The Elder Scrolls – Oblivion

Once again, my blog posts will be dwindling. Started a new game: The Elder Scrolls – Oblivion. Been hearing many good things about it and how people are actually going to get an Xbox360 just to play it. Too bad I probably won’t get an Xbox360 for another few months (when supply becomes aplenty).

Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion Collector’s Edition (DVD-ROM)
Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion (DVD-ROM)
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Collector’s Edition (Xbox 360)
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Xbox 360)
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Official Game Guide)

At first I was hitting into many issues.

The first thing I noticed is that when I exit the game, I have a gazillion ffdshow audio codecs loaded on my task tray. After searching online for links between Oblivion and ffdshow, it turns out many people are experiencing this also and supposedly it loads 1 instance of the codec for every audio file it plays (so when a character speaks, you’ll get an extra codec loaded). So after an hour or so, you’d see about 20+ of them in your system tray. Many have recommended that you uninstall ffdshow to gain performance, but as a major movie and anime watcher, that was something I would rather give up playing a game on than uninstalling. So I thought, what about if I just unregister the codec when I play and register it back when I exit out of the game. Turns out that worked.

For most people who are running as an Administrator, all you need is to execute the following lines.
To unregister: regsvr32 /u “C:\Program Files\ffdshow\ffdshow.ax
To re-register: regsvr32 /i “C:\Program Files\ffdshow\ffdshow.ax

For those who are smart and run as a non-admin local user, execute the following lines.
To unregister: runas.exe /u:Administrator “regsvr32 /u \”C:\Program Files\ffdshow\ffdshow.ax\””
To re-register: runas.exe /u:Administrator “regsvr32 /i \”C:\Program Files\ffdshow\ffdshow.ax\””

You may need to change the italicized path to whever you installed ffdshow.

There is actually a better way to get around this problem as provided by Ferital in my comments area:

There is a far better way than unregistering ffdshow everytime you want to play Oblivion:

  1. Click Start
  2. Click “All Programs” (or just Programs, depending on the version of Windows, whether they’re using “classic,” etc)
  3. Go to the ffdshow folder
  4. Click “Audio decoder configuration”
  5. In the left hand pane, click “Info & debug” (This is the second entry in the list)
  6. In the right hand pane, near the bottom [right], find a check box labeled “Don’t use ffdshow in:”
  7. Check that box, and in the text box underneath (it lights up when you check the check box), add “oblivion.exe” (don’t include the quotes). If there is already something in that box, put a semi-colon ( ; ) after what’s already there, and oblivion.exe after that. Do NOT use spaces, since ffdshow will think that’s part of the filename. A valid entry would be “explorer.exe;oblivion.exe” (without quotes).
  8. Finally, click “Ok” and start Oblivion.

So that solved my ffdshow audio codec case. I thought everything was fine and dandy until I exited the dungeon (I know, spoiler spoiler, deal with it). Then everything went down hill from that point. Do note I had already lowered the quality settings because I was hitting lag issues. I was running at 848×480 and with almost everthing turned off. But images started to get garbled and there was a like a 2 second delay between me moving the mouse or hitting a key and my character actually moving. After even lowering to 720×480 and disabling any graphic enhancement I can find, the problem was still as apparent. I mean my system specs aren’t that bad:

  • AMD Athlon Sempron 2800+
  • Kingston 1GB DDR400 RAM
  • ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB

I know that isn’t the best in the world, but I’m only 1-2 generations behind. Anyway, I was actually contemplating on getting a new system to play this game. Then I thought, I might as well just get the game when I got my Xbox360. Then I thought, I might as well give up for now since it was pretty unbearable to keep playing.

Suddenly I got a really bright idea of updating my graphics drivers. You never know about these things. I didn’t have any problems playing Fable, but who knows. I was currently running ATI Catalyst 5.8 and the newest drivers available at ATI.com was Catalyst 6.3. Did the install and rebooted. Guess what! I can run at 1280×720 (what I ran Fable at) with NO PROBLEMS! Even enabled anti-aliasing, turned back on all the goodies and I’m pretty much happy with the speed and frames per second.

So what is this game? I don’t really know yet. I haven’t bothered reading much reviews or anything. All I know is there’s a lot of eye candy and it’s a very open ended game. You start off locked in a dungeon and you witness the emperor’s death. Right before his death, the emperor gives you a mission to bring an amulet to someone who knows where the next heir to the throne is. And pretty much from that point on, I’ve been trying to reach there but have been getting sidetracked over and over again, completing several quests already.

One thing better than fable, is in this game, there’s quick save, so I don’t have to find a stupid save spot before saving. So yah… expect my blog post count to dwindle while I play this game.

14 thoughts on “The Elder Scrolls – Oblivion

  1. another thing you might want to try is getting rid of the sempron. I know it’s cheaper and you can get a higher speed for the money than another AMD processor, but take a look at tom’s hardware sometime. Lower speed AMD’s are better than higher speed semprons usually especially if you’re going to be playing games and the like.

    ~andrew

  2. There is a far better way than unregistering ffdshow everytime you want to play Oblivion:

    1. Click Start
    2. Click “All Programs” (or just Programs, depending on the version of Windows, whether they’re using “classic,” etc.)
    3. Go to the ffdshow folder.
    4. Click “Audio decoder configuration.”
    5. In the left hand pane, click “Info & debug.” This is the second entry in the list.
    6. In the right hand pane, near the bottom, find a check box labelled “Don\’t use ffdshow in:”
    7. Check that box, and in the text box underneath (it lights up when you check the check box), add “oblivion.exe” (don’t include the quotes). If there is already something in that box, put a semi-colon ( ; ) after what’s already there, and oblivion.exe after that. Do NOT use spaces, since ffdshow will think that’s part of the filename. A valid entry would be “explorer.exe;oblivion.exe” (without quotes).
    8. Finally, click “Ok” and start Oblivion.

  3. Ferital: Which version of ffdshow is that? I’m using the Nov 9, 2005 daily build of ffdshow and I don’t see that option in “Info & debug”. I don’t want to have to reboot each time after I play Oblivion to get rid of all the ffdshow instances.

    I have the option “Multiple ffdshow instances” where the current selection is “only one – check previous filter only”. I might try “only one – check all previous filters” or “only one – check all filters in graph” but I’m not sure which one is better.

    Thanks for the info anyway.

  4. “another thing you might want to try is getting rid of the sempron. I know it’s cheaper and you can get a higher speed for the money than another AMD processor, but take a look at tom’s hardware sometime. Lower speed AMD’s are better than higher speed semprons usually especially if you’re going to be playing games and the like.”

    Dude…wow.

  5. in the latest ffdshow (9/23/2006) if you set oblivion.exe to NOT be used, you can’t start Oblivion period! (least *I* can’t!)

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