On Oblivion and Beyond #2 – Conjuration

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The 23rd of Sun’s Height, 433 3E.

Good Tirdas and welcome to the second installment of On Oblivion and Beyond. Today we will be talking about my least favorite skill in TESIV, which is Conjuration.

Let me preface by stating that Conjuration, in practice, is a very unique and interesting skill tree to be placed in Oblivion. The premise of the skill is very promising: as a mage, you can summon otherworldly creatures and weapons that will assist you in battle. Got it. That sounds dope as hell. Let me get on this skill and summon some d**n Dremora to lop some heads.

However, in Oblivion, it doesn’t really work that way. In Oblivion, you can only summon ONE FAMILIAR AT A TIME. I understand that this system is related to the system that blew up from being overloaded by Stunted Scamps, but do you think that we really couldn’t handle three or even two summons on the Xbox 360?

The skill gets worse, although this is more of the leveling system rather than the actual skill itself, so that gets a pass. In Oblivion, your enemies are always “stronger” than you or your followers. The problem comes from the leveling system, which f**ks up everything in the game. Let’s take this situation for example:

Let’s say that you have a Conjuration skill of 100. First off, why did you take that much time to level such a crappy skill? Who knows. Whatever. Secondly, you buy a spell for a Gloom Wraith to summon, which is a pretty powerful summon.

Ok. So you’re deep in a dungeon and you encounter a bunch of Skeleton Champions, which are strong as S**T. You say, okay, let me summon this bad b*tch. You do, and you take up all of your magicka during this. Your Gloom Wraith emerges from an iridescent, swirling portal from the aether, a haunted ghost sent to your realm temporarily to wreck havoc on your greatest enemies, and-

The Skeleton Champion killed ya b*tch in seven hits. Gloom Wraith didn’t get a fighting chance. You hate to see that, folks.

A way to improve Conjuration in Oblivion is to make your summons much stronger than the standard variant of the enemy to make them useful. I understand that the game needs to be a challenge, but you’re already encountering MORE enemies than you have allies. They shouldn’t have so much health that it is triple yours. Besides, it doesn’t even make the game “harder” really. It is an artificial challenge and it doesn’t make combat interesting to hit an enemy 400 times rather than four. I want to see the summons be much stronger to actually assist in the combat rather than the player character babysitting it and doing 90% of the legwork.

Again, the game should be hard. But the summons need to help out. The enemies should not be damage sponges; it needs to be a combat system where everyone is somewhat vunerable but the player character must put some thought  into combat in every way.

Godd*mnit, just make the Conjurations stronger. I am sick of seeing my f**kin Skeleton get domerocked by a RAT.

On the positive side, I love the creatures you can summon. I wish there was more variety of enemies and conjures in Oblivion, but it’s not too bad. I wish there was more in game scrolls that you can find to summon creatures, but that’s not a big gripe. One thing that could be cool is more Necromancy type skills. I know they introduced a lot of this in Skyrim, but it would be great to take out a group of bandits only to raise them from the dead using Necromancy (It’ll fall under Conjuration) and have them turn on their still surviving allies. Conjuration should be able to summon gear that you can give to your followers as well (we will talk about Elder Scrolls followers in another article 😉 ) and the Conjuration skill should be able to spawn more than one at once. Overall, I do like how Conjuration is a bit hard to master (it should since you’re literally spawning hell demons) so I do like that, but there’s a lot of s**t that needs to be changed in the system to make it as good as it should be in the future.