Well I’ve been game jumping a lot this summer and I really haven’t found anything to hold my attention for longer than a couple weeks or so. I had been playing EVE Online for most of August – dual accounts no less, but I had a couple of long trains going and got really bored just mining to kill the time. So I re-loaded Oblivion on my PC after reading an interesting blog somewhere where a player was pursuing Necromancy.
At first I loaded Oblivion on my laptop and started a High-Elf character as a sorcerer. I completely ignored the main quest and started down the Mage’s Guild quest line. After a couple days I had all of the “recommendations” and became a full fleged member of the guild. As a High Elf, Orobas was one-shotting almost everything with a cold-damage bow he lifted off a Vampire Matriarch, who also gave me Porphyric Hemophilia (the “vampire disease”). I wasn’t ready to play the part of a vampire this early in the game, so I made my way to a church alter and had that little problem cleared up right away.
My laptop is a “gaming laptop,” so I had the graphics turned up to Utra, and wow – what a gorgeous game! I originally purchased Oblivion when it first came out and my system really wasn’t “up to it.” So it seems like a whole new world to explore. After seeing how nice it looked on the laptop, I loaded Oblivion up on my new desktop-PC and started another character there.
This time I went Argonian for race and Witch Hunter for class. I’ve never played one of the “beast races” in either Morrowind nor Oblivion so I thought I’d give it a try. I immediately noticed that Sobek couldn’t one-shot anything with neither bow nor spells. Hmm, I was having second thoughts on my racial and career choices. But I persevered and eventually he started doing “ok,” but not nearly as powerful as my High-Elf Sorceror was at similar level. I did the same tactic with Sobek – ignored the main quest and went straight away to work on the Mage’s Guild quest lines. It’s rather nice running around the world without all those damn gates popping up.
One really cool thing that sold me on my Argonian was his immunity to poison, and high resistance to disease. I’ve fought many vampires and haven’t yet got Porphyric Hemophilia. I also ventured into some old ruins where the lower floors were pumped full of poisonous gas – no problems there either! It was kind of cool to just run around through the yellow noxious gas and have nothing happening, other than getting some really nice loot; a ring of chameleon (which gives you the effect of a stealthed Predator), a ring of +4 Willpower (always nice for extra mana regen), and some Orcish boots – I don’t remember what these do, but I know I liked them well enough to put them on instead of my generic mithril ones.
I dunno if I’ll ever get to the main quest. I remember from my last foray into Oblivion that those gates get significantly more difficult to close the higher you get in level. I’ve also been reminded of two of my main gripes with the game. Number one is that you don’t get that “all powerful” feeling from leveling up because each time you zone into the world it’s repopulated with “level appropriate” mobs. So you don’t feel like you’re actually making any progress, except in your quest lines… My other big gripe, which I think it’s tied to numero uno, is that the world is so small. If you get to a high elevataion, you can see “the whole world.” There just isn’t enough room in the world to populate it with mobs of all levels, so each time you zone in, nixay on the lowbie mobs and in with the big guns. And gripe number three (ya I know I said I only had two, but I’m on a roll), is that melee characters are just blah. The game starts you out with a fire bolt and a bow and you kick ass with those two attacks, so why would you ever switch to melee? The only reason I can think of is if you really want to role-play a knight or something. If you want to get through the game quickly, just stick with blast and bow. I tried making a melee heavy character once and it was so slow I switched back to blaster-sniper mode.
Dunno how long my foray into Oblivion will last, my training in EVE finishes up in a couple days, so we’ll see.