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metalangel
17-11-2011, 12:55 PM
(slightly inspired by Wulf's post about immersion)

I fast travelled everywhere in Oblivion except for quests that required me not to. Halfway through the game my faithful horse (Prior Maborel's paint horse!) was spooked into the forest by a random encounter, and was duly killed by a vertiable army of frost atronachs, will o' the wisps and other nasty things. I chased the horse into the forest trying to retrieve it and noticed quite how lovely the forests were.
*
*It was only when I'd finished almost everything that I remembered this, and used to go exploring the coastlines and forests. I found stuff that was otherwise hidden, like the burnt-out alchemy shop (the former business of the infamous necrophiliac Dunmer woman).*Purely by chance I stumbled across the sheer excellence that was Hackdirt, and after my adventures there I made a resolution.
*
When Fallout 3 came out, wouldn't use fast travel.
*
Now, it's one thing to make the necessary first journey to somewhere in Fallout 3, needed to unlock the ability to fast travel to it. Your first trip to Rivet City is especially harrowing. However, it's another thing when you are making EVERY trip like that.
*
Every trip becomes a proper event, an adventure, an expedition. You stock up with supplies, choose appropriate attire, plan your route. Along the way you might be forced to find a bed to rest and heal, traders to sell your loot to, places to hide or detours to avoid strong enemies. Keep a sharp eye open because those radscorpions or deathclaws can be on top of you in seconds.
*
You have moments. After a long period of solitary wandering through the wastes, walking through eerie streets, when the distinctive thunder of a vertibird is heard. Scramble away, quick! Hide somewhere. Wait for the Encalve patrol to pass, and then get the hell out of there. What the hell is that over there? I'll go look on my way back. There's a pair of settlers being attacked by yao quai, go save them! Hey Uncle Leo, good to see you again.
*
I walked all the way from Megaton up to the northwestern corner of the map, to retrieve the dart gun schematics I'd been told were there. On the way back, I encountered a truck on the highway. The back was filled with skeletons, and orders to the US military to arrest and intern Chinese-American citizens. I got completely lost in the metro tunnels on the way out of the downtown area, spending terrifying hours with critical injuries and low ammunition, desperately battling Mirelurks for their meat, before stumbling out into the Arlington National Cemetary at dusk. The bed in the basement was a gift from above to my battered character.
*
I had similar fun in GTA4. Rather than just jack cars every time I needed to get somewhere or use a taxi to fast travel, I'd walk. Or take the subway. Walk down the streets, soaking up the atmosphere. Snippets of conversation, amusing signs in store windows, the bustle of traffic roaring past me. I wasn't rushing through the game, I was savouring it, seeing all the incredible detail that I'd miss if I drove past at 100mph or teleported straight to my destination.
*
Maybe I'm weird... I do play Wurm, after all, a game where a journey by sea can take a real-life afternoon, and you need to ensure you pack adequate food and water. Travel by land is much more dangerous. I just love soaking up the sights along the way.

sinister agent
17-11-2011, 01:02 PM
I've been walking everywhere in Skyrim since I bought it (although I did manage to save up enough to use a horse carriage thing once).

I've been loving the scenery, and running into people or animals becomes a lot more sudden and unexpected. Several times I have been startled by ambient sound effects and on one particularly embarassing occasion, a shrub. It helps that unlike Oblivion and Fallout 3, I had absolutely no idea what to expect wherever I went.

It's definitely worth trying in games like that. Helps if you have other restrictions/obligations in place as well, but it's not vital. It's also the reason I picked GTA 4 for my last feature [shameless plug].

hamster
17-11-2011, 01:02 PM
Agree with Fallout 3. But I don't take every journey on foot mainly because it involves backtracking and i've killed everything the first time down the path. I do enjoy exploring new places now and then though.

As for Oblivion, I tried a similar approach but the generic forests and hills and even tundra got pretty old pretty quick. There just weren't any specific landmarks or vistas that made me go WHOAA!! nor were there the little "snippets of life" you get peppered around the wasteland in Fallout 3. And the ever ubiquitous ruins in Oblivion sucked really hard too. I'm talking about the forts, ayelid ruins and caves. God.

GTA 4: nice to just travel around but the base game is just so ridiculously dull I couldn't get into it at all.

Nalano
17-11-2011, 01:13 PM
Exploring is one thing. An endless series of fetch quests over long distances, however, makes me think "this is how they pad content."

metalangel
17-11-2011, 01:18 PM
The one and only fetch quest of that nature which made me break my vow in Fallout 3 was getting the ink and paper to make a copy of the Declaration of Independence. It was such a pain to get back to the library (other side of the river). Everything else I just stuck in my quest log to be dealt with the next time I was in the neighbourhood.

sinister agent
17-11-2011, 01:34 PM
It's obviously not workable in many games, but avoiding missions altogether can also be kind of liberating. Just setting your own goal and/or wander in search of inspiration can be far more entertaining than mechanically, efficiently trekking back and forth directly between objectives.

It's hard to find games where it can really be done properly, though.

JackShandy
17-11-2011, 02:19 PM
Absolutely, I've been totally avoiding fast-travel in Skyrim. Made it crazy when I accidently got sucked into a quest that teleports you halfway across the map to a location I'd never been.

sinister agent
17-11-2011, 02:37 PM
Absolutely, I've been totally avoiding fast-travel in Skyrim. Made it crazy when I accidently got sucked into a quest that teleports you halfway across the map to a location I'd never been.

Try it without using a map :D. It does mean that most jobs I've been asked to do are probably never going to happen (not least because the 'quest' page UI is unresponsive, lacking in information and generally useless with markers disabled), but I'm not planning on doing most of them anyway, so it's less of a problem.

Navigating with landmarks and the sun is surprisingly tricky when you go off the roads. I've walked in a circle twice already.

Definitely an acquired taste, this. The inclusion of the horse carriage guys was very welcome.

Smashbox
17-11-2011, 03:11 PM
Yeah. That one. What a long walk back.

metalangel
17-11-2011, 03:25 PM
Navigation in Wurm is done with the aid of the community made maps (http://noizeviolation.com/wurm/Freedom_map.png), knowledge of the game's slightly odd mechanics (the sun rises in the northeast and sets in the northwest) and, somewhat useful, a compass. By ship you identify settlements as you pass, on foot you're at risk of mistaking a newly built (and this unmapped road) for the real one. Standards to have all main roads be two squares wide or have sand verges to aid identification aren't always adhered to, and signposts decay and disappear unless maintained.

I visited Mousehole and was killed by goblins. I spawned back at my home village on Colossus Lake and had to navigate the width of the entire continent on foot (my boat and most of my supplies were with my corpse) which was a proper adventure! I even had to stop when it got dark and build a fire to cook food, to keep my strength up and to avoid stumbling off the road into the forest where your movement is slower, making you easy prey for animals.

Shane
17-11-2011, 04:14 PM
Rarely used fast travel in Just Cause 2 because doing stuff like hijacking a police car to steal a fighter jet to skydive onto the mission objective was actually fun.

Unaco
17-11-2011, 04:19 PM
I haven't Fast Travelled in Skyrim yet, and I don't think I will... even when I got trolled by the main quest (Go fetch this thing! Now, go right back where you started from, empty handed). One problem I am having is a lack of clear roads, combined with severe danger off road. I don't know if it's the weather/snow obscuring roads, or I'm looking in the wrong places... but I can barely see them, and only half the time, on the ingame map, and the ones on the paper map don't really match up accurately. So some journeys can be harrowing. Like when I went to Ustengrav...

I tried to follow the road, West of Whiterun, that runs North up to Morthal, through the Mountains. I think I got on the road, but when it got to the base of the Mountains South of Morthal, between me and the town, I couldn't keep the road (if it was the right road to begin with). In the end I just had to leg it through/across the Mountain, through a big ruin guarded by Frost Trolls (that can kill me). On the way back, I decided not to take that route... took another one. This time I ended up running away from a Snow Bear, past Elderblood Peak, which got the attention of a Dragon, which wanted a word with me... It was all quite crazy. Fun, but crazy.

It could all be down to the weather... It has been pretty terrible for me so far, blizzards, mist, rain. I don't think I've seen the Sun yet... burying roads, obscuring them etc. But I would like to see the main roads a little clearer on the in game map. Still enjoying it though, the walking everywhere.

Wolfenswan
17-11-2011, 04:20 PM
It could all be down to the weather... It has been pretty terrible for me so far, blizzards, mist, rain. I don't think I've seen the Sun yet... burying roads, obscuring them etc. But I would like to see the main roads a little clearer on the in game map. Still enjoying it though, the walking everywhere. Doesn't one of the early main quest shouts clear up the sky?

Unaco
17-11-2011, 04:22 PM
Doesn't one of the early main quest shouts clear up the sky?

Don't know... Don't think so, for me at least. I did get something about 'Clear Sky' from the etchings at High Hrothgar... but I don't have it in my shouts etc.

sinister agent
17-11-2011, 04:30 PM
Rarely used fast travel in Just Cause 2 because doing stuff like hijacking a police car to steal a fighter jet to skydive onto the mission objective was actually fun.

Just Cause 2 makes the trudging back and forth anything but trudging. It's excellently done - simply getting around in itself is such a joy that getting across the map isn't a time to sigh - it's a time to go joyriding.

There was a Spiderman game on the PS2 that got this right, as well - the missions became repetitive and the millions of combat moves redundant, but the game remained fun because to get around the city you swung around like a lunatic, repeatedly launching yourself a mile above the earth and freefalling down to within two feet of the ground before swing away. Beautiful stuff. Momentum is such a powerful force, it's quite strange to think how few modern games use it effectively.

Nalano
17-11-2011, 04:52 PM
Don't know... Don't think so, for me at least. I did get something about 'Clear Sky' from the etchings at High Hrothgar... but I don't have it in my shouts etc.

You know you have to spend dragon souls to use the shouts you learn, right?

Not that I'd call learning 'Clear Skies' "early" in the quest line.

The funny thing about Skyrim's long windy roads between towns is, yeah, I get it: You're supposed to come across things along the way, half exploring and half guys running up to you in the FPS version of random encounters, but if you've spent any amount of time trudging back and forth, you see the same shit recycled over and over and over and over. Tell me if you've seen any of these things:

Imperial citizens, lost, on their way to a wedding. (seven times!)
Pilgrim, on his way to Shrine of Akuze. (four)
High elven theocrats who attack you for not being suitably dismissive of Talos. (thrice)
Imperial soldiers escorting a prisoner. (six)
A dude and his sacrificial cow. (thrice)
A courier with nothing to say to you. (four)
A thief with the same canned line. (five)
An assassin with your name on a piece of paper. (four)
A skooma dealer with the exact same come-on. (eight!)

So to me, running back and forth yet again between Whiterun and Windhelm, it's basically wolf encounter, one of the above, wolf encounter, another of the above, wolf encounter, wolf encounter, and then to the khajitt to sell off all the wolf leather.

Drake Sigar
17-11-2011, 04:56 PM
Imperial citizens, lost, on their way to a wedding. (seven times!)
Pilgrim, on his way to Shrine of Akuze. (four)
High elven theocrats who attack you for not being suitably dismissive of Talos. (thrice)
Imperial soldiers escorting a prisoner. (six)
A dude and his sacrificial cow. (thrice)
A courier with nothing to say to you. (four)
A thief with the same canned line. (five)
An assassin with your name on a piece of paper. (four)
A skooma dealer with the exact same come-on. (eight!)

You've got the makings of a 'Twelve Days of Skyrim' Christmas carol here.

Smashbox
17-11-2011, 04:57 PM
This is going to sound thick (and offtopic, sorry), but how do you spend dragon souls on shouts in that damnable interface?

Unaco
17-11-2011, 05:00 PM
You know you have to spend dragon souls to use the shouts you learn, right?

You did read what I said, where I said it WASN'T in my Shouts? If you learn one but need to unlock it, it is in Shouts, greyed out, and needs to be unlocked.

I've had a look... It seems to be 1/2 way through the main quest (which I'm not at) that you learn Clear Skies. I did get something, I don't know what, when I visited the last etching on the road up to High Hrothgar. It sounded something weather related, so I thought that might have been it... But I got no new shouts or anything like that. Might load up a save from there, and see if I can get it again.



This is going to sound thick (and offtopic, sorry), but how do you spend dragon souls on shouts in that damnable interface?

Go to Magic, Shouts. Select the Shout you need to unlock (it'll be Grey). If you have Dragon Souls, it will say in bottom left of screen how many you have. Choose the Shout, press R.

Unaco
17-11-2011, 05:26 PM
I just loaded up an old save, and looked at what it was I got at High Hrothgar... It's Voice of the Sky, a 24hr effect that makes animals non-hostile/scared... they neither attack nor flee. I think you get it for reading all 10 of the etchings on the way up.

Berzee
17-11-2011, 07:49 PM
running back and forth yet again between Whiterun and WindhelmYou don't use carriages for trips between capital cities?



I have not fast traveled in this game yet, and I also am loving it =) I think it would start to get a little dull, except that I am practicing alchemy and so even the foliage is thrilling.

However, I haven't been honed in on very many quests yet. I do the ones that look like they'll take me someplace new, or if it's someplace old, I try to approach from a different direction. Also, I haven't been meticulously exploring every inch of the land as I go...so, for example, I was doing some Whiterun quests and I got bored having to run through the plains and over to Riverwood again...except that I still had some unexplored Farmhouses on the plains, so that was a good time of Honest Pay for Honest Work...and I also hadn't explored the Lumber Mill area in Riverwood yet (somehow I missed it at the beginning!).

This is my recommendation for the aspiring Pedestrian of Skyrim -- feel free to wander, but also feel free to pass things over! If a destination gradually forms in your mind, allow yourself to stride towards it with a purpose, ignoring secondary avenues. As in the poem, keep the first road for another day...instead of doing an optimized crawl through all the branches of the tree. =)

Berzee
17-11-2011, 07:53 PM
Imperial citizens, lost, on their way to a wedding. (seven times!)
Pilgrim, on his way to Shrine of Akuze. (four)
High elven theocrats who attack you for not being suitably dismissive of Talos. (thrice)
Imperial soldiers escorting a prisoner. (six)
A dude and his sacrificial cow. (thrice)
A courier with nothing to say to you. (four)
A thief with the same canned line. (five)
An assassin with your name on a piece of paper. (four)
A skooma dealer with the exact same come-on. (eight!)

Hmm, 15+ hours in and I've only seen three of those (pilgrim, wedding guests, courier). Also have seen (and been rescued by) wandering bands of Companions; plus that wandering bard with the ribald voice. I am excited to encounter the rest of these things, and wonder if I ought to keep more to the roads until I've met them.

BillButNotBen
20-11-2011, 07:19 AM
I used to walk everywhere in Daggerfall... well, actually ride, but that was more like the "riding" in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Walked across the sea one time, although that included sticking something heavy on the forward key and going away for many hours.

You know, in many hours of playing Daggerfall, I don't think I ever did a single quest. I don't think I ever figured out the dialogue system enough to encounter one!

I loved wandering around Morrowind, it was such a cool place to explore. I did use the stilt striders, but they were pretty limited and cool in-game methods, so I didn't feel that broke the immersion or rules. Once I realised that it was better to just save up quests and do them when you were in the area, it was much less of a trek, and more of an adventure.

PS @Nalano: that seems like a pretty good set of random encounters to me, better than the nothing/monster attack you get in most games.

agentorange
20-11-2011, 08:19 AM
I attempt to do this, but I usually just resort to running everywhere, which is more immersion breaking than fast travel. I'm the type that explores everything on the first trip anyway, so there is very little pay off in walking to and fro locations, especially when the enemies that respawn are always the same, and by the time I've taken that trip 5 times they are far too low level to pose any threat.

I've been playing Morrowind and that game doesn't have fast travel, but it replaces it with the stilt striders and boats which allow to go to most of the major cities; from there you still have to walk to many of the quest locations. That method strikes the perfect balance I think, since it alleviates the boring retreading between quest hubs, but does so in a way that doesn't seem too cheap.

Nalano
20-11-2011, 08:29 AM
PS @Nalano: that seems like a pretty good set of random encounters to me, better than the nothing/monster attack you get in most games.

Repetition. Constant repetition.

agentorange
20-11-2011, 08:36 AM
Repetition. Constant repetition.

Just like real life.

Nalano
20-11-2011, 08:52 AM
Just like real life.

And here I thought I played games for escapism.

Alez
20-11-2011, 09:05 AM
Thanks to this topic i've started to walk a little more and less fast travel. I was getting too caught up in the leveling and dungeon crawling to actually stop and admire the beauty of skyrim. So thank you people.

On a side note, are you in my game Nalano? I'm pretty sure some assassins had a note signed from a guy named nalano. Next time send immune to magic bastards and you might get me.

Skalpadda
20-11-2011, 09:09 AM
Imperial citizens, lost, on their way to a wedding. (seven times!)
Pilgrim, on his way to Shrine of Akuze. (four)
High elven theocrats who attack you for not being suitably dismissive of Talos. (thrice)
Imperial soldiers escorting a prisoner. (six)
A dude and his sacrificial cow. (thrice)
A courier with nothing to say to you. (four)
A thief with the same canned line. (five)
An assassin with your name on a piece of paper. (four)
A skooma dealer with the exact same come-on. (eight!)


I've been spending an ungodly amount of time with the game in the last week, walking all over the place and only seen three of those and only the thief one more than once. Are you referring to specifically walking the same path over and over?

I try to walk as much as I can in every Elderscrolls and Fallout game and it's certainly paid off in experiences so far. If I just need to get back to my house to pick something up so I can carry on questing though, I'm not going to spend two real life hours trudging all the way back across half the map. I also like the cart system as a way to fast travel that makes sense within the game.

Nalano
20-11-2011, 09:30 AM
Are you referring to specifically walking the same path over and over?

No. In games where travel times are counted in the tens of minutes, I do everything I can at one locale, then trudge off to the next one so that, should my circuit send me back to the first place, I'll have a pile of quests to hand in.

In the case of the folks going to the wedding, I've now seen them in just about every zone in the game.

Basilicus
20-11-2011, 02:30 PM
Imperial citizens, lost, on their way to a wedding. (seven times!)
Pilgrim, on his way to Shrine of Akuze. (four)
High elven theocrats who attack you for not being suitably dismissive of Talos. (thrice)
Imperial soldiers escorting a prisoner. (six)
A dude and his sacrificial cow. (thrice)
A courier with nothing to say to you. (four)
A thief with the same canned line. (five)
An assassin with your name on a piece of paper. (four)
A skooma dealer with the exact same come-on. (eight!)

Wow, 30 hours in, I never fast-travel (though I will take carts when it only costs 20 gold) and I haven't seen any of these. I play superduperslow, though. I'm only level 13, and I'm putting off the main quest for a bit.

Scumbag
20-11-2011, 07:25 PM
The probs with fast travel I oftan find is how if you ride somewhere you end up fighting trolls, wolves and bandits yet if you fast travel time passes yet NOTHING bothers you. Plus the immersion breaker of zipping around the world in my underpants so I can raid cities of their things just so I dont have any needless things weighing me down.

vinraith
20-11-2011, 07:27 PM
I'm not a fan of costless fast travel. At the same time, much as I like walking a lot of Bethesda games, I'm not a fan of retreading the same ground countless times. My preference is something like the motorcycle mod submod in FWE for Fallout 3. It lets you fast travel to places you've been, but you have to scrounge up/make fuel and keep your motorcycle in repair, which in turn drives you to explore new places. It's an ideal balance, IMO.

Wizardry
20-11-2011, 08:05 PM
RPGs are all about abstractions. Fast travel with costs attached and/or stat usage is perfectly fine in my book.

Heliocentric
20-11-2011, 08:15 PM
RPGs are all about abstractions. Fast travel with costs attached and/or stat usage is perfectly fine in my book.

Dawg, you're so casual.
Sometimes the beauty of taking your time is worthwhile, but the choice is always a good thing.

riadsala
20-11-2011, 08:25 PM
I'm trying to avoid lots of fast travel in my current Fo3 game. As otherwise I'd be constantly zooming back to a town to sell all my loot every 15 minutes. seems a bit daft.

I'm still waiting for a big RPG to implement a concept of time, like in Pirates! (as you age, you're skills slowly decrease and the aim of the game is achieve lots before you get old, and then retire to a life of luxary). Such a system would be ideal in a Bethesda game, and would remove hte possibility of a player being head of every guild at the same time (as there wouldn't be enough time in one in-game lifetime to do everything).

Drake Sigar
20-11-2011, 08:27 PM
And of course the player could also seek out ways to extend their life. Fountain of youth, pacts with demons, etc.

Wizardry
20-11-2011, 08:28 PM
I'm still waiting for a big RPG to implement a concept of time, like in Pirates! (as you age, you're skills slowly decrease and the aim of the game is achieve lots before you get old, and then retire to a life of luxary).
Darklands. The Might and Magic games have ageing but they are easy to complete within a few in game years.


And of course the player could also seek out ways to extend his life. Fountain of youth, pacts with demons, etc.
Yeah. Some Might and Magic games have fountains of youth.

DigitalSignalX
20-11-2011, 08:52 PM
... if you've spent any amount of time trudging back and forth, you see the same shit recycled over and over and over and over. Tell me if you've seen any of these things:

Imperial citizens, lost, on their way to a wedding. (seven times!)
Pilgrim, on his way to Shrine of Akuze. (four)
High elven theocrats who attack you for not being suitably dismissive of Talos. (thrice)
Imperial soldiers escorting a prisoner. (six)
A dude and his sacrificial cow. (thrice)
A courier with nothing to say to you. (four)
A thief with the same canned line. (five)
An assassin with your name on a piece of paper. (four)
A skooma dealer with the exact same come-on. (eight!)


Odd, I'm at 90+ hours, and I never fast travel, but do use the carriage sometimes. I like that it can only be used as one-way to some cities. Still, I've only ever gotten an assassin and a random Skooma peddler more then once from your list, and it was probably 2-3 times. I also get hunters, some random silver hand zealots, those cult guys hunting daedra, a thief trying to jack me (twice), a ghostly headless horseman, two groups of thugs to beat me up for thieving, a guy asking me to hold on to stolen goods, random cats, rats, bears, wolves, giants, and dragons. None of it seems repetitive yet. Maybe your game is broken?

edit: A standoffish noble on a horse with a legion guard, a mercenary who will let me bribe/persuade/threaten them for their contract to clear out a random location near by, 3 bandits disguised as legionaries demanding a toll (the legionary bodies are within sight lol), an Orc who runs up and attacks me with his fists (?) and an Orc who is waiting to find a good death either at my hands or some other passer by.

Nalano
20-11-2011, 09:32 PM
Maybe your game is broken?

It's not hard to break.

Alez
20-11-2011, 10:25 PM
It's not hard to break.

I think that if you don't have any bugs, your copy of skyrim has broken itself into a state of perfection.

Nalano
20-11-2011, 11:19 PM
I think that if you don't have any bugs, your copy of skyrim has broken itself into a state of perfection.

Now that would be scary.

JackShandy
21-11-2011, 02:50 AM
Any time a game has random encounters there's going to be one guy who rolls the freak result and just gets a million sacrificial cows everywhere he goes or something.

I walked everywhere for a while, but after getting into the thief guild quests I'm starting to fast travel just to get shit done; the minor quests send you all over the map. I guess these must be the randomly generated quests I've heard so much about.