Oblivion is my most-played Elder Scrolls game, and it is familiar to me on a bone-deep level, so to play it modded is to invite a persistent distraction. Is this different? Am I just remembering it wrong? What, exactly, is different?
So far, not much. The basic needs mod adds a new wrinkle to travel, and inventory and time management, but I've not yet decided whether it will be interesting or annoying. Not enough time has passed for me to even notice the effects of the realistic leveling mod.
The alternate start meets with my approval, though. Getting off a ship in the port town of Anvil may lack the punch of the whole "escape from prison while learning of an apocalyptic prophecy from Emperor Patrick Stewart," but that is as much an advantage as a disadvantage. Oblivion's main plot has a sense of urgency that makes the main draw of the game - dicking around pursuing a hundred and one side quests - feel positively irresponsible. But with the alternate start, you have a dream that something important may be found in the Imperial City's sewers - and dreams can always be ignored.
As far as the other, more serious mods are concerned - I think I installed them wrong. Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul is supposed to make things more difficult, but the side-quests I've pursued have so far seemed suspiciously level-scaled. Similarly, the MIDAS spell pack is supposed to add new spells, but I haven't actually encountered any (despite playing a spellcaster and joining the mage's guild).
I'll try and reinstall and see if I can clear this up.