This forum is in permanent archive mode. Our new active community can be found here.

Elder Scrolls games?

edited November 2006 in Video Games
Did any of you ever play the Elder Scrolls series? It's probably my favorite series of games, because of all the cool things you can do and how customizable your characters can get. I've played Arena, Daggerfall and Morrowind, but not Oblivion, Redguard or Battlespire (have Battlespire, but can't get it to install, grr...).

What's it say about me if I actually spend more time using the TES Construction Set (a mod program) than actually playing the game?


  • I was big into Morrowind and Oblivion, with Morrowind probably being my favorite. The TESCS is awesome if you know what your doing.
  • I loved Morrowind; I played it to death. It was made even better by massive graphic update mods, which in many instances make it look better than its successor.

    So, naturally, I eagerly awaited Oblivion. I waited, and waited, as they delayed the game more and more to perfect their revolutionary graphics and AI. Then, finally, I got it...and they damn near broke my heart.

    The problems with Oblivion break down as follows (IMO):

    Graphics - they focused way too much on graphics, and yet brought little to the table. Anyone impressed by Oblivion should play Doom 3 or Half-life 2, both released 2 years before Oblivion. Instead of wasting years of development time on the 3d engine, they could have just licensed one of those two engines, and made it work in a massive outdoor environment. (See Dark Messiah or Quake Wars). The time they saved could have been put to better use.

    Sandbox Factor - Morrowind was amazing because it was essentially the first 3d sandbox RPG. You could go anywhere and do anything, and the game was ready for it. Oblivion threw this away by making cities their own zone (with the side effect of removing levitation magic from the game, which was awesome in TES3), and putting most of the game into a series of alternate planes.

    Loss of Uniqueness - Vvardenfell is a very different world than the traditional RPG. A volcanic island dominated by dark elven noble houses? That's certainly different than your basic D&D-rip-off setting. But Oblivion goes back to RPG 101 with its human-dominated, forest-and-caves approach. We trade in dwemer ruins for goblin caves, and daedric cities for skeleton-infested dungeons. Sure, they added traps, but they took away much more. And Oblivion? Meh, whatever, if I wanted to play a shooter in hell I'd play Doom 3.

    Broken Rules - Morrowind was very playable out of the box. It was very intuitive; you could simply do just about anything believable given your abilities, equipment, and the limitations of a keyboard and mouse. If it occurred to you to stab the shopkeeper with your blade, then rob him of all the things he wanted to sell you for outrageous sums, you could. In fact, everything every shopkeeper sold was there, in his house, for rogue types to steal, or for fighter types to kill him over. In Oblivion? Not so. Almost nothing a shopkeeper sold was actually in his house, making it pointless to rob anyone, despite the fact that if you do, guards will come from nowhere to throw you in jail, and, should you get away from them, every shopkeeper on the planet will IMMEDIATELY know you stole those goods and won't buy them. Yeah, because this silver platter must've had a laser engraving saying "if found, please return to Gunther in the Imperial City". The sheer number of rule modification mods that popped up within days...DAYS...of the game's release were a testament to how much they royally fucked up the rules.

    Not really immersive - Oblivion wants to be the most immersive game ever. I agree that a 3d sandbox game is the only platform where that is possible. However, simply pumping up the pixel shaders and bump-mapping doesn't give you immersiveness. They should have played Doom 3 a little more. Dungeons are uniformly dim and bluish. A torch helps, but you can just as easily pump up your brightness. I have played the game on zero brightness (requires a CRT monitor), and the effect is breathtaking; when dark is truly dark, a fight in a dungeon is incredible, and so is the view outside, at night, with a massive starfield and deep, foreboding darkness between the trees. Of course, my torch casts a dark orange light at my feet, and the only way to see anything at all is to pump the brightness back up. With the light model of Doom 3 or Source, they could have easily made incredibly immersive environments, viewable on LCD's on normal brightness.
    Also, the world isn't responsive--it just is. The NPC's follow a complex, sophisticated (read: simple, not sophisticated) AI system that Bethesda widely lauded. You can make them love you or hate you. Of course, this means nothing, except for a couple of NPC's with pre-programmed responses, and the fact that it is slightly easier to get a price-gouging merchant to lay off just a tad if they love you. You can't actually have a relationship with anyone; they're just bundles of text. And on that subject...what exactly was the point of voice-acting all of the world NPC's, if they all just have the same voice and say the same things? In Morrowind, even unimportant NPC's would say odd or funny things, just to spice up the game, but that wasn't possible given the constraints of voiceacting.

    I can easily explain all these problems by the first one; they wasted huge amounts of time on the graphics and had very little time to spend perfecting the world. It was not only unoriginal and uninteresting, but lacked the polish Morrowind had that allowed for truly open-ended gameplay. Their graphical engine prevented them from making any great strides in immersiveness. The only other 'feature' they had time to develop was the 'revolutionary' new AI, which amounts to nothing more than inconveniently wandering NPC's and a silly minigame that allows you to maximize your relations with everyone in the world with minimal effort.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention the interface. TES3 was clearly designed for computers, then ported to Xbox. Not so with Oblivion; it was obviously designed for Xbox first. The windows are all tiny--you need mods to expand them. You can't peg windows to the screen while playing. The interface for buying and selling is god-awful. You can't adjust the speed of the mouse cursor in menus--it's terribly, terribly slow by default. In short, the interface is horrible, absolutely, positively horrible...whereas it was great in TES3.
    What were they thinking? Just how many Xbox 360's did they think people would have in March 2006? Despite the crushing system requirements, there were far more PC's in the world capable of running Oblivion at launch than there were functioning 360's.

    In conclusion, Bethesda are a bunch of sellouts. Just like Bioware before them, they sold out to Microsoft. What the fuck is up with RPG makers and selling out to the Xbox? And people wonder why World of Warcraft has completely taken over the RPG market.

    So, if anyone else is disillusioned by Oblivion, check out Gothic 3 and Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. I'm not sure if they're any better, but they sure are different, and they haven't sold out to Microsoft yet.

    Or you could just play WoW, which does it for me so far. And if you're one of those WoW haters who doesn't actually play the game or know what you're talking about, go die in a fire.
  • edited December 2006
    That makes me sad, but thanks for that. It's sad to see the sequel to a game that you love so much totally suck. Even the first 2 were awesome.
    Post edited by Rooster on
  • At least Oblivion cuts down on the excessive text . . . selecting a topic to talk about only to be bombarded with 100 more was NOT cool.
  • I've been playing Oblivion a lot lately. I sort of just randomly picked it up, started a new character, and now I'm back into the game. It's eating a lot of my free time.
  • Got a beta invite for Elder Scrolls Online. Apparently I can only play it this weekend. Also apparently if I stream it on Twitch, I'll get insta-banned. I wonder if I can get away with recording it with Fraps and then sharing it on a non-YouTube place. Apparently the only penalty is they ban your account. I don't plan to play beyond the end of my very short beta period or very pay money for it, so that's no penalty at all.
  • Cool beans. I've been curious about its quality, although any MMO in this decade that starts off with a monthly fee and a purchase price on the game client gets a pass from me. We are not in a world where you can do what WoW did at launch in 2004 (and still does now) and get away with it. The only way to draw players from the popular MMOs is to make it easy and cheap.
  • Yeah, no matter what the content of the game is, there is no way I am ever paying even one real world penny on it.
  • That is a totally legitimate place to be at.
  • I received a beta invite as well. I'm going to play it this weekend with a bunch of friends and I'll let you know what my impressions are. I'm with Scott though; I will not pay any sort of fee for it.
    Pretty much putting all my hopes on EverQuest Next at this point.
  • edited November 2013
    I'd pay money if there was huge pack that has everything, or at least the important stuff like they do with a lot of apps and free to play mmo's, but theres no way they'd get me to pay a monthly fee. I still haven't finished all the extra stuff in Skyrim, let alone the expansions so its not that much of a priority anyway.
    Post edited by ninjarabbi on
  • I finally got my initial invite as well. I have a fairly busy weekend, so I won't be able to play a whole lot. As they get closer and closer to open beta, there will be more and more opportunities to play.
    If I like the game, I will pay the monthly fee. If they have a free to play version with extras, I probably wouldn't pay more than $15 a month on those anyways. It will probably go free to play within a year to 18 months anyways, as it is very very difficult to compete for gamer dollars with World of Warcraft. Even with a popular franchise (Star Wars was pay to play for less than a year I think), most MMO gamers are playing WoW and won't be bothered by much else.

    I could be wrong. I knew a lot of people to left WoW, at least for a while, when Skyrim came out. If ESO can feel as close to their original games as possible while populating the world with other player characters, then I think it has a chance to at least have a decent following, but it won't get WoW's numbers.
  • I am in Scott's camp. My rational is that I am not going to pay to play a game on a monthly basis knowing that I may not get what I consider my moneys worth out of it.

    Which makes me wonder how a AAA title would do if it were pay to play rather than $60 one shot. For example if you could pay $5 a month to play GTA V would people just pay the $5 and go balls to the walls to beat it in a month so that the game only cost them $5 rather than $60? If Battlefield or Call of Duty went with an MMO pricing (when you think about the average lifespan of said games and the cost of all the 'premium' content it probably works out to $5 a month for two years) would they still make as much money?
  • Then there's Guild Wars 2, new content every two weeks and no monthly fee. It's been the only MMO that has grabbed my attention in a long time.
  • edited November 2013
    Yeah, Guild Wars 2 does a lot right in regard to its pricing and content release.
    Unfortunately for me, it was too easy and lacked the tight, snappy controls that I loved so much in Guild Wars 1.
    The ability to have a mushroom for a head was almost too much for me to handle.
    Post edited by McTenderloin on
  • HMTKSteve said:

    I am in Scott's camp. My rational is that I am not going to pay to play a game on a monthly basis knowing that I may not get what I consider my moneys worth out of it.

    Which makes me wonder how a AAA title would do if it were pay to play rather than $60 one shot. For example if you could pay $5 a month to play GTA V would people just pay the $5 and go balls to the walls to beat it in a month so that the game only cost them $5 rather than $60? If Battlefield or Call of Duty went with an MMO pricing (when you think about the average lifespan of said games and the cost of all the 'premium' content it probably works out to $5 a month for two years) would they still make as much money?

    Around 12 years ago, you could have said the same thing about Warcraft. And now, WoW is celebrating it's 9th anniversary. Yeah, if an MMO version of GTA 5 was released and it was beatable, then people would get on, play for a month or two, and leave after they beat it. Then, when the expansion came out with a new character or city or mission pack came out, all of those people would come back for the month or two to beat all of the new content, and so on and so forth. I am sure there are people who would pay a monthly subscription for games like Call of Duty and Modern Warfare. People pay Microsoft around $5 a month to be able to play those games online, and I don't know if the game's creators even see any of that money.

    Most, if not all of the MMO's out there, started out as a subscription based or at least "freemium" game. There are exceptions, of course, but most start that way. Once attention spans wane, they are forced to go Free to Play with premium subs or items to keep going, otherwise they fade away. Not all free games are bad, but most of them (again, there are exceptions) are quite limited in one way or another on what you get for free. A lot of them have gated content, or character slot limitations, or only playable as certain race/class or even up to a certain level (WoW is free up to level 20). I read an article a couple of years ago that stated that a decent portion of long term players to the free MMO's pay around $10 or more each month for various content anyways.

    I feel that if you can get more than 5-6 hours of enjoyment every month out of a game, then it could easily be worth the $15/month sub fee. 2 movies @ 3 hours each will run you around $15.

    Skyrim took a lot of my free time, and I enjoyed it a lot. I think that team can make a fun, engaging MMO. The game will probably adapt a free to play model within 18 months (unless it can truly be a "WoW Killer") with premium subscription.

    @Scott... If you have no intention of every playing the game, then why waste the time to download it at all? Also, yeah, the time to play is short, but there will be more beta weekends, then eventually open beta.
  • I'm playing a free beta and then uninstalling it. What's wrong with that?
  • Seems like using fraps and uploading to Pirate Bay is the way to go. I am not the first to have this idea. scrolls online/0/99/0
  • edited November 2013
    FYI, in previous tests for this game, your e-mail address is watermarked all over the screen.
    Post edited by Andrew on
  • Andrew said:

    FYI, in previous tests for this game, your e-mail address is watermarked all over the screen.

    LOL. If I can't remove it with AfterEffects I'll just post it somewhere with private access for you people and not for the public.
  • Apreche said:

    I'm playing a free beta and then uninstalling it. What's wrong with that?

    It just seems to me that you could be doing any number of things that you would find to be a better use of your time.

  • It's for the kids.
  • For tha shortieeees.

    Trying out new games is fun, even if they're shitty. I've signed up for many free betas and trials for bad games I enjoyed exploring for a few hours.
  • So I played it. I recorded high quality video with Fraps. I will upload it to a place after it is done encoding. It will take some time.

    Want to know what it's like? Imagine you are playing Skyrim. Except now there are other people also playing Skyrim. You see them running around doing the same thing you are doing. That's it.

    Sometimes it's really cool. In the tutorial level you escape from a prison. It's awesome because it's like there's a riot, and those are all real people running for the exit, just like you! But they are making it seem like a real riot! When you go to infiltrate a bandit village, there's chaos everywhere! Those are real people making that chaos. The true possibility of the MMO shines through!

    And then, it crumbles as usual. You find the checkpoint NPC on your quest. It is surrounded by other people also talking to that NPC. You are not the hero of Kvatch. You are just like all these other people doing the same exact thing over and over again.

    One other thing. Unlike the single player games, rewards are meager. It takes a long time to get any kind of awesome shit. You're going to be poorly armored using shit weapons for a long time. Better pay some real money!
  • Weren't you meant to be just another soldier though? I was pretty sure they were saying something along those lines. That most single player story moments you were actually alone, kinda like the story missions in Guild Wars 2.

    I also played the beta, and I would play this game if it wasn't subscription based. :/ They could have gone the GW2 route and the ES branding would have done the rest.
  • Yeah that's what I expected. I'll play it when its free in like 6 months.
  • It'll go free. They all do. The only company that won't give in is Squeenix with the FF MMO's, and that's because rabid FF fanboys won't stop.
  • So far, I am having fun with it. It is frustrating that I am able to get items that aren't usable (for crafting) but I know what to look for for later down the road in open beta and after launch. I have had some lag spikes, stuck characters, and apparently there is a supposed to be a trail to follow for some quest but people aren't seeing it (I am not that far yet). I didn't expect to be the end all be all hero like in Skyrim (which would be exhausting in real life to the the head of the mage guild, assassin's guild, thieve's guild and steward for 6 cities). As for loot, I have received some nice items from random drops from just killing whatever crossed my pat as I work on leveling my character. Also, Lockpicking is fun.
  • Ok, if you want a link to watch the video, ask me and I will send it to you.

    It's the first hour and 20 minutes of the game. Then the hard drive I was recording to filled up because I was recording at 60fps.
  • Link, please.
Sign In or Register to comment.