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Teala's Wickedly Cool MMORPG.com Blog For The Masses

Just my thoughts on MMO's, roleplaying, game companies, and the people that play these games.

Author: Teala

Skyrim - still kicking arse in the gaming verse!

Posted by Teala Sunday September 15 2013 at 7:30PM
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Amazing...12+ million copies sold

...game is almost 2 years old and is still going strong and still selling.   Why?   Because Bethesda got it right.   They gave people a game that is timeless and will no doubt be played for years and years to come.   I'm going to say it again, and keep saying it, to whomever will listen - this is how an RPG should be done.   Open world, no restrictions, with tons of content(with the option to add content as you go).    Of all the games I have ever played Skyrim is almost my perfect game.

I say almost because the one thing I wish Bethesda had given us is co-op game play.   If they had done this...MMORPG's as we know it would probably be dead or would at least have taken a huge hit.   A co-op version of Skyrim would be the perfect computer RPG.   

Think about it.   It would be like that perfect vision of a computer based dungeon master I am sure many RPG gamers dreamed of when they were younger.  I know I did.   TES Skyrim is, for me, that vision.   With Skyrim I can have hundreds of hours of adventuring in a make believe world of dungeons and dragons.    

With the ability to mod and add adventures - I see me still playing Skyrim years down the road - at least until Bethesda releases the full world version of TES Tamriel - with full immerssive graphics in 4k.    Well I can dream can't I?

Back to the topic at hand - why does Skyrim kick so much arse?   I have played countless computer RPG games, many since Skyrim's release and none have come close to the level of Skyrim.   Skyrim is a 12 while the others barely score a 7 on a scale of 1-10.   I know...but the scale only goes to 10...so how can Skyrim score a 12?  Because this is my blog and I say it does.  

Let's talk graphics.   I'll just let Skyrim's speak for themselves.  

Seen enough yet?  No...ok then...bam!

I know right...still not enough to convince you...then how about these?

Graphics aren't everything - but frakking "fus ro dah" - tell me graphics like this don't help with immersion - go on - I'm listening.  In the mean time - here's a few more pieces of gaming eye candy for your enjoyment.

No...but seriously, name me one computer RPG that is as rich graphically and stunningly beautiful on the scale that is Skyrim.   If you have played a computer RPG with better graphics tell me what game it is I'd really like to know.   Seriously, the graphics in Skyrim are mind blowing awesome.  

Now I know some people are wondering how you can get such rich graphics in Skyrim.  You can, if your computer can handle the graphics levels that  the game is capable of putting out.   With a few mods to enhance the graphics and a little tweaking the game is incredibly beautiful and none...none of these screenshots do it justice.   You have to play it on a good monitor, with all the bells and whistles turned on to see TES Skyrim in its full glory.   And yes - graphics are important in a game like this - it helps draw you into its magical world of dragons, demons and sorcerers.    It's like taking part in a fantasy movie and you're the main character.   That is how a game should be and wow...Bethesda nailed it with their game.

What else makes Skyrim a game that game developers can learn from?  It's openness and scalability.  I have never played a game that was so open.   You can literally go where you want and never not find something to do.

For example.

I was put to a quest by a mage to retrieve some lost script that would help him unlock the secrets to a powerful conjuration spell.   So off I go in the direction that the mage said I should go to get more information that might lead me to this lost script.   I get on my horse and no more than a few minutes pass and I am off chasing butterflies for their wings.    Not that I wasn't hard pressed to finished the quest I had just begun, but I saw the butterflies and knew I needed them for a potion.   Next thing I know I'm hunting an elk.   Then - what's this?  What is that glowing tree? 

Oh cool!   A grotto. 

Oh and look...a cave behind the waterfall.  Hmmm...I wonder what's inside?  Quest?  What quest...quest be damned I found a cave!   

Eventually I did finish the quest.   After traveling across the country in the wrong direction doing stuff.   Never once did I get bored or wonder what to do next.   That is Skyrim...that is what makes it such a great game.    With all the mods and down loadable content is it any wonder why so many people are still playing it.  

Speaking of mods.

Don't like vanilla Skyrim?  That's OK...the makers of the game gave us players the tools to mod the game to our hearts content!  Want to change the look of your armor?  No problem.  With the right tools you can alter textures.  Don't like the way that building or house looks, or maybe you want to increase the size of a town - get out the Skyrim Creation Kit and...it's like being a kid with a box of Legos® - you can build anything, anywhere and put it into the game.   For example I really disliked that we had so few choices in mages robes in Skyrim...and the ones we did have for our mages were - blah at best.  Most are all dirty, torn and look like a dragon chewed up the former owner and spit the clothes back out.   So I went in and created new textures for many of the robes and put them in the game(not replaced - added - so old ones are still there, I just put new choices in the game).   Did the same for hair and jewelry...you name it and I probably have modded it.   See for yourself.

I mean...how cool is this?   Skyrim with the creation kit is like the ultimate tools for great game masters(aka dungeon masters for the old school players reading this - who have played or played any pen and paper RPG's).    With the tools, as I said, we can add, destroy, remake, build - do whatever we want in Skyrim.   I know there are games like Fallout and others that you can mod...but I do not think they are as easy as Skyrim is and for me - well, I'm no computer genius and if I can do it...I think just about anyone else can as well.   Which means more mods and more gaming in TES!  I think I spend as much time modding as I do gaming...hehehe.  Just another reason Skyrim is still kicking much arse.

Imagine if Bethesda decided to do a true successor to Skyrim - but as an MMO...and no, TES Online is not it's true successor - it is a hack and a wannabe.   Why make a TES game and then close it off at every turn to the players because you decide you want to change the way a TES game plays.  And then...then you also want to add realm vs realm in the world of TES!  Screw that, the head developer of TES Online needs replaced.   TES Online should be open and scalable - and if you don't wish to get involved with the BS that Matt Firor is dragging over from his time with Mythic and Dark Age of Camelot we players shouldn't have to.  It should be optional.  No imaginary lines drawn in the dirt to keep you from exploring Tamriel(like they have planned).  Classes?  Really?

Ugh...it  really burns my britches that the people making TES Online are trashing the core game mechanics and elements that make the TES games so great.  

I still think this game could be made into either a co-op game or a multiplayer online game and retain what makes it great.    Sure a few things might need tweaked here and there, but the main core game mechanics can remain.  That would make for an awesome MMORPG.

I dream alot - huh?

Anyway...back to Skyrim.

This game is so full of awesome sauce - it oozes out of our computers and our monitors.   Game developers need to take notes and start producing more games like this for us RPG fans.   That includes the up and coming Star Citizen.   I really hope Chris Roberts is paying attention.   Give us a TES Skyrim in space - give us a Skyrim version of Star  Citizen.    Then we players can have both a high medieval fantasy RPG and a Sci-FI RPG.    We'd truly be in gaming nirvana.   

How cool would it be to be able to add and mod Star Citizen as much as we mod Skyrim?   Hear that Chris.   That is the sound of money being printed into your bank account by the millions of Skyrim fans.

I think we've been told that Star Citizen will be moddable - but I do not know to what extent.   If it is as moddable as Skyrim...cha-ching!  Chris's bank account explodes.    :)

Anyway, Skyrim is the single best game I think I have ever played.  It is the single best computer RPG I have ever played.  It is the single player RPG that plays like an MMO - but isn't - and it should be.  It is the best computer dungeon master any pen and paper gamer could ask for in this day and age.   It can be a game masters greatest tool for pen and paper fans. It is a great vehicle for telling epic stories - and you get to participate in them!  It is a great tool for present and future game developers to learn from.   It is all this and much more, and that my friends is why Skyrim is still kicking arse in the gaming verse!

 

NOTE: To mod Skyrim there are two great places to get them.   Here are links to them.

Skyrim Nexus

Steam Skyrim Workshop

To learn how to mod - if you are interested.  Bethesda has a complete tutorial online via Youtube.  Here is a link to their channel.

Bethesda Game Studio Skyrim Tutorial

 

 

 

Dren_Utogi writes: can you create a mod pack for us to try with all the mods you use  like the wedgie mod you're using ? Mon Sep 16 2013 10:20AM Report
Teala writes: @Dren_Utogi  -  that is just a screenshot from the internet of the female with the skimpy armor - it's not a mod I use.   You can get it though at Nexus.  It uses a new character model named UPN model.   Mon Sep 16 2013 2:01PM Report
valun writes: Noooo!!!! Don't do this!! Now I will install skyrim and skip 3 month of irl  :( Mon Sep 16 2013 2:50PM Report
adam_nox writes:

Beauty is skin deep, and there's a lot less freedom in Skyrim than in Oblivion and Morrowind sadly, and perhaps not a completely fair comparison, either of the Fallout 3 offerings. 

 

It's the most restrictive in terms of how to complete quests and who you can or cannot F with, and variety and detail of exploration and open endedness of those 5 games, and some other games these days as well.

 

I hope the next elder scrolls allows more multiple ways of completing quests, ability to destroy who you want to, be more of an outlaw, and maybe include better character building.

 

Tue Sep 17 2013 12:33AM Report
Metanol writes:

While Skyrim is a beautiful and a good game, it does no honour to the title of "TES". It's barely better than Oblivion, but the two don't come even close to Morrowind.

Lets start breaking stuff down, neatly;

1. Conversations.

Yeah, you heard me. No, not voice acted conversations, though that is part of the problem. You see, in Morrowind you had conversations what had multiple choises and -consequences-. You could ask guards for stuff, not just say "good bye". You could talk to everyone who was not aggressive. Everyone had something to say. But not anymore, oh no.

Conversations also gave you pointers of quests, locations and places. These days you can't even talk to a tavern wench, she'll just give you one line of voiced dialogue and there's no interaction.

Also, what happened with Oblivion and followed to Skyrim was the minimalistic choises during conversations. Three to five lines to pick from and that's it.

 

2. Character creation

Anyone else remember how it was? How it felt like a -real- RPG experience, with you choosing your character's unique traits, birthmarks, skills, focuses etc.? I mean, you had specializations, major and minor skills. It added an unbelievable amount of immersion and made the whole deal of creating a character much more interesting than Skyrim's "Bam, you're in the game - go level up."

 

3. Quests / Instructions

Back in Morrowind or old TES games, when you received a quest, you were also given directions. Verbal directions. Not a marker on the map. These days the NPCs don't even always say "Let me mark it on your map.", instead they say "Go to the greywolf cave and clear it."

How does my character magically know where this cave is? Why am I not given real directions to follow? Why is the whole game about following the magical arrow on my map?

Sure, Morrowind's system was hard, but it was immersive, realistic and fun. Your character wrote it all down in the journal, from where you could look up clues. It also required real navigation skills.

 

4. Essential NPCs

In Morrowind you could kill the main quest NPC, halting your progress. You would be alarmed after this kill, but it would not stop you from playing and saving. The threads of fate have been severed.

What about Skyrim? No more freedom. You talk about something, you're tied to it forever. There's no abandoning quests or killing people who have been marked "Essential". Now they just fall down panting and crying, then come back to fight you in ten seconds. Good for followers, bad for quest npcs and important people.

I will avoid "flaming" and not go to the topic of killable children. I don't get off on killing them, but if a city has been sacked, pillaged and torched, I expect to see dead people of all ages, especially if the game is rated Mature.

 

 

I will leave you all with this video, which I share many views of;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JweTAhyR4o0

Sadly, this post stretched out quite a bit, and I won't go into more details now.

Tue Sep 17 2013 10:14AM Report
Teala writes:

@Metanol

> I think I should respond to your opinions regarding Skyrim, because you do bring up some valid points.  

Many people cited Bethesda for not putting in more conversations with NPC's, this has been corrected by a mod called Interesting NPC's.   It adds...

  • over 150 voiced NPC's,
  • Over 25,000 lines and over 500,000 words of Player and NPC Dialogue
  • 45 Quests - 7-Part Main Questline, 6-part Miscellaneous Questline plus 18 Full and 14 Miscellaneous (Target Goal is 100 Quests so long as quality is maintained)
  • Over 25 Followers with Location Based Commentary
  • 10 Marriage NPCs
  • For better control of which NPCs are in your game, non Quest-NPCs can have their base dialogue removed via "Questname setstage 500" console command. To obtain the quest name, type "HELP NPCname" in the console. Scenes, packages, and dialogue outside their base quest will remain.
  • Unvoiced/Unfinished Dialogue can be enabled via the console by "setstage 3dnpcenable 1"


Originally, the goal was to expand 8 followers to include commentary on every quest and location in the game, including bonus conversations during or after major questlines. Currently, these followers, whom I have dubbed "Super Followers" because they fly and wear capes, have approximately 1000+ lines each. It may be unrealistic to meet this goal, however, as actor interest in performing slave labor can ebb and flow, and even a dozen new lines can often take months to get recorded.

The size of the mod is over 2GB, but 1.6GB compressed. Nexus has a 2GB limit, so after version 3 the mod will be available via torrent and fileshare sites only unless the limit is raised.

 

> As for character creation, there is a mod for that as well, and it is called - the Character Creation Overhaul. 

  • Character Creation Overhaul finally brings back birthsigns, classes, specializations, favored attributes, and major/minor skills to Skyrim. No more boring cookie-cutter characters--Choice matters again! Whereas vanilla Skyrim only provided you with 10 options for starting characters (excluding customizing their appearance), Character Creation Overhaul allows for 229,320 unique character combinations! Best of all, CCO is built for maximum compatibility with other mods (i.e. Skyrim Redone, ACE Comprehensive Enhancements, Alternate Start - Live Another Life) and works with new characters and existing characters alike.
 
> As for Quest and Instructions...there is a mod for that as well if you want to make things a little more challenging.  It is called Better Quest Objectives.
 
  • Have you ever wanted to turn those quest markers off but couldn't because the quest description doesn't give you any indication of where to search for your objective, so you're forced to blindly make a beeline to that marker, taking the wonder of exploration out of it? That's why I've created Better Quest Objectives! What I've done is edited nearly 250 quest objectives/descriptions, spanning over 160 quests, that have super vague or even non existing descriptions of where you're supposed to head next.
>  As for the Essential NPC's, yep you guessed it, there is a mod that changes them as well.  It is called Kill Them All
 
  • Kill Them ALL v2.0 *Updated* Morriwind Style™
    Makes all NPCs non-essential so that they can be permanently killed.
    Children can/will never be killed using this mod-- Rules of the Creation Kit. (Unfortunately)
> The no killing of Children in Skyrim is hard coded.   The lead designer explained why.   That is good enough for me.
 
Morrowind was definitely a great game, but I think Skyrim with the mods, is a far better game.    I can make Skyrim play exactly like Morrowind and in the end that is all that matters.   Skyrim due to that fact that it can be so easily modded, means we players can pick and choose how we want our game to play.   If there is something I want changed I can change it.  If there is something I wish to add - I can do that as well.   
 
You certainly have the right to your opinion, and I do not want to say I think you are being a little over critical(especially since I have been cited for that as well), but I think you are.   Skyrim is a great game and it does honour the Elder Scrolls series beautifully.    Many other game designers have said they liked the openess and ease at which you can create a character now and not be "restrained" from the stiff penalties of choosing a particular race; and you also had classes which tied your hands.  Some people like that(you seem to be one of them), others do not(I fall into this catagory).  It's like I said about SWTOR when they wouldn't allow Jedi's use blasters...screw that Obi Won used a blaster to kill General Grievous.   So there!  :p
 
Skyrim is not perfect - not by a long shot...it's standard UI sucked.   I said as much in a previous article.    No biggy...we have fixes for that as well - and if you like you can add mods that allow you to play via voice commands!  How cool is that?!
 
Skyrim is not perfect...almost...but it is definitely a must have game and one of the best games(IMHO) ever made. 
 
 
Tue Sep 17 2013 2:17PM Report
Metanol writes:

@Teala

 

I've modded my skyrim to hell. Literally. As I have every TES game after Morrowind, so I'm no stranger to mods. I have the character creation overhaul, but this "Interesting NPCs" has certainly escaped my attention, perhaps I'll have a look at it.

I've also tried my hand at every mod which would make Skyrim more of an oldschool RPG, but Skyrim's engine does not lend to this well, in my opinion. Maybe I just miss the dice rolling part of RPGs.

I do also have to get that better quest descriptions!

 

However! I do have to make a few things clear from my part; I am overly critical only because I am disappointed. A TES game could be so much more. Morrowind was far from perfect, but as the gentleman gamer said "Bethesda got a hell of a lot right with that game."

 

PS. What about those Complete Conversions coming up? Those to me seem far more interesting than Skyrim's own setting.

PPS. As I said at the start of my last post, I do agree, Skyrim is after all a good game.

Wed Sep 18 2013 7:47AM Report
Dr_Negative writes:

@Metanol 

I recommend you watch a popular counter vid that specifically address the arguments made in the vid you posted, which Samuel even agreed were good counters.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEI4yS7sFEw

You will quickly see a lot of the nostalgia of Morrowind are through rose tinted glasses.

Thu Sep 19 2013 12:07PM Report
Morcelll writes: I agree with most things said here, however I must say Vanilla Skyrim is not the most beautiful RPG.  The Witcher 2 definitely has it beat in the graphical department.  Fri Sep 20 2013 3:42PM Report
theAsna writes: Must resist. Must resist. Sold. Going to try Skyrim... Finally Sat Sep 21 2013 3:58PM Report
RebelScum99 writes: Please stop using the word, "Arse."  It's annoying.   Sun Sep 22 2013 2:59AM Report
Hariken writes:

Metanol nailed it.

Skyrim i did play but once i was done i never looked back. I think skyrim is so overated. Morrowind will always be the best tes game. And for all the reasons Metanol gave. Its the only game i've ever played for 2 years straight. With all the add ons you can't beat it. Skyrim and Oblivion will always feel like console games for kids to me. Tes games were made for pc before Microsoft stepped in with there bottomless wallet. I remember Morrowind before it got released to xbox. The board community was one of the best. Then we got the xbox kiddies complaining about the map, no horses and how come they couldn/t go inside the ghost fence at lvl 5 because they died all the time and why was there so much reading of text. So now we have voice over, lvl scaling, horses and fast travel.

Sun Sep 22 2013 8:30AM Report
stevebombsquad writes: Dr Negative is right. You really need to watch the video he posted Metanol. You are suffering from rose-tinted glasses and nostalgia. Cut and paste conversations and nearly impossible to find quest objectives really do not add up to an immersive game. Also, the engine uses a dynamic system in both Oblivion and in Skyrim. Having the quest NPC killed by another NPC when you were not around and not being able to continue the main quest if you wanted to would not be fun.  Mon Sep 23 2013 2:34PM Report
Yamota writes: If Skyrim was an MMO, I would quit RL and play it 24/7 :D Wed Oct 16 2013 6:06PM Report
bregan writes: Skyrim is an awesome game, with one major flaw.... cheat codes.  I started playing, then started googling weapons and gear, then found out I could immediately get the gear with a cheat code.  Sure, I didn't HAVE to do it, but I was weak, use the cheat codes, then I immediately lost interest. Fri Oct 18 2013 3:03PM Report

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