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Oblivion: Character Build Advice

Discussion in 'The Elder Scrolls 1-4' started by Death Rabbit, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Whuddup.

    So I'm starting over in Oblivion. A while back I created a Wood Elf ranger-type character who was very fun for a while, but now that I'm around level 14 or so, things seem to be slowing down a bit. I can't seem to win any fights anymore, despite having decent equipment. I'm disappointed that my sniping doesn't do more damage, and I don't know if I built the character properly. So since it's been about 6 months since I last played, I don't really mind starting over.

    This time, I'm thinking of playing as a Breton, also with a Ranger/Rogue-type character (because sneak attacking is just too much fun). I've decided not to emphasize in Sneak, since it's so easy to improve your sneak score. My skills will likely be: Blade, Block, Marksman, Heavy Armor*, Alchemy, Restoration, Illusion. (* I read somewhere that heavy armor doesn't effect your stealth, only your boot weight. However, light armor seems far more appropriate for this character).

    As for stat emphasis - I'm thinking of going with Luck (for, um...luck) and Endurance (for the boost in hit points), but encumbrance is ALWAYS a big problem for me, which I hate. Maybe kicking up the strength is the way to solve this, I don't know. I'm also not sure which sign to pick, though the Atronoch does look interesting (but it counts on my letting myself get hit with spells to recharge mana - ick).

    My playstyle: I LOVE to sneak, snipe and backstab. I don't use much magic (aside from my near-constant use Restoration spells for healing), though I would like to start using Illusion to improve my stealth. I also love the Alchemy feature. I'm usually a good-aligned character, so I won't do much stealing from good people. I do all the quests I can and like to play strategically, not rushing in sword swinging.

    Any tips would be great, to build the ultimate character for my style. I want to have one good, solid play through to beat the game and move on. Thanks.

    OH - I don't have any expansions or DLC installed, but I'm open to them if they add significantly to the game. Any thoughts here too?
     
  2. Taza

    Taza Weird Modmaker Veteran

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    Try a bag of holding DLC and a levelling mod. Or retroactive health.
     
  3. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Shivering Isles is pretty neat, I love Sheogorath for his sillyness and to take a trip to his realm is quite an interesting experience. The DLCs are nice but not a must have, though if you're thinking of getting SI, I'd try to find a GotY edition, which has both the DLCs and SI and is quite cheap as well.

    As for the character, the way you play certainly has an influence on how easy the game is. Because everything is leveled, i.e. based on your character level, if you progress through your levels quickly by only raising your major skills and not maximising your stat increases (getting +5 for at least 2 stats per level up if you want to raise luck, or +5 for 3 stats if you don't), you'll notice that fights get tougher as you go up. If you do manage your skills for maximum efficiency on level ups, the game difficulty is roughly the same across the board.

    I'd get a mod that fixes the leveled creatures and leveled items lists, like Francesco's leveled creatures and items mod. It'll make it so that you may have to run away from some fights at low levels, but you'll actually feel like you've accomplished something at higher levels (plus you won't have to wail for so long on opponents with way too many hitpoints).

    If you're not going to bother with a mod like Francesco's, you'll want to have more controlled level ups or you'll run into the same problem as you had on your earlier play through: your opponents will become stronger more quickly than you will. In that case, you may want to rethink your major skill choices. Your suggested major skill list almost completely consists of skills you think you want to use often (with the possible exception of Heavy Armor, perhaps), which means you'll level up quickly without maximising your stat increases first.

    In vanilla Oblivion (i.e., not modded), the strongest character you can have is a level 1 character with his/her main combat skills at 100. The monsters will be weak, but through your high skill levels you'll be doing a lot of damage. So if you'll be playing vanilla Oblivion and don't want to do controlled level ups but don't want to be relatively weak later on in the game either, make all the skills you want to use minor skills.

    I think Breton is a pretty good choice for a race - the resist magicka and increased magicka are a real boon. I'd not go for the Atronarch sign, though. While it was great in Morrowind, Oblivion has continuously regenerating magicka, which makes the Atronarch not nearly so attractive. My personal favorite is the Mage sign, which gives a bonus to your magicka without any downsides. And even though you might not be too big on magic, some of the higher level spells practically require that you have a higher magicka level than just the base level (without the Breton or birthsign bonuses).

    Illusion is a good back up for a sneaky character, but unless you have a really high chameleon level, even for characters with high sneak skill levels, you'll usually be found out after you fire your first arrow (for non-undead opponents, anyway). Therefore, I'd suggest using summoned creatures to keep opponents off your back (for the best summon spells you'll need a serious amount of magicka, so this is where you'll really need those bonuses to your magicka). This way, you can keep pelting them from afar.

    On that note, use light armour. If you want to turn your opponents into pincushions, you'll need to run around a lot, and heavy armour will reduce your movement speed (unless you've got heavy armour at master level).
     
  4. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    I'm playing a Breton atm, and it's an excellent class for magic, and for building a tank as well. Choosing the Mage sign is also good if you are going to use magic; if you want to build a tank as well as magic, then consider the lady, since she will add a bunch to your endurance and will power. My character is a spellsword, but you may want to consider the Night Blade.

    As Henkie points out, when leveling, gaining all +5s is the key to winning battles at the medium levels, like 12 -25. After level 25 your character should be strong enough for just about any fight. Also, finishing the 5 recommendations for the mages guild will give you access to the college, where you can enchant items. Big fiery swords and axes make life a lot easier in combat. You can also enchant items at Frostcrag Spire if you have the plug-in.

    Also, consider taking a side-kick, since one can make combat a little easier, but they tend to suck up some XP points at times (and you can always command them to "stand guard," or "stand by," if they get to be too much). In my recent screen shots, I posted some of my favs, which have different skills, such as magic or opening locks and locked gates. Feria is deadly with magic and Eva, the witch hunter, is an excellent tank. The best part is that they can carry loads of loot, and you don't have to worry about being over-encumbered by treasure or items. These mods are time consuming to install and I save them on a backup device with all the textures and meshes and then I just dump them into the basic game installation to save time. But starting from scratch with some of the mods can be a real pain. Begin with the CM partners pack and then add the mods which look interesting to you. If you run into problems installing them I will be glad to help. I have aout 30 different side-kicks installed and running in my current game.

    http://www.sorcerers.net/forums/album.php?albumid=153
     
  5. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    No idea how to do this. Can you explain please?
     
  6. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    It's done by building your minor skills. For example, if you want to build strength and your major skill for that is blade, concentrate on blunt or hand-to-hand. You will need 10 points in any of those skills to get a +5 bump in strength when leveling up.
     
  7. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    So if I want to use Blade a lot, I should NOT choose it as one of my main skills?
     
  8. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    You can choose it, but don't use it for leveling up. If it is a major skill, it will be high at the start, so it will take more use to gain in points. If blunt is a minor skill it will be low, so you can gain more points in strength a lot faster in the beginning, since it will take much less use to gain the same amount of points as it would if you are using your blade skill.
     
  9. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    :confused: I guess I just don't understand how the point system works. What you just said should make sense, but it's totally confusing to me, to be honest.

    So let's see if I understand - if during a given level, I advance 2 times in a strength-based skill (like Blade), come level up, I'll only be able to add 2 points to my strength; but if in addition to the 2 Blade points, I also add 2 Blunts and 1 hand-to-hand, I'll be able to increase Strength by 5 points? And furthermore - I will be able to advance much more quickly in Blade, if I choose it as a major skill? And having said that - wouldn't I want to just focus on Blade exclusively, since it'll be a quicker ticket to maxing that stat at level up?

    :confused: Bear in mind I've had 3 crackers and NO coffee all day, so my brain may just be striking...
     
  10. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    You almost have it. :) If you advance 2 points using Blade (as a major skill) to level up, then you will need any combination of hand-to-hand or blunt of 8 points to gain +5 in strength. But if blade is a major skill it will require MORE use to gain the same amount of points, since the higher the amount of points, the more use it requires to get the same amount of bump in skill. Minor skills always have a less amount of points than major skills when starting out.
     
  11. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    So a point of advancement is only worth 1/2 a point in the attribute?
     
  12. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Yes. But for some odd reason, two to FOUR points only result in a +2 bump. That part confused me a lot at first.
     
  13. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Too complicated! I don't like it! Supposed to be a game! I don't wanna think! Citizen's arrest!

    (it's a time's like these I wish we had a Public Enemy / Fight the Power smiley - this'll have to do :cool: )
     
  14. Bluerose Gems: 4/31
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    You might want to check the uesp on Oblivion:Leveling, as they have explained it quite well.

    If you just want to play, and level up, without managing skills in this way, you can do what I did: changing it so that you always get a x5 modifier on your attributes as long as you gain at least one corresponding skill rank.

    1. Open the construction set.
    2. Load Oblivion.esm
    3. Go to Gameplay -> Settings and look for iLevelUp01Mult in the list. Set that to 5. Do the same for the other iLevelUpXXMult.
    4. Save your plugin and select it when you start the game.

    You could also download any mod which changes leveling, but when I stated looking for one that would suit me, I suddenly got very tired and decided to fix it this way instead ;).
     
  15. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Well, it's up to you. But you don't really need a cheat, since once you start managing your skills the game gets more interesting, I think. The fact remains, you are going to want to raise some of those minor skills anyway. For instance, if you play a Breton and you are under the sign of the Lady, you will want to raise your mysticism and conjuration skills (minor skills) so you can cast expert level spells: conjure meaner and nastier critters. By raising those skills, you will gain intelligence very quickly to add to your high level of inate will power, (since you are a Breton). Your magika will recover faster AND you can cast high-level spells. Some spells will be governed by will power (restoration, alteration and destruction, while other will be governed by intelligence, (like conjuration and mysticism).

    Look at this one as well for efficient leveling:

    http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Oblivion:Efficient_Leveling
     
  16. martaug Gems: 23/31
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    The first time you try to undertsnad the level+skills = 2-5 in oblivion it will make you wis for a large bottle of vodka.
    Like chandos said, it sorta makes sense, in a kinda sideways manner.

    Does it use the same type of variables as to how much each action(in relation to the skill) as morrowind? like each action(take walking or jumping) earns a different amount of exp when it is a minor, major, a class skill(for which you have a bonus to start) or a misc. skill?
     
  17. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    It's mostly like it was in Morrowind. Major skills level up faster, as do skills that correspond to your specialisation (stealth, magic or combat). It's described in much more detail than I could hope to give on the UESP.
     
  18. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    So then is it better to "specialize" in skills that you will use, but are harder to level up? For example - sneak is a piece of cake to level up, but I always struggle with magic skills, like restoration (even though I cast minor heal all the time). So should I skip sneak, even though I'm playing a sneaky sniping/backstabbing character who relies on both melee and magic as secondary tactics?
     
  19. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    There's something to be said for each specialisation, though I would rate the magic specialisation as least useful. Why? Because specialisation helps level up skills, and magic skills are quite easy to level up - just weigh down the cast button and go read a book, do the dishes, whatever, until you've leveled them up enough.

    Coming back to choosing a specialisation, there are a few skills that are more difficult to level up than others in my experience. I find mercantile, speechcraft, athletics and the weapon skills the most difficult to raise.
    Mercantile requires you to sell or buy loads of stuff, which is a pain in trekking back and forth.
    Speechcraft is actually pretty easy to increase but also very tedious, as you need to do the speech pie thing many, many, many times.
    Athletics is also pretty easy to increase, but just takes way too long, unless you don't mind leaving the computer on overnight for a few points increase.
    The weapon skills are also a bother to increase, because it requires active participation on your part. Find some victims, hit them for a while, try not to die in the process. Quite time consuming all in all.

    Magic skills on the other hand increase quite quickly and can be done on your own, without the need to find someone to practice upon. This is provided that your magicka regenerates quickly enough, though.

    If I remember correctly, magicka regen rate depends on your willpower - higher willpower leads to quicker regeneration - but it is also depended on your maximum magicka level, as your willpower regenerates your magicka to full in a certain amount of time, regardless of how much magicka you have. Therefore, if you have a higher maximum magicka (through higher intelligence and/or racial / birthsign bonuses), you will regenerate more magicka per second than someone with a lower maximum magicka but the same willpower.

    To help with this, it helps if you have the Frostcrag Spire DLC installed or have access to the Arcane University, so you can create spells that don't cost much magicka, like a healing spell for 1 pt and a duration of 1 sec. Create spell, weigh down cast button (it must be a Cast on Self spell) and wait for your skills to increase.

    Keeping all this in mind, I usually go for combat specialisation, as I don't really need mercantile and can increase my personality solely by training illusion and speechcraft. Even if you want to play a sneaky character, I'd choose combat specialisation, because your marksman skill will increase naturally, but you may need some help with the blade or blunt skills if you want to increase your strength along the way.
     
  20. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Ok, that's very helpful. Thank you.

    New question: I just read taht there's a trick (bug?) where you can get the x6 damage multiplier from a bow sniper shot (normally x3) by firing a shot from sneak and then quickly switching to a melee weapon while the arrow is in flight. When the shot hits, it factors your melee weapon instead of the bow. While this sounds good, do you know if it will still give you points in Marksmen, or your melee weapon?
     
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