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Rewriting Skyrim's Main Quest: Part 2, Joining the War

  • November 17, 2017 5:35 AM EST

    Joining the War

    Check out Part 1, Rewriting Helgen before continuing your read.

    Right out of the gate, I come to a bit of a problem. Let's assume that the end of Helgen ends in one of the following ways.

    • PC follows Ulfric out of Helgen
    • PC follows Rikke out of Helgen
    • PC follows Elenwen out of Helgen

    Now these will lead you on three different stories, but before actually getting to those, I need to decide whether the PC can betray the faction they started with and leave (joining another faction) or if the first decision made off of 0 knowledge is the final one that the player can make. I'm a big fan of choices having meaning, however, I can acknowledge that a choice made without knowledge can barely be called a choice, and that it may benefit the story if you can leave the initial faction. I think that it will be a feature but only early on, maybe you have a few mini-quests that you can do that expose various aspects of each faction to you, and you can then choose whether to stick with your faction or defect and join an opposing one. Actually, that does open up the game for changes as well. If you join the Legion and stick with them, you'll face a fair amount of pressure from opposing factions (mostly the Stormcloaks) but if you joined the Legion after betraying the Stormcloaks, they'd be hounding you with more Assassins, trying to discredit you more openly and just generally being more of a nuisance then they would be if you'd barely met Ulfric. You might also be wondering at the inclusion of the Thalmor as a faction, and simply put, they function as a force that continues the Civil War, while still generally supporting the Legion. They will make use of sabotage, stealth and disguises more than the other two factions, and are essentially the most stealthy of the three factions (they are also open to all Races, though you'll have a much easier time as an Altmer).

    So let's assume now, that you've stuck with your faction, ah...the Legion, yeah we'll start off with them. Oh right, ahhh, the three different stories/factions are going to be, well different rather than just directly following the same path like the Civil War in Skyrim.

    The Legion

    So, here I really want to focus on the fact that The Legion is arguably the stronger side when it comes to group-fighting. They are...well a Legion, fighting together and conquering enemies using their superior weaponry, armour and tactics. General Tullius is a truly successful man who has risen to his station through victory and ability rather than wealth or station. This is not an army that would normally be losing to a relatively small group of rebels if it weren't for the following facts.

    1. The Legion has a much more limited supply of troops and has a much harder time getting equipment because they're essentially blocked off from Cyrodiil. General Tullius mentions in-game at some point that they can't get reinforcements, which in my eyes means that they're in an unfriendly, if not hostile environment with a limited army. (Note: This is compared to their usual preference, not the Stormcloaks. They still outnumber their opposition)

    2. The Legion has to deal with rebellion to a much larger degree than the Stormcloaks, and has more deserters who abandoned them for the opposing army. Nearly all of their units have been damaged to varying degrees which causes a few problems. Namely that it reduces the ability of a group-oriented fighting force, and also that it's allowed a lot more information on Legion tactics and key locations, etc. to fall into Stormcloak hands. Their enemies simply have information on them, that the Legion has a lot more trouble receiving.

    3. Ulfric. Despite what you may think of the man, he is one of the only people currently alive that has any control over The Voice. He is capable of using Shouts and this is a deadly force that is far greater than any magic (in this world). He is literally using the magic that allowed Dragons to conquer man, in order to fight a mortal army and any fight he's involved with is almost impossible to win via direct methods. Sure he can be assassinated (which is rather difficult because he's a skilled leader, skilled fighter and has loyal and skilled men beside him) but in a direct fight it's very difficult for even groups of Legionnaires to defeat him. That's not even getting into the fact that he was at some point trained by the Legion, fought for them and has a grasp on Legion tactics, training, methodology, etc. Just about everything other than the Shouting applies to Galmar as well.

    The Legion definitely has some benefits that match or outweigh that of the Stormcloaks, primarily in the fact that they're more organized and structured but there are very legitimate reasons why they haven't crushed the Stormcloaks. The reason that I've detailed all of this, is because it shows off how the Legion will fight, and what types of fights that they'll win. Any fight that involves them being able to make a direct, firm stand against the Stormcloaks will likely result in their win, and any fight that comes down to defending a fort, fighting off a less organized force or nearly any fight that involves them having a fortified location will result in a Legion win.

    Because of this, the early Legion quests will involve going to each of the Holds under their control other than Solitude and in some way reinforcing a part of their defenses with the limited supplies that the Empire can give away. It can be something like sending more troops to Falkreath, or building up a fort to have proper gates and filling in the various holes, back entrances, and broken walls, or it might be convincing a town to move to a larger city or fort where they'll be safer and be able to reinforce that region. Essentially, these will all amount to the same thing (you can't sabotage anything, nor are any choices bad decisions) but it can change which Holds are easier to take later on. If you focus too much on Markarth, it might be nearly impossible to take but Falkreath will be easier in return, and similar situations. It's mostly based around the idea, that the stronger the cities are, the stronger the Empire is, and the easier it is for them to push back. Afterall, if the enemy just can't take Falkreath, it makes it easier for the Legion to take troops away from it and focus them in other locations.

    Side Note 1: All the cities are going to be actually difficult to imagine falling. Falkreath in-game is such a pitiful city that you can't imagine anything other than a horde of Stormcloaks taking it over, and they barely have walls to protect themselves. In-game, nothing is going to match Windhelm, Solitude or Markarth but your still going to have cities that can withstand Siege Fire.

    Side Note 2: Also, magic will play a significant part in city defenses, especially older ones. It's not going to be direct magic but old runes placed that protect the city from attacks (at least Siege Attacks). It just kinda makes sense and fits with a lot of the Old Norse magic that you see around Skyrim anyway. It's nothing insane, though I might make references to the old defenses of Winterhold (which are leagues better than any other city). A few of the newer cities might cities might not have Runes but I'm not sure...it'd probably just be Falkreath and Dawnstar but I have no real idea on how old those two are when compared to the others.

    It's not complicated stuff early on, but it's still important and logical when you consider the fact that they're not going to entrust anything more complicated than filling out orders to a new recruit. From a game-creation standpoint, it's also going to act as a way to introduce the Hold, side characters that will be important (Jarls, some important townspeople, merchants and maybe a few mercenaries or something similar). Essentially, the idea of the first arc of the Legion Questline, will be focused almost entirely on defending their half of Skyrim, they can afford it and it plays to their strengths. 

    The Stormcloaks

    So I think I covered the general strengths of the Stormcloaks and their fighting style in the Legion section, so I won't go into that much detail. Basically the Stormcloaks have a lot of knowledge about how the Legion operates, but they aren't really as focused a fighting force. Individually they have a lot of strong fighters who are more used to fighting alone, but they don't all have the same training as the Legion and tend to fight in a more solitary form of fighting. They are generally better at attacking forces and fighting in the open rather than defending forts, so that's where their focus tends to stay.

    Now I do want to focus a little bit on the fact that I've mentioned Ulfric as a real war changer in the previous section. I believe that if he was used properly, or even in-game you can just see how much his Shouts can decimate foes, and in my version, well Shouts are going to be a little more powerful against normal opponents, to the point where someone who has spent a lot of time focusing on just a few Shouts rather than spreading his focus across all of them, will be able to do a lot of damage with them. This is part of what makes Ulfric deadly, he is of course a skilled fighter, charismatic leader and an intelligent General, but for the most part he can use a type of magic that is incredibly deadly. He won't lead every battle, but he will be a genuine threat and alone will balance things. Without him, I daresay that the Legion could demolish the Stormcloaks because he will be that much of a threat.

    Because of this, the general strategy of the Stormcloaks is going to be "Hit Hard, Hit Fast" so it's a much more combat heavy start. You'll be thrown directly into the thick of battle as a grunt and will be trying to take enemy forts. You won't really have as much freedom to travel because of this, but it'll also show off another key feature that I'll focus on. This will be, in a word...Losing. For me, the ultimate problem with Skyrim is that losing really just means loading an older save. You can't really lose a battle or fail that many quests without trying to, and that will change here. You will lose some of the early fights with the Stormcloaks (and later ones, but they aren't important right now) and that will have effects on the overall story. Some are unavoidable, but others might be influenced by your character's abilities. If you're a Scout, or Thieving oriented character, you can apply for that field and sneak into Forts and steal from couriers to give the Stormcloaks a bit more of an edge in the fight, or, if you're a Warrior, just smash things really well and you might turn the tide. But a falter in the former can cause a loss and anything less than an extraordinary effort in combat can cause you to lose a battle.

    I don't know if there's anything else to really cover here. The main focus will be on combat, and offense but there will be plenty of paths for different character styles.

    The Thalmor

    Hah, the real fun stuff...to leave for Part 3 of this little journey. Sorry for the cliff-hanger, but I'm already approaching 2000 words and don't want to hit 3000 with this single post. Before I finish, do note that I consider myself a shitty writer, which is why I'm not writing a story here, so if I made any grammar/spelling mistakes or you think something is flawed, feel free to point it out. I'm also not military trained, and while I have a fair bit of knowledge in regards to History and Lore, I tend to focus more on Religion and Politics rather than War and Military so my knowledge of military tactics is minimal.

    What I've Changed:

    There aren't many major changes to the actual progression of the story...Really you could argue that this post was more, world-building than anything else.
    1 - The introduction of Ulfric Stormcloak as a total badass
    2- The Legion and Stormcloaks will fight differently, which can be seen really early one.
    3- Your character is a proper grunt, and not a weird, instant-leader thing.

    Part 1 - Helgen

    Part 2.5 - The Thalmor


    This post was edited by Mega-Dragonborn-of-Doom (1921) at November 19, 2017 4:03 AM EST
  • November 17, 2017 5:38 AM EST

    URGGGGGGGGGGGH, shit that's massive isn't it? I think it's like, 3 times the size of Helgen and it's probably not going to improve. I don't really want to split the two parts here because they kind of belong together and work like that, but uhh, I guess it just shows that the guys who dropped by for the first part really helped me develop my thoughts a little bit. I'll probably release The Thalmor in 3 days, just to give a bit of time between each of them, but it should match Helgen rather than Joining the War in length.

    Yet again, let me know what you think. If you've got any ideas at all, feel free to drop them in because of a chat with Vargr, Flamez and Zonnonn really helped me develop some of my ideas going forward with Part 1. 

    EDIT: HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. YES, I TOTALLY FORGOT THAT BULLET POINTS WORKED HERE, AND IT'S JUST GOTTEN ME SO EMOTIONAL THAT I MIGHT CRY A LITTLE :D 


    This post was edited by Mega-Dragonborn-of-Doom (1921) at November 17, 2017 5:39 AM EST
    • 73 posts
    November 17, 2017 9:26 AM EST

    Great post DB, I'm really enjoying reimagining the game, and what it could have been.  I think giving the PC the chance to abondon/rebel/defect to the other side at some point (or a few points) during the war would be a great idea, but that there should be a "point of no return" for each faction though this point could be different for each one, like the Thalmor might send you to do some shady stuff from the start and if you hint at your reservations they might black mail your character using those very same shady missions that you questioned. 

    There could be a fourth optoin as well instead of Legion or Stormcloak you could try to balance the line between the two.  I imagine a scout for the Legion in Stormcloak territory would hear alot of Stormcloak propaganda and maybe it starts to resonate with them making them question the "rightness" of the Empire.  Maybe this scout aligns themselves with the Stormcloaks and starts to be a double agent.  They continue the Legion questline but alongside it they are reporting to the Stormcloaks.  I think this would be a fun way to play the civil war, sort of stradling the fence.  Of course at some point the PC will be forced to decide which side he is on, this will probably be an ultimatum of some sort.  Like the Legion discovers his duplicity and decides to make a proposal, assassinate Ulfric, they send the scout out to do this at this point you have to choose do you go through with it siding fully with the legion or do you refuse meaning you cannot return to legion territory since your now a known spy for the Stormcloaks.  The assassination could be an optional ending to the civil war or it could just be a scripted event meant to shift gears from civil war to DRAGONS!

    Anyway, I'm really enjoying this and look forward to seeing your thoughts on the Thalmor faction and how the would play.

    • 68 posts
    November 17, 2017 11:34 AM EST
    I’m enjoying this. The only thing I didn’t see considered (though it may have been and was discarded) was that the Legion would arguably have more access to magic and mages, something the Stormcloaks would have little defense against aside from archery and tactics. Their Mages would be stretched even more thinly to have to compensate.
  • November 17, 2017 4:50 PM EST

    I’m enjoying this. The only thing I didn’t see considered (though it may have been and was discarded) was that the Legion would arguably have more access to magic and mages, something the Stormcloaks would have little defense against aside from archery and tactics. Their Mages would be stretched even more thinly to have to compensate

    Shit, I knew that there was something I forgot to mention. Your right, the Imperial Battlemages do make a rather significant difference and you could say that together, they're the Empire's Ulfric (at least in terms of power). But yeah, there wouldn't be any more than 50 of them in Skyrim to be honest, the issue is that the Legion just wouldn't send many pure mages, or even that many Battlemages to a country that is fairly suspicious of magic at the very least. They probably sent some, mostly to stay around Solitude, but not enough that they can appear in every battle. 

    I think the main point would be for them to create a similar sort of situation to the College of Winterhold (though I have no idea how to handle guild quests at the moment since you can't access them all) where they can train you in basic magic early on. But yes, thanks for bringing it up Mercurias, the Imperial Legon does have access to a better magical force, and probably better healers because of that, and there are a tonne of benefits that brings. I'll try and either fit it in to this post or the one after the Thalmor.

    • 155 posts
    November 17, 2017 5:10 PM EST

    Personally I really like the irony that comes with Alduin saving you despite him going there to kill you in the first place but this is a good idea as well. I also don't think this would go well with the Elder Scrolls games either, since each game is focused on a "world ending event" and the Civil War will never suit that definition no matter how much it's changed.


    This post was edited by Ebonslayer at November 17, 2017 5:12 PM EST
  • November 17, 2017 6:30 PM EST

    Personally I really like the irony that comes with Alduin saving you despite him going there to kill you in the first place but this is a good idea as well. I also don't think this would go well with the Elder Scrolls games either, since each game is focused on a "world ending event" and the Civil War will never suit that definition no matter how much it's changed.

    No comment :P I mean, you could use a less literal translation, and it is a world-ending event in the whole 'World as We Know It' sorta way but that's a pretty loose way to look at it. I don't want to go into too much detail on this because it focuses on some stuff I haven't even begun to really work on, but there is a plan to still fit that approach in. There's just more of a focus on the Civil War.

    Also, it wouldn't really be that terrible if the ES formula changed a little and brought something new to the table, and I'd hardly complain if TES: 6 involved 0 end of the world plots. 

    • 68 posts
    November 17, 2017 10:06 PM EST
    Nah. Elder Scrolls games like to only expand the hero’s importance. You go from saving an Emperor to a Dragon Break, a God-Machine that destroyed a civilization, A Daedra Lord, and then the God-Dragon that devours all of creation. Here I am in the meanwhile wanting a steampunk Elder Scrolls where people are beginning to duplicate dwemer technology and you become a living tonal resonator as the “Special Snowflake” aspect.
  • November 17, 2017 10:13 PM EST

    We're probably going to get some sort of Thalmor based plot, maybe Super-Mecha-Thalmorman is going to be the main enemy or something along those lines. But yeah, there is almost a constant need to build and build upon making the player even more of a Hero, they kind of curbed it with Oblivion (where Martin's really the Hero) but only barely and then with Skyrim it came back full force where your basically a God-Killer and might as well just become a God afterwards.

    • 503 posts
    November 18, 2017 5:13 AM EST

    Yet another great post Deebs, lots of interesting stuff here!

    I know you said you'd do the Thalmor as a different thread, but imma just quickly say that I agree with where Vargr is going with them (if I'm understanding it right of course). While the Legion and the Stormcloaks have a need for front line fighters, and wouldn't trust covert operations to newbies until theyve porven their worth, I think the Thalmor would operate in reverse. Their fighting style is so different to the two sides, and relies a lot more on magical aptitude than just being able to swing a sword (which is seen by the Imperials heavy use of mercenaries and the Stormcloak's general Nordiness) that they wouldn't really need just another bloke on their front line, but instead would test their mettle with some gut wrenching tasks to see if and where they belong. Especially if the character isn't an Altmer, they might need proof that you actually ally with them and aren't a double agent, so torching houses and destroying Talos shrines would all be stuff they'd force the character to do. You know, stuff that's morally dubious but can't be traced back to them in case the character decides enough is enough and pegs it.

    The distinction between the Legion and the Cloaks really appeals to me, especially from a leader standpoint. Ulfric is the ultimate badass and fighting force while not being a tactical genius, while Tullius is just a smart guy who climbed the ranks - he might be marginally better than the standard Legionarry, but it's his tactical contribution that makes him interesting. It builds the two characters into something interesting, personal, compared to the relatively blank slates you get in Vanilla.

    Building up forts and cities, and having to make decisions as to which ones are worth building, is a really cool feature and I reckon could add some much needed moral dilemmas to Skyrim. Ie Markarth is a valuable silver mine, but perhaps its citizens are more open than most about their distaste for the Empire and could be the source or civil unrest at the price of money, while Falkreath could follow the Legion with their heart and soul but their position isn't vital, so neither are they. People vs profit, the classic war time dilemma, and it'd be an interesting decision for the character to make. Or not. Realistically its Tullius or Ulfric who decides who lives and who dies, and the character being exposed to their leader's real point of view might just sway them to the other side (I imagine Tulius would be profit and Ulfric would be people btw).

    Losing is probably my favourite of your ideas so far (and that's quite an achievement, I'm liking everything you're writing!), so simple and yet so overlooked in games in general, let alone Skyrim. It opens up so many gameplay opportunities, ie having to run for your life, hiding in villages to escape capture (and stuff like your relationship with the place, and theirs with your faction, could influence the result), even being captured and having to escape - ie breaking out of prison in Vanilla, it'd be so cool that you'd almost want to lose just to experience it. And of course the RP is brilliant. A nieve youth who thought the Legion was unstoppable gets defeated in their first scrap - are their dreams shattered or do they become even more resolute with their allegiance? Awesome stuff.

    Regarding your third point about being a grunt, how do you feel about a World War-esque promotion system? Ie theirs so many casualties that the miitary has to promote you to replace the fallen. It'd reinforce the idea that the Civil War is brutal and not just a series of little scraps, it could be used as a way to fast-track the character for the less RP inclined players (so you could turn it down and stretch being a grunt out for longer, or get the promotion and carry on the story).

  • November 18, 2017 5:33 AM EST

    Hoh, I'm going to break this into two parts (or two comments really) Zonn, because there's a lot to talk about :D

    I know you said you'd do the Thalmor as a different thread, but imma just quickly say that I agree with where Vargr is going with them (if I'm understanding it right of course). While the Legion and the Stormcloaks have a need for front line fighters, and wouldn't trust covert operations to newbies until theyve porven their worth, I think the Thalmor would operate in reverse. Their fighting style is so different to the two sides, and relies a lot more on magical aptitude than just being able to swing a sword (which is seen by the Imperials heavy use of mercenaries and the Stormcloak's general Nordiness) that they wouldn't really need just another bloke on their front line, but instead would test their mettle with some gut wrenching tasks to see if and where they belong. Especially if the character isn't an Altmer, they might need proof that you actually ally with them and aren't a double agent, so torching houses and destroying Talos shrines would all be stuff they'd force the character to do. You know, stuff that's morally dubious but can't be traced back to them in case the character decides enough is enough and pegs it.

    That is essentially going to be the difference between the three sides. The Stormcloaks are probably the most similar to the in-game Civil War (going around, sacking forts and cities and just fighting everyone on the other side), the Legion allows you to take a bit of a slower, methodical, defensive approach to the Civil War while the Thalmor are...actually I kind of imagine it as a similar system to the older Assassin's Creed games. You spend a lot of time gathering information, assassinating people, bribing officials, raising small rebellions on each side of the line and the whole organization is essentially built around Stealth and Guile. I haven't quite figured out how, or if, there would be any real need for them to have warriors, a Mage definitely but just a sword-swinging brute? At best, you'd still require a bit of skill in stealing documents and smuggling information, while going undercover for either the Legion or the Cloaks, but it'd definitely be more based on that sort of... shady underbelly of the war so to say.

    The distinction between the Legion and the Cloaks really appeals to me, especially from a leader standpoint. Ulfric is the ultimate badass and fighting force while not being a tactical genius, while Tullius is just a smart guy who climbed the ranks - he might be marginally better than the standard Legionarry, but it's his tactical contribution that makes him interesting. It builds the two characters into something interesting, personal, compared to the relatively blank slates you get in Vanilla.

    That's basically it. I'd probably also create a bit more history around the two of them (at least in theory, if this idea ever gets that far I'm just going to fucking make the game :P), they seem to be of a similar age so I thought it'd be rather interesting if they had some connection from the Great War to rationalize some things, but also make the Civil War a tad more emotional. Really the idea there would be that Tullius was sent to Skyrim (which until the Civil War, was arguably a waste of his talents when he could've been helping out in other skirmishes) simply because he knew Ulfric and they thought that he would be able to stop the Civil War, or at least make it harder for Ulfric to justify starting it.

    Dunno, just a thought, might change my mind on that before I get anywhere near developing full stories for characters. 

     

    Alright, I'll cover the other half in a separate comment (I don't want these to get too long individually you know :D) but I'm loving the comment in general Zonn, really helping me think (Same for you Mercurias, Ebonslayer, Vargr, very much appreciated.) about everything. Just need to finish my coffee before it gets cold and figure out some of the banners for one of my Event Builds.

     

     

     

  • November 18, 2017 8:47 AM EST

    Building up forts and cities, and having to make decisions as to which ones are worth building, is a really cool feature and I reckon could add some much needed moral dilemmas to Skyrim. Ie Markarth is a valuable silver mine, but perhaps its citizens are more open than most about their distaste for the Empire and could be the source or civil unrest at the price of money, while Falkreath could follow the Legion with their heart and soul but their position isn't vital, so neither are they. People vs profit, the classic war time dilemma, and it'd be an interesting decision for the character to make. Or not. Realistically its Tullius or Ulfric who decides who lives and who dies, and the character being exposed to their leader's real point of view might just sway them to the other side (I imagine Tulius would be profit and Ulfric would be people btw).

    I think that at the start it would definitely be simply following Tullius/Ulfric's orders with a little bit of player freedom. I mean, you can always ignore them I think, but if you make a large enough error, say something that cost them Falkreath or a Fort somewhere, you'd probably suffer rather severe consequences. Maybe that could even work into the Trial system that somebody talked about in the previous post. You'd have a bit of a War Trial sort of deal, where you can justify your actions leading to a decision (or various Speech Checks to try and get out of it, or lie) and if you succeed you can either shift the blame onto someone else, argue that it was unavoidable/beneficial for the Legion/Cloaks and so on. But if you mess it up, you know, prison, demotions, fines, that sort of thing. Dunno, it'd be a ridiculously difficult system to really work out.

    Anyway, the higher in rank you get, the more Tullius/Ulfric would trust you to make your own decisions, eventually resulting in you gaining control over one of the Holds, probably a Captured Hold rather than one that's been loyal since the beginning (which would already have systems in place). That way you could really play around with that people/profit/success sort of situation, and you'd really get to play around with how the people see you, and by proxy the Legion/Stormcloaks.

    Losing is probably my favourite of your ideas so far (and that's quite an achievement, I'm liking everything you're writing!), so simple and yet so overlooked in games in general, let alone Skyrim. It opens up so many gameplay opportunities, ie having to run for your life, hiding in villages to escape capture (and stuff like your relationship with the place, and theirs with your faction, could influence the result), even being captured and having to escape - ie breaking out of prison in Vanilla, it'd be so cool that you'd almost want to lose just to experience it. And of course the RP is brilliant. A nieve youth who thought the Legion was unstoppable gets defeated in their first scrap - are their dreams shattered or do they become even more resolute with their allegiance? Awesome stuff.

    Exactly, realistically it'd probably be a more RP oriented system rather than something that has wide-reaching story consequences or being a major gameplay element, but it'd be built into the game enough that it'd add a bit more realism to the war. But thanks, it's definitely one of the more interesting ideas that I hope to explore in at least one quest. I have no idea how in-depth I'm going to get into the individual quests rather than new systems, events, characters and the story...Actually, what I might do is work on the base stuff (the new systems, etc.) and then start filling in individual quests later on, which will show off these systems. Of course, there are some that have to be mentioned but, dunno.

    Anyway, glad that you liked the idea there Zonn, definitely agree with you :D

    Regarding your third point about being a grunt, how do you feel about a World War-esque promotion system? Ie theirs so many casualties that the military has to promote you to replace the fallen. It'd reinforce the idea that the Civil War is brutal and not just a series of little scraps, it could be used as a way to fast-track the character for the less RP inclined players (so you could turn it down and stretch being a grunt out for longer, or get the promotion and carry on the story).

    Hmm, good idea there. I'd probably implement that via either a menu early on (as in, you make your character and then decide what pace you want to play the game at) or something you unlock after completing the Main Quest once. Dunno, hard to judge how I'd work it in, but I do think that the idea has a lot of merit in general. It'd probably be easier to work in with the Stormcloaks because the Legion seems to have a lot more 'Table Generals' if that makes sense. I mean, that's how it'll be with the changes, with Ulfric and some of his Generals being a bit more old-timey, leading the charge themselves while the Legion uses common sense, and says that the people planning can just stay the fuck away from battle so they don't get sliced in half :P But definitely something that I could see being in the rewrite.

     

    EDIT: Sorry it took so long to get the second part of my response out, internet died almost as soon as I left the first one :I


    This post was edited by Mega-Dragonborn-of-Doom (1921) at November 18, 2017 8:48 AM EST
    • 503 posts
    November 18, 2017 4:00 PM EST

    Mega-Dragonborn-of-Doom (1921) said:

    That's basically it. I'd probably also create a bit more history around the two of them...

    I'd definitely do this (and I'd also play this game!). You can give an NPC as much backstory as you can get, but it still won't be as interesting as one that has a real relationship with other NPCs, and two generals in enemy armies is a great, and interesting scenario to watch play out. And I think it'd also be nice because you get to see dilemmas, but not solve them. If they were friends you'd get to see Tullius struggle with the decision of killing his old bud, or watch Ulfric tangle with the task of doing something dishonourable to his pal. Decisiveness is all well and good for a two dimensional character, but watching them struggle is what makes them real.

    I think that at the start it would definitely be simply following Tullius/Ulfric's orders with a little bit of player freedom...

    Noice one, and I just looked back at the War Trial comment and I greatly approve. Skyrim is missing decent repercussions to messing up - I think you just have to pay a fine for all the guilds. Having actions matter, both decisions and gameplay, would make for a far more intense and thoughtful playthrough. And the Speech check idea is also cool, its one of my favourite parts of Fallout and seeing it in Skyrim would be awesome.

    Hmm, good idea there. I'd probably implement that via either a menu early on...

    It'd be nice to have a little less symmetry in the Civil War, and having different types of generals is an excellent example. As being a 'Table General' would be boring, maybe it could be represented via rewards - enchanted equipment that adds to Speech, maybe a fancy house in Solitude, the chance to have Legionary followers etc. While the gung-ho Cloaks would be more traditionally weapon and armour focussed. As cool as it'd be to have a Total War-esque minigame, I think I'd miss hitting stuff too much to give up the battlefield :P. It'd also be interesting to see if how you lead (general?) effects your relationship with your faction and peers. The snooty Empire generals might act colder to you if you show them up by charging into battle alongside your men, but the rank and file would appreciate you more, which could lead them to fight harder, maybe give you a mead back at camp, but would come at the cost of less reinforcements or less cushy positions. I guess what I'm saying is that everything should effect your relationship with someone, for the Roleplay!


    This post was edited by Zonnonn at November 18, 2017 4:01 PM EST
  • November 19, 2017 2:12 AM EST

    I was going to have a whole big long thing to pot again Zonn, but then I thought about it, and I think the words "Yep, totally agree" kind of sums up most what I was going to say. Actually, I do like the last bit, mostly the latter bit about how each choice in battle would affect your relationship with the other characters for good or for worse.

    Hmm, man, I think I'll finish the Thalmor Article now, bit quicker than I intended but I'm having a blast with this whole idea and I want to start focusing on the First Quest (or first real quest) for each of the factions...man, those are probably going to be three separate articles too. 

  • November 19, 2017 3:24 AM EST

    Part 2.5: The Thalmor is officially out and a lot longer than I originally planned. It's mostly because I kind of got side-tracked ret-conning a few things and talking about Elenwen...apparently that was something that I was going to talk about in the end.  

    • 45 posts
    November 19, 2017 4:46 PM EST

    I know I'm a bit late to getting a comment out, so do forgive me for that, but I decided it'd be best to use this post rather than the Thalmor one (which I'll get around to afte this comment).

    So Vargr, Zonn, and the others have basicall spilled out what was going through my mind, but I've got a little more elaboration and a few more questions about "set-in-place-events" so to speak. 

    1. So I know that you were saying that when you "lose" a battle or skirmish you have to run away or something to the like for you to not be taken hostage, BUT what happens if the PC decides that he wants to get captured, or he wants to stay and fight the enemy force so that his remaining comrades can flee the field of battle? What would happen if your health bar reached 0. Would you just have to reload a save (assuming there is an autosave at the start of skirmishes [which will be my next point] or would you be hauled off to some sort of "Prisoner of War camp" where your fellow soldiers could save you (if your high ranked) or you'd have to escape on your own?)
    2. So that brings me to point two: how would the save features work (if you've given this any thought): would it be similar to the fact that it automatically save before an important battle? or would you be in charge of your own timelines should you die? (or is there an autosave setting to turn on and off)
    3. My final question here is about the ranking system for the different sides of the war. Theoretically you do stay behind and end up defeating the pursuing enemies (therefore saving your teams' hide) would you get "points" towards your next promotion, along with doing small miscellaneous quests like fort repairs or intelligence missions? or would your promotions be set by certain unaviodable situations within permanent main quests?

    Thats basically all I've got for this one so I'll go bug you about the Thalmor now :P

  • November 19, 2017 6:22 PM EST

    Well, I think I'll start off here and then head back over to the Thalmor :)

     

    I know I'm a bit late to getting a comment out, so do forgive me for that, but I decided it'd be best to use this post rather than the Thalmor one (which I'll get around to afte this comment).

    So Vargr, Zonn, and the others have basicall spilled out what was going through my mind, but I've got a little more elaboration and a few more questions about "set-in-place-events" so to speak. 

    1. So I know that you were saying that when you "lose" a battle or skirmish you have to run away or something to the like for you to not be taken hostage, BUT what happens if the PC decides that he wants to get captured, or he wants to stay and fight the enemy force so that his remaining comrades can flee the field of battle? What would happen if your health bar reached 0. Would you just have to reload a save (assuming there is an autosave at the start of skirmishes [which will be my next point] or would you be hauled off to some sort of "Prisoner of War camp" where your fellow soldiers could save you (if your high ranked) or you'd have to escape on your own?)
    2. So that brings me to point two: how would the save features work (if you've given this any thought): would it be similar to the fact that it automatically save before an important battle? or would you be in charge of your own timelines should you die? (or is there an autosave setting to turn on and off)
    3. My final question here is about the ranking system for the different sides of the war. Theoretically you do stay behind and end up defeating the pursuing enemies (therefore saving your teams' hide) would you get "points" towards your next promotion, along with doing small miscellaneous quests like fort repairs or intelligence missions? or would your promotions be set by certain unaviodable situations within permanent main quests?

    Thats basically all I've got for this one so I'll go bug you about the Thalmor now :P

    Honestly, I haven't worked it all out at the moment, but I suppose this gives me a chance to focus on some of these ideas a little more for now. For the first part, I think the problem is I don't see the Legion picking up random Stormcloaks as prisoners, sure if they get someone high ranking (and that will come into play later on) but at the beginning of the game your a worthless grunt who has next to no knowledge, and I see it being more beneficial to just kill you. Same for the Cloaks really. So, my thought process around it is mostly based around not forcing you to leave. But...I think the autosave feature is probably where I'd start off. You can't save/load in battle but if you do die, the entire thing is re-set and you have to start again. A lot of these battles will be longer than any of the Vanilla ones and take around 30-45 minutes to complete so it'd be an actual loss if you did die. I dunno, but that does kind of reduce my whole 'consequences thing doesn't it'... 

    Give me some time to think about it more and I'll come back to it,  don't want to go the rather boring 'he was knocked out' path to explain your survival, and I don't want to force you to leave a battle. I suppose that might be the best thing to do though, I just can't logically think of another way to go about it that still leaves consequences for losing.

    As for the final question. Yeah, pretty much every choice or action is going to add 'points' to your character for Promotion (Promotion Points we'll call them) and once you get enough PP to get that promotion, it'll trigger the next Main Quest. Depending on how you got those points might change your rewards. 

    • 45 posts
    November 19, 2017 7:00 PM EST

    Mega-Dragonborn-of-Doom (1921) said:

    Petty much every choice or action is going to add 'points' to your character for Promotion (Promotion Points we'll call them) and once you get enough PP to get that promotion, it'll trigger the next Main Quest. Depending on how you got those points might change your rewards. 

    Ah, Glad you thought the same. You can get back to my other questions in later articles if you'd like. If i can come up with a better solution for the events I was talking about that don't go against your consequences standard I'll be sure to send a quick PM


    This post was edited by FlamezSword at November 19, 2017 7:03 PM EST