Boot's Corner

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Games: The Elder Scorlls IV – Oblivion

Posted by JungleBoot on September 17, 2011

Recently, I have spent a lot of time playing The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (PS3).  This is not a good thing.  Any game that forces you to spend tons of time in preparation has problems.  What do I mean?

To enjoy Oblivion, you have to be willing to spend the time in training your character in a multitude of skills.  There are 21.  Seven skills the player will make major skills (It’s how the character levels) and 14 minor skills.  This leads to a multitude of options with two major viewpoints that matter.  Option 1:  Care about the skills and how they propel the character to higher levels.  Option 2: Make 7 skills major skills that you could care less about and will never use.  Option 2 allows you to simply play the game while missing out on certain side quests.  Option 1 brings about “power leveling” and delaying the actual “game play” for hours on end.  But, I really want to discuss stuff that I would hope are fixed in Skyrim — the next title in the Elder Scrolls series.

01. Don’t you wish you could just start the game and get right down to playing without getting caught up in the whole “training”?  I do.  I would love to just “play”.  How complicated is that to achieve?  Character leveling is too complex and time demanding.  Bethesda should look at Demon’s Souls and how characters progress in that game.  It’s simpler and more direct.

02.  If you’re going to include a magic system, it should allow for powerful spells and removal of spells that are no longer needed.  A little house-keeping could have gone a long way in making Oblivion more enjoyable.  Instead, you have to lug around every basic, minor, major, severe, and legendary spell you purchase or create.  Talk about bloat and confusion.

03.  “Major quest areas” (areas that contain essential non-player controlled characters when a quest is active) should be protected until opened up via encounters or events.  This prevents accidental deaths that lock quests from being started / enjoyed.

04. How about some variety in essential and non-essential NPCs?  Everyone in Cyrodill must be related.  They all look alike.

05.  How about an “enemy scaling system” that makes sense?  By the time you reach level 36 in Oblivion, many of the “enemies” are of the boss variety — which is counter-intuitive.  There have to be underlings for their to be bosses.  I know they are trying to keep the game challenging.  But, that is what the difficuly slider is for.

06.  If you are going to introduce an expansion, ensure the expansion world scales with the primary product.  Shivering Isles does not.  It’s open season on all NPCs at level 30 and above.  They are ill-equipped to deal with the scaled monsters.  For example, Jayred Ice-Veins continues to wear basic light armor when glass armor is available.  The player, if they care, has to protect NPCs and not the other way around.

07.  Enemies shouldn’t “change” tactics to take advantage of player character weaknesses.  Example:  During the recommendation phase of the Mage’s Guild quest line, a rogue mage is described as using frost magic and the adventurer is given scolls of frost protection.  However (in my case), the rogue mage uses shock magic.  A little consistency would be nice.

Hmmmmm …. I think I could go on.  But, I won’t.  If I find something else that truly annoys me, I might edit this post.  How about you?  What would you like to see fixed in Skyrim?

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