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Seeking answer to question: "What's so great about Skyrim?"

O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,763
edited August 2013 in Off-Topic
Hi. Before I ask the main question, here's some backstory:

For starters, I am huge The Witcher fan, and because of that I often watch debut gameplay trailer of The Witcher 3 on youtube. And I have found something disturbing. You basically cannot check the comment section without seeing one of the following:
- Calling The Witcher 3 a Skyrim rip-off (it's just an insult towards A. Sapkowski).
- Comparing The Wicher to Skyrim
- Comparing every freaking rpg to Skyrim
- Bashing Skyrim or/and The Witcher 3.
- Fanboying about Skyrim

That is something I find irritating. Thanks to my friend, I was "lucky" enough to play Skyrim for a about 5 hours, before I decided whether I want to buy the game or not. I decided not to, because of the plot (the setting and a general idea - also, there is nothing "personal" about the plot), because of rather dull fighting system, because of big, open world with no motivation to explore it whatsoever and because of dull characters. And so, my question is following:

What's so great about Skyrim? I'm asking because I don't know and I would like to. I would like to know what is the reason for people comparing every other rpg to Skyrim. I want to know why they consider it to be masterpiece.

If anybody is going to answer that question, please don't mention previous Elder Scrolls games, since I haven't ever played them and I wouldn't have any idea what are you talking about.

Cheers and muffin button. Corrected some broken english in this post. Geez, I'm rather hopeless.

Post edited by O_Bruce on


  • Awong124Awong124 Member Posts: 2,643
    edited August 2013
    I'm not a particularly huge fan of Skyrim, although I've put over 150 hours into the game and did more or less everything there is to do. One thing I like about it is the main character is highly customizable, so I can grow quite attached to my "creation". Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to make a good looking male character in Skyrim (even pretty much all the male NPCs are butt-ugly), so I played a female (it's possible to make good looking females). There is a lot of exploration, and tons of stuff to do. A lot of equipment, and the option to craft and create custom weapons and armor. The graphics, music, and voice acting are very well done as well.

    Other than that, I don't see Skyrim as anything too special. The melee combat isn't very immersive, since the attack animations look kind of ridiculous in my opinion. The occasional kill cam finishing moves are cool though. I really dislike the enemy scaling in levels with you, because it makes it seem like there's not much point in leveling up, and you can pretty much take on anything at any given time.

    I've never played any of the Witcher games. Not being able to customize my main character kind of puts me off, which is probably why I've never tried it.

  • ajwzajwz Member Posts: 4,122
    Skyrim is fine.
    Plenty of flaws but at least people still play it and talk about it.

    There is nothing spectacular about it however. A lot of its appeal lies in the modding scene, which is very extensive.

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited August 2013
    Pure Fanboy-ism. It's not even the best Elderscrolls game. Morrowind is (graphics are pretty dated, but is otherwise a solid game...can probably find it pretty cheap if ya look around).

    the only thing Skyrim did worthy of note, was improve the combat system a little (it's slightly more responsive and fluid then previous entries, but not by much), over prior games. It was otherwise a soulless piece of garbage. Especially the console version.

    The PC version is actually pretty good, not because of the game itself which is still $%#^, but because it can be modded into a genuinely good game.

  • kamuizinkamuizin Member Posts: 3,683
    I like skyrim, it's cool exactly in reason of his big world (what you see as a flaw). In the begin, as you said, the game main plot really dissapoint a bit, but it's not bad, it's even cool in part of it.

    The demi-main plots however are awesome, the rebel x empire war, if you choose to involve yourself (it even provoke some changes in the main plot if you take part in this conflict). Also the monks helping you in find new dragon word walls (pointing the places with those in the map) are also cool.

    The guild-houses and their respective quests are nice, brotherhood specially, even if it's too short is awesome by plot view (Skyrim is worth at least one playthrough as a member of the dark brotherhood). The thief guild is not bad also, with a nice plot of their own. I didn't liked much the mage and fighter guild but that's just my opinion as the variety of their plots is also wide.

    The main issue for me with Skyrim is something that exist in any elder scroll game, the enemies level up with you, and that's sucks. I understand their principle in doing this but the simple way it's done atm doesn't work.

    This is even worst when you get special weapons, as their power are based on the level you obtain them and you can't upgrade them later.

    Another thing that bother me in the game is how weak they made dragons, kill a dragon is a piece of cake, and even being a choosen one, the dragon born itsef, the game should at least make the dragon fights a bit more difficult, both to find dragons and kill them.

    My last complain about the game is it's evil nature. I love an evil plot and normally i play BG as evil, but in Skyrim everything good is linked with doing evil deeds pratically as the gods are nearly totally absent in the game and you have a lot more contact with Daedric princes (that with few exceptions, are evil) than anything else. So, if you want a fucking nice mace, torture a guy, a regen ring, eat human flesh, an nice armor, betray your henchmans... and therefore on.

    The evil plot of the game is so strong, that Hircine, the Daedric Prince of Hunting (an counter part for malar in Skyrim) is taken as a neutral and sometime even good Daedric prince.

  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,763
    edited August 2013
    Oh, I don't see a big world itself as a flaw. The fact there is no motivation to explore it was (probably still is) the problem. I would say that Skyrim's world failed to caught my interest for some reasons.

    About this rebel and empire war. Well, my character wasn't a Nord, and therefore was not from Skyrim. And also, she was a cosmopolitian... So no [f word] were given ;p.

    For now, judging from the first responses, it appears that the game is not that good at all, but it's success is largery based on modding community. That's something interesting. I recall Angry Joe giving Skyrim like 10/10 (+ badass badge of approval), in spite playing it unmodded and I spite Joe usually being fair when it comes to game reviews.

  • MajocaMajoca Member Posts: 263
    edited August 2013

    Just because some people have expressed there dislike doesn't mean the game "is not that good" and that you have answered your question of whether it is good or not, you would have to have a much larger poll, its subject to peoples opinion but it is much more popular than some games. if you look at the majority you will find a vast amount of people give it praise on many different levels. I for one think Skyrim is a very good game, the main plot is not amazing and could of easily been better, however there are some stories and quest that are enjoyable.
    The massive world and the amount of effort which has gone into design, sound, and the flow of the game took a lot of work and has been fairly rewarded and the game had a huge success exciting its fans. I played the game for about 220 hours including all the DLC's over the amount of time the game has been out. for me to put that amount of time into a game (Vanilla) is incredible.

    To keep it short you must look at each games own merit, I dislike Call of Duty and Fifa games, but I can see they are good games. What those games set out to achieve work and they work really well, they are very popular and people keep playing them. In the case of Skyrim I know a lot of people who hated fantasy and played that game and thought wow! this is what an RPG can be about?

    Considering the other games out there Skyrim is very good because there is so much to do and I think it tests your own ability to create things for you to do yourself. Me and my friends are trying to speed run the game with only 100hp, whoever kills alduin first with no reloads wins, we haven't succeeded but it was immensely fun at the time.

    Now before I finish It is imperative that you understand that if you look deeply enough into a game you can literally make anything boring and dull because at the end of the day the game is carefully constructed game mechanics. Baldurs gate is amazing but when I think that I know where everything is, what main characters say and how easy it is to kill certain monsters the game because just a large tedium. Just saying.

    Skyrim is not very good at at telling a great story but it does many other things well, comparing witcher to it makes no sense as Witcher tells a much better story.

  • Kitteh_On_A_CloudKitteh_On_A_Cloud Member Posts: 1,629
    I agree with Majoca. And one main mistake you are making, @ZelgadisGW, is that you are comparing a story-heavy game (the Witcher) with more of a sandbox game (Skyrim). That's probably why you don't like Skyrim, as Skyrim's essentially and ironically enough not about the story, but about creating and developing your own character and exploring the world you live in. Geralt's a whole other piece of beef, for starters that he's a set character. You're pretty much comparing beef and veal here. Both are pieces of meat, but essentially different in taste and with different nuances in texture. I like Skyrim because of the freedom it gives me. I can give no f*cks at all about the main story line, even, while I'm sure you just can't ignore all of the story in the The Witcher games. I could go on a cabbage hunt in Skyrim. Can I also do that in The Witcher? I don't know, personally. My advice is, if you're looking for a story-heavy game, don't play Skyrim. But it seems you were already biased before having actually played Skyrim, so yeah, pretty much your own fault.

  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,763
    The fun part is, that I am using different approach to different games. My mistake was treating Skyrim like an rpg, instead of sandbox game. You know (I might sound like old geezer), but back in my days good story (as well as interesting characters) was considered integral part of good rpg

    You are so right about things, yet you still got some things wrong.

    I gave Skyrim a try, even if 5 hours is not too much, but it was plenty of time for me to decide if it's worth buying. Therefore, this topic is not about my tastes, but rather about other people's. Even thought I know I don't have any interest in the game, I think it is better to know something that not knowing something. In this particular topic, it is about popularity of Skyrim. No more, no less. I don't want to be ignorant towards something I don't understand. Hence I'm asking.

    Also, I am asking on this forum, where many rpg fans reside, because I know that answers from rpgs fans are more reliable than from ordinary internauts. I'll be honest - I have a little confidence in "typical" internauts and in their mental capabilities.

    Nevertheless, thank you both for saiyng some insightful things.

  • MajocaMajoca Member Posts: 263

    your most recent post has made it much more clear about what you wish discussing, I think the popularity of Skyrim comes from several places, the sandbox style which you mentioned is a big plus, the lore brings back many fans and I would say the overall presentation of the game is attractive it has pleasing visuals and good style about it. I would also say modding keeps the game fresh for the PC fans.

    I am unsure about this point, but I would say Game of Thrones also had a big impact on people looking into the style of the game but I am not sure if I have enough information to back that point.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    I too feel the game seems like a single player MMO. Yeah, you can explore and level up, but why - even leveling up is useless in this game.

  • TJ_HookerTJ_Hooker Member Posts: 2,438
    To be honest, I find both Oblivion (which I've played quite a bit) and Skyrim (probably played around a dozen hours) to be kind of overrated. I mean, I think they're both pretty good, but I'm not quite ready to put them on a pedestal the way some people have. Probably the biggest thing they have going for them is their impressive scope, but sometimes it really feels like they went for quantity over quality.

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited August 2013

    Funnily most enjoyable playthrough of Skyrim was a level 1 capped, shield-only run (played through the entire game, including DLC, except for the handful of Daedric quests with minimum levels). There's a surprising amount of areas that aren't scaled below a particular level, and killing lvl 40+ enemies that can kill you tens times over with a single hit, by bashing them to death with a shield is surprisingly cathartic.

    Alduin meet Bloodied Targe. Blooded Targe meet Alduin's face.

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,050
    edited August 2013
    The quests sucked for the most part in Skyrim but I did enjoy the random running around and causing mayham. Particularly with my stealthy archer. What? I like sniping random peasants and townsfolk from buildings. For all intents and purposes I'm the serial killer of Whiterun, Dawnstar, and probably a few other cities. :D

    Post edited by elminster on
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,297
    you saying mayhem reminded me off the show uh-oh from ytv, ah good memories, especially for how rigged that show was

  • TeflonTeflon Member, Translator (NDA) Posts: 517
    For vanilla (yep I didn played dlcs)
    Picturesque view
    Fully supported xbox gamepad vibration is cool
    Equipment repair no needed
    Level up is easy and simple
    No cliffracer
    You can choose many things~ quests fighting style and so on
    Can fast travel
    Not much bug

    Small world
    Limited character customizing options

  • kamuizinkamuizin Member Posts: 3,683
    An DLC or Mod that remove the NPCs lvl up based on character lvl up that also give warnings of the enemies levels of an area would be awesome.

    Another need of this game is some quest options for Good alignment characters (and neutral too if possible), only 2 Daedric Princes exist from good alignment (if i'm not wrong) and even then they're not exactly "goody two shoes" but something like "i'm cool, but fuck with me and i screw you".

    If the 2 points above are added (and this isn't something difficult to do) the game will be more enjoynable. Some quests involving the Gods of skyrim realm and other godly entities, instead of only the Daedric princes only, would help a lot.

  • ImperatorImperator Member Posts: 154
    Seeing as I've put 300+ hours into the game, there's something that appeals to me, but I just can't point out what it is. Sure, the quests are a bit boring, there are virtually no consequences for anything you do and the wow-factor has already vanished, but something keeps me from leaving. I haven't even explored all of the dungeons yet.

    The lack of choices is a big minus in the game. Whatever choices you make during the game, be it the Civil War or just killing some NPC over another, they just feel cosmetic, there's no weight behind them. I guess the idea is that all of the game's content should be available to everyone, regardless of their actions.

    Another thing that bugs me is that I could be the Archmage, the head of Thieves Guild, the head of the Companions, the bloody Listener of the Dark Brotherhood, not to mention the godsdamn Dragonborn, and no one in the game gives any sort of recognition to me. No, I don't fetch the fucking mead, but I will kill you if you don't shut up.

    All in all, still one the best games I've ever played. It entertains me, and that's all I need.

  • Kitteh_On_A_CloudKitteh_On_A_Cloud Member Posts: 1,629
    Well, for anyone willing to try this game, I highly recommend playing the Thieves' Guild quest, the Dark Brotherhood quest and the Archmage quest. All three I found very interesting and enjoyable. :) Did you try these quests at least, @ZelgadisGW? :)

  • hellhoundhellhound Member Posts: 33
    edited August 2013
    I understand that people who didnt play previous Elder Scrolls games prior Skyrim don't find the game that great. I'm a huge fan of the series and I agree the story in Skyrim was a weak point, but what I find most appealing is that I can sort of recreate my characters from previous games and just enjoy the ES lore (which is VERY WELL crafted and thought out) and free roaming.

    What I really miss from Morrowind is the fact that you can have some of the best armor and weapons really really early in the game, granted that you have the cunning and tactics (read: cheese) to beat the people having them. And also the amount of unique stuff lying around in respective locations.

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited August 2013
    Depends on how far back they've been playing. It's actually the people who have never really played previous elder scrolls games, or god forbid, their only experience was Oblivion (the official worst game of the series), who mostly sing it's praises (they also tend to be graphics whores that won't even look at Morrowind or Daggerfall due to dated graphics).

    Long time series fans will usually agree that Skyrim is garbage in it's official state, and requires heavy modding to even be considered a good game, which by default means it's a horrible game. It's like saying the NWN OC is the pinnacle of RPGs because of how awesome some of the user created modules or PW are.

    Daggerfall and Morrowind are the undisputed best Elder scrolls games...which one is 1st and which one is 2nd is largely dependent on the player and ultimately comes down to whether they prefer Randomly generated world map every game with shallow choices vs handcrafted world with lots of meaningful roleplaying choices (Skyrim in it's core form only has a single meaningful choice, and it's part of the Dark Brotherhood questline).

    Skyrim is consistently about 5th (losing out to even Arena and Redguard) (slightly better combat, mixed opinions on level-up system, and is otherwise pretty $%#^%^ and is the most dumbed down to date, completely cutting out the spell-making system which has been a key-feature for the series, and massively dumbing down enchantment), with Oblivion below (GOD AWFUL SCALING SYSTEM, horribly dumbed down mechanics, and an utterly boring soulless story, unanimously the worst of the series).

  • GodGod Member Posts: 1,150
    Skyrim is like the new Tomb Raider. And like every other game made by Their Magnificent Excellences mainstream game developers. They follow a simple strand of thought. A (lengthy) example below.
    "Let's see... What does it take to make a good game? A straightforward story, so that our customers understand easily. And a mostly open world so that they can look at the beautiful graphics. What do you mean saying we don't need high-end graphics? Of course we do, let my uncle at the hardware company earn his penny too, you frugal bastard. What's next? Ah, since we are at graphics, let's make sure that every single treasure chest looks the same. We don't want our loving customers to complain they could not distinguish between a chest that's lootable and one that's not, do we? And we also need to make sure every single dungeon ends in an obvious way, or else our customers might get stuck and think that there might be somewhere to proceed further. Oh, and let's provide them a convenient escape route. That's an absolute must. What keywords have I noted below? Ah. Perks. Achievements. Collectibles. Feats. Challenges. Skills. Experience. Levels. Numbers. Hmm... Choose some from the list. And come up with something, though be sure it's nothing too unorthodox! We don't want our customers to get confused, do we? And speaking of confusion, there must be something that can be fused together... I mean... what's the word? Mine..? No, no. Craft. Yes. A crafting system. Essential. See to it that there is plenty of rubbish garbage ('murica!) around so they have crap to craft with... and throw in an abundance of other items as well. The game could get too difficult if one had to plan ahead and take care not to waste items. What else? A villain. Yes. Make him show up in the beginning. But don't tell they're a main villain. The customer's won't realize. They will be surprised when the character realizes. We're making the character dumb and silly like they are, right? And also inconsistent, blatantly stupid... unrealistic? Yeah, that is key. And EXPLOSIONS! Ahahahhahaaha-ha... er... haha. You know, fire? A lot of it. Everywhere. We all love fire and things blowing up, don't we? I know. Let's throw in some more. I said, more. That's enough. Just make it brighter. And a little more here and there. And more special effects, so that everything is as plausible as hentai some... implausible... thing. Yes. This should look awesome, not real. Reality is uninteresting. So, more corpses. And blood. And gore. And illegal things we wish we could do in real but we don't dare to do. Yeah! BUT!!! Make sure to avoid nudity... or other things we would be flamed for. Keep it unrealistic. We are a respectable company, we have traditions, we have all that moral shit they don't have in the east and we only view mundane, obscene things when.... uh, we NEVER view obscene things, even when no one is looking and... yeah. Right. So, what's left? Eh, what the hell. I need a drink. You know the drill. Just update the graphics... and this in the casket here is for the reviewers. Make sure they get it before the due date. Enjoy, I'll return... sometime later to check on your progress. (Where did I put the number of that cleaning lady again..?)" - a typical briefing by a video game big boss

    Thankfully, one is not limited to mainstream games. There are smaller studios or individuals (such as myself) who create games with a different attitude - seeing them as a form of artistic expression rather than a vessel best used to inflict a zombified form of consumerism upon the society.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    edited August 2013

    That sounds like strange game mechanic, lol. I don't know, maybe I should try getting into to the game with some self-imposed restrictions.

  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,763
    edited August 2013
    Nope, about 5 hours wasn't much. Had I had prior knowledge of those quests, I just might have done them back then. Since I'm not the owner of the game I won't do them anytime soon, due to the fact that I don't plan on buying it and piracy is out of question.

    So, every mainstream game is a garbage? Your logic is just like you - I don't believe in its existence. Hell, mainstream, non-mainstream... These terms are bullshit in my standards. Good game is a good game, and bad game is a bad game, regardless if the audience is big or not.
    Also, videogames are entertaiment, not art.

    Post edited by O_Bruce on
  • kamuizinkamuizin Member Posts: 3,683
    Sorry @zelgadisGW, but Games are entretainment AND Art, it's the intelectual work of someone that made pixels become something enjoinable. A good story is art, a nice picture in the game, is also art. At least i think this way.

    By the way, Download an non-official game isn't piracy, it's counterfeiting. Piracy require profit without copyrights, you didn't give a comercial function to the game you downloaded, you made the download to your own use.

    If it's legal or not or crime or not where you live, that i can't know.

  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,763
    edited August 2013
    They are, in fact, intelectual work. We can all agree on that. But that makes them creations or product of our culture, and that is a little different thing from art. Or maybe I'm too limited to see art in videogames, that I don't know.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    edited August 2013
    Well, art is a work produced by skill and imagination. I do think games apply.

    EDIT: or rather, may apply.

  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,763
    If that is the case, then even my (pardon my language) shitty drawings are considered as an art. And when reffering to them, I use word "shit" instead of "art".... Even thought they are product of my so-called skills and imagination.

    If off-topic is going to get out of hand, I'll consider creating new topic for "games as a art" matter. It can be interesting.

  • kamuizinkamuizin Member Posts: 3,683
    Did you put intelectual work in your shit? if you did it's a shit art and you should wash your hands soon also :)!

  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,763
    kamuizin said:

    Did you put intelectual work in your shit? if you did it's a shit art and you should wash your hands soon also :)!


  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456

    If you're utilizing "so-called skills" then I guess you're incapable of producing art indeed.

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