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Default Skyrim - Editorials @ Gamefront, VideoGamer

November 19th, 2011, 22:06
Here are a couple of Skyrim editorials from a few days back that I'm only just getting the chance to come back to.
Gamefront writes about 6 Things Bethesda Must Fix In TES VI, such as "boring conversations" and "lame combat":
Even during the finishing-move animations that occasionally trigger at the end of a fight, Skyrim only gives the most rudimentary impression of a weapon connecting with its target. Fighting in first-person mode, this inert system looks even worse. You can take a running start and a two-handed swipe at someone with a battle-axe, and they won’t even flinch — your only indication that you hit them is a sound-effect and a cheesy-looking blood splatter. Couple this with the awkward collisions, comical strafing, and firehose-like spellcasting that ensue when the combat gets thick, and you end up with a distinctly lackluster system that hasn’t changed much since Oblivion.
…and VideoGamer argues Why Skyrim is a glimpse into the future of RPGs - lack of classes, specifically:
It's telling that Skyrim has dropped traditional classes altogether: It's an imperfect system for anyone who wants to completely mould their character in the way they see fit.
For a genre whose bread and butter lies in being immersive, this kind of full-on control is like watching a developer eagerly try to prove a point: Yeah, this here is role-playing. Breaking from the restrictions imposed by a game, that's role-playing. Erasing the lines between where you stop and the character starts – that's role-playing.
This time around, the design philosophy for Bethesda has been to wave goodbye to the pre-sets it gave you at the beginning of Oblivion, and hello to the possibility of playing any class types, simultaneously, with both hands. One hand can be used for melee weapons, one hand can spellcast. The result is a system that lets players decide how they want to play at any point in time.
More information.
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November 19th, 2011, 22:06
Errm, the first link seems to be wrong.

Ok found it by googling. … Both articles are true. I think the dialogue still needs to improve. Bethesdas NPCs still lack some memorable characters like we know from Bioware. In a Bioware RPG you know some NPCs almost like a real person. It is more how things are presented altogether, with a lack of dramatization. Also combat, while I would not same lame, is not on top of things. The other points, UI or animations I don't so much agree with.

The second article is also mainly right. Especially the vast open world, the many plots and stories, all the stuff that makes Skyrim rich and detailled is and should be the way RPGs should be.
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November 19th, 2011, 22:06
Top link goes to the Dungeon Siege 3 DLC review in the previous article.
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November 19th, 2011, 23:10
Yeah I do agree with both articles. They've done some things very right for the first time in the Elder Scrolls series. I wouldn't mind seeing more perks though, particularly more of the ones which actually add some changes to game mechanics similar to how some of the ones on the archery tree could mean a significant difference in how you're able to play and use that skill.

I appreciate that they have tried to make followers more useful and more present than they were in previous Elder Scrolls titles. I do however wish they had perhaps taken a cue on how to make them more interesting from Fallout New Vegas; they're not even as alive as the ones in their own Fallout 3. I suppose this does go along with "more interesting NPC dialog" though but making interesting followers requires a bit more than that even.
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November 19th, 2011, 23:48
I disagree with "boring conversations" a lot. That was a complaint against Oblivion that I felt they rectified this time around with a more interesting world for NPCs to comment on and better writing.

The combat… yeah, I mean, it's not super awesome but I think it works fine. It's not really the focus of the game, despite how much of it there is.
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November 19th, 2011, 23:59
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
I disagree with "boring conversations" a lot. That was a complaint against Oblivion that I felt they rectified this time around with a more interesting world for NPCs to comment on and better writing.

The combat… yeah, I mean, it's not super awesome but I think it works fine. It's not really the focus of the game, despite how much of it there is.
Yeah I was more thinking for the followers.
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November 20th, 2011, 00:49
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
It's not really the focus of the game, despite how much of it there is.
Well, most of the character development concerns combat related abilities and there indeed is a lot of combat in the game. Actually a bit too much for my tastes, on the variety front the game would benefit from more investigative quests, non-combat alternative solutions or combat-free (or at least combat-light) dungeons, I think. Majority of quests, including the faction ones end up with you in one of the linear longass dungeons (of varied quality, which, from my perspective, mostly depends on how much non-combat stuff like backstory, puzzles or interactions is in) full of enemies.
Bard college alone had me go through 4 of these .
So far my favourite side quests in general are the daedric ones because they tend to be rather combat-light and have some uniqe flavour.

Anyway, better wording imo would be that combat is not the only focus of the game (which is why I think Skyrim´s iteration is of sufficient quality).


Originally Posted by jhwisner View Post
I appreciate that they have tried to make followers more useful and more present than they were in previous Elder Scrolls titles. I do however wish they had perhaps taken a cue on how to make them more interesting from Fallout New Vegas; they're not even as alive as the ones in their own Fallout 3.
I have to say I don´t mind the bare bones companions in Skyrim. Somehow the implementation goes quite well with the game´s freeform nature and most of them get some backstory before they become joinable, at least.
Giving them more personality á la New Vegas might´ve worked too, but since Skyrim is a bit different type of an open world game (I´d say New Vegas provides a bit more tight experience, whereas Skyrim provides a bit more loose one) I think the current implementation is at least equally, if not more appropriate in the context of the other game´s characteristics.
And for once not having to play a therapist of sorts feels quite refreshing .
Last edited by DeepO; November 20th, 2011 at 01:53.
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November 20th, 2011, 01:35
Skyrim certainly isn't perfect, but I feel it did improve on Oblivion in every way. You can make a list of it's faults and bash it for what it isn't, but I'm still going to tell you it's one of my favorite games - no wait, I take that back, Skyrim is my #1 favorite game so far.

I thank the gaming Gods that there is a Todd Howard and Bethesda, and I look forward to them to keep making more of these fantastic games!
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November 20th, 2011, 01:36
I don't know…I have had some really good interactions with npc's in the game. I think for a world this size, you can't have as detailed characters as you would find in biowares or the witcher games for instance, since the world in both of those games is quite controled.

The combat is the same as any other first person rpg out there…it isn't as dynamic as a fighting game, but it is definately good.

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November 20th, 2011, 02:30
I am sorry but I don't find the combat satisfying at all. There is no sense of progression in combat (you don't get any better with time as you are only mashing your controller/mouse button). You have the same sense of acheivement from killing a hair as that from killing a dragon. Repetitive melee combat with lazy mechanics that has no detailed hit detection. Bethesda bought Arkane so maybe they should have consulted them on melee combat.
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November 20th, 2011, 02:44
the combat's fun, and i like the convos and characters - it's getting around the UI that's a bitch!
The "6 things.." article gets it right in it's final point - the UI is just inconvenient. I shouldnt be scrolling scrolling scrolling thru lists, it's a tremendous waste of wide open space traded for a series of lists. Spread things out a little, give me some icons. There needs to be one summary page, w/ everything concerning your character on it. Level, Conditions, factions, whatever. And please, let's bring back the "Paper doll" view already… I seriously hate not having that feature.

It's doable, it just could be so much better. I want a mod to give it Oblivion's interface, or even better - Morrowind's!
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November 20th, 2011, 02:50
Had to stop my warrior playthrough because of the invisible extended reach that weapons have. Frustrating to die to attacks that, if you base it on the animation you see on screen, were nowhere close to hitting you, specially for a bare chested 2h warrior who relies on evasion for defense. Also, the lack of impact is a bother, I go toe to toe with a dagger weilding thief with my warhammer and we might as well be hitting each other with a rolled up newspaper for all the reaction the character show.

Still, I think it's a huge step up from OB, which I found unplayable a few hours in. And when the CK comes out, it'll likely be my favorite Beth game ever.
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November 20th, 2011, 03:09
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
Anyway, better wording imo would be that combat is not the only focus of the game (which is why I think Skyrim´s iteration is of sufficient quality).
Well I basically mean the combat is a means to an end, which is more exploration. You fight so you can keep walking, or keep delving into the dungeon, or keep getting new quests, etc. etc. You do a lot of it, but I think when you ask people "why do you play Skyrim?" they would hardly ever answer "for the combat."
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November 20th, 2011, 03:28
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
I have to say I don´t mind the bare bones companions in Skyrim. Somehow the implementation goes quite well with the game´s freeform nature and most of them get some backstory before they become joinable, at least.

Giving them more personality á la New Vegas might´ve worked too, but since Skyrim is a bit different type of an open world game (I´d say New Vegas provides a bit more tight experience, whereas Skyrim provides a bit more loose one) I think the current implementation is at least equally, if not more appropriate in the context of the other game´s characteristics.
And for once not having to play a therapist of sorts feels quite refreshing .
Well not all of them - that would be a bit excessive since there are so many anyways. The option to have hassle and baggage free followers is good, but if one or two of them had a little more personality that would be nice too. There are some that have some interesting stories up until they become your followers, at which point they kind of cease being unique characters for the most part. Having some like Mjoll perhaps continue to be a bit more interactive after they join would have been a nice option at least.
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November 20th, 2011, 03:45
Classless systems have been around a long time in rpgs. Not sure why this person thinks it is some kind of revelation or something new. I prefer strict class based systems myself, the best way to me is a party of characters, where each of them has strengths and weaknesses and clearly defined roles, and combined work together well. I guess its my early 80s D&D experiences that make this system very appealing to me. Most crpgs don't have this though and concentrate on one main character who ends up being a jack of all trades in order to get a wide ranging experience of different skills.
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November 20th, 2011, 05:47
Originally Posted by Arkadia7 View Post
I prefer strict class based systems myself, the best way to me is a party of characters, where each of them has strengths and weaknesses and clearly defined roles, and combined work together well. I guess its my early 80s D&D experiences that make this system very appealing to me. Most crpgs don't have this though and concentrate on one main character who ends up being a jack of all trades in order to get a wide ranging experience of different skills.
Not sure how a whole party would work in a game like Skyrim. It's not the old days where 5 faces on a menu were good enough, you would have to depict them all and give them personalities and such.
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November 20th, 2011, 05:59
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
Not sure how a whole party would work in a game like Skyrim. It's not the old days where 5 faces on a menu were good enough, you would have to depict them all and give them personalities and such.
And develop AI which was far more context-aware, powerful, and ultimately more computationally demanding. This would be partially counterproductive in a sense because it would make performance with many NPCs in combat simultaneously worse while inherently increasing the number of npcs in combat simply by virtue of having a party. The AI is better than it was, but I don't think they would have been ready to make competent enough AI for a game this large at this point.
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November 20th, 2011, 08:24
Yea, I'm not really referring to Skyrim in my post. An open world game like Skyrim might be best suited to only one main character. Though it would be interesting to see it done with a whole party, but as noted the current technology is probably not ready for that yet. Perhaps the story driven games like Baldur's Gate and Dragon Age are the best way to go for party based games.
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November 20th, 2011, 08:59
6. Limited Graphics Options

Red herring. Some options are gui'd, some aren't. They're better than most games at giving you options. FoV?? Come the heck on. I can't think of any other game that gives you direct control over that.

5. Boring Conversations

Red herring. 1) The conversations are better than they used to be and the voice acting breadth and quality went up. 2) I don't want Mass Effect. I want Elder Scrolls. Mass Effect requires time to do it right. It requires time not devoted to recording 400+ hours worth of stuff into the game. Likewise, I don't buy that Mass Effect gives you significant options. I'm sick to death of the whole "paragon" vs "nuanced" vs "ass" model. If you want improvement, use New Vegas as a model for better storytelling, not ME.

4. Lame Combat

C'mon. Resource budget. You want an incredible combat game you have to sacrifice something else, probably content. No, I'm happy with the incremental improvements they keep making.

3. Horrible Character Animations

Another red herring. Animations themselves are fine (and REALLY improved from Oblivion/Morrowind). It's the collision detection, clipping, and the connecting characters to terrain that's the problem. But I still think it's a resource trade-off. The lego-building-block style of Elder Scrolls environments I bet precludes really polished collision detection.

2. The Insulting PC Port

With the author there. I really really don't buy the fact that you can't re-map UI keys. That's bogus.

1. The UI

Good ideas, beautiful for a gamepad (I switched to using a 360 controller and now I really 'get' the UI design), could've been well adapted for keyboard/mouse. Implementation? Total fail. Buggy buggy bad. No excuses. Mouse and keyboard navigation don't work in concert with one another, causing selection confusion and outright lockups. Keyboard interface is arguably slower than a mouse-driven one. Several menu options are unavailable via keyboard (on a keyboard-oriented interface!!). Nope, that one's a fail.
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November 20th, 2011, 10:21
Originally Posted by xSamhainx View Post
I want a mod to give it Oblivion's interface, or even better - Morrowind's!
You're crazy! Morrowind's interface was horror! I still have nightmares of it! I wake up in the middle of the night! Oblivion's interface, I was still pausing and thinking and wasting seconds, going, "where was this and this screen again?" hours into the game. That feeling never went away, neither. Skyrim's interface, for whatever it is, is infinitely better than those two games.
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