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Enraptured with Oblivion

Between Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul, performance tweaks, and the discovery of a particularly suitable custom character, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion once again has its hooks in me. Details follow.

Reading the changes list in Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul, I was a bit worried that the mobs were no longer fully scaled to the player character's level. However, having had a chance to play with it a bit, I have to say that I enjoy the adjustment. Being discovered by an unbeatable foe means an exciting run to the nearest city. However, few foes are truly unbeatable, and I've derived gratification from overcoming challenges higher leveled than I. With that worry resolved, I've discovered that most of what Oscuro and company has done has been excellent. Not perfect, as there are things I could have improved here and there, but quite good.

Oblivion is only half RPG, the other half is an action game, and I've found that a high framerate substantially improves my enjoyment of it. There's many Oblivion performance guides out there, the original ones lost to the timeless Internet of yesterday, but I was impressed with the one compiled at Atomic Maximum Power Computing. Unsurprisingly, the most effective change was simply adjusting my resolution from a crisp 1280x720 to a somewhat blocky 720x480. (Of course, a computer upgrade would do the trick too, but right now that isn't feasible.)

I found the perfect character class for me. I realized that what I really wanted was a character that can come up with creative solutions. (That may be what I want in all games.) What I ended up creating in Oblivion was, for want of a better word, the "Infiltrator". His major skills are Acrobatics, Alchemy, Alteration, Conjuration, Mysticism, Illusion, and Sneak. No direct combat skills, all his fighting is done indirectly.

Through these factors combined, I've had some pretty exciting battles and adventures.

Foremost on my mind was a grotto of conjurers where my summoned creatures found an even match in theirs. These battles were protracted and unpredictable. At one point, I was outnumbered and fled to the road where I encountered a patrol of Imperial Legionaries that defeated my pursuers. There's that nifty immersive feeling Oblivion feeling. I eventually had to give this dungeon up - too challenging.

I also enjoyed clearing out a fort full of vampires with stealth Flame Atronach infiltration. It was here that I discovered the bow to be an excellent support weapon, at least against a foe I know isn't going to live long enough to resent my interference. The infested fort would remain the property of the overly glamorized unliving, as I had to flee before the extremely powerful Vampire Matriarch at the end.

The final excursion of the weekend was taking out hordes of goblins in the Three Feather Goblin infested abandoned mines south of Bruma. The Three Feather Shaman was far too powerful for me, and so I distracted him with my pet as I looted his camp. I'm surprised how well that worked.

Altogether, pretty fun stuff. I've only barely chipped the surface of my new characters' capabilities, and look forward to enjoying the OOO enhancements, the Knights of the Nine quest line, and (when it is released) the Shivering Isles expansion.

In other news, I picked up a copy of Gunstar Super Heroes for $9.99. That's quite a bargain for such a well rated game. A pity Warioware Twisted wasn't in stock.

In retrospect, I probably should have done more homework this weekend. I've a lot to do this week, but next week is Spring Break.


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