(updated September 09, 2013)
January 2, 2012:
Custom Character Appearance:
I don't mean to be so negative, but I was hoping for more from Bethesda this time around. . . even though I predicted that Skyrim would be more of a fast-paced action game than an in-depth RPG (I was really hoping that I would be wrong).
And it isn't that the game is all bad. Not at all. I'm having fun playing it (even with all the above issues), and it is superior to Oblivion in many ways.
It runs VERY well on my older PC (much better than OB ever did) and is graphically much better looking, and the animations, voices, and conversations are much better. The interface is gorgeous, especially the skill tree!
I LOVE the moving water and the increased details that was added
to even the little things in the game (like food and dishes). And
I love that the characters are actually dirty-looking . . . like
the have actually been working or fighting (instead of looking like they
just came from a spa).
Written months before Skyrim was released:
My concerns have not been totally confirmed yet. But, from what we know about the game so far, these are legitimate concerns. I hope I am wrong and that none of my concerns will end up being an issue for me in the default game. Before Oblivion was released, I totally bought ALL the hype and expected TES IV to be a huge improvement over TES III (Morrowind) . . . But it wasn't. This time I'm being a LOT more skeptical . . . I'd much rather be pleasantly surprised than disappointed again.
I am very concerned with the way that Skyrim's character build is being
In Skyrim these are all determined for you (more hand-holding, so that
the player won't be able to make a "bad" choice, and "ruin" his
In Skyrim you are stuck with what the game determines is best for you.
How many players here, who played Oblivion, were happy with the Class
that the game picked for them?
How many players decided to select their own Class?
And that is an issue for me.
My Skyrim Starting Character "Build"
Race: Bosmer (only for cosmetic reasons)
Based on a 200 hour game estimate: a beginning, totally average character with no specializations at all (Class in Morrowind and Oblivion), can become the best Mage/Warrior/Thief in all of Skyrim in less than one game year (200 real hours * 30 Timescale / 24 = 250 game days]. Unbelievable!
I would hope that Skyrim doesn't have Oblivion's free-fast-travel-from-anywhere . . . as it really doesn't fit a TES RPG (in my opinion). ALL Fast Travel should include a fee that you have to pay to travel anywhere. And Fast Travel should ONLY be available from towns and cities (by carriages and perhaps by ships and from mage's guilds teleports).
I never played Arena or Daggerfall, so I'm relying on what little I know about those two games:
Arena's fast travel made sense, since the game map was of ALL of Tamriel AND the ONLY way you could travel from between the cities was by clicking on the map, and fast traveling to them.
Daggerfall's game map was HUGE, and Fast Travel was NOT free, and if you didn't plan well, you would arrive after the city gates were locked.
The problem is that ever since Morrowind, so many players whined that any game like this NEEDS free-fast-travel-from-anywhere (where you can just click on any place on your map and be there, totally for free).
Why should any type of fast travel be free? If Skyrim is anything at all
like OB and FO3, having enough gold will not be a problem. If ALL fast
traveling comes with a fee, it would help to slow the speed of gaining
wealth (which is a good thing, since it is always way too easy).
Bethesda's Game Map Size vs. Elder Scrolls Lore:
Imperial Library website:
"Starting off in Daggerfall can
overwhelm the senses. No other game has such a huge world to explore.
Travel around a land mass twice the size of Great Britain . . ."
If you reduced the land mass by a factor of 30 (to match the default Timescale), you would end up with roughly an 8 x 20 mile game map . . . which is 10 times larger than what we will be getting [4*4=16; 8*20=160 square miles]. Then we would actually have the "huge open game world" that Bethesda has been saying that Skyrim is. Personally a 4 x 4 mile game world is not what I would consider to be "huge." Skyrim is going to be pretty much the exact size of Oblivion . . . yet Skyrim has 8 different regions . . . so each region is going to average only 2 square miles . . . 2 square miles of tundra is hardly a "huge area."
An 8*20 (160 square miles) game world would actually feel huge. And I
wouldn't even mind if it had to be broken up into the 8 different
regions (with loading screens when you went from one region to another,
which would also allow for Xbox DVD swaps). Then you could add cities
that were much larger along with a LOT more NPC's. Imagine Oblivion
times 10 (10 times greater land mass, 10 times larger cities, and 10
times more NPCs).
Arwen Note: For me, a 30 Timescale is way too fast . . . I don't like the way it makes the days race by [24 game hours = 48 real minutes], so I generally set mine at 8 [24 game hours = 3 real hours].
Post E3 Gameplay Demo (updated June 26, 2010):
The E3 demo reinforced my previous concerns . . . and I was really hoping that wouldn't happen. I'm nearly certain that the main focus in creating Skyrim has been on combat, and on streamlining the rest of the game around combat . . . where every player will be a warrior/mage/thief . . . with no character limitations.
In previous TES RPGs, you had to select your Birthsign, which represented the stars your were born under . . . and your Birthsign gave your character some inherent strengths (and some also came with inherent weaknesses). But in Skyrime the Birthsigns were removed, and have been replaced with Birth-Stones . . . which allow you to change your "birthsign" whenever you want to (you just have to go to where these stones are). This change (along with the removal of Classes) virtually removes any inherent strengths and weaknesses from the player character.
That's a HUGE issue for me. And the presence of Oblivion's Fast Travel, and of the Fast Level (along with the rapid skill advancing Perk rewards) leads me to believe that the game is more focused on fast paced gameplay than on in-depth gameplay. I'm seriously bummed.
After having some of my biggest fears confirmed (by what was shown at E3), I'm predicting that it is going to take a LOT of mods to make Skyrim an enjoyable RPG for me.
Fear that Skyrim is going to be even more Mainstreamed than Oblivion was (updated September 20, 2010):
I'll continue to update this section as new information is released.
Arwen's Realm (my forum) - The is often the fastest way to contact me. If you are new to Elder Scroll RPGs (or Fallout ) and need some help with these games, or are having trouble with mods, or just have questions or comments about my journal - just drop in and post a message. I've put together a place called Arwen's Realm, a friendly little moderated forum community (where members actually respect each other) - and this is my personal invitation for you to drop by and become a member.
Skyrim Nexus: This is the best place to find Skyrim mods.
Official Skyrim Site - Bethesda Softwork's Skyrim home page.
Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages - Skyrim Section (UESP.net - "We have
been building a collaborative source for all knowledge on the Elder Scrolls
series of games since 1995 . . . . This site's purpose is to provide
information; therefore, most of the content contains spoilers."
NVIDIA's Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Tweak Guide - "The aim of this guide is to allow you to better understand and utilize all of the configuration options available in Skyrim, as well as a selection of advanced tweaks to enhance the game."