The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion offers much flexibility in character creation. You can greatly modify your character's appearance, race, birthsign, and class. Your appearance can be whatever you like. However, your race affects how well you will do with certain skills and abilities. For example, if you choose a Breton, you will have an initial magicka of 150 points, unlike the initial magicka of the Imperial race, which only starts with 80 magicka points; if you chose the race of Argonian you are able to breathe under water. Typically warriors and soldiers are Orcs, Nords, Redguards or Imperials. Most mages are Altmer or Bretons. Many thieves will be Bosmer, Argonians or Khajiits. Any race can be adapted to any role or job.
Class and SkillsEdit
When you reach the point where Emperor Uriel Septim is assassinated, one of his Blades members will talk to you and he will estimate what type of class would suit your playing style best, based on your performance up until that point. You can go according to what the soldier says, or you can choose one of the other pre-made classes or make a custom on of your own. Be careful! Make sure that you choose the class that you will be happy using the whole game. For example, if you choose to be a mage, but you use a sword and keep leveling up your blade skills, it will not make you level up as a whole. Customize your class to fit the skills you would like to use. See the pre-made classes above if you want an effective build, or are playing for the first time, as it can be quite difficult to get the overall effect you want. If you can't get the overall effect you wanted, you may as well delete your current one and make a new, better one (just hope you did not get too far in the game; anywhere before level 10 and/or before you get to Kvatch during the main quest).
At the end of the sewers, you will get a final chance to change your appearance, race, class, and birthsign. After you confirm your choices or make any changes, you will be deposited outside the walls of the Imperial City.
Once you are out of the sewers, you could either go straight to your main quests or do other quests. It is recommended that you join a guild or faction.
Leveling your characterEdit
There are several ways you can level your stats. See skill leveling tips for more info on how to efficiently level up skills. In the start of the game, before Uriel Septim is assassinated all your skills are counted as major skills, so it is easy to level every thing up, before choosing your major skills after the emperor is dead. Once you have chosen your class try to level up Combat skills at the same rate as non-combat skills, if you only level up your non-combat skills, the game can start to get very hard very quickly.
While still in the dungeon, check out the dead bodies (if there are any) and take their items. Once you exit the sewers you will see a lake; going across this lake will bring you to a small bandit camp. Looting the camp and the corpses is profitable. There is also a book which increases your Hand to Hand skill next to a bedroll. Searching the area near the camp will reveal a chest and a jewelry box, located next to a small boat. The camp is right next to the ruin Vilverin, which is also occupied by Bandits (for the first half of the dungeon). To the left, at the edge of the water, is a little dock similar to the one in front of the sewers. There is a jewelry box inside an open crate, and a barrel.
Combat in Oblivion is rather easy. However, you must still remember a few things before going to direct combat with hard enemies.
- First – Fatigue
- You need to remember to avoid depleting your fatigue bar (the green bar on bottom of the screen). If your fatigue bar is 0, your weapon damage will decrease and there will be a chance that your character faints for a while. One way to keep your fatigue bar filled is to always walk and not to run. By running, your fatigue bar is regenerating much more slowly than while walking or not moving. Try not to jump while you are fighting. Jumping eats up most of your fatigue, so refrain unless you are jumping to avoid being hit. You will find that as your skills increase in both Acrobatics and Athletics that your fatigue will regenerate faster as well as less of it being used.
- Second – Blocking
- Keep blocking. Blocking is an essential point of the game. By blocking, you can decrease the opponent's damage greatly and also making the opponent flinch for a short while. When an opponent flinches, you will usually be able to land one or two hits without being blocked, remember however to block when they have recovered because they will often swing once they have. Hitting a blocking enemy will cause you yourself to flinch.
- Third – Health
- Keep your health high. When you are in the midst of battle, it can be easy to forget about your life bar. Always remember to keep your health points high before you fight an enemy. Also, buy healing magics that will heal you more than the Heal Minor Wound Spell. If your birthsign is "The Lord," you will have less worries about your health since Blood of the North slowly regenerates your health to 90. You can also buy or make healing potions using alchemy. Restoration is a good spell to have if your class and race permit it.
- Fourth – Difficulty
- If you seem to be having trouble in battle the problem may not be you. If the game's level of difficulty seems to be getting ahead of you a good way to reestablish a center of balance is to change the difficulty setting. Load up a game, pause it, then go to the options menu and find the difficulty setting: Right = harder, Left = easier
Characters who use Marksman (bows and arrows) as their main attack method follow a slightly different routine. For Marksman characters, the aim is to keep the enemy at arm's distance while turning them into pincushions from afar.
Always stay out of reach of the enemy's weaponry. Remember that while the enemy cannot hit you, you have the advantage, but once they close to melee range, the advantage is theirs.
Most marksmen are stealth-based characters, generally granting them skill in athletics and acrobatics. Let speed be your shield: not being there when the enemy's blow lands is more sure a defense than any amount of Daedric armor. When engaged, you can run, roll and jump out of harms way, often getting access to locations the enemy cannot dream of reaching.
Unlike melee combat, Marksman requires expendable ammunition: arrows. Should you run out, you are suddenly unable to attack. Always ensure you have more arrows than you could ever dream to use (say, 100–200 depending on quality), and never forsake the humble iron arrow. They are quite cheap, relatively easy to find and it's no big loss if you either miss or lose the arrow in an enemy.
Magic consists mostly of all the spells and scrolls in the game.
In this game, you can also make your own spells. First, you will need to join the Mages Guild and get the Apprentice rank. You will need to complete a series of recommendation quests for guildhalls in every city, except Kvatch, before having access to the Praxographical Center in the Arcane University, which is located southeast of the Imperial City. This is the place where you can make your own magic for the cost of your gold. If you want more info on making spells, see Spellmaking. Keep in mind that spell crafting often costs a lot more than simply buying a spell.
Not only can you make your own magic in this game, but you can also make your own magical/enchanted weapons and armor. The Altar of Enchanting is located at the Chironasium. If you want to make your own enchanted gear, you will need some gold (of course), an unenchanted wearable item which you want to put new effects on, and a soul gem or Azura's Star with a soul in it. The level of the soul gem will decide how much charge your weapon is going to have. For more information on how to make enchanted weapons, see Enchanting.
Things one can do while sneaking:
- Undetected movement – the basis of stealth
- Pickpocket and stealing
- Sneak damage
There are many elements that contribute to your detection: the light around you (e.g. whether you are standing near or holding a lit torch), your speed, the surrounding environment, and most importantly, the level of your Sneak skill. Although not being seen is certainly the best way to avoid being detected, NPCs can still hear you moving - even though you may be in another room and are sneaking, a low sneak skill will make you easier to detect. Also, you can use the shadows of trees and buildings to hide you.
The best way to move around undetected without taking in consideration of these three elements is being invisible. When you are invisible, you cannot be detected. Whether you have a light spell around you or even running and not sneaking, you cannot be detected by another person. However, invisibility is dispelled as soon as any non-passive action is made, e.g. activating items/doors/chests, hitting someone or readying a spell.
Also having a Chameleon item is a great way to go undetected. If your Chameleon points are 100% or above, you won't be seen by any NPC even if you run or attack them.
Pickpocketing and stealingEdit
Simply put, go into sneak mode, sneak towards an NPC, and then steal their items. However, sneaking is a bit more complicated than that.
- You first have to be undetected to steal from people.
- It is easier to steal at night since the visibility at night is lower than during the day.
- Stealing larger and heavier items makes it easier for you to get caught.
Another method is to use an Invisibility spell or scroll. However, even though you are invisible, you still need to take caution. After you steal from a person, your invisible state ends. If you have a Chameleon percentage above 100% you can usually steal without being detected.
Stealing is straightforward. As long as you are not seen while in stealth mode when taking an object, the object is yours to keep and nobody will know it.
It is also possible to use a command humanoid spell to lead the person to a dark secluded area. If you do not kill the person in two hits recast the spell and keep trying. You could also repeatedly cast a command humanoid spell on an NPC effectively lowering their disposition every time the spell wears off (easier on NPCs with high aggression).
Let's continue on with sneak damage. You can do a sneak damage by sneaking on another person and then attacking them. Sneak damage greatly increases the strike that you did to that enemy.
At early levels in Sneak you will get a 2x damage bonus when attacking with a bow while undetected, and a 4x bonus when attacking with one handed melee weapons. Later, after some practice, this increases to 3x and 6x respectively. You will get a text message (default location is the top left of the screen) telling you the damage multiplier. If you attempt to sneak attack with a two handed melee weapon, you deal no extra damage.
Buying a HouseEdit
After some time, once you have acquired 2,000 , it is recommended to buy a house for storage and a place to rest. Head to the Market District of the Imperial City and go to the Office of Imperial Commerce. Talk to the lady in the counter and speak to her about buying a house. If she does not like you enough, you will probably spend about 100 gold bribing her to raise your disposition with her, so that you can buy the house. She is going to say that she has an available house that is located at the Imperial City Waterfront. Even though this house is small and rugged, this is the perfect place to store your items and sleep. Also, since it is located in the Imperial City, the center of the country, it’s the most accessible house you can use. After you get this house, go to Three Brothers Trade Goods and buy the furnishings.
Benirus Manor, located in Anvil, is the cheapest manor house as its cost is only 5,000 gold, but requires the completion of the "Where Spirits Have Lease" quest before it can be considered a functional house (unless you like the 'decayed grandeur' look and don't mind a few ghosts as tenants). It is also the only house that does not require separately bought furnishings and decoration. This house is probably the cheapest house and the best deal, with all things considered.
All other houses are more expensive, such as the one in Skingrad (a veritable mansion), which costs 48,200 gold. However, there are two side quests that can be completed once it has been upgraded.
Note: the Waterfront shack may not be the cheapest since it does have to be decorated and the final cost is dependent on your Mercantile skill. All houses have beds 'in the bundle' prior to buying the furnishings/decorations.
There are many ways to Travel around the world of Tamriel, and you should familiarize yourself with them as soon as possible. Fast travel is the way to go at first as its an easy way to get to all the major cities. Walking is another great way to travel when you first start as you will uncover many locations along the way that you can come back to for fast travel checkpoints or dungeon crawling. It is advised that you get a horse as soon as possible as they are faster than walking/running, and allow for the discovery of more new locations because of this increase in speed. You can either follow the main quest for the first mission "Deliver the Amulet" where you will receive a paint horse from one of Jauffre's fellow monks (Prior Maborel). This horse is of the slowest and weakest breed, but better than nothing. Alternatively you can purchase one at any stable if you have a lot of spare gold. You can also get Shadowmere, a horse that will fight for you and is relatively quick, while doing the Dark Brotherhood questline. Shadowmere is invincible so it cannot die. It can also be used as a storage. If you knock it out you can loot it's body and put things in then knock it out again to take it out.
- Save before doing to anything vital in a quest, You may make a mistake and the game may glitch.
- When you start a new game, you have to take a long time to go all the way through the sewer, but if you save right before you leave the sewer, you will always have a place to start a new character. Also, right before you leave the sewers, you can change your character's race, gender and so on.
- A torch isn't actually needed in Oblivion. One can see fairly well in most dungeons and caves without them. If you're having trouble, simply turn up the brightness in the options bar. Note that this will noticeably decrease the game's graphics. (Though, you will want to turn the lighting back down again when you go back outside.) Having a torch however is recommended for people who enjoy the roleplaying aspect of the game. The Illusion magic skill also has a spell to create light freeing up a hand for a shield.
- If and when you decide to complete, when you get to the top of the sigil sanctum (you will know when you are there because you will be able to see the sky) save before you activate the sigil stone, then button mash the 'Use' key, making sure you focus on the center of the stone, this will get you a maximum of 3 sigil stones. If you don't like the combo you've got, load the saved game and get some new ones!
- If you want cash as soon a possible, you might want to consider the Arena, make sure you are ready before you fight. This is the ultimate get rich quick scheme, because it really works. Asking Jauffre for assistance will unlock the chest containing some items which can be sold or used. Doing some quick Alchemy will get you gold quick, assuming your Mercantile skill is not too low.
- You can gain a lot of gold by betting on the arena. Just save, make your bet, and watch the fight. If you lose, just load the game and bet on the other fighter. You always win a lot of money and do not risk dying. Remember, the Luck skill affects the outcome of the match.
- Another way to get rich fast is to use the "Scroll duplication glitch" – select a scroll you have repeated and drop another item; you'll drop the same number of items as your scrolls – which lets you multiply any item (and thus sell it over and over again). This glitch exists in any version of the game (consoles included).
- Another way to earn a lot of gold is to do the Order of the "Virtuous Blood" quest,keep going to memorial cave to kill all the vampires, take all the vampire dust, go to Roland for 250 gold per vampire dust, wait an in-game week, and repeat.
- Keep in mind that once you close the gate at Kvatch, several more gates will open. You may want to save before you enter the gate just in case you change your mind on what you want to do. Close as many as you can before you complete the Main Quest. If you want the sigil stones because once the main quest is complete no more oblivion gates will open and the remaining ones will close.
- Once you complete the Main Quest you will not be able to enter Oblivion any longer. Get what you want out of there during the Main Quest.
- Do not forget that every character in Cyrodiil might be important, so don't kill them until you make sure they are not an asset.
- Don't kill shopkeepers that you can buy items for your house from, or your house will remain empty forever.
- If you have a lot of free time (and are desperate), in the Arena you can get an unlimited amount of iron arrows.