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Elder Scrolls Panorama Shots

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the soo-pretty dept.

99

Johnny wrote to mention new images up on the Panogames.com site, for the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Enjoy some late-night images of sprawling countrysides and dank dungeons. They also offer images of Half-Life 2 and Need for Speed : Most Wanted.

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QTVR = Slow! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14995958)

Ironically, these render slower than the actual game.

Re:QTVR = Slow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14995989)

Ironically,...

That word - I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:QTVR = Slow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14996149)

ironic

1. Characterized by or constituting irony.
2. Given to the use of irony. See Synonyms at sarcastic.
3. Poignantly contrary to what was expected or intended: madness, an ironic fate for such a clear thinker.

It was expected that the panoramic screenshots would run at a decent framerate. The unexpected result was that it ran poorly. Ironic.

Re:QTVR = Slow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14996272)

Poignantly contrary to what was expected or intended: madness, an ironic fate for such a clear thinker.

otherwise it's not ironic, it's just disappointing or unexpected.

Re:QTVR = Slow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14996379)

I think its reasonable to consider it poignant, anyway ironic was a decent word (although not the best choice), to use in this situation

Re:QTVR = Slow! (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 8 years ago | (#14996231)

Where does this troll come from? It happens all the time on slashdot. Is there a reference I've completely missed or are there really that many idiots who can't read a fucking dictionary?

Re:QTVR = Slow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14996241)

How ironic!

Re:QTVR = Slow! (1)

Goldfinger7400 (630228) | more than 8 years ago | (#14996686)

See the Futurama episode "The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings".

That's not ironic, it's just mean!

Re:QTVR = Slow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14998752)

Irony: Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs. [answers.com]

QTVR just has to render (essentially) a 6-polygon skycube, whereas the actual game has to render many times that. One would expect the QTVR render to be much faster than the game.

...are there really that many idiots who can't read a fucking dictionary?

I dunno. Do you count yourself as one of them?

Re:QTVR = Slow! (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 8 years ago | (#15004087)

I think that your comment refers more to the previous poster than to myself.

previous poster: That word - I do not think it means what you think it means.

myself: Where does this troll come from? It happens all the time on slashdot. Is there a reference I've completely missed or are there really that many idiots who can't read a fucking dictionary?

I accept your apology for misunderstanding my comment due to your poor reading ability. Just make sure it doesn't happen again.

f1rst p0zt (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14995961)

For Manu!!!!

DON'T SKIP (2, Interesting)

mboverload (657893) | more than 8 years ago | (#14995999)

The second fullscreen pano is simply amazing. I'd buy a plasma and put it in my window to see these shots.

Don't skimp! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14996025)

Why go cheap? Buy a plasma for your window, hook it up to a PC with a 7800 GT, and adjust the Oblivion .ini file to reflect a real 24-hour day-night cycle.

Put yourself in God mode and stand in the forest. Voila, your house is now located in Tamriel. Enjoy the beautiful weather and local wildlife.

I need to upgrade. (2, Funny)

Tetris Ling (836450) | more than 8 years ago | (#14996127)

My computer can't even run the panorama at a stable framerate. This doesn't bode well for the actual game.

Re:I need to upgrade. (1)

rebeka thomas (673264) | more than 8 years ago | (#14996171)

That's quicktime for you, slow as a wet week. Run the Java VM, it'll have to run an order of magnitude quicker.

Re:I need to upgrade. (1)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 8 years ago | (#14996734)

My computer can't even run the panorama at a stable framerate

At least yours runs them. Both IE6 and Firefox crashed as soon as I try and pan around them. Click-scroll-crash. Fun!

In any case, these are simply amazing. I recommend everyone who likes these take a look at some videos of the game [elderscrolls.com] . They have some new ones on there I haven't seen yet, but I've watched all the E3 Demo videos and those are amazing.

This game truly blows everything else out of the water in terms of sheer scope and graphical achievements. It really makes one stop and...

*gets distracted watching grass and trees blow in the wind*

Nice game, shame about the bugs. (1)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 8 years ago | (#14998763)

Love it but I've found a really annoying bug.

It goes like this.

  • Fighting in a dungeon (Pale Pass). Decide to run from the skellies. Run out the dungeon. "Enemies nearby" so I cant use fast travel to get home.
  • Run across the outdoor zone. "Enemies nearby" so I still cant use fast travel to get home.
  • Run through a long tunnel. "Enemies nearby" so I STILL cant use fast travel to get home.
  • So I stand and wait for 5 minutes for these enemies to appear. Nothing. Still get the "enemies nearby" message.
  • So I run to the nearest city, past the guards at the gates, go and pray in the chapel then head to my bed in the Fighters' Guild. "You cannot rest when enemies are nearby" !!!!

So now I am basicallly screwed. I can't travel fast because enemies are permanently nearby and I can't gain new levels because I can't rest because these "enemies are nearby".

Not a happy bunny.

Re:Nice game, shame about the bugs. (1)

eztiger (790405) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001268)

go back to the dungeon and wallop all the skeletons? :)

Job done?

Kev

Re:Nice game, shame about the bugs. (1)

Kirth (183) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001380)

What do you expect? This was developed windows-only, so they missed the chance to find all those bugs which they would have found if they ported it to linux/mac in the first place.

Re:Nice game, shame about the bugs. (2)

Scherf (609224) | more than 8 years ago | (#15002750)

So, you are saying that this kind of bug only is found when porting to another platform? That's intresting. I thought you'd find bugs by testing the software, no matter what platform you are developing for.

Okay, stuff like memory corruption can sometimes be found more easily when porting, but this is clearly a logic bug that doesn't have to do anything with the platform it runs on.

Yes I would like to have the game on Linux too. But it honestly, it would be just as buggy there as it is on Windows.

Re:Nice game, shame about the bugs. (1)

Frazbin (919306) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013469)

It's not a bug. Clearly you have an unrealistic picture of the post 9/11 world. You won't be able to rest until you've killed every possible "enemy" i.e. every NPC.

Re:I need to upgrade. (1)

Jozer99 (693146) | more than 8 years ago | (#14998570)

Thats because it is a quicktime panorama. Quicktime is not a very well writen program (expecially on windows). It is not hardware accelerated. Bascially, your computer is doing mathmatical warping of a GIGANTIC image in real time to wrap it around you in a sphere. I used to do work creating QTVR 360 panoramas. Not fun stuff, even on a dual P3 800 (top of the line back them).

Go Out And Waste 400+ Bucks For This??? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14996128)

I don't think so.

You have to be crazy to think people are going to rush out and suddenly start buying 360s for a 'meh' game like this.

Maybe in a few months after the company gets rid of the thousands of bugs that plague their games it will be worth picking up for a reduced price for pcs.

Heck no. (1)

Stoutlimb (143245) | more than 8 years ago | (#14996138)

I'd buy a brand new PC for this game. At least I can use the PC for something else after. ;-)

Re:Go Out And Waste 400+ Bucks For This??? (2, Informative)

abbamouse (469716) | more than 8 years ago | (#14997038)

They're getting better. Daggerfall was essentially unplayable when it shipped. Morrowind was at least playable. Having said that, I loved Daggerfall but just couldn't get into Morrowind.

Re:Go Out And Waste 400+ Bucks For This??? (1)

king wilson (252680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14999007)

yeah, that explains the huge stacks of 360's I see in all the stores. What was M$ thinking?

I'm in love. (2, Insightful)

Stoutlimb (143245) | more than 8 years ago | (#14996129)

I just saw the screenshots, and combined with my experience with the previous game, I can say I'm in love already.

Re:I'm in love. (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#14996463)

I bought it impulsively last night, having never played any games in the series. I haven't been this entranced since Ocarina of Time. It feels so real it's scary - this game is what role playing is all about.

TESIV:O (1)

sglider (648795) | more than 8 years ago | (#14996145)

Oblivion is by far one of the most beautiful games I've ever played. I've never thought about upgrading my gaming rig just for a game, but for Oblivion, I will. I currently have the following.

Athlon XP 3000+ (Barton 333)
Soyo KT400 Dragon Ultra
Ati Radeon X850XT
2 Gig PC2700 DDRAM 1x1GB, 2x512GB

Re:TESIV:O (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14996472)

got enough ram buddy?

Re:TESIV:O (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14996517)

Does it not run well on your system?

I have a similar vintage system (XP2700, GF5900, 1Gb) and don't know if I'd have to upgrade to play the game reasonably.

Re:TESIV:O (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14996910)

You might need to upgrade your vid card to play it.

I tried with a GF5200 and it was unplayable even at 640x480 with all detail turned down. I picked up a GF6800 and it runs fine now.

I'm running on a P4 3.2 with 2GB.

Re:TESIV:O (1)

sglider (648795) | more than 8 years ago | (#14997783)

It runs at about 20 FPS at the 'autodetected' level. (For reference, the 'autodetected level is 'high'. I'm pushing alot of polygons, so I'm sure that's why It's not running that well. It scales well though, but you really don't want to sacrifice visual quality in this game.

Re:TESIV:O (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14999045)

Cool, thanks.

Sounds like at least a video upgrade is in order...

Re:TESIV:O (1)

Solder Fumes (797270) | more than 8 years ago | (#14996740)

Aww, damn...I have an AMD64 3200, x800 Pro 256MB, and 1GB...this is pretty much exactly the recommended system and I was hoping I could scrape by. I mean, I'm getting 70fps at 1600x1200 in Half-Life 2. I was going to upgrade just the RAM pretty soon, but you're already sitting at 2 gig and talking about upgrading.

Here's a good question: anybody played Oblivion on a dual-core system yet? Oblivion was supposed to be the first game to natively support dual-core at launch. I want to know if a dual-core system kicks a single-proc's nads at playing Oblivion...if so, I might spring for that 4200+ CPU I'd planned for next year.

Re:TESIV:O (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14997431)

I know some people who are playing Oblivion on a dual core rig. The don't "kick nads", but both cores are used indeed (>60% load for both) and Oblivion isn't CPU-limited on these rigs (one issue that many people in Oblivion have is that when you get a "good enough" graphic card such as an X1900 or a 7800GTX+, or a 7800/7900 SLI rig, and you crank up the details/quality your system becomes CPU-bound...)

Re:TESIV:O (1)

Negatyfus (602326) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001139)

My machine is a:

AMD Athlon 64 3500+
nVidia GeForce 6800GT
1 GB DDR dual-channel ...and the game runs fine with good quality. The FPS will sometimes (but not that often) dip below 20, but it still plays very well. As in Morrowind, but even more so, you can do marvellous things with the Oblivion.ini file and people in community have already started tweaking the hell out of the game.

You'll be fine, mostly, but cranking every damn setting up to max will probably bring your computer to a crawl. But you'd notice only small improvements in the visual quality.

Re:TESIV:O (1)

Jackmn (895532) | more than 8 years ago | (#15002158)

The FPS will sometimes (but not that often) dip below 20, but it still plays very well.
I've never understood how people can stand dips below 60 with a first person perspective. The instant you move your mouse to face a different direction the low framerate becomes apallingly noticeable.

I've no problem with 30 FPS in RTSes and 2D platformers, but I simply can't tolerate it in first or third person shooters.

Re:TESIV:O (1)

Negatyfus (602326) | more than 8 years ago | (#15003399)

Ah, I don't know. I guess it's what you expect or are used to. Hell, I can barely tell a difference between 30 FPS and 60 FPS, anyway. Or maybe more like 40 FPS and 60 FPS.

I suppose I have a high tolerance level, too, because I've used older hardware with newer games for long periods of time. :) I'm just glad I don't have to put up with 15 FPS and lower anymore.

Re:TESIV:O (1)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 8 years ago | (#14996984)

I have a quite dated gaming machine. Quake4 was the first game I could not play due to low FPS. I am tempted to buy Oblivion and see how it runs, but I am trying to hold out until I upgrade. I will be upgrading to a rig similar to what you have. Right now I am looking at perhaps an Athlon64 3000+ or Sempron64 3300+, 2GB PC3200, and a GF 6600 or 7300 video card.

Re:TESIV:O (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 8 years ago | (#14997118)

I am tempted to buy Oblivion and see how it runs

If you have anything earlier than a GeForce 6000 series card (I can't name the ATI equivalent), it runs very badly. As for the game itself, I have mixed feelings. Go in with low expectations about the AI and stuff, and you'll probably be fine.

Re:TESIV:O (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 8 years ago | (#14999283)

I have a 3000+ AMD 64 with a gig of RAM and a 6600GT. It runs fairly well though, I would recommend a 6800 video card at a minimum if you really want to turn most or all of the eye candy on.

Just think... (3, Informative)

daeg (828071) | more than 8 years ago | (#14996189)

Just remember that Oblivion is built to scale with your capabilities. As graphics cards and computers keep improving, so will some of the graphics of Oblivion. Draw distance will get longer, texture blending will improve, and the shadows should scale, too.

Gamers on various forums are starting to explore the expansive INI settings available. You can easily crash your game, but there are some promising improvements out there already of things that make the game look even better if you have the equipment to support it.

In case you didn't know, the grass is generated by the game itself based on the climate and terrain type. The floor of a forest will be more sparse and rugged than open expansive plains where there is almost too much grass. When terrain gets too high/steep, the foliage thins.

Re:Just think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15000261)

Generated on-the-fly you mean? Because, AFAIK, 3D game environments are always generated by the game.

Dark Brotherhood (3, Informative)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#14996214)

After you murder a few people, make sure you don't go to sleep in a dungeon filled with traps... the Dark Brotherhood representative will come to you as you sleep, offer you a position with them, then leave the dungeon-- walking THROUGH all the traps and dying, making it impossible to join the Dark Brotherhood. Bastards!

Even in the most open-ended of games, and this is surely one, you can run into stuff the developers didn't plan for.

Game Reviews (1)

dgg3565 (963614) | more than 8 years ago | (#14996240)

It would be great if game review sites had this...

Re:Game Reviews (1, Offtopic)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 8 years ago | (#14996945)

The embargo and lack of review copies is a good indicator that a game has problems. As is, overwhelmingly positive "reader reviews" showing up within an hour of daybreak on the east coast aren't a good sign either.
I didn't notice it before hand, but they never show you more than a few meters around you in their screen shots? There's a really good reason for that...

I'm not saying it sucks, I've not even played it (I will buy it, eventually). But I did play some of their other games.
Morrowind got into a playable "ready for release" state about the time the first expansion came out. Kind of a bummer for the XBox players who got told things like "Start over, maybe the main quest won't break the next time through."
Daggerfall, never did become a workable title. I know people (two anyway) that won't play their games anymore because of this title. This is, I think, the kind of game Bethesda would release if it weren't for Microsoft's hand in the mix.

Now I buy games based off the demo. Some games never get a demo. I can only presume that they never solidified into a state someone might enjoy enough to pay for.

It's brilliant (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14997060)

The draw distance is startlingly far on the PC version. Yes, it's noticeable... but less so than most of the games we were playing in 2001. And what it draws... oh my gosh. It's beautiful.

Unlike Morrowind, it also actually has gameplay. All sorts of little things that never made sense in Morrowind are fixed here. You can tell which of your goods are stolen. You can tell which things you're not legally allowed to touch, so that when you go for them, you at least sneak first. There's a visibility meter. The speechcraft and lockpicking interfaces are great. Haggling is no longer insanely tedious, but almost invisible.

I haven't run into one noticeable bug, either.

Go ahead and pick it up. It's not the usual Bethesda production.

Re:It's brilliant (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14997156)

All sorts of little things that never made sense in Morrowind are fixed here. You can tell which of your goods are stolen.

When i got Morrowind and played for a few hours i thought i'd gonna love that game but all that stupidity about stealing totally ruined it for me. Add to that all those crates in open places, you could legally take stuff from most of these, but take from some others and you had someone shouting 'Thief'. Yuck! If they fixed that i might give it a try. Hmm, maybe i should try a pirated version first...

Re:Game Reviews (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 8 years ago | (#14999157)

>>The embargo and lack of review copies is a good indicator that a game has problems. As is, overwhelmingly
>> positive "reader reviews" showing up within an hour of daybreak on the east coast aren't a good sign
>>either.

Actually, it is a very very good game (though it has its bugs, like all Bethesda games).

>>I didn't notice it before hand, but they never show you more than a few meters around you in their screen
>> shots? There's a really good reason for that...

Thats because the XBox version has a really short viewbox. On my 6800GT, I have the view distances all cranked to the max and I have a great framerate. Oddly enough, the only thing that slows me down is the grass. Which, while beautiful, can hide monsters and treasure, so I keep grass turned off anyway.

Oblivion is actually a really fun game. Unlike Morrowind which was just rather tedious and unexciting. I haven't been able to play WOW recently because my fiancee has become addicted to Oblivion and won't let me use my own computer.

Re:Game Reviews (2, Informative)

Wordplay (54438) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001163)

Go to My Documents\My Games\Oblivion and edit oblivion.ini. Search for [grass]. The first parameter (on mine) is grass density, defaults to 80. Knock that up a bit. The higher the number, the sparser the grass. You can find a nice balance between performance and looks that way, and the sparseness of it improves the visibility as you say. I like "160" myself.

I can relate to that, but it's actually good (3, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 8 years ago | (#14999720)

I can understand your being circumspect in these days of PR hacks, paid-for review scores, astro-turfing and genuine fanboys. And yes, I do realize that you don't really have any guarantee that I'm not either, but I'll throw my 2p in anyway.

"I didn't notice it before hand, but they never show you more than a few meters around you in their screen shots? There's a really good reason for that..."

The biggest slow-down on my machine was the grass, and I suspect that's the really good reason there: grass makes for great screenshots, but really _kills_ frame rates unless you lower the rendering distance. On the bright side, you can turn it off, which helps performance a _lot_. (On the even brighter side, turning it off makes all the alchemy plants much easier visible.)

And that's just one option. There is really plenty of room to tweak the graphics even more than that. You can turn it all down to really low res and polycounts, or play with the render distance, or whatever. Heck, you can easily turn it into something that's lighter on the graphics than Morrowind was. (Not that it'll look much better, but you won't need much better hardware either.)

"I'm not saying it sucks, I've not even played it (I will buy it, eventually). But I did play some of their other games."

I understand why someone would want to extrapolate from previous experience and take (semi)informed guesses when making a personal decision (e.g., buy it or not), and indeed we all do all the time. Unfortunately, that doesn't really offer any guarantees about Oblivion. In the end, it can be good, or it can be bad, or something in between, regardless of what the previous games have been like.

"Morrowind got into a playable "ready for release" state about the time the first expansion came out. "

Morrowind had many problems, yes, but Oblivion isn't Morrowind. It's not just that it doesn't have the same technical problems, it also doesn't have the bland NPCs and generic quests, etc. In other words, if you consider the first expansion what Morrowind should have been, well, then you might actually like Oblivion. It's far closer to Tribunal than to Morrowind in most aspects.

"Daggerfall, never did become a workable title."

Oblivion isn't Daggerfall either. Heck, even Morrowind, for its other problems, wasn't anywhere _near_ the Daggerfall disaster.

"This is, I think, the kind of game Bethesda would release if it weren't for Microsoft's hand in the mix."

I don't know if it's MS's hand or not, but that's OK, because I don't really care. All that matters is whether the game is any good or not. Exactly how much of it is MS's merit and how much is Bethesda's, is a best an academic exercise, but in the end it doesn't really matter. Either the game is fun or it isn't, and in the end that's all that matters.

But if you want to talk about the games Bethesda did release without MS, those include releasing a FPS actually _before_ Wolfenstein 3D. It also featured driving vehicles and outdoors city scenes. Long before the big name FPSes featured any of those. And, yeah, you could run pedestrians down with the car long before GTA2. It just wasn't textured, but it was in every other aspect a better game than Doom or Quake that came _years_ later. Or they include stuff like Terminator: Future Shock, which invented full mouse-look. In effect, they invented the interface every single modern FPS uses. Etc.

Even in the "The Elder Scrolls" category, Arena was pretty stable and a fun RPG (plus it had some amazing technical stuff, like having 80 _million_ square km of terrain, not counting the dungeons), and they had stuff in there that debatably wasn't even an RPG. E.g., Redguard or Battlespire. I.e., it included more than Daggerfall and Morrowind to base an extrapolation on.

Heck, they even made at least one Mario game.

So basically it's pretty hard to accurately paint Bethesda with a one-liner wisecrack. The stuff they did was really extremely diverse, and that goes for quality too: they had some extremely good stuff, and they had some duds too, and some stuff in between. And Daggerfall was more their biggest dud, not any kind of median line. It was the exception rather than the rule.

"Now I buy games based off the demo. Some games never get a demo. I can only presume that they never solidified into a state someone might enjoy enough to pay for."

Again, you're free to buy or not buy, based on whatever criteria you wish. But as for that presumption, let's just say it's genuinely enjoyable for a lot of us. Go figure.

Re:Game Reviews (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#15000149)

Why? I mean, they do... kind of, they suggest that the game is entirely open-ended (i.e. nothing stops me from going to sleep in the middle of a bunch of traps), and that the NPCs in the game carry on their own lives and their own activities (i.e. won't just disappear after the meeting, but will walk back to wherever.) The only thing this tells you about the game is that the AI isn't adept at avoiding traps, or at least not the AI on this particular NPC.

I'm enjoying the game immensely despite that quirk, and if I do want to join the Dark Brotherhood, I could always just start a new character.

Opinions of Morrowind/Oblivion? (3, Interesting)

aurum42 (712010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14996234)

When reading about the immense excitement this game seems to generate among enthusiasts, I'm tempted to go out and purchase it. However, I did try Morrowind for a few hours (PC), and I was never engaged. I've played NWN, the Baldur's Gate series, and KotOR, and enjoyed them all, so perhaps I've been conditioned to expect a Bioware sort of game (although I've played through hack and slash-ish stuff like Diablo and Dungeon Siege, but wasn't really a fan) with the associated linearity. The whole clicking to swing your sword thing, and the washed out color scheme didn't really do it for me, but perhaps I should give it another try.

Also, is a familiarity with Morrowind a pre-requisite to playing Oblivion?

Re:Opinions of Morrowind/Oblivion? (3, Informative)

Androk (873765) | more than 8 years ago | (#14996357)

Oblivion jumps into the game and quests much better than Morrowind did. At least for me, it grabbed my attention much better and puts you in the game, wanting to play. One thing to remember there are hundreds (thousands?) of side and mini quests int he game, the main story doesnt stretch all the game can do.

Re:Opinions of Morrowind/Oblivion? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14996372)

The Elder Scrolls games require a bit more investment from the player to make them work, but if you're willing to put in the effort they are massively rewarding. I started the series with Morrowind, and for the first few hours I thought I had made a mistake in purchasing it... it felt too open-ended, and I was too accustomed to being told what to do (even the BioWare games are more rigid than this). However, once I really started playing it became my favorite game ever. The only reason I'm here typing this right now instead of playing Oblivion is that I can't afford the necessary hardware upgrades.

Familiarity with Morrowind is not necessary for Oblivion. All of the Elder Scrolls games share a common world, but take place in different areas and have independent stories. If you've played the previous games you'll likely get a bit more from the story, but it's not required to enjoy it.

Re:Opinions of Morrowind/Oblivion? (4, Insightful)

AlexMax2742 (602517) | more than 8 years ago | (#14996521)

Though I liked what it was trying to do, I hated Morrowind. On the other hand, I got Oblivion a few days ago and love it. Trust me, lack of engagement by Morrowind isn't uncommon, but Obvlivion totally compltetely makes up for it. All you give up is Levetation, Mark, Recall and the ability to twink your charactor to make things too easy (if you do twink your charactor to hell, the enemies will scale up with you and things get very very tough)

Re:Opinions of Morrowind/Oblivion? (3, Interesting)

Jerf (17166) | more than 8 years ago | (#14998218)

If improving your stats improves your enemies proportionally, what's the point of improving your stats?

Serious question, no sarcasm.

You're trying to beat the proportions (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14998980)

In most games, if you could just set all your stats to max you'd be able to beat any creature in the game with a stick. You wouldn't need Fancy Sword of Smiting.

In Oblivion it's different. If you just pimp out your attack stats, your enemies are going to be stronger in proportion. This has to happen because the world is so wide open. They don't know where you're going to go, and they can't put the stronger enemies "later" in the game.

However, as your non-attack stats go up, you have more options open to you. Speechcraft and mercantile make it easier to get potions and equipment. Learning spells opens up new tactics. Most importantly, learning new alchemy recipes allows you to make excellent potions.

The alchemy thing is *huge*. In many games, even if you know the combination for a lock or the recipe for soup, you're not allowed to make the soup or open the lock until a character tells you how. In Oblivion, if you know how you can do it anytime. Your stats will affect how long this takes, but they won't stop you as such.

What's rewarded is therefore learning about the game world, not pimping your stats. Once you've read enough recipe books on people's shelves, learned about the history, figured out the enchantment system, etc, you can really trounce anybody you run into. Put another way, if there were PvP in the game, an educated player with decent stats would win against a novice player with maxed stats every time.

Of course, if you look at a strategy guide this whole progression is toast, because it's inside you rather than enforced by the computer's dice. I like that. It annoys me that even if I know all the answers in Final Fantasy, I have to spend 45 hours pushing buttons. In Oblivion if I know all the answers, I can go straight to the places where the best weapons are stored, brew up potions, go to the master trainers.... It's my competence that determines my fate. So I stay the hell away from forums and strategy guides, and on the official Elder Scrolls forums the admins enforce the separation between the hardware, bug, and story discussion rooms with an iron fist.

It's not perfect, but that's because they really are the only ones out there doing this kind of game. Trying to combine total world freedom with a decent gameplay progression is damn hard. GTA avoids the issue by mostly dumping the idea of progression. Final Fantasy dumps the freedom. Elder Scrolls tries to combine both, and they're getting closer.

Re:You're trying to beat the proportions (1)

Jerf (17166) | more than 8 years ago | (#14999504)

Thank you. Excellent answer. Now you've piqued my interest.

Re:You're trying to beat the proportions (-1, Troll)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 8 years ago | (#15000336)

Funny, I was going to say just the opposite. Who wants to read freakin' cookbooks about imaginary ingredients which make imaginary food? What's next, a game where you pretend to clean your imaginary house? Oh wait, that's right.. the Sims. I'm going to write a game -- I'll call it a programming simulator -- where people write programs to run on my "virtual machine," relinquish the rights, and pay me for the privelage. Each week I'll make a new challenge, like "backend database solution for a fortune 50 company," and the first person or persons to submit a viable program win a badge, or a title in front of their names or something. Maybe some boots of the whale. And if the submitter's program has more than 3 critical flaws, or 10 minor bugs, they lose the prize and their maximum typing speed is reduced by 50% for 24 hours.

Re:You're trying to beat the proportions (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15000644)

Who wants to read freakin' cookbooks about imaginary ingredients which make imaginary food? What's next, a game where you pretend to clean your imaginary house?


This is kind of how I feel. It is obvious that the key to success and enjoyment of this game is to interact with the characters to collect knowledge of the game world. But to me, the characters are not appealing and the game world is straight off the cover art of some cheap fantasy novel. Since I'm not into reading cheap fantasy novels, I'm left with trying to enjoy the other aspects of the game. But there's not much else to enjoy: hack, slash, drink potion, repeat.

Re:You're trying to beat the proportions (1)

Sysgen (583488) | more than 8 years ago | (#15000898)

So don't drink potion or make them. Master illusion and just paralyze your enemy or conjuration and conjure a powerful monster to fight for you. So open, so beuatiful.

Re:You're trying to beat the proportions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15003727)

It is obvious that the key to success and enjoyment of this game is to interact with the characters to collect knowledge of the game world.

I personally enjoy the dungeon crawl aspects. I love that your arrows fall toward the ground when you fire them and that you have to aim high and lead the target in order to score a hit. It really makes it fun hitting an enemy that is almost beyond your sight because you aimmed extreemly well.

Re:You're trying to beat the proportions (1)

Jerf (17166) | more than 8 years ago | (#15000695)

I don't know if I'll like it or not. I've never tried it. That's why I said my interest was piqued, not "Oh, wow, that's obviously a great idea!"

I've done the Squaresoft-esque thing, though. And while I know I like it, I also know it's a bit limiting and gets a bit old after a while. I also can't help but step back every once in a while, and realize how incredibly stupid the whole exercise is sometimes.

Most games are, ultimately. I'm up for a new brand of stupidity every once in a while.

Re:Opinions of Morrowind/Oblivion? (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14997437)

Also, is a familiarity with Morrowind a pre-requisite to playing Oblivion?

Not at all. And the graphics of Oblivion are much more lively than those of Morrowind (on the other hand, the plot not being set in Morrowind helps a lot, Tamriel's a lot more friendly country)

Nice while it lasted (1, Insightful)

ObjetDart (700355) | more than 8 years ago | (#14996286)

Well, at least this time I managed to get to the third panaroma before QuickTime crashed and took Mozilla with it.

Two years ago I couldn't even load a single panormara without QT crashing, so I guess they're making progress...

Re:Nice while it lasted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14996380)

Give them a chance, it is apple after all - they don't hire qa people.

Re:Nice while it lasted (4, Funny)

Solder Fumes (797270) | more than 8 years ago | (#14996712)

I didn't have any problems viewing all of them...but then, I'm not the one who spelled "panorama" incorrectly...twice...and different each time.

Re:Nice while it lasted (1)

ObjetDart (700355) | more than 8 years ago | (#14998019)

I know how to spell panarama, thank you very much!

Re:Nice while it lasted (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 8 years ago | (#15000357)

Those weren't misspellings.. panaromas are all the rage. They're the latest in scent-over-IP. And panormaras are obviously enormous panoramas. Panormous, if you will.

QuickTime on Windows x64? (1)

allanw (842185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14996316)

Is anyone else running Windows XP 64-bit and able to run the iTunesSetup.exe? I'm getting the error: "The image file iTunesSetup.exe is valid, but is for a machine type other than the current machine."

play it on linux (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14996403)

This game doesn't yet work with cedega [transgaming.com] (a commercially developed fork of wine for gaming), but it's now the #1 game voted for by subscribers so the folk at transgaming will be working on it.

Beautiful crates! (0, Redundant)

lazuli42 (219080) | more than 8 years ago | (#14996404)

As technology continues to improve, crates and boxes in video games keep looking better and better. I can't wait to pick up this game so that I can go through it and break dozens of those gorgeous crates.

Whoohoo! Crates!

Re:Beautiful crates! (1)

Propagandhi (570791) | more than 8 years ago | (#14996456)

You don't open crates in Oblivion, you just open them.

I know this is terribly disapointing, but I thoguht I should tell you before you ruin your weekend.

Re:Beautiful crates! (1)

Misch (158807) | more than 8 years ago | (#14996482)

So the designers just got really bored [oldmanmurray.com] ?

Re:Beautiful crates! (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14997444)

You can't break crates in oblivion.

In fact, you just about can't break any item in oblivion. Except when it's worn by the guy in front of you and you're warhammering his head with all your might.

The cat ruined it for me.... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14996476)

In that second panorama, in the forest, everything looks absolutely beautiful. I feel like running around, exploring the surroundings, maybe going into that deep forest and hunting for things. And then I turn and see this stupid cat woman standing there. Flashbacks ensue. She'll probably want to give me a vague quest. Or maybe just hand me a 500 page book on the history of the Village/Forest People that has nothing to do with anything. Or maybe just sell me some potions.

Of course I could kill her. But that would be so incredibly unsatisfying, since she is just a random NPC with no special significance. Killing her wouldn't generate any story, just problems with the local guards. Yawn.

They call this an open ended game, but I still see the same old staples - the same old quests, pointlessy wordy trivia tomes, magic mushrooms...

Re:The cat ruined it for me.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14996530)

Hmm, lots of staples definitely but the game more then makes up for them with the huge detailed environment and the voluntary nature of all the quests. Sure lots of people want to give you all kinds of quests, but they are totally optionally.

I'd say that there is nothing vague about the quests. So far they've all been totally sensical and a decent number of them had some kind plot turn or something unexpected.

It definitely feels like it's own genre of game. The way all enemies scale up their power based on yours (which some RPG fans totally despise) makes it feel more like a classic action game where things just keep getting harder, but your own skills and the tools at your disposal keep improving.

Re:The cat ruined it for me.... (1)

arakon (97351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14997621)

Thats enough for me to not buy it. What's the point of getting better equipment and skills if all your opponents do to? Why not just supply MORE tougher opponents. I don't want to be fighting the same damn orcs after 20 hours of game play, for me that destroys any sense of accomplishment at all in the game. I hated it in FF8 and I'll hate it in this. Maybe if they make a patch later on to make the enemies getting more powerful optional. To me making the enemies ramp up with the player character sounds like a cop-out to actually adding more content for higher lev/stat players.

Re:The cat ruined it for me.... (1)

Bobsledboy (836872) | more than 8 years ago | (#14997672)

I'd hazard a guess that the main reason for the enemies ramping up with the player is because of the open nature of the game. I've currently put in 10 hours without touching the main story except for the starting tutorial. When I eventually head back to the main arc, it's definitely a good thing that the quests will still provide the same challenge.

Re:The cat ruined it for me.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14999631)

You actualy aren't fighting the same mobs over and over, new, bigger mobs start spawning when you get further in the game. They dont just make the orc tougher, they give him 2 friends and a healer, or replace him with a bigger mob.

Re:The cat ruined it for me.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15000223)

It seems to me that if you start calling the creatures in a game "mobs", that it's time you stepped away from your computer or console and got out into the real world a bit - because you're losing you ability to actually enjoy games, due to having distilled their essence down to a few easy to use, but meaninglessm labels.

Re:The cat ruined it for me.... (1)

Cy Sperling (960158) | more than 8 years ago | (#15000112)

Only humanoid enemies 'level up' with you- all of the creature enemies are divided into rough classes which swap out enemy types within a class as you level up. For example, at low level you encounter wolves out in the forrest- as you level up, you don't encounter stronger wolves, you encounter larger more deadly animals that match that environemnt and creature class.

Re:The cat ruined it for me.... (2, Interesting)

mabinogi (74033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15000157)

or she might just tell you to fuck off and leave her alone.

One of the main things they've promised with Oblivion is that the NPCs have their own lives and go about their business - they're not just placed somewhere for the sole purpose of meeting you.

Even morrowind wasn't really like that - NPCs didn't move much like they're supposed to in Oblivion, but they also weren't all there to give you a quest. Quite a lot of them just told you to get the hell out of their way, or would just say "hi" pleasantly as you passed. Just like real life.

It's also worth noting that Morrowind was very low on side quests handed out by random NPCs - most of the quests in the game were quests for the guilds you chose to join. I think that was one of the great things about it - you knew where you could go if you wanted something to do, but you weren't forced to go through the story if you didn't want to. I don't imagine Oblivion will be any different there.

I think too many people manage to raise their expectations way beyond what was ever promised for some games - they just assume it'll be exactly the game they want it to be, and are then horribly disappointed when its not.
I expect it to be like Morrowind, with better graphics, and slightly better NPCs. That's all I ever expected. Even if it's just like morrowind, but with better graphics I'll be perfectly happy.

NPCs (2, Insightful)

Rob Simpson (533360) | more than 8 years ago | (#15000510)

One of the main things they've promised with Oblivion is that the NPCs have their own lives and go about their business - they're not just placed somewhere for the sole purpose of meeting you.

So it's only taken them fourteen years to catch up with Ultima VII [wikipedia.org] ?

/jk, though that's one of the things that bugged me about Morrowind... amazing 3D graphics, beautiful environment, open-ended gameplay, but NPCs as dumb as rocks - when over a decade ago they were baking bread, going to the tavern, closing windows, sleeping, etc. in Ultima VII.

Re:The cat ruined it for me.... (1)

nick79au (791048) | more than 8 years ago | (#15000674)

The RadiantAI system is streaks ahead of Morrowind, IMO. The towns and cities are more or less empty at night (except for the guards and a few beggars), the shops are closed (doors have various levels of locks on them). The NPC's have conversations with each other, get in to fights etc etc.. The world is a lot more dynamic as well, like killing a bandit on the edge of steep mountain there's every chance the killing blow will send him over the edge and you'll never find the body to loot it..

There are a few bugs with it as well, some of the conversations are a bit weird, like two NPC's having a heated argument then saying a pleasant farewell.

As for the side quests, there's heaps like sorting out little disputes in towns, tracking down NPC's that have dissappeared etc. Like Morrowind you don't have to follow the main story, but one thing I've noticed is that you get caught up in the "urgency" of the main story line and tend to forget that you can just stop and go and hunt deer or sightsee or something...

Re:The cat ruined it for me.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15001437)

Your experience with Oblivion depends entirely on the attitude with which you approach the game. If you're going into the title with a smug frown on your face, criticizing every joint movement in every NPC model, you're really not going to get a fun experience out of the new Elder Scrolls game. These joy-busters are the folks who come on a site like this and preach vehemently that Oblivion offers nothing new over Morrowind and that they wasted their money on it (in reality, they aren't mentioning that they only wasted bandwidth downloading a clone of it and that their system was too shitty to run the game to start with).

If you don't put in the effort to look for the advancements, you will not see them. Let me cite a short anecdote for you:


I was determined to make Oblivion's new "radiant AI" do something funny. I had heard that NPCs re-schedule and work their behaviour around hunger, needs, their financial capabilities, etc., and decided that I would like to make someone turn to a life of crime. I picked an older chap in Imperial City and followed him, learned where his house was, his daily hours, etc. When he went ot for the day, I promptly broke into his house and looted every piece of food and gold I could find, leaving not even a plate to eat on. I went outside and waited. I waited until next day and was somewhat disappointed. Finally, my victim came out of his house, where I followed him all day.

I almost expected that Oblivion would fail me, but, come later that day, I followed him into a local inn. He made a dash for food and quickly ate. The innkeeper yelled "thief!" and my victim dashed out the door. I pursued and watched the guards chase down the running bread pilferer, cutting him down with their swords and leaving his worthless beggar body out in the street.

Another fun thing to do is break into homes and poison food.


My overall point is simple: life in Oblivion follows life in reality at least somewhat loosely. Day to day, unless you incur it, you don't see that much whacky deviation from the norm. The same follows in Oblivion. Take part in its daily happenings and you can bring about a lot of interesting exploits as far as "radiant AI" goes.

Have fun!

WoW (0, Offtopic)

chigun (770799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14997430)

Now that is just fucking cool. Finally a decent use of quicktime.

Sure wish I could play (1)

FroBugg (24957) | more than 8 years ago | (#14997668)

I liked Morrowind and the advance shots of Oblivion looked great, so I picked it up the other day. Now I just wish I could play. My system's a little behind the curve, but it runs stuff like WoW and HL2 on around medium settings with no problems at all. However, I can't even get through the character generator in Oblivion on absolutely minimal graphics settings without crashing.

Athlon XP 3200+
1 Gig DDR RAM
GeForce FX 5700 w/ 256 RAM
etc and sundry.

The worst part is my motherboard was of the last generation before PCI Express became standard, so all I've got is AGP. My CPU should still be able to handle it, but going to a GeForce 6800 on AGP seems like a waste of time.

Re:Sure wish I could play (1)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 8 years ago | (#14998278)

Ummm... This doesn't sound like your system is too slow. It just sounds like a bug in the game. Make sure you have the latest drivers for everything, etc. Inform the developer of the problem you are having, put the game back in the box and wait for a patch/update/service pack.

Re:Sure wish I could play (1)

Nightspirit (846159) | more than 8 years ago | (#14998973)

I'm in almost the exact same situation.

XP 3400+
1 gig ram
ati 9800 pro 128mb AGP

and my MB was the last generation before PCI express as well (they had a few intel ones out, but I wanted AMD). CPU is at 100%, so more CPU should help. And to be honest, the game for me is at least playable, but at 800x600 resolution, which sort of blows for a 2006 game. Turn the max view distance on and you can really see the difference.

I'm sort of wishing I got an xbox360 and a VGA adapter (no HD TV yet). It would be cheaper than a new MB, new CPU, and new graphics card. And to be honest my current rig is fine for a business or office PC so I don't see much reason to upgrade it.

Re:Sure wish I could play (1)

Mycroft_VIII (572950) | more than 8 years ago | (#15000940)

You should be able to play the game, unless your vid card is holding you back and I don't think it'd be that much.
    FWIW I'm running the game on an AMD64-3500+ with 1gig ram and and ati x800xt aiw with all the eyecandy on (except hdr lighting, the x800 don't do that) and only get noticeably low frame rates (the occasional brief stutter) in crowded situations, and those usually improve after half a second or so as the game (I assume) adapts.
    My brother is doing fine with only marginally less agressive settings also with the same vid card except his ram is slower (pc2700) and he's running an xp2800.
    The vid card itself is agp8x (vid cards are just now starting to push the limits of what agp can handle, the next gen will be the first to need pci express except for sli/crossfire).
    I suspect you may need a different driver version for your vid card, my brother is using a different driver version than I am (he upgrades just because he can, me I only do so when I need to or whim strikes me) and has more glitches with his game. I've only got one and that's when I close the game it tends to crash as it exits (but after it's done everything but surrender the screen back to the desktop so no harm that I've seen yet). FWIW I'm running catalyst version 05.13.
    I rarely hit 100% with a 3500+ so a 3400+ shouldn't hit 100% very much more often unless it's taking up slack for the vid card. My brothers machine with it's slower 2600+ dosen't hit 100% often eigther.
      It's an unfortunate fact of modern gamming that they almost always need at least one patch to be stable, and sometimes several before everything is working right.

Mycroft

Re:Sure wish I could play (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15001401)

Believe it or not, you don't have that much to worry about. Don't let the overclocker crowd tell you that your system sucks, because it doesn't! People with far less processing power than you and less RAM are scoring perfect frame rates - all you need is a new graphics card.

If you are inching to try out your game before you go and grab a new video card though, I encourage you to visit the Elder Scrolls forum. Several prominent users there are cranking out configuration optimizations and shader hacks that will allow older video cards to run the game at great framerates (albeit it looks a great deal worse). I have an Athlon 64 3200+ with 2 gigs of RAM and unfortunately, a worse video card than you. Thanks to hacks I've found on their forums, I have actually been able to play the game for some time now.

-js

Re:Sure wish I could play (1)

niteblade (764045) | more than 8 years ago | (#15002230)

I have an almost identical system - A64 3400+/1GB but I have an AGP GF6600GT. The game runs quite well on medium/large textures @ 1024 (especially after installing the new nvidia beta drivers specially optimized for the game - rev 84.25). Perusing newegg I see you can get a 6600GT for 100 bucks now. Not a top of the line card but it's still quite powerful.

Bob

Re:Sure wish I could play (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15003154)

I have a 3.2ghz P4, 1gb DDR RAM, and a GeForce 6800GT 256mb AGP, and Oblivion runs fantastically on high settings at 1280x768. It's gorgeous. I can't imagine a 6800GT is too expensive at this point, it might be worth the upgrade. Alt-tabbing out is the only thing that crashes Oblivion. The only reason I'm posting / even reading Slashdot right now instead of playing Oblivion is because, well, I'm at work.

Nice game, Dumbed down Interface (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15001709)

Oblivion is fun, and very beautiful.

However, being designed with the XBox in mind has left the game with a very simplified interface. I suppose this may appeal to some, but to me it feels like, well, a PC game dumbed down for a console.

Someone has told me that all the dungeons, and enemy ecounters are 'scaled' to fit your current level. As in, you won't find any dungeon that is out of your leauge. Can anyone confirm this? Seems sort of silly.

Anyhoo, it is playable, at least for me, on my less-than-stellar system. It's odd to hear of people which superior systems claiming that can't even make it through the character creation without a crash.

2.6 GHz P4
Radeon 9800 Pro
1 Gig Ram

Unfortunately, a low rez, but it plays well enough. Either 640x480 with bloom, or 800x600 sans bloom.

Re:Nice game, Dumbed down Interface (1)

PaganRitual (551879) | more than 8 years ago | (#15007128)

It gets worse, even the loot is scaled to fit your level. So no finding phat loot in dungeons that will yield some awesome sword that you can hold onto until your big and strong enough to wield it.

I really love the game, but it has some fucking annoying issues. The game levelling as you go is the major one. Gothic 1 and 2 (and hopefully 3) had no qualms about making all areas accesible but many suicidal until you were sufficently strong enough to tackle the creatures in that region. As it stands at the moment, apparently you can finish Oblivion at level 1, because the game is scaled to your level and never gets insanely hard ... UNLESS you don't level up the right things, and suddenly find your sweet-talking stealth character who can't fight his way out of a paper bag has to suddenly take out half a dozen daedra because he is level 15 and the game decides that means that you can oppose armies singlehandedly

Psychic guards is another one. If you steal something from someone in their own home, and then go find a guard, they will instantly arrest you. Even if that NPC that saw you never moved from their postion. Do anything wrong in view of anyone, and the entire world knows of your misdeeds, regardless of any other factors such as being out in the middle of nowhere. I haven't tested the 'kill someone out in the wilderness by themselves' situation, although you'd hope that doesn't alert the guards either. If nothing else it means you have to be a really careful thief/assassin, which while lending that extra challenge, can get annoying in those times when no one really had a chance to tell the guards but they arrest you anyway. Still, stealing a horse and running away under a volley of arrows is fun too :)

Gamespot (1)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 8 years ago | (#15002824)

Gamespot gave this game an astounding 9.6 for the 360. Amazing game with no frame rate/performance issues at all 10 hours in.
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