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

124

Comments

  • Son_of_ImoenSon_of_Imoen Member Posts: 1,763
    edited August 2013
    I have yet to play Fallout 1 and 2, so I can't compare, but I like Fallout 3 a lot. As I said, it really does feel there's something going on. But maybe I need to progress more in Skyrim to get that feeling, as @kamuizun said, there should be a great mission out there only the player character can perform.

    Morrowind I also played for a little while, up till the first city you can go to with the Silt Strider, but there as well, I got a sort of 'and now what' feeling. A released prisoner left to fend for himself with nothing really important at hand to do, that's how the start of Morrowind and Skyrim feels to me. In Fallout 3 on the other hand, there was something to do for my character that felt really urgent:

    Where's my father and what was he so busy with that he had to flee and leave me behind?


    *edit: "Now since we can't have things 100% consistent, use square brackets for spoilers"

  • EdwinEdwin Member Posts: 480
    Daggerfall rocked...Morrowind was a game changer...Oblivion was just o.k....Skyrim is like a gorgeous, yet vacuous, dumb-blonde...looks real good with little soul.

  • terzaerianterzaerian Member Posts: 231
    edited September 2013
    I have a complicated relationship with Skyrim. When it came out, I loved it: I held that it was the best RPG released since Baldur's Gate (though obviously, still second to it). For a year, I played and modded it happily. In the past few months, though, I'd had geometrically increasing difficulty maintaining its stability with the mods I had installed, and in a desperate bid to keep it working, I flattened and reinstalled it and did a centralized install of my core mods... which ended up exhibiting the exact stability problems I had worked so hard to avoid, at which point I had finally reached my pain threshold for the game and uninstalled it completely.

    It's a game which touches greatness, to the standards set by Baldur's Gate, but does not attain that greatness, due to its shortcomings. They are remarkably similar games - they came out of nowhere to rave reviews, at a point when people thought the genre was on its way out. They let you be free - free to be whoever you wanted to be, free to explore where you wanted, only constraining you insofar as the story allowed. They are both eminently moddable. Skyrim, however, falls short in its comparative stability - modded, arguably the worst which Bethesda has done so far - and in its unused potential. Skyrim could have been so much more, but their disastrously stupid decision to priviledge the Xbox first look at the DLC arguably doomed the sales of said DLC, prompting them to cut off development of it far too early, in my eyes. As well, fundamentally being forced to work within the limitations of the accursed 360 and the dysfunctional PS3 architecture also limited it, far too much.

  • OneAngryMushroomOneAngryMushroom Member Posts: 564
    between Dark Souls and Baldur's Gate: Absolutely nothing.

    lolien
  • PurudayaPurudaya Member Posts: 816
    Rant:

    There are young gamers nowadays who think of Morrowind or Oblivion as the grand-daddy of RPGs, with the fallout reboots as awesome developer follow-ups and Skyrim as the greatest role-playing game ever made.

    In my opinion, these are basically just action/exploration games where you get to build your own character. I'm not saying that they're not rpgs, but that they're in a completely different sub-genre than games like Baldur's Gate. The protagonists don't speak and have very limited dialogue options, the narratives are typically weak/generic, and there is almost no depth of character to speak of (for the pc or any npcs).

    It's a whole different kind of role-playing: the player has to provide basically ALL of the main character's thoughts, motivations, reactions, etc...there are literally no character-narrative options to choose from. You are basically a cardboard cut-out, and the characters you encounter are only marginally more nuanced (at least they can have facial expressions).

    That said, I've dumped hundreds of hours into Oblivion and Skyrim and enjoyed both games. I just cringe a little when I hear them even described as rpgs because of the bias in my view of that definition. It also reminds me, sadly, that modern rpgs are trending further and further away from the characteristics that I most love about the genre.

    tl;dr: When my main character has about as much depth as Half-Life's Gordon Freeman, it doesn't feel like a role-playing game to me.

    BelgarathMTH
  • Kitteh_On_A_CloudKitteh_On_A_Cloud Member Posts: 1,629
    @terzaerian: Isn't it mainly your own fault for having broken your Skyrim game? Of course there will be a limit as to which mods can be active all at the same time. I wouldn't say that overflowing the base game with additional content is more a case of responsibility of the owner than of stability of the base game itself.

  • BattlehamsterBattlehamster Member Posts: 298
    Uh...

    FUS-RO-DAH!!!

    Nuff' said.

  • terzaerianterzaerian Member Posts: 231

    @terzaerian: Isn't it mainly your own fault for having broken your Skyrim game? Of course there will be a limit as to which mods can be active all at the same time. I wouldn't say that overflowing the base game with additional content is more a case of responsibility of the owner than of stability of the base game itself.

    I've modded both Oblivion and Fallout 3 before, very extensively, if not to a greater extent than Skyrim. It seems stupid of them to have so radically overhauled the scripting engine to make it better, and allow it to do more things, but then force you to be conservative in the alterations you make because it's now much more unstable.

  • Kitteh_On_A_CloudKitteh_On_A_Cloud Member Posts: 1,629
    @terzaerian: Yeah, but you're in fact complaining about content outside of the base game, not about Skyrim itself. I wouldn't say that's a reason to avoid the game alltogether. What do you think about the main game?

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited September 2013
    @Son_of_Imoen

    Because Baldur's Gate didn't just dump you out in the wilderness with a vague direction of where to go....oh wait...


    Baldur's Gate-

    Candlekeep tutorial area, get dumped in the wilderness, go find Khalid and Jaheria at the friendly arm. Everything else is up to you, including following said advice.

    Take about the iron-crisis trying to point you in the right direction if you ignored Gorion's advice.

    Freedom to stumble across a pleathora of side-quests and interesting characters.

    Is a shallow hack-slash game with no real roleplaying enforcement.

    Rail-road plot that can only be ignored with no real way to change what happens as it progresses or the game kills you for deviating from the plot.

    Does not allow much (there are a few options, but most people only discover them purely by accident, since it requires meta-knowledge the game never tells you) in the way of creative use of spells/items to by-pass challenges where appropriate.


    Morrowind-

    Dumped off a boat at the census office for a light tutorial, go take this package to Cassus Cosade at Balmorra. Everything else is up to you, including following said advice.

    Grumblings over the 6th house and problems with the Almsilvi to point you towards the main plot if you ignored Selas Gravis's advice.

    Freedom to stumble across a pleathora of side-quests and interesting characters.

    Roleplaying options enforced by skill/stats of what your character can actually do.

    Can give destiny the finger and literally do things your way.

    With a bit of ingenuity, can by-pass most puzzles and situations with creative ability use.

  • Kitteh_On_A_CloudKitteh_On_A_Cloud Member Posts: 1,629
    @ZanathKariashi: Seems like Morrowind is pretty much the only RPG worthy enough for you to be played, eh.

  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,761
    And I have asked to not talk about other TES games... Well, that's internet for you. I don't really need to hear why Morrowind is superior to Baldur's Gate on the Baldur's Gate forum.

    Anyway, I can play Baldur's Gate infinity ammount of time, on the other hand, people would have to pay me to make me play anything labeled as TES ever again.

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited September 2013
    Not sure why....considering they're exactly the same, except Morrowind has infinitely more re-playability due to having a non-linear plot that can be freely changed whenever you take a notion due to an utter lack of railroading, and a completely free-form class system that allows you to make whatever you want. It also includes an easy to use tool-kit that gives it the same true infinite replayability that the NWN toolkit gives by allowing people to easy add new content or changes things they dislike without having to wait for someone to make a mod for them cause they lack the knowledge to do it themselves with easy to use tools.

    It's 2 main weaknesses are retarded companion ai and stiff combat. As far as Roleplaying potential though, it's up there with Torment.


    BG drops the ball on a lot of things. It has a great core story (aside from ToB taking a dump on priorly established lore), but that's really all it has. I used to think BG had decent combat..and then I played ToEE and realized that BG is just Diablo with potentially up to 6 characters as far as that's concerned. I used to think BG had great roleplaying..and then I played Torment. I used to think BG was a good representitive of DnD in a CRPG...except IWD does it much better BG does, and ToEE blows it away. Some of that can be forgiven, especially IWD since it came out after BG...but BG2 came out after IWD and utterly ruined the game (still a great core story, mind), it turned everything wrong with the first game up to 11, and while some aspects were improved it's just not enough counter-act what they screwed up.


    Even with mods BG never changes meaningfully (except ToB, which Ascension helps flesh out a little bit more, while not exactly fixing it's problems). Just a few horribly written NPC mods, loads and loads of buggy or stupidly overpowered content mods. Not a single one attempting to actually address the problems in the game, preferring instead to break stuff that isn't broken so the broken stuff stands out less.


    @Kitteh_ON_A_Cloud

    It's not a bad game at all, but it's hardly perfect (I actually rate it about equal to BG, overall, they both have things they do well, and they both have things they fail miserably at). I actually rate it along the lines of Torment, good story with awesome roleplaying potential but the combat leaves much to be desired (though Torment's combat is much better overall, since the same as BG, which while shallow, it's still fun in it's own way). Still, if you're the type to enjoys an engaging dialogue driven experience (that unlike Torment is completely off rails) it's a good game.

    I actually rate a lot of games higher then BG (as mentioned its solid main plot (till ToB) is it's only real asset). IWD, both Fallouts, Torment, Arcanum, ToEE, Divine Divinity, off the top of my head.

    BG is at it's best when you play it utterly blind and don't know anything about it's system or story. Every play through after that it loses a bit of itself because no matter what class combo you're using this run, it's not going to ultimately change anything, especially if you make the mistake of looking into the mechanics and realize just how shallow and empty it actually is.




  • dwilliams1966dwilliams1966 Member Posts: 41
    Awong124 said:

    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 never played Skyrim, but I did buy and play Oblivion for a while. I totally agree with Awong124. The enemy scaling was a total turn off for me. It made leveling basically pointless, IMO, because the places you visit will always scale to your level.

    In addition, the storyline was a yawner for me, and I didn't really see much point in doing much of anything. In short, the game failed to engage me in any way, and I quit after a couple of weeks. Wasted my money. I didn't make that same mistake with Skyrim.



  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited September 2013
    You didn't miss much....while Skyrim has you as the main character instead of a supporting role like oblivion did, it wasn't much of an improvement over all, it still has the same utterly brainless scripted BS that plays out the same no matter what you do or what skills you have (Pure warrior with no magic aside from a basic fire and ice spells that you might have 5-6 ranks in, round of applause for the new Archmage of the Mage Guild). They made combat a little (LITTLE) more fluid but also dumbed down a lot of stuff (and removed spell-making entirely, which is unforgivable in my book, since that's been an iconic feature since day 1 of TES in general), and while the scaling is no where near as bad as Oblivion...it still left much to be desired. Probably the most enjoyable thing they added was the ability to bash enemies with a shield, which is quite fun beating a god dragon of doom/powerful not-lich/50x-your-level-Drauger-Death-Overlord to death with a spiky shield.

  • Kitteh_On_A_CloudKitteh_On_A_Cloud Member Posts: 1,629
    @ZanathKariashi: If you have such criticism for Baldur's Gate, I wonder what keeps you on these forums, as I have the impression even the enhanced edition wouldn't satisfy you... :/
    In any case, I enjoyed Skyrim, and were I to have a good PC right now (my previous one asploded a couple of weeks ago), I would jump in it again right away. It's far from a perfect game, but the freedom you get and the massive world keep appealing to me. Just needs a bit more diversity with items, better companion AIs and maybe some more interesting quests like the Dar Brotherhood one. I'm also thinking of starting up Baldur's Gate again just for nostalgia's sake. :p

  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,761
    @ZanathKariashi
    I've already told you on other occasion that we are not likely to agree at the same thing. One thing will never change about my view regarding games: absolute freedom isn't to my liking. There is no point in big, open world and absolute freedom if you have no slightest motivation to explore such world. Skyrim gave me none. Even utterly plotless Minecraft made me more motivated, althought it isn't rpg.

    For me, the best rpgs had some settings. In BG, your character has some backstory and therefore depth. There is also a "personal" element in the plot, which motivates you. Same for Fallout games (at least 1, 2, 3 - not sure about New Vegas). Even thought you essentialy create your own character, it already has some backstory and potential personal motives. In Skyrim, you're just a random guy/girl who happens to be Dragonborn. That's it. You have no motives, goals, nothing. While I agree it gives you opportunity to 100% roleplay, it doesn't work with me.

    What I learned of this topic is that the very thing people love about TES games (particulary Skyrim) is that freedom. And this is what I hate about it, because that freedom is just boring.

    Now, I'll shut myself up. Have a nice discussion with other users.

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited September 2013
    Skyrim doesn't have freedom though, it's the most linear TES yet made, aside from Arena, which is but one of the reasons I hate it.

    Oblivion was as bad as Skyrim, but had the further sin of you not even being relevant to the story...you were a guy who just happened to be there and get pulled into the stuff about a story that had nothing to do with you because literally noone else was capable of even taking a piss without dying...somehow....

    It's kind of like White Knight Chronicles where you make a character...but...he just kind of sits in the back ground of scenes like a creepy stalker guy/girl since the story has nothing to do with him and he just happened to be in the right place to get pulled along with the story, even though he might be the MvP of the group as far as combat goes (and since the bonus campaign for your Avatar ended up being a Japanese exclusive due to the series not doing well in the West (oh boy was I pissed over that, after they said it would be getting a US release, and then suddenly, nope changed our minds, F you), he never does get his time to shine).


    My biggest issue with BG is the shoddy and inconsistent implementation of the rules. And giving no real incentive to even try to rp a character....it's do-able...but it just feels like a chore, especially BG2 and beyond when the game becomes much more linear. I like it when my choices actually mean something, since otherwise, why play at all instead of just making a movie or interactive novel of it.

    Part of why I enjoyed Morrowind so much was because, despite the shallow and stiff combat, you could actually approach a PnP DnD level of problem solving. The only options they were really missing were destructible environments or phasing through walls while ethereal.



  • PurudayaPurudaya Member Posts: 816
    edited September 2013

    @Son_of_Imoen

    Because Baldur's Gate didn't just dump you out in the wilderness with a vague direction of where to go....oh wait...


    Baldur's Gate-

    Candlekeep tutorial area, get dumped in the wilderness, go find Khalid and Jaheria at the friendly arm. Everything else is up to you, including following said advice.

    Take about the iron-crisis trying to point you in the right direction if you ignored Gorion's advice.

    Freedom to stumble across a pleathora of side-quests and interesting characters.

    Is a shallow hack-slash game with no real roleplaying enforcement.

    Rail-road plot that can only be ignored with no real way to change what happens as it progresses or the game kills you for deviating from the plot.

    Does not allow much (there are a few options, but most people only discover them purely by accident, since it requires meta-knowledge the game never tells you) in the way of creative use of spells/items to by-pass challenges where appropriate.


    Morrowind-

    Dumped off a boat at the census office for a light tutorial, go take this package to Cassus Cosade at Balmorra. Everything else is up to you, including following said advice.

    Grumblings over the 6th house and problems with the Almsilvi to point you towards the main plot if you ignored Selas Gravis's advice.

    Freedom to stumble across a pleathora of side-quests and interesting characters.

    Roleplaying options enforced by skill/stats of what your character can actually do.

    Can give destiny the finger and literally do things your way.

    With a bit of ingenuity, can by-pass most puzzles and situations with creative ability use.

    Morrowind offers the freedom to do whatever you want in an artistically-designed, lore-rich world. There's great ability customization, but overly-simplistic combat mechanics are atrocious to the point of breaking immersion. The story is generally bland and there are no memorable characters whatsoever (I played a LOT of Morrowind, and not one character stands out in my memory).

    The Baldur's Gate Series offers less freedom (you do get to explore the whole map, but not always on your own terms or at your own pace), but delivers a world that is equally rich in lore and ambience. Combat isn't the most complex system ever designed, but it exists in a completely different class from the universally panned combat in Morrowind. The story is comparatively linear but well-written and filled with memorable characters and narrative depth.

    It really depends on what game characteristics are most important to you. If "freedom" is your core value to the exception of any forced narrative structure, you might be looking for a life simulator more than you're looking for a video game.



  • siril_danasiril_dana Member Posts: 33
    I didn´t like it at all, maybe because for me darksouls blew my mind I found Skyrim empty. Strange, uh?

  • Kitteh_On_A_CloudKitteh_On_A_Cloud Member Posts: 1,629
    @ZelgadisGW: In Skyrim you're a random guy/gal who happens to be the Dragonborn... In Baldur's Gate you're a random guy/gal who happens to be a Bhaalspawn. What's the difference?
    @siril_dana: I agree, Dark Souls is one awesome game. But only if you're interested enough in puzzling all pieces of the story together. If you don't, it's just a string of fights with monsters, one after the other. The story in Dark Souls is one you have to assemble yourself, if you don't, it's just as 'empty' as Skyrim.

    Sylph
  • siril_danasiril_dana Member Posts: 33
    edited September 2013

    @ZelgadisGW: In Skyrim you're a random guy/gal who happens to be the Dragonborn... In Baldur's Gate you're a random guy/gal who happens to be a Bhaalspawn. What's the difference?
    @siril_dana: I agree, Dark Souls is one awesome game. But only if you're interested enough in puzzling all pieces of the story together. If you don't, it's just a string of fights with monsters, one after the other. The story in Dark Souls is one you have to assemble yourself, if you don't, it's just as 'empty' as Skyrim.

    I have to say that when I played the game many years ago, without guides to help me, I was mind-blown when I start to figure who Koveras/Sarevok was, and his plot and desires and about charname, yes you are bhaalspawn, but you learn that along the way, not previously like in Skyrim (to mutch press release I guess). Anyway, for me Skyrim was empty and Darksouls was not because of reasons.

    Post edited by siril_dana on
  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,761
    edited September 2013
    @Kitteh_On_A_Cloud
    Difference is that you're Gorion's ward, you're his foster son/daughter. You have acquaintances, friends even, in Candlekeep. You have some background and biography, depending on what class you are. If you're a fighter, you were trained by guards. If you're a mage, Gorion was nice enough to teach you some basics.

    You're someone. And what's more, you have some personal motives to follow the plot through both Baldur's Gate I and II. In the first game, your foster father dies and that armored figure was clearly after you. You might want to take revenge about for Gorion, you might just want to find out what's going on. You might as well not care about Alaundo's prophecies at all, just follow the plot because of personal reasons.

    Same applies to Baldur's Gate II. You might want to know motives of your capturor, you might want to save your childhood friends, and later - save yourself. That's personal. It's not something like "I have to do x because I'm Bhaalspawn", at least until Throne of Bhaal, which is considered the weakest part of Baldur's Gate saga.

    While playing Skyrim, I've never for once thought that the story told in that game is my own. No matter what would I do, my Skyrim character would remain no one. No motives, backstory, absolutely nothing.

    That's the difference for me.

    siril_dana
  • SylphSylph Member Posts: 210
    I have a shameless love affair with the lore in Elder Scrolls. The geography, history, and various cultures are probably one of the most well developed and thought out settings I've ever had the pleasure to be immersed in. With the character customization being so open, the characters I play can pretty much be anyone I want with whatever motives I can dream up for the world.
    Yeah, the gameplays not perfect. Never has been, but it's never been so bad as to dent my enjoyment of the games at all.

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited September 2013
    BG2 is very forced. The only way to possibly rationalize it, unless you're one of two VERY specific personality types, is that Irenicus put a powerful Suggestion spell on you during your time there to force you to constantly think about getting to Spellhold to save imeon (who died forever in my original BG run, so it was obvious the one in Irenicus's dungeon was a fake construct to try and play on some shred of sympathy for a childhood friend, not to mention all the other weirdo's I'd never met before but imply I travelled with them) or to track him down, when for all I know he's now in the mage equivalent of a Super-Max prision, even the dreams stop after a few days, and it's pretty clear it's all part of his plan to get me to SPellhold, maybe my arrival causing a ruckus he can use to escape so why would I bother, if not for my characters compulsion to bring it up CONSTANTLY to nearly everyone he meets.

    BG1 is my favorite game of the BG series, due to having the largest amount of freedom. And the frequent bounty hunter ambushes at least give you a plausable reason to look into the people signing the contracts since they're are a frequent and immediate threat to your well being. While the plot does get rail-roaded a bit once you get to BG, that's a fair amount of the way through the game.


    BG is like going to a PnP game without a character or knowing much about the setting and the DM giving you a pre-generated character with a backstory and guidelines for how to play that character. Being more of an actor following a script in a play, then actually making your own decisions. And the DM being a wuss who uses a purchased Module campaign exactly as written without allowing any creative ability use.

    I might be a stickler for using as close to Core as possible, and any optional rules (such as Proficiencies) that allow more in-depth creation of a character (without going TOO overboard), but I absolutely dispise squashing the player's ability to use properly working mechanics (as opposed to broken cheesy $%#^ no non-munchkin DM would ever allow) creatively to approach puzzles in less obvious ways. (Kind of like why Portal is so awesome, the further away you get from the tutorial levels, the substantially more ways of tackling the puzzles there are).

    TES is like going to a game with a character idea already in mind, and either good knowledge of the setting or creative enough to craft something on fly with the little bits you do know about it. Where you're motivations and the why you do stuff all your own. The exact quality of the world to the degree of creativity and freedom for roleplaying ultimately coming down to the DM, some of which do a great job with plenty of flexibility for what abilities/ideas you bring, and others.....are deliberately following the what NOT to list of the dungeon-master's guide.

    terzaerian
  • OzzyBotkinsOzzyBotkins Member Posts: 396
    One of the 5 best RPGs ever made

  • PurudayaPurudaya Member Posts: 816
    I think freedom has become a grossly overvalued concept in modern role-playing games (and "linear" has become carelessly maligned). If freedom means running around in a giant sandbox where nobody has the ability to ever compel you to do anything you don't want to do, then it's going to require a certain lack of structured narrative. Role-playing, by definition, means playing a role, not necessarily having the ability to define 100% of that role's parameters.

    Please don't misunderstand me as combative, because I really enjoy TES games and respect the opinions of those who see role-playing value in them. I just can't get invested into a character with no established role whatsoever, which is why I'll probably always prefer games like Baldur's Gate 2 (and, to a lesser extent, games like NWN2: Mask of the Betrayer and Dragon Age: Origins). To each their own :)

    I will say that every TES game I've ever played has wowed me with impressive landscapes and gorgeous design. I just wish they would give me a main character with a soul!

  • terzaerianterzaerian Member Posts: 231
    Purudaya said:

    I think freedom has become a grossly overvalued concept in modern role-playing games (and "linear" has become carelessly maligned).

    Freedom only seems like an overvalued concept within the confines of the Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition forums, a niche enthusiast community founded to help relaunch the RPG which did it best. Everywhere else the order of the day is linearity. It was only until Skyrim that companies really sat up and began considering the possibilities of the sandbox in the modern day and this, I would argue, is probably the greatest thing about the game.

    Linear games are exercises in futility. If linearity is what you want there are movies and books - the former is always going to look better than a contemporary game, and the latter is always going to be deeper and more intellectually stimulating. Sandboxe offers what both movies and books cannot - the chance to shape the narrative yourself, on your own terms. If Skyrim seems to do this poorly it is because Bethesda is simply poor at building compelling narratives, not because sandbox is innately poor at communicating them.

  • Kitteh_On_A_CloudKitteh_On_A_Cloud Member Posts: 1,629
    @ZelgadisGW: What about creating your own story? Real roleplaying? I gave my own character her own motives and background, and I didn't even need a character creation setting like with Baldur's Gate. Use your imagination. Give your character reason to live. ;)
    @ZanathKariashi: Ok, you don't like Baldur's Gate. Point taken.
    @purudaya: Out of all opinions, yours seems to be more nuanced. I tend to agree with what you said. :)

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