Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Oblivion Mod Review - Reclaiming Sancre Tor

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Mod Review - Reclaiming Sancre Tor (ver 1.0.5)
Score: +3/-3

Summary: Major Blades faction expansion.

Why Get This: You like long quests involving running around and the Blades.

This mod sounds very promising, but the early game is extremely boring and with poor design choices. Could not continue because of a quest bug (?) and in any case lost confidence in the modder, in much the same way as I gave up on Golden Crest.
+ Major expansion to the Sancre Tor area. Full town and extensive Blades HQ.
+ Good use of dialogue overall.
+ Some portions of quests interesting, if implausible.
- Time-wasting base layout. There's an incredible amount of running around to get to the barracks and the training area and outside. Seriously: Get a teleport mod (like Advanced Mark and Recall) if you play this mod..

-- Implausible and stupidly time-wasting quests at the start.

    • During the escort quest, if you ask the captain to take the lead, he WALKS. It takes forever. You could instead scout the end location, choose to take the lead, and Fast Travel there. Duh. Why even bother making this a quest?
    • Early training quests are OK in concept, but the actual things you need to do waste your valuable time as a person (not your character's in-game time -- the real time you spend playing the game). In other words, pacing and quest planning is terrible.
      • You are asked to find skill books. Presumably other Blades before you have been tasked the same, so why can't you just ask them, instead of running around to find the correct villager to talk to, in order to get a referral to talk to someone else (and why the middleman?). And for one of the persons you need to find, it turns out he's a pathetic alcoholic who keeps rebuffing your attempts to speak with him. Why am I helping these losers when there are more critical, life-saving quests?
      • Once you find the skill books, you are told to read them and then you are tested on them in sparring. Only in the first book does the sparring session have anything marginally related to the book you find. The rest -- I have no idea what I'm supposed to do after reading the texts. Apparently the sparring session just goes on and on until you gain a level somewhere (?), which can be an extremely long time if your skills are high and you use a levelling slowdown mod like the one built into Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul.
    This mod would have been nice if it didn't depend so much on the Main Quest being finished first. It could have been split into two parts: The training part based out of Cloud Ruler Temple as soon as Jauffre offers you a position with the Blades. You are probably still a newbie at that point and the Blades training would have been very appropriate to the character's inexperience. You can then be summoned later to do the rest of the quests once Sancre Tor is recovered.

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