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View Full Version : Dear Bethesda... (Spoilers re. Skyrim)



Mynameisaw
23-11-2011, 01:48 PM
Please note, contains spoilers regarding Skyrim's story - do not read if you do not like spoilers...


... I love you, I really do, you've brought me years of enjoyment from the early days with Daggerfall right up to the present day with Skyrim - there hasn't been a moment where I've doubted your capabilities as a developer and you have my unwavering support.

That being said, I'd say there's three things that make a game truely exceptional:


Story
Lore
Progression

These three are (in my opinion) pretty much integral to differentiate a mediocre game from an exceptional one and Skyrim had it all; an expansive region filled with goodies from small side quests to the full length stories of the Thieves guild, the Companions and so on.

However, you have, as far as I'm concerned, done the one thing no other dev would dare do - ignored your 'main' plot.

Now this is where most TES fans would probably attempt to lynch me - but I wouldn't say I'm far from the truth.

I started Skyrim as I always do with an Elders Scrolls game - by progressing the 'main' story so far then branching off to complete other side plots that fit into my characters profile. In the case of my first playthrough of Skyrim this meant doing the Thieves Guild, Dark Brotherhood and becoming a Vampire.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time doing this, the Thieves Guilds story is rich and rewarding (three armour sets, lots of unique vendors, a fair amount of cash and of course, the RP title of Leader.) and the same can be said for the Dark Brotherhood.

During this I must have spent endless hours exploring Skyrims vast landscapes clearing outposts of bandits exploring Skyrim's lost caves and endless trails and spending far too much time staring open mouthed at the amazing views.

So after a few days I came to the point that was pretty much inevitable - continuing with the main story (or in Skyrim's case - stories).

Which is when I was met with a major disappointment.

I progressed through the Dragonborn story, with a lot of 'talk to such and such' quests giving me insightful detail into the lore behind it all and then suddenly I find myself in Stovengard (sp?) fighting Alduin and saving the world.

Wait. what?

It all seemed like a blur, one minute I had no idea how to beat him - next minute, hey presto the world is saved thanks to time travel and some ghosts who can't die and effectively did all the fighting for me with very little to no risk on my part.

And then to top it all off, at the end of it all you really get is a thank you and goodbye - no amazing reward, no weapons, no armour not even any gold - nothing.

At first I assumed I hadn't finished so I travelled around talked to the people and one by one I got a thank you and a pat on the back and it slowly started dawning on me that after all that I don't even get a novelty item to put in my house.

At the very least I assumed the random dragon appearances would have stopped but a fast travel to Dawnstar later and I realise this is not the case.

So I shrugged my shoulders and carried on with the War - surely I'd be rewarded for ending years of turmoil and unrest?


So it began again - I progressed through the monotony of the quests which were supposed to represent this civil war that was unfolding in Skyrim, taking fort after fort then finally I'm at the doors of Ulfrics domain.

It was probably naive of me to assume that after hours of repeating what was effectively the same quest in different locations that I would somehow have an epic encounter with Ulfric, I mean, it's Bethesda of course I assumed for the pinacle of RP moments.

But alas, I was yet again left with a bitter taste as two NPC's repeated the same thing taking all the damage while I killed Galmar and then finally Ulfric yet again only to receive a sword (which, at the time of writing this is worse than 4 others I have in my inventory and doesn't even have a unique appearance) and another thank you.

Granted, at least with the War quest lines you do see some changes in the actual world, with Jarls being replaced and such but again the lack of rewards and the monotony of the entire experience left me feeling... empty.

The main reason for this exceedingly long rant is because how can a Developer - like Bethesda create such a rich world with so many little easter eggs and three or four amazing 'side' quest lines then go and make two what I can only describe as lackluster stories?

There's so many ways they could have expanded both stories - even tying them together (which they loosly do with the peace treaty) and made the whole experience of being a Dragonborn and a lieutenant just so much more appealing.

I mean, where were the random sieges on cities? The random clashes between Imperials and Stormcloaks? The Weapon of Ultimate Alduin Killing Epicness? The Jarl title that I damn well deserve? The constant respect and admiration from the common folk for ending the war and saving them from Oblivion?

Alas, it seems Bethesda spent so much time developing the back stories and side quests that they overlooked what, to me, is supposed to be the 'core' of the game which gives it it's driving force and it's lasting appeal, yet, for me it's the Thieves guild which did that.

And with that I shall depart back to my dank office to eat my slightly stale Ham sandwich while staring blankly at the clock waiting for that 5 O'clock chime.

R-F
23-11-2011, 02:15 PM
Mods. Mods will make it all better.

gundrea
23-11-2011, 02:37 PM
R-F, how can you mod a broken heart?

Drinking with Skeletons
23-11-2011, 05:52 PM
I agree that the civil war storyline is kind of a let-down.

However, Sovngarde was great! I finished the civil war before finishing the Main Quest, and actually ran into Ulfric and his Lieutenant in Alduin's mist. While the advisor was pretty pissed with me, Ulfric was devastated, having realized that the civil war had provided a stream of souls for Alduin to devour and return from beyond the edges of time. It also meant that Alduin did, in fact, intentionally attack Helgen to protract the war and gain even more strength. Then I ran into High King Toryyg, which was a nice detail to add. In the Hall of Heroes, I met Olaf One-Eye who chatted with me about the time I helped a bard's ghost defeat his undead form, and he asked that after Alduin's defeat I send the bard in so they can make up over some mead.

My only regret is not exploring the fog more--was the Archmage out there? Would he have anything to say to me, his successor?

Nalano
23-11-2011, 05:59 PM
R-F, how can you mod a broken heart?

With lots of bloom.

ran93r
23-11-2011, 06:46 PM
With lots of bloom.
and motion blur!

applecup
23-11-2011, 07:33 PM
and motion blur!

And boob physics. Don't forget boob physics.

Nalano
23-11-2011, 07:40 PM
And boob physics. Don't forget boob physics.

Scientists have indeed given quite a bit of thought (http://www.shockabsorber.co.uk/bounceometer/shock.html) to boob physics.

For the betterment of mankind.

Berzee
23-11-2011, 07:59 PM
And with that I shall depart back to my dank office to eat my slightly stale Ham sandwich while staring blankly at the clock waiting for that 5 O'clock chime.

You keep on living that dream! :D

Mynameisaw
23-11-2011, 09:41 PM
I agree that the civil war storyline is kind of a let-down.

However, Sovngarde was great! I finished the civil war before finishing the Main Quest, and actually ran into Ulfric and his Lieutenant in Alduin's mist. While the advisor was pretty pissed with me, Ulfric was devastated, having realized that the civil war had provided a stream of souls for Alduin to devour and return from beyond the edges of time. It also meant that Alduin did, in fact, intentionally attack Helgen to protract the war and gain even more strength. Then I ran into High King Toryyg, which was a nice detail to add. In the Hall of Heroes, I met Olaf One-Eye who chatted with me about the time I helped a bard's ghost defeat his undead form, and he asked that after Alduin's defeat I send the bard in so they can make up over some mead.

My only regret is not exploring the fog more--was the Archmage out there? Would he have anything to say to me, his successor?

Hmm that is true, I do like the whole little nods to the other stories in Sovengarde however it all just seemed to have happened way too fast?

The story was built around this whole slow build up, the attack on Helgen introducing the Dragons, the attack on Whiterun revealing that you're dragonborn and this slow collection of knowledge as the scale of the situation slowly dawns on you.

But then suddenly with in about three quests or so you've fought Alduin twice and killed him.

In my opinion it would have been better to, instead of having two seperate story lines for the Civil War and Dragon threat, have them merged into one longer quest line - So rather than using the Greybeards as diplomats to sort out a peace treaty instead have the Jarl of Whiterun demand you sort out the war - at which point you have to choose to talk to General Tulius or Ulfric and progress down a (more in-depth) story regarding the war, during which you become Jarl of either Solitude or Windhelm after removing the opposition - which then leads to the final fight with Alduin in Sovengarde.

It all just seemed to me they made the ending, the intro and then had no idea how to tie them together so came up with a quick band aid solution.