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Topic: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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Deathwalka

@Sir_Anthony I found early in the game you can get 3 people following you through everything! I got to Delphine and esbern who both go on a quest with you. They run off ahead, so I did another quest in the meantime. But when I fast travelled to the closest place to do that quest a dragon attacked me and they were both there to help! So I had a follower, esbern and Delphine, and no matter where I fast travelled or which quest I did, they followed me! Ad I was destroying really strong enemies lol
But as it was to easy I did the quest to get rid of them but technically you can have a 4 man team including yourself lol

Deathwalka

Haru17

So I've been thinking about Elder Scrolls lately and I think I've noticed a pair of smart style choices that help the series to have a broad appeal.

For starters, it has everything you would expect or look for in a fantasy world. It has orcs, mages, heroes, demons, vikings, vampires, werewolves, trolls, recently dragons, all kinds of elves, and dwarves (well, kind of). This works in concert with the games' focus on player choice (before bloody every game was focused on player choice).

Secondly, it calls its vampires 'vampires.' Maybe this is more of a problem with JRPGs that tend to brew up a batch of unique verbs and nouns that only make sense in-universe, but I feel like Elder Scrolls goes out of its way to name things plainly. I realize that this is somewhat confounded by just how much stuff there is in the TES canon — mantling, Chim, dragon breaks, and the like — but I think Bethesda do a really good job translating the relevant lore into the games. Even names like 'Dunmer' and 'Khajiit' are frequently simplified to 'Dark Elf' and 'cat.'

Games like Warcraft also make an effort to call things like Kaldorei 'Night Elves,' but get lost with almost randomly generated location names, apostrophes, and so many faction names (a lot of stuff which comes easily to an MMO). Don't even get me started on 'Draenei.'

With Elder Scrolls there have been several different human dynasties in Cyrodiil, but they just call them all 'the Empire' because that's historically the most domesticated region and seat of rule for the continent. With the vampire example, Elder Scrolls vampires are not vampires. Or at least they're not only vampires, they're mortal women who have been sexually assaulted by Molag Bol in a ritual or those touched by the blood of the women who have been.

In some more mixed examples, 'draugr' is not as immediately recognizable as 'zombie,' but it is the real world term for Norse zombie myths. Then 'daedra' is a made up word compared to demon, but we implicitly understand that an outdated spelling of demon is 'daemon' and associate the two. Moreover, players end up learning and recognizing the names because of just how dang common they come up in the game(s).

Edited on by Haru17

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NEStalgia

@Haru17 Also keep in mind that TES was a blatant appropriation of D&D without the license, and D&D was a blatant rip of Lord of the Rings (the books, not Peter Jackson's incredibly brown version) without the license (and got sued by Tolkein's estate for actually using the name "hobbits" before having to change it to "halflings" as a result.

So so much of it is "familiar" at least to fantasy fans because it has two degrees of separation with the most known fantasy world of all.

NEStalgia

Haru17

@NEStalgia Maybe Arena was that way, I didn't play. But I think the lore and 21st century games have differentiated themselves from other fantasy worlds in meaningful ways. Not getting into the lore, there's simply no other fantasy universe you can explore so thoroughly.

The influence I've noticed is how they translated dungeon crawlers into an immersive open world game. I'm not at all sure, but TES could very well have been the first first-person open world game using those principals.

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NEStalgia

@Haru17 It was sort of a mash-up of Wizardry and D&D, IMO. Of course, back when it started, Bethesda was pretty cutrate, and definitely a B-tier publisher. Nothing like the AAA powerhouse they are today. Wizardry probably really started the whole "first person open world" or at least what could pass for "open world" (still on rails, really, such was the era.)

NEStalgia

Haru17

@NEStalgia Ah, I've never even heard of Wizardry before. Well I probably have, I just forgot. More than 8 before 2001, huh? And they're just budget or phone games in Japan now, weird.

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NEStalgia

@Haru17 Ahhh, yeah, Wizardry is probably the most influential WRPG of all, especially among the first person variety. It was influential in early JRPG design (before the "J" was really part of JRPGs) as well...more or less the granddaddy of the RPG itself. TES didn't arrive too much later though, so both are pretty foundational, and TES borrowed a lot from Wizardry in the same way Sonic borrowed a lot from Mario, but it was something of a competition between the two for a brief while.

Interesting about them just making spinoffs for Japan of all places now. It was influential in the creation of the JRPG, but I didn't realize the series still existed at all and had become a JRPG itself so to speak. I just assumed Sir-Tech closed after 8. 8 was a good game.....

NEStalgia

GraveLordXD

@DarthNocturnal well I have run into a broken quest after the quest for whiterun storm cloak battle suppose to report back and I get nothing no new questions to ask and apparently they think the battle is still going on when it isn't and worst yet no matter what I'm doing now the music is stuck in the same battle music making everthing I do extremely annoying. I go to sell stuff with wierd battle music in the background. Oh and whiterun now is left in shambles for good now because of the broken quest it isn't even on the map anymore

GraveLordXD

DarthNocturnal

@GraveLordXD

Is it “Battle for Whiterun“ or “Liberation of Skyrim“? If the latter, try reloading an old save. Failing that, attack Galmar, then sheathe your weapons (you'll probably get a small bounty), then try. And if that fails, try moving away from the area, rest/ wait for a bit, then return.

I really don't get why they (Bethesda) didn't bother with another round of QA for bugs like this... same with Fallout 4. Apparently they just aren't allowed to do any further bug fixes... but hey, we got Creation Club! /s

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StuTwo

Haru17 wrote:

So I've been thinking about Elder Scrolls lately and I think I've noticed a pair of smart style choices that help the series to have a broad appeal.

I'd say the things you've identified are the things that explicitly limit its appeal. The setting and background lore is all sub-sub-Tolkein with little/no originality. There's a reason why high fantasy was slightly embarrassing to be associated with for decades and it's all there in Skyrim to be honest.

I think Skyrim found a broader audience than the hardcore PC gaming geeks (who are perhaps the only audience that has never really been turned off by full bloodied magic and elves high fantasy) for a few reasons:

1 - it appropriates the appearance and controls of a FPS. That's still the most popular genre in the West and it made Skyrim appear more approachable.

2 - the levelling system and statistics are almost completely invisible if you want them to be.

3 - it allows freedom in terms of playing the game. If you want you can treat it as a (terrible) FPS.

4 - it came at the right time. The Lord of the Rings films restored some self-respect to the fantasy genre and then - around the time Skyrim was launched Game of Thrones started and made it a legitimate genre again, giving it a hard gritty edge and making fantasy cool. There are a lot of thematic similarities between Skyrim and Game of Thrones which probably helps (even if the writing and acting in Skyrim is kindergarten level compared with Game of Thrones).

StuTwo

NEStalgia

@StuTwo Not that I disagree with anything you wrote, and even though I was/am one of those hardcore PC gaming geeks (abandoned PC a decade ago when it went digital but, still...) BUT as I read that "FPS...most popular genre in the West", "levelling system.....almost completely invisible", ""hard gritty edge....making [it] cool"

Honestly it makes me more embarrassed to be Western more than being associated with high fantasy.

NEStalgia

Haru17

As I've explained, there are trolls in The Elder Scrolls.

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StuTwo

@NEStalgia Yeah. I know... At least you don't live here in Europe where FIFA is by far the most popular video game and the one that drives console sales.

Western computer RPGs have never really been my thing. In large part because I've never owned a gaming class PC and my time gaming on PC has generally been spent playing resource management and strategy games. As a result I don't have nostalgia for the computer RPG genre.

High fantasy is something I've always had a love/hate relationship with though. In principle I love the genre and always return to it. It's really hard to get right though - at its worst it quickly descends into high camp or cringe worthy adolescent (of course it's sometimes intentionally played for laughs like with Warhammer which I'd treat a little differently).

The Elder Scrolls setting and lore is not what I'd consider to be a high end example but it could be much worse. It's impressively deep and fun to explore even though I don't find it to be original at all and I don't find it to be especially well written.

Skyrim as a game I'm enjoying quite a bit though. It's an obviously flawed game but it's also very frictionless in how you progress and develop your character and it does let you play in a huge number of different ways. The systems - which I still think have too many vestigial carryovers - are generally balanced enough to let you play as a mage or a melee fighter or an archer or a thief without feeling like you're at a disadvantage.

I can completely see why people play it for hundreds and hundreds of hours. I kind of feel like it's a game designed to be played through directly without scouring the map (and levelling up everything so that you're the most powerful being ever) in around 20-30 hours and then played again in a completely different way. I can already feel the pull to play through again when I properly understand what's on the map, how the controls and more obscure systems work etc. I don't think I'll do it because life is too short and there are too many great games to play but it's a possibility.

StuTwo

FL0YDFAN

Game crashed 4 times so far. Am level 17 and was checking to see if this was common. Guess it’s just the game.

FL0YDFAN

Deathwalka

@FL0YDFAN what do you mean crashed? Because I have put in 90 hours and NEVER experienced any crash?! What happens?

Deathwalka

LuckyLand

@StuTwo I treat Skyrim as a mix between a Tamagotchi and Animal Crossing. Freedom is the best thing about Elder Scrolls for sure.

I don't think Lord of the rings films did anything particularly good for the fantasy genre though... And even if I have never watched (or read) Game of thrones I have the feeling that it is not that fantasy, not enough to please me for sure. Everytime I heard about it or try to watch something it just seem to be 98% burocracy with a very slight touch of fantasy every now and then

Edited on by LuckyLand

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JaxonH

Game of Thrones is the single best piece of film ever made, imo. Be it movies, shows, mini series, you name it.

It's political, it's fantastical, its dramatic, it's complex, and the story is patiently told with twists that were literally 6-7 years in the making.

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StuTwo

@LuckyLand I don't know if I'd go quite as far as @JaxonH (the TV series has a number of issues - especially as you go further in) but the books behind Game of Thrones are incredible epic fantasy. A lot of people assume that the author set out to subvert high fantasy but I don't think he comes at it from that angle at all. He genuinely loves the genre and most of its tropes but he has his own approach.

So it is "gritty" and "realistic" but only really from a human interactions perspective. The characters are never motived to do something because "magic" or because some god tells them to - they behave like humans would and where magic is used or power is attained there's always a meaningful price of some kind to pay. I think that's a huge part of why it's been so successful at reaching a wider audience - often high fantasy forgets to balance its worlds properly.

But the fantasy elements do still loom large over the whole saga. Aside from the literal wall of ice and the dragons and the giants and the occasional small bits of magic the whole series from the very earliest points is bathed in foreshadowing and prophesy hidden in dreams (all of which come true but it's rarely a straight line and not always obvious).

If you love fantasy it's an essential series to read in my opinion.

StuTwo

Zuljaras

Any sales figures for Skyrim Switch?

Zuljaras

KirbyTheVampire

I would watch GoT, but since there's apparently sex and nudity every 5 seconds, I'm much less interested. I don't think shows, movies, or games have to show a ton of genitalia and boobs just for the sake of being "gritty" or telling a good story. Maybe it's good for fan service, but to me it just comes across as "Hehehe, boobies!"

KirbyTheVampire

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