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@  MEDdMI : (24 May 2019 - 07:40 AM)

They fight you with sparkles.

@  TheMightyMol... : (24 May 2019 - 03:40 AM)

Phyrexians are the bishie-est.

@  unluckiness : (24 May 2019 - 12:29 AM)

That's why they always wear long sleeved shirts and long pants

@  fourteenwings : (23 May 2019 - 11:36 PM)

Everybody knows the most bishie thing about any bishie is his exposed sinew.

@  MEDdMI : (23 May 2019 - 10:04 PM)

*looks up the humanoid slivers* ...really? People were calling those bishies?

@  TheMightyMol... : (23 May 2019 - 12:45 PM)

Have they made a sliver planeswalker yet?

@  RichardT1977 : (23 May 2019 - 10:29 AM)

"DECOMPOSE!"

@  Paladin : (23 May 2019 - 06:29 AM)

will they next evolve into Inhumanoids?

@  Ashley : (23 May 2019 - 02:42 AM)

the original slivers were spikey monsters. then the evolved into humanoids. now they're back to spikey bug monsters.

@  MEDdMI : (22 May 2019 - 10:42 PM)

Wait. Slivers were bishies???

@  unluckiness : (22 May 2019 - 10:40 PM)

They haven't necessarily looped yet. It's possible they're stuck in "yaoi anatomy"

@  Ashley : (22 May 2019 - 10:35 PM)

I think Slivers in MTG have crossed the bishonen line and looped back around to monstrous

@  wonko the sane? : (22 May 2019 - 09:48 PM)

Maxi, provigo, loblaws.

@  RichardT1977 : (22 May 2019 - 09:42 PM)

Which store brand is it?

@  wonko the sane? : (22 May 2019 - 05:52 PM)

I need to buy more "no name" foods. This pizza is freaking awesome.

@  Bass X0 : (20 May 2019 - 11:16 AM)

SEND THE BOOKS!!

@  Cybersnark : (20 May 2019 - 08:52 AM)

So, now that Game of Thrones is over, when can we get back to The Dragon Prince?

@  unluckiness : (20 May 2019 - 12:19 AM)

Like, half of them nowadays are montages of tweet screencaps from the writer's inbox

@  unluckiness : (20 May 2019 - 12:18 AM)

lol you expected integrity from internet news

@  fourteenwings : (19 May 2019 - 11:33 PM)

I'm mostly confused how news sites went from "Analysing all the amazingness of Game of Thrones" to "Fans sure don't like this season!", like... way to prioritize clicks over a solid editorial opinion

@  fourteenwings : (19 May 2019 - 11:30 PM)

[and there's a recurring setting of a "derelict industrial site"] is this like the Toei Quarry?

@  MEDdMI : (19 May 2019 - 11:17 PM)

@Foffy and then that giant lasagna just tipped over and killed everyone, to be later known as the infamous Bad Monday event.

@  SHIELD Agent 47 : (19 May 2019 - 10:59 PM)

Ahahaha!!! Go read the reactions for yourself. To say anything more here risks spoiling the finale for subscribing Allsparkers, the quality of this season notwithstanding.

@  Foffy : (19 May 2019 - 10:59 PM)

pretty wild how heathcliff was in the game of thrones finale, i was not expecting that crossover

@  TM2-Megatron : (19 May 2019 - 10:48 PM)

were they still super pissed?

@  SHIELD Agent 47 : (19 May 2019 - 10:48 PM)

Well, as someone who is not into Game of Thrones, it sure was entertaining to open up social media this evening to unexpectedly see headlines about fan reactions to the finale. Lmao.

@  Nevermore : (19 May 2019 - 06:12 PM)

But it's also a SUPER-well known location in my region, so these extensive exterior shots without any post production alterations completely ruin the illusion for me.

@  Nevermore : (19 May 2019 - 06:11 PM)

I mean, I get why they did it: It's an existing location that fits the purpose, it's open for the public, and they had to shoot some scenes in my home state anyway to due a subsidizing deal.

@  Nevermore : (19 May 2019 - 06:09 PM)

Needless to say, it's not in Berlin, and even what's seen onscreen is waaaaay too modern for something that's supposed to exist in 1929 (even moreso as a derelict site in 1929). The structures seen haven't even been built until the 1960s!

@  Nevermore : (19 May 2019 - 06:07 PM)

I'm currently in the process of watching season 2 of Babylon Berlin, and there's a recurring setting of a "derelict industrial site" or whatever it's supposed to be on the show, and I easily recognize it as a place only a few minutes from where I live (it's actually a former ironworks site that's been turned into a public park).

@  Xellos : (19 May 2019 - 05:52 PM)

Ever since I went to Japan last year, I have friend who dread watching anime with me due to that...

@  Xellos : (19 May 2019 - 05:51 PM)

Not hugely, but I am the type to notice places once I have been there and say "Hey, I've been there!"

@  wonko the sane? : (19 May 2019 - 05:50 PM)

Half of new york city (on tape.) is actually montreal.

@  TM2-Megatron : (19 May 2019 - 05:50 PM)

I watched Death Wish 5 last night and clearly recognized Toronto streets; didn't pull me out of Bronson's 1-man war on drugs or fashion or whatever it was that pissed him off that time

@  TM2-Megatron : (19 May 2019 - 05:49 PM)

it's nice to finally be thought of as exotic by somebody! lol

@  Nevermore : (19 May 2019 - 05:48 PM)

In an "I cannot possibly make my brain ignore the location I'm familiar with and pretend it's whatever the story claims it is" way?

@  Nevermore : (19 May 2019 - 05:42 PM)

Question for those of you living in exotic locations such as the US or the UK: If you watch a movie or a TV show that features a real-life location as a stand-in for someplace else, and you recognize the real-life location due to having been there in person, does that pull you out of the story?

@  Xellos : (19 May 2019 - 05:15 PM)

Maybe you should have installed macOS in your house instead.

@  Noideaforaname : (19 May 2019 - 04:40 PM)

Nothing like coming home after a long day to find a bird in the house. And then once you sit down for a well-earned rest after leading the bird back outside, you find it had a friend. A friend who *really* doesn't understand how windows work...

@  PlutoniumBoss : (19 May 2019 - 01:26 PM)

Bingo. The big polls don't tell people what's actually happening because that doesn't sell.

@  fourteenwings : (19 May 2019 - 10:59 AM)

IIRC there are good polls but data is easily manipulated so they give people what they want to hear

@  wonko the sane? : (19 May 2019 - 10:58 AM)

The only way to get people interested in politics is to make into reality TV. So they lie to do it.

@  PlutoniumBoss : (19 May 2019 - 01:38 AM)

Yeah, polling these days is garbage.

@  Sean Whitmore : (18 May 2019 - 11:53 PM)

Well, he was an honest man. He wasn’t gonna lie to a 5-year-old.

@  Paladin : (18 May 2019 - 08:34 PM)

Grandfather once said to me, "I'm going upstairs and hug your grandma."

@  Sabrblade : (18 May 2019 - 07:08 PM)

Mama always said that you can tell a lot 'bout a person from 'is shoes...

@  TheMightyMol... : (18 May 2019 - 03:54 PM)

Life is like a box of chocolates. Stay out of the sun or melt into a pile of gross slop.

@  wonko the sane? : (18 May 2019 - 10:26 AM)

Greasy, disappointing and still managing to be over priced?

@  Lancer : (18 May 2019 - 10:22 AM)

... Yes, it is!

@  Noideaforaname : (18 May 2019 - 09:48 AM)

Life's a fillet of fish!


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A Not So Late to the Party Introspective: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion


4 replies to this topic

#1 Rust

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 05:09 PM

So Oblivion is not a game I'm just experiencing for the first time. Oblivion was the whole reason I bought an Xbox 360 back in the day, since it was cheaper than buying a whole new computer (Since the one I had at the time honestly had some issues running Morrowind). For a long time it held the distinction of being the only game I'd ever 100% completed in terms of achievements. But it was also a game that I did everything in and then just...put down. I'd bought it on PC ages ago and always intended to settle back down with it, but I never really have. I think it was a combination of doggedly trying to finish Skyrim and afraid to damage the memories of the game I had in my head that convinced me Oblivion was a great overall experience, but I'd done everything once already and there was no reason to open that book again. (Despite the fact several books in my library have had to be replaced due to me wearing out their spines through repeating readings. Why should a video game be any different?)

 

Well today, in a combination of boredom and the right combination of YouTube videos serving as background noise, I decided to venture back to the Third Era of Tamriel and back into Oblivion. The automatic hardware settings recommended Medium...I laughed and boosted that up to High Ultra. While my new rig might be getting a smidge long in the tooth(Four years old now, I bought it for Fallout 4), I don't think it'll have any difficulty with Oblivion. Worth noting I'm playing this unmodded - I want the actual experience.

 

So I've wrapped up the tutorial thus far and...it's actually impressing me. The potato people are whatever, but the clothing and armor has some really intricate detailing, the Zombies are legitimately disgusting, there's legitimate fur textures (Not great ones mind, but I was surprised that the rats and the Emperor's mantle were actually textures, not simply decals applied to a model). And this was the first game that had an actual, in-game physics engine and Bethesda made sure to show that off in fun ways. It may not seem like much to shoot an arrow into a bucket dangling over a disused well, but I understood what Bethesda was showing off with it and it is satisfying to have the world react to your actions when the combat very much doesn't. There's no weight behind the strikes and it made me realize how much better at combat Skyrim ultimately got since you don't get much in the way of feedback - either from hits or being hit - with Oblivion. It's by no means a deal breaker and didn't stop me enjoying myself, but I'd be doing a disservice if I didn't point out that it exists.

 

The story starts out better than I think Skyrim's does and the Mythic Dawn's custom bound armor remains classic. I missed the decisions of picking a birth sign and I'd forgotten Baraus recommends a class based on your combat style during the tutorial (It gave me Rogue, which I've decided to go with because why not?). The Sewer section was a lot shorter than I remember it being but that's hardly a negative. Had to stop about four times to drop stuff in my Inventory because the encumbrance system is a lot less forgiving than Skyrim or even Morrowind and for a tutorial dungeon they give a LOT of good crap.

 

Now I'm standing outside the Imperial City Prison contemplating poking my head inside a place I was so recently incarcerated in or going into the city proper to unload my spoils and head off to Chorrol for the main quest.

 

 

The potato models of the people aside, Oblivion's visuals have aged surprisingly well. When I got out of the sewers the landscape has a watercolor dream look to it (and yes, I remember Oblivion's watercolor world quest) that makes it feel like a painting come to life. It's obviously far less detailed than what Skyrim's world would be and doesn't feel as real-if-alien as Morrowind's environments conveyed with its graphics but it contrasts with the setting in a way I rather enjoy.

 

The Emperor's just been murdered. Hell is going to come to Earth soon...but standing on the shores of the Imperial Isle, it'd be easy for a character to dismiss it as an odd fever dream, were it not for the Amulet of Kings in their pocket. Next time I'm in the game, I'll grab some screenshots but Oblivion's design choices are one that I now, 10+ years after originally playing the game, really appreciate.

 

More to come, because my ultimate hope is I get through all of Oblivion as I tried to do with Morrowind last year (I failed on that front, due to mod-conflicts rendering the game broken beyond repair. Hence my no-mods run here).


Edited by Rust, 14 April 2019 - 05:15 PM.

Don't fight it, it's coming for you, running at ya / It's only this moment, don't care what comes after
Your fever dream, can't you see it getting closer / Just surrender 'cause you feel the feeling taking over
It's fire, it's freedom, it's flooding open / It's a preacher in the pulpit and you'll find devotion
There's something breaking at the brick of every wall, it's holding All that you know
So tell me do you wanna go?

#2 wonko the sane?

wonko the sane?

    Oh dear lord I am bored...

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 07:24 PM

I desperately WANT to go back to oblivion (it's the game that got me into the elder scrolls after all. My love for morrowind came after.) but I use an xbox controller on my PC and it doesn't fully support it without third party help, which I also found to be a big enough pain in the ass to be a deal breaker.



#3 Rust

Rust

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 03:45 AM

The Keyboard/Mouse controls aren't difficult to learn. Biggest hurdle for me was Shift Clicking drops items in the inventory,


Don't fight it, it's coming for you, running at ya / It's only this moment, don't care what comes after
Your fever dream, can't you see it getting closer / Just surrender 'cause you feel the feeling taking over
It's fire, it's freedom, it's flooding open / It's a preacher in the pulpit and you'll find devotion
There's something breaking at the brick of every wall, it's holding All that you know
So tell me do you wanna go?

#4 Rust

Rust

    all that was real is left behind

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 07:43 PM

​Not much in the way of actual forward progress on my front today, just spent the evening roaming the Imperial City and taking in that "local color" that I've long since forgotten. 

 

One thing that I'd forgotten is that these aren't Villager NPCs - they were still designing these folks to be actual people. They have quirks that, in casual conversation make for some forwardness that is a bit off putting but for one note characters who are literally part of the scenery I'm kind of taken aback at how dynamic the Imperial City's citizens truly are. And Radiant AI means they all have unique to them schedules (Coincidentally, The All Saints Inn isn't exactly a real hot spot at the Noon hour. Only a single patron eating lunch as of 12:45. Only reason I know that is because the radiant conversation said "Good Afternoon" and I had to check the time).

 

There's interconnectivity too. I started the suspicious merchant quest line and I have fond memories of it. What I don't remember is seeing the grave robber roaming the City, innocent as can be. I like that. I also took time to appreciate the art design of the Imperial City. It likely helps I'm playing it on the PC this time around as opposed to my old 360 on what was then a Standard Definition tube television. But the contrast between the Aleyid walls and the obvious Imperial construction later. The grey stone bricks with the marble white...there's a story being told just in the city itself. It's cracked, out of place statuary always trying to stand out from the elvish bones of the city but never quite succeeding (The Arboretum where the statues of the Nine are almost "drowned out" by the foliage). It also hit me that the graveyard running beside the White Gold Tower is the remains of what was likely a moat system. And taking that into account, it makes you appreciate how difficult the city was to take away from the elves in the first place.

 

Finally, I ended up in Talos Plaza outside the house of the man locked up in the Imperial Prison for doing the ritual to the Night Mother. I don't recall ever actually being in the house before so I indulged in some lockpicking...something I remember I was an absolute master at back in the day but my skills have abandoned me in my neglect. That said, I do find myself actually preferring Oblivion's system *Fails a lock attempt, resetting all the tumblers, swears*. Is it tedious? Oh my yes. But you feel a lot more accomplishment when you do unlock something as opposed to just finding the sweet spot in Skyrim or waggling the lockpick like a wand in front of the container a la Morrowind.

 

One burst of CHIM to take out the watchman later (I'm Level 1. My ability to sneak or disguise myself is not up to foiling an Imperial Watch member.) and I'm rummaging around the guy's belongings. And while I do remember all houses in the Imperial City have the exact same layout, I do like the storytelling going on within them. Guy liked cheap wine and was a bit of a painter. Otherwise pretty unremarkable save for the blood stained ritual scene in the basement (And not knowing how rare Human Hearts and Skin are in this game - in Skyrim they are pretty bloody rare - I yoinked both). What interested me was the chest in his bedroom with a journal. I know for a fact I've never read this before. So I got a big dumb grin on my face when it turns out the whole reason he got arrested for doing the ritual was to get revenge on a man named Rufio.

 

It's a small thing, but I always wondered. Fun that Bethesda actually put a starting point to that particular quest chain.


Don't fight it, it's coming for you, running at ya / It's only this moment, don't care what comes after
Your fever dream, can't you see it getting closer / Just surrender 'cause you feel the feeling taking over
It's fire, it's freedom, it's flooding open / It's a preacher in the pulpit and you'll find devotion
There's something breaking at the brick of every wall, it's holding All that you know
So tell me do you wanna go?

#5 Rust

Rust

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 11:46 AM

​And here we hit the part where Oblivion starts to lose me, sadly.

 

Tried to do the Merchant quest, but despite following the shopkeep and finding his secret meeting spot, nothing would trigger their conversation. At about 5 am I decided to simply head out and "find my feet", so to speak. So I decided to ignore the main quest for now and take up the DLC Orrey quest with the Shadowbanish Wine collection quest being a sort of secondary objective as I poke my head into every Imperial Fort I run across.

I've already covered how the combat is less engaging than Skyrim's due to simple lack of player feedback. It's been long enough that I can't accurately recall but I want to say on the 360 you got a little controller shake whenever your weapon hit...but then it hit me the character I actually cleared Oblivion with was a Mage. And I instantly understand why, since Magic gives immediate feedback where as melee combat feels only slightly better than Morrowind's with enemies able to carry on preforming actions despite the fact I was tearing into them with a pointy, bladed object.

Then we come to the second aspect of combat, and one Oblivion's been grumbled on before...the scaling level system. It's why I chose to do the Orrey quest line first, since everything scales. I'm of two minds about it, being honest. On one hand, part of my issue with getting Skyrim hammered out and done with (Owned since launch, still have yet to finish the Main Quest, any of the DLC, or the Thieves Guild) is I get stuck in the parts of the game I've done to death and back and lose interest because I'm at a stage of the game where I'm simply not powerful enough to do what I want to do. Oblivion doesn't have that problem. First fort I delved into I was a master assassin, stealth killing the entire ruin. It made me feel engaged with what was happening. I really appreciate that. That what I want the character to be IS, despite low skill levels, simply by nature of the game's design. The flip side of that coin however, is that I've now been in half a dozen ruins and outside two pieces of magical gear I've not so much as caught a whiff of gear upgrades. Still in Leathers and Fur with a Fine Iron Long Sword I bought in the Imperial City. Sure, you get to be what you want to be out of Oblivion's gate, but you don't get any sense of forward progression when it comes to loot. 

 

It also tends to kill what should be suspenseful moments. Found a Vampire infested ruin, but the Vampires were all kitted out exactly like the Marauders I'd already been fighting. They pop their invisibility that they break almost immediately, and the fight progresses as normal. The only real difference I found fighting them was that they spotted me instantly, as opposed to Marauders whom I could sneak up to. Compare that to stumbling upon a den of Vampires in Morrowind or Skyrim early on, when that can be a very tense moment. 

 

Combat's not the be all, end all of a game and I'm not ready to hang up Oblivion yet, but I will say after delighting in the nostalgia of the opening and taking in the surprisingly vibrant Imperial City, discovering the core gameplay is a bit of a moldy bathtub is disappointing. I think I'll finish up the Orrey quest, get my gear some much needed repair, then get back onto the main quest at least through Kvatch.


Don't fight it, it's coming for you, running at ya / It's only this moment, don't care what comes after
Your fever dream, can't you see it getting closer / Just surrender 'cause you feel the feeling taking over
It's fire, it's freedom, it's flooding open / It's a preacher in the pulpit and you'll find devotion
There's something breaking at the brick of every wall, it's holding All that you know
So tell me do you wanna go?



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