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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » The Skyrim Thread (Page 1)

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Author Topic: The Skyrim Thread
Marlozhan
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I am surprised there is no topic on this yet.

I am very excited for this game.

To be more accurate, I am feeling some combination of uber-pumped / waiting-for-what-Bethesda-promised-to-be-hyped-up-spun-let-down.

Is the Radiant AI going to be for-real this time?
Are the dragons REALLY going to be unscripted?
Is the dynamic story/quest system REALLY going to be dynamic?
Is the combat actually going to not feel like I am fighting with a lead 2x4?
Will the game actually be optimized?

If the answer to the above questions is no, I will at least still enjoy roaming the countryside for hours on end, making up for all the hiking I can't do in real life because WA state only has 2 months of non-wet weather out of the whole year.

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Samprimary
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quote:
I am surprised there is no topic on this yet.
Well, thing is with Skyrim — while I'm sure many are cautiously optimistic, they're wary, because this is Bethesda. And, like me, they remember the Oblivion hype versus the Oblivion reality — I still use it as the posterboy for incompetent game design.

So, an abnormally large portion of gamers are hype-proofed and just sort of hanging out, waiting to see what people say once the game's actually out.

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Swampjedi
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After Morrowind, Oblivion did feel like a letdown. I still loved it, though. I didn't get any of the Oblivion hype, because I wasn't much of a console gamer at the time.

Incompetence? Yes. Oblivion had loads and loads of problems, from idiotic AI to the leveling system. Once I found a way to work with/around the horribly broken leveling system, I could enjoy the game.

I'm excited for Skyrim. I like that they've gone away from the Oblivion leveling idea and more towards the Fallout 3 leveling idea (which was less broken).

I canceled my preorder, though. I have a huge backlog of games currently (mainly RPGs) with little time to play. I'll pick it up used in the new year, sometime. I guess that tells you the depth of my excitement - I'm not willing to pay full price, nor bump it to the top of my playlist.

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Xavier
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I tried Morrowind. Tried and tried. Could not maintain my interest enough to get very far into it. The great reviews told me that this was a great game, and while some things were indeed pretty cool, they weren't enough to keep me entertained.

Still, when Oblivion came out, and had its own gushing hype (here and elsewhere) I bought it anyway. Again, this turned out to be a complete waste of my money. It just couldn't keep my interest.

I was a huge Fallout fan (1 and 2), so when Fallout III came out, I of course purchased it. I've played the intro at least a half dozen times, but always lose interest shortly after getting out into the wastes. I still mean to fire it back up someday and try to push through to whatever great stuff is in that game. I'm probably fooling myself though.

Now Skyrim is coming, and despite having already wasted money on the purchase of three different Bethesda games, I'm still going to be very tempted when IGN slaps a 9.X score on it, and you guys all start talking about it here. This time, I at least have to promise myself to buy it only when it gets down to $20 bargain prices.

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Rakeesh
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Initially I tried Morrowind, and just couldn't get into it either. It felt impenetrable to me-the world was so dense in terms of story and baffling. It wasn't even easy to get around on a large scale in the world to a total newbie. If I wanted to go to a,b, or c which were along the lines of where the story probably wanted me to go, I could simply hop on a silt strider. But if I decided, from looking at the map, that I wanted to go to x,y, or z on the map...well, eventually I'd have to take a silt strider, hop a mage's guild transport, and then...

It took playing and loving Oblivion to get back into Morrowind, strangely enough. The story was less dense, the world less alien, getting around was easier, and the leveling system more sensible (though deeply, strangely flawed).

I guess perhaps there's just something about Bethesda's approach to sandbox style of play that doesn't resonate with you then, Xavier? Interesting. I loved both Fallout III and Oblivion-they're among my favorite games I've ever played, to the extent that my initial reaction on hearing someone who likes RPGs didn't like them is, "Wow, I don't get that at all!" Then of course I remind myself that taste and preference varies, and there were beefs I had with those games that had they been more noticeable to me would've killed it.

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Jake
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What games have really held you attention in the last, say, 5 years, Xavier?
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Xavier
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From the top of my head, may need to add to later.

RPG: Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age 2
RTS/TBS: Starcraft 2, Empire:Total War, Company of Heroes
MMO: World of Warcraft
Other: World of Tanks, Portal

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Xavier
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quote:
guess perhaps there's just something about Bethesda's approach to sandbox style of play that doesn't resonate with you then, Xavier? Interesting.
Its possible, though other "sandbox" games like the GTA series have been hits with me in the past.

I think its more that the things I like about RPGs and the things Bethesda emphasizes in their games are very different.

For instance, one thing I love about Bioware games is putting together a party I enjoy, and my interactions with them. Dragon Age for me was all about my character falling in love with Morrigan and following her into the unknown. Having a voiceless protagonist go around doing random crap with no companions to speak of doesn't hit the same notes with me.

I'm also not a huge fan of first person perspective, which is clearly an issue with Bethesda's games. If I loved the combat, then going around with my solo dude would probably appeal more to me.

Added: I also hated the fonts in Morrowind. For such a wordy game, I can't hate to read the text. I also think their character modeling is downright hideous. To even play Morrowind I had to download a bunch of mods to replace everyone's faces. That led to like a week of me trying to find just the right combination of mods to make me like the game.

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Rakeesh
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See, I wouldn't have first expected that someone who really liked those Bioware games, but as you describe the differences it makes sense. I mean, obviously-it was just funny to me the way I correlated 'liking Dragon Age' to 'would like Oblivion'.

Not liking (or at least not liking as much) 1st person is another thing that makes the dislike less opaque. For what it's worth, I've heard-too soon to tell, really-that 3rd person is much more impressive in Skyrim, much more lifelike, as is combat. I hope so, because parts of combat were things I didn't enjoy so much in Oblivion too-and I rarely ever used 3rd person at all.

I guess what could be called personal stories-stories for the player, that the player himself is enacting-are much more potent in the Bioware games than these other games. Though I will say that in Fallout III, the personal story was (I thought) pretty powerful...but there weren't many choices to be made, and the main story was while a big questline in and of itself pretty small compared to the rest of the entire world. And the urgency for 'save Dad!' story was self-driven.

I'm right there with you on the character models in Morrowind, too. For a sandbox game where a big part of the designed appeal is 'go anywhere, talk to anyone and find out what happens!' it'd be helpful if the 'anyones' weren't hideous double-baggers.

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Mucus
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Morrowind is old though, 2002 I think.
I encountered it early enough, that the visuals were actually quite impressive, especially the view distance as affecting the wall around the peak, the various cities, the different cultures, etc.

But there's no way I could replay it today without those mods (which are quite nice). I think I also tried to replay Fallout and Fallout 2, even with some high resolution mods, but I couldn't get back into it. I still have the great memories of when I first played it (and replayed it back in the day).

Actually, recently, I rather like Assassin's Creed 2 and follow-up for that sense of wandering around and checking out random stuff. I just wish there was an RPG that could have at least that level of detailed visuals in a "real" city.

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Rakeesh
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Oh, I'm not saying it didn't look good for its time. What I meant was that the people in it were, well, they just didn't appeal to me.

I really enjoyed AC2 also, for very similar reasons. The huge, 'real' city, the frequent history tidbits about people, events, architecture. Not unlike GTA IV in the sense of a 'real' city, with the depth overall (that is, how deep you could poke it and still seem real) going a bit deeper, though still very shallow compared with the possibilities.

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Mucus
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Well, there's two problems here.

The first is that the characters, as in the personalities, are pretty generic and boring. Fallout would have the same issues with re-used character models (or sprites rather), but at least you remember the people. There's not a single character in Morrowind that I can remember.

But I think that can be somewhat distinguished from the actual character models which weren't so awful for the era, at least for RPGs. The previous game in the series basically looked like Doom for example.

The second is understandable for the era, the first is not.

As for AC2, definitely. I'm very glad that someone found a way to go this route. I've always wanted to visit some of these places (or revisit in some cases).

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Rakeesh
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*nod* Many of the characters were pretty boring, though I didn't find that the case in Oblivion personally-the stories of the characters, that is. Many of them were interesting. Such as the vampire hidden in among the vampire hunters, who framed a neighbor as a vampire. Or the Mage's Guild small-time bad guy, who sent you on a suicide mission and whom you then had to investigate. Couple of examples.

As for Morrowind, it's been longer but I do remember some of them. But I don't think they were as consistently appealing.

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Xavier
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quote:
But I think that can be somewhat distinguished from the actual character models which weren't so awful for the era, at least for RPGs.
Wow, I totally disagree. For instance, KOTOR came out only a year after, and it had Bastila. The year before, you had Yuna, though maybe you aren't counting JRPGs.

Granted the widely used mod turned those disgusting faces into beautiful faces, but the fact that some random dude did a 1000 times better job than the actual game developers isn't a point in their favor.

I think Oblivion had pretty hideous faces as well. Quick googling shows that each and every race was ugly in that game. Of course Skyrim looks great in that image, so maybe that will alleviate some of that.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Xavier:
quote:
But I think that can be somewhat distinguished from the actual character models which weren't so awful for the era, at least for RPGs.
Wow, I totally disagree. For instance, KOTOR came out only a year after, and it had Bastila. The year before, you had Yuna, though maybe you aren't counting JRPGs.

I'll grant you Bastila, but it's pretty unfair to compare a JRPG cinematic screencap to the gameplay of a comparable era game. JRPGs love their overblown cinematics.
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Xavier
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I don't remember Yuna looking much different during the game, but I suppose that could be a faulty memory.
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Geraine
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I am hesitently optimistic about Skyrim. I loved both Morrowind and Oblivion, but they had their issues. Plus Bethesda released Hunted: The Demonforge that was supposed to be an amazing game, and I bought it and played it once. Now I can't even trade it in for a decent amount and I can't bring myself to try that steaming pile of crap again.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
I am hesitently optimistic about Skyrim. I loved both Morrowind and Oblivion, but they had their issues. Plus Bethesda released Hunted: The Demonforge that was supposed to be an amazing game, and I bought it and played it once. Now I can't even trade it in for a decent amount and I can't bring myself to try that steaming pile of crap again.

But with a name like that, how could it not be totally rad!?

God, now I'm remembering Totally Rad . Does anyone else here remember that?

PS: Xavier in fairness I think the last JRPG I enjoyed was ChronoTrigger. I have no idea what Yuna looked like in-game, but I do know that JRPGs tend to sink a lot into their cinematics, so I made an assumption about her.

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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
And, like me, they remember the Oblivion hype versus the Oblivion reality — I still use it as the posterboy for incompetent game design.
I haven't played Oblivion, but have heard some things about it and was curious if you could summarize what was bad about the design (or provide a link)
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BlackBlade
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I enjoyed Oblivion quite a bit, but I had never played Morrowind. I enjoyed it just a titch less than I enjoyed Fallout 3. I'm cautiously optimistic about Skyrim. There is also Batman:Arkham City and Legend of Zelda: Skyward sword in contention, and I can only afford one. It's only a difficult choice because Diablo 3 isn't coming out this year.

Fable/Fable II/Fable III are still the benchmarks by which I measure games that were touted as one thing, but were in fact another.

BTW anybody else excited for Blizz-con? I'm really hoping they reveal Titan.

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Dan_Frank
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Blizzard does a fantastic job making games I'm only peripherally interested in. Bethesda does a dreadful job making precisely the games that I want.

It's pretty frustrating.

Edit: Bioware is an interesting case, too. They make exactly the games that I want, from a story perspective, but their gameplay is all over the map. Dragon Age: The Story is essentially a totally different, parallel game to Dragon Age: The Combat. One tries for a sort of gritty realistic tone reminiscent of G.R.R. Martin's work, while the other is wall to wall special effects and flashy videogame fighting. Mass Effect is better in this area, but still falls short. It's sort of to be expected, since they are video games, but the disconnect is much more stark than in a lot of games.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Xavier:
quote:
But I think that can be somewhat distinguished from the actual character models which weren't so awful for the era, at least for RPGs.
Wow, I totally disagree. For instance, KOTOR came out only a year after, and it had Bastila. The year before, you had Yuna, though maybe you aren't counting JRPGs.

I'll grant you Bastila, but it's pretty unfair to compare a JRPG cinematic screencap to the gameplay of a comparable era game. JRPGs love their overblown cinematics.
Actually, I don't play JRPGs, not a judgement, I've just never got into that genre. I can see how someone coming from that tradition would have bigger issues with how characters look.

I just found myself comparing them to other sandbox games like GTA: Vice City (same year) and GTA: San Andreas (two years later) which looked more like this.

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Dan_Frank
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Now them's some real graphics!
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BlackBlade
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I did not like JRPGS when I was younger. Then I rediscovered them in high school with the ZSNES emulator and roms. I quite enjoyed them all the way until about Final Fanatasy 12. It's been a steaming pile of crud since then.

I never played FFX, and some people think that's nuts, but it didn't seem far removed from its sucessors. I haven't been blown away by a JRPG since Chrono Cross.

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Dan_Frank
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What's funny to me is that some of the traits that made the JRPGs of old so amazing are the very things that JRPGs adamantly refuse to do now. Compared to the alternatives, they were amazingly open-ended and allowed for the players choices to matter (FF3/6/whatever and ChronoTrigger are what I'm thinking of here). Whereas nowadays, a hallmark of JRPGs is that they are insanely constrictive and linear compared to the other RPGs on the market.
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Rakeesh
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I can't think of a JRPG I've played before, aside from FF13 which I'm playing now. I'm really struck by how linear it is. I haven't played an RPG that was so on rails in quite some time. Or at least, that feels so on rails.
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Dan_Frank
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Yep!

I remember when I first heard about ChronoTrigger, and how the ENDING of the game varied based on YOUR ACTIONS. I was utterly floored. O, for that bygone age.

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Geraine
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Totally Rad was actually a pretty fun game, and I still own the original NES cart!

The early reviews painted Hunted as being Demon Souls crossed with Diablo. I was excited for it and it really let me down. [Frown]

I agree with the sentiment about JRPG's. Back in the SNES and PSX days there were no truly awesome Western RPG's released. Since then good JRPG's have been hard to come across. In fact, Xenoblade on the Wii is arguably the best JRPG I've played for years.

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umberhulk
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FF12 is tight.

Oblivion is an obtuse game, where Morrowing is just freedom. But they were both good.

More people need to play Etrian Odyssey 3 for the DS.

Excited for this.

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Mucus
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I'll wait till it reaches $10 on Steam [Wink]
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ricree101
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Blizzard does a fantastic job making games I'm only peripherally interested in. Bethesda does a dreadful job making precisely the games that I want.

It's pretty frustrating.

I thought fallout improved upon Oblivion a fair amount, even though it still had its share of faults.

I'm tentatively optimistic about Skyrim.


That said, I'm worried about the PC version. The interface shown so far looks decent for consoles, but seems like it would be terrible on the PC without some major overhauls.

Considering how much mods added to Morrowind and Oblivion, I'm not at all considering getting it on any other platform. So I hope they take the time to get the PC version right.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
quote:
And, like me, they remember the Oblivion hype versus the Oblivion reality — I still use it as the posterboy for incompetent game design.
I haven't played Oblivion, but have heard some things about it and was curious if you could summarize what was bad about the design (or provide a link)
The minimal summary is that really absolutely none of the fundamentals of gameplay mechanics were done right, and most of them can be actively called 'botched' or 'a failure.' Usually you can say something like "a lot of" or "too many of" the fundamentals are weak, but in the case of Oblivion, all of them were design failures. This is actually somewhat impressive. It was created by a (1) combination of goofs during development nearing 'crunch time,' (2) an unwillingness on the part of the studio to abandon questionable design decisions, pushing them into the final edition without much of any regard for how well these designs were testing with players, and (3) Bethesda's bizarre desire to maintain a significant quantity of Elder Scrolls' old mechanics, to 'keep an old feel.'

The world leveling system is a perfect, all-encompassing example of this. It is the number one thing which should have been scrapped, but wasn't. The ramifications of this design decision expanded into all areas of the game — it affected character creation, by making it so that it was not only possible, but very easy, to ruin the game experience by not building your character in specific ways. It affected the storyline, because the 'world level' was not inherently linked to your combat skill level, and the gate missions were essentially pure combat challenges. Depending on how you have played, they end up frustratingly impossible or offering no difficulty or challenge at all. It nullified the sense of character progression — if you slept and leveled, you weren't leveling yourself, you were leveling the world ... and hoping you had taken a step forward to match. The end result is that most subsequent playthroughs of the game are specifically designed around gaming the world leveling system to render the world's challenge level into nothing.

In fact, the single worst part about the world leveling system pertained to the method by which the world 'leveled' enemies to match your player level. Specifically, the rate of enemy hit point increase per world level. At level one, enemies can be one-shot, and combat is fairly fast. You can knock a bandit down with a single well-placed swing or a sneak attack. But once the world goes up in levels enough, enemy hitpoints have increased additively enough so that combat with anything — from a Daedra to a bandit to a mud crab, whatever — involves button mash attrition. You simply have to hit them over and over again until they are dead. Eventually, they are buckets of hitpoints and it gets really, really grindy — near impossible, in fact, if you haven't leveled 'correctly' and thus don't have the output necessary to best them in button mash attrition. The literal best way to play by a wide margin is to purposefully never level at all, and aid this by never, ever, EVER choosing skills for your class that you intend to use.

World Leveling is just the centerpiece, the quintessential core of Oblivion's complete gameplay design failure. Every other gameplay mechanic can also be criticized sufficiently. The stat system, including level multipliers, is capricious enough to force players to game it at least to some degree, or the world outpaces you. This means you have to level 'the right way,' which involves painstakingly constraining the way you play at most times to ensure that you're getting three multipliers per level.

The skills system, and the 'choices' it gives a player, is violently unsuited to the world, and this ruins people's gameplay very frequently. Parks created a diplomat, used social skills around town, and would be murdered by world-upgraded boars the second he left the capital. On the other end of the scale, certain skills are rather oddly easy gamebreakers, like Alchemy in Morrowind. Maxed stealth, which you can literally get in your jail cell at the very beginning of the game with minimal effort, can allow you to flat-out attack people in broad daylight without revealing yourself. This is just one specific example, here are many others. Other skills and abilities are just .. confusingly badly designed. Half of the starting birth signs are completely useless, others are overpowered blatantly. Speechcraft is not something that should ever have been approved as a final system. Ever. Even employees still make fun of the idea to this day [Smile]

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Rakeesh
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quote:
World Leveling is just the centerpiece, the quintessential core of Oblivion's complete gameplay design failure. Every other gameplay mechanic can also be criticized sufficiently. The stat system, including level multipliers, is capricious enough to force players to game it at least to some degree, or the world outpaces you. This means you have to level 'the right way,' which involves painstakingly constraining the way you play at most times to ensure that you're getting three multipliers per level.

This seems well put (no surprise, since it's your business as I understand). I enjoyed the game well enough to the point where I didn't mind, but in order to enjoy the game as it went on in the unmodded version, careful attention had to be payed to how I played in order to keep track of how I leveled. Had I made a bit of a whoopsie that first time in character creation-I should say, the second time, since I scrapped it in the sewers and rerolled!-I wouldn't have enjoyed things nearly as much.

If I remember correctly from back when I was playing it-which was when I played it modded-the best, most highly used and rated mods were those that specifically addressed the things you mention. The leveling system and the way your character levels, and the way the world around you levels. Those were the most downloaded mods, aside maybe from those that simply made the game look a lot better.

I'm a big enough fan of the franchise that it'd take some pretty grave foreshadowing of awfulness for me not to pick up the game, but I'm reassured that according to what I've heard the developers acknowledge how flawed the leveling system is (they even mentioned just how often players would scrap their first 30-60m of play and reset, once they got a hint of how things 'really' worked), and thus have changed it.

quote:
The skills system, and the 'choices' it gives a player, is violently unsuited to the world, and this ruins people's gameplay very frequently. Parks created a diplomat, used social skills around town, and would be murdered by world-upgraded boars the second he left the capital. On the other end of the scale, certain skills are rather oddly easy gamebreakers, like Alchemy in Morrowind. Maxed stealth, which you can literally get in your jail cell at the very beginning of the game with minimal effort, can allow you to flat-out attack people in broad daylight without revealing yourself. This is just one specific example, here are many others. Other skills and abilities are just .. confusingly badly designed. Half of the starting birth signs are completely useless, others are overpowered blatantly. Speechcraft is not something that should ever have been approved as a final system. Ever. Even employees still make fun of the idea to this day
Huh. That wasn't my experience-maxed stealth, I mean. It actually was one of the most tedious skills to level (though I've heard of players who did the 'point your guy in a direction sneaking into a corner, and walk away' trick, and that's old school gaming-the-game right there!), and when you maxed you could sneak up on someone in broad daylight-from behind. But that's about it.

The Speechcraft system was pretty damn silly. It's like they looked at it and said, "Hey, in our Speechcraft system, you can bribe, intimidate, coerce, flatter, and joke around!" Sounds good. Heh.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
(though I've heard of players who did the 'point your guy in a direction sneaking into a corner, and walk away' trick, and that's old school gaming-the-game right there!)

[Wave]
I totally did that. Rubber-banded the thumbstick in the forward position next to a sleeping guy, watched tv for a while, checked back every so often to see if the guy had woken up and spotted me.

Like I said, they do a freaking terrible job making the games I'm really interested in. So frustrating.

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Rakeesh
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It was really strange. I recognized, "Huh, this is pretty silly," of the level system (both world and PC) when I played it. Then, months later, I heard the mods were pretty sweet and gave them a shot. They made the game so much better, much more enjoyable than I would've expected, because I generally look for story in games quite a bit more than gameplay. That is, an excellent story will make up for a lot with me in the gameplay department, but the mods I used changed very little-only a few small additions-to the story, and made major changes in the level system. It was so superior to the unmodded version I couldn't believe they hadn't done something like that for the game itself.
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Scott R
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The story was mediocre-- with the exception of the Thieves' Guild-- and I got the leveling pack as soon as I got the game.

I enjoyed it.

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umberhulk
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It was a good game that took an understanding of how things work and it was fun to optimize how you played. It's good.
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Jake
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I liked Daggerfall a lot, and loved Morrowind. I played Oblivion at a friend's house long enough to get an idea of the problems that Sam outlined, and then never bothered to pick it up, despite the fact that I could have patched it into a working game through the application of mods. I'd just lost enthusiasm for it, and had other things I wanted to do with my time.
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Rakeesh
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Didn't dig the Assassin's Guild story, eh Scott? (Not that I think it's a sign of good taste or something-it's just those two are the ones most commonly mentioned. Personally I enjoyed that one as well the most.)

I think I might've been like Jake-having played and really enjoyed Daggerfall and Morrowind (though not beaten at that point), the tutorial was really frustrating once I realized, "Well, damn. I designed about half of my character wrong." I remember it really frustrated me at the time-you know, the way trivial things in a video game sometimes just really bug you, even though you know they're trivial. Then I got out of the sewers and the real sandbox moment was revealed, and I didn't mind so much, heh.

It's strange, a sandbox style game with a good grab along those lines will make up for a lot with me as far as games. The same with written stories, too.

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umberhulk
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Oblivion is super obtuse.

Not broken.

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umberhulk
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I mean come on were not talking about FF8 here.
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Samprimary
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Besides the game's F minus minus score for gameplay mechanics, I also have to note their ... difficulties with immersion, which surprise me because of the ways that a lot of their design decisions ended up negating a lot of the extreme effort and expense they went to trying to create a large, contiguous geology and environment. Oblivion released with ghastly potatofaces, which the game tiresomely liked to pimp out by jamming straight up to extreme close range whenever you interacted with any of the game's ten voices that weren't patrick stewart. Oh, right, and it's an entire continent with ten voices that aren't patrick stewart! That is almost not hyperbole. They were stretched so thin that most class/gender combos were all but universal across the whole world (oh, look, it's another dark elf with a widow's peak and that weasely mr. burnsish voice! what a surprise! he must be no. 51,662!). You had gorgeous vistas that probably you saw once before getting in the habit of mashing the fast travel button. There's like a million world dungeons! They are all the same three tilesets! Hmm!

However, other elements of the game besides the core gameplay mechanics (immersion, graphics, performance, GUI, storyline, etc) aren't critically flawed, they tend to be at least .. decent? Which is why you could still play through the game and have an okay time. Well, once you figured out which of your character 'choices' were actually wrong answers on the Oblivion quiz.

Well I guess I'm going to fast travel to all the capitols, steal each and every one of the silver plates from each of their completely unguarded dining rooms, sell it all for a million billion gold, buy some magic items and sleepwalk through the game at level one. Hooray?

quote:
It was so superior to the unmodded version I couldn't believe they hadn't done something like that for the game itself.
The mighty Oscuro's and the like. Modding got the game a fair bit further than it was out of the gate (at least for the PC Gaming Master Race; the console rabble were left to molder).

The degree to which homebrew modding improved the game's mechanics was actually fairly embarrassing for them. Within days of the game being out, some guys scribbing out code at home had already released a mod that vastly improved the horrid faces. Just some guy at home! Some other guy fixed their terrible menus with a snap of his fingers. The complete world overhauls came not too long afterwards, etc, etc.

quote:
Huh. That wasn't my experience-maxed stealth, I mean. It actually was one of the most tedious skills to level (though I've heard of players who did the 'point your guy in a direction sneaking into a corner, and walk away' trick, and that's old school gaming-the-game right there!), and when you maxed you could sneak up on someone in broad daylight-from behind. But that's about it.
max stealth, top with a paltry amount of chameleon. Murder people all day! Some of this was, I believe, mitigated by the overhauls. But if you're just playing an unmodded version of the game and you're playing it 'right' (by durr-ing out the world level) then it takes a paltry amount of effort to be an untargetable phantasm.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Besides the game's F minus minus score for gameplay mechanics, I also have to note their ... difficulties with immersion, which surprise me because of the ways that a lot of their design decisions ended up negating a lot of the extreme effort and expense they went to trying to create a large, contiguous geology and environment. Oblivion released with ghastly potatofaces, which the game tiresomely liked to pimp out by jamming straight up to extreme close range whenever you interacted with any of the game's ten voices that weren't patrick stewart. Oh, right, and it's an entire continent with ten voices that aren't patrick stewart! That is almost not hyperbole. They were stretched so thin that most class/gender combos were all but universal across the whole world (oh, look, it's another dark elf with a widow's peak and that weasely mr. burnsish voice! what a surprise! he must be no. 51,662!). You had gorgeous vistas that probably you saw once before getting in the habit of mashing the fast travel button. There's like a million world dungeons! They are all the same three tilesets! Hmm!

However, other elements of the game besides the core gameplay mechanics (immersion, graphics, performance, GUI, storyline, etc) aren't critically flawed, they tend to be at least .. decent? Which is why you could still play through the game and have an okay time. Well, once you figured out which of your character 'choices' were actually wrong answers on the Oblivion quiz.

Well I guess I'm going to fast travel to all the capitols, steal each and every one of the silver plates from each of their completely unguarded dining rooms, sell it all for a million billion gold, buy some magic items and sleepwalk through the game at level one. Hooray?

quote:
It was so superior to the unmodded version I couldn't believe they hadn't done something like that for the game itself.
The mighty Oscuro's and the like. Modding got the game a fair bit further than it was out of the gate (at least for the PC Gaming Master Race; the console rabble were left to molder).

The degree to which homebrew modding improved the game's mechanics was actually fairly embarrassing for them. Within days of the game being out, some guys scribbing out code at home had already released a mod that vastly improved the horrid faces. Just some guy at home! Some other guy fixed their terrible menus with a snap of his fingers. The complete world overhauls came not too long afterwards, etc, etc.

quote:
Huh. That wasn't my experience-maxed stealth, I mean. It actually was one of the most tedious skills to level (though I've heard of players who did the 'point your guy in a direction sneaking into a corner, and walk away' trick, and that's old school gaming-the-game right there!), and when you maxed you could sneak up on someone in broad daylight-from behind. But that's about it.
max stealth, top with a paltry amount of chameleon. Murder people all day! Some of this was, I believe, mitigated by the overhauls. But if you're just playing an unmodded version of the game and you're playing it 'right' (by durr-ing out the world level) then it takes a paltry amount of effort to be an untargetable phantasm.

The fact that everything you said here is absolutely true really depresses me. I was trying to forget all this stuff so that I could hope Skyrim will be decent! Especially since my PC is awful, so I will be getting it on the Xbox. Sigh.
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Parkour
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Upgrade back into the pc gaming world. Its worth it. It pays for itself over time, thanks to absurd steam specials.
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Dan_Frank
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Maybe. Problem is I'm also a mac fanboy. My current cheapo PC laptop is dreadful, and reminding me just how much a mac fanboy I really am.
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Raymond Arnold
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I've always been weirded out by the "PC is better than console" notion, since I'm always running on older PCs. I save money on upgrades AND steam specials!
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Parkour
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pc IS better than console. And even if you are addicted to paying over twice as much for upgrades on a mac, there is always Boot Camp.
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Marlozhan
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I just need a new computer period to play Skyrim. AGP motherboard. And I simply don't have the money for that. Or I can pick up a used PS3 on Craigslist for $180 and play the game. But if it turns out to be as broken as Oblivion was, and I can't mod, then I am just stuck not playing it. And as much as the mechanics sucked in Oblivion, I am a SUCKER for open world environments that I can just explore at will.

Besides, I ended up spending more time modding Oblivion than I did actually playing it. Every time I installed a mod and started playing, I would think, "I wonder if I can make this better?", and I would go back to hunting for more mods. I got tired of looking for mods, but my brain couldn't let go of the idea that I might be able to make the game even better or add something cool.

A console would just let me let go of that and just play the dumb thing. Just make a better game Bethesda!

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Marlozhan:
I just need a new computer period to play Skyrim. AGP motherboard. And I simply don't have the money for that. Or I can pick up a used PS3 on Craigslist for $180 and play the game. But if it turns out to be as broken as Oblivion was, and I can't mod, then I am just stuck not playing it. And as much as the mechanics sucked in Oblivion, I am a SUCKER for open world environments that I can just explore at will.

Besides, I ended up spending more time modding Oblivion than I did actually playing it. Every time I installed a mod and started playing, I would think, "I wonder if I can make this better?", and I would go back to hunting for more mods. I got tired of looking for mods, but my brain couldn't let go of the idea that I might be able to make the game even better or add something cool.

A console would just let me let go of that and just play the dumb thing. Just make a better game Bethesda!

Yes.
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Samprimary
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Gaze not upon their struggle. Do not wound your soul to watch them struggle to play Dragon Age without a mouse and keyboard hotkey bars. Weep not for the console-goer; their fate is their own.
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