Forums » Elder Scrolls

The Dumbing down of Magic in skyrim

    • 104 posts
    January 12, 2017 3:31 AM EST

    Greetings fellow Vault dwellers, as you know magic in Skyrim was dumbed down pretty badly by Bethesda, what would you like to see in the next instalment of the Elder Scrolls? for me a return to spell making would be great, as would the ability to trap souls from NPCs without using a special Gem, Conjuration could see a return of Skeletons, I happened to love the Skeleton Champion, let us know in the comments below what you think and your desires for next time.

    • 619 posts
    January 12, 2017 4:05 AM EST

    So what do you mean by dumbed down? Cause I at least see the way they've implemented it into combat as being an improvement over what it was in Oblivion. It's much nicer to play a mage in Skyrim then it was in Oblivion. And what do you mean by using a special gem to capture the souls of NPCs, black soul gems were around in Oblivion so it's not like that was a change made in Skyrim. And there are Skeletons summons... sort of, in the Dawnguard DLC. From a lore perspective it makes sense that we no longer have access to some spells, the skeletons for instance; during the time of Oblivion the Arcane University was cracking down on necromancy and as part of that questline you kill Mannimarco, so it's only natural that knowledge of those spells would dwindle.

    • 140 posts
    January 12, 2017 5:55 AM EST

    I actually found playing a Mage in Oblivion to be a lot more enjoyable than in Skyrim, but that might just be me.

    Anyway, I'd really like to see some form of Teleportation magic again, and possibly Levitation. As is, the closest you can get is fast travel and the TCL command, neither of which are perfect substitutes. I'd also like to see some form of spell-making return, and prehaps a few more summons, as well (Things like Scamps, Clannfears, etc.).

    • 619 posts
    January 12, 2017 5:59 AM EST

    Yeah more summons of the Daedra variety would be nice. Although I can understand why there are fewer in Skyrim, since the people of Tamriel would have looked upon the fairly negatively following the Oblivion Crisis. But seriously it's been over 200 years so surely some of those spells would still be around.

    • 773 posts
    January 12, 2017 6:03 AM EST

    I don't really see magic in Skyrim as being 'dumbed down'. 

    Levitation brings problems in that you'd need to have 'open cities' - otherwise you'd levitate over a city wall into a totally empty space. And I don't really think there's a problem with having the Black Soul Gem as the special soul gem for humnaoids and elves. I think making that rare, and bound to quest, makes it more special and unique.

    I do agree with you about spellmaking, so long as they can find a way to make it so that it can't be so easily exploited as it was in Oblivion. I guess they's argue that by including the possibility to make staves and spells at the forge in The Midden. I wish they'd done more with that mechanic!

    I suppose the other way you could argue that it was dumbed down would be the removal of the Mysticism school - but was it really? Once I got playing it never really seemed like something I missed...

    • 619 posts
    January 12, 2017 6:11 AM EST

    Something I want in the next game is for Magic to come with a cost. I shouldn't be able to shoot flames from my hands and then within seconds have my method of payment refilled as though I didn't do anything.

    • 294 posts
    January 12, 2017 6:18 AM EST

    Golden Fool said:

    Something I want in the next game is for Magic to come with a cost. I shouldn't be able to shoot flames from my hands and then within seconds have my method of payment refilled as though I didn't do anything.

    Or we can haves that now. :D

    • 619 posts
    January 12, 2017 6:20 AM EST

    Lissette Long-Chapper said:

    Or we can haves that now. :D

    Well yes we can, but should we grace everyone else with that ability? :P

    • 294 posts
    January 12, 2017 6:21 AM EST

    Golden Fool said:

    Lissette Long-Chapper said:

    Or we can haves that now. :D

    Well yes we can, but should we grace everyone else with that ability? :P

    Plenty of time, my sweet, plenty of time... 

    • 1435 posts
    January 12, 2017 7:12 AM EST

    Damn, my comment didn't seem to go through.

    I think what happened with Skyrim is a re-focusing of Magic. If you remember, the spell systems in Oblivion and Morrowind were kind of clunky, and once you got Spellmaking you were basically overpowered as shit from minute one. What Skyrim focuses on, is your spells being upgradeable rather than needing more spells. I mean, Flames can get up to 30* points of damage fairly easily (not including Taper Damage or Necromage), and that kind of thing was impossible in Morrowind and Oblivion, you just made a new spell every 5 levels or whatever and were good to go again.

    What Skyrim could use, is more spell effects to broaden what a mage can do. In Skyrim you just don't have many options compared to what you could do with spells like Burden, Unlocking, Charmeleon (OP but still nice to have), Weakness to _____, Absorbing Spells, Fortifying Spells, etc. It was just a much broader, more interesting selection.

    • 104 posts
    January 12, 2017 7:36 AM EST

    Golden Fool said:

    So what do you mean by dumbed down? Cause I at least see the way they've implemented it into combat as being an improvement over what it was in Oblivion. It's much nicer to play a mage in Skyrim then it was in Oblivion. And what do you mean by using a special gem to capture the souls of NPCs, black soul gems were around in Oblivion so it's not like that was a change made in Skyrim. And there are Skeletons summons... sort of, in the Dawnguard DLC. From a lore perspective it makes sense that we no longer have access to some spells, the skeletons for instance; during the time of Oblivion the Arcane University was cracking down on necromancy and as part of that questline you kill Mannimarco, so it's only natural that knowledge of those spells would dwindle.

    There are no skeleton champions mate, that's what I miss,  magic was dumbed down because you cannot make your own spells, destruction still doesn't scale with skill and it should, you didn't need a black gem to capture human souls, Skyrim was made after the dissolution of the Mages Guild and the ban on necromancy was never implemented, at the College of Winterhold, it was much nicer to play a Mage in Skyrim? not with the expectations I had for ES5 Skyrim.

    • 104 posts
    January 12, 2017 7:44 AM EST

    Paul said:

    I don't really see magic in Skyrim as being 'dumbed down'. 

    Levitation brings problems in that you'd need to have 'open cities' - otherwise you'd levitate over a city wall into a totally empty space. And I don't really think there's a problem with having the Black Soul Gem as the special soul gem for humanoids and elves. I think making that rare, and bound to quest, makes it more special and unique.

    I do agree with you about spell making, so long as they can find a way to make it so that it can't be so easily exploited as it was in Oblivion. I guess they's argue that by including the possibility to make staves and spells at the forge in The Midden. I wish they'd done more with that mechanic!

    I suppose the other way you could argue that it was dumbed down would be the removal of the Mysticism school - but was it really? Once I got playing it never really seemed like something I missed...

    Hello Paul, I am speaking from a personal perspective, I loved making Spells, exploitive or not depending on the difficulty that I play on, The only two schools of Magic on the highest difficulty that were of use were Illusion and Conjuration, I missed the effect of my own spells on various creatures and folk, it's all down to personal preference really, now as far as Black gems are concerned if they want to make them a "Unique" then lets have a quest or something arduous to get them this is the kind of thing when I say Dumbed down. 

    • 104 posts
    January 12, 2017 7:46 AM EST

    Dragonborn1721 said:

    Damn, my comment didn't seem to go through.

    I think what happened with Skyrim is a re-focusing of Magic. If you remember, the spell systems in Oblivion and Morrowind were kind of clunky, and once you got Spellmaking you were basically overpowered as shit from minute one. What Skyrim focuses on, is your spells being upgradeable rather than needing more spells. I mean, Flames can get up to 30* points of damage fairly easily (not including Taper Damage or Necromage), and that kind of thing was impossible in Morrowind and Oblivion, you just made a new spell every 5 levels or whatever and were good to go again.

    What Skyrim could use, is more spell effects to broaden what a mage can do. In Skyrim you just don't have many options compared to what you could do with spells like Burden, Unlocking, Charmeleon (OP but still nice to have), Weakness to _____, Absorbing Spells, Fortifying Spells, etc. It was just a much broader, more interesting selection.

    DB you have hit the nail smack on the head mate this is what I mean we are not dumb we can figure spells out for ourselves, no burden lock/unlock nothing,

    • 583 posts
    January 12, 2017 9:02 AM EST
    I think I'd like some more variety in magic, stuff to do outside of combat. Unlocking stuff, using spells to get better prices or general Speech stuff, enhancing speed or strength etc. I feel like mages are way to focussed on combat, making it hard to play magical professions that's wouldn't be slinging Fireballs everywhere, like scholars for example.
    • 457 posts
    January 12, 2017 9:18 AM EST

    I actually really enjoy the way magic works in Skyrim. Sure, the spell-chains and custom spells in Oblivion were fun to toy around with a bit, but they were also a bit intimidating to the uninitiated (me), and I ultimately played very few mage builds simply because it seemed like there was just too much going on. And then there was my spell list... oye!

    I remember being surprised (and admittedly) a bit disappointed when I first started using magic in Skyrim, but I quickly found that I prefered the way it works to that of Oblivion. Maybe I like magic in Skyrim for the same reason I like the Event Builds... it's kind of fun to have parameters within which you have to work. Would I like to have some of the options from Oblivion? Sure, I'd love to be able to cast a 'Silence' spell again; however, I'm willing to take the occassional hit in return for a more streamlined system of magic--which is what we got with Skyrim ;D

    • 5 posts
    January 12, 2017 10:57 AM EST

    Well in my humble opinion what I think dumb the most magic in Skyrim is the College questline... It doesn't have the feel of the previous mageguild questlines of Morrowind and Oblivion that were tied to different location that gave a sense of scale, also there is a sheer lack of progression, one day you have your first lesson with tolfdir, the next you are archmage after runing a few errand ? I really miss these faction ranks...

    On the front of the few spells that disapeared form previous games the ones I miss the most are the practicle spell like unlock, levitation to a certain extend and mystism as a whole. Also the enchanting merchant from Morrowind where you can just craft your own stuff with just the power of money !

     

    • 773 posts
    January 12, 2017 11:12 AM EST

    Bonelord said:

    Paul said:

    I don't really see magic in Skyrim as being 'dumbed down'. 

    Levitation brings problems in that you'd need to have 'open cities' - otherwise you'd levitate over a city wall into a totally empty space. And I don't really think there's a problem with having the Black Soul Gem as the special soul gem for humanoids and elves. I think making that rare, and bound to quest, makes it more special and unique.

    I do agree with you about spell making, so long as they can find a way to make it so that it can't be so easily exploited as it was in Oblivion. I guess they's argue that by including the possibility to make staves and spells at the forge in The Midden. I wish they'd done more with that mechanic!

    I suppose the other way you could argue that it was dumbed down would be the removal of the Mysticism school - but was it really? Once I got playing it never really seemed like something I missed...

    Hello Paul, I am speaking from a personal perspective, I loved making Spells, exploitive or not depending on the difficulty that I play on, The only two schools of Magic on the highest difficulty that were of use were Illusion and Conjuration, I missed the effect of my own spells on various creatures and folk, it's all down to personal preference really, now as far as Black gems are concerned if they want to make them a "Unique" then lets have a quest or something arduous to get them this is the kind of thing when I say Dumbed down. 

    I agree it would definitely preferable to make black soul gems very rare, and hard to get. Having the unbreakable one via the Azura quest means essentially that you only need the one (albeit it does have a quest)

    • 6 posts
    January 12, 2017 11:13 AM EST

    I think magic game mechanic is implemented very effectively in Skyrim, however I feel the spells themselves need some work. I mean, there's an entire plain of existence devoted to magic and all we can do is throw around some flames, lighting and the occasional ice spike? I'd prefer to see alot more miscellaneous spells, such as waterwalking, or taking less fall damage. I also think illusion was a missed opportunity in skyrim. How about a spell that allows you to see through an enemy's eyes for a few seconds to get a better view of your surroundings, or the ability to make people see things that aren't there. This could also open the door to npc's finally using illusion as well. Imagine a dragon swooping down from the heavens, and when you finally kill it it was never there in the first place, to be replaced with a skilled illusion mage! You could also use illusion to buff allies as well. I know this was technically a skill in skyrim but one spell that had beraly any effect doesn't really count. You could be able to use illusion to make enemies fight for you rather than just attack anything, or use it to make an alerted enemy ignore you, which would be great for thief builds.

    another soreley missed opportunity was enchanting. I'd like the ability to create weapons with a similar effect to the bloodskal blade, that would project energy with power attacks, or how about wrhammers that could cause enemies to stagger when you power attacked the ground with it? basically, Skyrim magic didn't make me feel badass enough, I want to be badass!

    Alteration is probably the one I was most dissapointed by. I loved the idea of manipulating the earth, but it wasn't so much earth altering as 'the only spells you can't use on an enemy.' water breathing? Why can't I just part the river and walk through? flash spells? why not command the earth to come up and protect me for a short time? Paralysis? but It's way more fun to command the rocks to encase the enemy in stone for a time! But it's not just offense and defense alteration can be used for! out of ingredients? why not grow them back? can't cross that river? summon a bridge for a limited time to cross over! The possibilities are literally endless, and whilst I understand this would make alteration so op it would hurt, It would still make magic more versatile.

    that was really long, sorry

    • 773 posts
    January 12, 2017 11:15 AM EST

    JustRed said:

    Well in my humble opinion what I think dumb the most magic in Skyrim is the College questline... It doesn't have the feel of the previous mageguild questlines of Morrowind and Oblivion that were tied to different location that gave a sense of scale, also there is a sheer lack of progression, one day you have your first lesson with tolfdir, the next you are archmage after runing a few errand ? I really miss these faction ranks...

    No argument there, mate

    I was stoked when I heard there was to be a magic college in Skyrim - but what a disappointment when first arriving. It doesn't feel very magical at all, and you can just waltz in and become the new Archmage far FAR to easily. There should been a much longer questline to get to that point, plus requirements in the various magic schools.

    • 773 posts
    January 12, 2017 11:18 AM EST

    Ronny Philange said:

    I also think illusion was a missed opportunity in skyrim. How about a spell that allows you to see through an enemy's eyes for a few seconds to get a better view of your surroundings,

    Who wouldn't love the option of roleplaying Bran Stark?

    Cool idea

    • 77 posts
    January 12, 2017 11:24 AM EST

    I never played Oblivion or Morrowind so I have no idea how those magic systems worked, spell crafting sounds amazing but from the above comments it seems that it wasn't balanced very well.  As far as my experiance goes Skyrim has the best magic system i've ever played in a video game i just wish there was more of it.  So instead i'll talk a bit about what i would like to see in TES 6. 

    This could turn into a really long discussion for me since magic is one of my favorite things in Skyrim.  So quickly.

    Spell power scales with skill level, i.e. Fire ball does more damage if you have 100 Dest vs 50 Dest, Stone flesh protects more/lasts longer if you have 100 Alt vs 50 Alt etc.

    Greater range of spell effects.  I.e. Dest is basically throwing different colored lights at the enemy wouldn't it be cool if you could conjure a lightning whip that you could swing around, or sheath your fists in spikey ice boxing gloves, or send homing flame snakes that meander after enemies turning corners and flushing them from cover, etc. 

    Adding other elements to the magic school like air and earth.

    More utility spells/make the ones we have actually useful.  Clairvoyance is pointless when you have a HUD like Skyrim's, the light spells aren't really needed since Nords believe in lining all of their tombs with candles and torches.  The other probelm is lack of variety, it would be great to unlock things with a spell, or magically lock them preventing enemies from following you.  Or a spell that lets you walk through walls or fly.  Spells that increase your speed or your strength.  And morphing spells like turning into a rat or bird to avoid detection instead of just invisibility.  I understand that some of these aren't teneble given the restrictions of the game engine and some would break continuity of missions but it doesnt' mean i cant wish for them.

    Also wouldn't it be great if a spell like Stone flesh didn't need to be recast every minute but instead just lowered your total magicka by like 10% but stayed active continuously until you decide to deactivate it?

    Finally I want my spells to be flashier too.  I want more giant tornadoes of fire and have stone flesh actually sheath you in slabs of rock.  I want my spells to be more than just a flash of colored light.

    • 6 posts
    January 12, 2017 11:25 AM EST

    Paul said:

    Who wouldn't love the option of roleplaying Bran Stark?

    Cool idea

    Haha! Thanks

    • 743 posts
    January 12, 2017 11:25 AM EST

    As a nonmagic user, I can still notice quite a difference in the magic mechanics. I played a bit of Oblivion and remembered how cool spell making and Mysticism was. Fast forward to Skyrim and the most you can do is cast pre-made spells. No creativity at all. However, as DB pointed out, the classics were pretty overpowered if you power leveled Spellmaking. Hopefully, TES6 has a new mechanic that balances the two sides. I think that would be awesome for people like me who aren't that interested in magic. 

    • 2 posts
    January 12, 2017 11:41 AM EST

    I didn't like the magic mechanism in Oblivion very much. Only one button to shoot a weak looking magic bolt of any kind is not my idea of being a powerful mage. Looking at that, Skyrim has improved a lot. However, the lack of creating your own spells and touch magic makes me a sad panda. For the next Elder Scrolls I would really like to see a touch spell that can be used in sneak and has a special move. Like grabbing someone's face with both hands and see his head turn red by all the fire that is blasted directly through him, while fire is coming out of his mouth and eyes before his limbless body drops to the ground. 


    This post was edited by Verke00 at January 12, 2017 11:42 AM EST
    • 19 posts
    January 12, 2017 3:19 PM EST

    I think spells with a wider variety of effects and not only the basical frost/lightning/fire damage but something like telekinetic, short range teleportation, slow time,... spells that could be used for multiple usage like teleporting yourself or an ennemi (in a situation happening in an area surrounded with void, it could be fun). Also spells that could be used in combination with others or with certain moves to create more lethal effects.

     

    It could be great to create a patch of ice and see a bunch of dwemer spiders struggling on it :D. 

     

    The down side is that to much choice could easily be overwhelming and disgust the player (not all players, I found myself easily lost in this case).

    Also I think it would be more interesting if the spell, say firebolt (destruction), sees its amount of damage increased the more experienced the character is in the school of destruction, other than learning another more powerfull spell which basicaly do the same effect. Like a kind of spell evolution. 


    This post was edited by Molicha at January 12, 2017 3:21 PM EST