Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Advancing, Archery and more

So time for another Oblivion update.
PC Zone came yesterday morning and they have reviewed the game, giving it 95%. I predicted this score on the nose when talking with Serena at the weekend.
I’ve explored a small amount of the game now (which took hours) and can see definite disadvantages to advancing your character up the levels too fast! I deliberately travel to new locations either on foot or on a stolen horse just to explore the world a bit more.
Doing quests you do get steady skill advancement, with a couple of skill-ups in weapons, armour, sneak, athletics and acrobatics pretty much guaranteed. This is great unless you have a lot of these skills as major skills and suddenly you get the message telling you that you have levelled.
If you have read my earlier posts you will have picked up that it is best to be prepared for levelling up by practicing some minor skills to guarantee x4 and x5 multipliers on your key stats. If you get caught out by a level up it is almost worth dropping back a save game and interrupting what you are doing to practice (as soon as you get the level up message any skill ups, including minor skills are counted towards your following level up). This is annoying – but then it appears I am a bigger power gamer than I thought! I even started writing down my 21 skill scores so I can easily work out what multipliers I will get! SAD!
To test the theory out I have created a new Female Nord Paladin type character whose combat skills are all “minor” and her “major” skills are all easy to train, but hard to get skill-ups accidentally (if you play the game “correctly”). This should give me much greater control over when she levels up and I shouldn’t get random increments from playing the game “fighter” style.
I intend to boost her strength and endurance up quickly to give her a real edge in combat and slowly bring up her other stats in a strict rotation (although Personality may get an early boost whilst I grind out her Speechcraft).
Despite it being much easier than in Morrowind, the archery in game has been giving me some difficulty. It does appear that the game adjusts your accuracy (rather than just damage) based on your skill level, so I may not be as bad on the mouse as I thought.
James was telling me that he was very pleased to get a critical hit with an arrow to kill a nasty necromancer and when he approached to loot the corpse he found the arrow sticking out of the guy’s head. Well I duplicated that feat and when I approached found that the silly girl bandit had my arrow stuck in her wrist! I must have hit an artery!
I do love the fact that the game leaves the arrows both in your target and in you if you are hit! I just wish you could pull the arrows out of your own body and shoot them back! (You can recover most of the arrows that you shoot and those incoming ones that miss you, but those that hit you are lost!)
Now all I need to get the hang of is Blocking and the Security mini-game, which is apparently easier than I had thought – I was just doing it wrong! The Speechcraft minigame is now trivial to me! I will write that up another day.
OK enough for now… More to come!

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