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#1
Old 02-09-2013, 05:57 AM
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Teach me to enjoy Skyrim? What did you like about it?

(I realize this is late to the party, but hey, by this time hopefully people can reply with the clarity of hindsight.)

I'm looking for a RPG to kill some time with, and Skyrim keeps popping back in my head. It's one of those games that I'm convinced I ought to like but just... don't. At least not yet. Can you tell me what I'm missing? Am I just too jaded?

I got it when it first came out, played for a few hours with my melee character, then couldn't kill the dragon at the first tower and got bored after dying a dozen times. I shelved it for a few months and tried it again with a magic character and got a bit further, then got bored again.

Am I just not giving it enough time? Does it just have a slow start and gets better from there?

The thing is... nothing about it was compelling in those first few hours of play. Sure, the production values were great. But the gameplay seemed hollow and oversimplistic. I've been a gamer all my life, and RPGs are by far my favorite genre. I played Daggerfall as a kid, played Morrowind and all its expansions until my fingers bled, even gave Oblivion a few dozen hours... but Skyrim? It just feels dumbed down. Everything from combat (melee is SO boring) to magic (can't create any spells anymore? What's this horrible, confusing left-hand-right-hand casting system? Why is it so hard to switch to different spells?) to the whole simplistic level up system. Morrowind was beautifully complex and customizable in comparison. What happened?

It feels, ultimately, like a single-player MMO with beautiful graphics, shallow mechanics, and a so-far generic storyline involving dragons and mages and empires. Am I wrong about any of that? Does it get better?

The worst part is: I can't tell if there's actually something wrong with the game or if I'm just getting older and more calloused. It did get an insane number of Game of the Year awards and high user ratings, did it not? I don't understand...
#2
Old 02-09-2013, 08:04 AM
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I have the same problem. I've had the game since release and have only gotten to level 3 or 4. There is nothing in the game that captures me and draws me in.
#3
Old 02-09-2013, 09:25 AM
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No, you're exactly right about the game's weaknesses. I like its strengths (nicely realized open world where you can stumble onto little stories that are planted all over the place) well enough to play it to death in spite of them, but if they're killing the game for you that leaves only two options - give up on it, or try to find the right mods to add the complexity you're after back in. I know there are magic system enhancement mods that add effects and spell creation. But I think you're stuck with the simple character system.
#4
Old 02-09-2013, 09:31 AM
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I'm not as sweet on Skyrim as most people, I never even finished the main quest (though I started it up again yesterday), but it does still have some sense of adventure -- being able to just pick a direction and walk.

The first bit is rather boring (all the way through Bleak Falls Barrow I hate playing). I'd say I started having fun after the first dragon -- especially after I went to Winterhold for the mage college.

As for how tedious it is to select spells, I assume this is including the favorites menu. Since you're a Morrowind fan, I assume you're on PC? Try installing skse (the Skyrim Script Extender) and the mod SkyUI. That fixes most of the problems with the interface, including a better favorites list. I have a ridiculous amount of mods right now (though admittedly most of them are aesthetic).

For that first dragon, I'm not sure you can melee it without dying (unless you abuse smithing to deck yourself out in god armor and give yourself insane level boosts at least). I was a magic user with no ranged spells yet, just the boring spells, and I had to resort to a bow to have any chance. Maybe I'm wrong and it's possible, but it's only one fight, it will hardly throw off your build by using a bow on one dragon. I'd save melee on that dragon for a challenge run.

I heard they took out spell creation because it was too easy to make utterly imbalanced spells. Which is silly because you can still make utterly imbalanced armor, and ridiculously imbalanced builds, but there ya go. They also took out flight and the bind/recall spells because it was easier to make exciting encounters and good environments (meaning, make it so you can't teleport out of dungeons and give an inability to bypass city loading screens).

It's a good game. I'd say it's certainly better in many areas than Morrowind -- but in the process of improving parts, they damaged others. I'd say overall it comes off a little worse, but it's definitely not a travesty.

I'd say get yourself to level 15-20, but if you're still not having fun then you may just be doomed not to like it.
#5
Old 02-09-2013, 10:05 AM
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I felt the same way as the OP. It's very slow, has frustrating controls, and I'll add that it's an appallingly ugly game. I got very tired of grey and brown.

I'm sure the world's depth is beyond belief but it proved too boring and migraine-inducing to get far enough into it.

Which is fine. Different stokes for different folks.
#6
Old 02-09-2013, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
I felt the same way as the OP. It's very slow, has frustrating controls, and I'll add that it's an appallingly ugly game. I got very tired of grey and brown.
Well... unless you have the computer from heaven and are willing to spend hours fiddling with graphics mods.

http://asot.es/2001/09/skyrim-mods.html

http://i5.minus.com/ib85mgdHj26Oa.JPG
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7ezvZM0C-k...3Jy7aCdcWw.JPG
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-VTbIakar2Y...bw2c4od7ox.jpg
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ABxzvQs3Kj...A3vi6xgeRa.jpg
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Z-UdJLUpFQ...Km8wn0QMNl.JPG

Last edited by Jragon; 02-09-2013 at 10:10 AM.
#7
Old 02-09-2013, 10:19 AM
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First off, I'll give you my opinionated answer to your question: No, I don't think you can be taught how to enjoy Skyrim. If you dislike it, there's probably nothing you can do about it, except installing Morrowind again.

Myself, I hate it. I tried it out not long ago, and I'm at this point lvl 12. I never had any illusions about me going to like it in the first place, but I had to give it a real go because of a friends endorsement of it. I will however continue, because as with all TES games I'll give the thieves guild and Dark brotherhood lines, or their equivalents, a go.

The reasons I hate it is plenty. I dislike the still incredibly simplistic melee-system, wich hasn't actually improved much since morrowind. I do not like the even bigger downsizing of the stats and skills. Remember how you at the end game could actually jump over Balmora? I find the magic-system terrible, and I hate the fact I can't make spells. The UI is simply atrocious, at least vanilla. I'm sure there's some mods for that, but then again, why would I wanna play a game I have to mod extensively just to fix the UI? Same with Oblivion. I tried playing Oblivion OOO, just to get some enjoyment out of it.

Now, I've played until lvl 12, and still haven't found any questline I've actually found interesting in any way. All I've seen is bland crap set in a boring pseudo-viking setting. Not the main quest, not any of the other lines I've done, none of them have given me any fun or awe so far, and none of the characters either.

With me being from Norway I also dislike how they've done the setting. The names of people and places sound incredibly stupid, at least to me, I find the accents to be horrible, and it seems the variations in landscape range between snowy places, a lot of similar looking forests and some steppes.

I admit the graphics are beautiful, and I enjoyed the scenery for the first few hours until it felt I'd seen most of it. And I've been all over the place. Discovery is a big part of the fun for me.

If you too have these gripes with the game and they ruin it for you, you will probably never like it, in my honest opinion. Btw I haven't really liked any TES game since Morrowind, and I found Fallout 3 to be incredibly boring. Fallout New Vegas was okay.
#8
Old 02-09-2013, 10:26 AM
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Are there other computer RPGs you've played and enjoyed? Maybe you need something more plot-based like Dragon Age versus the open world "Go do whatever" experience of Skyrim.

I enjoyed Skyrim for the hundred or so hours I put into it but I've said before that it ultimately feels like a whole lot of real estate in search of a purpose.
#9
Old 02-09-2013, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Jragon View Post
Emma Stone?

#10
Old 02-09-2013, 11:34 AM
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I like Skyrim. A lot. I found the storyline interesting, and it wasn't until later that I bored with the battles and some repetitive quests. I liked playing it like if I died, it meant something, so I tended to be very cautious, but it made it more fun for me.

Perhaps I'm too easy to please, because I didn't have a problem with the graphics, the battle system, or the spells. I enjoyed smithing, enchanting, and hunting. The first dragon I killed was special, and gathering the shouts was rewarding. I liked some characters, hated others, and played the game the way I wanted to play it.

I completely understand if it's not your type of game, and I don't see any reason to stick with it if you're not enjoying it. But I enjoyed the open world nature and I'm surprised that if you liked other games like it, that you don't like Skyrim.

But I did.
#11
Old 02-09-2013, 12:13 PM
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I enjoyed it very much but also found the controls difficult to deal with. A life saver for me was tying my right hand to my right mouse button and my left hand to the left mouse button and the spells I use the most to the number keys. The controls were a victim of Console-itis where they were not optimized for a PC because of the console version.

For me, the setting was one of the best parts. I liked the Cold snowy setting and the very white and brown and grey color palette. It was refreshingly different but I can see how to others wit would be boring (especially after the otherworldlyness of Morrowind).

I never finished that was more because I didn't have as much free time and the fact that I just tend to move on from games sometimes through no fault of the game.
#12
Old 02-10-2013, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorsnak View Post
But I think you're stuck with the simple character system.
Actually there's mods to change that too; here's one that adds back classes and birthsigns that I found after searching the Workshop a little, but there's others.
#13
Old 02-10-2013, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Jragon View Post
Well... unless you have the computer from heaven and are willing to spend hours fiddling with graphics mods.
I have a terrific PC. But the game's gotta draw me in BEFORE I want to spend hours fiddling with it, or else it's just a lot more satisfying to fire up a game that I'll start enjoying in sixty seconds.
#14
Old 02-10-2013, 06:50 PM
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Of course, for some people the fiddling is its own reward.

But in the end, if you're not having fun with a game it's just obviously not the game for you. Just because other people like a game doesn't mean you should bang your head against the wall not having fun with it.
#15
Old 02-10-2013, 07:16 PM
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Modding:
Hmm, interesting. I didn't realize the mods could make that big of a difference. I don't mind tinkering as long as they result in useful, more-than-cosmetic changes, and in this case it seems like they would. Good to know.

@Jophiel: I've certainly enjoyed other CRPGs. Plot does help. I thoroughly enjoyed the epic buildup of Morrowind. My favorite RPGs were NWN, Knights of the Old Republic II and Planescape: Torment because they were significantly story-driven. But I also really enjoyed action RPGs like Diablo, Divinity II, and the remade Fallouts.... and even the completely story-less like Temple of Elemental Evil, whose sublime adaption of 3.5 Ed D&D rules made combat beautifully tactical.

Story:
Anyway, I suppose TES games were never known for their combat, really. How's the storyline? Does the plot get any more involved later on? I take it you're a dragonborn and you have to save or destroy the Empire. Does it get any more nuanced than that?
#16
Old 02-10-2013, 08:24 PM
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The Empire/Nord storyline is actually separate from what most consider the "main" storyline of stopping the world from ending, both have some choices in them, though they're often "who's being the bigger jerk" type options.

I've found some fun out of the system's absurdities. I finish the main storyline, come back to my house with my wife and adopted kids, only to have the kids run up to me and ask if I brought them anything. Way to make me feel like a failure, kids! Now I keep some apples and such on me in case whatever world-eating boss doesn't have any good souvenirs as loot.

And, in levelling up my archery, I still one-shot most bandits, but I've been able to create situations where I alert a bunch of them in a cave, but they have to wind their way through passages to get to me. They often string themselves out so they come around the corner into the business end of my crossbow with just enough spacing for me to reload before the next one comes through. End up with a nice tidy pile of bodies.
#17
Old 02-10-2013, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reply View Post
Story:
Anyway, I suppose TES games were never known for their combat, really. How's the storyline? Does the plot get any more involved later on? I take it you're a dragonborn and you have to save or destroy the Empire. Does it get any more nuanced than that?
There's more than one plot and they aren't all equal, IMO - the main plot is not too bad, but at least for me both the assassin's guild and thieves guild storylines were far superior. The civil war is rather boring and worst of the whole lot of the long quests while the mage and warrior guild quests were roughly as good/bad as the main story.

I'm not sure the differences between the various major storylines are big enough to actually make somebody who is indifferent about Skyrim to start liking it, but I enjoyed my time playing the "better" quests quite a bit more than when I was doing the utterly forgettable Companions quests for example. Same was true for combat styles - I had more fun with stealth and bow than with dual-wield/1h+magic melee I first tried.
#18
Old 02-10-2013, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
I have a terrific PC. But the game's gotta draw me in BEFORE I want to spend hours fiddling with it, or else it's just a lot more satisfying to fire up a game that I'll start enjoying in sixty seconds.
I do not deny this, it was a half-joke, half-illustration that if you really, really want it to look good, it can. (Also, those mods require presently unrealistic specs -- the guy who posted those pictures has a top of the line card and says he gets 5-8FPS while running the mods, not to mention he uses a different config for each screenshot to make it look the best, so you'll never get the whole game looking like that at once).
#19
Old 02-10-2013, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Reply View Post
It feels, ultimately, like a single-player MMO with beautiful graphics, shallow mechanics, and a so-far generic storyline involving dragons and mages and empires. Am I wrong about any of that? Does it get better?
My problem with Skyrim is that I just don't care about any of the NPCs or the plot. Seriously, there is not a single likeable NPC in the whole game. Should my character be a part of the rebellion or stay loyal to the Imperials? Who cares? I didn't even find it fun to go exploring. The weird thing is that I really enjoyed Fallout 3 which uses a similar game engine.
#20
Old 02-11-2013, 01:35 AM
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Here's my tips for enjoying Skyrim more:

1. Save the game when character creation starts and keep track of that save so you don't have to ride the cart ever again.
2. Think about your build, focus on a few skills, be stingy with your perks, but then throw something goofy in, like speech or pickpocket. Call it roleplaying if you want, it just seems to be more fun to me to check out skills that you normally wouldn't. Some builds play a lot faster than others, too. I find stealth a bit slow, personally.
3. Turn up the difficulty. People are complaining about the dumbed-down combat, so unless you're already on Master, you probably want to turn it up. The higher difficulties mean you have to rely on resources like potions and powers, and sometimes even retreat from a dungeon, returning only after leveling up.
4. Try to avoid the temptation to grind up skills. I'm not sure what's more tedious, selling loot to shopkeepers in order to pay for training or grinding a skill, but I'm leaning toward training as the less annoying of the two in most cases. Alchemy in particular tends to slow down the game a lot for me as I'm constantly stopping to chase butterflies and pick flowers.
5. Don't pay too much attention to quests. Skyrim is a lot of fun if you're easily distracted.
#21
Old 02-11-2013, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Jragon View Post
Well... unless you have the computer from heaven and are willing to spend hours fiddling with graphics mods.
Skyrim is actually super easy. You don't need a "computer from heaven", my video card is pretty long in the tooth now but I can run the game at max detail at 2560x1440 with like 15 graphics mods and never drop below 60 fps. It's not challenging at all for a PC to run even a heavily modded skyrim.

It's also super easy and requires almost no tweaking. You can just click "subscribe" in the steam workshop and have the mod automatically installed, or use the nexus mod manager, click the link for the mod, and click "activate" within the manager.

Ignoring download time, you can go through someone's recommended list of graphics mods and have them all installed with about 5 minutes worth of fiddling. Or if you use someone else's compilation of steamworks, about 5 seconds.
#22
Old 02-11-2013, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Hartwick View Post
Here's my tips for enjoying Skyrim more:

3. Turn up the difficulty. People are complaining about the dumbed-down combat, so unless you're already on Master, you probably want to turn it up. The higher difficulties mean you have to rely on resources like potions and powers, and sometimes even retreat from a dungeon, returning only after leveling up.
To me the combat feels quite like how Oblivion felt, in that there's quite a lot of stuff happening, but none of it makes the combat feel any more fluid than say Morrowind. To me at least, the combat feels static and unresponsive. Popping potions, switching between gear spells actually slows the combat down because of the UI(what happened to just using a hotbar?), making it even less fluid.

Look at f.ex. Dark Messiah of M&M. It's not a very good game all things considered, but the combat is amazing. Every encounter can be done in a different way, you can utilize traps, kick people off ledges, into spikes, and even just one on one melee feels incredibly responsive and flexible. If someone tries to, lets say axe you in the face, you can dodge it, you can counter-attack, kick him, block then attack. Every attack has a multitude of valid respones.

In skyrim I feel like I'm just clicking a lot, trying to move erraticly and dodge without much succes and then pausing to pop a potion. I will however not call it dumbed-down... it's not. The combat is just as dumb as Oblivion. Even though skyrim has more complex combat than Morrowind, I feel it's unnecessary since it's basically just as static and unresponsive anyway.
#23
Old 02-11-2013, 11:25 AM
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I just finished Skyrim (the different guild quests, the main quest and the civil war quest, at any rate) and I enjoyed it. I've played Morrowind, Oblivion, Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas (all on the Xbox), so I mostly knew what to expect going in. Out of all of those games, my least favourite was definitely Oblivion.

I didn't find the beginning any slower than the beginning of Morrowind, so I can't comment on that. And I actually thought the levelling-up system was an improvement over Morrowind and Oblivion. Losing the ability to make your own spells was a slight disappointment, but I adapted to it pretty quickly. I wasn't a big fan of switching back and forth between weapon/shield and casting, but it added a little bit of tactical interest.

The one thing I miss from Morrowind is the story incentive to go through the game multiple times. In Morrowind, you could only join one noble house, but in Skyrim you can get pretty much everything done in one play-through; I suppose you can only support one side in the civil war, but I suspect the quest line is quite similar no matter which side you choose to support.

Last edited by hogarth; 02-11-2013 at 11:26 AM.
#24
Old 02-11-2013, 11:36 AM
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I really enjoyed Skyrim for bit, couldn't wait to get time to play. Then I got to Winterhold, headed off somewere else..and just never loaded it up again.

It just wasn't compelling any more. It was fun exploring, but what do you find when you explore? Another same-old dungeon, stocked with the same-old enemies. I totally agree that there was nothing about the NPCs that drew me in. The quests weren't all that interesting. It seemed like a lot of the quests were kind of filler.

G/f ran out of intersted at around the same time, though she had progressed a little farther. I think I'll grab a copy of Fallout III and see if I can get her into that. I think FO is a much better game than Skyrim.
#25
Old 02-11-2013, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post
Skyrim is actually super easy. You don't need a "computer from heaven", my video card is pretty long in the tooth now but I can run the game at max detail at 2560x1440 with like 15 graphics mods and never drop below 60 fps. It's not challenging at all for a PC to run even a heavily modded skyrim.

It's also super easy and requires almost no tweaking. You can just click "subscribe" in the steam workshop and have the mod automatically installed, or use the nexus mod manager, click the link for the mod, and click "activate" within the manager.

Ignoring download time, you can go through someone's recommended list of graphics mods and have them all installed with about 5 minutes worth of fiddling. Or if you use someone else's compilation of steamworks, about 5 seconds.
Like I said, for those specific mods, the guy has SLI GTX 670s and said the game still runs at 5-8 FPS, so you won't be getting THAT good performance (though I can say first hand that you can get pretty damn beautiful performance) out of it any time soon.
#26
Old 02-11-2013, 11:10 PM
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I agree that the plot and characters in skyrim are boring and tedious and there was literally nothing interesting or memorable about the whole game.

I did play it and did a few of the guild quests and did the rebellion quest... but, it wasn't a very memorable game overall.
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