Oblivion: My Adventures in Cyrodiil

I started writing a brief Google+ post about my experiences with Oblivion, and it ended up being far longer than I intended so I decided to turn it into a full blog post. I've been playing Oblivion for a short while because I can't afford, nor will my computer likely run Skyrim. I tried to play it once before when it was relatively new but found the first person view in an open world environment really disorientating and gave up a couple of hours into it. I also don't think I fully got the whole "Go anywhere, do anything" aspect of it. I remember actively avoiding the Imperial City when I first played it because that wasn't where I was supposed to be going. I was supposed to be going to Weynon Priory to give the Amulet to Jauffre. That is my task and that is what I'm doing. The game told me to do it so that's what I'm doing. I shouldn't visit that big city, the game hasn't told me to go there.

So this time, I approached it with a much more open objective. I just wanted to have fun. And so far I have. I started out by delivering the Amulet to Jauffre, but then I decided to do my own thing. I headed into the Imperial City and sought out the shopping district to see if there was anything useful I could buy, and to sell all of the junk I picked up in the tutorial level that I didn't want. In talking to the shopkeepers, I learned that Thoronir of the Copious Coinpurse seemed to be selling goods at unbelievable prices, and the other shopkeepers weren't happy about it. I thought this was quest would be a great way to gain favour with the local shopkeepers and get some better prices out of them. I eventually discovered he was getting them from an unscrupulous character called Agarmir who was robbing them from graves. After killing Agarmir and an accomplice, Thoronir repented for his mistakes and all was well with the world again.

After that hough, I began to find the open world gameplay a little overwhelming again. I decided I wanted to join the Mages Guild, so I went to the university in the Imperial City, only to find I have to join the guild in another city. So I headed off to the exit of the city to go to join the Mages Guild in Chorrol. On my way out of the city I stumbled across the Arena, talked to the dude on the door who says to go down into it if I want to fight. So I thought to myself "fuck the Mages Guild, I want to go fight in the arena". I went down into the Arena, talk to some Orc dude who said that he's of noble blood and wants me to prove it for him. Sure, I can do that, so I left arena to go to the place he wants me to go to. I headed out of the Imperial City and on my way out I talked with a dude just outside. He told me he was a fisherman, and an Alchemist was paying crazy money for slaughterfish scales. But he had injured his leg and couldn't get anymore fish scales for him. So, I decided to head off into the lake and do some fishing for him.

WHY CAN'T I JUST PICK A QUEST AND DO IT!?!?!?!?!?!!! WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE SO DISTRACTING IN THIS WORLD?!?!?!?!!!! WHY DO I HAVE TO KEEP BUMPING INTO PEOPLE WHO GIVE ME NEW QUESTS!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!

You know what the really funny thing is? I didn't actually finish the fish quest. All I had to do was walk down to the lake and kill some fish. There was nothing in my way to distract me. I couldn't find another quest and wander off to do that. But I was down by the lake fighting this fish when I get a message that the fisherman dude is dead, and my quest journal updates saying I can't complete the quest because he's dead. So I head up to see what on earth is happening, and some evil sorcerer dude has electrocuted him to death. What on earth? The fact that can happen is crazy.

After whacking my sword against the sorcerer dude a few times and killing him, I finally made my way to the Mages Guild in Chorrol and completed the first quest there (I had to walk up a mountain and pick up a book. Hardly the most exciting quest ever. Although everyone seems to think the book is super important but no one is telling me anything about it, so I guess it'll come into play later). That's where I am now. As I said, I am really enjoying the game. The only complaints I have so far is that the game doesn't give you enough guidance. The reason I wanted to join the Mages Guild was to get some advice on the Mage relevant gameplay mechanics. How do spells work? Do they level up with me? Or will my weak flame spell always be totally useless? How do I get new spells? What about Alchemy? How does that work? I was given this mortar and pestle but I don't know what the hell to do with it. I rolled my character with Alchemy in mind since it seemed super useful, yet I don't know how to do it. And when I talk to people in the Mages Guild there just aren't any dialogue options for me to say "Hey, what the fuck am I supposed to be doing in this game besides whacking people with my sword?" I guess I'm going to have to look that shit up in a guide or something.

But yeah, apart from the lack of explanation about the gameplay mechanics, I'm having a blast. I might do more of these blog things in the future to update you on my progress, but don't count on it. I'm going to be really busy for a while, and I don't even know if I'll have much time to play the game, nevermind write about it.

12 Comments
12 Comments
Edited by MattyFTM

I started writing a brief Google+ post about my experiences with Oblivion, and it ended up being far longer than I intended so I decided to turn it into a full blog post. I've been playing Oblivion for a short while because I can't afford, nor will my computer likely run Skyrim. I tried to play it once before when it was relatively new but found the first person view in an open world environment really disorientating and gave up a couple of hours into it. I also don't think I fully got the whole "Go anywhere, do anything" aspect of it. I remember actively avoiding the Imperial City when I first played it because that wasn't where I was supposed to be going. I was supposed to be going to Weynon Priory to give the Amulet to Jauffre. That is my task and that is what I'm doing. The game told me to do it so that's what I'm doing. I shouldn't visit that big city, the game hasn't told me to go there.

So this time, I approached it with a much more open objective. I just wanted to have fun. And so far I have. I started out by delivering the Amulet to Jauffre, but then I decided to do my own thing. I headed into the Imperial City and sought out the shopping district to see if there was anything useful I could buy, and to sell all of the junk I picked up in the tutorial level that I didn't want. In talking to the shopkeepers, I learned that Thoronir of the Copious Coinpurse seemed to be selling goods at unbelievable prices, and the other shopkeepers weren't happy about it. I thought this was quest would be a great way to gain favour with the local shopkeepers and get some better prices out of them. I eventually discovered he was getting them from an unscrupulous character called Agarmir who was robbing them from graves. After killing Agarmir and an accomplice, Thoronir repented for his mistakes and all was well with the world again.

After that hough, I began to find the open world gameplay a little overwhelming again. I decided I wanted to join the Mages Guild, so I went to the university in the Imperial City, only to find I have to join the guild in another city. So I headed off to the exit of the city to go to join the Mages Guild in Chorrol. On my way out of the city I stumbled across the Arena, talked to the dude on the door who says to go down into it if I want to fight. So I thought to myself "fuck the Mages Guild, I want to go fight in the arena". I went down into the Arena, talk to some Orc dude who said that he's of noble blood and wants me to prove it for him. Sure, I can do that, so I left arena to go to the place he wants me to go to. I headed out of the Imperial City and on my way out I talked with a dude just outside. He told me he was a fisherman, and an Alchemist was paying crazy money for slaughterfish scales. But he had injured his leg and couldn't get anymore fish scales for him. So, I decided to head off into the lake and do some fishing for him.

WHY CAN'T I JUST PICK A QUEST AND DO IT!?!?!?!?!?!!! WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE SO DISTRACTING IN THIS WORLD?!?!?!?!!!! WHY DO I HAVE TO KEEP BUMPING INTO PEOPLE WHO GIVE ME NEW QUESTS!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!

You know what the really funny thing is? I didn't actually finish the fish quest. All I had to do was walk down to the lake and kill some fish. There was nothing in my way to distract me. I couldn't find another quest and wander off to do that. But I was down by the lake fighting this fish when I get a message that the fisherman dude is dead, and my quest journal updates saying I can't complete the quest because he's dead. So I head up to see what on earth is happening, and some evil sorcerer dude has electrocuted him to death. What on earth? The fact that can happen is crazy.

After whacking my sword against the sorcerer dude a few times and killing him, I finally made my way to the Mages Guild in Chorrol and completed the first quest there (I had to walk up a mountain and pick up a book. Hardly the most exciting quest ever. Although everyone seems to think the book is super important but no one is telling me anything about it, so I guess it'll come into play later). That's where I am now. As I said, I am really enjoying the game. The only complaints I have so far is that the game doesn't give you enough guidance. The reason I wanted to join the Mages Guild was to get some advice on the Mage relevant gameplay mechanics. How do spells work? Do they level up with me? Or will my weak flame spell always be totally useless? How do I get new spells? What about Alchemy? How does that work? I was given this mortar and pestle but I don't know what the hell to do with it. I rolled my character with Alchemy in mind since it seemed super useful, yet I don't know how to do it. And when I talk to people in the Mages Guild there just aren't any dialogue options for me to say "Hey, what the fuck am I supposed to be doing in this game besides whacking people with my sword?" I guess I'm going to have to look that shit up in a guide or something.

But yeah, apart from the lack of explanation about the gameplay mechanics, I'm having a blast. I might do more of these blog things in the future to update you on my progress, but don't count on it. I'm going to be really busy for a while, and I don't even know if I'll have much time to play the game, nevermind write about it.

Moderator
Edited by RecSpec

I put a ton of time (probably about 200 hours) into Oblivion but I didn't accomplish anything in it.  Not saying that was a bad thing. The only quest line I completed was the Dark Brotherhood, barely made it into any of the other ones.My favorite thing in Oblivion was messing around the spell creation.  I would make a spell that did 1 damage to everything in a huge radius, then fight everyone off as they tried to kill me. 
 
Also, Oblivion still has my favorite open world moment ever. Every time I talk about Oblivion I have to bring this up. I was fighting the guards and the various townsfolk in the main city. As this was going on, all of the stores closed, and the shopkeepers all left their stores. To my surprise, they were fighting on my side against the guards and the townspeople. A huge brawl that ended with pretty much everyone dead.

Posted by Brendan

I read the entire ``Argonian Account`` and the entire ``The Real Berenziah`` in-game.

Posted by Galiant

I hope you get the funds to play Skyrim soon, because it fixed everything I hated about Oblivion.

Posted by natetodamax

There are different schools of magic, as you probably know. You spells will get better as you use them. Spells like fire and frost and electricity will raise destruction magic and the other stuff is in categories like Illusion and Conjuration. If I recall correctly, you do Alchemy by clicking on the mortar and pestle in your inventory and then you combine ingredients.

It's pretty funny that the fisherman got killed. That never happened to me.

Posted by yoshimitz707

@Voxel said:

There are different schools of magic, as you probably know. You spells will get better as you use them. Spells like fire and frost and electricity will raise destruction magic and the other stuff is in categories like Illusion and Conjuration. If I recall correctly, you do Alchemy by clicking on the mortar and pestle in your inventory and then you combine ingredients. It's pretty funny that the fisherman got killed. That never happened to me.

Are you sure spell damage scales with your magic level? I remember it being spells would cost less mana as you levelled up in that school of magic and if you wanted stronger spells you would have to either buy or make them.

Posted by natetodamax
@yoshimitz707

@Voxel said:

There are different schools of magic, as you probably know. You spells will get better as you use them. Spells like fire and frost and electricity will raise destruction magic and the other stuff is in categories like Illusion and Conjuration. If I recall correctly, you do Alchemy by clicking on the mortar and pestle in your inventory and then you combine ingredients. It's pretty funny that the fisherman got killed. That never happened to me.

Are you sure spell damage scales with your magic level? I remember it being spells would cost less mana as you levelled up in that school of magic and if you wanted stronger spells you would have to either buy or make them.

Hmm, you may be right. I don't remember the specifics of the many skills in Oblivion, but I think there's a skill that increases the effects of your spells when you put points into it? Perhaps?
Posted by buzz_clik

Funnily enough, I'm in the middle of my first play through Oblivion, for similar financially-motivated reasons. I bought it when it first came out and didn't understand the scope or purpose of it, having a similar experience as you did with the whole "do this, then this, then this, let's do this adventure you're telling me to do." Then I gave up quite early and chucked it back in the drawer. I actually remember thinking it was boring; why would you make me walk so far between towns, for a start?

Then Fallout 3 came into my life and the penny dropped. After S-Ranking the shit out of that game, I went back and started to plough through Oblivion again.

Of course, this time around I'm enjoying Oblivion a lot more. It had been put away again for a little while as I played some newer titles, but then all the hoo-hah surrounding Skyrim has meant I've felt the need to finish it all up, and my most recent time with it has been enveloping me fully - I doubt another game will get a look in until I've done EVERY-FREAKING-THING.

As it stands, I'm a master in the Fighters Guild, and I'm just about to embark proper on the Mages Guild malarky. Well, that's if I don't get distracted by all the other non-essential quests. Well, I say non-essential, but I don't know where I'd be without the skeleton key you get for finishing the... uh, I mean... never mind.

Up top for us having simultaneous parallel revelatory prodigal experiences, mate!

Moderator
Posted by Hizang

You know, in all honestly, i think I enjoyed Oblivion more than I am enjoying Skyrim right now. I can't put a finger on why that is, but yea that may just be the case.

What edition did you get?

Edited by MattyFTM

@Hizang said:

What edition did you get?

It's the super deluxe game of the year edition, or whatever they call it. It comes with everything. The main game, shivering isles, knights of the nine, all of the DLC. Even the horse armour. I wasn't going to miss out on my horse armour!!!

Moderator
Posted by Hizang

@MattyFTM: Thats awesome, I only can play the PS3 version, all that has is Shivering Isles and Knights of the Nine. KOTN is not all that great but Shivering Isles is fantastic.

Posted by slowbird

I should probably get Shivering Isles and go back into Oblivion for a while. But Skyrim is pretty amazing, so I'm pretty well occupied for now. It's like Oblivion but with even more crazy OCD stuff to do like blacksmithing. Also, the enemies seem tougher in Skyrim. Especially bears.