Forums » Elder Scrolls

11/11/11: Taking stock four years out

    • 294 posts
    November 13, 2015 3:49 AM EST

    You know which one I picked up that really bugged me? The darn candlemolds. So I lived at lakeview, right? So, I'm chilling with Kharjo, doing the rounds around the property and we find the little cabin, pinewatch. 

    Me: ooooo, let's go inside. Mebbe there's sparklies!

    Kharjo: This one does not think that that is necessarily a wise decision... *follows crazy Bosmer who is somehow not a cannibal inside*

    Hours later... arms full of loot, trail of enchanted weapons behind, over-encumbered...

    Me: looky, looky, that makes 24 of these unsual gems... I don't know what they are, but they sure are sparkly! 

    Kharjo: Perhaps this one should go find an appraiser. They make quite a bit of noise when you walk.

    Me: And this candlestick mold thingy! Wonder what I can do with this? Sparklies! 

    Kharjo: Perhaps this one should go speak with Brynjolf? Marcurio was telling Khajit that perhaps it is wise that this Bosmer joins the Thieves Guild.

    Me: I don't steal.

    Kharjo: Oh really? Then who sent those thugs for you?

    Me: The chicken at Honingbrew...

  • November 13, 2015 4:05 AM EST

    My first impressions were, this game is to f/'\[.g hard for me, but thankfully it wasn't, first character was a dark elf spell sword, same with Oblivion, which I know backwards, and rinse and repeat for Morrowind, Skyrim however allows the player to be so creative, (check the character builds) After I left Helgen I toured about whiterun and falkreath holds until my character had a bit of xp, I am an old bastard according to my children, who all fall about laughing every time I die, anyway there is loads of replay value in skyrim I am delighted to say

    • 1574 posts
    November 14, 2015 7:11 AM EST

    Skyrim and Oblivion are quite odd in that they shouldn't really spark much conversation from me but inevitably will whenever mentioned. It' a strange thing to try and convey but I'm trying to say that as they are firmly single player games without a great deal of player choice in comparison to other RPG's of their time, there really shouldn't be much to talk about.

    I mean, when compared to Mass Effect 3, one of TES VI's peers, you'd think the would be far more to talk about in ME 3 than there is in Skyrim. Of course the lore of the TES setting is arguably richer and much more unique with a wide variety of interpretations to discuss. Yet in terms of player choice and consequence the two games are miles apart. My Shepard and his decisions could be very different to another's, the characters I met could also be different to somebody else's. Hell, some folks have never met Wrex!

    Not so with Skyrim. We've all pretty much had the same story experience with just a few minor differences (the old Imperial or Stormcloak argument). The difference seems to me to be in how we play the game rather than what we've experienced in terms of story. It's as if the fact the one can play the game in so many different ways far outweighs the lack of unique stories. So in theory there should be way more to talk about in regards to ME3 than TES V yet Skyrim sparks more stories and discussion than Mass Effect does despite two separate player's experiences being almost identical.

    In one hand we've got Bioware rpgs which have limited number of ways to play but much more things to experience, while in the other hand we have Bethesda rpgs which offer much more ways to play than they do experiences to be had. It's like this latter approach lends itself more to the illusion of choice than the former who's illusion of choice moments are almost infinitely more complex by comparison.

    Back in 2011 I was so excited that the months leading up to November could not pass quick enough. The trailers were so epic - and still are to be fair - and the wait was a killer. I knew I'd be taking a break in 1Q 2012 for ME 3 but also knew I'd be right back in Tamriel for the summer. Based on experience with TES IV Oblivion I knew I'd be engaged for roughly the next 4 years on and off. I think I hit "peak Skyrim" in early-mid 2013 and now I believe the reserves are very nearly finally exhausted. It is likely that the next time I play the game will be out of nostalgia.

    Nowadays the world has moved on. Can Bethesda make another TES game in the same way as before? They revolutionised the concept of an open world rpg but there hasn't been much innovation since then by them. How much different was Skyrim from Oblivion? How much different is Fallout 4 from Fallout 3 despite the passage of seven years?

    So when it comes to how my opinion of TES V has changed it boils down to looking forward to seeing how Bethesda approached Fallout 4 which everyone kinda knew would arrive before TES VI. A new console generation is here yet there doesn't seem to be a huge amount of innovation over their previous Fallout title. In this cynical line of thought I wonder if the king of the open world rpg is at risk of being knocked off their throne by another.

    Yet when all is said and done, the purpose of a Bethesda open world rpg is immersion. So far all have nailed it so from that perspective need I have any concern for the future? I think Mass Effect Andromeda will hold the answer to that question.

  • November 15, 2015 8:06 PM EST

    I do not play the game anymore. Perhaps if I had a gaming PC sooner than later, I might yet be wasting time fiddling with mods but not now — not ever. I like the freedom it offers in terms of fan-fiction and characterization, in comparison to other games. I still read lore related content to see what I have missed — because some interesting bits are just tossed in random books and not furthered developed — but overall I am not intrigued by it, and I might disengage from the franchise altogether if Dragon Age continues to become more appealing and I find something better than a wiki to learn about Mass Effect's lore.

    Anyway, the world feels empty to me and some aspects of the lore invokes questions that make it hard for me to see what is so amazing about the franchise, not to mention the irritating presence of mage, warrior, and rogue races, as presented in the games at least.

    I have played GTA: San Andreas, Fable 1 and 2, and Chaos Theory more than I have played Skyrim, probably because I was not yet in college when the others were released. I had been meaning to get into the franchise years ago but forgot. Meh. What makes them worthwhile? I do not know. I do not play them anymore.

    I do not remember my first playthrough. I do not recall having a playthrough as I deleted characters often.

    • 697 posts
    November 16, 2015 8:58 PM EST

    I was skeptical about Skyrim initially. After not enjoying Oblivion but still having a RPG itch, I consulted a close friend a few months after Skyrim's release who knew both games better than I did. My biggest issue with Oblivion was the awful combat, and he assured me that it was actually good this time around. I think I have a more balanced view of Skyrim now than I initially did. You know how it is when you love someone dearly and conveniently ignore the fact that they spawn broken dragons and have UI banned by the Geneva Conventions. I was smitten, and Skyrim could do no wrong. 

    I love Skyrim for what it is though, flaws and all. It's why I keep coming back! As time has gone on, I've become less gameplay focused, and more roleplay focused. For me, the ability to start the game as a blank slate is what gives it its replayability. There are a finite number of skills, spells, and weapons to be used together (though there are a lot), so the ability to create any character with a personality full of emotion and nuance is what gives Skyrim its long life span. Emotion is the key factor for me. At the end of the day, all I'm really doing is watching inherently meaningless pictures flash across a screen. So it helps to care about which pictures are flashing. I also try not to half-ass things, so there's that. 

    On my first playthrough, I remember being presented with an expansive and open world that provided me a number of options far larger than I care to calculate. So I did the totally rational thing and tried to complete everything.

    I became:

    Marcus Fenix
    Master of the sewer-dwellers that sometimes dress like Batman
    Leader of a college that I abandoned after that drama with giant blue-raspberry gumball
    Owner of Skyrim's largest kennel for over-sized dogs
    Couch-therapist for a corpse
    Second (third?) in command of a Nord-supremacist group
    Honorary savage 
    F*ck the Blades

    Though the one thing I remember more clearly than any other moment with my first character was when I was fighting Mercer for the Falmer eyes. I was nearing my 40th hour of wake time, most of which was spent playing Skyrim and I remember it was about 7am and I could see the sun coming through my special light-killing curtain (because having a bed beneath an eastern-facing window is bad news). What I remember so vividly is being just, miserable, and not just because of the sleep deprivation. I had been eating Hot Fries for roughly a half hour and was overcome with this awful realization when I saw that I had run out of water. Seeing as the parents were just getting ready for work and I wasn't particularly keen on informing them of my situation, I waited, and I suffered. It felt like hours passed as I tried to ignore the the fact that my mouth felt like it was filled with cayenne pepper and sand. I tell ya hwhat though, I've rarely questioned basic physiological needs since then. That water and sleep was gooooood.

    • 1458 posts
    November 16, 2015 11:12 PM EST

    I was so damn excited for Skyrim when it came out, and still haven't changed my opinions. At the time I was a wee little youngster, and didn't use the google to check up on any release information, I just figured since I spent at least 8 years playing Morrowind and Oblivion that I would love Skyrim, and I was right.

    I've never played anything that came out after Skyrim nearly as much, I've put more time in Oblivion, Neverwinter Nights, Morrowind, Age of Empires maybe (the series all up, definetly) but that was all pre-Skyrim (mostly). 

    I remember just about everything about my first playthrough. I'll admit it was the weirdest character (Battlemage/Shieldmage/Dual-Wielder/Archer/Smith/Enchanter/Mage) but it was still fun. What I remember best however sucks, I remember loving the Main Quest, fighting my way up to Alduin and then fighting the most disappointing  Boss ever. 

    • 24 posts
    November 17, 2015 4:41 PM EST

    Skyrim was probably the most hype I had ever been for a release of a video game, which is pretty amazing, considering I'd never even touched and barely heard about the Elder Scrolls before.  

    I've re-played Skyrim so many times that its crazy, the only other game that has even come close is Dark Souls, which I consider to be my favorite game despite coming back to Skyrim more often.  I've played as mages, thieves, warriors, rangers, nightblades, and spellswords in Skyrim.  Its the versatility of building your own class that makes Skyrim so great.  You just don't see that in many other games.

    Exploring the plains outside of Whiterun with the iconic Dragonborn armor and seeing the pre-historic-like Mammoths and Sabretooth cats.  Right up with that is my first encounter with the Falmer.  It was in some random cave close to Winterhold or Windhelm, I don't even remember. Scared the **** out of me.  Does anyone else think they look like those weird mutant people from the movie Pandorum?

    • 7 posts
    April 20, 2016 1:11 PM EDT

    I love this discussion!

    I purchased the game on day one for the xbox 360.  Until that day I had not played an RPG video game since King's Quest 6!  I was inspired to purchase the game after seeing Todd Howard's demo presentation at E3 and just remember being blown away the scale of the open world.

    Into the world of Skyrim...never to return
    The first time I played the game I had no idea what I was doing.  I left Helgen and headed straight for Riften.  I remember come down from the snowy mountain pass into the far western end of the rift and being overcome by how breathtaking everything was!  I put down my controller, stood up and clapped...all alone in my basement. I played the xbox version of the game until my disk began to fall apart and then purchased another copy.  It was also at that time that I felt compelled to start sharing my game play experiences with others and purchased and external recording box, officially launching my YouTube channel.

    You and no other
    I became hopelessly addicted to Skyrim and have played almost nothing else since.  The only game that has been able to pull me away has been the Mass Effect trilogy which I have played though twice. The real clincher for me was my move to PC.  With the move to PC I began extending my game experience with mods and before long I was making my own mods to support my increasingly involved stories.  The combination of the game setting, deep lore, mod library and creation kit has been the perfect storm of creative outlet and pure fun for me!  To be honest, it has taken the place of the Lego set I abused as a kid.

    What I remember most
    The absolute freedom to do what I want, play how I want, build what I want.  My first character was a Bosmer and the most distinct memory was wandering through the birch forests of the rift thinking about how much it felt like the real birch and aspen forests of the North Shore. The colors, the rattle of the leaves and lapping of the waves...pretty great stuff.

    Skyrim is so much more to me than a game.  It's a wondrous creative sandbox that mixes the art of role play with the tools to create.  

    Thanks for prompting this trip down memory lane!


    • 8 posts
    April 20, 2016 1:21 PM EDT

    My first thoughts were 'Wow! Fighting dragons!'

    Dragons have always had a fascination for me and the ability to fight and speak to them had always been something I've liked to do in games

    It's very rarely I replay a game, but Skyrim has been an exception. I've restarted it multiple times, just to try out different builds and races and to try out different mods. My favourites are Dunmer, Bosmer and Breton, but my very first character was a female Nord named Jora. Did the main quest with her and she 'retired' happy, this was before the DLCs came out and I never went back to her afterwards. Started a male Khajit after that, who married Ysolda.

    What I most remember in my first play was the open world after the Helgen cutscene, but later it was my first dragon fight, with Mirmulniir. At last, I could fight dragons and I was the Dragonborn!

    • 59 posts
    April 20, 2016 8:15 PM EDT
    • What were your first thoughts when the game was released?Have your opinions changed over time and how? My first opinion was that this is awesome and that the dark brotherhood was awesome. I also liked the thieves guild, but now I hate those quests.
    • Have you ever come back to a game as consistently as Skyrim?
      • What other games are they and what makes them worthwhile for you?
      • No, skyrim is the only one I have come back to more than once.
    • What do you remember most about your first playthrough?
    • Dark brotherhood Khajiit and sneak archery
  • April 21, 2016 2:35 AM EDT

    My first thoughts were "YES!! They've sorted out the cruddy levelling system that Morrowind and Oblivion had!!" I wanted to like those games but couldn't get past the levelling mechanic doing my head in.

    I'm a bit of a serial monogamist with games, and I still go back to some 90s faves like Diablo 2 and Baldur's Gate. I'm not impressed by pretty graphics - if gameplay is solid I will still be playing it 20 years later.

    My first playthrough? I'd only dabbled in ES before, and got annoyed. I had no idea of the concept of a Sandbox, or selectively picking content, and ran around doing what the NPCs told me to do, picking up every quest in every city and becoming leader of every faction. I was, innocently and without thought of powergaming, playing a duel wielding, smithing, enchanting swordswoman on Adept so I remember carving through everything like butter and thinking this is easier than my Nord mage in Oblivion.