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RPGWatch Forums » Games » The Elder Scrolls » The Elder Scrolls I - IV » The Let's Rant and Rave About Oblivion Thread

Default The Let's Rant and Rave About Oblivion Thread

June 28th, 2007, 18:06
Sometimes devs manage to make something worse by improving it. Its quite a trick. Oblivions quests are a perfect example of that, IMO.

Go to the swamp; kill 20 Lizards, and bring me their hides" is typical but hardly as bad as some of the quests dreamed up by Bethesda. In their previous game, many of them were nothing more than a shopping trip, Go find this product at this store; buy it, and bring it to me. Honestly, how much would it take to improve on that?

Oblivion did, but(sigh).

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
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June 28th, 2007, 21:44
The mass hysteria of the review sites is a bit baffling. When was the last time a game with so many deep, design flaws was so universally fawned over by the press? I think most reasonable and mature gamers, whether they're pro-O or anti-O, acknowledge that there are several significant issues with the out-of-the-box game that warrant discussion and debate. But that's a far cry from the "I have found Jesus, and he is Oblivion!" foolishness that seemed to completely overcome almost all the main game sites.
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June 28th, 2007, 21:48
Originally Posted by chamr View Post
reasonable and mature gamers
Wait - there are reasonable and mature gamers?!?! Where?!?! Maybe I just can't hear them over all of the hysterical fanboys?

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June 29th, 2007, 02:03
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
Wait - there are reasonable and mature gamers?!?! Where?!?! Maybe I just can't hear them over all of the hysterical fanboys?
Yeah. You know… us RPGWatchers… um… and… well — you know!

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June 29th, 2007, 10:12
Definitely, we at the Watch are reasonable and mature- some like a fine wine, others more like mouldy cheese!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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June 29th, 2007, 11:52
He is obviously talking only about you Corwin.
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June 29th, 2007, 12:03
So is it only allowed to rave and rant about Oblivion or can one rave and rant about the Oblivion ravers and ranters as well?

If not then: "Naughty Oblivion, bad boy" *shaking fist in half hearted attempt at indignation*

If it is allowed then let me just say that I'm really glad that I'm not in the business of making games that you lot like. I mean, don't change the encounter difficulty and you get blamed for leaving the higher ups no challenge. Change the encounter difficulty and the level scaling haters get going (could the level scaling system have been better? Sure, but at least they tried to do something). Leave the quests as they were in Morrowind and you get blamed for only doing the fed-ex or "go there kill this" kind of quests. Put an effort into attempting different kind of quests and you get blamed for the same thing by what appears to be the same people. What gives? Did anyone actually complete quests like the Agatha Christie styled "invitation to murder" for the Assassin's Guild? Or how about the paranoid woodelf in Skingrad? Or the rescue/manhunt quest in Bravil?

I could go on but I guess there is no point. Oblivion is a game that many people love to hate if for no other reason then it at least provides an easy target that won't fight back … oh well at least I got my moneys worth out of the game, so I'm content.

"Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves." - Commander Vimes in Thud! by Terry Pratchett
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June 29th, 2007, 15:20
Originally Posted by fatBastard() View Post
I could go on but I guess there is no point.
Those were my exact thoughts while I was playing Oblivion. Then I followed the magic pointer to the land of Control Panel and undertook the Add or Remove Programs quest. Much like the average Oblivion quest it too only offered a couple of dialogue options and left me with absolutely nothing to show for it on completion.
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June 29th, 2007, 16:18
Originally Posted by MudsAnimalFriend View Post
Those were my exact thoughts while I was playing Oblivion. Then I followed the magic pointer to the land of Control Panel and undertook the Add or Remove Programs quest.
Ha good one

Originally Posted by MudsAnimalFriend View Post
Much like the average Oblivion quest it too only offered a couple of dialogue options and left me with absolutely nothing to show for it on completion.
Wait, a quest is only good if the loot/reputation-boost is worth it? Is that it?

In that case I can much better appreciate the ire vented at the quests in Oblivion. And here I thought the actual reason, plot, background, implementation and experience of SOLVING in a quest was what mattered, not what you got out of it in the end.

Sorry my mistake.

"Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves." - Commander Vimes in Thud! by Terry Pratchett
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July 2nd, 2007, 15:35
Originally Posted by fatBastard() View Post
Wait, a quest is only good if the loot/reputation-boost is worth it? Is that it?

In that case I can much better appreciate the ire vented at the quests in Oblivion. And here I thought the actual reason, plot, background, implementation and experience of SOLVING in a quest was what mattered, not what you got out of it in the end.
The process of solving something involves establishing a series of steps to arrive at a solution and implies the application of intellectual effort. This is of course fundamental to all good adventure games and present in the better class of RPG quest. However most of Oblivion's quests require all the intellectual fortitude of a severely retarded ant with alcohol abuse issues. Talk to NPC at point A, go to point B, kill everything that moves and return to point A neither constitutes an enthralling story nor a brainteaser. It's also nothing the player can't already do - outside the structure of a quest - in one of Oblivion's many identikit dungeons. Given Oblivion doesn't use experience points, and the levelling scaling would render them worthless anyway, then there has to sufficient item/monetary reward to make the quest worthwhile.

Originally Posted by fatBastard() View Post
Sorry my mistake.
I forgive you
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July 4th, 2007, 02:26
Well said.
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July 5th, 2007, 17:03
Originally Posted by MudsAnimalFriend View Post
The process of solving something involves establishing a series of steps to arrive at a solution and implies the application of intellectual effort. This is of course fundamental to all good adventure games and present in the better class of RPG quest. However most of Oblivion's quests require all the intellectual fortitude of a severely retarded ant with alcohol abuse issues. Talk to NPC at point A, go to point B, kill everything that moves and return to point A neither constitutes an enthralling story nor a brainteaser. It's also nothing the player can't already do - outside the structure of a quest - in one of Oblivion's many identikit dungeons. Given Oblivion doesn't use experience points, and the levelling scaling would render them worthless anyway, then there has to sufficient item/monetary reward to make the quest worthwhile.
Okay, fair enough. It seems that what we're looking for in quests isn't the same thing.

I don't mind exploration, but only as an added bonus to what I'm really doing there. In a huge sandbox like Oblivion I really need a reason to go somewhere, be it a desolate place or be it a densely populated area. It doesn't have to be a major incident or part of the main plot line for me to go there, but SOME kind of incentive is needed or I'll just look around, shrug and say to myself: "So? Where do I go from here?" while I'm exiting the game. A REASON to go somewhere is what the quests do for me, not the reward they eventually bring. The journey and the details of the quest can be a little story/subplot in itself and THAT is what makes a good quest in my opinion.

Besides, if you split a quest into its' basics then you'll find that every RPG, even gems like PS:Torment or Baldur's Gate makes use of the same Fed-Ex, lair cleaning, target assassination or "save my <insert item/person here>" type of quest recipe … so why would Oblivion be any different? It just seems that Oblivion is the only one being bashed for it …

"Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves." - Commander Vimes in Thud! by Terry Pratchett
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July 5th, 2007, 17:45
Originally Posted by fatBastard() View Post
It just seems that Oblivion is the only one being bashed for it …
Oblivion may not be the only one getting bashed; but it does get bashed the hardest, and you have to wonder why. There's obviously a lot to like about Oblivion. It got rave reviews; it has plenty of fans; it won all those awards. So why does it get bashed so hard and so much?

The World Wide Web has always had a certain kind of latent hostility. Even before the Web, the Internet had rules of etiquette that you couldn't violate without getting "flamed." Maybe one reason is simply the format we're using to discuss it.

And Oblivion is the perfect thing to argue about. It's a tremendous game and a huge success but also deeply flawed. Add to that all the arguably-false claims Bethesda made about it beforehand and everything they've said or didn't say after their customers bought it and found out about it for themselves.

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
Last edited by Squeek; July 5th, 2007 at 18:13.
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July 5th, 2007, 21:40
Originally Posted by Squeek View Post
It's a tremendous game and a huge success but also deeply flawed. Add to that all the arguably-false claims Bethesda made about it beforehand and everything they've said or didn't say after their customers bought it and found out about it for themselves.
That's pretty much the reason. Any game that's touted to be as revolutionary as Beth claimed it would be and is then subsequently slobbered all over by the press is natrually going to be held to a very high standard by critics and, when found lacking, will be bashed for it. It's not like O is just the cute "Little Engine That Could" and is only trying to make it over that big hill, so why is everyone so mean to it? It's been billed, by the company and the mainstream press alike, as the second coming of RPG's. In that context, I can see why folks find simplistic, unengaging quests based on a formulaic approach that's been around forever unacceptable.
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July 5th, 2007, 22:06
I also think the problem with the Oblivion quests is not the quests themselves, but how they are presented. Of course other RPGs have similar quests (fed-ex, save my husband/child/kitten, go and kill this person for me). but with the compass and the pop-ups I lose a big part of the suspension of disbelieve.

"Go and kill a foozle" is one thing, but: Go and kill a foozle, follow the arrow to the cave entrance and then *tada*, a pop-up saying "You have reached the cave, you should enter"… it insults my intelligence and disrupts the feeling that I'm part of the game-world rather then playing a game.

Now, I reinstalled Oblivion and I find it a great game for when I want to run around and kill things. For when I don't want to be my party-member's shrink, don't want tohave to worry about what Bastilla/Jaheira/Elanee will think of my choices and so on.

It's like a sandbox fantasy-FPS that lets me pretend I'm RPing without having to worry about the consequences of what I do further on in the game. It fills a nice niche for me, and even though I hated it at first, and still dislike parts of it (all the blood, gore and corpses, the whole Dark Brotherhood) it is enjoyable as long as I don't expect too much from it.

And that's where the problem lies of course: if it hadn't been hailed as the new future of RPGs, the best thing since sliced bread, and so on… it would have been enjoyable for what it is.
I think I object mostly to the fact that it has a label it doesn't deserve, and the fact that for me it doesn't compare to Morrowind, which I still play and will always love.
My problem is that Oblivion wasn't the game I wanted it to be, and is not the game it is made out to be. But once I learned to ignore that: it's a pretty fun time-killer.
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July 24th, 2007, 18:06
Oblivion has it's flaws yes, but so does any other great game.

Morrowind was a bigger and better game than Oblivion is. It had low points, as all games do, but we tend to look past those low points and see the game for what it is. Despite a considerably slow player speed with wacky animations, and what we now consider bad graphics, it was always a good game. But we must take into account that when MW was released, these kind of animations and graphics were very advanced. Same with OB.

OB made great leaps with it's graphics and stuff, but it was not a "huge" as MW. I rather liked the vast, unexplored tribal lands as opposed to the "wilderness presented in OB.

But that's why I mod OB and not play it. I wanted more gameplay out of it, and I had to do that myself.
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July 26th, 2007, 04:37
As much as I love ranting oblivion, there is just something which keeps dragging me back in the game. Not to mention the wonderfull mod scene., I've started playing oblivion again with all these great mods installed..(Not that I didn't use some before, but now i decided to make oblivion a whole different game.) For example I downloaded OOO. Its maybe the best thing ever happened to oblivion. It really makes the oblivion feel more like a rpg and if you add some mw gameplay mods plus few others in the mix, you'll get dozens times better game.

The most annoying things for me in vanilla oblovion are the level scaling, unbalanced skills, meaningless guilds and too many hack and slash quests with no real consequences,. Its just so sad, so much wasted potential. it just doesn't stop astonishing me, how benth couldn't comprehend how broken the whole level scaling was when they released the game. Aren't those guys supposed to be professional devs? Don't they play their own games at all?
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July 26th, 2007, 17:32
Originally Posted by Dez View Post
Don't they play their own games at all?
I guess they do - either in "God-mode" or they do know their games so well they don't perceive anymore how a newbie to the game would actually see it.

A similar thing happened to the RTS game Z (by the Bitmap Brothers), which was increadibly hard it didn't sell as much as it could have. Wasted potential.

The reason I remember from an interview was that the devs knew the game so well they could play it easily at the highest difficulty level - forgetting how it was and might've been to a newbie.

To me, the second Z game had a similar fate.
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July 26th, 2007, 19:21
I played through Z and Z 2 without problems. I think it is the difficulty range of Incubation, Jagged Alliance 2, Gorky 17 - approximately 1000x times harder than Oblivion.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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July 26th, 2007, 19:51
Lol..they are definitely harder than Oblivion.
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