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Opinion Retro Trailer Oblivion Is Still Excellent 15 Years Later

Vier

Member
Jun 7, 2019
5,380
11,609
780
Dallas, Texas
Oblivion is the worst TES game I've played for any length of time and possibly my biggest disappointment ever (due to me liking the predecessors a lot). It's like a romantic comedy from Hollywood, incredibly skillful craftsmanship but very empty.

For me TES games always were about replay-ability and free form roaming through quantity. The quests and the characters might be flatter than in some other games, but I could always count on there to be something new for me to explore. I really looked forward to Oblivion as I was a big fan of Morrowind which is up there with the Gothics among my top RPG experiences. Daggerfall was also cool for its time but suffered from a very lacking presentation (lots of features weren't fully implemented). These games also had level scaling, but not as extreme as Oblivion. So where did the much more polished Oblivion fail?

Quantity: Too few quests and factions makes you run out of things to do and reduce replay value A LOT. Replay value was IMHO the main strength of Morrowind, and the guilds were much more fleshed out in MW with questlines that were rather long compared to those in Oblivion.

Console interface that's developed for 13 year old's. The game feels like a console port. Menus and the like were not even rescaled to make use of the higher resolution on a PC.

MAJOR: Questionable quest mechanics where you don't get enough oral/written hints, making the bleeding COMPASS ARROW necessary for solving quests. The quests are also more often than not scripted in such a way that triggers have to be activated in a certain order...

MAJOR: Lack of branching in storylines and guild selection: The latter was admittedly a problem in Morrowind too, but there you could ignore it and just focus on one guild and still have enough things for your character to do. Not so with the low number of quests in Oblivion.

Level scaling: A historical weakness of TES games that was in Daggerfall (almost as dumbly implemented as in Oblivion, but less problematic as you could get by without optimizing your character) and Morrowind (where it was less intrusive) as well. But it reaches new heights here, making certain character types (a thief levelling on thieving skills) completely unviable. Any system that requires you to plan your levelling extensively disrupts the fun of the game and kills immersion. Allied NPCs also don't seem to level up to the same extent as your enemies. Anyone tried making the Kvatch guards survive at level 15 or so?

Voice acting: Sean Bean and Patrick Stewart do their part very well, but was there only money in the budget for 3 or four other actors? I hate hearing the same voices over and over again, and I find it a bit odd for High Chancellor Ocato to have the same voice as Glarthir the Psychotic. It would have been better to allow one to switch of voice acting completely, as the repeated use of the same few voices kills immersion.

MAJOR: NPC AI in combination with a ton of escort quests. Possibly dumber than in Gothic 3. NPCs run in BETWEEN MY SWORD AND THE ENEMY. NPCs hit each other and start killing each other. The so called Radiant AI causes a lot of friendly fire incidents to end with wholesale massacres.

A misused physics engine: Walk close to the shelves in a shop and watch the inventory fly all over the place.

MAJOR: Twitch-based combat is not for me. Combined with the "allied" AI its a game breaker.

A lack of weapon types and skills compared to earlier incarnations make each character feel less unique. I know this is cosmetic, but its a big deal to me.

MAJOR: The most populous province of a world-conquering empire has a rather ridiculous population density. The scale is way off. This was less problematic in Morrowind as MW took place on a frontier island, and not an issue at all in humungous Daggerfall.

MAJOR: Random dungeons. Why reuse the obviously faulty dungeon generation system of Daggerfall (combine about ten unique larger dungeon blocks at random)? Sure, the dungeons aren't mating octopi this time, but they repeat. And repeat. Pure shite and inexcusable in this day and age.

MAJOR: Oblivion gates and the, as advertised on the box, infinite realm of Oblivion. Random generated lava levels just don't do it for me. I would recommend any new players to avoid (the realm of) Oblivion and its blasted gates by never going to Kvatch, so the shite doesn't shoot up all over the place.

Mods can fix some of these issues, but not the ones I labelled as major. Fans have told me that there are quest mods and the like, but my experience with mods for all games (including say NWN that was intended as a construction set) is that fan made content varies in quality, and that one has to wade through a lot of poo to get to the nice 5%. I played the game for 20 hours, uninstalled it, and wont touch it again. It bored me and that was due to what I perceive as major design flaws. In the future I'll try to only buy Bethesda "RPGS" from the bargain bin. I concede that the game looks good, some of the quest ideas were neat and new, and that the AI and physics engine could have been nice parts of better thought out design. This isn't Neverwinter Nights 1, a construction set with a campaign tacked on to it, but a GAME with a construction set tacked onto it.
 

Philfrag

Member
Jul 3, 2020
65
107
220
If you're into Bethesda games the first one you play always has a massive impact on you. Oblivion was the first for me, and for all its flaws its was pretty fucking incredible to experience. A lot of people want to get snooty about Bethesda's continued move into the console space but if it wasn't for Oblivion a huge amount of console players would have never got into open world RPGs as much as they did in the following years.

Oblivion was incredibly ambitious for its time and that ambition should be applauded. Every time i hear the soundtrack for that game it transports me back to a time when videogames still felt magical to me. The metal gear solid, Ocarina of Time and Minecraft soundtracks are the only other ones that can do that to me. A lot of that is the composition itself but some of it is the result of my mind being completely blown away by witnessing just how much video games can achieve.
 

anthraticus

Member
Sep 11, 2018
1,154
1,082
420
Oblivion is the worst TES game I've played for any length of time and possibly my biggest disappointment ever (due to me liking the predecessors a lot). It's like a romantic comedy from Hollywood, incredibly skillful craftsmanship but very empty.

For me TES games always were about replay-ability and free form roaming through quantity. The quests and the characters might be flatter than in some other games, but I could always count on there to be something new for me to explore. I really looked forward to Oblivion as I was a big fan of Morrowind which is up there with the Gothics among my top RPG experiences. Daggerfall was also cool for its time but suffered from a very lacking presentation (lots of features weren't fully implemented). These games also had level scaling, but not as extreme as Oblivion. So where did the much more polished Oblivion fail?

Quantity: Too few quests and factions makes you run out of things to do and reduce replay value A LOT. Replay value was IMHO the main strength of Morrowind, and the guilds were much more fleshed out in MW with questlines that were rather long compared to those in Oblivion.

Console interface that's developed for 13 year old's. The game feels like a console port. Menus and the like were not even rescaled to make use of the higher resolution on a PC.

MAJOR: Questionable quest mechanics where you don't get enough oral/written hints, making the bleeding COMPASS ARROW necessary for solving quests. The quests are also more often than not scripted in such a way that triggers have to be activated in a certain order...

MAJOR: Lack of branching in storylines and guild selection: The latter was admittedly a problem in Morrowind too, but there you could ignore it and just focus on one guild and still have enough things for your character to do. Not so with the low number of quests in Oblivion.

Level scaling: A historical weakness of TES games that was in Daggerfall (almost as dumbly implemented as in Oblivion, but less problematic as you could get by without optimizing your character) and Morrowind (where it was less intrusive) as well. But it reaches new heights here, making certain character types (a thief levelling on thieving skills) completely unviable. Any system that requires you to plan your levelling extensively disrupts the fun of the game and kills immersion. Allied NPCs also don't seem to level up to the same extent as your enemies. Anyone tried making the Kvatch guards survive at level 15 or so?

Voice acting: Sean Bean and Patrick Stewart do their part very well, but was there only money in the budget for 3 or four other actors? I hate hearing the same voices over and over again, and I find it a bit odd for High Chancellor Ocato to have the same voice as Glarthir the Psychotic. It would have been better to allow one to switch of voice acting completely, as the repeated use of the same few voices kills immersion.

MAJOR: NPC AI in combination with a ton of escort quests. Possibly dumber than in Gothic 3. NPCs run in BETWEEN MY SWORD AND THE ENEMY. NPCs hit each other and start killing each other. The so called Radiant AI causes a lot of friendly fire incidents to end with wholesale massacres.

A misused physics engine: Walk close to the shelves in a shop and watch the inventory fly all over the place.

MAJOR: Twitch-based combat is not for me. Combined with the "allied" AI its a game breaker.

A lack of weapon types and skills compared to earlier incarnations make each character feel less unique. I know this is cosmetic, but its a big deal to me.

MAJOR: The most populous province of a world-conquering empire has a rather ridiculous population density. The scale is way off. This was less problematic in Morrowind as MW took place on a frontier island, and not an issue at all in humungous Daggerfall.

MAJOR: Random dungeons. Why reuse the obviously faulty dungeon generation system of Daggerfall (combine about ten unique larger dungeon blocks at random)? Sure, the dungeons aren't mating octopi this time, but they repeat. And repeat. Pure shite and inexcusable in this day and age.

MAJOR: Oblivion gates and the, as advertised on the box, infinite realm of Oblivion. Random generated lava levels just don't do it for me. I would recommend any new players to avoid (the realm of) Oblivion and its blasted gates by never going to Kvatch, so the shite doesn't shoot up all over the place.

Mods can fix some of these issues, but not the ones I labelled as major. Fans have told me that there are quest mods and the like, but my experience with mods for all games (including say NWN that was intended as a construction set) is that fan made content varies in quality, and that one has to wade through a lot of poo to get to the nice 5%. I played the game for 20 hours, uninstalled it, and wont touch it again. It bored me and that was due to what I perceive as major design flaws. In the future I'll try to only buy Bethesda "RPGS" from the bargain bin. I concede that the game looks good, some of the quest ideas were neat and new, and that the AI and physics engine could have been nice parts of better thought out design. This isn't Neverwinter Nights 1, a construction set with a campaign tacked on to it, but a GAME with a construction set tacked onto it.
The best mods for Oblivion & Skyrim are the complete overhauls Nehrim & Enderal. Especially if you're a fan of Gothic 1 & 2, as the creators were. Brings them more in line with proper cRPGs.
 

nkarafo

Member
Nov 30, 2012
16,725
8,502
1,070
Nah. It's depressing how bad this game was and still is. The level scaling was probably the worst game mechanic of all time. The randomly generated dungeons were boring and generic (back then i had no idea why i was so bored by them, until i learned they are randomly generated). The whole thing was riddled with bugs, shitty performance, broken mechanics, shitty animation, hideously ugly NPCs, etc.

Yes, it had some good things like some good looking environments and a nice atmosphere for the most part. Some quests were great and i liked how every lootable object had a 3D model associated that could be present in the game world. But even these weren't enough for me to stand the game in order to finish it.
 

Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
Jun 7, 2004
19,413
13,709
2,110
Oblivion is the worst TES game I've played for any length of time and possibly my biggest disappointment ever (due to me liking the predecessors a lot). It's like a romantic comedy from Hollywood, incredibly skillful craftsmanship but very empty.

For me TES games always were about replay-ability and free form roaming through quantity. The quests and the characters might be flatter than in some other games, but I could always count on there to be something new for me to explore. I really looked forward to Oblivion as I was a big fan of Morrowind which is up there with the Gothics among my top RPG experiences. Daggerfall was also cool for its time but suffered from a very lacking presentation (lots of features weren't fully implemented). These games also had level scaling, but not as extreme as Oblivion. So where did the much more polished Oblivion fail?

Quantity: Too few quests and factions makes you run out of things to do and reduce replay value A LOT. Replay value was IMHO the main strength of Morrowind, and the guilds were much more fleshed out in MW with questlines that were rather long compared to those in Oblivion.

Console interface that's developed for 13 year old's. The game feels like a console port. Menus and the like were not even rescaled to make use of the higher resolution on a PC.

MAJOR: Questionable quest mechanics where you don't get enough oral/written hints, making the bleeding COMPASS ARROW necessary for solving quests. The quests are also more often than not scripted in such a way that triggers have to be activated in a certain order...

MAJOR: Lack of branching in storylines and guild selection: The latter was admittedly a problem in Morrowind too, but there you could ignore it and just focus on one guild and still have enough things for your character to do. Not so with the low number of quests in Oblivion.

Level scaling: A historical weakness of TES games that was in Daggerfall (almost as dumbly implemented as in Oblivion, but less problematic as you could get by without optimizing your character) and Morrowind (where it was less intrusive) as well. But it reaches new heights here, making certain character types (a thief levelling on thieving skills) completely unviable. Any system that requires you to plan your levelling extensively disrupts the fun of the game and kills immersion. Allied NPCs also don't seem to level up to the same extent as your enemies. Anyone tried making the Kvatch guards survive at level 15 or so?

Voice acting: Sean Bean and Patrick Stewart do their part very well, but was there only money in the budget for 3 or four other actors? I hate hearing the same voices over and over again, and I find it a bit odd for High Chancellor Ocato to have the same voice as Glarthir the Psychotic. It would have been better to allow one to switch of voice acting completely, as the repeated use of the same few voices kills immersion.

MAJOR: NPC AI in combination with a ton of escort quests. Possibly dumber than in Gothic 3. NPCs run in BETWEEN MY SWORD AND THE ENEMY. NPCs hit each other and start killing each other. The so called Radiant AI causes a lot of friendly fire incidents to end with wholesale massacres.

A misused physics engine: Walk close to the shelves in a shop and watch the inventory fly all over the place.

MAJOR: Twitch-based combat is not for me. Combined with the "allied" AI its a game breaker.

A lack of weapon types and skills compared to earlier incarnations make each character feel less unique. I know this is cosmetic, but its a big deal to me.

MAJOR: The most populous province of a world-conquering empire has a rather ridiculous population density. The scale is way off. This was less problematic in Morrowind as MW took place on a frontier island, and not an issue at all in humungous Daggerfall.

MAJOR: Random dungeons. Why reuse the obviously faulty dungeon generation system of Daggerfall (combine about ten unique larger dungeon blocks at random)? Sure, the dungeons aren't mating octopi this time, but they repeat. And repeat. Pure shite and inexcusable in this day and age.

MAJOR: Oblivion gates and the, as advertised on the box, infinite realm of Oblivion. Random generated lava levels just don't do it for me. I would recommend any new players to avoid (the realm of) Oblivion and its blasted gates by never going to Kvatch, so the shite doesn't shoot up all over the place.

Mods can fix some of these issues, but not the ones I labelled as major. Fans have told me that there are quest mods and the like, but my experience with mods for all games (including say NWN that was intended as a construction set) is that fan made content varies in quality, and that one has to wade through a lot of poo to get to the nice 5%. I played the game for 20 hours, uninstalled it, and wont touch it again. It bored me and that was due to what I perceive as major design flaws. In the future I'll try to only buy Bethesda "RPGS" from the bargain bin. I concede that the game looks good, some of the quest ideas were neat and new, and that the AI and physics engine could have been nice parts of better thought out design. This isn't Neverwinter Nights 1, a construction set with a campaign tacked on to it, but a GAME with a construction set tacked onto it.
I think we are still suffering from the fact that games have given up of 2D sprites for NPC’s and other world objects and as we got prettier and prettier visuals we got a very pathetic crowd / population density as a result.

What I want the HW in XSX to be used for in TES VI is to make NPC crowds and vegetation feel a lot more alive than it does now (forests in Skyrim were a big let down compared to Oblivion), more than even Assassin’s Creed: Unity at a fluid 30 FPS. No excuses now Behesda, you have MS Trillions behind you, right Phil ;)?
 

johntown

Banned
Dec 27, 2010
3,761
2,391
945
East Coast
Oblivion is one of the best ES games Bethesda ever made. Sure it has a few flaws and it didn't age very well but that does not discount how amazing the game is. People here who say it isn't are retarded and don't know what a good RPG is.

The side quests are some of the best the series has to offer. The Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild quest lines are some of the best in the ES series.

The leveling system is different but once you understand how to use it properly it works fine. I find people who complain about it don't play the game right or understand the system.

The music is the best of the series as well. There is no other ES game that comes close.

The vast amount of weapons, skills and magic make replay-ability easy and rewarding compared to Skyrim which dumbed down all the systems to make it more accessible.

Shivering Isles was one of the best and memorable DLC's ever released.
 
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R6Rider

Member
Jan 22, 2020
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The default leveling system alone makes it worse than Morrowind and Skyrim, but I still had fun with it. The Dark Brotherhood quest line is great. Oblivion gates are lame.
 

Nickolaidas

Member
Jan 18, 2019
4,696
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It never ran smoothly even after upgrading my PC, I abandoned it after a few missions because of that.
Not sure what was at fault, but right now, Oblivion plays at 60 fps on my computer, and looks like this, thanks to mods:

 

emivita

Member
May 30, 2021
187
601
290
I loved how the world felt lively in Oblivion, I could literally breathe the atmosphere also thanks to the amazing soundtrack. I didn't feel this with Skyrim.

Played both on PC and PS3 for a total of 300+ hours, don't regret it a single bit.
 
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GymWolf

Member
Jun 11, 2019
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Excellent was a big word even 15 years ago but i had more fun with oblivion compared to skyrim so there is that.
 

Nickolaidas

Member
Jan 18, 2019
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I recently decide to play this mod build I've made for Oblivion about a year ago.

Just as clunky and addictive as it was on my PS3.
 

JimmyRustler

Member
Jun 17, 2006
10,633
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Excellent was a big word even 15 years ago but i had more fun with oblivion compared to skyrim so there is that.
No wonder considering the quests in Oblivion are miles better than in Skyrim - and then the dumbed it down even more for Fallout 4.
I mean, I look forward to Starfield and all but really hope Bethesda improved the quest quality again. Would be a shame if they didn't considering how long it took them to make that game.
 
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GymWolf

Member
Jun 11, 2019
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No wonder considering the quests in Oblivion are miles better than in Skyrim - and then the dumbed it down even more for Fallout 4.
I mean, I look forward to Starfield and all but really hope Bethesda improved the quest quality again. Would be a shame if they didn't considering how long it took them to make that game.
I can't even remember anything about the game, i just remember having more fun with it.

Also the graphic was kinda mindblowing on x360.
 
Last edited:
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Laptop1991

Member
Apr 3, 2018
271
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I loved Oblivion at the time, it was the game that made me a previous Bethesda fan and introduced me to modding, i haven't played it in over 10 years though, i've seen the various reworks being made in the updated engines and think i'll play that when its finished, but they never seem to be finished.
 
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Kev Kev

Gold Member
Oct 25, 2012
5,061
10,406
1,100
I went back and tried to replay a few years ago and just couldn’t get into it. It felt so old, dated and not good lol. It looked old too of course, but I’m not a graphics guy so that’s ok. But man the way it FELT… I just couldn’t get past it and gave up after a few hours

maybe I’ll try again soon. I was obsessed with oblivion back in the day. Don’t even know how many hundreds of hours I dumped into that game

EDIT: I don’t know why I’ve never considered this, but Oblivion VR with updated graphics would be fucking amazing. I’d no joke pay over full price for that kind of a game. It’d be almost like experiencing it for the first time all over again 🤤
 
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bbeach123

Member
Sep 2, 2020
232
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I loved it , my all time favorite. It have the perfect balance between fantasy , horror , mystery ,weird dumb shit , epic and peaceful .

I freaking love horror+ mystery element in my RPG .
 
Last edited:

Matt_Fox

Member
Jul 24, 2019
780
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I loved how the world felt lively in Oblivion, I could literally breathe the atmosphere also thanks to the amazing soundtrack.

Oblivion's atmosphere, both in the literal and the sensory was incredible.

There is a word 'sfumato' to describe Leonardo Da Vinci's renaissance artworks. It means smoke - a thickness to the atmosphere, that softening and hazing of distant details. I really felt Oblivion captured this better than any previous open world game.

And the music, literally had the game dripping with the feel of myth as you explored the mossy hillsides and ancient ruins.
 
Jun 4, 2020
628
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Miami, FL
I can replay Oblivion over and over again. It never gets old for me. That game hold a special place in my heart. Skyrim never reached those highs for me. Hopefully Starfield and TESVI capture what made Oblivion so special.
 
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Starfield

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The AI does actually way more than the one in Skyrim. Skyrims AI got "dumbed down" bc Oblivions was kind of "too intelligent" which caused its own kind of problems.

Example:
In Oblivion npc's eat and sleep in real time. For food they also need real money. If you steal an npcs money he then goes and steals the food instead of buying it. When he gets caught he usually gets killed by guards causing all sorts of problems like broken quests and other stuff.

Npcs in Oblivion also have dynamic conversations with each other which is kinda missing in Skyrim
 
Jun 15, 2021
164
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An incredible game (judged for it's time), spent countless hours in this world on my PS3. The feeling of emerging from the sewers and seeing the vast land laid out before you begging to be explored gave me a feeling of true adventure no game has really been able to replicate since. I can't imagine playing it today though, the jank, the stiffness, we've moved on.
 
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GodLordPaddock

Neo Member
Sep 25, 2021
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One of only four games that I got 100% achievements in. Amazing game. Skyrim couldn't replicate that magic that Oblivion had imo.
 
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GymWolf

Member
Jun 11, 2019
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I remember being sold on the game when they released the first couple of screenshots, this 3d model was fucking insane for the times

 

GymWolf

Member
Jun 11, 2019
19,740
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670
The AI does actually way more than the one in Skyrim. Skyrims AI got "dumbed down" bc Oblivions was kind of "too intelligent" which caused its own kind of problems.

Example:
In Oblivion npc's eat and sleep in real time. For food they also need real money. If you steal an npcs money he then goes and steals the food instead of buying it. When he gets caught he usually gets killed by guards causing all sorts of problems like broken quests and other stuff.

Npcs in Oblivion also have dynamic conversations with each other which is kinda missing in Skyrim
This stuff need to return in starfield.
 
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Jun 23, 2020
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Jank as fuck but man, how did I enjoy this game back in it's day. Never cared about the main quest, just exploring and sidequesting was enough fun for hours on end.
 

MachRc

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Mar 19, 2021
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I think people loved morrowind for its strange art design like alien like transportation, and NPCs, the tree houses, etc. it was def more fantasy driven
But I do believe the more "traditional" knight and wizard and dark age castles of Oblivion got more people into the elder scroll series.

I played so much oblivion that its the only game I had to purchase like 3 times due to me constantly scratching the x360 discs.
and Im sorry I bought all the horse armour, gold and silver to match my outfits and spent all my parent's money on DLCs
 

Samrf89

Member
Feb 5, 2019
130
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Oblivion is one of the best ES games Bethesda ever made. Sure it has a few flaws and it didn't age very well but that does not discount how amazing the game is. People here who say it isn't are retarded and don't know what a good RPG is.

The side quests are some of the best the series has to offer. The Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild quest lines are some of the best in the ES series.

The leveling system is different but once you understand how to use it properly it works fine. I find people who complain about it don't play the game right or understand the system.

The music is the best of the series as well. There is no other ES game that comes close.

The vast amount of weapons, skills and magic make replay-ability easy and rewarding compared to Skyrim which dumbed down all the systems to make it more accessible.

Shivering Isles was one of the best and memorable DLC's ever released.
nah dude, skyrim's music is one of its best qualities
 
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Magic Carpet

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Apr 2, 2020
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They chose to put the capital in Cyrodill because invaders would be yawning as they marched through all the boring.
 

DonkeyPunchJr

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Nov 1, 2020
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The AI does actually way more than the one in Skyrim. Skyrims AI got "dumbed down" bc Oblivions was kind of "too intelligent" which caused its own kind of problems.

Example:
In Oblivion npc's eat and sleep in real time. For food they also need real money. If you steal an npcs money he then goes and steals the food instead of buying it. When he gets caught he usually gets killed by guards causing all sorts of problems like broken quests and other stuff.

Npcs in Oblivion also have dynamic conversations with each other which is kinda missing in Skyrim
Did this stuff actually happen? I remember them talking so much about “radiant AI” prior to release but I thought most of that got cut from the final game.