Elder Scrolls: Oblivion PC performance and troubleshooting.

I'm playing on my laptop, an HP Pavillion zd8000, which it autodetected to "Medium" at 640*480, which I've pushed up to 800*600 without any trouble.

I'm wondering about the sound though, and in particular the voices. Everything is voice acted in dialogue, but no voices outside of dialogue - NPCs saying "Well met!", "Hello" etc in the town are silent - the lips move, and the subtitle pops up (I have general subtitles on) and I'm wondering if this is right?

In particular, right at the beginning, I was stuck in my cell trying to lip read the guard saying "Prisoner, go over to the window" until I realised something might not be right and turned on subtitles.

Bug?

Rat boy, try the disable joy stick trick that Certis, Edwin and I have mentioned earlier.

wahwah, yeah the specular stuff is really causing people trouble. If you have a lower end system, it is probably better to just turn it off via the .ini method that I mentioned above. You will get better framerates that way as a bonus.

I got the Dreamworld working. I did 3 things, not sure which of them was the exact fix:

1) I dropped from 800x600 to 640x480
2) I dumped my entire inventory into a crate in the mage guild (since you can't bring it with you into the Dreamworld)
3) I installed the new ATI Catalyst drivers

Resting to gain my backlog of levels did not work by itself... and it turns out I've managed to store up 6 levels worth of skill advances!

I'm wondering about the sound though, and in particular the voices. Everything is voice acted in dialogue, but no voices outside of dialogue - NPCs saying "Well met!", "Hello" etc in the town are silent - the lips move, and the subtitle pops up (I have general subtitles on) and I'm wondering if this is right?

In particular, right at the beginning, I was stuck in my cell trying to lip read the guard saying "Prisoner, go over to the window" until I realised something might not be right and turned on subtitles.

I have something like this too. I can still hear them, but they are VERY QUIET. It's nearly impossible to hear anyone unless I am actively engaged in time-stopping dialogue with them.

Tyrian wrote:

I have something like this too. I can still hear them, but they are VERY QUIET. It's nearly impossible to hear anyone unless I am actively engaged in time-stopping dialogue with them.

Ah, it's good to hear I might not be alone. I'll try cranking up the volume tonight and see if I can hear anything.

Can I ask what soundcard you're using, Tyrian? Mine is an Altec Lansing 16-bit Sound Blaster (it's a laptop) -- could 16bit sound be an issue perhaps? I'm not much of a hardcore gaming guy, so I'm not up-to-date with gaming hardware and issues.

Buff, do you have the latest drivers for you soundcard? I always check my drivers if I am having video or sound trouble.

Can I ask what soundcard you're using, Tyrian?

I'm using onboard audio, from an ASUS A7N8X Deluxe
It's a Realtek ALC650 codec thingy, w/ an integrated Soundstorm APU (dolby digital) encoder.

I saw a thread on the official forums where other people were complaining about similar issues, but no one had a workaround.

buffcore and Tyrian, I have had similar problem before, but it went away after I put the hardware acceleration for sound to be one level less then "full" acceleration.(this is in the ctrl panel->sound and Audio Devices Properties, under the Speaker settings ->Advanced->Performance section. Put the Hardware acceleration to be one notch down from full acceleration.)

Subsquently though, I did resolve the problem completely by cleaning completely (according to the method outlined by Creative) the old driver, and reinstall the driver for my X-Fi again.

If you have a creative sound card, I HIGHLY recommend going through their cleaning procedure, if you have the time. It could solve a lot of your problems.

lethial wrote:

Rat boy, try the disable joy stick trick that Certis, Edwin and I have mentioned earlier.

Did that, both by unplugging it and by disabling it in the .ini file, no dice. I'm going to try enabling Background Keyboard and Mouse to see if that does the trick, but judging by the 500 pages of Bethesda forums I've read through, I'm not the only one who still has this problem (or people have fixed it on their own and are too busy to tell people how they did it).

What kind of keyboard and mouse do you have? Have you tried reinstalling the drivers for them?

lethial wrote:

What kind of keyboard and mouse do you have? Have you tried reinstalling the drivers for them?

Just your basic, straight-from-Microsoft style setup. I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling them both to no avail. Somebody's had to have figured out a workaround to this; I just haven't found the right forum post yet.

Have you tried disabling all your mods? Also, what other processes do you have running in the background? I assume you keep your system free of spyware and viruses right?

lethial wrote:

Have you tried disabling all your mods? Also, what other processes do you have running in the background? I assume you keep your system free of spyware and viruses right?

The only mod I'm running is Oldblivion and if that goes, then the game's useless. I've checked on both of the other things and I'm clean in all respects.

One last thing, what is your system spec like? In more details.

Does your problem happen anywhere? Or does it happen only when there is a lot of npc or monsters around?

Finally, there is another shader mod that you can try in place of oldoblivion over here
Pretty neat custom shader, that only works for nonHDR settings.

3.2 GHZ
512 RAM
Radeon 9000 (Hence the Oldblivion)

I just grabbed the new version of Oldblivion. Perhaps it was something there that did it; and no, the only constant is that I lose control after roughly ten minutes no matter where I am or whom I'm with.

I haven't taken the time to read all of these threads, but my wife was stuck on the Thieves Guild quest "Ahdaji's Heirloom" due to a duplicate quest item bug. We play on the Xbox 360 so no patch was available, but last night she found a fix for it. If anyone else is stuck on the Thieves Guild quest at that spot, let me know.

So has there been a fix ala the 'chuck' fix for nvidia users yet? Anyone? I'd love to have some HDR goodness with some AA...

lethial wrote:

buffcore and Tyrian, I have had similar problem before, but it went away after I put the hardware acceleration for sound to be one level less then "full" acceleration.(this is in the ctrl panel->sound and Audio Devices Properties, under the Speaker settings ->Advanced->Performance section. Put the Hardware acceleration to be one notch down from full acceleration.)

Tried this last night. I had to move my slider down *two* notches below full before it worked, but the sound is now fine - I can hear everything I used to be able to, plus the out-of-dialogue screen chatter. I'll check for new drivers and so on later, but this fix is fine for now

Thanks lethial!

Glad it helped buffcore, but I definitely recommend you getting a driver update. What exactly is your soundcard? Could you tell me the exact name of it?

I want to thank lethial. I disabled the specular highlights using the INI file, and my crashes went from 2-3 hard locks of my recently clean installed system while playing in a session, to no locks for the past 3 sessions. So, it seems that the specular highlights are a big problem area in their game.

My stats are for other's comparison:
Nvidia 6600-256MB
Athlon 3000+ with Nvidia chipset
Onboard sound
1GB RAM.

lol, I didn't really do anything. I just followed other's advice, but glad to see that it worked for you thyarcher.

There is a problem with disabling specular lighting though. Apparently some locations (like the Wayon Canery (sorry for the bad spelling) ) forces specular lighting and will crash your game if you don't have it enabled.

That said try this mod it should fix your specular lighting crashes w/o needing to disable specular lighting in the .ini file.

Also, there is a mod called oldOblivion, which let OB to run on older machines, it disables a lot of the fancier graphics options. I only recommend using it IF you cannot get your problems resolved with the mod I mentioned above.

Finally there is a mod that gives you Fake HDR effect for cards that doesn't support SM3.0. I don't think your card supports SM3.0 does it?

lethial:
I'll check out that spec mod to see if it fixes my problems with the crashes. As far as I can tell, my card "supports" HDR. A couple websites have "true HDR" listed for my card, and I can choose it in the menu, but things look like a pretty wallpaper slideshow flipping a few times per second. I may try the fake HDR to compare it to the bloom for the framerate hit. Thanks for the recommendations.

For all those performance hounds (like me) always looking for that extra couple of FPS. I present new BETA nVidia drivers. I like these alot.

84.56 XP 32bit

84.56 XP 64bit

Major Revisions: (my bold)
* WHQL Certified
* TV-Out/HD-out support for NVIDIA SLI.
* Added support for VSync on Direct3D games when running NVIDIA SLI.
* Performance enhancements for dual-core CPUs.
* PureVideo high definition MPEG-2 de-interlacing support.
* Usability enhancements when connecting to an HDTV.
* Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0c and OpenGL® 2.0 support

BETA Madness!

Oblivion Beta Patch Clicky or from the mothership.

*looks like it changes the oblivion.ini so if you have custom settings you may need to change them again.

Excerpt from Notes (Bold is mine)
Fixed an issue with falling through collision in Fort Wooden Hand.
Fixed issue with remapping controls in French, German, Italian and Spanish versions.
Fixed issue with crashes on exit.
Fixed issue with some shadows not lining up.
Going to jail while equipped with bound armor or weapons no longer crashes the game.
Fixed issue with bound weapons not dispelling properly after dismounting a horse.
Fixed issue with player shadow being delayed after fast travel.
Fixed infinite gold issue on some dead NPCs.
Fixed issue with disease resistences that made it impossible to contract vampirism under certain circumstances.
Fixed an issue where occasionally skills would not increase properly after you received an increase in a way other than skill uses like as a quest reward.
Fixed issue where spells, powers and lesser powers were being improperly resisted when the player cast them on themselves.
Fixed an issue where creatures and NPCs would not go into combat properly after being hit by a projectile.
Fixed an issue with duplicating items and unequiping the bow.
Fixed an exploit that allowed you to sell equipped items to a vendor more than once while on a horse.
Fixed an issue with items reappearing in dead bodies after saving and reloading.
Fixed crash when NPC with active light spell on them unloaded from memory.
New Ultra Low Quality graphic setting available under Launcher options with improved support for low end FX cards (5700 and lower). To use this setting, go to the Launcher, select Options and click Reset to Defaults to allow the auto detect to check your system.
Implemented SLI-mode optimizations on Nvidia cards, and Crossfire optimizations for ATI cards.
Quest Fixes

So wait, does that mean that you don't need Oldblivion anymore?

Seems like it Rat boy.

heads up about the current installation issue with the beta patch, seems like once people gets it installed it is good.

Help!!!Please!!!!!
for some reason wherever i might be i got a message that enemies are near when i try to fast travel,repair armor etc.even in places such as caves,ruins...that i have wiped them out of enemies.it started after i got shadowmere(i don't know if thas has to do anything).i uninstalled and reinstalled the game,i tried both the initial version and the 1.1b but nothing has changed.the whole thing started suddenly and it's rathr frustrating since i've reached lv 46,found over 200 places and completed over 100 quests.i even transferred my saves to another pc.if anyone has any suggestion,about what to do i'd be gratefull.

Hmmm I cannot understand too clearly what your problem is Leviathan. However, if you do play on PC you can simply get the mods to turn the messages off completely. That way you won't get any annoying messages what so ever.
Just search for "annoying messages" either here, or in the OB mod forum and you will find the mod that you want.

I recently started playing Oblivion again on my PC and was having a major lagging and temporary freezing issue. Long story short, I found out that my video card was running insanely hot, like around 120-130 deg C in windowed mode, and that i was getting the slowdown and freezes when the temp was reaching the threshold of 135. I decided to clean out the dust with some compressed air cans, and after trying that a couple times, my temp went down significantly - like 40 degrees! I think what really did the trick was taking out the video card and blowing the hell out of it at every angle. I easily got three huge chunks of dust to come out, which must have been the problem. Moral of the story, thoroughly dust your PC and video card more often than once every 6 months.

*Noob question warning*

What's the best way to check the temp on my video card?