Skyrim, 2 years on...

Posted by Cathryn (545 posts) -

I purchased the Legenday edition of Skyrim for the PS3 in November. I wanted to pack my XBOX 360 away to make room for a PlayStation 4, but I was reluctant to do so in case I ever wanted to go back to playing Skyrim. Since I had no intentions of packing up my PS3 and hadn't yet purchased any of the DLC for the game, I thought that the Legendary edition was my best option. From a technical perspective, the game runs much better after all the patches, though the load times can still be uncomfortably long and the frame rate still chugs when you first enter towns. It is, however, totally playable at this point.

As I mentioned in a few of my NaBloPoMo posts, Skyrim is my favourite game of Generation 7. While I still stand by my choice, I have to admit that until just this week, I had never finished the Main quest line, or the also important Civil War quest line. The meta game of dungeon delving, buying, crafting, and selling was almost always the biggest draw toward Skyrim for me, and it was interesting enough that I didn't need the mediocre story messing that up. Finally, after two years of back and forth between the two, I was able to complete some of my most significant objectives in the game: both meta and ortho.

I completed the Main quest line. The story, of course, wasn't particularly interesting, but it was fun to play. I especially enjoyed the environment of Blackreach, an enormous Dwarven settlement. It was a fascinating place to explore, even if Falmer and Chaurus enemies make me terribly uncomfortable. I thought that the armistice discussions in A Season Unending were also interesting, and forced me to read more about Skyrim's political history like the Great War, and the treaty with the Aldmeri Dominion. I had never paid much attention to these elements of the story before this series of play sessions. I knew that Nords didn't much like the Thalmor due to their involvement with banning the worship of Talos in Skyrim, but I hadn't ever absorbed much more than that.

Learning more about the Great War made the Civil War quest line a little awkward for me. While I knew that the Stormcloaks were racist against other groups, my character was a Nord and I had resolved to join tthat side of the war long before I started playing again in December, but I'm not sure if I like how things turned out in the end. The replacement Jarls were a little creepy, even after A Season Unending. I liked Balgruuf and Laila Law-Giver (though I'm assuming she became Jarl again after the Stormcloaks won the civil war -- I didn't check). The guy in Markarth was a little sketchy, but his replacement, Thongvor Silver-Blood was far worse.

There were just so many wider political issues at stake in the conflict as well. I agree that the people of Skyrim should have had the right to worship Talos as they saw fit, and I think that they deserved the right to be autonomous if that's what they wanted, but I'm not sure Ulfric Stormcloak much cared about any of that. Ulfric seemed far more interested in his own power to me, and even in creating his own empire, than he did for the people of Skyrim. While he was tolerant of other races in Windhelm, I can't support his segregation of the Dunmer and Argonians in various parts of the city. The racial elements of the Stormcloak cause were a great source of discomfort for me. All that said, I'm not sure the Empire was working particularly well either. I may watch a Let's Play of that side of the story to see if their aims may have been more palatable, but I'm pretty sure it would also be a mixed bag of motivations and justifications. All that said, I was level 35 by the time I got to the Civil War quest, and it was pretty fun killing off large waves of Imperial soldiers in two hits apiece.

I also felt that both the main quests had difficult endings. I found it hard to accept that the Dragonborn would fade in to obscurity after singlehandedly solving both the dragon problem and the civil war problem. I know that this is necessary to allow the player to continue to explore the enormous world after the main quest is over, but I still found it a little difficult to accept. I wonder if this is something Bethesda will try to think about a little more in the next Elder Scrolls game, though with all the controversy that's happened around this issue in the Fallout series, I think they may not bother doing much about it.

And so I will now be taking a nice, long break from Skyrim. Aside from those two large quest lines, I finally was able to get the 100k gold achievement, purchase and upgrade all of the city houses (and Lakeview Manor near Falkreath), and discover all 13 Standing Stones. I still have a fair amount I'd like to accomplish, however. I would like to try out the Dragonborn DLC and travel to Solsheim and get the 10 sidequests achievement. Eventually, I'll get there.

#1 Posted by sdharrison (476 posts) -

Bethesda are utterly spoiled to have individuals like you as fans. In my opinion, they don't deserve it. Skyrim doesn't deserve it. But if you had that level of an experience, then cheers.

#2 Posted by Cathryn (545 posts) -

@sdharrison: Thanks for stopping by. I am actually not much of a Bethesda fan at all. The Fallout series doesn't interest me (though I often think about playing the non-Bethesda games and then fail to actually do it), and Skyrim is my first Elder Scrolls game. Yes, I do love it, but I have my share of problems with it. I've written in the past about my own personal problems with the plain non-functionality of the PS3 version of the game at launch and Bethesda's not dealing with it very well, but Skyrim, for some reason I don't think I'll ever quite get, just grabs me and won't let go. It's rare that games have that effect on me, so yeah, I think it's pretty all right.

#3 Posted by SgtSphynx (1336 posts) -

I have played both the Stormcloak and Empire questlines for the Civil War and and can say without hesitation that every single replacement Jarl was worse than the Jarl they replaced, Riften especially.

As far as the ethics of each side go, I think Bethesda did a good job at making neither side clearly better. On one hand, a united Empire is stronger and could potentially fight against the Thalmor, on the other, appeasement never works.

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#4 Edited by AlexGBRO (295 posts) -

@cathryn: how is ps3 version? at the realesea there were a lot of problems did they manage to fix it?

#5 Posted by eroticfishcake (7783 posts) -

I actually finished the main quest of the game within the month which is actually quite rare for me given that I usually spend a lot more time with the games in the series. I think it may have to do with the fact that I don't have a lot of time as I used to but overall it's very much an improvement in comparison to previous titles in many aspects (arguably.) That doesn't mean it's amazing mind you, the combat is still arse and the writing/storytelling is pretty spotty but it's always been like that for the entire series. In fact, the entire series is incredibly flawed.

Yet, I still enjoy them because there's no one else giving us an open world fantasy RPG or at least, no one who does it as well as they do. That total freedom to do whatever one wants is a powerful thing to give people whether you're just talking a nice stroll through the woods, do some hunting or become a lord of a town or whatever. Especially with mods you can do just about everything given the effort. Of course it does add it's own unique problems, total freedom means lack of focus. The jack of all trades but master of none. It's quantity over quality.

Unlike yourself however, I didn't feel strongly moved by the story. It brings up issues of racism as it's main point in the story but I feel like it does nothing with it. Your race might determine a few factors in it but it's nothing game changing. At most, they just acknowledge you and before swiftly moving on. Is it because they didn't want to lock content out or did they fear the potential offence caused if they delved too deeply into it? After all, it's a very expensive game to develop and thus it needs to be mainstream. They have to play it safe. Either that or it's just poor storytelling, I'm not sure it's been too long for me.

I'm really glad the series exist though. I stopped caring for it shortly after Skyrim but the fact that it still appeals to many people (and rightly so) is great but the laundry lists of problems after a near decade really wore me out. Really sorry for the ramble. I love it but I'm also so frustrated by it.

#6 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (5375 posts) -

I did just about everything Vanilla Skyrim had to offer. It really grabbed me in a way I haven't experienced in a long time. I really think it had to do with it being my very first Elder Scrolls game. Overall, I recognized it's share of problems, but I still love it. With that said, I find it almost impossible to go back to now.

#7 Edited by Xeiphyer (5601 posts) -

I was really disappointed with the main questline in Skyrim. I knew it'd be somewhat lackluster just because of the nature of the game being so open and needing to be accepting of so many playstyles, but the way they force you into a false dichotomy about siding with the blades or killing the dragon was utter bullshit. That really soured my opinion of the main quest afterwards.

That being said, I sure did get the platinum trophy on PS3 and then go on to spend another 100+ hours on the PC version. I'm not sure why I love the game so much, I feel like I hate literally everything about it. I could complain for hours about the lazy quests, stories, weapons and armors, monsters, dungeons, and everything else, but somehow its still an amazing game that I keep finding myself getting sucked back into.

#8 Posted by AMyggen (2786 posts) -

Yup, love Skyrim and love the modding community. I completely agree with many complaints about the game, the combat, some of the questing etc., but the Elder Scrolls are just special to me. I've played the game on and off since release, and have to have used 3-400 hours on the game by now. Newly finished Morrowind again too, one of my favourite games of all time.

#9 Posted by mikey87144 (1719 posts) -

@alexgbro said:

@cathryn: how is ps3 version? at the realesea there were a lot of problems did they manage to fix it?

It's not great. It's better but certainly not great. The load times are unbearably bad, sometimes a full minute just going from one inside location to another. The frame rate drops consistently when you're in the overworld. The game runs ok when you're in a dungeon but outside of that you'll be getting hitches and drops with every step. Now the big caveat to what I said is that I switched to the PC version not too long ago and then went back. The performance differences probably are more noticeable to me but I still thought the load times were awful before I got the PC version.

#10 Edited by pyrodactyl (1963 posts) -

@sgtsphynx said:

I have played both the Stormcloak and Empire questlines for the Civil War and and can say without hesitation that every single replacement Jarl was worse than the Jarl they replaced, Riften especially.

As far as the ethics of each side go, I think Bethesda did a good job at making neither side clearly better. On one hand, a united Empire is stronger and could potentially fight against the Thalmor, on the other, appeasement never works.

Wait, that's what you see in the Empire vs rebels conflict? What I see is ''kind of soft empire but whatever religious technicalities are dumb'' vs '' THE RASISTS''.

#11 Posted by SgtSphynx (1336 posts) -

@pyrodactyl: There is definitely that aspect of it, but in the larger view of things the Thalmor want the Stormcloaks to win because it creates a weaker Empire.

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#12 Edited by Cathryn (545 posts) -

@alexgbro said:

@cathryn: how is ps3 version? at the realesea there were a lot of problems did they manage to fix it?

It's not great. It's better but certainly not great. The load times are unbearably bad, sometimes a full minute just going from one inside location to another. The frame rate drops consistently when you're in the overworld. The game runs ok when you're in a dungeon but outside of that you'll be getting hitches and drops with every step. Now the big caveat to what I said is that I switched to the PC version not too long ago and then went back. The performance differences probably are more noticeable to me but I still thought the load times were awful before I got the PC version.

Yes, I agree with everything said here. It's definitely playable now if you fiddle with the autosave settings and turn some of them off. It's much better than I remember it being at launch when I first bought the PS3 version. I'd say that it's slightly worse now than the 360 version, but if the PS3 is the only option you've got, it's definitely worth buying. If I had a PC setup, I'd be going for that, but it's just not feasible for me at the moment.

@sgtsphynx: I didn't have any interaction with Maven Blackbriar after she became Jarl due to my decisions in the armistice negotiations. Reading your comments, I'm actually a bit curious now. The Markarth dude is just so creepy D:

@eroticfishcake: My plan was to get through the main quest as soon as possible after launch as well, but after everyone whined about it so much, I figured I might as well enjoy the parts of the game I liked best and leave it for when I could have more perspective on it. I think that might be one of the main reasons why i can still go back to it -- I've played so many hours of it over the years that I know its strengths well enough to not let its weaknesses bother me. And yeah, it is really the only game of its kind. I thought Kingdoms of Amalur was a pretty interesting attempt, but in that case the meta game wasn't nearly good enough to keep me interested in the dull story. Amalur has superior visual design though, I think. Gorgeous game to look at.

The lack of focus was often a significant challenge for me -- too many things to do often paralyzed me and made me stop playing, when in a more linear game I would have kept trudging along. I'm looking forward to the next one, though who knows how long it'll be before that happens. Hopefully your interest will be renewed by then.

@themanwithnoplan: This is pretty well exactly how I feel about it, with the exception of my still being able to go back to it. I have no idea what it is, but it pulls me in and I can't get out. I lose entire evenings to it -- I have to plan for when I sit down to play it because I know it's going to eat my life for awhile if I get started.

@xeiphyer: You and me, my friend. I feel the same way. Oh god, Parthuunax. I was expecting that, since I'd read enough about the main quest to know it was coming. There was no way I was doing what the Blades wanted. I never liked Delphine much anyway, though I did like Esbern, and was disappointed that my character had to be on the outs with him.

#13 Edited by benspyda (2032 posts) -

All the main questlines and guild quests in Skyrim were rather weak, but that's just motivation to explore the world in a semi-directed way for those who need it. The sense of wonder exploring Skyrim and building your character is the main draw to the game and why I've spent 100s of hours playing it. They also did an amazing job making the world and setting seem like an actual lived in place.

#14 Posted by Cathryn (545 posts) -

@pyrodactyl: There is definitely that aspect of it, but in the larger view of things the Thalmor want the Stormcloaks to win because it creates a weaker Empire.

Actually, in the Thalmor dossier on the civil war conflict (or on Ulfric, I can't remember) that you get during the Embassy part of the main quest, it says that the Thalmor actually want the conflict to keep going as long as possible since it will distract and drain the resources of both sides. They want a weak empire and a weak rebel faction. A strong, unified Skyrim doesn't do them much good either -- it gives them a two-front war to fight.

#15 Edited by believer258 (11776 posts) -

Bethesda are utterly spoiled to have individuals like you as fans. In my opinion, they don't deserve it. Skyrim doesn't deserve it. But if you had that level of an experience, then cheers.

Why not? I'm well aware of its simple mechanical problems, but no one makes a world quite like Bethesda. And I'm not even talking about lore, I'm talking about walking into a town and feeling like you're in a town, and talking to people and feeling like there are gears turning in this place that has nothing to do with you, and which you won't necessarily have any part in. I'm talking about climbing a mountain and looking out at the landmass in front of you, knowing that you can pick a direction, any direction, and find something interesting to do that way. No one else really does that.

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#16 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (5375 posts) -

@cathryn said:

@themanwithnoplan: This is pretty well exactly how I feel about it, with the exception of my still being able to go back to it. I have no idea what it is, but it pulls me in and I can't get out. I lose entire evenings to it -- I have to plan for when I sit down to play it because I know it's going to eat my life for awhile if I get started.

My not being able to go back really has to do with how much time I actually put into the game, which was at least 200 hours or more. As you can imagine, It completely ate my time as well. Honestly, I was glad when I started having problems going back and playing the game. Don't worry, I'm sure you'll get to that point as well.

#17 Posted by Aleryn (704 posts) -

Sounds a lot like me after I put hundreds of hours into the 360 version. Particularly the strangeness of the Dragonborn being largely irrelevant after finishing the main quest. In Oblivion the player was subjected to praise and an overuse of the voiced title "Hero of Tamriel!" but in retrospect I preferred acknowledgement of main quest completion.

Beware the PC version. With a good set of mods attuned to your preferences it nearly becomes a different game. For me the inclusion of a great deal more random encounters, similar to Daggerfall, breathed new life into it. Just haveta' wade through the "clean women" glut of mods that Gerstmann so perfectly summarizes.

#18 Posted by Veektarius (4750 posts) -

I got to that point with Skyrim, then played as a mage, and it was fresh again, then it got stale again, then I installed SkyRe, and it was fresh again, and finally, once I got to Solstheim and found out SkyRe was totally unbalanced there, I stopped. Never finished that content, which I regret, but the only urge I feel to return to it now is the completionist urge, which was never strong in me.

#19 Posted by SgtSphynx (1336 posts) -

@cathryn: It's in the dossier on Ulfric, and yes that is true, but I still feel that the Thalmor would rather have the Stormcloaks win their independence due to it causing the Empire to be weaker and therefore easier to take over, plus, an independent Skyrim would be weaker having just won that war and therefore would be easier to take over without angering the Empire. Once the Thalmor control Skyrim, they have Cyrodil completely surrounded and then it's only a matter of time before the Empire falls and you have a world controlled by the Aldmeri Dominion, their ultimate goal.

Also, Maven Blackbriar is essentially a crime lord who gets given control over an entire hold.

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#20 Posted by zombiepenguin9 (533 posts) -

I think Skyrim, and perhaps the entire TES series, is greater than the sum of its parts. Sure, the combat has little to no depth, there are way too many obvious exploits, and like so many other games, the whole chosen one saving the world story is mediocre compared to the side content. But no other game has allowed me to have memorable, spontaneous adventure like Skyrim has, and I think that it's worth forgiving its flaws because of that.

#21 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3195 posts) -

Great read. Makes me like Skyrim more than I know I do. I always wanted to get into the world story but I've never been able to crack it.

#22 Posted by Guesty_01 (339 posts) -

For all the problems Skyrim has. For all the things I think could have been done better or can be improved upon, of which I can name tens and tens. Despite all this, Skyrim is still my favorite single player game of all time.

#23 Posted by Atlas (2435 posts) -

I'm playing through Skyrim right now, and it's the first time I've got 5+ hours deep into a character since my first character, with whom I logged 200 hours. I'm playing a female Khajiit nightblade, focusing mainly on magic and stealth abilities, with high speech and sneak, good all-around magic abilities, and archery (and my claws if I'm in a real pinch). Like the OP, I never finished the main quest in Skyrim even after 200 hours, spending most of my time just dungeon diving and filling my houses with incredibly valuable artifacts and treasures. I also never finished the College, Dark Brotherhood, or Civil War questlines, and never even started the Thieves Guild (I was playing an Orc warrior charging around Skyrim with a warhammer - I had no time for petty thievery).

As far as the civil war goes, my Khajiit has sided with the Empire, for two reasons. A) the Khajiit are loathed in Skyrim, and I rarely see any of my brothers and sisters living among the Nords in their cities; they're either walking the roads with trade caravans, or they're living in alienages with the Dunmer and Argonians - the hostile atmosphere of Skyrim has actually made me sympathise with the Argonians!

B) the two moons of Nirn are extremely important in Khajiit culture and religion, and about a hundred years before the beginning of Skyrim, the two moons disappeared from the sky for two years, named the Void Nights. The Thalmor, who are the High Elf puppet masters behind the Empire, claimed the credit for ending the Void Nights and therefore became allied with the Khajiit, and so I am much more trusting of them than I am of the Imperials or Nords.

#24 Posted by Cathryn (545 posts) -

@amyggen: I've always wanted to play the PC version for the mods, but in a way I'm pretty glad I don't have a PC that's good for games as I worry that I might get too stuck in Skyrim and not play a lot of other games.

@themanwithnoplan: Yeah, I think I've logged somewhere around 200 hours as well (though maybe a little more). I feel like I might be at that point now, but I'm sure with a long enough break, I'll be back, though who knows, maybe there'll be a new game by then.

@aleryn: As I said above, I'm pretty glad I don't have a gaming PC. The mods would prevent me from playing much else for a good long while, I'd imagine. I would totally have liked more acknowledgement. I don't mind getting ordinary comments from guards particularly, as in a society without televisions or easy visual communication, it's unlikely that everyone would recognize you, but if I spend enough time in a town that I own property there and have a title, I'm assuming that people would know something about who my character is and what they've done to help or hurt the society they're a part of.

@sgtsphynx: I think that sounds pretty reasonable -- likely, over the long term, that outcome would work best for the Thalmor's interests.

@zombiepenguin9: Nicely said. And I'd add to that the ability to make up and pursue your own objectives. From the outset, I always had a goal in mind to own all the houses, and it was a huge carrot for me, even though I often find the freedom in open world games to be more oppressive than anything else.

@geraltitude: Thanks! Finish it! It's at least moderately satisfying.

@guesty_01: Word. It's not my favourite of all time, but certainly in my top 10 right now.

@atlas: I have also not done a lot of the major quest lines. Stealth never interests me in games, so the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood were never things I was going to bother with. I have completed the Companions in other versions I've played, but didn't even get in to the Circle this time around. I've also never gotten very far in the College questline. Mostly miscellaneous quests -- they're what I like best as they give me materials for crafting. I always saw my character as a craftswoman, doing smithing, alchemy and enchanting.

Yeah, it's pretty clear that the Khajiit aren't even allowed in Skyrim's cities, which is why they always set up their merchant camps just outside them. Messed up stuff. Glad you're enjoying this new path through the game!

#25 Posted by Onomatopoeia (101 posts) -

The game is a cacophony crap

The opening goes on too long

The races have no strong stat traits at the start

You don't have a second chance to alter your character at the start

Regenerating health

The loot is terrible

The dungeons are so linear it's like something out of Final Fantasy 13

No damage to equipment or weapons, removing the sense of urgency

A dumb antagonist

The civil war had no impact on Skyrim

The civil war was stupid

Draugur

NO GOOD QUESTS

A world that is nothing like described in the lore (Solitude was supposed to be huge)

The worst port of all time (PS3)

No incentive to get better stuff

The RPG elements are so watered down it's hard to call it an RPG

Skyrim is the antithesis of what an Elder Scrolls game is supposed to be, along with the coming MMO that is.

#26 Posted by stryker1121 (1394 posts) -

I recently came back to Skyrim myself after beating the main questline plus the two DLC. Revived a long dormant wood elf archer/thief/assassin character and am currently immersed within the thief storyline. The game has its flaws but it still has the potential to grab me and pull me into the world, and archery is really fun.

#27 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7074 posts) -

The game is a cacophony crap

The opening goes on too long

The races have no strong stat traits at the start

You don't have a second chance to alter your character at the start

Regenerating health

The loot is terrible

The dungeons are so linear it's like something out of Final Fantasy 13

No damage to equipment or weapons, removing the sense of urgency

A dumb antagonist

The civil war had no impact on Skyrim

The civil war was stupid

Draugur

NO GOOD QUESTS

A world that is nothing like described in the lore (Solitude was supposed to be huge)

The worst port of all time (PS3)

No incentive to get better stuff

The RPG elements are so watered down it's hard to call it an RPG

Skyrim is the antithesis of what an Elder Scrolls game is supposed to be, along with the coming MMO that is.

...I thought it was pretty fucking great. And I've played all of the Elder Scrolls games. Also chill out, maybe?

#28 Posted by Onomatopoeia (101 posts) -

@mariachimacabre:

If you've played them all then you'll see how much has been took out compared to Oblivion, it just feels rushed. Even Oblivion wasn't great but it's a lot more in depth and rewarding than Skyrim is, you actually notice and feel progression. Though Morrowind is the best Elder Scrolls game and I highly recommend everyone to play it.

#29 Posted by Gyrfal (106 posts) -

@onomatopoeia: I would question the opinion of somebody who goes into a discussion about a game that somebody spent 2 years of their lives with in order to shit on that game.

#30 Edited by Onomatopoeia (101 posts) -

@gyrfal said:

@onomatopoeia: I would question the opinion of somebody who goes into a discussion about a game that somebody spent 2 years of their lives with in order to shit on that game.

I could spend two years playing Custer's Revenge and make a lengthy post about it, would your opinion be questioned? If someone enjoyed Skyrim that's fine it has nothing to do with that, it's just a weak RPG and the most lifeless Elder Scrolls entry as of yet, it was hyped with false promises and got the worst post release support of an Elder Scrolls game.

#31 Edited by Gyrfal (106 posts) -

@onomatopoeia: I'm not weighing your actual opinion, I don't care either way about that. I'm saying that if you want anybody to consider your opinion, maybe don't roll up and tell somebody their food looks like shit while they're eating it.

#32 Posted by sdharrison (476 posts) -

Yeah I agree. Skyrim was a rushed, gutted shadow of prior elder scrolls experiences. Particularly in regard to the writing. The interpretation of the events of the game that OP experienced is remarkable given the sharp drop in depth, choice and quality from Oblivion and Morrowind

#33 Edited by pyromagnestir (4284 posts) -

Heh, I also just finally got around to finishing the main quest and civil war quest earlier this month, as well as making it through the dark brotherhood quest and furthering progress of the college of Winterhold stuff. I had put 150 into the game before doing all this. I had put maybe 180 hours into the game before I realized I'd never once visited Morthal, and thus hadn't been to every major city. I spent a lot of my time just kinda wandering around, leveling up, trying various things, and generally messing about and having a great time.

Although a lot of time was also spent doing kind of annoyingly tedious things like wandering around to shops looking to unload all my loot or going back to my home to unburden myself, until I found some mods which eased those processes.

This recent Skyrim excursion of mine has made me rethink where I'd put that game on my favorites of the generation list, were I to make something along those lines.

And after I finish the college quests and put it down again I'll inevitably have to go back to it to play through the dlc when I pick that up. Besides the Hearthfire stuff, that is, since I bought that during the Steam sale which is one reason I started playing that game in the first place. For some reason I really like buying houses and decorating them and all that. It didn't have quite enough variety and options for your homes to really satisfy me, which kinda makes me wish there were a Skyrim X Animal Crossing type thing.

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#34 Posted by Cathryn (545 posts) -

@pyromagnestir: I also love buying the homes. I liked the Hearthfire house, but the one in Markarth has always been my favourite, since I love the Dwarven architecture so much. I also wish there was more you could do to customize the real estate as that is, by far, my favourite part of Skyrim. There was something really cool, I thought, about filling your Hearthfire house with people as well. I adopted two kids, got married, hired a bard, and having all these people in the house was really nice. There was something a bit fun about imagining coming home after a bunch of adventuring and seeing everyone again. I hope that more customization for the houses is something they think about for the next game.

#35 Edited by Jonny_Anonymous (992 posts) -

The Stormcloaks are not and have never been the good guys, everybody just assumes they are but if you actually look in to it you'll see Ulfric is a maniac and a war criminal and his whole rebellion is bullshit since the Nords have been granted the right to freely worship Talos in Windhelm anyway.

#36 Posted by Onomatopoeia (101 posts) -

@cathryn said:

@pyromagnestir: I also love buying the homes. I liked the Hearthfire house, but the one in Markarth has always been my favourite, since I love the Dwarven architecture so much. I also wish there was more you could do to customize the real estate as that is, by far, my favourite part of Skyrim. There was something really cool, I thought, about filling your Hearthfire house with people as well. I adopted two kids, got married, hired a bard, and having all these people in the house was really nice. There was something a bit fun about imagining coming home after a bunch of adventuring and seeing everyone again. I hope that more customization for the houses is something they think about for the next game.

I wish Bethesda would do more with property. I'd like different selections in a city instead of the one or you could purchase land and build a place Sims style. They could expand on the stalls too, for instance could get items to sell on your travels on your stall and set prices. If Bethesda tried they could implement a fully working economy in the next game.

#37 Posted by joshwent (2157 posts) -

@onomatopoeia said:

The game is a cacophony crap

...I thought it was pretty fucking great. And I've played all of the Elder Scrolls games. Also chill out, maybe?

No way dude, If I didn't like a game... IT'S THE WORST THING EVEEEEEEEEEEEER!!!

(note: I haven't played Skyrim. Just always fascinated by people who passionately hate something so much that can't can't help but make their rage known in a thread no matter how utterly unrelated to the OP it is.)

#38 Posted by Onomatopoeia (101 posts) -

@joshwent: It's not rage, it's disappointment.

#39 Posted by SlashDance (1813 posts) -

@onomatopoeia: Regardless of the reason, I don't see how a list of why you think this game is crap is relevant in this thread. I guess it was already off to a bad start after that terrible first reply, but still.

#40 Posted by Dick_Mohawk (378 posts) -

My love for Skyrim started on the 360. My buddy bought it me as a gift for Christmas 2011. Played it through a couple of times, must have hit 300 hours on it. Enjoyed it thoroughly.

Since then, I bought the legendary version for the pc and have gone through 700 hours with that version alone. I'm still playing it and still enjoying it.

It's my game of the generation and the only other game that got close was Red Dead Redemption.

#41 Posted by Stonyman65 (2661 posts) -

Some might call me a racist, but FUCK the elves. All of them.

#42 Posted by pyromagnestir (4284 posts) -

@cathryn:

The thing about Skyrim is, really it's almost impossible for them to give me the sheer number of customization options I'd want. No matter how much they give me it probably won't be enough. And I know going in it won't, yet still always end up disappointed. I don't even decorate my own actual real life home, but for some reason while playing Skyrim I want to be able to say this will be my family house, this will be my adventuring place/cache for all my goods, and have a good variety of options to work with. They really can't win with me on that one. But I really hope they prove me wrong.

Same thing with the armor in the game. I don't care about fashion in real life but I wanted to look like the hero I was and also wanted my followers to be suitably bad ass looking too.

I also really got into picking the steward of my house, like I did every decision in Skyrim where you can volunteer one of your followers to do something, and hiring bards and stuff was pretty cool. But I didn't adopt any kids. Just not ready for that yet.

Actually I still need to buy the final plot of land from Morthal, though after I bought the second plot of land and saw the same exact layout options as before I lost some steam on that. That's when I decided to try my hand and murder for hire. Turns out I'm pretty good at it!

Online
#43 Posted by agathis (8 posts) -

The thing about Skyrim was that they offered so much choice in what to do, how to go about things, etc., that the lack of choice in other areas became really obvious. The story in particular, but also character customization. Truth is, the game needs to be completely rebuilt. Given the constraints, though, Skyrim managed to capture my time. I spent at least 300 hours in it over the last two years.

For me, the lack of story choice is not the worst aspect of the game--it's the sense of scale, or lack thereof. We're talking empires and rebellions and we have ... battles with a few dozen characters. The game's art direction is mostly good, but then the cities, battles, etc. are all tiny. Compared to games with thriving urban environments like Assassin's Creed or GTA V ... I think Bethesda emphasized the wrong things with Skyrim. It doesn't mean I didn't love the game. Obviously I did. But I'm beginning to wish they'd go in a different direction with all this. A bigger, more active world; more character customization.

Choices that matter would also be nice. It doesn't much matter in Skyrim at all--Kill the emperor and ... well, nothing. A few new random comments from peasants. It was disappointing, in a way. Skyrim might still be my favorite game last gen, but it's not aging well.

#44 Posted by GreggD (4486 posts) -

@onomatopoeia: Regardless of the reason, I don't see how a list of why you think this game is crap is relevant in this thread. I guess it was already off to a bad start after that terrible first reply, but still.

Yup. Second post has a bug up his ass, apparently...

#45 Posted by Tajasaurus (828 posts) -

I love Skyrim *a lot*, but as soon as I was done with the main questline I kind of lost all motivation to keep playing it. Those 50-70 hours or whatever that I did play were amazing, and I think it's the last game to really get it's hooks into me.

@agathis said:

Choices that matter would also be nice. It doesn't much matter in Skyrim at all--Kill the emperor and ... well, nothing. A few new random comments from peasants. It was disappointing, in a way. Skyrim might still be my favorite game last gen, but it's not aging well.

Yeah, this was also weird to me. You do so, *so* much important stuff but it doesn't really effect anything other than maybe not having to pay bribes to guards.

#46 Posted by Cathryn (545 posts) -

@pyromagnestir: I feel the same way. As much as they wind up doing with that stuff, it will never be enough. Hopefully, at least, they don't wind up scaling it back at all. That would be terrible.

haha, well, it's good you've found something to excel at. That reminds me of something that maybe Brad said on the podcast years ago (I think it was Brad, but it could have been one of the other dudes). He said that he had wound up doing the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood stuff after the main quest and this, combined with his feelings about the lack of acknowledgement the Dragonborn received for solving everyone's problems, felt like his character was somehow traumatized by all this and thus had wound up on this dark path as a type of weird revenge.

@agathis: I generally don't play a lot of open world games, so I can't compare Skyrim much to other titles with similar scope. I think you're definitely right about the lack of player choice, however. That is the most difficult part of the game to deal with from my perspective -- the story doesn't have much weight because regardless of what you do with it, the outcome isn't interesting or satisfying and it feels like your actions have few consequences.

#47 Posted by Flappy (2190 posts) -

Even after putting 100 hours into Skyrim shortly after its release, the first post still went over my head. I remember things about the Jarl, Stormcloaks, etc, but all that side shit? I got nothing.

Then again, things were never quite the same after I married that Orc chick.

#48 Posted by agathis (8 posts) -

Sometimes I think (and Skyrim reinforced this) that open world games ought not to provide an actual narrative, just a lot of things to do and see and explore. Skyrim's most interesting moments weren't being the hero, necessarily, but the smaller micro-narratives that you stumble across out in the wilderness. There's a tension in Skyrim between the game's linear overarching narrative, and the game's design--which wants you to break off the path and explore. That tension is never fully resolved.

I think I'd like to see an Elder Scrolls game where there is no main narrative, just a fully functioning world in which we aren't destined to save or destroy anything, just be whatever we want to be. Master craftsman, warrior, mage, shopkeeper, builder, ruler, killer, thief. We can already do these things, sort of, in the game, it's just ... not like I'd like to be able to do.

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