Fort Blackfire (oblivion mod)…

Fort Blackfire (oblivion mod) after the break…

Fort Blackfire (oblivion mod)…

So, I’m trying to get back into playing the video game “Oblivion” which is harder then it sounds because in order to play a video game you actually have to want to play a video game. In between me & the video game is a little something called “the Internet” & gosh darn if that isn’t the most interesting video game of all to play.

However, I do make attempts at perservering & on rare occasion even succeed in prying myself away from the Internet & Real Life & anything else that doesn’t have anything to do with playing video games.

“Fort Blackfire,” quite frankly, needs help. I’m not going to mince words. I understand that, when I review these mods, I am reviewing things I could only dream about building. I’d be happy building a little shack in the middle of the woods & as long as it didn’t blow up anyone’s computer while being played with, then I’d be fine with it.

However, as a player, I want to be immersed in the world. There are design flaws in these mods that breaks the immersion. I want to believe that I’m in Cyrodiil (I’m technically not in “Oblivion,” the game’s name because that is, technically, the game’s version of “Hell” & why would I go there when I can just go to work instead AND get paid for it?), that I’m visiting a real place & interacting with real people.

“Fort Blackfire” doesn’t come with anything – Say hello to the .ESP & nothing else. I hope you remembered the description at TESNexus because that’s your only clue as to where this “Fort Blackfire” is – South-East of Cheydinhal, near Fort Entius. Now, if you’ve visited Fort Entius, you’ve got a pretty good clue as to where it is. If you know where Cheydinhal is, then you’re precisely siht out of luck because saying that Fort Blackfire is south-east of Cheydinhal is sort of like saying the country of Mexico is below the country of Canada.

Yes, technically, Fort Blackfire is south-east of Cheydinhal but a better way would be that Fort Blackfire is at the end of that river-y thing that I forgot the name of. Same place & it gets so much closer to where you need to go. Otherwise, some poor guy (namely me), is going to fast travel to Cheydinhal & then think that Fort Blackfire is a hop-skip & jump to the south east. Ha ha, but, no.

Anyway, I get to Fort Blackfire & the first thing that is apparent is that Fort Blackfire really wants to live up to the whole “fire” part of it’s name. Also, the place has a serious fetish for dragon statues. So, the place has a moat of fire around it but this alone does not cause me to break my immersion. What causes the immersion breaking is the fact that the land is PERFECTLY FLAT.

Please, mod designers, for the love of The Nine, don’t ever use perfectly flat land! It looks like I’ve just walked into the video game “Daggerfall” with their perfectly flat cities & bajillion cookie-cutter houses that you had to walk into to find the one that actually mattered to the game. No! Make little bumps in the land, make little inclines & declines… No place anywhere is perfectly flat! Make the land feel “real.”

OK, let’s go past the guards into the “fort” (It’s actually a “town” since there’s a couple of regular town buildings inside the “fort” walls)…

There were some nice things about all of this. First, you could walk on the wall which I appreciated. Does it chew up your CPU & spit it out? Absolutely, but it was a nice touch & I appreciate such things. When I get my next computer, “Oblivion” is one of the first games I will install just so I can turn every setting on “Absurdly High” & bask at the fact that the computer won’t even break into a computer-equivalent of a sweat.

Now, let me address something that I addressed in Woodelvendon a little while back. When you make a house, try to realize that you must make a passing attempt at matching the outside object resembling the house with the inside of the house. Try to do that. Make an effort. I know that it’s easy to plop a house down anywhere & then lose track of how the outside & the inside doesn’t match. JUST FCUKING TRY! THAT’S ALL I’M ASKING! TRY! TRY! TRY! TRY!

I’ll give you one example where the “try” did not succeed at all – Ferlas’ house. The door to Ferlas’ house is all the way over to your right when you attmept to enter the house. However, when you enter the house, you can still continue to go to your right. No. Stop. I can’t do that because the door on the outside is on the rightside of the front wall. There is no more right. I am all out of right. There is only leftness left. Go back & fix that. Now. Please. Thank you.

One of the things that also disturbs me is that, sometimes, the usage of dragon statues got in the way of room function. Take the dining hall, for example. When you enter through one of the doors, your first sight is… A dragon wing. Not a dragon statue, but the wing of a dragon statue. Just the wing. This is wrong. Aesthetically, this is wrong. Why do you want your guests to see the wrong part of a dragon statue’s wing when they first walk in to dine? This is where the dragon fetish of the fort fails. Fix that as well.

Something that could really add character to this place would be if there were fort-specific scrolls or books or diaries of something to read. It would give the place a little background & character. I didn’t spot any of that in this mod & so that part of the mod got very boring very quickly.

Here was one nice thing I liked – The dagger in the table at the Jailor’s table. I liked that. It was a nice touch. It added character to the jailor that I didn’t know existed. See? Just the placement of a dagger gives the Jailor a personality trait. I liked it. It was very nice.

Here’s something that I didn’t like – Unmarked teleporters on many of the tower tops. Let’s play the “which teleporter gets me back to someplace relevant?” game. No, I don’t think so. Label the teleporters correctly. I can just imagine the confusion that new guards must have when stationed on the top of these towers:

Henry: Where’s Bob? He should’ve come back from his shift ten minutes ago?

Drake: I’ll chec… Oh, he’s on the South Tower and… Now he’s on the West.

Henry: What’s he doing?

Drake: I think he’s confused about how to get back to the barracks.

Henry: That confused me, too, when I first started out.

Drake: [SHOUTS] BOB! BOB! HEY… BOB!

Henry: He’s on the North tower now.

Drake: Maybe if he takes the leftmost telepor…

Henry: Back on the South tower.

Drake: He’s going to be stuck all day. Come on. Let’s go to the tavern & get siht-faced. He’ll figure it out eventually.

Oh, I was able to see under one of the fort’s walls that bordered the ominous-looking moat of fire. That needs to be fixed.

You know, in the end, I think that whomever made this mod has talent but got stuck in the “OMG! That would be so cool!” mode that they didn’t pare the mod down into something more rationale. I’d like to see this guy attempt to do a simple town instead of trying to go all out on a “Super-wicked-cool-awesome fort filled with flaming dragon statues & stuff!” fort just to see if he could pull it off. I’m sure he could & that this fort thingy was just something more then he could chew.

I’m tired of writing now. Good bye.

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