Monday, February 25, 2008


W007! I got Oblivion working at about 10 fps with distant land, trees, and buildings on. I didn't put AA on for Obvious reasons, but bloom works well. I love Oblivion. I don't care what all the Morrowind fanboys say, it's just better in every way. First and foremost the graphics are vastly improved. No longer do you have segmented bodies and nasty fog (without mods, that is). You have highly detailed and randomly generated trees. Every character is unique save for the hair and items. There is amazing quality textures and normal mapping. When you look at bricks and stuff from a distance they appear to be high poly. I also love the fact that the spell effects are looking better. Invisibility and cameleon distort the area behind the target and restoration makes the target glow white-green. All the cities are very detailed and you can even see reflections on the windows (though they look sort of reflection mapped). I don't play with grass on, but I downloaded a low low poly grass mod... it made the grass look ugly as sin. I am just gonna use low poly next time. Not low low poly. I turned the eyesore grass off.
It works great with Windows Vista however you have to turn the sidebar off or else it will flicker through the game occasionally. Oblivion is a ram hog but other than that the only thing that really is of concern is the graphic card. True, a Geforce 6100 is still outdated but I have become so used to playing games at 10 fps that it hardly bugs me. Using OBSE (Oblivion Script Extender) I am able to get faster loading times to the point that it is much faster loading than even Morrowind on my current hardware! I believe that they vastly improved the way they load files. I'll provide screenshots with the FPS counter enabled sometime, but for now I cannot as I am at school and I also need to do homework on the computer. It's just typing though. About 8 pages of typing. I guess if I can waste my time on this blog typing incessantly I can do well typing schoolwork. But I digress, the topic I am discussing is games.
The gameplay in Oblivion is much improved. I find it much easier and more intuitive than Morrowind. They also vastly improved sneaking. You just tap one button and you sneak until you tap the button again. This makes it easier and you will find that you will be wanting to sneak more. What is the motive for sneaking? On Oblivion, depending on your sneak level, you can inflict 2-6 times damage by attacking while sneaking. This comes in handy when you can attack your enemy with a bow and arrow from a distance then run backwards shooting at them until they reach you when you can finish them off rather easily with the sword. The only problem I have with this is that it is easy to accidentally forget you are in sneak mode and pickpocket someone rather than talk to them; moreso than in Morrowind. Other than that it is a welcome addition to the already phenomenal gameplay.
Another great addition is the schedules of the NPCs and the Radiant AI. Radiant AI as some of you may know is a new feature that makes the NPCs follow a schedule such as eating, sleeping, and working making them on the move unlike Morrowind where they just stood there looking stupid. They also do little things such as conversing with other NPCs, reading, taking an afternoon stroll, shopping, and hunting. The NPCs all are fully voice acted and a pleasure to interact with. I find that Radiant AI (although having many glitches that you can find on youtube) is an excellent addition to the game and can add new gameplay possiblities. The guards too are also affected by this though they still maintain their posts when working. Sometimes it can be fun to follow someone around town just to see what they are doing while admiring the AI. Some quests even rely on this to make you understand their schedule.
I'll go into further detail later, but overall this is an awesome game filled with replayability, excellent gameplay, great quests, fun dungeons, and lots and lots of mudcrabs. I find that every session spent playing Oblivion is one that I do not regret. I find myself playing multiple characters just so I can experience the game from every possible character, from the hero, to the theif, to the guy who follows people around like a creepy stalker, I love playing this game. Like I said, more on this next post.

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