The main guide for OOO
advises against making a "jack of all trades" character. This is rubbish. Whenever you walk anywhere, make sure you're casting over and over again in order to buff some school of magic or other - Restoration in particular is invaluable
, but takes forever to raise.
The difficulty of a spell does not affect how much skill you gain from using it.
The best weapons in the game, as in any RPG, are swords. Forget about the other weapon schools. Use something fast and one handed so you can carry a shield. Armour with a "detect life" enchantment will also do wonders for your life expectancy.
Set your main skills to areas you don't use. This ensures that you only level up when you want to, meaning you can arrange for the maximum stat bonuses first. Main skills do level up a bit faster then others, though, and some skills level so slowly you will
want the "main" bonuses - acrobatics and atheletics are two key examples.
One of the things OOO
adds is the option to bash through locked chests. Can't remember how to do it, though... It's documented anyway. Not sure if this'll interfere with other lockpicking mods.
The Skeleton Key can be obtained from this quest
. Note that OOO
removes the silly level restrictions from Daedric quests, so you can do them whenever you're "capable". However, because it also
trounces the silly level-matching system, a low-leveled character will have serious
trouble fighting through the trolls in the cave (which regenerate health quite quickly) - try to find some scrolls/potions of invisibility first, or be prepared for some drawn out hit'n'run tactics.
The Daedric quests in general have decent rewards. With a bit of "alternative thinking", it's quite possible to get most of them without fighting fair. The last one, which can only be started after doing all the others, grants character bonuses that can will push you past your skill/stat caps (assuming you've already reached them).
The Bag of Holding
mod is the next best thing to infinite carrying capacity (and is probably the first mod I hunted down prior to playing). Note that Oblivion has a bug where a container with too many items will fail to display its full contents (removing some will return it to normal; nothing actually gets lost) - this happens much sooner if the items are repaired past 100% (Something you can do once your Armourer stat hits sufficient levels. Train this from the word go, because the extra durability grants decent offensive and defensive bonuses).
The actual bag is found in the ruin located directly in front of you once you get out of the sewers at the start of the game. You won't be able to kill everything in there, thanks to OOO
, but if you're prepared to do a bit of dodging it's possible to clean out most levels and escape in one piece with the bag.
I had issues with the keyring mod. It made certain keys go "bye-bye" when picked up. They didn't go anywhere; they just... went. I just dumped all spare keys in a bag in the end (... once I was able to afford the obscene price OOO
makes you pay for Rosethorn manor).
I'd recommend going through all the guild quest lines before concentrating on any "major" mods (... other then OOO
). They're all quite good (the Mage's guild in particular is probably more interesting then the main quest, and the rewards are certainly more valuable then any other in the game). Remember that if you disable a mod and save your game, all progress with that mod will then be lost.
Shivering Isles is the main "official" expansion. Worth getting if you don't already have it. Quests are fun enough and many other mods require it.
Mart's Monster Mod
adds a ton of weapons, creatures and monster spawn points. Werewolves, giants, craptons of stuff. The creature leveling in MMM
doesn't always mesh with OOO
, though, so difficulty in certain areas may seem easier then it rightly "should". Install this one from the very start if you intend to use it at all. Ignore the crafting features it adds, they're rubbish.
I get the impression that OOO
also removes some of the leveling effects from quest rewards, while MMM
adds them back in. For example, in the vanilla game, quest rewards are severely nerfed if you complete them while low-level (meaning that big pretty sword WILL be useless by the time you've leveled a bit). OOO
makes the rewards proportional to quest difficulty, so if you have the skill to perform a hard quest early, you'll get a bonus that'll last the game.
This is important, when you consider that you can't remove spells you learn in Oblivion. Win a crap spell at a low level, and it'll clutter your list forever. Earning an awesome spell early won't break the game anyway, as you can't cast it until you earn the skill.
The mod I've been playing the most of recently is Morroblivion
. Pretty obvious what it does. It's not 100% complete... for example, Oblivion has no concept of "blindness", so the Boots of Blinding Speed
give the speed and nothing else, for eg. I suspect this particular mod has doubled the time it takes for the game to start up though...
The Golden Crest
grants a pirate-based quest line, and is all around very good. Unfortunately it's unfinished and probably never will be complete, but it's still got more meat then any quest line in the unmodified game.
is quite fun (no, it's not what it sounds like, honest!) - basically adds a ton of pretty/unique weapons/armour/costumes to the game (by adding NPCs to certain dungeons), including weapons intended for parrying. Aims to be a bit like Diablo II (the Horadric cube is one of the drops). The main downside is that it locks certain dungeons until you steal (read: loot) the keys off bosses, so again, you'll probably want to deal with the vanilla questlines first.
is one I intend to get to upon finishing Morroblivion. Haven't tried it but it seems to be one of the "must haves". The videos I've seen for it look pretty awesome (eg, you get wings).
There are a fair few mods around that alter the "fast travel" markers in the game. You can get some to remove them, or add more; personally I use one that adds all the Doomstones. They can be a pain to find otherwise, and since you have to mount up your fame before you can even use most of them, it's nice to be able to keep track of where they are...
There are mods that fill in the missing areas of the world, such as Elsweyr
(others include Valenwood, Skyrim etc).
For performance, there's stuff like Low-Poly Grass
is also helpful, as it attempts to work out the best load order for your mod mix automatically (certain mods "need" to be higher/lower on the list in order to function correctly).
... Now you've done it. I'll be stuck playing Oblivion for the rest of the day. Again.