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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » ES4: Oblivion - Defining A Generation

Default ES4: Oblivion - Defining A Generation

July 23rd, 2013, 01:11
Continuing from my previous post,

The more you play games, the more obvious their design becomes. A kid playing Skyrim thinks he's fighting a *monster* in the game. I think I'm playing against a piece of code, which follows certain very predictable patterns that I have seen in countless of other games.

Generally speaking, I get most immersed into games that introduce a new kind of gaming experience. A new game mechanic can hide the predictability of patterns, thus helping immersion.

Oblivion, with it's marriage of free-roaming, open-world RPG combined with a lot of FPS-style mechanic, was that kind of game. (In its modded version).

For the same reason I loved Mass Effect and Witcher. Both introduced new approach to gameplay. And I didn't finish the sequel to either game, despite their quality. I was just too familiar with the game mechanic. The open world approach to Witcher 3 hopefully will freshen things up enough for me.

This is also the reason why I'm going to have my full play-through of Skyrim in extreme realism mode. A new kind of gaming experience, when compared to Oblivion.
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July 23rd, 2013, 01:14
Originally Posted by tuukka View Post
once you add a Xmod and a Y mod
The need to add ANY mod indicates that the game is fundamentally flawed. Level scaling is an IMMENSE design flaw that made the game a joke in many, many ways. The Oblivion gates were terrible after the first one, and the world was largely boring and repetitive.

If you need mods to compare Oblivion to the dozens of better RPGs … you already have your answer.

… yet I am not saying it was terrible. It is just not an upper tier game. It had some really cool moments - entering the painting was just a great idea well executed. But way too much else was crap filler.

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July 23rd, 2013, 01:27
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
The need to add ANY mod indicates that the game is fundamentally flawed. Level scaling is an IMMENSE design flaw that made the game a joke in many, many ways. The Oblivion gates were terrible after the first one, and the world was largely boring and repetitive.

If you need mods to compare Oblivion to the dozens of better RPGs … you already have your answer.

… yet I am not saying it was terrible. It is just not an upper tier game. It had some really cool moments - entering the painting was just a great idea well executed. But way too much else was crap filler.
The thing is, *I didn't have that problem in the game*. I didn't have any noticeable level scaling. I'm sure there was still some scaling for game balancing reasons, but like said, it was invisible.

Apparently you played an inferior version of the game. Which is your loss, and you could have chosen differently.

The game I played was amazing.
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July 23rd, 2013, 01:32
Then praise the modders, not the developers who had little concept of game design. Anything that "defines a generation" shouldn't come with a disclaimer.
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July 23rd, 2013, 01:34
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
Then praise the modders, not the developers who had little concept of game design. Anything that "defines a generation" shouldn't come with a disclaimer.
I didn't say that Oblivion "defines a generation", so your argument is moot.

I praise Bethesda for creating the game and the modding tools, and the community for using those tools to improve the game. Everyone involved gets praised, and I get a great game.
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July 23rd, 2013, 01:40
Originally Posted by tuukka View Post
The thing is, *I didn't have that problem in the game*. I didn't have any noticeable level scaling. I'm sure there was still some scaling for game balancing reasons, but like said, it was invisible.
I have no idea how you could have missed it, particularly since it was one of the most written about things for the game. Can I assume you played the console version and hadn't played too many other games, particularly things like the Gothic series? Expectations and experience would definitely have factored into the play experience.

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July 23rd, 2013, 01:51
Well if you never leveled up much, it would be easy to miss…
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July 23rd, 2013, 01:56
I have mixed feelings about the usage of mods to color one's opinion of a game. You have to judge the game on it's own content. While the modding capability is greatly appreciated, praising a game which doesn't look or play the same anymore is rather unusual to me.

Imagine if I was sold a substandard burger from Macdonald's. Then I proceeded to replace the limp green leaves of an unknown origin with crunchy lettuce, refried the raw meat patty, added my own condiments and finally toasted the burger in an oven. If the burger I ate at that point was vastly superior and enjoyable, I'm not going to credit Macdonald's for being wonderful at burgers.
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July 23rd, 2013, 02:33
Praise RPG watch, where every game is better then a Bethesda game, yes even those ones everyone else pans.

Provide modding tools? You're a lazy dev.

I played gothic 3(released after oblivion) as many of you have…was the vanilla game better then oblivion? Um no. With fan patches it got better, but lets try and keep the playing field level shall we?

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July 23rd, 2013, 03:21
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
I have no idea how you could have missed it, particularly since it was one of the most written about things for the game. Can I assume you played the console version and hadn't played too many other games, particularly things like the Gothic series? Expectations and experience would definitely have factored into the play experience.
I just said in my previous post, which you quoted, that I had modded the game. I took out the level scaling, which by my own admittance was the biggest flaw in the vanilla version.

No, I've never been a console player. Yes, I have played the Gothic games. No, your assumptions don't seem very logical.
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July 23rd, 2013, 03:23
Me != reading comprehension

Originally Posted by tuukka View Post
Uh.
Pretty much sums it up.

Originally Posted by tuukka View Post
No, your assumptions don't seem very logical.
And then some! haha! Thanks.

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July 23rd, 2013, 03:41
Originally Posted by Dr. A View Post
I have mixed feelings about the usage of mods to color one's opinion of a game. You have to judge the game on it's own content. While the modding capability is greatly appreciated, praising a game which doesn't look or play the same anymore is rather unusual to me.

Imagine if I was sold a substandard burger from Macdonald's. Then I proceeded to replace the limp green leaves of an unknown origin with crunchy lettuce, refried the raw meat patty, added my own condiments and finally toasted the burger in an oven. If the burger I ate at that point was vastly superior and enjoyable, I'm not going to credit Macdonald's for being wonderful at burgers.
Except in this case, the extra ingredients, the crunchy lettuce, and condiments were provided by MacDonald's (Meaning the modding tools).

The re-frying of the raw meat patty and the final toasting in the oven was done inside MacDonald's, by free workers who just enjoy doing such thing, and who are supported by MacDonald's (Meaning the modders, who's work you can get on your computer with a push of a button, and who's community has always been supported by Bethesda).

I think that kind of service at MacDonald's would be pretty awesome, actually. It would definitely improve my opinion of them.

Regardless, with Oblivion, *I* didn't have to do any extra work, I didn't have to pay for anything extra.

When I talk about the games I play, I talk about the games I play. I played this game. I'm an CRPG fan with 25 years of gaming behind me. I take great pleasure from playing great games.

Why shouldn't I talk about it, and praise the great games I've played?

Anyway, I think the best comparison to this is not MacDonald's, but Nethack. It was originally release in 1987. During the following 16 years, the game was patched many, many times. Each version improved the game. When I talk about Nethack, I talk about version 3.4.3, which was released in 2003. It's the last official version. I don't talk about the original 1987 release, which is vastly inferior.

Saying that one should only talk about Vanilla Oblivion is like saying that one should only talk about Nethack 1.3.
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July 23rd, 2013, 03:55
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
Praise RPG watch, where every game is better then a Bethesda game, yes even those ones everyone else pans.

Provide modding tools? You're a lazy dev.

I played gothic 3(released after oblivion) as many of you have…was the vanilla game better then oblivion? Um no. With fan patches it got better, but lets try and keep the playing field level shall we?
Except Gothic 3 was harshly criticized. Even by fans. And justly so. Reviews reflected the shortcomings of Gothic 3 but Bethesda gets a free pass. That's what I object to.
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July 23rd, 2013, 04:00
Originally Posted by tuukka View Post
Except in this case, the extra ingredients, the crunchy lettuce, and condiments were provided by MacDonald's (Meaning the modding tools).

The re-frying of the raw meat patty and the final toasting in the oven was done inside MacDonald's, by free workers who just enjoy doing such thing, and who are supported by MacDonald's (Meaning the modders, who's work you can get on your computer with a push of a button, and who's community has always been supported by Bethesda).

I think that kind of service at MacDonald's would be pretty awesome, actually. It would definitely improve my opinion of them.

Regardless, with Oblivion, *I* didn't have to do any extra work, I didn't have to pay for anything extra.

When I talk about the games I play, I talk about the games I play. I played this game. I'm an CRPG fan with 25 years of gaming behind me. I take great pleasure from playing great games.

Why shouldn't I talk about it, and praise the great games I've played?

Anyway, I think the best comparison to this is not MacDonald's, but Nethack. It was originally release in 1987. During the following 16 years, the game was patched many, many times. Each version improved the game. When I talk about Nethack, I talk about version 3.4.3, which was released in 2003. It's the last official version. I don't talk about the original 1987 release, which is vastly inferior.

Saying that one should only talk about Vanilla Oblivion is like saying that one should only talk about Nethack 1.3.
The MacDonald's analogy would imply that they never finish their products and expect their customers to finish it for them but will still sell at premium prices

But in the end, tuukka, I'm glad you had a great Oblivion experience. I was just explaining my point of view and experience and would not force that on anyone who enjoys the game.

Now let's please stop with the food metaphors (which I know I started), I'm starting to get hungry!
Last edited by Dr. A; July 23rd, 2013 at 04:00. Reason: Apologies for double-posting
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July 23rd, 2013, 05:09
Originally Posted by tuukka View Post
The graphic/gameplay aspect made it a lot more immersive, than for example any of the Ultimas. Or Morrowind. Or any of the Gothics.
Everone's entitled to their opinion of course, but the majority of people I know who have actually played all of those games would disagree.

I've yet to play Oblivion with mods, but I found the vanilla version to be vastly inferior to any of the games you mentioned.
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July 23rd, 2013, 05:12
Originally Posted by Dr. A View Post
The MacDonald's analogy would imply that they never finish their products and expect their customers to finish it for them but will still sell at premium prices
Well, not really.

In this analogy the great majority of people who bought the hamburger, greatly enjoyed it. But some customers wanted something more: High cuisine. So MacDonald's provided exactly that: A Michelin-level 3-star hamburger with the exact ingredients you want. For the same prize.

You are describing amazing customer service, which delivers the best hamburgers in the world, for those who want them.

Originally Posted by Dr. A View Post
Except Gothic 3 was harshly criticized. Even by fans. And justly so. Reviews reflected the shortcomings of Gothic 3 but Bethesda gets a free pass. That's what I object to.
Gothic 3 was *broken beyond belief* on release. For most people, they couldn't even properly play it. I couldn't. Of course it was more harshly criticized. The emphasis on reviews was that it would be a very good game, if you could actually play it.

Just imagine what Gothic 3 could have been, if there would have been proper modding tools with a proper modding community. But Piranha Bytes never wanted to support modders.
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July 23rd, 2013, 05:15
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Everone's entitled to their opinion of course, but the majority of people I know who have actually played all of those games would disagree.

I've yet to play Oblivion with mods, but I found the vanilla version to be vastly inferior to any of the games you mentioned.
Yeah, and you're ignoring the fact that I'm talking about the modded version. Which you haven't played. I have, along with all the other games mentioned.

Regardless, like I explained, it's about the gameplay mechanic. Ultimas essentially have RPG figures on a complex gameboard. Morrowind and Gothic's lack the kind of virtual reality interactivity with the environment, that Oblivion has. And Gothic's are 3rd person.

It's the virtual reality aspect that makes the gameplay of Oblivion more immersive to me.
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July 23rd, 2013, 05:31
Well at least now you're claiming that it was more immersive "to you". Your original comment made it sound like you were trying to make factual statements. It also sounded like you were talking about Oblivion in general and not just a heavily modded version.
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July 23rd, 2013, 05:35
I find it hilarious when someone tries to make a opinion of games factual. How the hell is that even possible?

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July 23rd, 2013, 09:30
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
No, I don't think so. GTA is very shallow when it comes to exploration and the actual mechanics of combat, AI, and so on.
.. What? Have you ever played San Andreas? There's nothing about the auto generated exploration and generic AI in Oblivion that trumps San Andreas. There are actually unique locations there, and while the police may be morons, they're not omnipresent like the ridiculous guards of Oblivion. Those guards are among the worst examples of AI I've ever seen. It's horrible.

Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
Praise RPG watch, where every game is better then a Bethesda game, yes even those ones everyone else pans.
Nonsense, both Morrowind and Skyrim are considered extremely good by many on the Watch. Oblivion just happened to be a one off which sucked compared to both its predecessor and successor. It had nothing going for it except graphics - even the high quality voice overs were more frustrating than anything else because they kept breaking halfway through a conversation.
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