There have been workmen in the courtyard at work for the last week pulling out shrubry and even cutting down trees (only one so far). The courtyard looks so bare now. I feared that they were just prepping to put a ceiling on it and make it cube space, but that doesn't seem to be the plan. Supposedly the shrubs were 'too old to prune' and there's a whole new, beautiful landscaping plan in the works. I do hope they take care of this one better than the last. And that they don't have to cut down any more of the trees.
Oh, wonderful Oblivion. I broke down and bought the game guide yesterday. Reading it is something of a trip because there have been some rather basic changes to gameplay since it was written. :O In particular, merchants no long regain gold 'in two or three days' - they just don't ever run out of money at all. BUT, there is no way to buy and sell at the same time, so there's no way to sell items worth more gold than any merchant has without simply cutting the price WAY down. Have I complained about this XBox-centric UI enough yet? No, I don't think I have, but I don't have time to do the problem justice just right now. Suffice to say that an XBox controller has buttons that do specific things with just a click. The PC version requires one to MOVE THE FREAKIN' MOUSE before just about every click. The keyboard is used for a) opening the UI and b) moving. dammit. oh yeah, and 8 whole (that's sarcasm, people) hotkeys.
Now, the game guide sez that marksman (use of bow and arrow) would be more use in the open where you can jump up on things and attack from relative safety, but not so good in dungeons where you can't get the distance. I say to that HA! Aside from that fact you really can't jump on things, using stealth (pretty much all the time) means I get 'backstab' multipliers whenever I am undetected (which is most of the time) and sneak works best in dark dungeons. I am really liking this sneak/bow combo. Usually I play tanks, but this game, I am definitly more of a rogue. Especially since they made sneaking a toggle (no more press-and-hold to sneak as in Morrowind) AND I have two speeds while sneaking. The 'running' sneak is plenty fast enough to suit me. Other than the UI SNAFU, I REALLY like this game. I haven't even started the main quest yet!!!!! Through choice, mind you, not because I can't yet.