Based on recommendations I’ve fished around for and some that were given to me based on the mere mention of Oblivion, I’ve gotten a stack of new mods installed and thus far everything is working properly. I even managed to get to play for a while.
I started with the Oblivion Mod Manager. This is an external app that handles a lot of the installation tasks for you, and will give you a heads-up when there’s a conflict between mods. If you’re running more than one of two mods it’s probably essential.
Alongside OBMM, I also installed BOSS, which is another one that comes highly recommended for people running with a significant number of mods. This one basically arranged all of your mods in the proper load order to minimize conflicts. You run this after installing new mods but before launching the game.
I’d already installed the Unofficial Oblivion Patch and Obscuro’s Oblivion Overhaul the other day. I intended these to be the cornerstone of my modding right now, and I’m sticking to that… but I’m also adding in some environmental enhancements. Like Natural Environments and Qarl’s Texture Pack, and a content addition in the form of The Lost Spires. I’ll be looking for more stuff along these lines, and am looking at Better Cities in particular, but that looks trickier to install than the rest. I’m probably not looking for any more mechanics mods just yet, although one of the combat mads and a mod adding new spells will probably eventually get looked at.
I also installed DarNified UI, which changes the shoddy 360 UI for something that looks and works better on a PC, and provides a bunch of tools for UI scaling, font customization and such.
As far as the game goes, I’m liking it a lot so far. I wish the combat were a bit more like that of Mount & Blade: Warband, but the sandbox world is rich, vibrant and compelling. How “big” it will feel is something that I don’t feel qualified to answer yet, but if it seems confining later on there are mods that add new areas. I like the gameplay, even though at level 1 (OOO makes the leveling slower by default) I’m getting my ass handed to me a lot.
I found my first dungeon and explored part of it, making off with some middling gear before being scared off by gargoyles. Bandits inhabiting some ruins near where you get out of the tutorial sewers killed me repeatedly until I decided to let them be until later. Revenge, best served cold, you know the drill.
For a five year old game, it looks pretty glorious, too, even without the mods to spiff things up – not as nice as Skyrim, admittedly, but that’s to be expected. The fidelity of the outdoor environments reminds me of Vanguard, and aside from the lack of volumetric clouds (which Vanguard has,) I think it looks just as good.