Last night I played Oblivion on the computer (with frequent pauses for visits to the latrine because I was sick in a not so nice way). Verisimilitude took a big hit as my character was in a cave high in the snow covered mountains with a lot of loot I wanted to carry back to town. Unfortunately, the character lacks physical strength… so I stripped myself naked (there is snow on the ground, so I’m guessing it’s supposed to cold up there) and drink a “feather” potion that allows me to carry more stuff. The potion is supposed to last just a few minutes, but I have discovered that if I pick up all of the stuff (which is so heavy I can’t move) and then drink the potion, I can run outside and if I hit the ‘fast travel’ button before the potion runs out, my character’s horse will take me to the town. Here I will abruptly stop moving because the weight of all my treasure is too much…the horse disappears (a message assures me that the horse is at the stable) and I have to drop 3/4s of the treasure at the gate, run naked with the other 1/4 to the store, sell what I am carrying, run back, hoping that what I left hasn’t been taken by someone else and repeat until all of the treaure has been converted into gold. And my character does all of this in the snow while wearing only a loincloth (which apparently weighs nothing — the game won’t let me take it off). While I am moving the pile of silver weapons and jewel encrusted dwarven armor load by load to the store, beggars keep asking me for coins — hello, Mister Beggar Man? You were standing right next to this pile of shit worth hundreds of gold waiting for me to come back so you could ask me for ONE coin? These computer generated NPCs are really honest.
I then jump back up on the horse and ride back to the cave in the mountains where I left all of the stuff I wanted to keep (including my character’s shirt, shoes and pants) and get dressed… another successful and profitable adventure having been concluded.
I used to try putting shit I wanted to keep in chests and boxes and cabinets, then returning periodically to pick it up… but I think the computer got wise to me because my big treasure cache (including all sorts of magical and alchemy crap) abruptly disappeared and was replaced by shoes, velvet doublets, linen pants and things like shears, brooms and hour glasses. The shoes and clothes I can gather and sell (although they are worth very little)… or I can wear them (although there is no apparent game advantage to wearing normal clothes), but the game is full of shit like ceramic plates, mugs, pots, paint brushes, hour glasses, brooms, calipers, shovels, etc., and that stuff is all worth nothing and can’t help you do anything. For a while I was convinced that all of this shit was needed for one quest or another, so I was carrying tons of shears, tongs, dishes, etc., and I was walking past REAL treasure because I didn’t have room in my inventory and I was convinced that the game designers would’t but a shovel in the game unless I would come upon a situation where I had to dig a hole. After a while I figured out that most of it just took up space in my inventory — if it has any in game utility, I haven’t yet found it.
The game keeps hinting that I can buy a house (where I presume I can stash all of my treasure and all of the worthless calipers, tongs, shears, ceramic plates and other useless crap I can pick up), but every time I see the message, “Ask about buying a house,” the NPC tells me, “I don’t trust you enough to talk about that,” when I click on it. “What the fuck? ” I say to the NPC on screen. “You TOLD ME to ask you about buying a house and now you say you don’t trust me enough to talk about it?”
I’m also puzzled at how many pairs of shoes seem to be stashed in the world of Oblivion — there seem to be shoes in almost every barrel, box, coffin, cabinet and other container I look in. And unlike armor, weapons or boots, shoes never wear out. But they also don’t do anything for you (whereas armor and boots at least protect you a little). So what’s up with the shoe fetish?