Skyrim so Far

Posted by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -

Of all the trailers and previews I saw for the top-budget games, as some people who read this space might predict, my interest in Skyrim seems to be the strongest. I continue to follow the development of Star Wars: the Old Republic (the trailer got the most attention but they also had hands-on gameplay available) and Guild Wars 2 (who didn't do the E3 thing this time around) even though I usually don't look too closely at Massively Multiplayer Online games with the express intent of actually trying them out, and there were a few others, like the new Bioshock game, that make me curious where things will go. But Skyrim seems to get me the most energized. Energy is a rare resource with me lately, so I'm happy to just accept this, and capitalize on it.
 
The Skyrim demo, where Todd Howard would talk to [hosts] and give his spiel while [hosts] tried to interject questions when they could, gave me a better idea what the game actually looks like in action. I wasn't terribly impressed with how it looked, at least with the way the rocks seemed to jut out randomly and the trees seemed a bit samey (I guess it's an advantage not to see the trees for the forest). Even if they never bothered to polish it after this point, though, I still think the game's overall prettiness isn't really a problem with me as long as it's not too depressing to stroll through these areas. The water to me looked more impressive this time around even though it still looks like a rolling, bumpy texture. It looked a lot more like it was spraying and moving in a torrent that wouldn't be that safe to step in, and the special places like cities and barrows, and the indoor environments looked nice and varied. ("150 dungeons" will probably cut down on the varied-ness a bit, but there had to be some balance between amount and complexity. I hope they found their sweet spot.)
 
 As for the actual creatures, the dragons look quite nice from what I've seen so far, as do the giants and mammoths I got to see. The mammoths, especially. I want one as a pet. The fact that monsters don't mindlessly attack you like zombies is a thrill for me; it's one of the things I put on my little wish list so long ago and it was one of the first things confirmed, but to see it in action is satisfying. I even saw a talk prompt pop up as the giant passed by, which I HOPE will be a possibility in the game. I don't get all starry eyed when they mention dragons, though; I'd rather they make these particular creatures fun to fight and see, but not focus too too much on them.  Come to think of it, even though I'll mention cliff racers a few times further down in this essay, now I'm wondering if dragons will be a bit too common, sorta replacing cliff racers as the most annoying monsters of Elder Scrolls. Maybe there's an algorithm that keeps them under control. Who knows at this point.
 
It seems like they spent a long time with the item system, with a crazy amount of detail on individual items. Cooked salmon really does look like cooked salmon. There are some puzzle solving elements to this item examination, but even stackable common items will get this treatment, too. I do hope, for modders' sakes, that they'll allow a placeholder picture instead of a 3D model if they can't be bothered crafting expert little bits for any new items they introduce in unofficial expansions, and I can't help but wonder how much I would use such a feature, but it's gratifying that I don't have to spin around my character and stare deeply at every little item in order to appreciate the work that went into them.
 
It's a good sign that the biggest worry that I saw a few writers have was that the font reminded them of Fallout 3. They said the associations with the tone of that game were jarring for this fantasy setting, but as someone who never really played the later Fallouts it doesn't bother me personally. I imagine they'll probably get around to changing the font before release, but if they don't I probably won't even notice unless someone points it out. My lingering worry about the abrupt music change issue is always in the back of my mind and will probably annoy me if it's never addressed in at least a cursory way, but I'll live. At least there aren't cliff racers.
 
Among other thoughts: The one hand/two hand model they have for equipping weapons and spells seems excellent so far, and the perk tree looks like it'll be fun to navigate if there are a lot of branches for those skills. And as far as the features on the game, I have to say: even I've been guilty of the odd horse armor joke, but fuck, people, give it a rest.  Horses are nice to see, although I imagine they're just getting started hashing those out. The third person perspective looks rather beautiful, actually. I think it's the first time I've considered trying the game out a bit in 3rd person perspective, at least for a while, although I wonder if I'll be able to hold off on the temptation to skippity-hoppity everywhere.
 
Finally, I guess I have to say that something old Todd Howard said during one of his conferences worried me a tad. He said they're trying to stuff as much as they can into the game, which I love in principle, but as fans of the Elder Scrolls series know, there are times when you should just stop stuffin' and start debuggin'. I hope they manage to put out a game that won't need major fixes to be playable.
 
Many months to go, though, so really, anything is possible. I guess that's why I'm still a fan of this franchise.

#1 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -

Of all the trailers and previews I saw for the top-budget games, as some people who read this space might predict, my interest in Skyrim seems to be the strongest. I continue to follow the development of Star Wars: the Old Republic (the trailer got the most attention but they also had hands-on gameplay available) and Guild Wars 2 (who didn't do the E3 thing this time around) even though I usually don't look too closely at Massively Multiplayer Online games with the express intent of actually trying them out, and there were a few others, like the new Bioshock game, that make me curious where things will go. But Skyrim seems to get me the most energized. Energy is a rare resource with me lately, so I'm happy to just accept this, and capitalize on it.
 
The Skyrim demo, where Todd Howard would talk to [hosts] and give his spiel while [hosts] tried to interject questions when they could, gave me a better idea what the game actually looks like in action. I wasn't terribly impressed with how it looked, at least with the way the rocks seemed to jut out randomly and the trees seemed a bit samey (I guess it's an advantage not to see the trees for the forest). Even if they never bothered to polish it after this point, though, I still think the game's overall prettiness isn't really a problem with me as long as it's not too depressing to stroll through these areas. The water to me looked more impressive this time around even though it still looks like a rolling, bumpy texture. It looked a lot more like it was spraying and moving in a torrent that wouldn't be that safe to step in, and the special places like cities and barrows, and the indoor environments looked nice and varied. ("150 dungeons" will probably cut down on the varied-ness a bit, but there had to be some balance between amount and complexity. I hope they found their sweet spot.)
 
 As for the actual creatures, the dragons look quite nice from what I've seen so far, as do the giants and mammoths I got to see. The mammoths, especially. I want one as a pet. The fact that monsters don't mindlessly attack you like zombies is a thrill for me; it's one of the things I put on my little wish list so long ago and it was one of the first things confirmed, but to see it in action is satisfying. I even saw a talk prompt pop up as the giant passed by, which I HOPE will be a possibility in the game. I don't get all starry eyed when they mention dragons, though; I'd rather they make these particular creatures fun to fight and see, but not focus too too much on them.  Come to think of it, even though I'll mention cliff racers a few times further down in this essay, now I'm wondering if dragons will be a bit too common, sorta replacing cliff racers as the most annoying monsters of Elder Scrolls. Maybe there's an algorithm that keeps them under control. Who knows at this point.
 
It seems like they spent a long time with the item system, with a crazy amount of detail on individual items. Cooked salmon really does look like cooked salmon. There are some puzzle solving elements to this item examination, but even stackable common items will get this treatment, too. I do hope, for modders' sakes, that they'll allow a placeholder picture instead of a 3D model if they can't be bothered crafting expert little bits for any new items they introduce in unofficial expansions, and I can't help but wonder how much I would use such a feature, but it's gratifying that I don't have to spin around my character and stare deeply at every little item in order to appreciate the work that went into them.
 
It's a good sign that the biggest worry that I saw a few writers have was that the font reminded them of Fallout 3. They said the associations with the tone of that game were jarring for this fantasy setting, but as someone who never really played the later Fallouts it doesn't bother me personally. I imagine they'll probably get around to changing the font before release, but if they don't I probably won't even notice unless someone points it out. My lingering worry about the abrupt music change issue is always in the back of my mind and will probably annoy me if it's never addressed in at least a cursory way, but I'll live. At least there aren't cliff racers.
 
Among other thoughts: The one hand/two hand model they have for equipping weapons and spells seems excellent so far, and the perk tree looks like it'll be fun to navigate if there are a lot of branches for those skills. And as far as the features on the game, I have to say: even I've been guilty of the odd horse armor joke, but fuck, people, give it a rest.  Horses are nice to see, although I imagine they're just getting started hashing those out. The third person perspective looks rather beautiful, actually. I think it's the first time I've considered trying the game out a bit in 3rd person perspective, at least for a while, although I wonder if I'll be able to hold off on the temptation to skippity-hoppity everywhere.
 
Finally, I guess I have to say that something old Todd Howard said during one of his conferences worried me a tad. He said they're trying to stuff as much as they can into the game, which I love in principle, but as fans of the Elder Scrolls series know, there are times when you should just stop stuffin' and start debuggin'. I hope they manage to put out a game that won't need major fixes to be playable.
 
Many months to go, though, so really, anything is possible. I guess that's why I'm still a fan of this franchise.

#2 Posted by probablytuna (3730 posts) -

Yeah I'm liking what I see so far of the game. I doubt I will get a computer to run it by the time it comes out. If I can't resist the temptation, maybe I'll just buy it for PS3 then wait until the Game of the Year edition comes out then I'll get it on PC again. I'm really liking the animations for the main character when viewed in third-person perspective. It seems like it is now a viable option to play. Fantastic.

#3 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -
@akiz_jack: Since I've been out of the PC hardware race for many years, I have no idea what would be required to run something like this. Maybe I shouldn't assume whatever PC we manage to assemble will be adequate...
#4 Posted by probablytuna (3730 posts) -

I can barely run Witcher 2 on the lowest setting so I don't expect my computer to run any big blockbuster PC game that's released this year.

#5 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -
@akiz_jack: I read somewhere...  maybe it was for a different game? That they might not be pushing to DirectX 11, at least, which suggests it's not going to be cutting edge by any means. But as someone who, right now, has a PC that is behind the household console, and that console is the OLD XBox, I feel liking I'm diving into a muddy puddle right now (even though I'm much less likely to cut my foot on broken glass in this case).
#6 Posted by Hobbies (976 posts) -

I was hoping Bethesda would impress me at E3 with Skyrim, and they did just that. The animations are gorgeous, and although the game doesn't look completely stunning, I'm satisfied enough with the graphics. The rocks honestly don't look like much of a step up from Oblivion, though. 
 
Hopefully the music changes won't be so abrupt this time around. Something I did notice about the music was that the battle music seemed almost too epic (for lack of a better term). I felt like I was listening to a Lord of the Rings soundtrack when the player was fighting the giant in the demo. 
 
Like you, I'm also very worried about the quantity of dragons. Every time Todd mentions them he seems to really emphasize the fact that they wanted dragons to be a common thing. Hopefully they haven't overdone it. 
 
All in all, I'm much more excited for Skyrim than I was prior to E3, however I still remain skeptical on many of the game mechanics. The game looks nice, seems to play well, but until I'm able to start playing myself and see whether or not the game's quest, economic, loot systems and etc. work well, I reserve my full judgement.

#7 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11914 posts) -

Having now actually seen that G4 footage, I can't really say it's anything other than what I really expected. To be frank, it looks like a Bethesda open world RPG with notably improved inventory (that font though. They could make due with making it a little more... fantastic) and now you can combine spells. That seems good to me. At the end of the day, I'm just going to have to get my hands on it and play it.

#8 Posted by billnyethesciencepie (1335 posts) -

Well, as long as the interface is not as labrinthyine, it looks like a prettier, bigger oblivion. 
 
Just hope their are more than 3 faces and voices, and better, non-filler sidequests.

#9 Posted by eroticfishcake (7786 posts) -

If I'm correct, Skyrim is running exclusively on DirectX9 shaders, hence why it looks somewhat older then most games today so I'd reckon if you can run Oblivion at a steady framerate then you ought to able to run this. I wouldn't be surprised if they released DirectX10/11 shaders for the PC version in the future though. The thing with TES games is that they look great on a macro scale so it's no surprise that Skyrim is any different but Todd Howard did mention that they've been working on the micro detail too (as seen in the vegetation and items for example). Frankly, it looks like Oblivion HD to me but that's entirely fine since Oblivion still looks pretty good for an old game and hey, 300 hours of game time? I was already sold by then 'cause there's nothing more I love then a good, beefy game. 
 
Also, INFINITE DRAGONS!!!

#10 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -
@Hobbies: Reserving judgment's always the sensible course of action. We can get as hyped or as cynical as we like right now just because we're sort of outside of the whole process. We don't get to see the protected press screenings, so we don't know where the bugs are and what's still incomplete, and usually the press isn't into jeopardizing their relationship with the publisher by spilling the beans on what's wrong, beyond general feelings.
 
The music issue, while not game breaking, is more serious than it might sound just reading it, and I'm happy other people see where I'm going with that. You actually run into something that's tension-breaking by getting hostile situations basically spelled out for you by the game. You could almost come up with lyrics for whatever battle music is there: "this-is-the-time; where-I-fight-the-thing; until-it-dies-and-I-get; peaceful-music-again!!"
 
As far as the battle music being too epic, that makes me wonder if they shouldn't have at least two battle music pieces depending on a few things, like how strong the guy is you're fighting (maybe if it's stronger or if it's a dragon, there'll be more epic music, while a single wolf will have a tense version of the landscape music).
 
 I still think landscape types should probably have themes to them. Would be neat to have a windswept plains, raging snowstorm, that sort of thing, like old Daggerfall had. Probably should write about this since I seem to have a lot I want to say just about sound.
 
Did you find a video with the demo by itself, without people gabbing in the background? I don't think I've seen one yet without commentary, but maybe I'm not looking hard enough.
#11 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -
@eroticfishcake: It pays to not put too much into the hours of game time that they put out. I have to admit I fall for it a bit, but that could just mean padding. The campaign they say is less than that, but knowing my own history with Elder Scrolls games, where I often won't even finish them, it's less important anyway. It's more the actual variation of gameplay that matters more, so that I know I can just dive in and spend hours screwing around in some far corner of the map without getting bored. Hard to guess at what they mean with the hours thing.
 
I guess Oblivion looked a bit better to me in some ways because if you have enough trees and plants maybe one's brain sort of adds up the details and makes it a painting. When things are a bit sparser you sort of focus on what's not there.  I'm not overwhelmed by things like some people seem to be, but the craggy mountains are pretty, and the smaller plants look decent enough.    
 
As for the dragons, that may sound cool until they start to feel like a plague when all you're trying to do is walk from one area to the next :)
#12 Posted by ToxikPandaKoi (109 posts) -

6 months to go. can't wait! :D

#13 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -
@ToxikPandaKoi: Yeah, I forgot to mention that we're about 6 months away from it. Now I'm sorta wondering if I should just ignore any further press so I don't get anything spoiled, so I can just play it as fresh as possible when I finally get it (whenever that'll be).
#14 Edited by Hobbies (976 posts) -
@ahoodedfigure: Yep, here's the demo without commentary. 
 
I completely agree with you about having a variety of battle tracks. As seen in the demo, as soon as the player bashed a mammoth with a shield the music sets off onto some grand chorus and full orchestral piece that honestly made me laugh a little. I could understand having music of that scale for a dragon or final boss fight, but I sure I don't hear it when I'm fighting a rat in the tutorial level.
#15 Posted by demonbear (1860 posts) -

They can take their sweet ass time with this game, push it further back even more if they want to. I want the best Elders scrolls experience possible.
 
Also, I already know how i'm gonna play this game, which is exactly like I did for Oblivion : First playthrough is ALL about the main campaign, screw the side stuff, just focus on the main storyline and finish it. THEN, come back and enjoy the grandiose experience it has to offer. Otherwise, it'll end up like Morrowind and i'll never see the end of that game.

#16 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -
@Hobbies: Fighting a rat, or picking random fights like a high fantasy jerk griefing the majestic mammoth to glorious music :)
 
It's a bit comical, no doubt. I'm reminded of all the times in Morrowind where Yet Another Cliff Racer or mudcrab decided it was them or me, and the dramatic music started. They have a ways to go yet with this dynamic music thing. If you had that sort of score in a film it would work strictly as satire.
 
@demonbear: Yeah, I don't mind if they wind up pushing it back. I'm not sure I really understand when people freak when a project gets delayed, because there's at least a chance that it'll be even better.
 
The main campaign strategy you talk about is something I sometimes do in games like this on my SECOND paythrough if there's unlockable stuff, like with Grand Theft Auto where I try to beat it as quickly as possible, then see what stuff I skipped over. The problem I see in doing that in a Elder Scrolls game is that sometimes the dungeons that are part of the main quest tend to have a lot more put into them, so I might feel like the side content was a bit weak by comparison and maybe not get as much out of it. But seeing as I've only managed to finish Morrowind out of all the ES games I've played, your approach makes perfect sense. These games can be endless without some kind of focus.
#17 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -
@ahoodedfigure said:

@akiz_jack: Since I've been out of the PC hardware race for many years, I have no idea what would be required to run something like this. Maybe I shouldn't assume whatever PC we manage to assemble will be adequate...

PC hardware is at a point where you can buy a mid spec machine and run pretty much every game maxed (not all, but most) out even at 1920x1080 (1080P)
 
Even my old 4870 (considered pretty low-mid end nowadays) could run Bad Company 2 maxed out at 1080P really smoothly.  The days of a good PC costing an arm and a leg are behind us at this point.
#18 Posted by demonbear (1860 posts) -
@ahoodedfigure: Since you finished Morrowind, you have my respect dude, thats actually quite a feat.
 
The thing I remember the most about Morrowind is that, it is the only game that I know of, that shipped with a paper map and you USED that map. Internet was not so huge back then and you had to figure shit out by reading the quest text and checking out the map. Those were the days man.
#19 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -
@demonbear: I'll give you the links of my ordeal. I'm sure some people got a little schadenfreude out of all of my struggles, but I came out of it a better person. Maybe. 
 
The Beginning
 
The Long Middle
 
Nearing the End
 
Yeah, although I never did use that map. I absolutely should have though, and when I lost it to the Infinite Piles I regretted it...  even though I later found this Google Maps style interactive map that you can zoom in on which is totally a positive vote in the Nowadays column.
#20 Posted by demonbear (1860 posts) -

Yeah i know that map, pretty handy indeed, ws not around at release time though, which made the paper map so more important hahaha. 
 
I'll read your stuff for sure man!

#21 Posted by Guitat (1 posts) -

where do i find this "demo" for Skyrim? please answer i would really like to know and i have always been an Elder Scrolls fan!! 

#22 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2131 posts) -
@Guitat said:

where do i find this "demo" for Skyrim? please answer i would really like to know and i have always been an Elder Scrolls fan!! 

Here's a video of some of the gameplay:
  
  
If you were looking for an actual playable demo, there are none so far, in case that's what you meant.
#23 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

1) No more level scaling.
2) Adding the ability to remove spells.
3)????
4)Multimillion dollar profit.

#24 Posted by Cirdain (3099 posts) -
@akiz_jack: It's running on DX 9. My laptop... hell my brothers phone could run it on the lowest setting.
#25 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2131 posts) -
@TheDudeOfGaming said:
1) No more level scaling. 2) Adding the ability to remove spells. 3)???? 4)Multimillion dollar profit.
You can remove spells!? GOTY then.
#26 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -
@ShiftyMagician said:
@TheDudeOfGaming said:
1) No more level scaling. 2) Adding the ability to remove spells. 3)???? 4)Multimillion dollar profit.
You can remove spells!? GOTY then.
That's just what I'm hoping to see/not see in Skyrim. Don't know if you can remove spells.
#27 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2131 posts) -
@TheDudeOfGaming said:
@ShiftyMagician said:
@TheDudeOfGaming said:
1) No more level scaling. 2) Adding the ability to remove spells. 3)???? 4)Multimillion dollar profit.
You can remove spells!? GOTY then.
That's just what I'm hoping to see/not see in Skyrim. Don't know if you can remove spells.
Well I hope this is possible at least.  It would be great to be able to clean out useless spells later on in the game.  Also they should bring back Enchantment as a skill, but I doubt they will do this.
#28 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -
@ShiftyMagician: @TheDudeOfGaming
 
There will be scaling in some ways, more resembling Fallout 3, but not on the order of Oblivion, which they're distancing themselves from as making advancement feel worthless (although there were a few comments that said that the system was fine). Arena, Daggerfall, and Morrowind had some degree of scaling, too, but it wasn't like that.
 
As for removing spells, do you guys mean deleting a spell from your spell list? Oblivion didn't let you do that? Morrowind and Daggerfall did...  maybe even Arena did!
#29 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2131 posts) -
@ahoodedfigure: The removing spells feature existed in Morrowind for sure, however they left the feature out in Oblivion.  You had to get a mod that allowed you to delete spells freely.
#30 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -

Ouch. 
 
Although what it really needs is a way to tree-list spells based on their fundamental similarities, I think. In just about any ES game I wind up getting weaker versions of spells, but they're useful in some contexts so I keep them, hindering my organization issues. If you could tree healing spells, with, on a PC version, a list of raw increase in cost and effictiveness, with a mouse-over of their actual names, you'd have a nice, slick, and QUICK spell selection system.
 
Hope that slick interface they're talking about expands to spells, but what I'm wondering more right now is if spell customization is still in full force. They had talked about revamping spell effects so it wasn't just a matter of tallying damage, but since that takes away some measure of control from the player, how might that effect the player's ability to make new stuff?

#31 Posted by christianiscooldood (9 posts) -

Don't get me wrong, I am more stoked for Skyrim than any other upcoming game this year. But is anyone else disappointed by the focus on dragons? I was hoping the game would be more rooted in somewhat reality, especially after they announced that the plot revolves around a civil war.

#32 Edited by Unchained (1081 posts) -

@christianiscooldood said:

Don't get me wrong, I am more stoked for Skyrim than any other upcoming game this year. But is anyone else disappointed by the focus on dragons? I was hoping the game would be more rooted in somewhat reality, especially after they announced that the plot revolves around a civil war.

I'm loving the dragon angle. While I'm sure it will have heavy focus on the politics of the province of Skyrim, the main plot is dragons. And what I've seen of the dragons has me stoked. I don't think any other game (Baldur's Gate, Dragon Age, World of Warcraft, even my beloved Witcher 2) has so perfectly captured dragons as what I've seen so far in the Skyrim demos.

#33 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -
@christianiscooldood: Dragons are there for people who get excited at their mere mention, I guess. While I think the dragons are neat enough, what disappointed me about the was more that they kept repeating the fact that they were in there during the press junkets. Got a bit exhausted after a while. Well, instantly, because telling me there are dragons doesn't make me less afraid of bugs.
 
It doesn't look like you'll be able to avoid dragons; they seem integral monsters with definite loot. I'm betting the civil war will be important, but I'm also betting that, whether or not it's prominently featured, it doesn't sound quite as interesting in a press release so we're sort of doomed to not hear about it until we're playing.
 
@Unchained: They are crazy, aren't they? It's not like most games where dragons are just incidental setpieces, usually boxed into a cave or something. I'm just worried they might become annoying if they're around too often, or even a bit boring the 20th time you run into one.
#34 Posted by DaemonBlack (342 posts) -

@ahoodedfigure said:

there are times when you should just stop stuffin' and start debuggin'.

Made me laugh. I agree though. I'll gladly take a well polished game over a few more dozen hours of gameplay. My biggest problem with the elder scrolls games was the leveling system which they seem to be re-hauling. Whether or not it will be a big improvement will have to wait til I get my hands on it.

#35 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -
@DaemonBlack: I think that at least conceptually they've taken a huge leap forward, since you don't have to know ahead of time what skills you're most likely to use. You just use skills and level by them, and use the perk tree every time you level to further differentiate your character. Makes me wonder though, if you might level quicker if you're a certain class, and whether or not that'd be a good thing overall. I also wonder if people will make NO SKILL runs, where they try to level the least they can.
 
Which ES systems you talking about, by the way? They're anywhere from a bit to very different depending on the game.
#36 Posted by DaemonBlack (342 posts) -

@ahoodedfigure:

I've only played Oblvion (I know I know I'm missing out on a lot by not playing the first ones) so that's the one I was referring too. My biggest problem was the way the skills were increased in Oblivion. Leveling up skills by use is a great idea in theory, but when the most efficient way to level is to cast spells on yourself over and over or game it in a variety of other ways felt unsatisfying. I want a huge boost if I kill a high level monster with a weapon or get more of an increase if I use high level spells. It seems Skyrim is addressing those issues but even if it doesn't it won't turn me off from playing.

I wonder if there will be perks that make leveling faster in certain skills and you can start to emphasize a class in that way? And I don't doubt there will be people that do speed/no skill runs, but unlike Oblivion where the monsters stayed level with the character the new enemy system with some static powerful monsters will make it more challenging I imagine.

#37 Posted by sreya92 (193 posts) -
@ahoodedfigure: I agree with just about everything you said, the only thing you didn't touch on would be the combat. Though magic does indeed look to have been improved upon, the melee combat looks almost identical to Oblivion, meaning it'll get stale rather quickly. I was hoping they would find some way to revamp melee combat into something more exciting, but as this is a RPG game and not Devil May Cry, I'll live with it. You're gripe with the environments is well founded I guess, personally I think it looks amazing I was just looking at pictures of Oblivion and this game has come a looong way since then. Even so, if you're not content with the state of the graphics, they said they were running the demo on a 360 which means that a high end PC is going to look a hell of a lot better so I wouldn't worry about it. Good post.
#38 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -
@DaemonBlack: I'm pretty sure progression will be static like it was in Oblivion. The system seems more about keeping things from being overwhelming, so you will often have a difficult encounter offset more by the loot you get relative to your level, rather than the skill advancement, although what you're talking about makes perfect sense to me. Then again, there may be a system underneath that gives you more points toward leveling a skill if the thing you're facing is more challenging. I'm not sure what Oblivion did, but sometimes when playing Morrowind I'd get that feeling, even if it was just me deluding myself.
 
@sreya92: Thanks. Yeah, I've been hearing from others that the combat seems less improved that it might have seemed at first blush. If we're going off of what the press releases have said, they're trying to improve the system by making blocks and counters an integral part of combat, so being smart and not just hacking away will yield better rewards according to them. Also, this implies that the stamina bar may come into play a bit more, so constant attacking will leave you vulnerable. Hard to say what the reality is, but combat seems to be one thing in these games that has been really slow to "level", so to speak. As for the finishing moves they've been showing, they'll add some flavor to the end of combat but they may not have any mechanical effects beyond making things look a bit more interesting.

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