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Oblivion talk:Character Creation/Archive 1

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This is an archive of past Oblivion talk:Character Creation discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page, except for maintenance such as updating links.


This page should be edited so that "stats" would be replaced by the correct term: Attribute. Use of other terms will confuse people. Also, shouldn't say "bonus to each stat", because only 3 get incremented (the possible amount is shown for all). The increment is not 2-5, but can be also just one point. Also, you shouldn't use a numbered list, because it's not an order of things.

Level ascension happens after enough gain in your major skills have occurred, that's 10 points total in any of them. Manual page 27. Maximum Health, Magicka and Fatigue all increase. The manual (page 8) uses the word stats to cover all values (attributes, skills, health and so on), btw. And stat is not even an actual word.

Just wanted to point out the reasons why this page is messy, but I don't want to meddle in it directly.

Tidied things up, mostly just tightning things, added links, and changed "stats" to "attributes" ;-) Endareth 01:40, 27 March 2006 (EST)

How bout some templates? Is there a page here where people discuss their optimized templates? I haven't found anything out on the net -- most discussion forums I've seen have maybe one or two people that even understand how the leveling system works, and so informed discussion about the most powerful builds just isn't out there. Which is why I'm asking here. Heresy

Levling for a mage is easy have a dagger or sword or whatever and kill with that untill u get enough gold to buy spells

I deleted this comment added by OBLIVION 10 to the section on The Leveling/Attribute problem. It doesn't relate to what's being discussed in that section and I don't understand what is being suggested (how does killing get you gold? how does buying spells help you to level?).--Nephele 13:30, 22 June 2006 (EDT)
I believe the user is suggesting that by looting bodies and selling their items for gold, using the gold to buy spells, and using the spells constantly (which increases skills, which in turn levels players who have said skills as major skills). Still, it is pointless in its context. --Dylnuge(talk · edits) 17:53, 29 November 2006 (EST)

Using light all the time?

Ever heard of torches? Even when I have torches I use them only occasionally. If you are going to use useless spells rather than balance your gameplay, what do you expect? People try to take the easy way to levelling, then complain that their lack of moderation has left them weak. I think this article misleads players, and should instead focus on the need to work on all your skills and not try to take the lazy way to get levels. You could consider the extra difficulty as punishment. — Unsigned comment by Stiletto (talkcontribs) on July 11, 2006

Page reorganization

In my opinion, most of the content that has recently been added to this section does not seem to be appropriate on the Character Creation page. For example, the table on skill leveling seems far more appropriate on Oblivion:Increasing Skills; the information on how many experience points are gained seems more appropriate on individual skill pages. It seems to me that the Character Creation page should focus on topics concerned with how to create a character. Although alot of other subjects need to be referred to in the process, the details of those other subjects should all be on the pages dedicated to those subjects, with cross-links so the reader can find the information. In this case, the information on how to level up is something that many readers will care about long after they've finished creating their character, and therefore many readers will never find the information if it's buried at the end of a page on character creation, especially when the section title provides no hint that there is information on skill increases. Does anyone else agree?

Actually, while I'm at it, let me make the discussion even more general. I think most of this page needs significant reorganization. There is no clear introduction summarizing what factors go into character creation (i.e., race and gender determine starting attributes, some skill bonuses; what general types of bonuses come from birthsigns). There is no reference in the entire introduction to classes. Although the leveling problem is important, 90% of the page should not be a subsection of the leveling problem. I admit my new section on Character Changes during the Tutorial is out of place, but I couldn't make any sense out of the page's structure to figure out a better place. So, a more general question: would anyone object to a major overhaul of this page? Any ideas on how the page should be organized, and what content it should contain? Any one else who is willing to tackle any of this? (I wouldn't mind doing it, but it'll probably be several weeks before I can get to it). --Nephele 13:03, 4 September 2006 (EDT)

Major overhaul completed (mostly). I've taken off the wip tag, not to say that I'm wiping my hands of the page, but just to say that I've finished with putting the major pieces in place. I realize there are several parts that are still rough around the edges and need to be fleshed out, but I'd prefer to give myself a couple weeks, then come back and go over it again with a fresh mind (probably over christmas break).
I ended up deleting a large part of the material that had previously been on this page. Most of it was content that was more appropriate on other pages, and was redundant with those other pages. For example, there were discussions of how to get +5 attribute bonuses (belongs on Efficient Leveling) and tips on how to increase skills (belongs on Increasing Skills and/or individual skill pages). In other words, a lot of material that in my mind was about character development not character creation.
I decided to move the discussion of the Leveling Problem to the page on Leveling, although the character creation page probably still needs some adjustments (such as links to that discussion!) to reflect that change. Avoiding the leveling problem is one of the primary reasons to create a custom character, so it's obviously an important factor. But I was having a hard time figuring out how to fit it in to the page after I reorganized it, and it seemed to me to fit in better overall with the discussion on the Leveling page.
Hopefully these changes make sense to everyone else. Feel free to provide any feedback/suggestions/criticisms, etc. --Nephele 19:54, 3 December 2006 (EST)

I agree

I read the discussion and i agree that this page needs reoginization what it should describe is how builds effect gameplay and not how to level or what skills are worth upgrading the page the way it is now is more recenizable as a build article. As I said this article should focus on how gameplay is effected by different skills. — Unsigned comment by Nevernear (talkcontribs)


The author argues for increasing minor skills to minimize a characters level. This prevents a character from receiving any point bonuses to their attributes. Strength, intelligence, etc. will remain at their initial level. A character, who increases their major skills, will receive exponential increases (+1 to +5) to their attributes, (if they remember to sleep after each 10 point gain in skills!).

This mitigates the danger from higher level monsters. Also the game is much more interesting, if you are ably fighting characters, who can throw more things at you. — Unsigned comment by Adamkane (talkcontribs)

Except you do receive attribute bonuses for minor skill increases. I fully believe that characters should be developed so that they get +5 attribute bonuses at every single level, either in three attributes or in 2 attributes if the third is luck. But the only way that is actually possible is if the character spends alot of time building minor skills: it is completely impossible to get two +5 bonuses at the same level if you are only developing major skills (you need at least 10 skill increases to get one +5 modifier, so 20+ to get two +5 modifiers; but you only get 10 major skill increases in a level). Try reading through Leveling as well where the mechanics of how level increases work are explained. --Nephele 11:47, 18 February 2007 (EST)

Orc Mages

Orcs were added as a suggested race for mage characters, with the note:

Orc: No fortified Magicka, but more backbone than other "magical" races, innate Resist Magicka, ability to make "Drain <attribute>" spells in vanilla game, and the female version has decent Intelligence and Willpower.

I've moved the comment here, since I'm not sure it's the best advice for new players. As the intro to the section says "These recommendations are intended primarily as guidelines for players starting out; as you play the game you are likely to develop personal preferences that differ from these guidelines." In other words, I'm sure that there are players who find this to be a great combination but I don't think it's the best pairing for player who is learning the game.

In particular, Bretons have better magic resistance than Orcs (50% vs 25%), with better Intelligence and Willpower than even female Orcs. Drain Attribute can be acquired by any character using a quirk with diseases that's been added to the Drain Attribute page (besides the fact that beginning players are unlikely to be relying upon this spell effect). So based purely upon the characteristics that are priorities for mages, I don't see that Orcs offer anything better than the already recommended races. --Nephele 22:27, 20 February 2007 (EST)

I'm the one who added the suggestion, and I really do think female Orcs are a good race for beginners because beginners are more likely than experienced players to underestimate the importance of getting Endurance as high as possible as early as possible. A player building a Mage-type character for their first game will probably raise Intelligence, Willpower, and Speed every level since that's where they'll get the most bonuses (if they use light armor and "kite" their enemies). Even if they select Endurance on a few levels, they probably won't get good Endurance bonuses since wearing heavy armor and shields and doing your own repair aren't very "mage"-y things to do. By the time the player realizes that they don't have enough HP to survive the late game, it's too late since Endurance bonuses aren't retroactive. Thus, Orcs (females in particular) are a somewhat "idiot-proof" race for mages. -- 14:36, 21 February 2007 (EST)
I see your logic, and I'm not trying to say that there aren't reasons to create Orc Mages.
One reason for my hesitation in adding it to the page is to just keep the recommendations as simple as possible for newer players. There are thousands of possible combinations, and it's likely that they all make sense in one situation or another; adding this combination opens the doors for many others. Sticking to the most obvious combinations provides an easy way to limit the options. The racial bonuses, attributes, and Berserk power of an orc all point most obviously towards a fighter-type character.
One limitation with female Orc mages that might be a real concern for new players is that such a character will have a harder time casting spells for the first few levels. If a player is creating a mage character then it's safe to assume that they want to cast lots of spells. There's a huge difference between the orc's 80 initial magicka and the altmer's 200 magicka or even the breton's 150. Choosing a race with magic-related racial skill bonuses can also be important. In terms of health, ideally a mage is avoiding combat and arguably doesn't really need it.
I admit I'm also influenced by my gameplay style, which is to create multiple characters. For me my first character was in the end a throwaway character. Once I'd learned enough about the game to understand health, endurance, how to get attribute bonuses, etc., I wanted to start over anyway and fix fifty other things that I'd done wrong. So I'm not inclined to recommend sacrificing the immediate usefulness of your first character just for the sake of being stronger down the road. There's no guarantee that a new player will still be playing Oblivion 15 levels later, especially if they get overly discouraged by coping with an initially weak character. --Nephele 17:26, 22 February 2007 (EST)

More Information on Hybrid Types

I don't think there is enough information on hybrid types of classes. Although mixing two classes together is usually impractical, and usually makes the character less powerful overall, I don't think one and a half lines are enough to cover it. Hybrid classes can sometimes be very useful, and sometimes fun because of the diversity that you get from making them. I would have added this in myself, although the page is sort of mixed up and I wouldn't want to put it in the wrong place or mess up what someone else wrote. If no one else wants to do this, I can edit it myself; I've had alot of experiance with them, and I know alot about them. If anyone thinks this is a bad idea, or a good one, plase tell me. Other than that, I think this page has alot of useful information and was written very well. If theres already a page, I think it should be linked. It might be hard for someone new to the game to understand mixed classes, because simply putting skills you like in a class won't make it a good. --MrTaco122 16:55, 12 March 2007 (EDT)

I think adding that type of info would be great. There are a few sections of this page that are pretty minimal; I'd been hoping to get a chance to come back and expand some of them, but if you have ideas on what to add and want to write it up that would be even better. --Nephele 02:42, 13 March 2007 (EDT)
Ok. I'll probably write something up on that and link it to this page, it might take a bit though. --MrTaco122 15:44, 13 March 2007 (EDT)
Some examples added. I hope the info given gets the message across, and/or the message is a valid one: the key to a good hybrid is taking two different aspects and playing one inside another, rather than have them played side-by-side. Otherwise, the character comes off as having somethin akin to a split personality rather than one unique identity.

Restoration, Mercantile

An anonymous editor made two changes to the Controllable Skills section of the page that I've reversed:

  • Deleting Restoration from list of skills that cannot be controlled, saying that "Restoration is controllable."
  • Deleting Mercantile from the list of skills that can be controlled, saying that "Mercantile isn't easy to control as selling is important"

I disagree with both these points, the key aspect being whether or not the skill is necessary to keep your character alive. Restoration is critical in staying alive, so it is difficult to control. Mercantile has no impact on staying alive, so it is easy to control. The section already clearly states that this is how the skills have been determined: "Skills that are not used in combat (in other words, that you will not need to count on for character survival) are typically easier to control".

With restoration, yes, if your character is always prepared ahead of time then you can avoid using it as a skill. I doubt that most players are really sufficiently prepared to always be able to avoid using restoration. For example, if you're halfway through a cave and run out of restore health potions, you're going to be forced to used restoration to heal yourself. I would bet that for 90% of players they would have a very hard time controlling the use of restoration. I know myself that with the last character I played who had restoration as a major skill, there were many times that I was forced to use restoration to stay alive and as a result increased the skill when I really didn't want to. The remaining 10% of players who really can control restoration probably understand the game well enough that they'll ignore most of the suggestions in this article.

With mercantile, you only need to sell items if you want cash to buy things. It is never a skill used in combat. If you do need cash, you can sell expensive items or sell large stacks of items and gain almost no experience (especially since you need a huge number of transactions to level up mercantile). In other words, you can choose whether to sell one stack of items to get 800 cash or whether to sell 800 individual items to get the same 800 cash, and therefore you can choose whether to get 0.4 experience points or 320 experience points for the exact same end result. To me, that adds up to experience that is relatively easy to control. Can you completely avoid ever using mercantile? For most characters, no (most characters will also not want to completely avoid ever using alchemy or alteration). But you can easily avoid using it when it's important to avoid leveling up.

The recommendations in this article are not meant to apply to 100% of players. They are supposed to be useful for the majority of players, and in particular for players who are still learning about the game. I believe that these two points are more useful than not. If we want to limit the article to recommendations that are accurate 100% of the time, then we'd probably have to delete the entire article, because there are always exceptions. --Nephele 16:01, 3 April 2007 (EDT)

Dunmer Mage?

I dont really think dunmer would make great mages. Although they have a destruction and mysticism bonus, they dont have great intelligence and they have bad willpower starting out. I think dark elves are directed more to being stealth characters or hybrid-type characters. Anyone agree or disagree?--Willyhead 07:01, 6 July 2007 (EDT)

I agree that dark elves are a skilled hybrid, i also think that if one chooses the right bonuses than an argonian would make a good hybrid as well. Can we read more info on Argonian Templates as in the strategy guide there is no sufficient discussion about this lizard race. (Nick)

"One of the only ways"

I got reverted, so let's talk it out. The article says:

Generally, the benefit conferred from access to these spell effects is not significant enough for these racial powers to be dominant factors in choosing your character's race.

I changed "one of the only ways" to "the only way" because "one of the only ways" is just not grammatical, and not logical in any case. Either there is one way of doing something, making it "the only way", or there are more ways of doing something, as in "only three ways". If you want to emphasize that there are almost no other ways, use "one of the very few ways". "One of the only ways" is nonsensical. Am I wrong?

(Please note that I actually have no idea about the factual correctness of the statements here, which is another reason why the confusion is not good. Is race the only way of getting access to Resist X effects or isn't it?) JRM 11:41, 9 September 2007 (EDT)

You can get resist poison and disease from the spell tomes as well. You can also gain resist frost from a certain doomstone, however resist fire can only be gained from a racial bonus. Oh and 'one of the only ways' is perfectly acceptible.--Willyhead 11:46, 9 September 2007 (EDT)
There is nothing grammatically wrong with saying "one of the only ways." The phrase is very commonly used in the English language and is not considered informal unless the other ways need to be specifically listed, which in this case they do not. Following each effect's link will lead you to information about other ways to gain the effect. Since the statements are actually true, changing them in that way makes them false and misleading. The general rule around here is if you're not sure whether a statement is true, it's best to let the current version stand and mention it on the talk page ;). --Eshe 11:54, 9 September 2007 (EDT)
Reading this, I can only come to the conclusion that English is stupid. Or something. Apparently, I'm one of the only persons not to understand what this construction is supposed to mean. :-) Given the use here (it's not the only way, just the most prominent way), "one of the only ways" is supposed to mean "one of the few ways" then? You learn something new every day. JRM 12:24, 9 September 2007 (EDT)
I wouldn't normally contradict Eshe but I'm fairly sure she's wrong about this one. "The only way" means there is a one and only one way; "One of the few ways" means there are others and this is one; "One of the only ways" is a mish-mash that doesn't really mean anything. It may be used in English (although I've not heard that one) but then so are phrases such as "totally unique" and "very historic", which aren't right either. It's either tautological or plain wrong. --RpehTalk
It's technically wrong, but not unusual. See: This article. However, I think that by now the phrase is common enough that it's not entirely unacceptable. A search for the phrase in Google yields 1,870,000 results, which shows that it's a very widespread usage, even if it is technically incorrect. --TheRealLurlock Talk 12:47, 9 September 2007 (EDT)
If the consensus is that the phrase is incorrect, then that's fine. However, I believe the phrase is a sort of contraction or abbreviation of what is actually intended, if that makes any sense. In the example provided, as in this case here, it is assumed that there is a finite number of objects (like groups or spell effects), and I don't think omitting the exact number makes the sentence confusing or incorrect. (This works in sort of the same way as "Open the door" actually means "You open the door," as the subject "you" is implied in the sentence as it is spoken in conventional English.) Omitting the specific number of other things is vague, but it makes sense in that the reader understands there are other things, even if they aren't explicitly mentioned.
Just to be clear, though, the example in the link never says the phrase is incorrect. This discussion is long and I didn't go through all of it, but the first paragraph gives a good argument.
Regardless, I don't think a huge discussion on this point is necessary (now that I've gone and made it one). It's clear to me that there is already a large ongoing debate on this issue, not just on this site, and it doesn't seem that either side is a clear winner. I say we either accept the phrasing on the page or we don't, and leave it at that. No use tossing grammatical theory around when it isn't even solid ;). --Eshe 13:20, 9 September 2007 (EDT)

Unbump. Look, the only reason I raised this issue at all is not because I'm a grammar nazi, but because I was genuinely confused about the meaning. I interpreted it to mean "the only way" written down in a confusing way. But apparently that's not what it means, it means "one of the few ways". So is there anyone who has some sort of principal objection against just using that instead of having a huge language flame here? That some people think it's an error while others think it's fine should be less of an issue than that other people (that is, me) are unclear about what the page is actually trying to say. JRM 13:27, 9 September 2007 (EDT)

It's always the little things that lead to the big debates :-) I think that Blogspot link is just wrong. The addition of the definite article to the text "The only" clearly disambiguates it from "Only two", so you really can't have "One of the only". I get 1,860,000 results on Google for "One of the only" and 7,390,000 for "One of the few". I'd rather not be one of the few to use the incorrect construction ;-) Oh - and I am a grammar nazi! --RpehTalk 13:32, 9 September 2007 (EDT)
If there's a clarity issue, it should definitely be changed. My problem is that I am a grammar nazi so, as you can tell, I forget the actual issue and wind up dancing around a fire wearing my grammar books as hats.
...Anybody else like fire?  :) --Eshe 13:36, 9 September 2007 (EDT)
Oh, and apologies for accusing Lurlock's link--I followed it backwards, and the site does indeed say that the phrase is incorrect. I continue to disagree, but I'm notoriously hardheaded about rules that make sense in my mind, so in this case I stand corrected. --Eshe 13:45, 9 September 2007 (EDT)
Though, I do think that "the only" can be correctly used in reference to more than one object. "Susie, Jack, and I were the only people in the room." is perfectly correct grammar, and if I opted not to mention Susie and Jack by name, it just seems logically that I could say "I was one of the only people in the room.", and it should be pretty obvious that I'm not saying there were no other people, but that I'm simply opting not to name them. I don't think there's an issue of clarity there, and few people would consider that to be an error, even if it technically is. --TheRealLurlock Talk 15:02, 9 September 2007 (EDT)
Mmm... no. Disagree again. The initial phrase is correct. The second isn't. "I was the only person in the room" would be correct because "only" and "person" are both singular. "I was one of the few people in the room" would also be right, or even "I was one of a few" - which has a subtle difference in meaning. All the phrases that have caused me to raise my eyebrows are of the form "Only the several", and I have no doubt that's wrong. "Only" can be used with several items but in a different sense: "Lurlock, Eshe and I were the only ones who cared about this", where you're defining a group as one thing - in this case, "Lurlock, Eshe and I" form a group that can then be considered as an individual. Ach, enough. I'm going to have a beer! --RpehTalk 15:29, 9 September 2007 (EDT)
The whole point here is that Susie and Jack are never even hinted at. So "I'm one of the only people" means "I'm not the only person, there are others, but not everyone you could be thinking of". "The only people" is being set up as a specific set of people, and then I want to emphasize that I'm a member of that group, so I say "one of the only people". In the context we've been discussing, there is no pool of hypothetical other ways to obtain a spell effect that should be excluded by saying "one of the only ways". I could follow something along the lines of "There are 17 ways of obtaining spell effects in general. There are only three ways of obtaining Resist Poison. Picking Argonian as a race is one of the only ways". Although the final sentence still sounds wrong and cringe-worthy to me, I get the idea. But just saying "Being Argonian is one of the only ways to get this" just sounds confusing to me. Having never used these kinds of expressions, I don't automatically get that it's not an error, and that it just means there's a very limited set of other ways.
I hope people don't mind that I've proactively instated the "one of the few ways" change. This is, grammatically and factually, indisputably correct. Note that this is not supposed to imply a value judgement about the correctness of "one of the only ways", which by this point I could care less about. Please, think of all the other informal-English-impaired visitors of the wiki! JRM 15:34, 9 September 2007 (EDT)
Suits me fine. Now we just need to discuss your use of the phrase "could care less". Joke! I'm joking!!! Honest! --RpehTalk 15:49, 9 September 2007 (EDT)
Your talking about it like its an historic occasion. But that's the sort of thing up with which I will not put.
The funny thing is that I actually looked at it twice to make sure I didn't use the wrong one, and then used the wrong one anyway. It's likely that people who are not constantly looking out for errors don't make them as often. You probably should care less. JRM 16:37, 9 September 2007 (EDT)

Oh great, and now we're all guilty of forcing Rpeh to drown his mental agony ;). Anyway, I think that's about enough of this, considering all of our brains will likely explode if it goes on (and who knows what will become of Rpeh!). Thank you, JRM, for being proactive and keeping us on target. I'm glad we could resolve this, even though we've basically written a chapter on grammar along the way ;). --Eshe 17:20, 9 September 2007 (EDT)

Word of Warning

Since this guide is for new players, you might want to modify the bit about Alteration/Open Locks being an alternative to Security. I tried a character using this once, and early on it can be quite frustrating. Until you have a high-level Alteration, you can only open simpler locks, so when you encounter 4- and 5-tumbler locks, you neither have the magic nor the Security to open it. So, perhaps a warning about this for the new guys? — Unsigned comment by (talk)

If you feel something needs to be changed, then by all means, feel free to change it. That's what a wiki is all about. You're right that the various Open Locks spells won't help out at lower levels with the more difficult locks, but even someone with a security skill of 5 can open a Very Hard's just a lot harder than it is at higher skill levels. --Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 22:01, 22 June 2008 (EDT)

Free Spells

I recently discovered how to get the free spells you get by choosing a major skill in magic without keeping the skill a major one, though I have know idea if this has been discovered already. First choose/make a class that has the school of magic that has the spell you want e.g starlight in illusion. Then select the spell so it is your active spell, then change to a class that doesn't have that spells school of magic as a major skill. Note you will still have the spell as your selected one but it dissapears from you spell list so dont change you spell. Then train the spells skill to level 25. You will now have the spell forever, regardless of your major skills. This comes in useful for classes like battle mages because they can still have all of the magic skills along with others like blade or armor, without have to train any of them up.. Sorry if that is really hard to follow, also I didn't know where to put this as its not technically a glitch.Bambobo 10:48, 30 June 2008 (EDT)

Seems a bit complicated. Especially considering the fact that the free spells given are among the cheapest and most common in their school. Vesna 13:10, 30 June 2008 (EDT)
Actually, it's already covered on the article: Oblivion:Character_Creation#Character Changes during the Tutorial. --NepheleTalk 13:14, 30 June 2008 (EDT)
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