Oblivion expansion info

From this thread on the official forums, it’s set in the daedric prince Sheogorath’s realm of madness. There are some magazine scans floating around but those are PNG’d on here. The only thing they’re missing is a release date. I for one can’t wait to give Bethesda more money… they’ve got me but good.

Is this going to be available as an Xbox Live download, or will 360 people have to shell out for a “gold edition” or somesuch?

Nobody knows for sure, but it’s not being billed as downloadable content, it’s a real expansion.

It’s actually new work or just stuff built through the CS?

Oblivion itself was made using the CS. What is it exactly you are asking?

Something different from just new monster models and new quests.

Better AI, engine and pysics system improvements, smoother animations and movement, combat and control tweaks, UI changes, faces that don’t suck, more interactive environments, more satisfactory dungeon crawling, a rework of that stupid dialogue mini-game, better mod management.

New features or improvements in general. An attempt to improve the game in the parts where it was weak instead of just making it fatter.

That’s a new game, surely?

Usually expansions have some new features along new content.

Those are the expansions I like more.

I mean, have they fired all the designers and coders and have just left a bunch of writers and artists?

I would hope the coders are working on Elder Scrolls V, and that the expansion was created by game designers, writers, and artists.

I would say that new features as part of an “expansion” would be a very unusual release. Putting on my software developer hat, each and every change you make to the codebase is absolutely guaranteed to introduce new bugs and regressions. On my planet, companies that stay in business only offer new content and, where absolutely necessary, bug fixes in “expansions.” No new features.

That’s not to say it’s never happened (eg the quest log in Tribunal), but it seems like a foolish business model to me.

It’ll be interesting to see if it fixes/addresses the embarassingly bad scaling model.

Incidentally, the Knights of the Nine downloadable content is free for PC right? If it is, where can you pick it up?

Umm no, none of them are free.

I agree that it would be nice to get rid of the scaling and add new features to the game, but I’m pretty happy with a bunch more high quality content. And bethesda’s content is truly high quality, like the thieves guild and dark brotherhood. Let their coders work on ES5 and fallout.

It seems like I’m asking something crazy.

Take the latest expansion for BFMEII. That’s an average exp pack. Yes, it has a new campaign and new maps. But it also has new units with new mechanics, an entire new faction that offers completely different new gameplay and many improvements and features to the battle of the ring mode. There is “plain” new content, but there are also new features and gameplay.

Take the Warlords exp for Civ 4. Yes, it has new scenarios and new civs. But it also introduces some new mechanics and a whole lot of little fixes and tweaks here and there.

Take Half-Life 2 Ep 1. It’s basically the same engine and new content. But they introduced HDR and coded many new smaller features, redone the animation code, studied the cooperative mode, added new gameplay variations, improved the narration and more. There aren’t just new things to blow up. There’s new gameplay, innovations and some work to improve the technology.

Take Galactic Civilization exp pack. I don’t have the game but Brad said in an interview that an expansion pack is a perfect occasion to work on some ideas and mechanics that had to be cut for the original release.

In general I also see an expansion pack as an occasion to improve a product, add new gameplay situations, make a step forward. Without the need to wait four years for a brand new sequel redone from scratch.

EDIT: And even NWN. The game had more content-oriented exp packs. But Bioware also kept working for a very long time on the game, releasing meaty patches adding new features and better support to the mod community.

Bethesda does very little for the mod community. Even a simple tool that lets you set the mod loading order would be asking too much. They just cannot be bothered.

Dungeon crawling was my favorite part of the game, though I wish there were more environments than caves and ruins. Hell, they could be caves and ruins, just make them different looking. =P But you’re likely to see some minor ui changes, maybe a new trap or two, and new monsters. The rest will be fat. To my knowledge, while Bethesda is modding friendly, they haven’t been like Bioware in their support of the modding tools post release.

Edit: Oops, fixed some spelling mistakes.

Hmm. I’m rather “meh” about the whole concept. I’m a little reluctant to go back to Oblivion despite it being fantastic in my 130+ hours of playing my original character and starting another. We’ll see when it hits what I’m doing, then make a decision based on what it brings to the table. I hope there’s something added on to the rest of the full game, though; I hate buying expansions that are only additional gameplay and nothing else.

Jesus, it already has the most interactive environments of any game, in any genre, ever. Could your expectations be more unrealistic?

That said, I think most RPG expansions are pretty lame, because they can’t really compete with the content provided by the original, and it’s never that much fun to go back to a game just for a handful of hours.

The only RPG expansion packs that have been worthwhile, in my opinion, have been BG2’s Throne of Bhaal and Diablo 2’s LoD, both of which could have been full fledged sequels.

Thanks for the link Stusser.

It sounds interesting. But personally I think it doesn’t sound at all like a full scale expansion. I guess it will be more of Knights of the Nine stuff - bunch of quests, perhaps 10-30 additional hours of playtime. So I am not holdding my breath for something along the line of “Tribunal” and “Bloodmoon”.

Which makes me wonder - what is Bethesda are up to? After huge hit that was Oblivion, they had to be crazy not to put significant portion of their resources into production of Elder Scroll V or Oblivion’s expansions. But they were awfully quiet for the last half year, other than producing bunch of small plugins, which was clearly the work of mayby dozen artists and writers. What is the rest of large Oblivion’s team doing, including programmers?

Hopefully making a new engine for a new game.

Maybe there’s a disconnect here on the terminology. I’d say most expansions offer new features. It might be new classes, new factions, interface improvements, new combat moves…otherwise it’s just a mission pack. The quest log in Tribunal, the playable werewolves in Bloodmoon, the epic content levels and skyboxes in NWN expansions, the complete rebalancing and new character stuff in Night of the Raven, new classes in Sacred Underground…what expansions are you playing?

Not a chance. It’s a cornerstone of Oblivion’s broader success.

Fallout 3