Voice City: Interesting NPCs Invigorates Skyrim’s NPCs

By Craig Pearson on January 10th, 2013 at 8:00 am.

How... interesting
I don’t know who the head of Bethesda is. I’ll assume it’s John Bethesda Softworks. Hello, Mr Bethesda Softworks! Mind if I call you John? Nope. Grand. I have an idea for you: crowd-source the content for next Elder Scrolls. Calm down, John. Stop throwing things and hear me out. I know your games are lorey love letters to the world you created with Adrian Elder Scrolls, but things are moving on. Fans of games don’t need developers, just tools and assets to make their own game. You could spend all your time churning out huts and swords, and leave it to the people to make something from it. I have proof: this Skyrim mod Interesting NPCs adds over 100 new NPCS to the game, with over 90 of them voiced by actors.

Now I know the next question you have, John. The answer is they’re as good as the people you paid money for to mangle the “arrow to the knee” line. The next answer is that 50 people have so far given up their time for free to bring life to these integrated characters dropped into the Skyrim world. Each has a backstory and loads of dialogue that applies specifically to the additional quests that the mod drops in. Heck, there are even location specific lines for followers. This all adds up to over 20,000 new lines of wordage. There’s 15 minutes of moving screenshots and sound below, and I assure you that’s just a tiny amount of the work that’s been done. And there’s even more planned.

Via Kotaku.

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108 Comments »

  1. derf says:

    Make NPC’s as interesting as you like, but without a total revamp of the UI, i’m not playing Skyrim beyond the 3 hours i’ve already put into it.

    • MultiVaC says:

      I take it you’ve tried this mod and weren’t satisfied with it?

      http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/3863

      If you haven’t given it a shot it’s worth trying. It makes Skyrim’s UI a lot more bearable.

      • Asherie says:

        If an interface was enough to put him/her off, then even if the interface got fixed he/she’d still find the next reason not to play it.

        • Gnoupi says:

          UI is the most important part of your interaction with a game (or program in general, for that matter).

          If you intend to interact with your game, that’s kind of a deal breaker if it’s a pain to do what you want to do in it.

          • Asherie says:

            Oh I totally agree. However I think most people are referring to inventory management when they talk of the UI in skyrim being bad, which is definitly not the most important part of the game. During combat, swinging your sword, keeping an eye on your health etc – I haven’t seen anyone complain about the interface in those regards, except spell casters not being able to quickswitch to other spells without pausing the game with that favourite menu (F key or Q Iirc). I would have liked a minimap in the corner but other than that it’s like most other interfaces in games. I’m trying to think of another way to put this: I doubt Derf really wanted to play in the first place if he can’t put up with bad inventory management. That is to say if the interface was fine, he/she’d simply find another poor excuse. There are plenty of reasons to not like Skyrim, I think the UI is just a ‘can’t be bothered’ sort of cop out. If someone didn’t like the the melee combat mechanics – and they really wanted to be melee, that’d be a fair enough reason for example.

          • Stevostin says:

            Ok, but 90% of your interaction is FPV with little UI and no pb with it. The people bitching about UI are bitching for an important yet minor part of the UI. I admit Bethesda’s UI are not working well with companion or craft, but they’re fine, and even good, for the rest.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            It’s been a long time since I played Skyrim, but if I remember correctly the most obnoxious part of the already-obnoxious UI was the hotswapping menu. Clunky and cumbersome, and it was a big reason I quit playing after awhile.

            UI is really important, and if the UI for a fantasy game looks like it came out of a quasi sci-fi shooter, I think it indicates the devs did something wrong.

          • fish99 says:

            Asherie, but you DO need to use the UI during combat, to heal, and to use other potions, and it takes way too long and way too many clicks, through awkward menus that weren’t designed for a mouse. It completely kills the flow of combat. Plus the favourite system is broken.

            I hate to praise the Kingdoms of Amalur UI, but at least it had the radial wheel for potions, and quick keys for health and mana, which meant downtime during combat was minimal.

          • ulix says:

            With the proper Mods (Sky UI and Categorized Favorites) the UI is completely okay.
            With CF you need two steps to do anything you want in combat: hit favotites key, click on whatever you want to use.

            Then there’s mods that give you more Hotkeys (I’m using one where you also get F1-F10).

            I really don’t see the problem (I DO see the problem with the vanilla game, but not with the game that I’m playing).

          • Chmilz says:

            I hear ya, UI is the reason I cannot play Witcher 2. I want to. I’ve tried. But that UI is so damn bad…

            I got an Xbox360 controller for xmas, maybe I’ll give it another whirl with that.

          • irrevenant says:

            Probably my number one bitch about the Skyrim UI is that it will not let you name/rename potions. If I brew a poison that does Paralysis + Damage Health + Lingering Health Damage + replenishes the target’s Magicka then it calls it a Potion of Restore Magicka in my inventory. Since I have ACTUAL Potions of Regenerate Magicka in my inventory that gets awkward.

            That’s a genuine example, BTW: Imp Stool + Mora Tapinella + Human Flesh. Mildly annoying that there’s a positive effect in there, but since the target is usually dead before the Paralysis wears off, it rarely matters…

      • wearedevo says:

        Beat me to it. A total revamp of the UI, and a slick one at that, was one of the first mods to be released for Skyrim.

    • f1x says:

      Too bad for you, because its a damn great game

      The UI is a bit crap yes, but using hotkeys and favorites makes it acceptable

      edit: I didnt know that mod but looks nice!

      • Spakkenkhrist says:

        SkyUI is great, this mod for the favourites menu really helps too: http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/5229

      • D3xter says:

        It’s kinda average at best, got almost all the elements for distinguishing it as a Bethesda Softworks game, from a rather crap main plot, boring quests and characters for the most part, bland environments repeating over and over so most caves and houses look like each other, bad UI/AI, balancing and even somewhat unrewarding gameplay mechanics in the sense that fighting melee for instace isn’t as satisfying as Dark Souls, Gothic etc. and at least when it released it was also buggy all over.

        But at least it’s good as a blank canvas for modders and the likes to project themselves (and their work) onto.

        • Eschatos says:

          Bland environments? Are you shitting me? Now I know you’re trolling.

          • sPOONz says:

            Trolling? More like expressing his opinion.

          • irrevenant says:

            It’s a valid perspective. Parts of Skyrim are stunning (Blackreach is anything but bland) but it’s supposed a harsh land – there’s a *lot* of snow-covered wastes, empty tundra and grey stone houses. The Draugr dungeons are pretty drab, too. Once you get beyond Riverwood, which is really quite pretty, Skyrim can be pretty bleak (as is intended).

            That said, there are a number of really nice touches that add character to different parts of Skyrim: The way Markath looks more primitive and hacked out of solid rock as compared to the more mediaeval architecture and colours of Solitude, for example, makes for an interesting contrast….

      • f1x says:

        Awesome, I will try that other mod aswell, its been a while since I played Skyrim but could drop some mods in and play a bit more

        D3xter – I respect your opinion on it,
        myself I didn’t find it bland, of course it could be much better but I had great fun with it, and I consider it a referent for open world – RPGs (is there another open world one actually? from the last 2 years?)
        when it comes to combat its definitely not the strong point

        but my point was mostly that dismissinng a game like Skyrim after a couple hours just because of the UI, its a shame

      • ulix says:

        SkyUI and Categorized Favorites really are the two most essential mods for Skyrim. You HAVE to use them. I’m using over 50 mods, but these two really are the two most important ones.

    • Chumbaba says:

      I also recommend the SkyUI, it has been around for a year or so. Personally, I would appreciate a total revamp of character development. I really liked improving attributes by using skills in the previous Elder Scrolls games. For me, endless wandering in Skyrim is kind of pointless, because I cannot work towards +5 +5 +5 on level-up. However, in my opinion, Skyrim is probably the best game of the last few years. The Elder Scrolls gameplay is crippled a bit more (again), but it still remains excellent.

      • Crane says:

        You are literally the first person I have ever seen express an affection for that horrible levelling system.

        A system where you are actually better off choosing stuff you don’t use very often as your Major Skills.

        You gain stat bonuses dependant on which skills you increased before you levelled up, but you level up after increasing a certain number of Major Skills. So, if your Major Skills are something that you use all the time and thus increase rapidly, you’ll level up without increasing enough different skills to acqure strong stat boosts, and end up gimping your character.

        In contrast, if your Major Skills are useless things like Mercantile, then in the time it takes you to level up, you’ll increase your more useful skills several times, and thus get bigger stat boosts.

        I hate that system and am glad it’s dead. Please do not invoke its name, lest it rise from its grave!

        • Koozer says:

          It might not have been implemented in the best way imaginable, but the core idea of your skills increasing naturally as you use them is still a great one. Much better than the usual “Wee I went up a level! My character just spent 10 hours sneaking through a cave with a bow and arrow, clearly that means his skill at bartering and swimming has increased.”

          • Grygus says:

            Did you actually play Skyrim? Because at level-up you don’t increase any of your skills; they all go up through use, exactly as you are asking.

      • frightlever says:

        You can still work towards +5/+5/+5 on level up you just need to create a companion note-taking system that you update in tandem with playing the game. Honestly you can make any game as much of a grind as you want if you’re disciplined enough. If you’re OC enough to want that +5×3 system, you’re OC enough to co-opt some external mechanism to hobble fun. Good for you, I say.

    • Spakkenkhrist says:

      That’s it, cross your arms and stamp your little feet.

    • Premium User Badge Petethegoat says:

      I found the voiced dialogue made it really hard to enjoy Skyrim- in general, rather than because of any specific voice acting.
      It really killed any desire I had to speak to people.

      • tyrannus007 says:

        What do you mean? Are you opposed to voice acting on principle?

        • HadToLogin says:

          My guess is poor voice-acting of those probably 5 people who were hired to do it (that’s how it feels).

        • sPOONz says:

          I am opposed. I believe that voiced dialogue limits the experience due to hearing the same actors voice on so many characters. It breaks the immersion of having met a unique character. Also the resources needed to completley voice evey line could instead be used to really expand the conversations. I think that you as the player can do a better imaginary job at it. Focus on character animations and dialogue to make them individual. Our brains can do the rest.

          • Mad Hamish says:

            I’ll agree with that. I started playing Ultima 7 the other day, something I’ve been meaning to do for about 15 years and I found myself speaking the dialogue in my head, giving each character a voice of their own. I haven’t done that in ages, probably not since Morrowind. Definitely gets the imagination going more and allows for a greater range of dialogue.

          • tyrannus007 says:

            Would you be opposed if the game had a thousand high-quality voice actors?

        • f1x says:

          Why do I suspect that if Skyrim didnt have voice acting we would be complaining here about how silent the world is?

        • grable says:

          maybe he cant resist the urge to speak back at the screen ;)

        • Premium User Badge maninahat says:

          I’m the same. After a while, I just skipped through the dialogue so that they can get on with it and send me on my fetch quest.

          The problem is that what is being said is boring, and it is delivered completely flat by dull characters who have no real personality. Some characters stand out (like the jester or that crazy god), but generally, it’s just another guy grunting at you in the same voice you’ve heard twenty or thirty times in the last hour. It may be my fault, but I’ve played the game for 60 hours and can’t recall a single character’s name; that’s how un-impressionable they are.

      • Koozer says:

        I miss the old days of a simple “Hey there stranger,” then you get paragraphs of lovely text. Nice and cheap for the developers, meaning more actual content, and there’s minimal danger of being put off by terrible voice acting.

        Also, I hate Mass Effect’s system of “click this option to have your character say something completely different for no reason.” Something’s gone wrong when it’s easier to judge what your character will actually say by the option’s position on the dialogue wheel.

        • Reapy says:

          I like the ME style where it’s more movie like, your character’s dialog is something new to listen to, so long as I understand the intention of the dialog choice I make , positive, neutral, negative etc, there is no harm. But that comes from the point where you aren’t trying to live as your character and instead think of the hero as say a good book character you are getting to know.

      • irrevenant says:

        One thing that bugged me about the spoken dialogue was when different characters with different voices said *exactly* the same thing.

        For example, almost every single merchant uses the “Some may call this junk. Me, I call them treasures.” line. Ditto Smiths and their “The finest arms and armour!” comment.

        These lines have been recorded in multiple different voices for different merchants. If you have to record lines multiple times, why not make them slightly different each time?

    • rfa says:

      This is why I play (for example) XCOM EU on PS3, not PC – it works as a game better with that UI / on that system.

      On the other hand, a laptop limits i) upgradeability, ii) comfort issues and iii) I like controllers – PS3 is much better than xbox and iv) the muscle memory built over years of console is hard to forget.

      many games are (and will remain) better on PC [ftl, spacechem] – some games better suit controllers [xcom eu]

      • f1x says:

        You realize you can use a gamepad on your PC right?

        I think there are even PS3-type gamepads out there, they are not official by Sony but they work just the same

        • Premium User Badge darkChozo says:

          Pretty sure you can use a PS3 gamepad with PC as well, albeit with some tweaking; without checking any facts, they should be able to connect over Bluetooth, and you can use any of the numerous random gamepad drivers floating around to get them to talk to Windows properly.

  2. Xzi says:

    Fantastic. I have yet to start my first play through of Skyrim. I’ve pretty much just been waiting until there are enough mods out there to make it a more appealing experience. Between this and some of the gameplay mods, I think I can say it’s definitely getting close.

    • Davie says:

      http://www.skyrimgems.com/

      Feast your eyes, mate. So far this collection has been more than enough to improve things across the board.

    • ulix says:

      If you want to use a “Hardcore Mod” (where you need to eat & sleep) I recommend “Vinnie’s Legit Food & Rest”. It doesn’t have as many recommendations as other mods of the type, but it really is the best one.

  3. Lobotomist says:

    I am an old geezer now. But when I was a kid playing D&D in the basement , pacman at the arcade and Jumping Jack on my ZX Spectrum. This was the game I was dreaming about. “What if one day the games would be like this ?”

    Skyrim is perfect game if you want to feel immersed in the world. Yes there are much better (complex) RPG’s , and better ARPG’s.

    But there is no game that makes you feel “there” like Skyrim does.

    For that you can excuse slight interface problems.

    • kataras says:

      Did you ever try STALKER? I think it does a much better job of creating a sense of place than Skyrim.

      • Lobotomist says:

        Not to make it a contest. Stalker is certainly on the same level , I agree. Which only makes two excellent must play games for people that like immersion :)

      • gritz says:

        Not really. STALKER’s (comparatively) small levels and respawning NPC’s hold it back in that regard.

        • Xari says:

          Wot? NPC’s don’t strictly “respawn”, but zones get repopulated by the A-life, in different ways each time which helps with immersion if anything.

        • lijenstina says:

          The respawn in stalker is just data and can be changed in ltx files. You can even allow different factions to populate a location it and the so called gulag system allows to add as many states you want. Of course, dew to time constraints and not to brake to storyline it was severely hold back in vanilla.

    • hatseflats says:

      Honestly? I think Skyrim feels like a theme park. Great fun, but you know it’s just make belief.
      STALKER, Morrowind and Deus Ex are way better at immersing the player.

      • Stevostin says:

        I take Skyrim over Morrowind any time of the day for immersion. DE is not even qualified. Some people should really play back Morrowind : it’s FAR MORE bland than Skyrim. Lots of bland dungeon, NPCs, limitated options on everything, tragically unbalanced gameplay. It’s a wonderful game and the art is fantastic and way more original than what they did since, but it’s also flawed on the game design level in a lot of ways.

        Read any Fantasy story : Skyrim is able to let you tell it with a mod. You can have companion, you can have big battles, you can have complexe scripting, events, etc. Morrowind was far from that level.

      • Davie says:

        See, I thought the reverse was true with STALKER. The setting alone was enough to draw me in and get me interested, but the worldspace felt tiny and confined. It was immediately obvious there was nothing interesting past the barbed-wire border fences.

        With Skyrim, it always seems like there was some little hidden alpine valley or forested settlement you missed the first time around. And the edges of the map don’t actually feel like edges. Sure, it’s annoying to see “You cannot go that way”, but it’s more because I actually want to go that way, because surely there’s something just around the bend in the road.

        Admittedly, a lot of the various bits of scenery in Skyrim were very similar, but the thrill of discovery is enough for me.

        • kataras says:

          It’s true there is nothing behind the fences and Skyrim has a much more varied landscape I guess. But just standing on a roof/rock in STALKER and seeing all the animals and humans going about their business creates a much stronger feeling of a ‘world’ for me.

          • Lobotomist says:

            Its shame to turn this into competition. Since both are great games. Stalker is bit stronger on simulation aspect, and Skyrim in art and detail.

            But when i first time braved the blizzard a top of mountain with visibility near to zero. Hearing wolves howling looking for prey. I could feel the cold in my bones.

            Immersion

    • Asherie says:

      Lobotomist Everything you just said are my thoughts exactly. (your first comment)

  4. djim says:

    Well, i got bored fast because of 2 reasons. 1) the npc’s are so shallow i felt i was alone in the world. 2) The dungeons (caves etc) had variety in terms of opponents and layout, but they had some interesting storylines and they did not built on that. You had to kill everyone (or stealth around them). There seem to be no way to resolve any situation peacefully.

    I’ll probably give this mod a shot and see how much it improves the first point.

    • Stevostin says:

      You can solve nearly all of it peacefully but that requires a very different mindset. Stealth options are pretty well made in that game and on the top of that you have various mind controls. You also have pickpocketing. Moreover you can build a character entirely on those skills and make him progress.

      It could use a “sap” feature for sure. Maybe there’s a mod : the game deals with uncounciousness already.

  5. LionsPhil says:

    …yeeeah, throwing around things like “20,000 new lines” doesn’t instill confidence. The Elder Scrolls already have a bad case of quantity over quality; shoveling in yet more amateur dramatics isn’t what they need. They need pruning shears. And a good writer.

    • Stevostin says:

      The Elder have both the best (Shivering Isles, Oblivion Dark Brotherhood) and if not worst, what you say about bland quantity of writing. That being said when they’re good, they’re good. Everything Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim is pretty good. Main quest line is ok. Warrior stuff is disappointing thus, seems unfinished. Don’t know about mage stuff, I only played 300 hours so far so I haven’t touched it yet.

      A lot of book really worth reading too (compared to 100% boring DE:HR written content it has to be mentionned).

    • Premium User Badge RedViv says:

      Quantity over quality, and yet the faction quests in Skyrim take maybe five or six hours. And require almost no skill in what you are actually supposed to have to join them. When you can get through a Mage faction without knowing more than the starter spell… Something went terribly, terribly wrong.

  6. Narzhul says:

    Maybe they should have devoted their efforts into voicing those quest mods instead? Most of them aren’t voiced, and no offense, but ones that I’ve seen had crappy voice-acting.

    Throwing random NPCs with random dialogue isn’t gonna make the world more interesting, as opposed to more quests.

  7. popej says:

    I’m pretty sure this mod did have compatibility problems with the latest official patch. Reading through the mod notes there is no mention of that though so maybe it’s been resolved.

  8. frightlever says:

    I started a second play-thru of Skyrim last weekend – maybe ten or fifteen hours into it so still early enough to drop this mod into it. I put a BUNCH of mods in but missed this one.

    Point being, Workshop support lets Bethesda put a game out without having to wrangle cats. Also, make something official and people’s attitudes will change. Having said that… Egosoft pretty much incorporates mod content into their official patches for the X games, with permission of course.

    Not game related but Digitalstream, a Korean company who make a UK Freeview recorder, found out someone was working on a Samba support mod for their Linux using DVR and went out of their way to make it easier for him by modifying the box’s firmware. We need more of that.

  9. Dark Acre Jack says:

    Wake me up when it’s in the Steam Workshop.

    • judge_za says:

      Because you can’t copy/paste

    • popej says:

      Nexus Mod Manager is superior in almost every conceivable way.

      The Steam Workshop subscriber model IS a good idea but when each official update of the game and mod can potentially ruin your entire installation it’s just too risky to use.

      10 minutes effort with NMM and you’re laughing.

      • TODD says:

        Wow, look at this plebeian using NMM a.k.a. babby’s first nude mod installer. Mod Organizer is the real man’s mod organization tool for serious nude mod aficionados only.

  10. caddyB says:

    Mod friendly game + loyal fanbase = crazy long shelf life for your game.

  11. profaniti says:

    As someone who bought Skyrim in the Christmas sale, and is yet too scared to loose an entire week of their life, would you recommend a ‘vanilla’ play through for a first timer, or would you recommend some combo of DLC and Mods? If so, which ones? : )

    • Hydrogene says:

      Profaniti, I’m no specialist of the game at all, but the only must have mod I’ve tried for my first playthrough is SkyUI, which is really helpful. If you play an archer and LOVE crafting, there is also a mod to craft arrows (sorry forgot its name).

    • Stuart Walton says:

      I have a number installed but the ones I suggest…

      - Invested Magic : Lets you cast buff spells as a constant effect but as a semi-permanent mana cost. No need to keep reactivating them all the time. Great for mages, spellswords and battlemages. You get a personal dispel power to clear it if needed.

      - Character Creation Overhaul : Gives you far more options when building your character. Also brings back Major and Minor skills (that level faster) so that you can have a more focused character. No more dumping points into secondary perks because you haven’t levelled your preferred skills enough.

      - A Dance Of Death : Adds a bunch of killmoves. Also adds them for NPCs, but you can toggle and tweak all that.

      - Artifact Balance Overhaul : Daedric items, while powerful at low levels just don’t cut it later on. This mod makes them all a little more potent.

      - Spend Dragon Souls for Perks : Self explanatory. Not game breaking though, higher level perks require more souls and the skill level restrictions are still in place. This mod really comes into play when you have all the shouts you need.

      - Dynamic Merchants : Merchants that you often trade with gradually accrue more gold with which to trade. I still manage to have a ton of too-expensive-to-sell junk in my inventory though.

      - Weightless Unusual Gems : In Vanilla Skyrim, these are quest items tthat you can’t drop and weigh 1 pt each. This just makes them weigh nothing.

      - Back off Barbas : It only affects one NPC for the duration of one quest. But if you like walking through doorways and not falling off cliffs then just install it.

      - Ragged Flagon Shortcut : If you join the Thieves guild then this will cut out an extra load screen. (Didn’t work well with Open Cities when I last tried it, there might be a compatible version now)

      - House Map markers : Houses are in cities and cities have map markers anyway. Saves you a short walk. (Again, not too firendly with Open Cities)

      - EzE’s – Remove 3D Map Camera Restrictions : You get to move the 3D map around a bit more.

      Some stuff you can add later whenyou have levelled
      ———————————————————————-

      Moonpath to Elsweyr : A fantastic voiced mod that takes you to the Khajitti homeland.

      Legendary Creatures : Adds about a dozen named monsters. They are all bigger and tougher than their kin. They will often drop powerful/expensive loot. You’ll need to find a book that tells you how to find them. (I actually forgot I had installed this and when I found the book I couldn’t remember if this was vanilla content or not)

      The Morthal Legacy : A short but tough dungeon on the out skirts of Morthal

    • Narzhul says:

      I’d recommend the most basic of mods. SkyUI, capes and cloaks, and such. If your computer can handle it, get the more popular environmental texture mods, and possibly some form of ENB that fits your taste.

    • mondomau says:

      Definitely install Sky UI and a texture pack – the official one is pretty good, but I there were some incredible fan made ones in production last time I checked (haven’t been back for a while).

      The others are down to you, it’s quite easy to tell from Workshop / Nexus which ones are popular because they subtly enhance the experience and which ones offer a more bespoke or specialised appeal (in which category goes the the inevitable slew of nude and creepy ‘pretty faces’ mods).

      Personally, I’d go for a couple of the extra crafting mods, the extra weapons mod (there’s one that adds ~50 extra swords, axes, pieces of armour etc. and one that distributes them among the NPCs) and the Midas magic mod, as it actually makes spellcasting work like you’d expect – you have to find a spell book and gather the ingredients for a spell before you can add it to your inventory.
      This extra work is made up for by the fact that the spells range from incredibly powerful to hilarious (the spell that turns your enemies into woodland creatures is well worth the effort).

  12. Drake Sigar says:

    Yay, more Bard songs!

  13. Rich says:

    It seems the longer I wait before getting around to playing skyrim, the better it’ll be when I do.

    • Caiman says:

      This is why I have never played Oblivion! I kept waiting for the ultimate overhaul mod to come along, and then wait a bit longer for them to fix mod conflicts, and then wait for the next overhaul update, and… etc..

  14. AlFitz says:

    When is Fallout 4 out? I hate Goblins and all that malarkey.

    • Premium User Badge RedViv says:

      I’ll assume we will be getting to “Heyyooo annoying in the morning evening night ever RADIO WITH THREEDAUUUG!” and the random inclusion of any kind of Sci-Fi reference paired with “OOOOH evil! vs Heeey! Goood!” moralities that Bethesda seems to think makes a Fallout game, late next year at the earliest, so we can enjoy treading through rubble that hasn’t been cleaned for 200 years and eat ancient packed noodles to be in the end rewarded with a “You dun good/bad son/daughter” from Vincent the Cat Person.

    • Berzee says:

      No goblins in The Elder Scrolls. You’re thinking of the Harry Potter universe.

      • AlFitz says:

        That would be impossible, I know nothing of Harry Potter except for it being about elves and stuff.

      • Eschatos says:

        Someone never played Oblivion.

        • Berzee says:

          It’s just been a while. =) I amend my previous statement to “No goblins in Skyrim” and thank you for the reminder. ^_^

  15. ninjapirate says:

    Lovely singing there at 5:13. Makes me realize that, while I often stop and stare at lovely graphics, listen to speeches or read texts, it would be nice to stop and listen to music (that isn’t just playing in background) or singing more often.

  16. Stupoider says:

    M-maybe Obsidian could make the next Elder Scrolls game? Sure, it would still be a buggy, Gamebryo bug-ridden mess, but at least it would be a buggy, Gamebryo bug-ridden mess with good writing.

    • Berzee says:

      I was going to agree with you, but then I saw you stammered. Now your lack of confidence in your suggestions has shaken my confidence in them as well, and I fade sadly back into the forest.

  17. Berzee says:

    One of the strangest voice-related things in games like Skyrim is how there are usually only a handful of characters that bother with proper introductions. Most NPCs will see you passing by in the street for the very first time, and unload their queued-up lines like they’ve been saving them up for the first heroic stranger. It always makes me smile when I meet one who starts a conversation tentatively and grows more comfortable over time (though you could make the argument that the people of Skyrim are just exceptionally garrulous). On a similar note, I appreciate it when characters speak as though they haven’t quite thought out every word in their head beforehand.

    It’s kind of the same problem that modern graphics have — the good stuff will be polished unto flawlessness; the great stuff will be full of convincing flaws.

    • DrunkDog says:

      A good point well made. A sound example of this would be something like the CGI in District 9. It’s impressive, but well-blended in with the sun-bleached shanty surroundings.

  18. Baines says:

    Wait, isn’t the classic joke that Bethesda has been crowd-sourcing their games all along?

  19. MellowKrogoth says:

    I am slack-jawed. This voice acting in this mod IS simply wonderful from what I see in the video. I had kind of given up hope that Elder Scrolls mods would one day reach this level of quality. I’ve tried hundreds of Oblivion mods and in those that attempted to add voice acting, it range to mediocre to complete abomination (guy trying to imitate a girl’s voice awful). The writing sounds pretty good as well.

    Are there any known drawbacks to this mod? Typically they can’t resist adding a completely silly character that breaks the fourth wall continuously.

    BTW I agree that fully voice acting a game is not a good idea (unless you have unlimited budget and hire a different voice actor for each and every NPC who’s not mute). Just having the most important characters voiced Morrowind-style would both allow a more developed world, and would allow modders with writing talent but no voice actors at hand to produce convincing content that fits into the game.

  20. UnearthedArcana says:

    How could you forget Brian Zenimax Media Inc? For shame.

  21. Shooop says:

    What Rich said.

    This is what the core game needed from the beginning.

  22. secondmoto381 says:

    It wasn’t the UI that bugged me, mods fixed that relatively quickly. And after playing Oblivion the number of voice actors didn’t really bug me until after I began to really pick apart the game. No what bugged me the most out of this at times insanely enjoyable and at other times a complete let down of a game eas the way it starts…the fact that if your roleplaying as a good character there is really no way to avoid the main quest, also with the garbage skill system, for people who don’t roleplay Skyrim (majority of players) there was really no reason for multiple playthroughs. In Oblivion and you were a fighter and you now wanted to be a mage it was SUPER difficult with your fighter so you created a new character. In Skyrim you just say you want to be a mage and poof you’re instatly a super powerful death mage which rains meteors and kills all of your foes after just a few hours of using the flames spell.