It's early 2012 and I'm playing The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Why? Because I (finally) can. Join me on my path to glory and the stabilization of the status quo in almost-Tolkien-land.
I spawn right in the arena-district of the capital and turn in the bad news of I-killed-your-father and he-was-a-vampire to the half-orc gladiator. He is understandably bummed out by this and I leave him to his bloody business practicing crowd-pleasing murder. At least he has something to take his problems out on, I guess. Then I go to the tavern where I'm supposed to meet the Blade who was last seen protecting the body of the fallen Emperor. Getting in the tavern he tells me to sit down, not talk and do what he says. Since this is basically what I've been doing all game, unquestioningly obeying orders from the establishment I sit down until he tells me that he's been tailed and the guy in the corner is probably an assassin. He is going to get up and go and if the guy follows him, I'm to follow both of them as a backup. He gets up and as I want to get up too, I accidentally take an apple or something from the bar and the owner yells at me being a thief so I reload the scene and listen to the Blade again. In the basement of the tavern there is a short fight as the guy turns into an armored warrior as these evil cultists apparently are bound to do at some point and we kill him quickly.
The Blade agent tells me to go ask a woman in the Secret University (Unseen, anyone? Why is it secret? It's right there by the city-walls, even the tourist-guide mentions it!) about a book we found on the assassin, something babbling about a lord of hell or something. The woman is an expert on Daedric cults, I'm told so I head there, after sleeping in the same tavern that we just killed a man in. Next day I reach the University early in the morning, go in and find all doors locked but one, behind which the woman is sitting. She turns around and I gasp as she is a lizard-monster and at first I thought she was wearing some sort of shamanic mask but that is her face. She tells me that in order to find secret place X I need all four volumes of this Daedric cults books but she only knows the first two of them. She can give me the second volume but can only suggest to ask a local bookstore about volume three and four.
I bid my farewell and go to said „First Edition Book Store“. The man working there tells me that he has never seen volume 4 but he does have volume 3 but he has already sold it to a guy coming in soon and no, he cannot sell it to me. I grind my teeth, wishing I could make Martor yell at him that he is a member of the fucking Blades and trying to safe the fucking world and he might want to reconsider his priorities of making money and having a good reputation for this. But unlike the local city guard, who do seem to have a high level of corruption, I cannot even mention that this might be more important than money. So I wait for the customer and, of course, he shows up soon. I tell him that I need the book and he tells me that Daedric cults are misunderstood. I tell him they killed the Emperor and he immediately falters, gives me the book and is crestfallen that he ever intended to join these guys. Good, though a bit sudden. It turns out he was also going to meet a member of the cult who has the fourth book on him in the sewers. I'll take that meeting, thank you very much.
I meet back up with my Blade non-buddy and he tells me that he knows that part of the sewers well and let's go. We go and enter the sewers. The next section is another one of these time-filling follow-the-slow-walking-NPC-sections. There are some small skirmishes with rats and giant crabs on the way but they are so ridiculously easy in comparison with any battle I had up to this point that I wonder why the programmers even bothered. Whenever I run ahead too much, the guy just stops and I have to go back for him to walk on. This takes forever. Then we get to a door and it's decision time: Do I meet with the cultist or does he? After he says he wants to meet them and I should be back-up, I go up a set of stairs and stand guard. The whole thing goes bad quickly, the cultist sees me, kills my up-to-this-point-formidable-but-now-fragile ally and then gets his ass kicked by me frantically hitting him. I don't like this. Could this have gone different if I had been sitting down there? I want to check and reload the game.
What a mistake! The entire sewer-walking-section again? Oh no! But before we get to the door and the discussion on whom of us is going to meet the bad guy, a glitch ruins the game for me by not re-spawning my ally on the other side of a loading-screen. Thus far, going back and forth through said loading-screen has always helped but this time it doesn't and I'm already playing for most of the day by now so I just give up. I exit the game and decide to call it a day at this point. I've had it with slow-walking-sections for now, god-dammit.