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-   -   ES4: Knights of the Nine - Review @ GamerDad (https://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1238)

txa1265 January 30th, 2007 20:21

ES4: Knights of the Nine - Review @ GamerDad
In their longest review in nearly a year, GamerDad details all of the modules making up the retail package for the Knights of the Nine content pack. The final score is a below average 3/5, with criticisms similar to the following:

Mehrune's Razor: Now *this* is a quest! A huge dungeon full of atmosphere and interesting areas and loads of enemies. Unfortunately it is also littered with every other problem that plagues Oblivion - scaled enemies, scaled drops and scaled chests. It is a sort of cognitive dissonance - you are working your way through a nicely designed and atmospheric dungeon that is mostly empty and contains a bunch of enemies that are easily defeated. All of this for a single excellent weapon and a decent armor set that you will probably just sell since you already have something better. I was very disappointed with this module - such a great dungeon full of possibilities left unrealized in a sea of scaled blandness. Had it presented an actual challenge and more than a minor reward it would have been worth purchasing by itself.
More information.

araczynski January 30th, 2007 20:21

i think the kids/wife have been taking up too much of gamerdad's time, as he sounds rather unhappy in that review :)

or maybe he's like me and gets to play games in his unheated basement very late at night when its 5 degrees outside :( that might have an impact on the grading ;)

txa1265 January 30th, 2007 23:27

I actually had a better time than I expected on that run-through, but I *was* disappointed with every single add-on I tested. Some were disappointing because they were of pretty much no value, while others were very limited and didn't deserve to be $2-3 each. But the most disappointing were the Mehrunes Razor and Knights of the Nine *because* the quests and/or dungeons were so well done that you could see the (unrealized) potential *RIGHT THERE*!

It is funny that on the Codex they are debating that the score should have been lower … I toyed with thoughts supporting both sides, but have decided to use 'full stars' as much as possible - so this had to be 2, 3 or 4. It was better than a 2 and no way earned a 4. So there it is ;)

curious January 31st, 2007 01:14

nice review mike. i personally find the 5 star ratings more accurate than the percentage ones, but its humourous that when we see a 3 out of 5 game it is meant to be 'decent' game but if that were a grade in school it would be failing:)

Corwin January 31st, 2007 01:23

How can 3/5, 60% be a fail?

txa1265 January 31st, 2007 02:57


Originally Posted by Corwin (Post 17543)
How can 3/5, 60% be a fail?

Well, in the US:
90 - 100 is superlative
80-89 is very good
70-79 is average
65-69 is below average
less than 65 is failing.

And since I'm a optical engineer / physicist and also a statistician, I had a hard time letting go of my inherently structured and overly-detailed analysis of games.

Maylander January 31st, 2007 03:02

60% isn't a fail, but 2/5 = 40% is in a lot of cases. Grades are not divided by number of grades, but depends on the exam/subject. Often, you need 40%+ just to pass an exam, and might get a scale like this:
1-40% = F
40-55% = E
55-70% = D
70-85% = C
85-95% = B
95-100% = A

Sometimes the A is bigger, depends a lot on exam/subject/country/system etc, but I have yet to see a system where grades were evenly divided. There is no common standard for this, however, so you might see quite a few different systems. A grade doesn't really say a lot unless you know what kind of system the grade comes from (example: A lot of reviewers work on a 70-100% scale, where they never give lower than 70%).

Nice review, you make a lot of good points. I personally feel a lot of the extra modules should've been free, considering they already had great strongholds in Morrowind. The add-on is worthy of being an add-on though, but the game mechanics aren't changed so the flaws are still there.

Edit: Various typos and content changes.

Acleacius January 31st, 2007 05:29

Execellent review txa1265 and I applaude and salute your abiltiy to endure without any mods. :cheers:! :)

Corwin January 31st, 2007 09:12

To me, 50% always equals a C=Pass!! Must just be the Aussie school system, though I vaguely recall it being the same back in Canada where I grew up and went to school myself!! Times must have changed and left me behind as usual!! :)

curious January 31st, 2007 10:00

and i thought the rest of the world had better students, now i see why;)

ToddMcF2002 January 31st, 2007 14:09

So you knew the leveling was going to annoy and you went ahead and played it stock anyway right? I view this as a lost opportunity to educate peeps about a leveling mod in your review.

txa1265 January 31st, 2007 16:52


Originally Posted by ToddMcF2002 (Post 17632)
So you knew the leveling was going to annoy and you went ahead and played it stock anyway right? I view this as a lost opportunity to educate peeps about a leveling mod in your review.

I obviously knew the global scaling from my initial review, but that is also how I had played the game back then. I really had no more than passing familiarity with the mod scene, and so I wasn't in a position to assess the impact of the mods on the game without significant playtime in-game. Instead I chose to evaluate the full add-on *as is*, for the following reasons:
- First and foremost I really wanted to see if Bethesda had taken the opportunity to do something about scaling within the context of these new areas - I wanted to give each a fair shake to perform on their own.
- I have done an overview of mods in general in the past, and doing something to make Oblivion a better experience would merit an independent article about modding that game - I didn't want to confound the experiences, and wasn't really interested in another 100+ hours to properly assess both.

Lethal Weapon January 31st, 2007 17:32

I didn't even bother to download the torrent. Same fate awaits the upcoming expansion. Browsing some fora the other day I came across many posts of young players asking how it would be possible to trade their Oblivion copies with Lego Starwars, as the latter is clearly better and they not intend to finish Oblivion anyway. That says a lot about Beth's target audience.

txa1265 January 31st, 2007 18:37


Originally Posted by Lethal Weapon (Post 17652)
young players asking how it would be possible to trade their Oblivion copies with Lego Starwars,

Well, LEGO Star Wars is *freakin' awesome* … it got GamerDad's GOTY for its' age group

Dez January 31st, 2007 21:21

A pleasant reading as always. And most folks already know about the mod-scene, so no point bringing it up this time. In addition games should be able to stand on their own. If devs are too lazy and do not want to fix obvious gameplay issues by all means let it be seen in the score! Its obvious that there are huge shortcomings in the leveling system, so just nail it on the wall! :biggrin:

Lucky Day February 1st, 2007 03:54

In Canada for me it was
E =00-49%
D =50-59%
C- =60-64%
C =65-70%
C+ =61-75%
B =76-85%
A =86-100%
A+ =>100%

When I came to the US I was weirded out
F =0-49%
E? =50-59%? (never got one)
D =60?-69%
C =70-79% GPA 2.00
B =80-89% GPA 3.00
A =90-100% GPA 4.00

The assignments I noticed were a lot easier and the scores were given out more liberally but then I discovered the grading system only after the first semester. So let's say I was little disappointed.

currently at my new University I got a B- but disocvered it ultimately meant a 2.70 GPA. So I thought I really got a C and they were being nice. It turns out I had 80% which means I earned it but they gave me the same GPA as a C student at the community college. Blah.

oh..before I forget that looks to be a perfect review.

Lethal Weapon February 4th, 2007 22:36

The problem with Oblivion is not just the scaling. Level scaling is not that bad if done right, see Diablo (of course no scaling is better). Its also the spawn points, the linear quests, the generic NPCs, the repetitive environments, the clickfesting combat, the poor artistic style…

txa1265 February 4th, 2007 23:04

Some of Oblivion's art style is gorgeous - like the ever-cited 'Painting' quest, and the environs of the KotN quests are very nice … it is really mostly about the global scaling in this case, in my opinion.

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