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The no-hate thread about why Skyrim is bad

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
11,855
1,188
126
Skyrim has good visuals, to a point. Oblivion had them too, not quite as modern, but Oblivion was revolutionary.

So Skyrim is a game where you play as a fantasy hero, sword and shield, magic, potions, all that stuff. It's got experience points.

Now you see i'm not new to experience points; i was a Dungeon Master (no sado) back when i was barely 13yo. I'v played just about every RPG from back when the only people who knew what a RPG was were RPG players, to today.
(insert list of RPGs known to man here)
So, i know my RPG stuff. I was around before FF tried to destroy everything we RPG players loved.

Back in the days there was a kind of player who we used to call the Roll Player, which is today the stat padder, the munchkin, you name it. But true as it may, RPGs' main appeal was that your character grew stronger, found magic items, and did things you could not do. In short, Roll Playing (i.e., focusing more on throwing dice, killing orcs and leveling up, rather than getting into the imagery) was fun and it still is.

Now the MAIN problem Skyrim has is that it's a bad game. The first rule has been broken, when i can do things my character cannot do.

See in Skyrim the most powerful enemies are the dragons, the dremora lord and maybe the mammoths, and i'm a quake player, which means that pretty much if you give me a ranged weapon and two dodge keys and i can kill anything. Add a quicksave / quickload button and you're making it silly.

Of course, *I* can kill anything; my character couldn't, in the hands of any other player.
Fallout 3 has the same issue, when i can kill at level 1 the toughest mob in the game, something is wrong. Could you take on a Brotherhood of Steel enemy at level 1, in Fallout 2? nope. You would have been torn to shreds.

See in RPGs there is a level of separation between player and character.

Too often as a DM/GM i would run into a player who would say "ok my character makes some gunpowder"
("no, you don't know how")
"ok, i take 75% saltpetre, 15% charcoal, 10% sulfur and mix them together; what happens?"

See the problem here is that the player knows something .. but his own character doesn't.
And in the same way that in Skyrim - which is essentially a FPS - i can own any mob i move faster than (or that i can get stuck into the world's geometry), regardless of how much of a pussy my character is.

The very core of RPGs is being faced with difficulties that are temporarily insurmountable; something which makes it worthwhile trying to grind and level up. Grinding is a bad word now, but it was at the core of untold slaughters of hobgoblins back in the golden age of RPG.

Skyrim's combat mechanics are simply not suited to a RPG, like turn-based isn't suited to a Street Fighter game.



But it's not over yet.


The world is nice, although not the nicest i have seen. Unfortunately it has the same problem as Minecraft.

See that mountain? Well, it's sixty feet tall. See that huge valley? You can walk across it in around five minutes. Half hour to cross the whole world.
Not bad for say, Tomb Rider, but pretty bad for "immersion". Even the ancient DAoC has maps so vast that if one of your mates messages you from the other side of the world, you will think twice before trying to get there.
Naturally the whole thing makes absolutely no sense anyway since you will just fast travel there anyway.
But the problem lies in the way the design is implemented.

If you are going to make a mountain, it's got to be a mountain. Slopes that slow you down. Ice storms that really damage you (especially if you're a half orc running around in a loincloth).

The whole game is overambitious in design scope but in the end it's just a 3d map of some small pointy hills and some textures on top. Excluding the awesome effect inside rivers, there is really zero immersion when you see horses climbing straight down a cliff's face. To me, Skyrim's external map design is the same as if in a FPS like ME3, you could walk up to a half wall and your character would just start climbing on its side, horizontally.
(while we're at it, let me say how much i hated Fallout's "post-apocalyptic" desert; how many f* people live in this radioactive wasteland? where is the despair? where is the hopelessness?)

Going on;

Skyrim has two faults everyone has pointed out which are annoying, but not game breaking.

Fault one, is the "arrow in the knee" thing, where every guard has to blurt out his deepest fears and most hidden secrets every f* time you walk by; this, along with the "still Disney, still PolCo, but now with swear words" writing are yess annoying, but what did you expect? It's still a "major American company"'s product, did you really think you were gonna get something like Prey, or FEAR?

These are some things which make the game poor on a writing level, but what makes the game bad on playability is that essentially you have but ONE game mechanic and everything else rotates around that; if we exclude the quest of the god Sheogorath, everything else bar nothing that you do in the game is "kill this one mob";

Think about it, there is NO way to fail in this game unless you die. And, if you kill the mob, you will ALWAYS advance in your quest.
Seriously how can anyone call this a RPG rather than an Adventure game (or a FPS, or a 3d Arcade) is beyond me to understand. Has anyone here played a Vampire PC-RPG?

Anyway, this is surely what i would define a game-breaking issue; killing mobs is childisly easy, and killing mobs is the only think you have to do. Like Minecraft, if you want a challenge, if you want to *beat the game*, it's all too easy. never you mind the many (less than Oblivion) ways that you can kill someone, sneaking, arrows, backstab, poison, etc .. the point is that it's simply not a game in the classic sense of the word.

On the one hand you have a player who wants to actually have a quest to beat, and finds himself just faced by the chore of having to fast travel to yet another well-lit cave, kill the mob in an instant, then fast travel for yet another identical quest.
At least, in classic computer RPGs, different mob encounters would present you with different strategic challenges, expecially because old RPGs had way deeper mechanics than Skyrim, where arrows+ magic = identical, and all swords = identical, and no stats / no stat effects, no hard hp, in other and shorter words, nothing which makes RPGs different from Cowboys n Indians pew pew.


And unfortunately on the other hand you have the Minecraft player who will build castles ignoring the fact that the walls are made of wool, who builds endless minecart lines to grab diamonds in a pictoresque mountain cave when all he needs to do is dig down. Those players play Skyrim in the same way that you'd play Barbie Dressage. To those of them who claim Skyrim is beautiful, i say they are judging the book exclusively by the cover.

And finally we come to the one thing that Skyrims fails at so badly that it angers me; there is no sense of time whatsoever.

You get asked to bring some food up the mountain. "Sure", you say, taking the food, and completely forgetting about if for a few in-game months. The NPC still smiles at you like you just talked to him first five minutes ago; nobody up that mountain has staved to death yet, and there is no situation where you cannot simply walk out of and then come back to in days or weeks, and find that everything is as you left it. Skyrim has no time scripting in any of its quests, and having the experience in 3d makes it even worse. Even Doom had more of a sense of urgency that Skyrim does. I'm sorry, but this is not how you do a Role Playing game, a Roll Playing game, a Munchkin's Oddysey, a Monthy Haul, Powerlevelling, or whatever your idea of RPG manifests as. Skyrim = fail.

I didn't like Skyrim; i liked nothing at all about Skyrim and i would not play it again, nor would i play another game using the same engine, game design, mechanics, or written by the same writing team.
 

QueBert

Lifer
Jan 6, 2002
21,750
220
106
I haven't played it, but everything you said's exactly what I felt about Oblivion, I hated the fact there was zero sense of urgency. I mean the world's doomed and going to end! Yet you could literally play 5 hours a day for 10 years never doing anything except walking around and still nothing bad would happen. How fucking scary can those Oblivion Gates be when not going in and beating them results in absolutely no negative shit. Wait, so the world is on the brink of ending and I'm helping a weird old lady figure out what's killing her pet rats? Awesome sauce, and while the graphics were good, the world wasn't immersive at all, the 4 voice actors for the 1,0000 different NPC's totally killed that for me. I laughed at how people hyped up the fact every NPC could actually speak to you! I've played games that had only 10 NPC's that "spoke" but it was still more immersive than Oblivion in that aspect because they had 10 different voices, not 4/1000.

Only thing that makes me want to play Skyrim is the Macho Man dragon mod, that looks pretty damn good.
 

SLU Aequitas

Golden Member
Jul 13, 2007
1,252
26
91
Skyrim, Oblivion, Morrowind, and actually all of the games in TES do NOT make use of an XP system as found in D&D, etc. I stopped reading there.
 

TakeNoPrisoners

Platinum Member
Jun 3, 2011
2,600
1
76
The reason Skyrim isn't like the RPGs of old is because those RPGs were hardcore and had an extremely limited audience. Those games required you to read tomes and tomes of instruction, take a class, and hope that you didn't forget anything and screwed up your game forever if you forgot something.

Most people just want to jump into a game and not worry about screwing things up just by blowing on a tulip wrong. The type of RPG you are wishing for is only possible with mods or in a very specialized indie game. Any major changes to Skyrim's design would require that Bethesda alienate most of their fan base. So either mod Skyrim to become the game you want it to be or deal with what Bethesda gives you.

This is the way games are now. They have a larger audience they want to please. They can't cater to the needs of the hardcore RPG crowd because the funds that would require could not possibly be recouped by the limited audience that would want such a game.
 

spittledip

Diamond Member
Apr 23, 2005
4,480
1
81
Meh, it's a game. I can appreciate the action orientation and weakened RPG elements of Skyrim type games and can also appreciate a harder core RPG game. I think you are expecting too much. You even stated that the scope of having hard core RPG elements in a real time action game is too large.
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
78,804
11,773
126
I didnt even read your post and I already know most of your complaints can be fixed with mods.
 

DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
40,730
670
126
> Grinding is a bad word now, but it was at the core of untold slaughters of hobgoblins back in the golden age of RPG.

Not for me it wasn't. Good PC games like the Gold Box games and Wasteland 1 didn't force you to grind or farm (= repeat the same content over and over again) to play them. They were heavy on combat and unforgiving, but you only had to play through each area once.

It wasn't until I bought a PS1 and a few JRPGs that I played games that required grinding to succeed.
 
Jun 19, 2004
24,135
1,592
126
OP, I understand your complaints but, you're an elitist. I don't mean that in a negative way but, just to illustrate that Skyrim wasn't created for you. I do appreciate the modding community and am still discovering new fun things.

The reasons Skyrim is written the way it is are much the same as when I began playing D&D in '77 or so. After going through all the rules, deciding race, rolling stats and thinking about background and player perspective, You really don't want to get wacked along with your entire party by a Dire Wolf in the first 15 minutes. Granted, character creation is much faster these days and you can even go with pre-rolled characters but, the same perspective still applies. If we used real world physics and odds, 90% of players would never make it out of Helgen alive.

The answer to your frustrations is the same today as it was in 1977 with D&D. Write and mod your own version of the game. That's what made gaming so much fun!
 

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
11,855
1,188
126
@ Aequitas
hit 10 orcs with a sword = leveluppah!
with a sword, orcs 10 times hit= levelupppah!
i don't see a difference

@TNP all they needed to do was to slow down character movement and implement a stronger combat model; also, tye could have kept the more skills from Oblivion, added separate quest lines (i mean "separate", not "one first second later"), better speech options, politics, shaped the map travel differently.

@spittle yup, that's exactly as i feel. it's just a game, and not a very challenging one at that.

@Dave - you mean that you did not spend ages on that mound in Vegas (or Raider camp) trying to level up climb and perception? That you only went through the Citadel once? My god were you fighting with power axes in the end? Cuz you sure didn't have enough power packs for the Ion Cannon to do Base Cochise.
 

thejunglegod

Golden Member
Feb 12, 2012
1,356
34
91
Oh come on OP. Everyone knows Skyrim storyline-wise was bad. But you should also accept the fact that there are a lot of people who like to roam around wandering around landscapes exploring every nook and cranny. And they actually enjoy it. For example, my cousin likes to jack a bike and ride all over Vice City even after all these years.

Yes, of course your point that most of Skyrim is illogical w.r.t the time frame is correct. However, it is again completely a personal opinion. If you think that it has to be rushed, go ahead and complete the quest which according to you, cannot afford to wait. Many "open world" games do that. Heck in Mass Effect 3, I remember getting a distress call from some stranded scientists and i waited for a good 3-4 other missions before picking up on it. Turns out they were in the same exact situation even after a few months. And the same thing regarding the Reapers and Earth. The time for which the Reapers were on earth and the kind of technology they had, should have completely obliterated earth in about 2 days. But then, they decided to give Shephard their own sweet time.

Almost every game does that these days. The only game i played recently which rforced me to move forward was Max Payne 3. These days, you rarely see a game with a timer barring a few instances where you have to survive a wave of enemies.

Skyrim keeps you occupied. That is what most people want. If you don't like it, there are many others that do. I am more a fan of Oblivion in regards to how it completely changed the way games started to up the ante graphics-wise without being concerned about steep hardware requirements. Skyrim is more of the same with a weaker main quest line and slightly better graphics. I'm not complaining though and you shouldn't either. And if you don't like a particular game, then move on to the next. There are plenty of fish in the sea.
 

PrincessFrosty

Platinum Member
Feb 13, 2008
2,301
68
91
www.frostyhacks.blogspot.com
Most modern RPGs (read: games) are dumbed down to cater for casual gamers playing on consoles, a lot of what you're disappointed with are deliberate design choices to trade away deeper and more meaningful game play to keep the game accessible to the broader casual audience.

It's happening with all computer gaming, there was a time where a great many gamers were elitists, most gamers were geeks and the whole thing was more of a niche. These days everyone has an Xbox in their living room and plays CoD, the casual players want convenience and accessibility and outnumber the elitist gamers by a wide margin, so games are built to appeal to casual gamers first.

I don't like it any more than you do, it's something which is destroying more than just RPGs in gaming, but there's not really a lot you can do about it, mods are about the only hope, that and Indy games.
 

waggy

No Lifer
Dec 14, 2000
68,145
9
81
> Grinding is a bad word now, but it was at the core of untold slaughters of hobgoblins back in the golden age of RPG.

Not for me it wasn't. Good PC games like the Gold Box games and Wasteland 1 didn't force you to grind or farm (= repeat the same content over and over again) to play them. They were heavy on combat and unforgiving, but you only had to play through each area once.

It wasn't until I bought a PS1 and a few JRPGs that I played games that required grinding to succeed.
never played FF on nes and SNES? FOR SHAME!

skyrim is good. the mods make it better. skyrim is not what i would call a RPG but more of a action RPG. i prefer JRPG's over anything but they are rare.

skyrim though is a lot of fun. the story ain't that bad (it's not great though). I love having the ability to wonder around and do quest if i want. also if i see a cave i will go see what is in it.
 

gorcorps

aka Brandon
Jul 18, 2004
30,699
424
126
If your complaint about the game is that it doesn't have enough grinding, then I want the list of games you like because I'll probably think they're abysmal

I'm very glad that games are not stuck in the past like that. What a horrifying thought...
 

diesbudt

Diamond Member
Jun 1, 2012
3,393
0
0
I enjoyed it for many hours. Sure it isn't like an older Final Fantasy game or Fire Emblem type RPG where a few mistakes = GG.

But I think it is a really good game for the RPG type it is. I would give it 9/10.
 

JujuFish

Lifer
Feb 3, 2005
10,353
382
136
WRONG!
Just before Christmas they had a sale on Steam. It came down 40 percent.
Which is also what New Vegas and all the others did.
And I guarantee that it will be on sale at some point between now and July 4th on Steam. Hell, it's 20% off at this moment on Green Man Gaming.
 

Markbnj

Elite Member <br>Moderator Emeritus
Moderator
Sep 16, 2005
15,682
12
81
www.markbetz.net
I've played the Elder Scrolls series since Arena (which I have sitting here on a shelf still in its original packaging, in case anyone wants to offer me big bucks for it).

I wouldn't call Skyrim "bad." The game was a lot of fun and delivered enough value to justify the purchase price, and ultimately that's the only thing that counts for me. There are some things I wish they had done differently. The voice acting in some cases was silly. The NPCs are wooden and dumb. The world is ultimately too compact and out of scale, as the OP noted. The maps were simply horrible (but could be modded to acceptability). Dragons were far too easy to kill. Undead perhaps too hard. I wish they hadn't dumbed down the magic system.

But all that said, anyone who thinks the game provided less combat challenge or "grind" than the earlier installments in the franchise probably didn't play them. You could get into God Mode in Arena by lvl 10-13. Same with Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion, etc. The game has always been tuned to let you kill stuff with ease. My favorite Daggerfall spell was the one that sent a huge burst of flaming meteors down from the sky. You could literally wipe out 15-20 mobs with one cast.

Everquest it wasn't.
 

gladiatorua

Member
Nov 21, 2011
145
0
0
Skyrim is not bad. There are just some facepalming flaws. Like combat. Especially if you consider that this is the fifth game of the series. You'd expect them to get all the major aspects of the game right. In the fifth game. Not including expansions.
 

Gordon Freemen

Golden Member
May 24, 2012
1,068
0
0
D&D was ridiculous Skyrim was/is decent I am 75hrs in and still near the beginning LOL but I liked Morrowind and Oblivion a lot more.
 

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