the challenge of the game and also the "pwnage" satisfaction of demolishing your opponents through overwhelming brutality or magical cunning or what have you.

Really, apart from the environment graphics (which are extremely good) I found this game soporific. I still boggle at how highly this game scored in many game reviews. It is perhaps acceptable as a console RPG, perhaps even innovative in some ways, but PC users have had access to better for several years (excepting graphics of course).

Comparison to Neverwinter Nights - though the two games are very different - is swift and brutal. NWN has heaps of story and content, dialogue that involves more than a single word and a single choice, a myriad exciting particle effects, radically different foes and NPCs, countless items, skills, and spells that actually make a difference, etc.

As an FPS-RPG hybrid in my opinion Oblivion fails miserably, whereas Neverwinter is a pretty good isometric RPG.

did you even PLAY Oblivion for more than a few hours?

i don't think you "got it" at all

there is no comparison between Oblivion and NWN2 which has a badly written story, content dialog just for the sake of many words that add nothing to the plot development or change anything, and bugy AI that pits your Party against each other and and Ending that falls as FLAT as any game in memory with characters that are DULL and uninspired and only 2 characters are developed - the rest are cardboard 'cutouts'.

NWN2 is a "party" game ... Oblivion is a SOLO game where YOU become Hero/god. Oblivion blows NWN2 away in every regard ... otoh, NWN2 just blows imo ... like an unfinished, rushed and poorly developed game
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
82,854
17,364
136
I didnt agree with every point in ielmox's post but yes, he did "get it".

The alchemy is very easy, you just click on (or activate, for the console version) the calcinatrator while looking in your inventory. Its easy to find because the crafting items are seperated from your ingredients list, and theres only 4 of them.
I have no idea what he meant when he said you need a mod to do it.

But everything else I understand.
Boring and repetative dialog.
Will be exposed to everything within the first few hours of play and then its mostly more of the same stuff over and over. The first time in an Oblivion Gate is fun but then just gets annoying.
Spells look cool the first time but get boring.
The story is SUPPOSED to be open and free-form, thats what the Elder Scrolls series is all about. You do what you want, when you want.
But like he said, once you do a quest for each of the factions and close one gate, its all too familiar.
The consolitis syndrome was horrible.
Consoles with TV sets and gamepads are NOT the ideal system for any First Person game especially a complex RPG. The menu in Elder Scrolls 3 was much better but the Xbox fans hated it, and Bethesda gave into their shortcomings when they made Oblivions menus.

The "level with you" system irritated me in Final Fantasy 8 and I hate it here even more.
It completely defeats the purpose of leveling up. They may as well just get rid of character levels.

The only reason I stuck with it for a couple hundred hours was I knew the main quest would get good towards the end, and I was not entirely disappointed.
 

apoppin

Lifer
Mar 9, 2000
34,890
1
0
alienbabeltech.com
Originally posted by: shortylickens
I didnt agree with every point in ielmox's post but yes, he did "get it".

The alchemy is very easy, you just click on (or activate, for the console version) the calcinatrator while looking in your inventory. Its easy to find because the crafting items are seperated from your ingredients list, and theres only 4 of them.
I have no idea what he meant when he said you need a mod to do it.
i didn't either ... he didn't play very long as there is "depth" in Oblivion that he clearly missed

But everything else I understand.
Boring and repetative dialog.
Will be exposed to everything within the first few hours of play and then its mostly more of the same stuff over and over. The first time in an Oblivion Gate is fun but then just gets annoying.
Spells look cool the first time but get boring.
The story is SUPPOSED to be open and free-form, thats what the Elder Scrolls series is all about. You do what you want, when you want.
But like he said, once you do a quest for each of the factions and close one gate, its all too familiar.
the boring dialog you just click thru ... there is plenty of 'filler' and boring dialog in NWN2 ... almost as bad as the start to Gothic2.
Same stuff over and over? play the Quests .... there are at least 100 hours of excellent story and game play .. disregard the Gates ... you only *need* to close about 5 ... the rest are for the "reward" - the Sigil stones... and as my Character leveled up, it took FIVE MINUTES on average to grab a stone and close a gate ... in fact you didn't need to fight a Single NPC to do it ... run across the lava and straight up to the tower, grab the stone ... done!... But if you wanted to *explore* Oblivion was a JOY ... unline NWN2 whcich was rather LINEAR for a RPG [compared to KotOR, for example]

The consolitis syndrome was horrible.
Consoles with TV sets and gamepads are NOT the ideal system for any First Person game especially a complex RPG. The menu in Elder Scrolls 3 was much better but the Xbox fans hated it, and Bethesda gave into their shortcomings when they made Oblivions menus.
a simple mod make the console exactly the way you want it without changing the mechanics or game play

The "level with you" system irritated me in Final Fantasy 8 and I hate it here even more.
It completely defeats the purpose of leveling up. They may as well just get rid of character levels.

The only reason I stuck with it for a couple hundred hours was I knew the main quest would get good towards the end, and I was not entirely disappointed.
and i hate the BS way that you level up in games like NWN2/Gothic series ... you struggle and struggle to kill a rat ... then - suddenly, when the devs decide you are god - you become invincible and the game becomes a walkthru. Only a VERY FEW NPCs level up with you in Oblivion ... MOST DON'T ... at least there is still a challenge at level 32 as there is a 50; plus you can approach your game any way you want

 

StartingLine

Banned
Jun 25, 2007
202
0
0
I dont really care for these comparisons, nwn and oblivion is like comparing bad and bad, what one is less bad for you? Hard to say. I do not like oblivion and I did not like morrowind, the characters feel recycled and the game is frankly just /too/ open ended. I was a huge fan of the baldurs gate series and I enjoyed that type of open endedness with a strong main story to follow and keep you on some path. Also, Oblivion is first person which a lot of old school rpg'ers really do not care for. All you can really do is play for yourself and hope for the best. I suggest playing any of these games if you havent yet either of them are better than nwn or oblivion

baldurs gate
baldurs gate tales of sword coast
baldurs gate 2
baldurs gate 2 throne of bhaal
planescape torment
fallout
fallout 2

I am sure you have played them but what the hell I have to mention em.
 

apoppin

Lifer
Mar 9, 2000
34,890
1
0
alienbabeltech.com
Originally posted by: StartingLine
I dont really care for these comparisons, nwn and oblivion is like comparing bad and bad, what one is less bad for you? Hard to say. I do not like oblivion and I did not like morrowind, the characters feel recycled and the game is frankly just /too/ open ended. I was a huge fan of the baldurs gate series and I enjoyed that type of open endedness with a strong main story to follow and keep you on some path. Also, Oblivion is first person which a lot of old school rpg'ers really do not care for. All you can really do is play for yourself and hope for the best. I suggest playing any of these games if you havent yet either of them are better than nwn or oblivion

baldurs gate
baldurs gate tales of sword coast
baldurs gate 2
baldurs gate 2 throne of bhaal
planescape torment
fallout
fallout 2

I am sure you have played them but what the hell I have to mention em.

well, i really fell bad for the "pure" D&D RPGers ... there isn't really anything good in a long long time

however, if you can look beyond it's faults - Oblivion - has at least 50 hours of absolutely top-notch story and game play - for a "Fantasy-Adventure Hybrid RPG" ...

NWN2 is also much improved since i played it with v1.03 ... if you can get either on a sale i'd recommend them ... BOTH games can be molded into "what you want" because of the user-created mods that were dissatisfied with the vanilla games and improved on it

i'd recommend both games when they are bargain bin ... if you don't like it, change it ... there is a major overhaul or mod that will please just about everyone

the best one for Oblivion that changes it FROM a console to something resembling a RPG is Obscuro's Oblivion Overhaul ... changes *everything* including the 'balance' and the NPC stop leveling with you and you will encounter more random strong enemies in the beginning ... changes the GUI . . . .

and there is an Oblivion mod for everything - including decent party companions.

NWN2 is also going to have excellent mods ... it is just a smaller community than Oblivion's, they have a more difficult toolset to work with, and they are many months behind the oblivion guys that was released alst Spring ... NWN2 got released in November

i hope to play NWN2 again ... even the expansion
:Q

and SI is a GREAT oblivion expansion ... addresses the monotony issue, the repetitive voices and the way the world reacts to you ... a definite step up over Oblivion.