If you got here through some happy accident right click and save this link! Tim's Own Thing Blog

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Completly Oblivious

Bethesda Softworks has finally got Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion on the shelves. Needless to say, since Elder Scrolls III is the basis for Arvil Bren's Journal this is big news around me. My oldest son, who introduced me to the Elder Scrolls games in the first place, had a preorder copy which arrived the day it hit stores, and I built him a new machine specifically to play it. In return he bought me a copy, which I loaded into my almost current game machine. It is the totally immersive experience that is the claim to fame of the Eleder Scrolls, and I'd say neither of us is disappointed. But there are some key bits of information...

The PC version has a few bugs, and Bethesda is apparently working on a patch. This is not too surprising really. ESIII: Morrowind went through the same kind of growing pains, which I was happy to have missed out on. The patch will be available to download at some point, and some people might want to wait for it. The most aggravating bug to me is that the installshield seems to never quite close (has worked exactly once in a series of five reinstallations done for various reasons).

Next on my irritant list is the system requirements. The kid's a hard worker and pretty frugal about almost everything else, so for him to be able to spring $1700 for a machine geared to top the recommended specs in almost all areas was not a big surprise. His old one was a dinosaur. My game machine though is not that far out of date...really...no, really, it isn't! But, I was willing to go with the 'it's a cutting edge game so a little out of date is too much...we couldn't make it reverse compatible' explanation. Except I think the guys at Bethsoft should have been able to do it during the years we've been waiting, since a couple of 'garage developers' on the fan boards have gotten it done in the couple weeks since it was released. Okay, maybe they had beta copies, I dunno, but anyway.

So on my machine that doesn't meet the minimum processor speed, barely meets minimum memory, and has an 'unsupported' video card, oblivion runs like a bat outta hell, and looks quite a bit better than Morrowind does, though nothing like it looks on Scott's new machine. It's fun to play though, no doubt, and until my loyal readers come through with a vid card it will have to do.

Here's how it's done, for those who want to know:

This site belongs to the community minded guy who came up with the 'Oldblivion' loader. It loads reverse engineered 'shaders' that work with older vid cards that another guy developed, and automatically does all the patching to make them work. The shader package is bound into the zip file, so it's a one stop shop. You will note there are some cards listed as 'unsupported' (even here), and some listed as 'poorly supported' (which are unfortunately very common, but here's the good news) including mine. However, 'poorly supported' is actually due to the cards being technically capable of dealing with the new generation shaders. In fact my machine can run a good high visual quality slide show without using the Oldblivion patch, it's just too slow to be playable. So the trick is to change one switch in the ini file to force the shader selection into the patch. No big sweat. After that it was just a matter of getting settings that didn't overwork the slightly shaky system.


At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, so Tim got into the big O! I'm playing through as a Dark Brotherhood Assassin right now, and it's a blast. My system runs everything on high, but I have a beast of a comp. Now I'm off to get caught up on Avril!


At 4:50 PM, Blogger Marsha said...

you've been gone from here for a while. Welcome back

At 7:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought a Sony Vaio on Ebay and then I added half a gig of ram and an ATi Radeon 9550 graphics card and it runs Oblivion with almost maximum grpahics settings possible. It cost a total of about $600. Will you write an Avril Bren Oblivion journal?

At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should write an Arvil Bren Ovlivion journal, there are a couple out there but none of the writters are as good as you.

At 2:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With the ending of Joseph's Blog "Frost in Morrowind".. I hope you can fix and repair the lost gaps within your own Blog.. I known, I have hounded you.. For this, I can only say sorry!! But back to the tasks at hand..

ONE: During your early dungeon romping days.. You have killed the Mad Lord of Milk, Arethan Mandas.. His madness is due to the surposedly kidnapping of his daughter, Delyna.. By the telvanni wiazard lord, Divayth of Tel Fyr..
For more on this view the Morrowind Guildes, House Redoran.. UESP is one of the best!!

TWO: In your travels you had come across the helpless, Abelle Chriditte at the dumar stronghold of Valenvaryon.. Let's say your rescue is\was not been completed.. Your on worldly joinries to SUD was badly interrupted.. An happly home coming to your lovely Ahanassi.. Only to find her taking away by the Dark Brotherhood of Mournhold!! So if you do return to the Ashlands, every ashlander should, YELL AT YOU, too go to Valenvaryon..

Sorry to have post this hear!! But it seem like the other Blog comments are not posting... Maybe only because I have dial up only..

At 3:57 AM, Anonymous rarr said...

Dial-up has nothing to do with it. Nobody can get a comment in. Tim, what's happened to you?

At 3:57 AM, Anonymous rarr said...

Dial-up has nothing to do with it. Nobody can get a comment in. Tim, what's happened to you?

At 4:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sad, sad, sad.....

No more Arvil. I liked your story a lot. For the longest time I just thought that you completely abandoned everything about it without so much as a "Well, screw Arvil, you guys have been great fans, good night.", without letting us post what we want about it.

Now I come here and see that your fans have posted things like "What happened Tim?", "Good to see you back, Tim" and yet you still didn't put anything on Arvil Bren's journal saying that you were quitting.

Just one question: What the hell?

Could it really been that hard to post your "resignation" from Arvil's journal? And if you haven't, but instead plan to pick it up again later, why didn't you post that?


At 3:57 PM, Anonymous Robert Kingston said...

No more Arvil?

Such a sad decision...

At 11:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim -
Let me say that your writing abilities are superb. Your interpretations of Morrowind throug the eyes of Arvi Bren are great to read. Yet I don't see you posting on any of your blogs, not just AB. Come on, man. If you really want to end Arvil Bren's story, just post it, if only to bring some closure. Don't just leave it hanging there with the last entry you made a year ago. Dont just forget about it. Don't just leave it in the dirt. You had dedicated readers, man. You owe them either continuation or closure, not what you've given them


At 12:13 PM, Blogger rarr said...

I think we have to face the fact (yes, a year and a half later) that something's happened to Tim, because I can't imagine why he would have just abandoned all of his blogs and such all at once, unless he's, well, hiding in a cave in China or dead. I know it seems a little extreme to say that, but complete disappearance is a little hard to explain otherwise. I'd love to see Arvil finished up, but it looks like it'll never happen.

At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i play both on x box, oblivion is nothing compared to morrowind.
after 3 years on morrowind, i'm a lvl 348 nord. i used master trainers to acheive it, and i killed high ordinators for money, by selling their armor. 've collected every rare, and have a different char for each guild,all are guild masters.

pc has too many key commanded cheats, which makes it easy to cheat but still look like you are legit, I.E: my freind litterally made cloud from FF7: Advent Children, complete with the materia blade.

At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

same guy that posted above....about cloud and stuff.

if you wanna make money do as i do, i make a char, get it to lvl 100, then sell it to people around town for $50 a piece, i've made at least 800 bucks by now, but not all at once, sometimes it takes a while to find a buyer, but soon i can buy a mem card for ea char and make alot more profit selling over the internet. on avrage with the light armor master trainer i can get a lvl 100 in about 2 hours tops.but that also includes all the items and other things you might want, sometimes i just grab a bi-polar blade and a set of ebony armor for them.

At 2:23 PM, Blogger rarr said...

Honestly, I can't imagine who would buy pre-played Morrowind characters. That defeats the entire point of the game, and I doubt you'll find much of a market on the internet.

By the way, your friend probably didn't cheat to make Cloud; he probably used face, hair, and armor mods to make his character look like Cloud, and a weapons mod to get the Materia Blade. None of that is possible with just the standard game.

At 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

December 31st, 2009.

I still check!


At 1:01 PM, Blogger CiprianHanga said...

I guess the procrastination gets the best of you. No big deal, it happens. I suffer from that, too, so I can relate. Just write some more, whenever you feel like it. Cheers!

At 8:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

January 13, 2011. Something probably happened to Tim, although if he died or something like that, it doesn't seem like no one would have known that he has a few blogs with a regular fanbase.


At 8:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Just started playing Morrowind, thanks to Skyrim coming out. Found Avril's journal, has to be one of the greatest gaming stories I've ever read!

Unfortunately, it also appears to be broken. The first part of the journal ends just before trying to find the Dwemer Puzzle Box, then the second part of the journal starts with him as the Arch-Mage of the guild. Somehow, the first journal seems to have gotten cut off.

And if the last post five years ago by the author wasn't an indication, the comments on this site show that the author abandoned the entire story. Damn shame. There is nothing like this, at this level of quality, anywhere else on the Internet.

At 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Same anon as 12/02 here.

Turns out I saved the entire first journal in a Word document, years ago. Unfortunately, I didn't do the same for the second part, so that appears to be lost forever.

If anyone is interested in the file, just reply and I'll set up a rapidshare or something.

At 10:11 AM, Blogger CiprianHanga said...

that would be nice!


Post a Comment

<< Home