Wot I Think: Skyrim, Addendum #1

By Alec Meer on November 11th, 2011 at 10:49 am.

oh, if you want a different fov you need to set that manually. More on that later today

Right, you’re all playing it now, or at least sitting miserably at work wishing you’d pulled a sickie. For those that haven’t yet made the groat-dropping decision, I have more to offer. My piece yesterday focused primarily on the experiential aspect of the game, that tending to be RPS’s bailiwick instead of the whole graphicsability out of 10 thing, but I concede there are HARD FACTS in need of additional discussion. So, here’s a breakdown of further thoughts on combat, interface and tech issues.


Combat

Broadly comparable to Oblivion – real-time, contact-sensitive swiping. This means the run in, hit, run backwards, repeat system is still the most advisable tactic for melee combat, and as such this is hardly Mount and Blade. However, the dual-wielding system is what elevates it above Oblivion’s simplistic take on things for me. I tended to have a weapon in one hand and a lightning spell in the other, so there was a constant mid-range engagement and softening up while I timed my blows with my axe (yes, I was a thief with an axe).

Later in the game, I was using the Soul Trap spell an awful lot, in order to fill my Soul Gems and go enchanting later, so trying to pull that off without getting hit was an added timing challenge. I also used Fast Heal and Raise Dead regularly. So, despite being roughly similar mechanics to Oblivion, it didn’t have that stop-start awkwardness – generally, I was always doing something with one hand. Matron.

Interface

OK, this is the element I really should have spared a paragraph for in my initial WIT, in retrospect. First, I’ll note that I don’t seem to suffer issues of mouse lag/smoothing as badly as other folk do, in games in general. This morning, I activated the various Skyrim mouse tweaks forums have dug up, and I’ll be buggered if I can tell the difference, but good to know they’re out there.

What is a whole lot more universal is the menu system. It looks pretty good – nice and clean, quick to find what you need and the Favouriting system, whereby you tag preferred items for isnta-access from a pop-up menu activated with Q, is a gift from the gods. However, the the fonts could stand to be smaller – it’s an age-old Bethesda problem, with the amount of on-screen info not being adapted from the giant-worded console version. It’s nowhere near as bad as Fallout 3 and Oblivion, though. More annoying was the fact the interface is clearly designed for dual sticks, which means there’s some discrepancy in whether you should be scrolling with WASD or cursors, or using the mouse – it’s sloppy and I don’t like wasting my time hitting buttons that don’t do anything but clearly should. Eventually I learned what was what, but there should have been far more consistency and universality. There’s also a tendency for the wrong option to end up highlighted: picking soul gems to recharge magic weapons is particularly fiddly, with an additional sub-menu that seems to have been shoe-horned in without the same polish as the core interface.

Then there’s the issue of left and right items. Any one-handed weapon and any spell can be equipped in either the left of the right hand, but the game gets all confused in terms of the right hand being your character’s main hand, but the left mouse button being your main button. So equipping an item in the right hand marks it with a little L for left, and vice-versa. I don’t think this is actually a gamepad-focused failing – there’s no other console iconography in there – so much as just a slightly thoughtless design boo-boo, not appreciating the difference between character and player. Patching this to LMB and RMB would be a very sensible thing for Bethesda to do.

All told, the interface could stand to be a lot better and a lot more consistent (and I look forward to the mods that do this an awful lot), but it’s much better than the giant, clunky, screens of (unmodded) Oblivion and Fallout.

Sound issues

I had a hell of a time getting the game running to start with, which I didn’t mention purely because I thought it was my old X-FI soundcard causing problems (switching to onboard sound fixed everything) and that seemed too specific to my system to browbeat the game about. However, I’ve since discovered that it’s actually to do with sound quality settings in Windows. In sound properties, hit Speakers, Properties, Advanced and, if it’s currently anything higher than the following, set Default Format to 24 bit,44100 Hz (studio quality), otherwise you’ll experience crashes to desktop and occasional missing dialogue. This is the only technical instability I encountered; it drove me spare for a while, but I honestly thought it was just my machine being a dick as I was informed no other PC reviewers were having similar problems.

Fast travel

A few people have asked about this. Again, broadly similar to Oblivion, in that once you’ve discovered a place you can click on it on the map to zoom right to it. Your horse and any companions will zoom along with you. You can also hire a carriage to take you to as-yet undiscovered major areas – i.e. cities, primarily – for a fee, comparable to Morrowind’s Silt Striders. Also, you’ll occasionally find military maps covered in flags showing the current state of the Empire/Stormcloaks war. Click on these flags one-by-one and they’ll add new locations to your map – but you can’t fast travel to them until you’ve journeyed to them at least once. I know Fast Travel is much-maligned in some quarters, but obviously it’s a matter of choice, and also the winding, elaborate mountain paths, far more arduous than anything in Oblivion, meant that shortcutting was significantly more appealing when needing to get from one end of the map to the other. Although the view if you do it manually is spectacular if you’re not in a hurry.

Dragons

To reiterate – this is not a game about fighting dragons and being all crazy Mr Action Hero. If you want to go down that path it’s there; if you don’t you won’t hear anything about it. I’m now approaching 50 hours and I’ve had absolutely nothing to do with dragons bar what’s brought up in the (over-long) introduction. Once that’s over, you’re completely free of the main quest if you so wish. I certainly did, and was.

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184 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Oozo says:

    “yes, I was a thief with an axe”
    As I just found out recently playing DS: Nothing says “backstabbing bastard” quite like an axe coming down full swing on the back of a head.

    • ninjapirate says:

      Except, of course, a bastard sword coming down full swing on the back of a head.

    • Ross Angus says:

      Playing “DS”? Is that Thief: Deadly Shadows? Ain’t no axes there!

    • Magnetude says:

      Obviously referring to Dastardly Swordfighting, the ill-conceived Wacky Races spinoff.

    • Jams O'Donnell says:

      Dark Souls, I guess?

    • Torn says:

      Backstabbing and Parrying with humourously large weapons in Dark Souls is probably the best part of the combat system, IMO. Especially the fact that you’re invincible for the length of the animation, and can move the camera around freely while doing so.

    • nrvsNRG says:

      my 120+hours that ive recently logged in dark souls, has highlighted even more how bad the combat is in skyrim. its just awful in comparison.(actually its just bad, full stop).

      now i feel like i am being forced into playing a mage/ranged, because the melee is just so crap (just like i had to in oblivion).

      i’m not the sort of person that is enthralled by the fact that its possible to do obscene amounts of picking fruit and veg, cooking food,tanning leather,mixing potions,going for long walks etc etc in a video game, so the only thing left for me if the combat is no good is a storyline that is hopefully epic.

      the thing is, everything leads up to, and is in preparation for, combat. you do all those things to be able to make money to buy new armour/weapons, and things that will be used in fights, and if the combat is dissapointing i dont realy feel like going thru another dungeon, dispatching mob after mob. or doing all those extra curricular activities.

      i really want to enjoy skyrim, and i’m pretty sure i will, but i was really wishing that they had improved on melee and they havent done enough.

      i’m using a 360 pad which i’m finding to be absolutely BRILLIANT in this game, i highly reccomend it over kb/m.

    • archimandrite says:

      Skyrim has a third-person camera, but the combat is still based around first-person. First-person melee combat always feel clunky and simplistic to me. Zeno Clash did better than most at making it interesting, and I just ended up getting confused. In conclusion: I’m not sure it’s possible to make compelling 1st-person hacking-and-slashing.

    • leslaron says:

      “You’re gonna backstab him with a Ballista? There’s gotta be a rule against this….”

      ….

      “Hunk is splattered all over the common room. The other patrons flee in terror. You’re now alone in a room that looks like a vat of beef stroganof exploded in it”

      :D

    • spongthe1st says:

      What nrvsNRG said times a billion. Combat sounds lame yet it’s a vital part of the game. Madness.

      Deadly Reflex for Oblivion attempted to fix things but ultimately failed due to the underlying game’s combat mechanics not really helping it achieve its goals. In fact it made the problem worse because all the enemies, who were already quicker and more nimble than the player to begin with, turned into frickin’ ninjas.

    • nrvsNRG says:

      @spongthe1st

      EXCACTLY!
      combat is vital so why the fuck didnt they chill on some of the other aspects (e.g.botanist simulator 2011), and try and create some satisfying combat.
      it just feels so fucking primitive!
      It really pisses me off, cos the game looks fantastic.

    • TheGameSquid says:

      I too have just logged 85 hours into Dark Souls (I’m at the final boss now, which I’m never going to be able to defeat) and I think it’s going to be very painful getting into Skyrim’s combat. Dark Souls is basically one of the greatest Action-RPGs ever in terms of raw mechanics (and on a whole lot of other levels too, but that’s not for now), especially in the combat department.

      I never understood why Beth didn’t put more time into the combat this time around. For a game that seems to be so combat based, it still seems awfully shoddy (I repeat SEEMS, I haven’t played it yet).

    • Adekan says:

      The two-handed combat in Skyrim feels downright awful. There’s no sense of your weapon ever connecting with your enemy. The one hand/shield/dual weapon combat however, is tolerable. Overall, I would say the melee combat is worse than Oblivion. Bows, on the other hand, are immensely satisfying.

      The interface, while tolerable, reeks of consoleitis. Often times the Tab key will not work to close a conversation window, other times the mouse won’t work to scroll up/down and it seems a bit laggy to click on different conversation topics.

      As far as crashes go, amazingly I’ve only crashed once in the 18 odd hours I’ve spent playing so far ( Yeah, I took friday off. It’s some kind of holiday here anyway! ). This is truly amazing for a Bethesda game.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Completely disagree. Combat is only one part of a huge game. For me its about exploring and picking flowers more than fighting. Oh and stealing every thing from every body you meet. I rarely fight, when I do my first arrow usually finishes it.

    • spongthe1st says:

      @DrGonzo: Disagree with what? That combat is a primary part of the game? While I appreciate your capacity to play it without fighting much I think you’re being a little naive.

      It is a combat focused game unquestionably – and that’s totally fine, no criticism here of Bethesda on those grounds.

      And when I say combat focused I don’t necessarily mean melee specifically, even though I think that is a major part of it.

      The game is designed for conflict to occur even though it’s also designed to let you do whatever you want – it throws violence at you. TES has long been this way.

      Ultimately though, melee should be better, because the majority of players will end up using it – even if you’re a spellcaster or an archer or a stealth character, you cannot possibly avoid having mobs surprise you or rush in close at some point – which is why the background of the gameworld has battlemages with swords and spells and stealth characters with bows and knives.

      Even if you just skip through the woods picking daisies something will certainly aggro you eventually.

      In addition, and actually this is my primary counterpoint, ‘completely’ disagreeing with some people’s criticism of the melee combat on the grounds it isn’t your primary activity in the game is also a bit daft.

      Why does your disregard of melee make it ok for it to be crap? How would you feel if the alchemy, archery and stealth hadn’t received much care and attention and were distinctly sub-par elements of the game?

    • Lord Byte says:

      @leslaron: Aw man that one was awesome :) “You seem thrustworthy, join us” I still use from time to time, like in games where companions get added with no say-in for you :) OR actual sessions where a player changes characters and the rest just want to get on with the quest ^_^

      (For any others: look up “The Gamers” )

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    • scatterbrainless says:

      Oh, wow, that’s depressing, the most glaring problem in Oblivion was combat, and they haven’t addressed it? The most frustrating and immersion-breaking part of that game was the mindless, affectless thrashing in combat, a constant reminder that all you were doing was reducing a numerical number of hit points with a numerical number of damage points. Even after Dark Messiah….

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      thristhart says:

      *shrug* I have absolutely no problem with the melee combat, it feels satisfying to me.

      I suspect it may have to do with what expectations you come into the game with. If you’re looking for problems with the combat, you’re probably going to find them.

  2. DzX says:

    ‘it’s there; if you don’t you won’t hear anything about it. I’m now approaching 50 hours and I’ve had absolutely nothing to do with dragons.’

    That’s not strictly true given the main story missions..

  3. Kandon Arc says:

    Still sounding good. I’m one of the ones sitting at home wondering why it still hasn’t been delivered yet. Oh the woes of retail delivery.

    • Willazord says:

      Me too :(

    • mike_c says:

      me 3 … somebody at amazon is going to be getting a real earfull if it doesn’t arrive today.

    • aircool says:

      Haven’t got my copy from Game either. Whenever I’ve pre-ordered games from both amazon and game, they’ve arrived in the first post the next day :((

    • Rudel says:

      I am stuck @work for another 2 hours, if the Amazon package is not waiting for me I just download it on Steam and resend the package to Amazon. Problem solved.

    • n0s says:

      And that’s the very reason why I only ever buy games in one of two ways, electronic (preferable) or in a shop where I get the physical box in my hands as I leave. Have been burnt by slow post or delayed shipments one too many times to ever order any game that way ever again.

    • The Colonel says:

      Pre-orderers. You make me sick.

    • frenz0rz says:

      I’m unfortunately in the same boat. Preordered from Amazon in June and paid for next-day delivery, but come 11am this morning all I got in the post was bills and junk mail. Seems we’re not the only ones, as attested to by the 5 page “I hate Royal Mail thread” on the official Skyrim forums.

      I also created this sad little image to help pass the time until the post arrives tomorrow morning.

  4. Jockie says:

    As an Addendum to your Addendum – Dragons and their presence are basically triggered by doing the 1st Quest chain of the main story-line, if you want to experience a Dragon free world, you can do so by completely avoiding the main quest. On the other hand, if you’re craving some scaly fun-times and wondering where the hell your INFINITE dragons are, you need to do a couple of early quests, then they’ll start to show up.

    • unangbangkay says:

      Do the dragons ever go away? If they’re anything like Oblivion Gates, finishing the main quest will make them go away forever, robbing you of opportunities to kill and eat dragons.

    • Jockie says:

      I have no idea and if the main quest is finished by ‘solving the dragon problem’ that would probably be quite a big spoiler (but it’s a reasonable assumption to make).

      My plan is to Activate DRAGON MODE, then if I get sick of them, I might venture back toward the main quest and see if that doesn’t stop the pesky blighters.

    • Adekan says:

      Since finishing that first quest line, I’ve seen only two dragons in my 15+ hours of wandering with no fast travel. One flew over me as I was sneaking into a bandit camp, circled a couple times, lit some Bandits up and then flew away as I cowered under a rock. The other randomly attacked a town i was visiting and was dispatched, after a prolonged battle, by my companion and I as well as two horses and two or three city guards. I’d say they are not common.

  5. Sirnizz says:

    My worst fear is here.

    Clunky UI and bad inventory gestion, as i’am planning leveling up Alchemy ibeg for the modder to some kind of UI overhaul during the week end.

    I’all get my hands on the game only during mid next week or later so I think the community will have time.

    By the way the Construction Set has been released or no ? because I can’t manage to get proper and recent information.

    • Kdansky says:

      Yeah, identical thoughts here. Let’s hope there will be a few good inventory fixing mods when I start playing next weekend.

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      You do know the article states the UI and inventory system are, on the whole, a big improvement on Oblivion? Right?

    • theloz says:

      @AndrewC Better than awful does not equal good.

      Saddens me that shoddy PC ports are just accepted now.

    • Premium User Badge

      AmateurScience says:

      I really have to say that it’s not terrible. It’s not amazing, and so much of the rest of the game (well, what I’ve seen since Midnight last night anyway) is. But it’s fundamentally ok. It works. It *is* a bit different. But then it’s a Bethesda game. It will almost certainly be improved officially and unofficially but it’s notwhere near as clunky as Oblivion/Fallout.

    • Kdansky says:

      “Better than Oblivion/Fallout 3″ is about as great as “it tastes better than dog poop”, because Fallout 3 will be the prime example for worst UI design for decades to come.

      But from what I have seen on streams, it’s still not actually pleasant, but not outright terrible either, and very console-focused. Submenus are useful when you have to do without a mouse, but really annoying when eating an apple takes you four mouse-clicks if one should have been enough.

      I will certainly pick a playstyle that needs as little inventory management as possible, such as: No alchemy, no enchanting, and then hope for a few decent mods. UIs are hard, but not THAT hard. If they just would go with the WoW-inventory system (lots of small, pretty icons on a grid), it would be an improvement. And if Classic WoW UI from 2006 is an improvement, then you are doing it wrong.

    • n0s says:

      Akshuly… The UI is good, it’s not just vastly improved, it’s vastly improved enough that it really works in battle. In Oblivion I never used any other attack than the single weapon i had constantly equipped, couldn’t be assed moving through all those menus just to switch weapon.

      In Skyrim I find myself constantly switching and weaving in and out of all kinds of different weapons/attacks. Simply because it really is snappy and not at all a problem. Not like in Oblivion where you spent more time in menus than actually fighting the mudcrab :)

      Yes, you can see the console-ification, but it really is a LOT better than Oblivion inventory hell.

    • nrvsNRG says:

      wrong reply

    • Nick says:

      “You do know the article states the UI and inventory system are, on the whole, a big improvement on Oblivion? Right?”

      Yes and having played it I disgree with the article.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      I agree with Nick. The UI and inventory are really bad, worse than Oblivion.

    • Beardface says:

      I’m with Nick and ResonanceCascade. Bethesda have, IMO, achieved the impossible – they created an interface even more awkward and annoying than the ones in Oblivion or Fallout 3. It’s truly, honestly awful.

    • visualdeity says:

      @AndrewC

      I can’t agree with that claim in the article in the least. Say what you want about Oblivion (and Fallout)’s UI, although I never had an issue with them personally. At least in those games things responded when you clicked on them. Skyrim’s UI on the PC is the worst haphazard attempt at a UI that I’ve ever seen.

    • DrGonzo says:

      The unresponsive UI was fixed in the day one patch. Fixed most of the issues straight away. A lot of these complaints are coming from pirates who haven’t patched yet. Cough..

    • Premium User Badge

      Hidden_7 says:

      It’s worth noting that all the crafting, including alchemy, aren’t done from the inventory, but rather a separate menu reached on activating the crafting station. One that’s not too clunky at that. But yeah, this is a big change from how alchemy worked in previous games. No carrying around a mortar and pestle and whipping up potions out in the field, you gotta go to a town or settlement that has an alchemy station and use that one.

  6. Jams O'Donnell says:

    Hmm, the interface section makes me wonder if I should just try it with a pad. Have you tried it that way at all, Mr. Meer? Is a pad a workable control system on PC.

    • Alec Meer says:

      Not tried it, though I played a chunk on 360 a month or so back. It was fine I guess, but I’m much happier with m&k, which are perfectly good inside the game-world – it’s just the menu system that’s a bit off.

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      It’s entirely fine with a pad. I’m not sure what the advantage is, apart from being able to sit back, but it works fine. It’s what i’m using, as i like to sit back.

    • fionny says:

      Cant help but feel there is something traitorous about playing a PC game with a control pad unless its some flying game and they it should be a joystick instead :P

    • unangbangkay says:

      I’m thinking of playing with a pad myself, at least until the inevitable interface mods surface. I mean, it’s not as if there’s multiplayer or that I need the extra precision in combat or anything crazy. That said I hope switching between the two is seamless, so I can use the pad for force feedback and the mouse for interface.

      I find it kind of sad that one of the most useful PC game-related purchases I’ve made in years was to buy an Xbox 360 controller.

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      A decade ago PC owners prided themselves on the breadth of controlling peripherals their platform could use.

    • Magnetude says:

      Wot AndrewC said. Unless it requires speed or precision there’s no reason to weather the mild discomfort of mouse and keyboard when I could be sitting on a sofa enjoying it on the telly.

      Plus, for what you lose in aiming ability (not too worried about it, as archery shouldn’t be a treated as a twitch movement anyway) you gain in control over walking speed, which is nice for swaggering about castles and sneaking through dungeons.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      What’s scary stupid is that if you want a mouse AT ALL in your game, you have to completely unplug a controller, not just disable it in hardware manager. Otherwise the game will default to pad and leave you with no mouse cursor at all.

      You also can’t favorite dual weld weapons combo and switch out to magic and back again to the weapons on Keyboard, but you can on a pad. . . sigh.

      I also haven’t figured out a way to remove the personal map way point on M/KB yet, anyone know?

    • Dominic White says:

      “What’s scary stupid is that if you want a mouse AT ALL in your game, you have to completely unplug a controller, not just disable it in hardware manager.”

      Complete nonsense. You go into the in-game options menu and untick ‘controller’. Done.

      At this point, I consider consolephobia a much bigger problem for PC gaming than consolitis. The latter might make things slightly clunky occasionally, but the former ruins large swathes of the internet.

    • The Ninja Foodstuff formerly known as ASBO says:

      I almost always play with a pad unless it’s an FPS or in some way the mouse control is superior. I even switched to a pad for DXHR because it felt a lot more fluid. It astonishes me that dragon age 2 plays so badly with K&M and there is no pad support.

    • nrvsNRG says:

      just wanna add my 2 cents again and say that the 360 pad is the best option here (IMO)…it works extremely well and i cant see any advantage to using a keyboard and mouse when it works so perfectly with the controller.

    • Zenicetus says:

      @ AndrewC: “A decade ago PC owners prided themselves on the breadth of controlling peripherals their platform could use.”

      And those of us still into flight sims are still using that stuff (stick, throttle, pedals, and TrackIR here).

      That’s actually my problem with adding a gamepad: I have so much hardware crammed into my USB ports for flight sims, that I’m reluctant to add a gamepad as yet another controller. In theory, Win7 should support a slew of controllers, but in practice I sometimes get conflicts, even with the stuff I’m currently using.

      I’m not going to unplug my existing USB controllers to add a gamepad for the few “PC” games that are optimized for it, so I tend to be a curmudgeon about games having decent mouse support.

    • Josh W says:

      I’d be quite keen on playing it controller and mouse, as much analogue as possible! Hopefully that’ll be modded by the time I can get this.

  7. EOT says:

    No. I’m not playing it because Amazon haven’t fucking delivered it yet.

    • aircool says:

      Neither has GAME. I was waiting patiently by my letterbox at 0930 to be greeted with nothing more than a Fred Olsen Cruise Liner brochure. My Lego Millennium Falcon better turn up in time for Christmas :/

    • Premium User Badge

      Bluerps says:

      Same problem here. Apparently, they dispatched it some time this night, and they claim it will arrive here tomorrow. If not, heads will roll!

      … or I will just stare sadly at Skyrim Screenshots for the rest of the weekend, I haven’t decided.

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      That happened to me with Battlefield. If you complain they just repay any postage charges, which seems to miss the point of how annoying it is. I use ShopTo now after hearing good things, they dispatched on Wednesday so should be there now but alas I’m not home to confirm til Sunday, Argh!

    • EOT says:

      I ended up buying it from GAME in the end. I’ll take the Amazon one back to GAME for a refund if it ever turns up.

  8. Artiforg says:

    Alec, could you tell those of us unfortunately stuck at work what the enemy levelling is like? Do they level with you or (hope of hopes) can we level significantly then go back to earlier areas and smite our previous nemeses? (is that the plural for nemesis?)

    • Alec Meer says:

      They’re levelling with you but I haven’t entirely grasped the ins and outs of it- doesn’t seem as overt as Oblivion, and there’s a mix of weak and strong and foes at high levels rather than a wholesale switch. It’s still challenging for me at level 30-odd, not suffering that overpowering thing that Obl/F3 did, but I think that’s because I poured so much into stealth rather than attackability.

    • Jockie says:

      From what I read elsewhere, certain areas have limited scaling. So for instance, you enter an area at level 17 with a scale of 20-30, then the enemies will be level 20. If you enter at 25, they’ll be level 25, if you enter at 30-100+ they’ll remain at level 30. Things like low level bandits still roam around whatever your level.

    • Artiforg says:

      Thanks for the reply. I was hoping to be semi-restricted in how much you could explore like Morrowind rather than the see the whole world from the start in Oblivion. It’s good to know that they’ve at least tweaked it so it will provide a challenge without being cheap (I.E. level 50 mudcrabs! – unless they’re 60 foot tall). I need to ring the wife now, see if the postie has been yet.

      EDIT: Bastard! Postman has been but not with my copy of Skyrim.

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      TheApologist says:

      @Jockie

      If that’s right then it sounds pretty good to me. Better than Oblivion, but also softening (though not eliminating) the effect of no auto-leveling where areas are effectively cut off from the player early in the game.

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      Bluerps says:

      Does the levelling produce believable results? Can it happen that you are attacked by a bandit equipped with ridiculously expensive equipment, just because your level is high?

    • Alec Meer says:

      I’m regularly still fighting bandits only equipped with iron and fur kit (the starting stuff, basically), but their hit points and presumably skills have risen. I’m okay with that approach.

    • Outright Villainy says:

      This sounds like a good compromise to me. Leveling brings all sorts of problems with either approach, but this seems like a nice middleground. I’ll have to see how it plays myself though. (Yeah, I don’t have Skyrim yet, Skyward sword comes first.)

    • The Tupper says:

      Sounds hopeful. The levelling in Oblivion killed the game stone dead for me – I only played about ten hours’ worth as a result.

    • torchedEARTH says:

      I liked the F3 levelling, so if it’s better than that I am happy.

      There is nothing quite like going back to an area (I take it this does happen despite the size of the game world) with a grin on my face and a thought bubble that says “Who’s laughing now (mofo)?”

    • vecordae says:

      Not speaking from direct experience on this, but it seems that enemies come in various grades and some will stop scaling with you at a certain point.

      Bandits, for instance, are meant to be, individually, relatively easy to kill, so the game doesn’t overpower them with high-end weapons and ridiculous combat stats. Rats, on the other hand, are not meant to be an issue at all past a certain point, so their level cap is something like 5.

      It seems to be a good mix and, with Skyrim’s overhauled leveling system, this pretty much removes my issues with the ES games in general.

    • adammtlx says:

      “From what I read elsewhere, certain areas have limited scaling. So for instance, you enter an area at level 17 with a scale of 20-30, then the enemies will be level 20. If you enter at 25, they’ll be level 25, if you enter at 30-100+ they’ll remain at level 30. Things like low level bandits still roam around whatever your level.”

      Not totally sure about that. Maybe to some extent… but I recently stumbled across a cave right around Whiterun (first major area, obviously) and ran into some very nasty creatures inside that I had to tuck tail and run from, at level 21. Granted, I’m playing on Master difficulty, but bandits and others in the area don’t really give me much trouble anymore.

      And it seems like quests might lock in difficulties when you obtain them, but that doesn’t seem to be the case either. One quest I did LONG after I got it was very difficult, but that could be because it was in an area I’d never been in before (reinforcing your notion)… it seems kind of inconsistent. Which is okay with me. I’d prefer not always knowing what I’m getting myself into, hard or easy.

  9. aircool says:

    I’d like to try backstabbing with a spear.

    …wait, that doesn’t sound right

  10. Inglourious Badger says:

    In B4 “But it’s not Morrowind!”

    • JackShandy says:

      Well, come on, a lot of the above bits and bobs are slightly worse than they were in Morrowind. The fast travel system isn’t chunky or tied into the world, the interface was designed for consoles, combat – ok, it wins combat.

    • Ateius says:

      Well, to be fair, I’ve been recently replaying Morrowind and the interface isn’t exactly spectacular there either. Designed without a care for consoles, of course, but everything beyond the inventory screen (which I much prefer over its descendants’ versions) is all clunky and messy. Like your stats and skills and bounty and factions and reputation and so on all being in a single window, leading to a massive scroll-bar rather than a quick tab to sort through info types. Or all your racial powers, spells, enchanted items and scrolls being in another single window, which even by level 10 will lead to an epicly long list with no options to sort it in any manner, and thus equally epic amounts of scrolling as you try to swap spells or activate items mid-battle.

      Disappointed at non-chunky fast travel though. Fully integrating that into the world (from fixed-point Silt Strider/Boat/Mage Guild Teleport options to self-cast teleportation spells) is one of the little details that made Morrowind so immersive. Clicking at a point on a map just isn’t the same.

      …. damn it, postman, hurry up so I can play Skyrim instead of talking about it endlessly.

  11. Njordsk says:

    No fast travel for me.

    And the UI doesn’t bother me that much, except for the quest, which doesn’t have a recap, it’s hard to remember why you must go to X place (which appeared on your map)

    other than that 10/10, awesome game so far

    • The Pink Ninja says:

      Yes, I’m also planning to make a commitment to try playing without fast travel so the world feels more immersive and epic.

    • Premium User Badge

      puppybeard says:

      I knew a girl who wouldn’t even use the map in Morrowind.
      “It’s more fun to use signposts and sometimes get lost”, she said.
      She was right, I discovered.

      Sadly I used the superintelligence potion hack, and when I could kill a daedra prince with one hit of a sword, things got boring.

    • Aldehyde says:

      Yeah, I started playing 3 hours ago and quickly decided not to check the map, turn off the HUD and just go around exploring on my own. Started making a map of my own and everything. ‘Tis quite the thing to just go off in some direction not knowing where the hell you are.

  12. Sirnizz says:

    Big improvement or no, it’s still absolutely not adapt for the PC version of the game with all that line and columns and when you have 300+ matérial to look for in order to make potions it will be a hassle.

    Of course I’ll play the game the firt 2-3 hours or so without mod, but I’am gonna list all of those pesky probleme that bother me when i’am playing and immédiately try to find mod to correct these issue.

    Inventory management and UI are rly gamebreaking for me.

    • Premium User Badge

      AmateurScience says:

      The crafting UI is actually really intuitive: it lists effects (damage magicka etc) first. Once you select an effect it gives you a list of all the ingredients you have with that effect so you can then make a potion. SO trying to juggle loads of ingredients doesn’t feel like too much of a problem (so far!)

    • Archonsod says:

      Yeah, the crafting is really well done. You basically select what you want to make, it shows you the required ingredients and how many of each you have. Only irritation I’ve found so far is it only lets you make one thing at a time; if you want to knock out five steel daggers you have to hit the craft button five times, rather than getting a slider or the like.

  13. Simon says:

    “Right, you’re all playing it now, or at least sitting miserably at work wishing you’d pulled a sickie.”

    Sadly I’m firmly in the latter category…typing just doesn’t have the same RPG feel.

    • Jockie says:

      Same here. Boo work.

    • Uglycat says:

      West of Desk
      You are standing in small cubicle west of a white meeting room, with a boarded front door.
      There is a small printer here.
      >_

    • Artiforg says:

      @Simon

      * Your typing has increased to level 2*

      (Does it feel like an RPG now?)

    • Premium User Badge

      Bluerps says:

      Just pretend you are some kind of Writer-Warrior, who defeats his enemies with his supernatural typing abilities!

    • Magnetude says:

      >Do some work

      I can’t concentrate on that right now.

    • The Tupper says:

      @ Bluerps

      “Just pretend you are some kind of Writer-Warrior, who defeats his enemies with his supernatural typing abilities!”

      You’ve just described every contributor to every message board anywhere on the internet.

    • Jesse L says:

      The graphics here are way worse than even Oblivion. This is PS2-era, another gray corridor-based typer/proofreader with awful lighting. Co-workers do have a lot of polygons, but the conversation options are so limited I tend to skip right through them without paying attention.

    • The Tupper says:

      Perhaps a double-barrelled shotgun would liven things up a bit?

    • Magnetude says:

      The small room size and lack of windows mask the poor draw distance, and the ambient sounds start to grate after a while, especially the ‘photocopier’ which emits a high pitched squeak almost constantly. It’s obviously been held back by the memory limitations of the consoleboxes too – the ceiling and floor are just the same square of texture repeated infinitely, with little attempt at naturalism.

      One aspect of the game that completely blew me away is in the way it reacts to the player. I walked into the kitchen and pocketed as much tea as I could carry, then smashed a few glasses to enjoy the quite excellent physics. Not only did my character show visible cuts on his face and hands from the flying shards, but the state of the kitchen was brought up by almost every NPC I spoke to throughout the day.

    • nrvsNRG says:

      @Magnetude
      LOL, thats was excellent :)

    • Wizardry says:

      I’ve played almost every CRPG ever made and I won’t even try this game until all the DLC are out and I can pick up the GOTY edition for a couple of pounds.

  14. HelderPinto says:

    You’re already 50 hours in? Jesus…

  15. MuscleHorse says:

    I played for about forty minutes last night before succumbing to sleep like a great big fairy. What came to mind was;
    – The graphics are a huge improvement without much of a performance hit.
    – The NPCs are more bearable to look at though still not great. Elves in particular look a lot less fruity.
    – Voiceacting is bland though better. Considering how abysmal previous Bethesda games are in this department this is a big thing for me.
    – The main issue I was banging up against was Bethesda’s usual mouse acceleration crap. For some reason the sensitivity slider only seemed to affect horizontal movement and not vertical. I needed to go find an ini line to fix this.
    – The HUD is lovely. The inventory system isn’t. I look forward to modding this away.

    • n0s says:

      @MuscleHorse

      Ooh, I had the same mouse issue, only horizontal sensitivity was affected by the slider, which suck mudcrab-balls… I like to have a very very high sensitivity, so I don’t have to move my wrist at all while playing and I can rest the back of my hand on the table.

      It all ends up looking like I’m nerdraging badly every time I’m in a hurry to look either up or down, skating more than Tony Hawk skating in an automatic skating machine.

      Would you be a darling and tell us all what file it was?

      Edit: Tpyo

    • UberMonkey says:

      A lot of people are saying these lines already exist in the ini, but for me they weren’t there. I didn’t even have a [Controls] section in skyrim.ini (there is one in skyrimprefs.ini, but I figured this file is auto-generated and anything I added would probably be replaced if I edited prefs in-game).

      I added this at the bottom of skyrim.ini (in documents/my games/skyrim):

      [Controls]
      fMouseHeadingXScale=0.0200
      fMouseHeadingYScale=0.0200

      Apparently the Y value (vertical) was originally 0.0100, at least according to the article I read that suggested this fix. Anyway it seemed to do the trick… The X and Y mouse speeds are now the same, and I can adjust the overall mouse speed from the in-game options.

  16. Furius says:

    My only gripe so far is that yet again we lefties (left handed folk, as opposed to guardian-opinion-spouting liberals- In general they seem to have been adequately catered for) have been shanked a bit again. Nothing as bad as The Witcher 2 on release. But it does seem strange that you can reassign WASD to the cursors, but still need to navigate the map with WASD. I also cant seem to re-map R for Take All. And you have to use A and D for lock picking. Bizzare. I’m sure this’ll all get patched in time though right?

    apart from that- loving it, stayed up till 3am blah blah blah.

  17. Premium User Badge

    The Sombrero Kid says:

    Why the hell can’t I choose the handedness of my character, i can choose every other bloody thing, a shield has to go in the left hand for no damn reason! This is a minuscule nitpick to an excellent game though.

  18. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    “[…] generally, I was always doing something with one hand. Matron.”
    You were doing a matron with one hand? What? I don’t get this…

  19. jatan says:

    first time playing any of these’ bethesda’ games- i find the pc version interface to be terrible its half a 360 and half a pc interface… shoddy…animation is terrible… whole thing feels incredibly crap to be honest…but will keep struggling as i want to get it . i may give it another go on 360 if interface irrates to much… i think bethesda are very lucky to have such loyal fans who make effort to get past the problems/flaws…i have done it before (i loved op flashpoint- years ago)..but not sure i have time any more

    • Magnetude says:

      Why not just plug a gamepad in? It’s how I intend to play.

    • Kleppy says:

      Or take it one step further: plug your PC into you big HDTV with a gamepad, and you’re playing Skyrim on a high resolution Xbox. The best of both worlds.

    • Schadenfreude says:

      This is what I’m doing. TV+Surround Sound w/Wireless Gamepad @1920×1080 on Ultra. Joyus.

    • nrvsNRG says:

      “Or take it one step further: plug your PC into you big HDTV with a gamepad, and you’re playing Skyrim on a high resolution Xbox. The best of both worlds.”

      i have a feeling a lot of ppl are doing this… probably a lot more that would care to admit also.

    • vecordae says:

      I would be one of those people had my ladyfriend not already co-opted our big-screen in order to constantly play Dragon Age 2, Minecraft, and Sims Medieval on her own system. I have come to terms with this and content myself with my reasonably-sized monitor.

  20. Advanced Assault Hippo says:

    The inventory system isn’t Old-Worldy enough. It’s too modern, cold and clinical.

    I’d much prefer an old parchment effect. Nitpicking I know, but there you go.

  21. jatan says:

    I guess..it will stop being half and half and go to full 360 mode–good point

  22. Casimir's Blake says:

    My ONLY complaint so far (no, really), is that mouse sensitivity is a mess. Slider full-right still isn’t quite enough, and as others have noticed it hardly changes the y-axis. This wouldn’t be so much of a problem if the mouse movement in Skyrim wasn’t accelerated. This demands a fix, for my mouse hand is weeping already after only a couple of hours play.

    • GenBanks says:

      Here are a few helpful tweaks, you just have to make some changes to the .ini file http://www.gamefront.com/how-to-improve-skyrim-with-ini-file-tweaks/

      I was sort of expecting mouse accel/lag problems since the same issue has been in the fallout games and oblivion. Not everyone notices it, but if you do it’s pretty annoying.

      Also, the narrow FOV left me easily disorientated in the introduction part of the game. Just trying to tweak that now (and by the text description of this article’s picture, there’s going to be some kind of roundup of technical tweaks on RPS, can’t wait)

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Thanks Gen, that’s a concise roundup by Gamefront.

      I’m too used to ZDoom’s “accurate” mouse control, so I’m hoping this works.

  23. zergrush says:

    “Right, you’re all playing it now, or at least sitting miserably at work wishing you’d pulled a sickie.”

    My boss hasn”t showed up to work today, so I’m playing it windowed with plenty of half-done workstuff sitting on the back of the screen.

    • Mirqy says:

      presumably your boss is playing it at home.

    • aircool says:

      Get back to doing your important, international banking stuff; we all know what happens to the international markets every time there’s a new Football Manager released.

  24. jatan says:

    feels a lot better with a 360 controller- to me-thanks

    • Magnetude says:

      You’re welcome!

    • The Tupper says:

      I reckon when I eventually buy the game I’ll use my XBox controller from the outset as well thanks to your advice. I’d never play a full-blown FPS with one, but this might be ideal.

  25. Daiz says:

    I personally think that the UI is quite possibly the worst game UI I’ve had to suffer from in years. It’s horribly confusing, misleading and even inconsistent with its own terrible UI paradigms. The most insulting thing about it is the fact that the mouse cursor is basically a decoration – very rarely can you click on anything except the menu item that has been highlighted with the movement keys, and sometimes you can’t even do that. And the mouse-click options are terribly limited too – you can’t drop items using the mouse for example, you have to use a key. And not to mention the damned Favorites menu – you can’t change your right-hand item with the mouse buttons at all – you have to tap E whereas in the actual inventory you can select what goes into which hand with the LMB/RMB. I had to take a break after an hour or so because my fingers started to hurt from all the button-mashing required to navigate the goddamn menus.

    Honestly, I feel like plugging in my 360 pad and playing with it. The UI will still be the clunky piece of turd it is but at least my left hand fingers should be more comfortable.

    • Premium User Badge

      AmateurScience says:

      Insulted? Really?

    • Jeremy says:

      This sounds like one of those drug commercials where the commentary tries to over-complicate all the steps involved in taking antacid pills. It’s not the most intelligent of Inventory UIs, but I also didn’t need to take a break or a nap after navigating it.

    • Daiz says:

      Well, the 1.1 patch has at least fixed the most glaring issue of not being able to click things, which makes the whole thing much more usable. Still worse than Oblivion’s default UI, though.

  26. Was Neurotic says:

    I’m not playing it today because… it’s a national holiday in my country and all the shops are closed! :D (I want a boxed copy to go with my boxed Arena, Daggerfall, Redguard, Morrowind and Oblivion!)

    • Saiko Kila says:

      If the country is the one I think of, that sucks, especially since the game is absent from the steam store. However, the boxed version was present on shelves on Thursday (and much cheaper than the steam store version), so there was a way to play it today.

  27. Sardaukar says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but all this worry about the inventory re: crafting isn’t as bad as people imagine. Once you have made a potion, if you have the ingredients available, the potion should show up as a quick-list of the alchemy menu. Though I could be mistaken on this, I haven’t replenished my mushrooms to see if the potions on the list return.

    And as for my impressions with the game? Oblivion had promise but I was never able to finish, being exhausted by searching out gigabytes upon gigabytes of mods every time I tried to play it. Fallout 3 felt like a foul betrayal after I started exploring (fruitlessly) the greater wasteland areas of the map. I’ve enjoyed FNV so far, but am probably only half done with it. I came to Skyrim, then, without hopes to high, but some positive expectations based on what I’d read.

    i’m only six hours in but I am completely blown away. Almost every complaint I could level at the other games has been amended here. I’m even enjoying crafting items, and I hate that in games. The art is wonderful, the voice acting works for me, the world is just breathtaking (but I have an affinity for icy mountains populated by giant spiders and the undead), and the combat is actually thrilling, on hard at least.

    • aircool says:

      I remember in the last game, the inventory was a few useful items hidden amongst a huge list of cheeses.

    • Sardaukar says:

      The passage of years and intermediary games may be benefitting Skyrim, actually. When I played Oblivion, I was a packrat. Then I played the hell out of STALKER and got back into Diablo, and since then have had a bare-essentials approach to my inventory. No cheesebloat for me, though I am carrying a small library until I get a home.

    • Jeremy says:

      Same here Sardaukar, I have stopped carrying every item I see, and instead just snag a few of the more valuable items, while saving the rest for ingredients and crafting supplies.

  28. Voidy says:

    Bah, I’m probably the only individual on Earth who took this day off to visit a dentist. No, honestly.

  29. ZimbuTheMonkey says:

    I was just bitching to my friends about the inconsistency in the menu buttons. At first, I thought it just wanted me to use the WSAD keys. That’s a little different, but not that unwieldy so I accepted it. Then a pop-up prompt reared its head and was only dismissed was a mouse click, so that was a little annoying. Just pick a scheme and stick with it, Bethesda.

    It would be a small fix, but I just want them to address it quickly. Fiddling needlessly with menus breaks my immersion.

  30. The Tupper says:

    I should avoid this topic entirely as I am dreadfully, perilously broke and can’t buy any games at the moment, but I have a lovely (employed) wife and xmas is coming up.

  31. Premium User Badge

    piphil says:

    This is a shot in the dark, but out of interest – would Skyrim work on a laptop with a last-generation Core i5 M 520, 4GB RAM and the integrated Intel HD graphics? I got Oblivion running pretty well on this setup, aided by the SSD speeding loading times significantly.

    I’ve got a desktop with a 6870 which I’m assuming is plenty fast enough, but I’ve noticed a couple of people say that the game looks better than Oblivion without raising the system requirements too much. Would the laptop be too much of a push? It would be good to be able to play Skyrim on the move (thank god it’s not published by Ubisoft…).

    • Alec Meer says:

      It runs tolerably on my Macbook Air which is basically those specs. Bit chuggy in places, but playable.

    • Premium User Badge

      piphil says:

      Thanks Alec. That may have taken Skyrim from “wait until my birthday in a couple of weeks” to “buy now, download at work and play when away over the weekend” territory…

      Does the eye candy suffer much on the Mac or does it scale well?

  32. Bassem says:

    I am very angry at the inventory and menu system in Skyrim. Bethesda have somehow managed to make Olbivion’s look excellent in comparison.

    Skyrim’s inventory screen is a joke. It’s a strip, compared to Oblivion’s panel. Again, I can’t believe I’m using Oblivion as the better side here!
    At least in Oblivion, you could see all items’ attributes listed with them (weight, value, etc.)
    In Skyrim you have to highlight an item to see its attributes.
    How is this more user friendly?

    In Oblivion you could even sort items by their name, type, weight, value etc. which was essential for weight management and selling goods. None of this in Skyrim. I can’t stress enough how much of a step back this is, how much time it makes a gamer waste on pointless navigation.

    Couple this with Skyrim’s refusal to show my remapped controls in the menu and inventory tooltips, and you’ve got a confusing cherry on top of the frustrating cake.

    I’m hopeful the modding community will come up with a better menu and inventory system. But what i find alarming is Bethesda’s laziness and complacency; why come up with a better UI when modders will do it for them?

    I wouldn’t write all this wall of text if I wasn’t already loving Skyrim. But I do love it, I’m enjoying the gamplay very much, and it only makes the jarring experience of the UI all the worse for it.

  33. Premium User Badge

    thekeats1999 says:

    Well I have played about 3 hours so far and enjoying it. So far played it on a controller, but more to do with not putting it on my Desktop, but running it on my laptop (easier than using the touchpad).

    The things that has most impressed me so far are the dungeons/caves/mines. It’s not that they are designed any better but they look better with waterfalls flowing through them crevices leading of to who knows where.

    The UI has been OK so far, but that has been using a pad. Going to transfer this to my desktop a bit later and try it at high (maybe Ultra, not sure if the comp is up to it).

    My only real complaint so far is the lighting is a little off for me. I get a lot of situations where it is either to dark or blindingly light, quite often in the same area when you get in the way of a lightsource.

    Going to get a good session in this afternoon and this evening and see what I can find. Not sure whether I will complete the opening quests to get Dragons in the world.

  34. asshibbitty says:

    I don’t remember struggling with Oblivion’s interface this much. The skills screen is worse than I expectd it actually makes me nauseous with all the scrolling and panning. The UI is a proper mess and it mars the game big time.

    I’ve met two random hunters, male and female, they both gave me the same line in different voices. Alchemy without portable tools is pointless to me. The cloud texture tiles like a dozen times across the horizon. Overall feels better than Oblivion of course.

  35. Chris Teh Clue says:

    Bought this game on Wednesday on Steam, Installed it and was hapily waiting untill today (Friday)
    Then when i get on after i get back fom College to play some Skyrim, Im told by Steam that its unlocking files for me. Then it tells me that its ‘Updating’. The ETA for the updating is TWO HOURS. Thats amost the same time it took for me install it in the first place. Why is Steam trolling me so?
    Should of known better to buy a Bethesda game on Steam.

    Have friends downloading the pirated version of the game for free, and at this rate they will be playing the game before me, whos had the game for two days longer >:(

    Hoping the mouse acceleration isnt totally fucking retarded to the point i have to put my wrist in ice (Like in DeadIsland) Looking forward to being confused by the dual weapon system too.

    • Rymdkejsaren says:

      This happened to me with L4D2 as well, it is a steam problem that is not specific for Bethesda games. It is yet another reason in a long line of reasons to avoid steam as much as you can (a difficult thing these days).

    • mod the world says:

      Would you have preferred to play WITH the bugs this patched fixed? The auto-update thingy is one of the main advantages of Steam games.

    • Rymdkejsaren says:

      I prefer updating manualy to having my ping go bonkers in MP games because steam decides that NOW is the time to download the latest in TF2 hats.

    • wu wei says:

      I prefer updating manualy to having my ping go bonkers in MP games because steam decides that NOW is the time to download the latest in TF2 hats.

      1. Steam does not initiate downloads during games launched by it. It even pauses downloads during non-online games.

      2. Right click | Properties | Updates | Do not automatically update this game.

      3. If you’re not running Steam games, just close the client; it’s not like you want it to update in the background for you.

      You’re welcome.

  36. Sigh says:

    Alec,

    Thanks for posting this second round of your thoughts, I appreciate the clarification.

  37. Rymdkejsaren says:

    On the up side, the game runs surprisingly well on my computer, much better than BF3 for example. The massive downside is a hugely disappointing UI clearly intended for people with consoles and lots of patience.

    I can’t even shortcut items and spells but have to press a minimum of THREE buttons to switch weapons through the “clever” favourite system. This also pauses the game which is a huge moodkiller for me, I really prefer real time combat.

    I am thoroughly disappointed that Bethesda could not take a few days to code a UI more suited for the PC, and I hope there will be mods fixing this in the future.

    • Rymdkejsaren says:

      So basically, I am just another misinformed internet rager? :(

  38. Premium User Badge

    LTK says:

    A question regarding fast-travel: Is not using it, ever, in any way feasible when completing the majority of quests? I’m asking because, when playing New Vegas, I enjoyed plotting out my course for completing my quests as the Courier, and the Mojave made that interesting because you couldn’t get everywhere by walking in a straight line, unlike Fallout 3. But towards the end, jogging back and forth between the different factions for the end of the main quest became an incredible slog. Does Skyrim do the same thing, or are your quests localized in a reasonable way? Like, they don’t have you dragging your ass from one end of the map to the other on a regular basis?

  39. lucasdigital says:

    12:07am: Skyrim finishes decrypting.
    12:09am: Installed and ready
    12:11am: Managed to get game to start, but not seeing any ability to control my view.
    12:14am: Assumed my mouse had glitched. Tab’ed out and closed Skyrim down to restart.
    12.17am: Restarted Skyrim. Mouse not working AT ALL.
    12:19am: Realise that my little-used XBOX360 controller was configured for play. Spent 3 minutes trying to find a way to enable my mouse. WT-blinkin-F, Bethesda?!
    At 12:25am: I’m retired to bed, but doing quick Google searches for some sign that I’m not alone with this problem. I find that all discussion is centred on how bad control appears to be when the mouse is working – although there is a workaround….

    Tonight, Skyrim and me, we’re starting over. I really don’t feel confortable using a controller with first-person games. Maybe I missed the configuration option for controller, maybe I’ll just need to unplug my controller – which I’ll consider extremely sloppy production / QA effort on Bethesda’s side. Not a great start.

  40. Premium User Badge

    Jeeva says:

    As a quick thing: Thanks, Alec, for posting about the sound issue you had. I had a worrying moment when my copy crashed, but was fixed within seconds. Muahaha!

    And now, to play.

  41. Vinraith says:

    Right, you’re all playing it now, or at least sitting miserably at work wishing you’d pulled a sickie.

    Why would anyone be doing that? The mods to fix it aren’t out yet. Speaking as an enormous fan of TES games and Bethesda games in general, even if I had a pre-ordered copy sitting on the desk in front of me right now I wouldn’t have bothered to install it yet.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      Well. my main concerns have been addressed already (UI and levelling are at the very least tolerable) and the game so far doesn’t seem to have any major driver or dlc issues. I’ll be picking up a copy this evening.

      Of course mods will fix most problems, but with Elder Scrolls games you really have to play the vanilla versions a bit to get a feel for what you want to change and what should stay the same.

    • Prime says:

      YMMV, but this game, for me at least, has been an absolute joy to play so far. The UI is a touch on the clunky side but everything else is fun and I’m really enjoying it. And I’ve not encountered a single bug either, maybe apart from a couple of conversations starting tied to nearby events that I wasn’t actually part of, but that was early game and I haven’t seen anything like that since.

      Bethesda may have deserved this attitude of “The Mods will fix what you can’t” but so far this is one game that really doesn’t need them to be fun.

  42. Nick says:

    I like the way you can’t block with two weapons, or ome weapn and spell, makes combat even more dull.

  43. Punchbowled says:

    “cold” may be the key term for understanding that there design decision, Mister Hippo.

  44. piderman says:

    Patch LMB/RMB? You can just change that in the key mappings.

    • fwfulton says:

      I did that almost right away using right button for left hand and left button for right hand just didn’t work for me; but I likes to have a drink whilst I Play. So far quite happy and using the Ultra setting and the Shadows Tweeks

  45. ttcfcl says:

    I just came from three weeks of Oblivion. Here’s the quirks between the two:

    F1-4 keys are not short cuts to stats, inv, spells, maps like in TES4 and Fallout 3/NV. Those screens shortcuts are defaulted to be similar to other RPGs. M, ?, P and something else. Anyway, I switched them to the F# keys since before TES4 I did 85 hours of New Vegas. Here’s the issue with TES5. When you press for instance F2 to go into inventory, and then want to switch to the map, you CANNOT just hit F4 while in your inventory. You have to “close” your inv with another press of F2, go back into game and then hit F4 to go to map. I hope this get changed

    As a bowman, you sometimes dont want to fire an arrow youve drawn. In TES4 it was Z to put away a drawn arrow. In TES5 it’s R, the same as hoster-unholster. It’s fine, but Z in TES5 is also your shouts, and by habit i was hitting Z and shouting when I didn’t mean to. And yes, shouting at friendly NPCs pisses them off.

    Don’t worry, you still have quickkeys. Press Q to being up the quick menu, and then highlight an item and press the number key you want it assigned to. I’m on the steam version so there’s no manual that I have found but I havent looked either.

    I can only wear one ring at a time! Is this a glitch?!

    I sorely miss the companion wheel from New Vegas.

    Attempting to take screenshots with the steam overley crashes my games sometimes.

    You can drink/eat as much as you want in the menu. Not limited to 4 like in TES4 akaik

    • wearedevo says:

      TES4 didn’t actually have a “un-nock arrow” key. It was mapped to “grab” (z by default) as part of a mod.

  46. johnpeat says:

    I’m no PC obsessive, but if I wanted this as a ‘sit back and play with a controller’ game, I’d buy it for the box-of-X’s downstairs…

    I don’t do that because I prefer my first-person explorationizing to be done on a computer – and I prefer keyboards and mice for stuff like shortcuts and quicker movement etc. etc.

    If you’re all saying that this is heavily focussed on the controller – I’ll pass – thanks…

    • Jeremy says:

      I’m a PC guy and don’t even own a controller and I’ve been fine playing it. There are a few quirks, but they’re quirks of the UI system, not as a result of being designed for a controller (at least in my opinion). I’m sure that some changes will be made to the UI with mods or even patches that will clean things up. Still, as it is, outside of a weird sort of UI learning, it isn’t anything I couldn’t handle.

    • johnpeat says:

      Ofc the main thing about the PC version is the possibility of mods to

      a – fix the interface issues
      b – remove the ‘Fallouty ness’ if you like that
      c – EVERYTHING ELSE :)

  47. reticulate says:

    This is a comment test, because WordPress has decided to eat my comments again.

  48. Wubbles says:

    Alec, how does the justice system work?

  49. namad says:

    “Then there’s the issue of left and right items. Any one-handed weapon and any spell can be equipped in either the left of the right hand, but the game gets all confused in terms of the right hand being your character’s main hand, but the left mouse button being your main button. So equipping an item in the right hand marks it with a little L for left, and vice-versa.”

    THAT IS 100% false. the L means left hand (left hand is activated via the RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON) no mistake or error there at all.

  50. vexis58 says:

    I found it extremely confusing that the LEFT mouse button controls your RIGHT hand and vice versa. After trying to get used to it for several hours, I just swapped them in the keybindings menu and haven’t had any problems since. I never even noticed that the markers in the menus were backwards, because my brain was so confused by which one was which in the first place.

    I know, I know, they’re trying to make it like a “main mouse button is main hand” idea, but I constantly found myself swinging my axe when I was trying to zap something with lightning (I think I may very well have been playing the game with the same combination you were, it makes me wonder how common certain combos are) because my brain was saying “no, that’s the left, I need to click the LEFT! Why is my right hand moving? Aagh!”

    • Ravenger says:

      I wanted to make my character left-handed, because it seemed the game would support that with it’s ‘left hand’ and ‘right hand’ controls. But no, you have to have a shield in your left hand. It won’t equip on your right.