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Default Skyrim - Articles @ RPS, GamesRadar

October 19th, 2011, 01:08
Here are two more Skyrim articles. First, Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a "Chat-o-Think" roundtable conversation:
Alec: oh! I fought a giant spider. That was pretty horrible. I mostly roasted it to death, but it charging towards me was genuinely unsettling. That was in a dungeon though. Outside, I saw another poacher – the one whose horse I nicked – but didn’t happen to bump into anyone else, bar bandits, but the poachers were chasing animals, and there were some wolves hunting something too I think. Y’know, being all wolfy. I don’t think I saw enough though, got too bogged down in crafting and stealthing. Three hours sounds like a long time, but it really wasn’t enough to entirely get Skyrim’s measure. It did feel a *lot* like Oblivion, but with more incidental stuff and polish – so it wasn’t like the jump (for good and ill) from Morrowind to Oblivion, but more a direct evolution from the last game.
Jim: hmm! So. Is it more like Morrowind, really?
Alec: Well, it definitely doesn’t feel as fantasy-generic as Oblivion didn’t, but it is building on what Oblivion did rather than what Morrowind did. It’s clawed some of the strangeness and randomness of Morrowind back in, and sorted out some of Oblivion’s presentation issues. I think it’s going to be more satisfying and, I think, better, than Oblivion, but maybe not as memorable as Morrowind.
…and GamesRadar has a bullet-point list of 63 items from their three hours. This snip has a spoiler for the start of a side-quest (but not the resolution of the quest), so be warned:
  • We witnessed a murder in a town square, where a lady called Margret was viciously stabbed to death before our very eyes.
  • We killed the assailant, and then went into a shop where people were talking about the noise outside. It was a scripted event (and that start of a side-quest), but happened in a brilliantly organic way.
  • We killed an Elk with massive antlers (obviously head of the small group he was with). When he was dead we were able to keep the antlers, which we would no doubt have displayed in our house as soon as we'd bought one in one of the cities.
  • We were able to look at characters' facial expressions without cringing at the old engine. They’re much improved, and suspicious looks from a town leader's bodyguards work brilliantly with the dialogue to set a mood that we should mind our Ps and Qs.
  • We dual-wielded magic. It's possible to have two of the same spell or even different spells mapped to the triggers.
  • We went swimming in a river and almost fell down a big waterfall, and let out an audible gasp when we climbed to safety.
  • We caught Riverbetty fish and Salmon while swimming with our bare hands.
  • We waited in the middle of a field just to see the day/night transition unfold before your very eyes. It was much like Shenmue II.
  • We went to the nearest city and took a carriage to a city that was further away. It could take us to any of the game’s cities – even the ones we hadn’t been to.
  • We heard people shout for help in the wilderness in a fashion not dissimilar to Red Dead Redemption, except instead of needing to be defended from outlaws, they’re running from dire wolves or Orcs. Or dragons.
  • We stared in awe at the mist around mountains. It looks phenomenal.
More information.
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October 19th, 2011, 01:08
Very nice info! Now ya see, these are many of the primary reasons I love the Elder Scrolls series so much. There is such great attention to all the little things that most games always forget about. They don't have to be an open world adventure to include these either.


{I'm also very glad, that for once I'll finally be able to play the new ES on day one at max settings. When Oblivion released my PC at the time could barely run the opening video with the king talking, then once in game at the lowest possible settings I was still only getting about 3fps. I did use the program Oldblivion to play and beat the game later on, then revisited it again a few years later with a proper PC, but still…}


And sadly, I probably won't get to start playing until Nov. 14-15th either. Got a deal through Newegg for $47.99 with 3 days shipping free. Better than buying direct from a B&M.
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October 19th, 2011, 01:23
Originally Posted by Alec
I think it’s going to be more satisfying and, I think, better, than Oblivion, but maybe not as memorable as Morrowind.
At least this sound plausible.
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October 19th, 2011, 10:46
Originally Posted by KapitanUnterhosen View Post
At least this sound plausible.
My thought exactly and that very good thing IMHO. We don't get many open world RPGs so can't be complaining too much!
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October 19th, 2011, 11:00
I have a feeling it'll be the best TES game yet. Then again, I wasn't a big fan of Morrowind.

On paper, it sounds a zillion times better for someone such as myself, but Bethesda are notoriously talented when it comes to hyping their stuff. So, I'm trying to remain sceptical.
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October 19th, 2011, 11:08
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I have a feeling it'll be the best TES game yet. Then again, I wasn't a big fan of Morrowind.

On paper, it sounds a zillion times better for someone such as myself, but Bethesda are notoriously talented when it comes to hyping their stuff. So, I'm trying to remain sceptical.
I think it'll probably appear the most polished/well-thought out game yet. But there are still going to be problems. AI still seems bad - unable to get AI to walk around rather than through traps, factions going hostile only when you get ON a horse that doesn't belong to you (they stay friendly if you arrive on it.. but hop off and then on again in their presence and they aggro you). Little quirks like that which could be avoided with some better rules etc.
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October 19th, 2011, 11:29
Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
I think it'll probably appear the most polished/well-thought out game yet. But there are still going to be problems. AI still seems bad - unable to get AI to walk around rather than through traps, factions going hostile only when you get ON a horse that doesn't belong to you (they stay friendly if you arrive on it.. but hop off and then on again in their presence and they aggro you). Little quirks like that which could be avoided with some better rules etc.
I don't think such examples can be avoided, really. Not in a game with this level of freedom and of this scale. You could improve and address individual issues - but you'd always be left with a game that's prone to severe balance issues. It just comes with the territory.

It's all about the "illusion" of challenge and resonably plausible behavior. If it's blatantly stupid or buggy - then it'll be a problem, and I'll reserve judgment until I play the game.

I think enjoying a game of this kind requires the player to not "game the system" too much, and to resign himself to the limitations of current technology. We're still a far way off from a fully realistic simulation.

Oblivion was shock-full of quirks and flaws of this kind, and while some were rather bad for immersion - I found the combined result truly impressive. My problem with the game was more about dreadfully stale NPCs, awful level scaling, poor character development system, crappy dialogue, bad streaming, and things of that nature.

All the "big issues" seem to have been touched upon for Skyrim - and I'm really excited about it.
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October 19th, 2011, 13:36
I admit, I have fairly high hopes for Skyrim. Like Alec, I'm hoping it'll land somewhere between Morrowind and Oblivion, which means it'll keep me satisfied for quite some time.
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October 19th, 2011, 15:34
Of everything that I've read about Skyrim, the thing that excites me most is that it should be nearly impossible to get all perks in one playthrough. I'm a completist, so if I complete everything and still have perks I didn't get, it will allow me to play again and experience new content. I don't think that there will be any quests that I haven't done, but there will be skills and perks that will be new. I played Oblivion for hundreds of hours and was definitely "Master of Everything" by the end. I'll be happy to only be "Master of Several Things but not All" this time.

'nut
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October 19th, 2011, 17:00
@crpgnut - do you know if you can end up as head of all guilds? I ended up being head of the fighter and mage guild (don't like theievesesssssss, so ignore dthat one). I'd like to be forced into a choice if possible.
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October 19th, 2011, 19:32
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Oblivion was shock-full of quirks and flaws of this kind, and while some were rather bad for immersion - I found the combined result truly impressive. My problem with the game was more about dreadfully stale NPCs, awful level scaling, poor character development system, crappy dialogue, bad streaming, and things of that nature.

All the "big issues" seem to have been touched upon for Skyrim - and I'm really excited about it.
You really think the stale npcs and crappy dialog will be fixed this go round? I feel like that's been a weak spot for the entire series and I don't really see it changing now, especially since they are aiming more toward the console crowd now who really don't care about such things.

They did try some immersion things with Oblivion like the npc conversations but, in my opinion, they failed miserably there since the conversations were made up of generic responses which often didn't make sense and always were repetitive.

I think a better way to do npc immersion in towns is to show, don't tell. Like what Drakensang T:RoT did. There were people hanging out of windows, fishing, running around, doing jobs etc. Most didn't have much interesting to say but it made the towns feel much more alive to me.

I suppose the fact that they've gotten far more voice actors this time is a good sign, but I'm still skeptical.
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October 19th, 2011, 19:37
Originally Posted by Motoki View Post
You really think the stale npcs and crappy dialog will be fixed this go round? I feel like that's been a weak spot for the entire series and I don't really see it changing now, especially since they are aiming more toward the console crowd now who really don't care about such things.

They did try some immersion things with Oblivion like the npc conversations but, in my opinion, they failed miserably there since the conversations were made up of generic responses which often didn't make sense and always were repetitive.

I think a better way to do npc immersion in towns is to show, don't tell. Like what Drakensang T:RoT did. There were people hanging out of windows, fishing, running around, doing jobs etc. Most didn't have much interesting to say but it made the towns feel much more alive to me.

I suppose the fact that they've gotten far more voice actors this time is a good sign, but I'm still skeptical.
Although certainly with a cast of 1000+ NPCs, there will be many minor, generic characters, I'm hoping that the Radiant Story feature will result in greater depth to the interaction with NPCs, or at least enhanced interaction over the course of multiple playthroughs. For example, some villager you never interacted with during your first playthrough might turn out to be a quest giver during your second playthrough.
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October 19th, 2011, 19:53
I am very skeptical of 'radiant' anything.

At best, I would imagine it doesn't really make the npcs more interesting, just introduces and element of randomness to the quests they give. So maybe Joe Elf gives you a quest to find a family heirloom or maybe it's Jane Orc in another play through.

I don't think changing the quest giver really improves the npcs themselves though.
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October 19th, 2011, 20:24
Originally Posted by Motoki View Post
I am very skeptical of 'radiant' anything.

At best, I would imagine it doesn't really make the npcs more interesting, just introduces and element of randomness to the quests they give. So maybe Joe Elf gives you a quest to find a family heirloom or maybe it's Jane Orc in another play through.

I don't think changing the quest giver really improves the npcs themselves though.
I suppose what I mean is that in Oblivion and Morrowind, many NPCs repeated the same couple of lines of dialogue forever.

In Skyrim, many quests are not assigned to specific NPCs, so if you keep talking to a particular NPC over time, you may have new things to talk about, and they might give you multiple quests. Also, if you have been interacting a lot with a particular NPC, that NPC is more likely to be involved in a quest even if they are not the quest giver (an NPC that hates you might hire someone to kill you, or an NPC that likes you might be subjected to some kind of tragedy, etc.)

Also, there is greater complexity in the interaction with all NPCs. Instead of a persuasion mini-game, you unlock dialogue options and improve NPC disposition toward the PC in other ways, including skill checks or completing quests related to the NPC in some way.

If you improve the disposition enough, there are many more NPCs that will accompany you as companions and these companions can be directed to perform more complex tasks than we have seen in previous Bethesda games, such as go and steal something, etc., not to mention romance and marriage options that get unlocked if they like you enough.
Last edited by CountChocula; October 19th, 2011 at 20:40.
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October 19th, 2011, 20:45
Originally Posted by booboo View Post
@crpgnut - do you know if you can end up as head of all guilds? I ended up being head of the fighter and mage guild (don't like theievesesssssss, so ignore dthat one). I'd like to be forced into a choice if possible.
I think (based on what I've read) we'll still be able to head all the guilds if you play long enough. It really depends on whether they have skill requirements for leading the guild. I think it'd be cool if you had to have X number of perks in a guild's tree before being allowed to lead it. If I don't have any weapon skills, how can I lead the fighter's guild. Before, it was a matter of doing quests. I'd love it if it was having a certain level of skills instead, but I doubt it.

In Corporate America there are often people in high-level positions that have no skillset related to the position. Instead, they've completed quests (done favors) for the people who make the decisions. This is realistic, but sad. Seeing it in a game isn't that unexpected.

'nut
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October 19th, 2011, 20:57
Originally Posted by Motoki View Post
You really think the stale npcs and crappy dialog will be fixed this go round? I feel like that's been a weak spot for the entire series and I don't really see it changing now, especially since they are aiming more toward the console crowd now who really don't care about such things.
Fixed? I said "touched upon" - which means improved in my book.
I think a better way to do npc immersion in towns is to show, don't tell. Like what Drakensang T:RoT did. There were people hanging out of windows, fishing, running around, doing jobs etc. Most didn't have much interesting to say but it made the towns feel much more alive to me.
They seem to have done quite a bit of work in this area as well, with people going about their business while you talk to them.

I don't think much of Drakensang at all, though.

I suppose the fact that they've gotten far more voice actors this time is a good sign, but I'm still skeptical.
It's so close that you don't really have to be sceptical for long. We'll soon know.

There's a difference between being excited and being assured. I'm still sceptical, but it sure sounds like it's going to be an improved TES. But until it's out - we won't know for sure.
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October 19th, 2011, 21:17
I've read about a lot ancedotal descriptions of improvements. But how all these little system improvements will work together in the overall experience over many (and MANY) hours of play is yet to be determiend nor described by anyone so far.

I remain skeptical about a overall better experience than Oblivion. But I will still play it.
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