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What are mods?
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Mods
Oblivion is one of the most time consuming games ever made. Oblivion was released in March of 2006 for the PC and also the Xbox 360. While the Xbox 360 version has wonderful graphics and lets you upgrade with all of the downloadable content and the Shivering Isles expansion pack, those who have Oblivion on the PC have a great advantage. Mods.
Mods are user created files that add content to a game - usually for the better - that changes aspects of the game in many different ways. The first batch of mods that came out for Oblivion were the basics : bigger boobs, cooler weapons, and nudity, although not necessarily in that order. Typically nude mods are the first ones to hit for most games, whether it's an action game like Tomb Raider or a sim game like The Sims. Nudity is in high demand on the Internet.
Many people will buy a game such as Oblivion for the PC and not even realize that mods exist. This is a terrible loss as the amount of content or overall cool stuff mods bring to PC games is absolutely amazing. The Elder Scrolls series has been heavily modded for years by newcomers and professionals alike so there is no limit to what you can find for these games.It's always a good idea to play a game all the way through first before you apply the mods but Oblivion is an exception to this rule.
You should definitely mod this game before you even start creating your character and delving into this massive world.
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The Best Mods
I will try to run down some of the very best of the best when it comes to Oblivion mods. There are thousands out there that span many different sites. The best site to check out is probably Planet Elder Scrolls. There, you can check out various mods and they are rated by other users and free to download.
Francesco's leveled creatures and items mod
This mod takes away the main issue people have with Oblivion. When you first buy Oblivion, everything will level up as you level up. That means if you are level 1, all the enemies are level 1. If you are level 10, all the enemies are level 10. This does provide some challenge as xBox 360 and PS3 players can testify to but it also has a lot of problems. If you don't level up your hit points and strength every single time, by level 8-12, your enemies will severely hand you your behind.
Francesco's mod makes creatures in the game have more static levels. That means if you are level 1 and wander somewhere you probably shouldn't be, you will die. Animals are tougher at first but become easier as you level up like most standard RPG games. This means that rat that annoys you at level one is easily dispatched by level 5. In the non-modded Oblivion the rats did stop levelling at a certain point anyway but Francesco's makes it seem more natural. Random bandits could be various levels and you can usually tell by what they are wearing. A bandit in fur armor is probably easier to kill than a bandit in a full set of steel armor.
When you first play Oblivion, it won't take long to realize that the entire population has been beaten severely with the ugly stick. Beautiful people changes the way the NPC's look as well as gives you a large amount of customization options for your character. You don't want to play for 50 hours looking at some hideous beast you made with the goofy standard options, now you can have a ton of hairstyles, eyes, and overall cool things. Combine this with a mod that adds nice clothes and armor, and you have turned ugly and boring into pretty and interesting.
This mod is very simple in nature. It adds minor things to the environment that are missing. Birds, insects, rainbows, and seasonal weather are some great examples. These really add to the immersion of the game. You may not notice much if you first play with this mod but when you take it away, you definitely will.
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The modding community for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is very friendly and helpful so if you think there is something missing, you can ask them on the official Elder Scrolls forums or at Planet Elder Scrolls. There are literally thousands of mods out there that range from the amazing to the absurd. Do yourself a favor and download some great mods today. I listed just a few of my current favorites but I'm probably using over 20 different and cool mods.