Punching Crabs

So I'm playing Oblivion again, for the third time. Not that I ever finished it mind you. I spent all my time before doing the guild quests instead of the main storyline, and never got around to "finishing" the game. I'm playing on the Xbox this time, so I'll have to finish it now -- achievement whore, that is me.
 
It's been several years since I played it the last time, and it's surprising how much I remember. I'm playing as a thief/assassin again so there's not really anything new so far. It's like watching a movie you've seen several times already -- good, but not as good as the first time. I'm really looking forward to the thief and, in particular, assassin guild quest lines. Those are some of the most well written quest lines I've ever done, and I've been playing RPGs for a long time. Emil really knew his stuff. Shame he didn't transfer much of that to the Fallout 3 story. There are some very sore thumbs that stick out, however -- the same five voice actors, sparsely populate cities, and of course: the leveling system.
 
The leveling in Oblivion out right sucks. To be fair, it's not actually the leveling -- I actually prefer a by-use system instead of experience point system -- it's the fact that the whole world levels when you do. And if you aren't careful, they will level better than you do. I learned that a very hard way the first time I played. I got to level 10 or so and was getting routinely owned by wildlife just walking down the road. On the PC, this is somewhat easily remedied. There are numerous useful mods you can download to change the game experience -- saddle bags, flower picking, etc -- but none is more useful than Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul. Yes, the leveling is so broken that someone else had to make a 400Mb overhaul to the game to make it work the way it should have from the beginning.
 
But alas, on the Xbox I have no such luxury. What this means for me is that I spend half my play time running around trying to level up minor skills so I can get +5 on my necessary attributes when I level. Which means I end up running around doing things like punching crabs. And my entire play time is spent with notepad at hand, ticking off marks every time an important skill increases, so I'll know when it's time to punch crabs.
 
Nonetheless, it's still a fun game overall, even if the luster is well worn. Something has to pass the time until Red Dead Redemption anyway. And if I'm going to get all the achievements (and how can I not?) I'll get to see new quests at some point, to keep the game interesting. For now though, it's all about stealing and assassination. Again.

17 Comments
17 Comments
Posted by risseless

So I'm playing Oblivion again, for the third time. Not that I ever finished it mind you. I spent all my time before doing the guild quests instead of the main storyline, and never got around to "finishing" the game. I'm playing on the Xbox this time, so I'll have to finish it now -- achievement whore, that is me.
 
It's been several years since I played it the last time, and it's surprising how much I remember. I'm playing as a thief/assassin again so there's not really anything new so far. It's like watching a movie you've seen several times already -- good, but not as good as the first time. I'm really looking forward to the thief and, in particular, assassin guild quest lines. Those are some of the most well written quest lines I've ever done, and I've been playing RPGs for a long time. Emil really knew his stuff. Shame he didn't transfer much of that to the Fallout 3 story. There are some very sore thumbs that stick out, however -- the same five voice actors, sparsely populate cities, and of course: the leveling system.
 
The leveling in Oblivion out right sucks. To be fair, it's not actually the leveling -- I actually prefer a by-use system instead of experience point system -- it's the fact that the whole world levels when you do. And if you aren't careful, they will level better than you do. I learned that a very hard way the first time I played. I got to level 10 or so and was getting routinely owned by wildlife just walking down the road. On the PC, this is somewhat easily remedied. There are numerous useful mods you can download to change the game experience -- saddle bags, flower picking, etc -- but none is more useful than Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul. Yes, the leveling is so broken that someone else had to make a 400Mb overhaul to the game to make it work the way it should have from the beginning.
 
But alas, on the Xbox I have no such luxury. What this means for me is that I spend half my play time running around trying to level up minor skills so I can get +5 on my necessary attributes when I level. Which means I end up running around doing things like punching crabs. And my entire play time is spent with notepad at hand, ticking off marks every time an important skill increases, so I'll know when it's time to punch crabs.
 
Nonetheless, it's still a fun game overall, even if the luster is well worn. Something has to pass the time until Red Dead Redemption anyway. And if I'm going to get all the achievements (and how can I not?) I'll get to see new quests at some point, to keep the game interesting. For now though, it's all about stealing and assassination. Again.

Posted by TheGreatGuero

Before I get upset that you're bashing Fallout 3, which is one of the greatest games I've ever played, whereas Oblivion's one of the dullest and most disappointing, I'm gonna get to the crabs. 
 
I've always had trouble with the law when playing Oblivion, despite never trying to do any harm to anyone. The guards are so ridiculous and annoying. So often I'd accidentally steal an item when a guard was nearby, when just trying to look at something. Anyway, at some point, I got fed up with the stupid corruption of law enforcement. I fought guards for a while, but eventually had to be captured since I was still in the beginning of the game and didn't have much in terms of equipment or experience. Anyway, knowing that my skills would diminish if I waited in jail, I decided to steal the keys off a guard as he walked by, and I fled. I took down several guards in my path, and successfully escaped the jail and had to flee the city. I barely made it out alive. At this point, I was a fugitive on the run. This is perhaps the only time I got any enjoyment out of the game. 
 
Being a fugitive, I had to be careful. I had to avoid cities, and only visit the smallest towns where guards were less likely to show up. I had to stay off the roads and mostly travel at night. I started off with no weapons, and I wasn't going to surrender again. I quickly learned how much fun it was to battle with my bare fists. First, I started by beating up crabs, then bigger enemies. I remember early on I ran into a huge barbarian wielding a double-bladed axe. I had to defeat him with only my bear hands, then I stripped him off his clothing and weapons and continued my journey on the road. Still, I preferred to use my fists. You know what's even more fun than fighting crabs? Fighting wolves! It's so awesome. It's like the greatest thing ever. Especially when you level up your melee attacks and learn to do uppercuts. Beating up wolves is amazingly fun. Don't get me wrong, I love dogs, but these guys... they get what they deserve... a nice, sweet, little.... FALCON PUNCH!!!

Posted by keyhunter

My dudes got constant effect 80 shield on top of his already high armor stat. And he can one hit KO elemental touch nearly every enemy in the game. Also paralyze for one second and Charm 100 points for 1 second.
There is nothing overpowered about the monsters in Oblivion.

Posted by ryanwho

Nothing to add here, just congratulating you on making the best blog thread title I've ever seen.

Posted by ThatFrood

I'm gonna say what I always say whenever anyone brings up Oblivion.
It sucks. Play Morrowind.

Posted by FesteringNeon

I really like jumping from building to building.  
Air control is craziness.
Posted by Bigandtasty
@risseless: Punching crabs is like, a rite of passage, man. It shows your dedication to your character.
 
In all seriousness, Oblivion's leveling is pretty annoying, but I found that having the difficulty slider to 33% or so was a pretty good balance. If I got fed up with dying, I lowered it to about 20%. I enjoyed a lot of things about Oblivion and hopefully you'll be able to rediscover them as well.
Edited by risseless
@TheGreatGuero:  Great story. I lol'd.  You should have joined the Thieves Guild so you could pay off that bounty. For the record, the only thing I didn't like about Fallout 3 was the main story. I thought it was kind of bland. The rest of the game was amazing. Easily one of the best games I've ever played.
 
@ryanwho: Heh, thanks. I tried to reflect the absurdity of what I was actually having to do in game. It speaks for itself, I think.
 
@Bigandtasty:  I originally started at about 33% difficulty, but I moved it up to 50% for now. I may go back down if things start out-leveling me, but so far I'm +5 x3 every level. Conjuring a skeleton to let it beat on my shield is getting a little old, though.
 
@ThatFrood: I did play Morrowind back in the day. I don't think I ever finished it, though. I do remember getting so powerful from just exploring that I could pretty much own anything in the game without breaking a sweat. Daedric axe with paralyze ruled that game. I wouldn't necessarily mind going back and playing it again, but I've switched from PC to Xbox gaming since then. Will the original Xbox version even play on a 360? And even if if it does, well... there's no achievements. Plus, as I said in the blog post -- I'm pretty much just waiting for Red Dead Redemption at this point.
Posted by Vigilance

This game is not that hard. 
 
I don't use any mods, play on normal difficulty, and don't pay a ton of attention to leveling in weird ways, or not leveling, and I never had any problem with being outpaced by the monsters. 
 
I dunno, I never had a problem, so when I read about folks who do, I don't really understand how that happened. 

Posted by Tebbit
@TheGreatGuero: "HALT, CRIMINAL SCUM!". Doesn't it just send shivers down your spine?
Posted by cap123

yeah i've also played the game two times (once PC, once Xbox) and both times only got to about the 5 or 6th main story quest, despite logging in about 120 hours collectively. I've also been thinking of finishing my playthrough on Xbox for the achievements! 
 
I normally played 50% difficulty, but on those fucking gates you had to close i dropped it down to about 10% :) 

Posted by TheGreatGuero
@Tebbit said:
" @TheGreatGuero: "HALT, CRIMINAL SCUM!". Doesn't it just send shivers down your spine? "
Actually, it makes me want to stab a dude.
Posted by emkeighcameron
@ThatFrood said:
" I'm gonna say what I always say whenever anyone brings up Oblivion. It sucks. Play Morrowind. "
Posted by HistoryInRust
@cap123 said:
" yeah i've also played the game two times (once PC, once Xbox) and both times only got to about the 5 or 6th main story quest, despite logging in about 120 hours collectively. I've also been thinking of finishing my playthrough on Xbox for the achievements!   I normally played 50% difficulty, but on those fucking gates you had to close i dropped it down to about 10% :)  "
I hear this. The first gate at Kvatch wrecked my shit when I played through the game the first time.
Posted by ahoodedfigure

How does leveling work compared to Morrowind?  I noticed that I could keep leveling skills as long as I didn't sleep, so if I stuck to skills that weren't major or minor, I wouldn't have multiple levels to worry about.  But I guess it was never really a problem because the world didn't scale at all; I could punch some crabs to start but I needed to get strong in order to take out those Golden Pwners or whatever they're called.

Posted by zudthespud

the achievements are pretty easy to get, there aren't any wacky collectables or anything, if you complete all of the guilds and the main questline you get 1000.

Posted by risseless
@zudthespud: Yea, looks that way -- Assassin's Guild, Theives Guild, Fighters Guild, Mages Guild, arena and main story -- that should be it. Half of that will be all new for me, since I've only ever played as a low down sneaky scoundrel.