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TES Marathon

Discussion in 'The Elder Scrolls 1-4' started by Ziad, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    That sucks Joacqin :bad: The only thing I can say is "keep a finger on F5".
     
  2. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    Vvardenfell is pretty much done. I'm sure I've missed a few obscure quests, and I haven't even come close to exploring the entire wildnerness, let alone every single dungeon, cavern or ruins, but at this point I consider myself done. I've become head of every faction I joined, except for the Cult and the Temple; for the former I need one more skill increase in Speechcraft to get the promotion, for the latter I'm still two promotions away, and as such unable to get the final quest from the Archcanon. I'm also unsure whether I want to take on some of the "extra" quests, such as Trebonius asking me to kill the Telvanni councillors; while I won't mourn most of them, I liked Aryon and don't look forward to killing him. Everything else, including the main line, is done.

    The last stages of the MQ were interesting. The area inside the Ghostfence is pretty atmospheric with the red sky, constant ash storms, blighted and ash creatures everywhere, even the geography itself conspires to make life more difficult. The raids on the Citadels of the Sixth House were laughably easy, as they're all incredibly tiny. In some cases the real challenge was in getting to them, though Levitation made that easier. I had already taken care of three of the Citadels (one was even part of the MQ much earlier), which left only one of the optional ones as well as retrieving Keening and Sunder. Sunder instantly became my favourite weapon, as its enchantments are just too good to pass up and its damage is impressive for a one-handed weapon. Although I've maxed Long Blade and Blunt is still somewhere in the 30s, I've switched to Sunder as my main melee weapon and never miss with it (thanks to its Fortify Attack enchantment, as well as my high Agility).

    Getting to the Citadel of Dagoth Ur brought back memories from Arena. Naturally the two dungeons have nothing in common (except lots of lava), but it does make me wonder if Dagoth Ur's awakening, mentioned in several texts and by Vivec, could have been caused by the protagonist of the first game venturing into Dagoth Ur, or even by Jagar Tharn placing a piece of the Staff of Chaos in there. In any case the Citadel is a bit bigger than the other, but still very linear and straightforward. The confrontation with Dagoth Ur was a little disappointing, as I was hoping a more elaborate conversation at the meeting of the "old friends". Killing his first form was laughably easy, though I guess this may be because I had already killed all the Ash Vampires. Walking into the Akulakhan chamber was very impressive though, and running around trying to locate the heart while Dagoth Ur is spamming spell was a tense moment. Destroying the heart is very similar to the ending of Arena, except it's more elaborate and interesting here, with having to use both Sunder and Keening, and hitting the Heart multiple times (and watching the effect of each hit). After getting congratulated by Azura I went back to Vivec for a final talk. Surprisingly he seems to have taken the loss of immortality far better than I expected, though he mentions Almalexia might not, setting the stage for Tribunal I suppose.

    Perhaps the most memorable moment of this sequence for me was, after beating the game, finally connecting the dots and realising something I had totally missed all along. Way back when I was playing Redguard I mentioned that the Imperials were looking for something in the Dwemer ruins, though the game never mentions or even hints what that was. Later while playing Daggerfall I was surprised that Numidium was never mentioned in Redguard, considering the order the games were released in. Then while reading Vivec's notes on Akulakhan, which mention Numidium, I finally realised it: all those excavations in the Dwemer ruins in Hammerfell were to find Numidium, which Tiber Septim and/or Zurin Arctus had already learned about, possibly from finding and translating some of Kagrenac's notes. These same notes, or similar ones, would then be used much later by Dagoth Ur to build Akulakhan. Kudos to Bethesda for connecting the lore between their games in not-always-obvious ways.
     
  3. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    Tribunal

    [​IMG] I'm cheating a bit, as I've been mixing both expansions with some post-MQ loose ends on Vvardenfell. I did the Morag Tong Grandmaster writs (I felt really bad about killing Larrius Varro too...), as well as killing the Telvanni councillors for Trebonius. The latter got me Necromancer's Amulet, with which I instantly fell in love: weapon resistance, spell absorbtion, huge Intelligence increase AND health regeneration... wow! I also started the East Empire Company (I almost always write/say East India Company) line in Solstheim, as I had been warned there were long waits during it.

    Most of my playtime has been in Mournhold, so the title still applies. I'm finding the expansion a bit annoying, to be honest. The only outdoor part still feels like indoors due to lack of Levitation and the general layout of the place. As far the sewers under the city they're simply absurd, not to mention most of Old Mournhold looks nothing like an old city, but rather exactly like the sewers themselves, with lots of boring look-alike tunnels. It almost induces claustrophobia.

    Thankfully the quest line is pretty interesting, with the return of some old friends from Daggerfall, specifically Helseth and Barenziah. Helseth seems to have brought all the unsavoury political practices of Wayrest with him, so I've been having fun working for both the King and the Temple, occasionally cheating by not doing things the way Helseth would like then lying to him about it. It doesn't seem to have any consequence, but when he sent me to kill people I was happy to see there was a viable option to let them all go. I've also hit the most insane encounter in the entire game, the Bosmer who asks for insane amounts of money (up to one million at one point), then comes back two days later fully decked in excellent gear. I managed to beat him on a first try, but he badly damaged my armour and I had to use a number of healing potions to survive, something I haven't done since the early levels.

    In other news I have maxed all my attributes except Luck, at level 46. I got Speechcraft to 90 and got the top of the Imperial Cult, but I'm still unable to get the next promotion in the Temple and do the final quest. I'll either need to train one skill like crazy, or make a ridiculous number of potions to get Alchemy to 80 (it's in the early 50s currently). I'll probably go on a potion-making spree at some point before I finish the Tribunal main line.
     
  4. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    Well that went quicker than I thought. I have pretty mixed feelings about Tribunal now that I have completed it. On one hand the city quests are fun, some are very interesting and the story starts off pretty well. Unfortunately the sewers are absurdly spacious, the story hops on the cliche rails once you meet Almalexia, and the ruins of Old Mournhold have nothing very special about them. In fact they don't feel or look like ruins at all, just a succession of corridors with a large number of rapidly-respawning enemies. Very disappointing. The reveal that Almalexia was behind everything all along was a letdown - I thought she was up to no good before even meeting her, yet the game provides no option to betray her or do anything outside obeying her every order while supposedly spying on her for Helseth.

    On the bright side the end of the expansion provides a nice sense of closure to the story of the Tribunal, especially since I then went back and had a chat with Vivec about events. It also yields an insanely powerful sword, Trueflame, which is probably the best weapon in my arsenal at the moment, at least damage-wise (Sunder still has some very nice bonuses). I had a very odd moment when Almalexia said "my Nerevar", followed by the statement that Nerevar and her were married. Either she was far more normal a few thousand years ago or Nerevar has some very odd taste in women. The expansion also has one very nice and unpredictable quest, The Thief, with the paranoid woman, the Dwemer traps she has set and the crazy adventure you embark on as a result. The Clockwork City was interesting, but much too empty, with only a couple of (stupidly easy) puzzles and otherwise just combat against the same two enemies. Oh, and some traps.

    On another note, I finally managed to raise Alchemy to 80 (after spending some time making potions), which allowed me to get Ebony Mail and get promoted to head of the Tribunal Temple (ironic considering only Vivec is left and his divine power is completely gone), which means I am officially done with Vvardenfell. Off to Solstheim.
     
    Chandos the Red likes this.
  5. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    Bloodmoon

    [​IMG] That went even quicker than the previous expansion! Bloodmoon is short, even though enemies are much tougher. A couple of the misc quests were memorable, including the Lassie spoof (complete with Timmy becoming a necromancer... WTH?) and the Santa Claus that goes around drugging everyone to spread the Christmas cheer... definitely an unusual take on the story! The EEC line is fun, though I thought the constant breaks in it are annoying. The main line is also interesting, though it feels completely disconnected from everything else. Tribunal felt like a direct continuation of the Morrowind MQ, whereas Bloodmoon seems to exist in its own vacuum, even though the upped difficulty of the MQ definitely marks it as the last stop on the tour.

    Speaking of MQ difficulty, the werewolves in Hircine's hunt are insanely hard. I was well prepared with a large number of silver arrows, yet still died many times in the two mazes. This was by far the most difficult area in the entire game, especially since they can eat through armour at an alarming rate (two hits and my daedric tower shield was shredded... ouch). I had to turn down the difficulty to go through this one. Hircine by comparison was a pushover, though his ring is a very nice artifact (I took the human path through the MQ). Unfortunately I'm stuck with 2 entries in my journal, as my game glitched and the mead and hunters in Thirsk never arrived after a month of waiting. No matter, I consider things done.

    All in all the entire game took me just over one month, less than I expected. I didn't visit all possible locations of course, and there are large unexplored areas on my map of Vvardenfell, but I did complete all the guild lines and a large number of misc quests. My Blademaster reached level 55 with all attributes maxed, and managed to max Long Blade, Marksman, Acrobatics and Mercantile without any training, with Heavy Armor, Speechcraft, Enchant and Alchemy all above 80. All in all I enjoyed the game, despite some annoying flaws. I'm glad it ended when it did, as this is just the point where I was about to start thinking the game is too long. As such the length is perfect.

    On to Oblivion now.
     
  6. Luiz Gems: 5/31
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    I find myself nodding in agreement with most of your observations, Ziad.

    In hindsight, I'm fairly sure the varied aspects of the two expansions were a direct result of feedback. People wanted less running around for quests and a tighter structure to them, hence mini-Mournhold (which barely feels like a canton, let alone a canton within the capital city), but more extensive dungeoneering challenges, hence the silly, vast sewers, and some sort of closure concerning the Tribunal as a whole, hence we get to deal with the other two members - although the potential that that offered was largely wasted IMO: it all seemed like a fairly pithy way to knock them off, rather than develop the lore more deeply. Still, it's nice to meet Barenziah and that little turd Helseth again (though he was cooler in Daggerfall, I think), and some of the misc. quests are really quite good.

    Naturally Bloodmoon went the opposite direction, back to wide(r)-ranging adventuring. And, because vampires and werewolves were such a cool part of Daggerfall, but vampirism in Morrowind was so limited, they went "full-on-Werewolf" for Bloodmoon. The easter-eggs were slightly overdone, I reckon, but the combat rocked (unless you were a mage, in which case it utterly sucked).

    Good luck with Oblivion. I've never completed it (in fact, I no longer own a copy), because I found it so insipid at the time. Actually I'm looking forward to see what you make of it.

    Oh, and I installed the master index plugin. I've completed the collection and now have the master index, but am not making very much use of it. I think it's annoying to have to talk to the mage in Caldera for transport. I'd rather the index was a usable item, that took you to the nearest chamber, from which you could circle around the island. Oh well...
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2009
  7. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    Never liked Oblivion that much although I loved Morrowind, that being said I'll be waiting to see how your game unfolds Ziad. ;)
     
  8. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    It's the reverse for me. I never could get into Morrowind. I have the GotY edition, and I've installed it several times but have never finished it. I love Oblivion and for about a year it was the only game I played.
     
  9. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    Actually it's the persuasion wheel that ruined the game for me... That and doing Shivering Isles too early. Going back to plain good old Oblivion was just too much of a drag after all the awesomeness of Shivering Isles. In fact I'll probably reinstall the game just to play through Shivering Isles one more time!
     
  10. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    I like that aspect, and I use it all the time.
     
  11. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    Oblivion

    [​IMG] I haven't even started the game yet and the love/hate battle has already started over it! Sorry guys, but I'm not taking sides yet :D

    Luiz, for the Master Index I had a Mark set right near the guy for most of the game. Two-step access to all Magues Guilds and to the ten strongholds, not to mention a quick Almsivi to Balmora. Very convenient.

    But I'm moving on! I installed Oblivion yesterday, along with the expansions, patched it, then ran into one big issue that I need to overcome:

    Mods! So. Many. Mods!

    From playing the game a bit (not much past escaping the sewers, and I won't make any comments until after I start the proper run) I have a pretty good idea which mods I definitely want, but there are others that seem cool or that come with stellar reviews but that I am unsure about.

    1. Must have mods: the unofficial patches. I should be wary after the annoyances that one of Morrowind ones gave me, but these come with the Official Seal Of Approval (aka recommended by Nakia). I'm also definitely installing Francesco's mod, as I despise the silly level scaling of the vanilla game, and several SPers have said in the past that it makes the scaling more like Morrowind (where I found it a bit odd but didn't mind it that much). More on Fran's later. Another must-have: Toggleable Quantity Prompt. It reintroduces the Shift and Ctrl keys (for moving all items or one at a time, respectively) from Morrowind, which got removed for some bizzarre and incomprehensible reason.

    2. Mods that seem cool and that I haven't tried: Quest Award Leveller may be borderline cheating, but the way quest rewards are handed out in vanilla seems incredibly silly. Saddle Bags somehow appeals to the obsessive pack rat in me and feels less like cheating than the Bag of Holding. Keychain might be a good one too. Opinions?

    3. Mods that I tried and am unsure about: DarNified UI. I positively hated the vanilla UI due to incredibly tedious scrolling and tabbing required to do anything (and to think I complained about scrolling in the Morrowind UI...). DarNified is great in this respect, but it only changes the size of things to make more things fit, and as a result it really makes it obvious just how ugly the UI is, which is something the mod cannot fix. Harvest Flora is really not necessary, but it's subtle enough and I like the effect, so may actually stick to it. Harvest Containers I'm unsure about, as I initially liked it but I'm wondering if it could get annoying when chests get refilled yet the graphic still shows them open. I would definitely use it if there was a way to close a chest manually (to mark it as "check it later") but the option doesn't seem to be available. Thoughts?

    Francesco's deserves a paragraph all by itself because it's so damn HUGE! Tons of options in there. I don't want to make a new game entirely, so I was thinking of having a more basic config, without all the extra items, monsters, and other massive overhauls. I'm really thinking of going for all the Leveled options (Quests, Arena, Guards), especially the first one will be provide a good incentive to follow a more normal progression and not try to finish the game at level 1. The Leveled Guards worries me a bit because it caps the guards, and I'm worried this will make some escort missions much harder than they should be. Day Length Scale is a definite yes, it's really odd how quickly the game goes from morning to evening (in what, 15 minutes real time?). Slower Skills is another one I'm unsure about. From the tutorial it seemed that skill raises happen FAR too easily and quickly... but that was with all skills at 5. I thought Morrowind had a good balance, with only a few skills being maxed by the end on a non-grinding playthrough, but I don't know how well Oblivion manages this. Suggestions?

    Finally, mod management. I only had the the plugins and a handful of other mods in Morrowind, all nicely compatible and completely separate from each other, so never bothered with a mod manager. Now things are different, I have currently around 40 mods in the list (well, I only have half a dozen, but that's what multiple ESPs per mod does), with some very specific instructions such as "load mod A before mod B but after mod C" and "mod C should be loaded before mods A & D but after mods J & K, otherwise your game will crash, your hard drive will be erased and METEORS WILL CRUSH YOU!". I'm confused, to say the least. I eventually discovered the Oblivion Mod Manager, as well as the OMOD extension that some mods are available as. I'm going to use OBMM, not doubt about it. The question is, if a mod is available in both installer and OMOD format, is OMOD preferable? Will it reduce the chance of mod conflicts (or increase the chance of spotting them before they ruin things)?

    And one last thing: where's the Construction Set? It's not on the DVD, as far as I can tell.
     
  12. starfox64 Gems: 12/31
    Latest gem: Moonstone


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    That's right! The construction set didn't ship with the game! What a load of crap! You can download it here.
     
  13. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    http://cs.elderscrolls.com/constwiki/index.php/Main_Page

    Truth be told I don't know much about Oblivion and mods but I know a little bit about Fallout 3 and mods and since they are somewhat similar there must be some useful tools to check compatibility issues. As far as mods are concerned less is more as adding too many will certainly bring up issues.

    Besides the most needed levelling fix I strongly suggest the No Psychic Guards as they are just plain silly in the unmodded game.

    Nakia made some threads about mods but I'm sure you've already checked them out. The Oblivion Nexus is a great source but it can be daunting.

    I won't be able to suggest many mods to you as my experience is somewhat limited (besides I have the French localized version which limits my use of mods -I didn't think at the time the version would be localized without any option to install the game in English... pretty bad when other games like the Witcher come with several versions in many different languages).

    I actually reinstalled the game and started with a new character and that time I'll try to control the levelling process by tagging skills I won't use much and skills I can control so I won't get an unexpected level up and waste the much needed +5 stat boost.

    Last but not least, if you use custom textures from mods you'll need Archive Invalidation Invalidated for them to show up in game.

    By the way regarding load order, if the game doesn't crash at the start it actually is good news... ;)

    EDIT: starfox64 was much quicker than me! Still you may want to check the wiki to get your bearings around the CS.
     
  14. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    The Wizard's Tower will give you access to all the mages guilds.

    Never used it, but I have used the Oblivon Overhaul by Oscuro. I have no problem with the leveling in the standard game. I know it's easy and not very challenging, but I also don't like having to load and reload all the time either just to get through one elven ruin. And there are still always a few good fights along the way, because the game still cheats occasionally.

    Oscuro's is pretty good, and some of the fights are a little harder, but not terrible, and the leveling system is more conventional.

    I really like that one, since although I carry very few items (my partner carries some items for me), I always have way more spells than I can manage . I also like the colored map and markers.

    I like the OMOD a lot, and recommend it, epecially since for some mods you will need to have it installed. One thing I did a while back is to make a copy of the Oblivion data file once I finished installing all the main mods I use. Everytime I install the game I just swap out the entire data file and then check or uncheck whatever I wish to use in the start-up data files. It sure saves a lot of time and headache of installing about 25 or 30 mods (although the file is 9.5 gigs).
     
  15. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    Thanks for the link, downloading now!

    Noted down, thanks. Seems like a good addition.

    Yep, checked out Nakia's thread (she told me about Fran's initially). TES Nexys and Planet Elder Scrolls is where I got some of the other mods I mentioned, but as you probably know trying to venture in there without a very clear of what you're looking for is inviting madness :)

    I was going to reserve this for my obligatory "I'm pimping my character" post, but I'll mention picking skills will probably be more difficult. In fact one of the reasons I wanted to use Fran's was because leveling too fast is such a problem in the vanilla game. I got around the problem of multipliers entirely in Morrowind by training skills just before a levelup. That's not really viable in Oblivion because of the training limit and the fact skill increases no longer count for the attribute bonus after a level-up becomes available. I know picking skills you don't use as Major skills is recommended in vanilla, but I hope using Fran's will make it possible to just pick useful skills and not have to worry about powergaming.

    I won't bother with texture replacements, but I think the Unofficial Patch already fixes ArchiveInvalidation anyway.

    I know, but I don't want other problems to appear later on :)

    We were talking about Morrowind there, not Oblivion.

    It's not the game being too easy that annoyed me, it's having everything tied to my level and killing any sense of exploration. No matter where I go the encounters and loot are 100% predictable to be exactly what I already. No big surprise as I beat this difficulty enemy and find a full suit of Ebony Armor. No getting to high level then starting the Fighters Guild and being able to breeze through the first quests. One of the most tense moments in Morrowind was an early expedition inside the Ghostfence and having a very hard time against all the ash creatures there. Nothing like this when you can walk into an Oblivion gate at level 1 and know you won't face anything too tough.

    Even if I don't use any of the other components I'm definitely keeping the world map part. The original map is so tiny you can barely see anything!

    Great. OMOD it is!

    Keep'em coming folks :)
     
  16. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    At TES Nexus there is a list of the all-time 100 mods. I would recommend you take a look at that, since it has most of what you are looking for. Also, it has some of the best mods for TES IV out there.

    http://www.tesnexus.com/downloads/top/alltime.php
     
  17. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    Thanks Chandos, looks like there's tons of good mods on there. Most of them seem to add content though, and I'm staying away from those, at least on my first run. If I replay the game I'll go crazy with mods, Nakia had suggested quite a few extra-content ones in her thread too. I did have a good laugh when I saw #37 - it seems someone's introduced Viconia into the game. Then there's the Hentai mod... I think now I've seen it all :lol:

    I did pick one interesting mod from there that I hadn't seen anywhere else: Streamline. I've not experienced problems with stuttering or low frame rate, but if they start to appear this seems to be the way to get rid of them, and if it's on the top 100 page then it must be stable, right? ;)

    I was briefly swayed by Oscuro's mod, until I noticed that it does not cover the expansion. I guess this is where Fran has an edge. Of course I could go for the monstrous FCOM and have both of them, as well as the other 2 mods in there, but from what I've read even installing FCOM requires more work than learning assembly! :shake:

    So I'll probably be using most of the mods I mentioned before, plus No Psychic Guards. I've got the OMOD versions of these whenever there was one and will reinstall everything properly tomorrow night (along with the CS of course. Though I may need to spend some time on the wiki if it's very different from the Morrowind one). If anyone has some last suggestions before then, feel free to throw them in. Thanks for the comments so far!

    One last thing. Does install order of the mods matter in any way, or is it all down to load order? And what do you guys suggest as a load order? Expansion before the DLC, unofficial patches right after the official plugins or much later? I'm not really sure how the load order works in fact. I'm guessing that if plugin B depends on things found in A then it needs to be loaded after, but if they both modify the same thing will only the change from the last one be taken into account, or will there be nasty problems?
     
  18. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    I've never had a problem, but the OBMM will let you know of any conflicts. You can really just place the files into their respective textures/meshes folders. Typically, it will just add the files when it overwrites the folders. You will have to examine the file stucture. For instance, in some you will have to add the folder for a particular mod, but for others you can just add the textures to an existing folder and it will be just fine.

    I can't remember which OS you are running, but the ZIP files typically won't extract directly to the folders in Vista or Win7 because of the admin rights silliness. There is a setting in the folders that will let you change this, but it's a bit of a pain. With Win 7, I just use a temp folder and then just dump the files into the data folder. In XP you should be able to extract them directly. Again, the OBMM will make all this much easier once you use it once or twice...but I've never had a problem with the order with the mods I've installed.

    I did install the Francesco mod today and tried it out, but it kept crashing the game. Then I read in the readme and I have to start an entirely new game to have it run properly. Even starting from the Imperial Sewer will not work, but you have to start a complete new game to run some of the mods features, which I'm not interested in doing. So I kept disabling some of the features until it stopped crashing. After playing it for about an hour I discovered that combat was actually even easier with Fran installed, but the creatures I encountered in some of the ruins were different than in the regular game.
     
  19. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    That sounds quite right.

    Since you're adding stuff to your data folder, install order doesn't really matter (unless something gets overwritten).

    As far as loading order is concerned, don't load a mod before the main file it is meant to modify (but you already know that). That would prevent the game from loading anyway so no worries.

    If it works like Fallout 3 (and there is no reason why it should be different) then it is the last mod in the load order that wins. They won't merge on their own; nevertheless if mod A modifies items 1 and 2 and mod B modifies items 2 and 3, in the end you'll get the A version of item 1 and the B version of item 2 and 3 which can raise some shall we say "continuity" issues or introduce some discrepancy in the game. It shouldn't break it.
     
  20. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    Thanks guys. I'm running XP, so no problem with ZIPs and such. I went ahead and reinstalled the game, along with OBMM and as many of the mods as I could get in OMOD format. I did notice that OBMM can create an OMOD file from archives, which is very handy. The only mod I had to use the installer for was Francesco's, as there doesn't seem to be an OMOD version of it. All OMOD icons are blue, which I understand means I have no conflicts. Good sign! I also noticed that the Knights of the Nine disc, which I thought had all the other official plugins too, is missing the Figher Stronghold. Is the plugin worth buying for the extra content? It's incredibly cheap so I might as well get it I suppose.

    Character creation!

    Continuing with the trend I've had since Daggerfall, I want a characer that uses mainly swords, with some light magic for backup. Looks-wise (I'll have some more comments on the face generator once I start the game proper) I would have preferred an Imperial, especially since they have a nice skill boost too, but I think I'll go with a Redguard again for the very nice attribute bonuses and the resistance to poison and disease. The birthsign seems to be a no-brainer: Thief gives +10 to Speed, Agility and Luck. All the magicka-boosting signs seem much weaker now because the base magicka has been doubled; while the Atronach used to triple the magicka pool in Morrowind here it doesn't even double it, and since magicka regenerates it's really not worth it (except maybe for the spell absorbtion).

    I'm currently thinking of these skills a Major: Blade, Block, Armor, Security, Marksman, Speechcraft, Alchemy. I'm really not sure though, for several reasons. First, I wonder if I should be taking Armorer, but I don't know which skill to drop to free a slot for it. Second, I don't know how useful Speechcraft is in this game. It was amazing in Morrowind, but is it worth having as Major here as well? And finally, I wonder if I should take a magic skill as Major, specifically either Destruction or Restoration. Destruction could be a fun alternative to Marksman, while Restoration would be a great way to stay in good shape. Then again Oblivion doesn't seem to have the same failure mechanisms that Morrowind had, so even a Minor skill can potentially be taken to high levels without too much grief (in Morrowind this was pretty much impossible for Misc skills without training them a bit first). The other problem with magic is the decreased efficiency when wearing armor, which makes me wonder if I'm not better off forgetting about it entirely. I haven't decided on the specialisation either, it'll most likely depend on what my final skill selection ends up being.

    You may have noticed I only said "armor" in the skill list, and that's because I cannot figure out if there's a real difference between Light and Heavy. In Morrowind the three armour types had different weights, different protection, different enchantment values, different durability... In Oblivion weight and protection become moot at high skill levels because at Master level they're both weightless and thanks to the boost that Light Armor gets they provde exactly the same protection. I am baffled as to why Bethesda would completely eliminate any difference between them - what's the point of having different armour types if they only differ in looks? So my choice of armor type will depend on one thing: does Heavy make spellcasting worse than Light, or do they both have the same effect? If they're both the same I'll definitely go for Heavy, since those armour pieces will have more durability and everything else is identical to Light.

    Favored attributes will be Endurance and Luck of course. With this setup I can max Luck at level 36, which is not bad at all. Ensuring good multipliers will be much more of a pain than in Morrowind thanks to more limited training, so I guess I'll need to track my skill increases more carefully. I'll focus on maxing Endurance ASAP, then take a more natural approach for the other attributes (most probably by just going with whichever already has the most skill increases associated. That worked well in Morrowind once I started using it).

    Any thoughts on skill selection and specialisation? Armour type to use? How does everything else look like?
     
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