So after on and off playing of Oblivion I've finally finished the main quest. I still have lots of other quests to do and places to explore (I still need to get back to Morrowind's expansions too). Xfire and my save show about 47hrs for me to complete the main quest, though I did run around do sidequests and exploring until I decided to just focus on the main quest.
I liked the more visceral combat vs MW's diceroll feel but didn't like the setting as much. While it was pretty to look at it was less unique and less variety than in MW. I also didn't like the autobalancing of monsters but am happy the game is so moddable so just changed that and other parts I didn't quite like out. I got tired of the lockpick and persuasion minigames so I just auto used lockpicks and grabbed a persuasion mod but I never real try to persuade anyone so not sure if I needed to it. Since I finished the main quest I also grabbed a skeleton key to help in lockpicking though I rarely ran out of lockpicks since they are easy to find. It does help when I run out mid-quest though before a store restocking run.
RPGs are one of my favorite games (Used to mainly play those and sims on my C64). I don't like playing bad ones but I also don't expect each one to be the greatest one ever (Since I doubt they will make Autoduel 2). I like Bethesda, Piranha Bytes, Troika, Black Isle, etc. and even console RPGs. I don't get the teeth bashing over which is better and I just play the ones I like. Though good modding support will always make me lean more towards liking a game as user content and changes can add/improve the game.
I always seem to just use swords/bows and not much magic in these games. I used some mods to tweak the bow so that sneak attacks worked better. I also used a mod to speed up fireball type spells for the rare times i used them. I mostly just snuck up using the bow a bit and then pulled out the sword to finish the job.
I have grown more fond of the quest arrows and fast travel. I still like that you have to first travel somewhere to use fast travel to get back there so you at least have to adventure there once. Lately I fast travel to a nearby site and then finish the journey. I also like using the quest arrows to help navigating through towns so I don't have to go door to door to know which house I need. I still run around aimlessly too just to see what I can find.
I have but still need to install Shivering Isles. I didn't feel like installing it and then getting up to date mods for it so I'm still running older mods for just the Oblivion base. Here is a list and order of the mods I ran:
Unofficial Oblivion Patch.esp
Call Steed 2.5+Saddlebags 0.91.esp
attack and hide medium v2.0.esp
No psychic guards v1.2.esp
Shady Sam Enhanced.esp
Darkgreen Glass Armour.esp
Mages Guild Quest Fixes.esp
Recharge Spell - Imbue Power.esp
Magistrate Eyes 3.1.esp
Magistrate Eyes 3.1 - NPC Edition.esp
DEJ Harvest - Flora LITE.esp
No More Annoying Messages.esp
Unlimited Weapon Recharge.esp
Quest Award Leveller.esp
815-No persistant enchantment glow fix-TESSource.esp
848-Updated! Gem Price Fix-TESSource.sep
Francesco's leveled creatures-items mod.esm
Francesco's optional new items add-on.esm
Francesco's optional files 1.esp
Francesco's optional files 2.esp
Francesco's Slower skills x1.5.exp
Francesco's 10 days respawn time- 1-16 day length rescale - Short Grass.esp
Francesco's MOBS Dark green glass weapons.esp
Francesco's Main file MOBS patch.esp
Francesco's Add-on patch.esp
995-Specular Fix 1.1-TESSource.esp
Bag of Holding.esp
300_lore dialogue v1.15.esp
The mods I used were from reading lots of different forums. I didn't try all the variations of mods that have a low/med/high I just used the one that sounded good. I also didn't try moving all the mods around to find the perfect order. I just roughly put stuff I wanted to ensure wasn't overwritten at the bottom or where the mod writers or forum posters suggested, but lots of testing wasn't done. I was just happy to get it loaded without errors. It made the game enjoyable enough without wasting too much testing time.
TES-NEXUS - Mod site that has all the TESSource and other mods I used.
Planet Elder Scrolls - Oblivion Mods - Another mod site I used.
Living in Oblivion - Someone's attempt to play Oblivion as a regular NPC instead of the hero adventurer.