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Interview Another Oblivion fan interview

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,038
Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

There is a second <a href=http://www.elderscrolls.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=149722&st=0>Oblivion fan interview</a> available for your enjoyment. Lotsa new and amazing stuff is revealed!
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<blockquote><b>What of the Magic system as a whole?</b>
<br>
Logistically, we’ve changed how magic items work in two main ways – one, you don’t “cast” them like in Morrowind. They just “do” it. Anything you wear is constant effect, and affects you while you wear it. Weapons affect whatever target you hit with them. So you would never have a weapon that does something to you, the user. The other big change is that these items do not recharge on their own, you must do it. So you use soulgems to recharge items, or can get them recharged in town.
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The magic system has so much more in it, that it would take me 100 pages to answer it all</blockquote>Riiight.
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<blockquote><b>Can you share more with us about the skills available in Oblivion?</b>
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I think the whole list will be announced soon, and we always change it with each game to get better game balance. So 21 was the magic number for us for skills, as it allows each of the 7 main attributes to govern 3 skills. Also, we try to make each skill have meaning, so less is more when it comes to that. ... We really trimmed back the weapon skills and combined them, so that it played better if you chose all of the weapon or combat ones. That was an area in Morrowind where you really lost out if you majored in all the weapons at once. In Oblivion, you choose 7 majors, and then you have 14 minors. The 7 majors are the ones that affect your leveling up. It plays out much better than our previous systems.</blockquote>I think that Bethesda people just suck at balancing so they keep reducing the number of skills untill all that's left are DEADLY WEAPAN!!! & MAGIK SPELL!!! Btw, why 7 major skills? Let me guess people complained that they don't know what skills to pick, so you decided to help them? Nice!
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Thanks, <b>micmu</b>
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corvax

Augur
Joined
Jul 13, 2004
Messages
731
7 major skills ain't so bad. Not that big of a difference between 5 major, 5 minor, 17 misc. Hopefully concentrating on the 7 will restrict the munchkin potential. Before anyone says anything, I know, I know the blade skill already munchkinizes the game but maybe other skills wont.
 

Atrokkus

Erudite
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
3,089
Location
Borat's Fantasy Land
Oh, I'm not worrying about skills.
There is nothing wrong with munchy skills, as far as I'm concerned. I don't care if there will be no xbows, I don't care if soil erosion won't work properly, I don't even care if magic system gets fucked up in the eye again.

Just as long as the there is roleplayings. Everything else is secondary and unimportant.
 

kathode

Novice
Developer
Joined
Jul 13, 2004
Messages
76
Let me guess people complained that they don't know what skills to pick, so you decided to help them? Nice!

How does that make it easier? If anything, having less major skills makes the selection more difficult. The choice means a lot more when you can't just take a big range of skills like you could in Morrowind and still expect to advance.
 

Saint_Proverbius

Administrator
Staff Member
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Messages
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kathode said:
How does that make it easier? If anything, having less major skills makes the selection more difficult. The choice means a lot more when you can't just take a big range of skills like you could in Morrowind and still expect to advance.

Yup, Morrowind allowed you to pick five primary and five secondary. Oblivion only lets you pick seven primary and it sounds like you don't have a secondary set at all. Then again, I don't think I ever used much of my secondary skills when I played. Seven seems like a decent number to me.
 

Twinfalls

Erudite
Joined
Jan 4, 2005
Messages
3,903
There's some really promising news in this.

Enchanting has been severely restricted for non-mages, and is now a high-level Mages Guild perk. Should fit in nicely with the expanded Mages Guild structure (different schools in different cities, Arcane University, etc).

Sad though that there will be no Monk guild - no joinable Divines guild of any sort, it seems. I hope at least we see temples for each of the Divines, and can get some quests at them....
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,038
kathode said:
How does that make it easier? If anything, having less major skills makes the selection more difficult.
Exactly. 5<7, last time I checked.

The choice means a lot more when you can't just take a big range of skills like you could in Morrowind and still expect to advance.
Was that really a problem in MW? You could level very fast using only 3-4 skills, in fact you had to watch it and HAD to use other skills to balance levelling up.
 

jiujitsu

Cipher
Joined
Mar 11, 2004
Messages
1,444
Project: Eternity
Vault Dweller said:
<b>What of the Magic system as a whole?</b>
Logistically, we’ve changed how magic items work in two main ways – one, you don’t “cast” them like in Morrowind. They just “do” it. Anything you wear is constant effect, and affects you while you wear it. Weapons affect whatever target you hit with them. So you would never have a weapon that does something to you, the user. The other big change is that these items do not recharge on their own, you must do it. So you use soulgems to recharge items, or can get them recharged in town.

The magic system has so much more in it, that it would take me 100 pages to answer it all

Sounds like the just took stuff out and made it less complicated... :roll:
 

Kuato

Liturgist
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Messages
253
Location
3 steps ahead
kathode said:
Let me guess people complained that they don't know what skills to pick, so you decided to help them? Nice!

How does that make it easier? If anything, having less major skills makes the selection more difficult. The choice means a lot more when you can't just take a big range of skills like you could in Morrowind and still expect to advance.

if you narrow the skills down far enough eventually it will become just as difficult to choose as picking your character in gauntlet or golden axe.
 

Quigs

Magister
Joined
Sep 16, 2003
Messages
1,392
Location
Jersey
lets just hope they fix alchemy. Raising int to the 2k mark when 100 is the highest natural? What a crock.
 

MrSmileyFaceDude

Bethesda Game Studios
Developer
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
716
Quigs, there's an Alchemy skill based limit on the number of potions you can consume at once.
 

kathode

Novice
Developer
Joined
Jul 13, 2004
Messages
76
Vault Dweller said:
Exactly. 5<7, last time I checked.
And 7<10. In Morrowind 10 skills contributed to levelling up.

if you narrow the skills down far enough eventually it will become just as difficult to choose as picking your character in gauntlet or golden axe.
Slippery slope is still a logical fallacy :)
 

Fintilgin

Educated
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Messages
83
Vault Dweller said:
kathode said:
How does that make it easier? If anything, having less major skills makes the selection more difficult.
Exactly. 5<7, last time I checked.

Well, in Morrowind your character had 10 skills out of 27. That's slightly over 1/3 of the available skills. In Oblivion you'll have 7 of 21 or exactly a third. So you actually had slightly more of the total skill set in Morrowind.

Actually as much as the idea of merging Long and Short blade bugs my aethestic sense, it seems like a good idea to make skill choices more meaningful. In Morrowind it was a bit of a waste to choose a bunch of melee skills. Thus many of the 'combat' class skills were 'wasted' once you picked the one you wanted and then your choices had to come from stealth and magic. Reducing the number should make a combat character's choices more interesting.

I wouldn't mind seeing a 'Melee' skill and a 'Ranged' skill actually. Perks could then be used to specialize in different weapons.
 

Quigs

Magister
Joined
Sep 16, 2003
Messages
1,392
Location
Jersey
MrSmileyFaceDude said:
Quigs, there's an Alchemy skill based limit on the number of potions you can consume at once.

Good news.

With these changes, what effect would it have on the infamous speed gamer? Are we talking it would take him 5 min longer now, or just invalid all together?
 

MrSmileyFaceDude

Bethesda Game Studios
Developer
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
716
Quigs, it's hard to say, especially without giving away the conditions that make up the end of the main quest. I'm sure that given enough time, someone will come up with shortcuts, but I'm not sure if anyone will be able to beat the main quest in anything as short as the 7 minutes & 31 seconds someone did with Morrowind recently.

And even if they do, if it takes them 3 years to figure out how to do that, it doesn't really bother me that much :)
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,038
kathode said:
Vault Dweller said:
Exactly. 5<7, last time I checked.
And 7<10. In Morrowind 10 skills contributed to levelling up.
Ok, let's take it slowly. First, levelling up is not the only purpose of character systems. Second, as I've already mentioned, levelling up was never a problem in MW, even if one used only 3-4 skills.

My point was that when one creates a character, the first question is "what skills do I pick". Before, when you had more skills, choosing 5 out of 27-30+ different skills was way more complicated than choosing 7 out of 3 carefully arranged classes of 7. The fact that there was another set of 5 secondary skills doesn't change that, unless all you care about is levelling up.

Granted, that doesn't restrict anyone from using different combinations of skills, but whenever a company makes an extra effort to make gameplay friendlier for dumb people, gameplay usually suffers too. Considering other dumbing down efforts that we know of, the game doesn't look overly complex or interesting for those who expect more than "running around and killing things"
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
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Messages
28,038
Percolator Fish said:
Vault Dweller you are the worst news poster on the Codex. Stop acting like a jerk.
You are a dumbass, but unfortunately there's nothing you can do to change that.
 

Quigs

Magister
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Jersey
Smiley, thats what im talking about.

If the new system for alchemy were implimented in morrowind, could he still do what he did, or would it just slow him down?
 

Sol Invictus

Erudite
Joined
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Messages
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Pax Romana
I don't see how the changes are bad. Having too many skills, with half of them 'not as useful' as the other half is just evidence of bad design. Take a look at Wizardry and its 5 dozen or so skills.

Complexity for the sake of complexity is nothing but a hinderance. The so-called hybrid classes were nothing more than variants of pure classes that performed much better than their hybrid counterparts. It's like taking a Cleric who's good at healing and defense and having a hybrid of the Cleric called the Battle Priest who's weaker at healing, weaker at defense, with a little bit of offensive capability. Now, why would you use this guy? He's not good at anything.

The way I see it, it's better to have fewer, but more important skills. It places more importance on those major skills (they are major after all, aren't they?) and gives the player more chance to truly develop the makeup of his character.

Would you prefer if Fallout had another dozen stats on top of SPECIAL, or crappy skills like "Driving" that serve little purpose?
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
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Messages
28,038
Sol Invictus said:
I don't see how the changes are bad. Having too many skills, with half of them 'not as useful' as the other half is just evidence of bad design. Take a look at Wizardry and its 5 dozen or so skills.
How about making them more useful instead of throwing them out? Just a thought. Btw, was DF's Climbing useless? Was Short Blade useless?

Complexity for the sake of complexity is nothing but a hinderance. The so-called hybrid classes were nothing more than variants of pure classes that performed much better than their hybrid counterparts. It's like taking a Cleric who's good at healing and defense and having a hybrid of the Cleric called the Battle Priest who's weaker at healing, weaker at defense, with a little bit of offensive capability. Now, why would you use this guy? He's not good at anything.
You are right! Games should have 3 classes: Fighter, Mage, Thief, because anything else is a hindrance. Btw, I see nothing wrong with an option to tweak Clerics as I see fit. Maybe I only need one or two spells to augment my offensive capabilities, so I have no need for a fully blown spell casting department?

The way I see it, it's better to have fewer, but more important skills. It places more importance on those major skills (they are major after all, aren't they?) and gives the player more chance to truly develop the makeup of his character.
Considering that in TES games you can easily increase all skills with enough time and patience, that would mean that eventually all your skills are basically major and high enough to let you do ANYTHING you want to do.

Would you prefer if Fallout had another dozen stats on top of SPECIAL, or crappy skills like "Driving" that serve little purpose?
Depends on gameplay, doesn't it? If there was a place for Driving, integrated into gameplay, why not?
 

Sandelfron

Scholar
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Aug 5, 2005
Messages
478
Sol Evicted said:
It's like taking a Cleric who's good at healing and defense and having a hybrid of the Cleric called the Battle Priest who's weaker at healing, weaker at defense, with a little bit of offensive capability. Now, why would you use this guy? He's not good at anything.

The combo usually works well in rpgs of that genre - it's often called ..Paladin :cool:.
You can melee well, good armour, plus you can buff and heal. If this doesn't work
too well in TES I can't remember- I've forgotten since they collectively suck arse.
 

Sol Invictus

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Well sure, I suppose they could make some skills more useful instead of cutting them out, but I prefer augmenting preexisting skills instead of spreading them out. It makes the game easier to balance, so that's a plus.

As for the "Paladin" comment: Sandel, unless you played Wizardry which was what I was referring to, your response does not apply. My point was that Wizardry had so many different classes and hybrid classes that the majority of the time, 90% of these classes were completely useless because they didn't perform anywhere as well as a party made completely out of 'pure class' characters who excelled in their roles. As a party based game, it makes no sense to distribute your skills all around because you end up shooting yourself in the foot in the end-game when the game puts you against pure-class enemies.
 

Saint_Proverbius

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Twinfalls said:
Sad though that there will be no Monk guild - no joinable Divines guild of any sort, it seems. I hope at least we see temples for each of the Divines, and can get some quests at them....

This part pisses me off. I normally like to play clericy type characters. Without temple guilds and the like, they pretty much killed the moderate amount of enthusiasm the minotaur balls gave me.

Pros: Minotaurs with huge balls.
Cons: No temple guilds.

MEH!
 

Kuato

Liturgist
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3 steps ahead
Sol Invictus said:
I don't see how the changes are bad. Having too many skills, with half of them 'not as useful' as the other half is just evidence of bad design.

Design is really a core issue, is this game is designed for character archetypes(thief, warrior, Magicion), or more well rounded or unique characters, having more skills just requires more thought out design, but of course you cant make every skill as perfectly equal in power or usefullness as the rest, and you also run the risk of someone lacking in common sense making some poor decisions resulting in a more useless character. but I see that as part of a challenging game, Streamlining a game is one thing but this current trend of bending over backwards to make all games more brainless is really disturbing.


Sol Invictus said:
Complexity for the sake of complexity is nothing but a hinderance. The so-called hybrid classes were nothing more than variants of pure classes that performed much better than their hybrid counterparts. It's like taking a Cleric who's good at healing and defense and having a hybrid of the Cleric called the Battle Priest who's weaker at healing, weaker at defense, with a little bit of offensive capability. Now, why would you use this guy? He's not good at anything.

This is virtually the same as my argument as to why anyone would want to play a Hybrid rpg lite/action lite game since it doesn't do action or rpg very well.

Sol Invictus said:
The way I see it, it's better to have fewer, but more important skills. It places more importance on those major skills (they are major after all, aren't they?) and gives the player more chance to truly develop the makeup of his character.

it will definutely make the game less complex and a little easier if thats a good thing..
 

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