Oblivion out today

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by brandons1313, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    Heh, I wonder if they shot the German localisation towards the Netherlands again. I love it when software companies think our German is better than our English.

    Nothing surprising in this thread. Quite frankly, I don't think many NMA users are approaching this with an open mind, nor is the Codex. I would, but my computer couldn't possibly handle such a monstrosity (which is what offends me the most. I hate jacking up processor speed only to handle useless game tidbits).

    What I find more shocking is that the tide of hype seems to be slightly broken on the shores of major gaming sites.

    (on that note, I can't believe the way this game starts. By this point I'm so fed up with unoriginal starts, I could just THORP SMASH!)

    "Because honestly, every fight is pretty tough. You'll be backing up a lot and swinging like crazy before the enemy finally goes down (although this may only be a symptom of having a low-level character)."
    "Overall, though, I found the inventory interface to be a little problematic. There are no tooltips to pop up and tell you what you're actually looking at. If Dan hadn't been looking over my shoulder at one point, I probably would have had to dig into the manual to figure out how to open the map. This kind of thing should be easy, but Oblivion's multitude of icons combined with a lack of tooltips can lead to quick frustration. Instead of words like "weight," "value," or "durability," you get a feather symbol, a face symbol, and a heart symbol. I understand this makes localization easier, but I wish that didn't come at the cost of forcing the user to dig through the manual so he can do things like swapping his bow for a sword, removing an item from his inventory, or setting up a spell on a hotkey."
    "Though we experienced some odd loading issues when first starting out on the X360, we thereafter had no problem running through environments and hot-swapping weapons. The game does major loading sequences at town doors and entrances to larger areas, which seem to last between 10 and 30 seconds. While running through open wilderness and fields, the game will briefly pause to load in new grass. On the Xbox 360, these minor outdoor loading sequences mean the game will stutter for a split second. On the PC, this stutter wasn't so apparent." [note; this makes the choices high-end PC or 360. Personally I haven't bought a console since the PS 1 and the only console I still play regularly is the Sega Megadrive (Genesis), I have no intention to pick up the 360. I really hate the pushing graphics trend]
    "Graphics are far from the only aspect of a title as massive as The Elder Scrolls IV. I started out as a magic focused character with a blade skill, and have so far had no trouble hacking every enemy in my path to pieces. This was even true when I entered the first Oblivion gate early on in the storyline. Beyond the gate was the Oblivion dimension, which looked very cool, filled with jutting dark rocks, blazing fires, pools of simmering lava and sinister, towering spires. Inside, the foes shot fireballs, conjured daedra and hit me with savage maces. I was able to survive rather easily, however, by using a few of the numerous potions I'd picked up on the way. Being a High Elf, I had a ton of Magicka. When in a bind, I was able to run away from battle and use spells to heal myself, then come back with a flurry of fireballs." [note: this means balance problems. One guy desperately has to back up to even survive, the other guy can walk around like a demi-god. Hello, bad balance of gameplay]
    "Though I started out strictly following the storyline, I found myself starting to wander around rather quickly. Tagging along was an NPC I was supposed to bring to a certain village. I neglected to at first, and soon found out that he was much more powerful than I was. So as of right now, I haven't brought him where I'm supposed to as he's helping me wipe out enemies from some of the random caverns and ruins." [note: this is a dumbass RPG mistake that experienced CRPG designers should not be making. Do. Not. Give starting players access to high-level NPCs freely. Gothic made the same mistake at times, but with them it was lack of experience]
    "In a few cases, dead foes would go tumbling down a hill after the final blow was struck. Trying to fight in third person mode was, unfortunately, very unintuitive. Your character seems to float over the ground when the camera's pulled back, making it difficult to tell exactly where you're firing arrows or magic blasts. Even though you might like the look of your fighter in third person, you're going to want to snap the camera back to first whenever an enemy comes near." [Note: Pete Hines: Yes, you can play in 3rd person freely! Sure, Pete, if you don't mind the game *sucking ass*]
    "You'll want to save a lot in Oblivion, since things can quickly go wrong. The game occasionally autosaves, but you'll need to stay conscious to save as often as possible." [note: I don't like save often games. I like games that are challenging overall, not those that occassionally throw a challenge that requires lots of reloading. Lots of people say "Save often" for Fallout, too. I generally never do and never did, since Fallout didn't require a lot of saves. Generally mistakes you could make would make sense and be easy to prevent, or else after making them it would open up a new world of trying to fix it or going with it.]

    Gamespy seems to be more caught up in zombie-mode, "Durrr, good game, duurrrr." They mostly talk about beautiful scenery. 'cause obviously that's what a good game is about. Beautiful scenery. Yeah. Gripes; loading times and framerate. On the 360.

    Most major sites seem to be still playing it.

    What I'm mildly surprised by, visual gripes asides because that was quite predictable (what with the 360 not being all it promises to be and most PCs not being up to Oblivion-level), is that IGN, in a few hours of playing, already stumbled upon such apparent glaring design-flaws.

    I mean, that they're positive overal isn't surprising. They didn't have any choice. No major gaming site is going to dare to be anything but positive overal about this game. The fact that they found anything to gripe about in the first place is what surprises me.

    PS: to make this post more long-ass, here's Dhruin's first impressions. Respect the Dhruin:

    Might as well provide some actual impressions, cross-posted from elsewhere...

    Really quick impressions from two hours play...

    Seems to perform quite well on my P4-3Ghz, 2Gb RAM, 6800gs...detected as "High" settings, first dungeon ran very well and outside seems fine most of the time, although the grass texture on the hills opposite the river look pretty plain.

    The graphics are...great and underwhelming at the same time. The textures are nice and things like sword hilts and so on are incredible but the dungeon internals tend a little to shiny plastic and the faces are god-awful.

    First dungeon gameplay is fun in an action/RPG way. I didn't think the physics were as solid as HL2 but it is an RPG, so no problem. Enjoyed archery and fireball throwing quite a bit but melee didn't feel that much better than Morrowind at this early stage (probably just me).

    I dislike the interface and it annoys me that PC interfaces are dictated by consoles. I'll get used to it but the icons are meaningless at the moment, there doesn't seem to be any tooltips and it doesn't use the screen real estate efficiently because it was clearly designed for consoles - not a big deal in the whole scheme of things but a AAA product of this magnitude should be better, IMO.

    I was asked on another board to articulate my concerns with the interface, so here goes. I don't want this to look like a big whine - it's one element out of the whole game...

    - UI doesn't scale. Everything is within the "journal", which is the tabbed box you've seen in screens. It's only about 40%? of the screen area, so lots of scrolling regardless of your super 1920x1600 resolution or whatever. Things you might want nice and large, such as inventory or map, all fit in this box.

    - Because of the lack of space, there's a dozen tabs and you have to switch between 4? screens just to get complete character info, let alone spells, inventory, etc

    - Everything is indicated with icons - no text and no tooltips. Few of them made any sense at first glance until I had experimented or checked the manual. They look very stylish but aren't intuitive to me.

    - As far as I can tell (and I'd love to be wrong) there's no hotkey access to specific screens - I can't hit "M" for map or "I" for inventory...hit TAB for the journal and navigate the tabs. Did I miss something here?*

    - Journal seems pretty basic (although there's a map reference, which is nice)

    *Turns out the F1, F2 etc keys go straight to the map etc but that simply isn't in my manual. Surely "M" for map and "I" for inventory are RPG standards? Anyway, I was incorrect on this point.
  2. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    Meh, I'm not going to bother to pay 50 euros on something I probably won't like, judging by the tides over at the Codex and Dhruin's impressions. Sure, the codex isn't openminded about it, but they mentioned the IGN article you just mentioned as well, and some of the users are somewhat positive towards the game. But it really seems as if they didn't fix the lack of atmosphere in Morrowind, and added a load of problems as well, only fixing the combat to an extent (but unbalancing the game entirely in the process) and tweaking the dialogue, although from the reports it seems it's still the topical dialogue, only with better writing, and dialogue-tree like thingies with key NPCs.

    Let's hope for a revolution in gaming reviews, which could in turn lead to a revolution in gaming itself.
    Unlikely, though.
  3. Montez

    Montez So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Jun 20, 2003
    Well, just finished the starter dungeon so take this for what it's worth.

    First, computer specs:

    A64 3000+
    Geforce 6600GT
    1 Gig Ram

    Graphics: I didn't do anything to the specs that Oblivion recommended for my card except change the resolution to 1024x768, and it looks great and plays fine. I haven't run Fraps on it yet, but just going by playability it beats out Morrowind on fps and is just slightly lower than I get with Half-Life 2. Haven't been outdoors yet so I can't comment on how big a drop, if any, I'll get. The game looks great - everyone's seen screenshots so there's no need to say more than that.

    Combat: A LOT better than morrowind. The different moves are worth using instead of setting it to "Best Attack", and since blocking is controlled by you it is actually useful in combat. It feels closer to the Gothic games than to Morrowind's "whack the mole" approach. Spellcasting doesn't require you to unequip your weapon so for me it's already 100% more useful. Pretty fun so far.

    Other gameplay: Sneak works more like Thief than in Morrowind, and based on that alone I like it a lot more than in the last game. I've only had one dialogue so far but it seems really, really simplified - again, closer to Gothic than Morrowind. The lockpicking puzzle seems like it could get annoying after awhile. Stats and abilities start out really low, but they've all worked pretty well so far. Going by what the manual says I assume that this is because they're going more for a perk/increase system than a pass/fail system, but it's still too early to tell.

    Interface: Nothing special, just wanted to reply to Sander's report of what other people are saying. Hotkeys work fine and the interface is fine, anyone who has trouble with it is an idiot. People complained about Temple Of Elemental Evil's interface, Neverwinter Nights' interface, and I think the same thing now that I thought then - it's functional and easy to figure out, so if you're complaining you're either stupid or just being an asshole.

    Summary: Just going by what I've seen so far and Bethesda's previous games, I'm going to say that anyone who liked Morrowind will like this game even more, and anyone who hated Morrowind isn't going to find much in Oblivion that's different enough to enjoy it.

    Again, I'm pretty early in the game, but I think it's safe to say that it's not an RPG in the sense that any of us here define an RPG. The two games that lept to mind as comparisons are Gothic and Arx Fatalis, and like those games I see it more as a dungeon crawler/action game with a stat system and dialogue than an RPG like Fallout, Planescape, Bloodlines, etc. So if that type of game appeals to you I don't see how Oblivion won't, if dungeon crawlers don't appeal to you this won't either.
  4. Carib FMJ

    Carib FMJ Nuka-Cola Chaser

    Nov 8, 2003
    Waste of time. Let those bastards rott for Fallout 3, not a single dime they are getting from me.
  5. SimpleMinded

    SimpleMinded Vault Fossil

    Jun 17, 2003
    I'm assuming leveling up is done the same way as in morrowind so you hop everywhere you go and cast random spells to slowly level them up?

    You mentioned a perk/increase system montez but i wasn't quite sure if this is what you were alluding to.
  6. Montez

    Montez So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Jun 20, 2003
    For leveling up - yes, works the same as in morrowind, you increase your skills by using them. Gaining a level just increases your physical statistics.

    For the perk/increase thing, I'll give an example: My "Blade" skill is currently 15 (out of 100). In Morrowind, that would mean that when I swing my sword at an enemy I'm barely ever going to hit him. So far in Oblivion, I've hit everything that I've swung at - so unless they made every enemy and task in the starter dungeon have a -100 armor class/skillcheck/difficulty level or something I'm assuming that skill checks aren't pass/fail anymore. In the manual it mentions that you get perks when you reach certain skill levels, so I assume that the main point to increasing your skills is to get those perks and/or bonuses like increased damage rather than to just increase your chances of actually performing the action.
  7. MrBumble

    MrBumble Vault Fossil

    Jan 17, 2006
    I played it...it's worse than how I imagined it...
    The graphics, even in ULTRA HIGH ( on a 2.7 Ghz, 2 Go Ram, X850 ) are everything but impressive...The worst thing about the graphics being the trees and flowers poping up as you walk. The combat system is fast but it seems that your character's skills do not have any influence on how hard you hit. For instance I've had no problem to kill two imperial guards with my level 1 Khajit, so it sucks a lot...Didn't have had the time to experiment the A.I but if it's as good as the combat system then OMG...

    Will play more to have a critical point of view concerning the gameplay and the storyline but so far, it sucks a lot... :?
  8. Montez

    Montez So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Jun 20, 2003
    What games do you consider to be graphically impressive? I'm not criticizing what you said, just curious since I don't really keep up with stuff and don't have too many newer games. The most recent games I own are Half-Life 2, Doom3 and Vampire: Bloodlines, and I'd compare Oblivion pretty favorably with those.
  9. Tannhauser

    Tannhauser Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Mar 18, 2004
    As an example here (I've bought the game as well, I don't hate it or love it, perhaps I will write something up later, perhaps not) of some of the skill perks.

    Heavy Armor:
    Novice (0-24 skill score): Heavy armor degrades at 150% of normal rate.
    Apprentice (25-49 skill score): Heavy armor degrades normally.
    Journeyman (50-74 skill score): Heavy armor degrades at 50% of normal rate.
    Expert (75-99 skill score): Equipped heavy armor on encumbers by 50%.
    Master (100 skill score): Equipped heavy armor does not encumber.

    Montez, I may be wrong, but I think they retooled the combat system so if you visually 'hit' the opponent, you succeed.
  10. Montez

    Montez So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Jun 20, 2003
    That makes sense. It was a good choice too, makes the combat a lot more enjoyable than swinging at a rat 50 times to kill it because the majority of your attacks don't connect.

    Update on the graphics side: I've been wandering around outside for awhile - frame rates are the same as indoors and, most important of all, there's none of the fog that was in morrowind - the distance you can see is really impressive. Load times for new areas and zones have been negligible so far. I did notice the "grass out of nowhere" effect, but it's fairly far away from me and no more noticeable than in other games that do the same thing - no idea why people are complaining about it. I don't know if they got some new programmers or were just really lazy last time around, but this game runs 10x better than a fully tweaked and optimized morrowind on the same setup.

    On the down side, npc faces are really ugly. It's really bizarre, everything else looks great except them. Hopefully the same people who made the "Better Heads" mod for the last game will do the same for this one, though it will probably be tough since it's not really the textures that are bad, it's the shapes of the heads and the way everyone looks like they're wearing a wig.

    Dialogues are kind of odd. If anyone played Thief: Deadly Shadows or Bloodlines, it's pretty much the same thing - go to speak to an npc and you get magically sucked into a "talking head" viewpoint. Then there's a small list of topics and a few icons to switch to the various barter/training screens. The "dialogues" been even more simplified than I thought at first - it's the same thing as morrowind except instead of having a whole menu of topics you get 3 or 4. I'm not really expecting many more conversational things to happen, which is pretty disappointing since it's the main thing I was hoping that they would overhaul or make closer to Gothic's system, where even though it's sparse and there aren't many meaningful choices it's a least full sentences instead of keywords.
  11. MrBumble

    MrBumble Vault Fossil

    Jan 17, 2006
    I would say that the last game which really impressed me as far as the graphics are concerned is Quake 4. Serious sam 2 did great on several maps too ( while some other sucked ). Oblivion does great on certain things ( forests for instance ) but sucks on other, for instance when a zone hasn't been loaded yet ==>the textures look terrible. When you are in a forest everything looks great because the trees hide that issue, but for instance when you get out of the sewers, and when you look at the other side of the river, there's a sort of..problem. Well, I admit that I've posted my last message a little TOO soon, I've played the game a little more since and I do not find it THAT bad, I'm just disappointed because my fears were confirmed, that's all.
  12. brandons1313

    brandons1313 It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Oct 18, 2004
    Well so far I like the game. I came into playing this game with a open mind and I think they have really made some improvements with the game play. I still want to play more before I comment more on that stuff. I cannot really comment on the graphics to much because I am having to run the game on the bare minimum settings right now.

    My Specs
    2.4Ghz P4
    512 3200ddr
    GeForce 5950Ultra

    I have to run the game on 640x480 Resolution to get any kind of playable frame rate (13-20 fps while fighting or moving around outside). This game eats up a shitload of memory. I have disabled all unnecessary services in services.msc and in msconfig, and my physical memory is being maxed out while playing the game. 600mb+ memory used. So I am going to pick up another 512 stick and see if it will run any better.
  13. mortiz

    mortiz Still Mildly Glowing

    Aug 21, 2005
    OK, I'll pick it up, but if it's shite I'm blaming you Montez ;)
  14. Signeon

    Signeon It Wandered In From the Wastes

    May 17, 2005
    And thus, it sounds like utter crap.

    But this is why they'll stay in business.
    (Okay, so I watch Attack of the Show; they do occasionally have some cool people on.)
    Retards like that (who probably own the X360 to begin with; hence, retards) will buy this game BECASUE ITS SOOO KEWL!

    The demon known as Bethesda will never be destroyed... unless we start an open riot! Miniguns for everyone!
  15. Montez

    Montez So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Jun 20, 2003
    This wasn't what I wanted!!!!!

    Seriously though, if you're expecting Morrowind ++ then you'll like it, if you're expecting a huge leap forward in gameplay and rpg qualities you'll be disappointed. I'm having fun with it.

    It does bring to the forefront something I've been avoiding thinking about too much though - Bethesda is really going to have to work long and hard and make a huge change in their trademark game design if they're going to win over Fallout fans. The RPG elements in Oblivion are non-existent in comparison. I'm not going to be pessimistic just yet, but there's a huge gap between the two games that won't be easy to bridge.
  16. keyser Soeze

    keyser Soeze Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Nov 15, 2005
    Here is some dudes opinion from the official forum, and i agree with most of it.

    Tho i might play it some more. It has some entertainment value still.
  17. Montez

    Montez So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Jun 20, 2003
    I don't dispute any of the guys points except the interface one. Ok, going by his and others comments I'm to believe that the same people that are craving extremely deep and intelligent games where gameplay is more important than graphics and that really challenge your mind instead of twitch reflexes COMPLETELY lack the intelligence to grasp a simple fucking interface? You want a system with meaningful choices, complex back-and-forth converstations, stats/skills that actually have an effect in the game world, "puzzles" which actually require some thought - yet you are unable to wrap your mind around a simple menu system, lack the mental agility to perform the simple task of associating "Icon X" with "Menu X", and lack the "adventurous" spirit that might lead you to figure out that the F1-F4 keys bring up the various menus? Give me a break.

    Hey, I've got an idea! Maybe Bethesda could release a patch or mod for PC gamers that replaces the "Starter Dungeon" with a "Starter Menu System"! You know, instead of walking you through the gameplay, it will walk you through how to use the menu, step-by-painful-step! Maybe they can start packaging new games with memory enhancing flash cards, so you can spend time training yourself when you aren't playing! "Thanks to these handy flash cards and hours of practice I've finally memorized that the tab with the picture of a potion-looking-thingy brings up the inventory menu with potions and ingredients!" Maybe they can release "Oblivion Menu System For Dummies: A Guide For The Rest Of Us"! I see a whole new market blooming here!

    I'm not saying that the interface is great or good or whatever, but honestly - if figuring it out is a huge stumbling block for you then you might as well move into a halfway home for retards.
  18. Dabeav

    Dabeav First time out of the vault

    Feb 20, 2006
    Yeah, I finally got it, and I like it. The TES series appealed to me for different reasons than say, Fallout.

    Fallout is all about the cool character development system, storyline, and the whole feel of the game, 50's sci-fi style.

    TES, are exploratory games for me. You freely roam around and find new things and encounters. No other game or series is this open-ended. The dialogue has never been a strong point. I do wish combat was more challenging however, or hopefully it becomes so. Gothic 2 Gold was a bitch to fight stuff, but it was fun. Morrowind had the I-can-kill-everything-in-one-hit syndrome. I'll have to see if that's true about this one.

    'm sure I'll start exploring and finding cool stuff to do and have some fun, but it probably won't be because of the storyline. ;)

    /end semi-coherent tired babble
  19. Vax

    Vax First time out of the vault

    Jul 13, 2004
    I don't think it was a matter of looking a wand (or whatever they used) and thinking "this means magic" that was the issue, but a poorly designed and cumbersome interface. Since one would deal with the inventory and journal system constantly the problems that it has would become much more noticeable and annoying than of Oblivion's faults.
  20. Montez

    Montez So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Jun 20, 2003
    When it's put that way it becomes a lot more understandable - I just hate it when people put up this ridiculous hype that's at the same level of bullshit as the company's PR except in the opposite direction. What good does it do anyone to pretend that the menu is this mind-boggling monstrosity that is beyond the realm of reason? Maybe it's cathartic, but as far as real criticism of the game goes it's about as legitimate as Gamespy saying "Oblivion will change your life, it's just that good!" I agree that it could have been designed better, but the same could be said for pretty much every game ever made.

    Still, no matter how much better it could have been, I don't find it cumbersome or confusing and honestly don't understand what the problem people have with it is. There are four main menus, each with sub-menus. To bring them up you hit Tab to bring up whichever menu you accessed last and click around from there, or press:
    F1: Stats, character sheet, etc
    F2: Inventory
    F3: Magic
    F4: Map, journal

    Same as morrowind except the map and journal have been combined into one screen and they're all in tabbed menus instead of floating windows. It's different from the norm, but apart from breaking the habit of pressing 'i' or 'm' or 'j' I really don't see what the problem is. I don't care if people like it or loathe it, I just hate it when people blow something minor out of proportion. So you have to spend an hour reminding yourself to hit the F4 key instead of the M or J key - is that really such a big deal?