Advice for new Oblivion player

What’s a nice way to level up?

I’d like to obtain some nice gear… what sort of stuff should I buy?

Actually, the last thing you want to do in Oblivion (or Morrowind, for that matter) is level up. That is because, unlike most computer RPGs, the act of levelling up doesn’t give you much of a power boost (only a handful of hit points, and three stat ups which depend on your skill use. More on that later). However, levelling up unlocks more difficult monsters. So unless you work diligently to devellop your character well, and hold back your levelling, you’re going to wind up with a high level character with crappy skills, crappy gear and very tough enemies. Good luck.

What you *want *to do is time your levelling so that, when you do level up, your three stat ups are all +5. To get that, you need to have gained a total of 10 points in skills that rely on those 3 attributes (10, no more, no less) while not gaining points in skills that rely on other attributes. This is because, short of an exploit, you can’t up skills past 100, and skills get increasingly harder to improve. So you don’t want to “waste” a skill up on a skill linked to an attribute you aren’t going to raise on your next level up

So, for each level, you should optimally pick 3 attributes, and mostly use skills that improve those 3. It’s also quite important to boost Endurance to 100 ASAP, since it’s the skill that gives you hit points per level, and it’s not retro-active. Since Luck has no skill attached to it, it’ll only ever have the lowest boost, so it’s a good idea to pick it early too.

Since you want 30 (or 20 if you focus on Luck) skill raises per level, but 10 raises in major or minor skills net you a level, you should pick your skills carefully : don’t put all the skills linked with a given attribute in majors and minors. Keep at least one in the miscellaneous for training purposes. I would also advise against picking whatever weapon or magic skill you intend to use the most as a major or minor, since it’s going to rise very fast.

As for where to find gear, well, I’ll leave that to someone who knows the game better than I do :slight_smile: - but as a general rule, gear isn’t really important in this game, since whatever you face will automagically scale to your power level. Unlike Morrowind, I don’t think there are sets of über gear lying around for explorers to find.
At least, in the un-modded game : whatever gear you find will fit the monsters you’re going to face. As you rise in levels, the gear you find in shops, on dead foes and as quest rewards will improve. However, there is one thing to keep in mind : the reward you get at the end of a quest depends on the level you were when you picked up that quest, not when you finish it. So it’s best not to pick up too many quests at once : focus on finishing those you’ve got before getting new ones.

Well, I like to use a sword and cast the fireball and heal spells. I seem to run around a lot and theres a lot of locks to pick. I don’t really care about being charming enough to get the best prices on wares, but I don’t want to miss out on a plotline if I have to talk my way into it.

I like the idea of getting Endurance to 100 quickly and I can do luck too if that’s important.

I picked Steed as my astrological sign, so I can run around faster, and I chose Spellsword as my profession. I can restart as something else, since I just barely started.

I’m not sure I understand the advice on attribute levelling. Do you mean I should cast fireballs but don’t jump around? Is it okay to pick locks and chat up folks?

Well, I’d say either pick a race with a high starting bonus in Blades, and keep blade a misc. skill, or take Blades as a class skill if you want to play a race without any bonus in it. Definitely put Destruction and/or Restoration in misc. though : it’s trivial to boost magic skills fast (just create yourself a 1 mana cost spell of that school, go to a Guild you’re a member of, cast that spell until you’re out of mana, rest, repeat)

Luck isn’t really ultra important, but it’s a nice boost (basically, it’s a flat bonus to every single skill). You should definitely raise it to 50 (where it’s neutral - Luck under 50 gives you penalties), whether you want to go beyond that is up to you.

The Steed is OK. Not the best sign, but far from the worst.

I don’t know really know the classes - I always make a custom one :). Lemme check.

Hmmm, I’d say the class has got too many of the good skills, paradoxically. With Blade, Block and Heavy Armor as class skills, you’re going to gain levels very fast just by bashing peoples’ heads in.

I’d suggest you create a custom class with the following :

Specialization : Combat
Attributes : Endurance, Intelligence
Skills : Restoration, Block, Mysticism, Security, Hand to Hand (or Blade - see above), Light Armor, Illusion.
Sign : whatever you like

This gives you a good spread of skills, and more importantly very good control of when the skills that are going to level you up rise.
Restoration can be controlled by not casting heal spells (drinking potions instead).
Block ? Well, don’t block, duh.
Mysticism has very few useful spells, you’re pretty much only going to use it for soul binds later in the game.
Security you can control by not stealing everything that isn’t nailed down, and picking it as a class skill makes sure you’ll be able to open the chests in dungeons.
Hand to hand and light armor are there to pad the list, since you’re going to fight in plate and with a sword, so they’ll stay low for easy levelling - when you do want to level them, find yourself a weak monster, let it hit you a lot while wearing light armor, punch it till it falls unconscious, heal yourself back up while you wait for it to wake up, etc…
And finally, Illusion you probably won’t use much if you’re more into hack, slash and zap gameplay, but it’s again trivially easy to train when you want to.

Now, this does mean that the skills you *are *going to use during the course of your travels (Destruction, Blade, Heavy Armor, Speechcraft…) are going to start low, barring any racial bonus. Meaning you’ll take a bit of a pounding at first. That’s why I suggested Block and Restoration as class skills :). Alternatively, you can switch Heavy Armor for Block, and Destruction for Restoration, which will give you a bit more early survivability and a bit more *oomph *respectively, but it also means you might level up a bit too fast to get a perfect +5/+5/+5 on each level-up.
Not that it really matters, mind you : the game is not so hard that you absolutely have to level perfectly. In fact, the only real must is to raise Endurance to 100 ASAP. But it’s a perfectionnist thing :stuck_out_tongue:

I mean that on each level, you want to pick three attributes, and stick to only those skills which are tied to those attributes during the course of that level.

So, if say you set out to raise Endurance, Intelligence and Strength, you should try your best to use only Block, Armorer, Heavy Armor (10 points spread over those), Alchemy, Conjuration, Mysticism (again, 10 points), Blade, Blunt and Hand to Hand (10 points). During the course of that level, yes, try not to jump around (or run around) too much, don’t throw too many fireballs or heal yourself via spells, refrain from chatting up folks etc…
When you level up, you can pick another set of three attributes.

Of course, that’s all very nice on paper, but in-game you’re going to want to use skills outside of the ones you’ve set out to train for that level. However, you should still try to remain focused and keep it to a minimum, at least early in the game when skills grow up very fast. For example, if you’re on an “Endurance, Intelligence, Strength” level, stash your loot somewhere - to sell it when you’re on a “Personnality” level. Picking the handful of locks you’re going to find in a dungeon is OK, but if you want to do some hardcore, rob-the-town-blind thieving, you’d better wait until you’re in an “Agility” level. And so on.

Again, this is mostly true for the lower levels - as your skills raise, it will take much more effort to raise them some more, so the occasional use won’t result in so many “CRAP ! I didn’t want that skill to raise now !” moments.

You don’t need to min/max in Oblivion. It’s so easy to become an unstoppable killing machine that you might as well just do whatever you think might be fun.

Quick tip for any character; Conjuration is you friend, as a minor skill anyway. Buy Summon Skeleton from Chorrol and cast it over and over - it levels quick. Then buy Summon Clannfear (I hate fighting the little shits, but they are potent allies). The benefit is that enemies will focus on your summon while you’re free to pepper them with arrows/sword blows/axe strikes/destruction magic. Clannfears will tear up enemies very nicely, I summoned one in a cave, it ran off leaving me to find a trail of corpses for the looting.

Are you playing on PC? If so, you should check some old oblivion mod threads. The default levelling system sucks and there are good replacements but I don’t remember what mod is what offhand.

The game can be improved massively, even on the first playthrough, with mods.

There are a few quests that you won’t get, or won’t get the right clues, unless the person likes you enough. If you don’t want to use Persuasion, you can just bribe them. You don’t need to take Persuasion as a major skill to use it, either.

If you like to move fast, then train your Speed skills, and wear light armour.
Kobal2, are you playing a modded version? My version of the game only has major and minor skills, and 10 major skill raises give you a character level. Minor skills are useful to raise because they will give you ‘ticks’ in the linked Attribute, without putting you up a level.

Nah, I simply forgot that they simplified the setup for Oblivion.
Daggerfall and Morrowind both had 5 majors, 5 minors and the rest miscellaneous. Majors started a bit higher than minors, and rised a bit faster too. And while I played a lot of Morrowind, I didn’t put in that many hours in Oblivion (though I should install it again some day, now that I have a semi modern gaming rig that won’t turn into a diaporama when two people are on the screen)

Alchemy is a great skill for money-making early in the game. If you grab any food items out of the tutorial and then go to the Market district of the Imperial City and clean the food out of the trash barrels in the square, you can turn those into potions for a nice profit. Most times, I wind up with a few hundred septims starting out just from this.

Join the fighters and/or mage’s guild. Doing so opens up a lot of equipment and items to you that you can freely take to use or sell. As long as the cursor doesn’t turn red, you can take the item without it being considered stealing.

There’s also a quest in this area from Jensine in one of the stores. She asks you to check up on a merchant whose prices are too low to be legit. One of the quest rewards is a magic sword. The only hard part is an Average level lock that you have to pick at one point.

My favorite early quest is just outside the Imperial City. Fast travel to the stables and then go down the hill and across the bridge. Just on the other side, you’ll see a fisherman walking around during the day time. He gives you a quest to collect 12 slaughterfish scales from the nearby lake. The reward for this is a magic ring that lets you breath underwater. I do this quest first every time I play.

There’s also a hidden helmet that has underwater breathing, night sight, and detect life on it. It’s also unfortunately very ugly. You can easily get it as early as level 1 but it’s a bit hard to describe its location. It’s called ‘Fin Gleam’ and you can probably find a video walkthrough on Youtube.

Here is a wiki site for all things Elder Scrolls. Many great ideas, tactics, and suggestions. In particular: a good article explaining leveling strategies.