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A Guild Well Done: The College

    • 1460 posts
    April 4, 2015 8:16 PM EDT

    The College of Winterhold...Often a questline accused of being too short, of having boring characters and just not getting you involved enough with the story. But what do you guys think of the people, the quests, the story, everything about them really. 

    • 122 posts
    April 4, 2015 8:36 PM EDT

    Not enough teaching for a so-called College, in my opinion. I have no qualms with the questline in general, save for the former.

    • 623 posts
    April 4, 2015 8:43 PM EDT

    I think there's one or two lectures you can listen into and that's it, how can they call themselves a college if that's all the teaching they do?

  • April 4, 2015 8:45 PM EDT

    I primarily play mage/wizard characters or hybrids in RPGs, so I was really bummed out when I played the College and was basically made the dean after averting one catastrophe. Now, I'm a fan of the quest and storyline, but developing the characters (a Telvanni trying to live up to her name, a Nord fighting the prejudice against his calling, and an ambitious Khajiit climbing to the top) is something that severely needs work. I also felt that the College could be bigger, because if you dare to make a magic academy, you damn well better make it Hogwarts-levels of huge and majestic.

    I'm also a bit miffed that you can become the Archmage without demonstrating magical talent, and all the spells you need are provided to you in the moment. I remember there was a quest in Morrowind for House Telvanni that required you to find certain spells which, because of how spell sales worked in Morrowind, meant some serious hunting, but they were quite high-level spells and you needed to be almost a master of magic to raise to the higher levels in a mage guild. In Oblivion even, the Mages Guild is my favourite questline and I was stunned. I've heard all the negatives about Oblivion (and I agree with most of them, frankly), but the Mages Guild was fantastic.

    • 623 posts
    April 4, 2015 8:47 PM EDT

    They have the Dragonborn as the Archmage I don't think they need to worry about dragons

    • 20 posts
    April 4, 2015 9:04 PM EDT

    Pretty weak questline.  

    I'm not a fan of the Harry Potter-esque intro (the lecture, meeting the students, going on a field trip... it all seemed juvenile and a bit silly).

    The quest portions themselves are neat only in that the dungeon design is pretty cool.  As for plot, the whole Eye of Magnus thing is never really explained, and just seems rushed.  Ancano is a villain because they needed a villain; the second-in-command chick only dies because they needed to give you a faster route to Archmage.  Hard to care about any of those people.  

    Most annoying is the pacing of the questline.  Say you're playing a mage type, but you don't want to become Archmage because why *should* you become Archmage?  If you go to Mzulft, though, it's bye-bye College services until you become Archmage.  That means you need to restrict yourself to just doing Saarthal and Fellglow Keep - just 2 parts of the College questline - if you don't want to get sucked in all the way to the end.

    Still, I go through the questline to some extent with most of my mages.  There are a few good points, beyond the necessity of buying spells:

    -Urag's quests are nice, and IMO the way the Companions questline *should* have worked:  an endlessly repeating series of radiant quests to keep your character busy when you're not interested in advancing to guild leader.  

    -Cool stuff in the Midden.  

    • 253 posts
    April 5, 2015 1:38 AM EDT

    I hate the College with a passion. The teachers are supposed to be masters of the arcane, the best and the brightest in their fields, and most of them act like genuine idiots, especially Toldfir.

  • April 5, 2015 1:40 AM EDT

    Seriously, have you never met higher education teachers/professors/masters who acted like Tolfdir? I could give you a campus tour of them. In that way, it was depressingly realistic. The same way Arena/Daggerfall was, with the hours and weeks of walking to get nowhere, because there was nothing exciting going on in the world. Just endless streets and endless small towns doing pretty much the same old, same old day in, and day out, for the rest of their lives and the lives of their children.

    • 623 posts
    April 5, 2015 1:43 AM EDT

    My lecturers are students themselves 

    • 253 posts
    April 5, 2015 1:44 AM EDT

    It is not just how he acts, he is just, very dull minded. In real life people get to positions of influnce in many ways, but in Skyrim, he is single best alteration wizard in the province, probably one of the best on the continent. It just bugs me that he is the way he is.

    • 203 posts
    April 5, 2015 6:12 AM EDT

    I myself did like the first few minutes of the quest, it felt like you were indead becoming a member of the college of winterhold, which as a character that didn't use a lot of magic (practically none), my first character was quite pleased about this, as it felt like the best place to pick up some much needed magic skills. And the fact that they could provide you with a few spells at a low cost seemed like a great feauture (although they were a little bit too low priced, I mean not even a master of speech could get these prices). However, from the point you went on your field trip it all went pretty much downhill.

    I liked the fact that the "proffessors" were all a bit weird and mostly interested in their own studies, despite what is said. Because, well it fits the "college" teacher quite well, but that was only fine for a moment, they were gullible, often stupid ( a flaw a lot of TES characters possess), and just overall silly. I would have loved to have a bit more quests for the other students, I mean I would have loved a longer questline for J'zargo for example, I mean a flame cloak that explodes undead has great potential and I would have loved a spelltome of J'zargo Return to ashes or something once you get rid of the potentially harmful effect on the caster.

    And the fact that from the entrance of Saarthal and onwards you don't need magic to succeed, felt fun in my first playthrough, I mean in the labyrinthium not using magic becomes an advantage. But after it just felt stupid. As for the critics of Ancano... Well yes he is a villain because they need a villain, after all he is a Thalmor, it seems to be their general definition. But yeah, who doesn't enjoy beating the crap out of a Thalmor!

    • 20 posts
    April 5, 2015 9:03 AM EDT

    I just never really cared about the Thalmor.  They're so "modern day" evil, which doesn't seem to fit the setting.  More importantly, though, it was painfully obvious from your very first glimpse of the Thalmor that the devs were designing them to be "The Bad Guys."  Since I felt so clearly pushed to hate them, it was actually annoying.  

    I mean, I guess I hate the Thalmor, but it's mostly that I hate that they're in the game.  Skyrim could have gone whole-hog into the whole Sword & Sorcery vibe, but the addition of those guys is one of the things that pulls me out of the atmosphere.  

  • April 5, 2015 12:43 PM EDT

    Yeah, I think it would have been really interesting to make it so you could actually attend classes that would give you tips on how to use your magic. Sort of how they explain wards to you the first time you come in.

    Perhaps a fireball class that explained how to lead your targets, or an illusion class that taught you how to decide which enemies to charm first.

    • 13 posts
    April 5, 2015 7:21 PM EDT

    That's it!

    You just summed it up for me. There has been something bothering me about the Thalmor in Skyrim and I could  never quite put my finger on it. You however just steered me towards the answer. The game really doesn't need them. The story, the setting, everything could work just fine, if not better without the Thalmor at all. It's like they are jumping up and down just outside the plot, demanding to be allowed to take part in the game. You don' t need them at all. With the main plot and civil war aspects you really should have had more than enough to keep a character busy.

  • April 5, 2015 7:31 PM EDT

    The Thalmor, in terms of unbiased lore, fit very well into TES as a sort of over-arching political enemy, but the way they're handled in Skyrim (for gods' sake, I know Bond villains with more motivation) is sort of appalling, but this is Bethesda. Character design isn't really their forte, as many, many people have said.

    • 1483 posts
    April 5, 2015 7:35 PM EDT

    So much dislike for the game's best guild questline. Oh, well... 

    The College questline conveys the atmosphere very well. Serenity at the start of the questline when you can lost yourself in the library or practice spells... Urgency starting from a certain point. Lectures. Fun and interesting characters. Challenging and unique quests that actually require magical talents to complete (unlike Thieves Guild when you can just kill everyone like a warrior). Return of the Psijic Order. Some of the best rewards in the game.

  • April 5, 2015 8:20 PM EDT
    People are more naturally inclined to complain about things they don't like than gush about stuff they do.
    • 1580 posts
    April 6, 2015 7:02 AM EDT

    After the awesomeness which was TES IV Oblivion's guild quests, all Skyrim guilds feel weak in comparison. I mean, where's that sweet Archmage Alchemy Chest at the end of the questline?

    The view from the tower is stunning, though.

    • 237 posts
    April 6, 2015 2:24 PM EDT

    I don't really see why people feel the need to complain about being given a brief 'tour' of the college.  She's just showing you where your bed is, exactly the same thing happens in the Companions!

    • 203 posts
    April 6, 2015 2:30 PM EDT

    I mean really, when you first arrive somewhere (like a college) where you might be staying for at least a week, you ought to know where the bed, bathroom and toilet are, am I right?

    It's actually pretty nice of her to show you around a bit, most teachers at my real life college just give a small booklet on "how to find shit" and that's all.

    And to further support your point: The thieves guild never gives you a tour, nor does the dark brotherhood, and to be honest I never knew what my bed was (except in the dawnstar sanctuary, but that was just out of deduction).

  • April 6, 2015 2:43 PM EDT

    To be fair to the Thieves Guild, pretty much everything they have is in that one room. Any "tour" would likely consist of, "Look to your left. There's some archery targets. Look to your right; that's the kitchen. There's beds everywhere; try not to pick one that someone's already in."

    • 237 posts
    April 6, 2015 3:20 PM EDT

    You have to actually wander around the Cistern until you find the right bed.  The rest are (Owned).  And they never tell you there's a secret entrance, you just have to go find the ladder on your own when quest markers always tell you to go back through the Ratway.  Yeah, the thieves should give a tour.

  • April 6, 2015 3:25 PM EDT

    Well, they are thieves; they probably figure that if you're too dumb to find your way around, it's not their problem. It's not summer camp, y'know.*

    *Sidenote: A summer camp for thieves would be a pretty great premise for a comedy series.

    • 237 posts
    April 6, 2015 3:48 PM EDT

    But who would they cast in the star role for such a comedy?

    • 131 posts
    April 6, 2015 4:41 PM EDT
    I really need to get back into skyrim, just need a new tv and i'm ready to go.