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Skyrim, first impressions (limit spoilers, please!)

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Skyrim, first impressions (limit spoilers, please!)

Postby Fivelives » Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:17 pm

I preordered Skyrim and picked it up at the midnight release. It seems a lot smaller, somehow, than Oblivion. I'm not entirely sure why - maybe because the main activity hubs are all relatively similar to each other? It's not like the difference between Chorrol and Bruma in Oblivion.

Also, the questlines for factions seem compressed. It took me about 8 hours of play time to have myself named the Harbinger of the Companions and the Archmage of the College. In Oblivion, it took a hell of a lot longer than 8 hours for each of the fighter's and mage's guilds!

I'm still early on in the game, but that's just my first impression, gameplay-wise.

Graphics. Oh god, the graphics! It reminds me a lot of PS2 games, where you'd have gorgeous backgrounds and environments, but ugly people. They're still solidly in the uncanny valley, but ... wow. I'm floored at the detail that goes into rendering every single crack in support beams, or even the veins in leaves on trees. I'm not a fan of the snowfall, though - probably because I like being able to see more than a foot in front of me. I guess the highest praise I can give the game is that when I go close to a cliff and look down, I get the same feeling in the pit of my stomach that I do every time I actually look down from a high place in real life. It's a GORGEOUS game.

Also, to those playing - you can make yourself look like Dr. Doom!
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Re: Skyrim, first impressions (limit spoilers, please!)

Postby Koatanga » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:39 am

Potential spoiler, but funny bug? loophole? exploit?

How to steal in Skyrim:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uNx9-cWJZc
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Re: Skyrim, first impressions (limit spoilers, please!)

Postby aureon » Sun Nov 13, 2011 3:31 pm

i'm still in the "ooh, shiny!" phase.
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Re: Skyrim, first impressions (limit spoilers, please!)

Postby Gracerath » Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:24 pm

I actually really love the snow effect in the game. I also really like that all the caves (so far) and what not are actually lit instead of pitch black like they were in Oblivion, where you had to have some sort of light spell or see in the dark ability or whatever. Some people were complaining about that but I don't miss it. There are still light spells and I'm sure they have their use but I'm glad I don't have to rely on them going through the various places.

The game is very pretty and I love the attention to detail. Seeing salmon jump upstream or ants marching across a tree stump is cool (though the ants themselves actually look pretty bad).

There is a LOT to do. I'm actually playing two different ways. One at home on my PC and another on my laptop at work. At home I'm being a heavy armor, 1h/shield wielding warrior while my laptop character is a mage. I've made different choices with each so the game is totally different between them.
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Re: Skyrim, first impressions (limit spoilers, please!)

Postby Aubade » Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:43 pm

Fivelives wrote:I preordered Skyrim and picked it up at the midnight release. It seems a lot smaller, somehow, than Oblivion. I'm not entirely sure why - maybe because the main activity hubs are all relatively similar to each other? It's not like the difference between Chorrol and Bruma in Oblivion.

This makes me feel like you haven't visited every hub. And the world is so large that every time I get on my horse and ride to the next objective point, I run into 3-4 dungeons on the way.
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Re: Skyrim, first impressions (limit spoilers, please!)

Postby laterna » Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:06 am

what level are you people around at ? I'm lvl 30, while still only just did the "special" mission so I can be part of the circle, although I have visited and completed manakarn/winterhold/college/whiterun

Also, first game I sat down and crafted/enchanted me some crazy ass armor!
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Re: Skyrim, first impressions (limit spoilers, please!)

Postby Passionario » Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:15 am

I really should have waited for a year before buying it.
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Re: Skyrim, first impressions (limit spoilers, please!)

Postby Levantine » Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:30 am

My only gripe is that the PC version is a painfully obvious console port. The UI is atrocious and the in-game video options are terrible. Other than that I'm loving it.
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Re: Skyrim, first impressions (limit spoilers, please!)

Postby Fivelives » Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:46 am

Aubade wrote:
Fivelives wrote:I preordered Skyrim and picked it up at the midnight release. It seems a lot smaller, somehow, than Oblivion. I'm not entirely sure why - maybe because the main activity hubs are all relatively similar to each other? It's not like the difference between Chorrol and Bruma in Oblivion.

This makes me feel like you haven't visited every hub. And the world is so large that every time I get on my horse and ride to the next objective point, I run into 3-4 dungeons on the way.


I have visited them all. The only one that's REALLY different from the rest is the underground city. As far as running into explorable dungeons is concerned, Oblivion was the same (I never played ES 1-3, picked up the series with Oblivion - so I don't have anything else to compare it to).

Things that make it feel "smaller" to me:

- Shorter, more compact quest chains (compare the Companions chain to the Fighter's Guild, and the College to the Mage's Guild, for example)

- Almost all of the cities have a sort of "samey" feel to them. This is a purposeful design thing, though - instead of being 7 different "kingdoms" in Cyrodiil, this game focuses entirely on Skyrim, which is one province of a larger empire.

- The story (granted, I'm avoiding the main questline until the very last). Oblivion had us running around trying to stop a cult from blowing up the planet... and now we're fighting a dragon? They could've done SO MUCH MORE with the civil war aspect than they did, and left the dragon as a sidequest.

Speaking of the civil war, that got ... kind of repetitive, at least for me. So is the radiant quest system - I don't think it's possible to have a quest system that doesn't get repetitive when it's got so few types of quests available (there are 4 possible bounty quests, for instance, and each faction isn't much better as far as the "go here, kill that" aspect of questing). Granted, oblivion gates in Oblivion weren't any better than the radiant quests are in Skyrim though. The only thing that keeps them from being VASTLY worse is that the majority of the gates were very much skippable. Pretty sure you only had to close 3, if you skipped all of the optional gates for recruiting allies (the one in Kvatch, one in Bruma to show other people how to close them, and the siege engine gate). The Companions alone make you do 4 or 5 radiant quests to progress along the chain.

I do like the game a lot, and it's currently fellating my soul, but these were just some of my observations on how it's different from Oblivion.

I'm ... not entirely sure how I feel about the new leveling system, either? It's nowhere near as streamlined as Oblivion's was, and it's VERY MUCH counterintuitive - at least to me.
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Re: Skyrim, first impressions (limit spoilers, please!)

Postby Aubade » Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:24 am

Fivelives wrote:- Shorter, more compact quest chains (compare the Companions chain to the Fighter's Guild, and the College to the Mage's Guild, for example)


I will agree with you on this. Although I still feel that the quests are pretty epic. (No spoilers here but the ending of the Companions quest-line is pretty jaw-dropping.) And I feel that I get swept up in so much stuff side-quest and radiant quest wise that I never get to finish any others. (Currently started mage's college, spent 15-20 hours just doing non-guild/main/civil-war related quests.)

Fivelives wrote:- Almost all of the cities have a sort of "samey" feel to them. This is a purposeful design thing, though - instead of being 7 different "kingdoms" in Cyrodiil, this game focuses entirely on Skyrim, which is one province of a larger empire.

- The story (granted, I'm avoiding the main questline until the very last). Oblivion had us running around trying to stop a cult from blowing up the planet... and now we're fighting a dragon? They could've done SO MUCH MORE with the civil war aspect than they did, and left the dragon as a sidequest.


I think you're getting the story wrong. It's more about the civil war aspect, and WAY less about dragons. The Dragons (And you being Dragon-born.) are more of a side-project. Although I'm hoping that the two of them will mesh-together at some point. (I've only done 1 main quest-line and that's it, and about 2 questlines for Civil war, they're both pretty massive story-wise.)

Fivelives wrote:I'm ... not entirely sure how I feel about the new leveling system, either? It's nowhere near as streamlined as Oblivion's was, and it's VERY MUCH counterintuitive - at least to me.


I both enjoy and despise it. Simply for the fact that I want all the perks. I want to be able to use my 100 skill-point heavy armor perk, but get all of the light-armor ones as well. I want to be able to switch between 1h and 2h weapons, and the different schools of magic with free-will and not have to be like "Oh wait, I have no perks in this....loldamagelol."

I do enjoy the smithing though. Idk why, I just like it.
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Re: Skyrim, first impressions (limit spoilers, please!)

Postby Levantine » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:00 am

I'm actually quite enjoying the new leveling style. Dunno why, but I am. Decided to start from scratch now that I'm getting the hang of things again, and I must say, archery is strangely satisfying in this version, and the perks are pretty logical to create almost any archetype I can think of.
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Re: Skyrim, first impressions (limit spoilers, please!)

Postby Fivelives » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:53 am

Yeah, my problem with the perks is the same as Aubade. I like playing generalists, but in Skyrim you're penalized for doing so (or you have to put in umpteen bajillion hours to do it, which sort of defeats the purpose). If there were enough levels to get all of the perks, then it wouldn't be so bad, but there are about 150 more perks than there are levels... or more. So you have to pick an archetype and stick with it.

To me, this seems like either bad design, or a kind of attempt at shoehorning in some more replay value. Knowing Bethesda games, it's probably just a case of bad design. God knows they have absolutely NO problem with packing in replay value into their games.

Aubade wrote:Although I still feel that the quests are pretty epic.


So do I. I liked the companions questline so much that I married one of them. I think how epic they are sort of just underlines how short they are. Wow, that's an awkward sentence. It's like reading the condensed version of a novel - the epic bits are there, but it just feels like something was cut out.

Aubade wrote:I think you're getting the story wrong. It's more about the civil war aspect, and WAY less about dragons.


Then the last boss isn't a dragon? I've already resolved the civil war questline, and the only intersection was with one of the very first main storyline quests. Hell, there's even a loading screen tip that talks about the legend of (you) kicking (the dragon's) ass. (parentheticals because it might spoil something - even if it's already all over the interwebz in reviews)
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Re: Skyrim, first impressions (limit spoilers, please!)

Postby fafhrd » Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:56 pm

About 15 hours into the game I think? Have barely done anything noteworthy in terms of advancing the main plot or the various guild questlines, just been screwing around exploring and crafting and READ ALL THE THINGSing every time I find a bookshelf. It is a blast, I doubt I'll be finished in another 50 hours of gameplay, and whenever I do finish I'm sure I'll jump right in with a different character. There are so many different ways to do things.

Only disappointment: graphics are kind of shitty for a late 2011 PC game. Certainly not bad, but after all the hype and after games like BF3 and even Witcher 2, Skyrim's graphics look like a DX9 game from 2009 or so. No tessellation at all (which is a HUGE disappointment, the Skyrim world is bursting at the seams with ideal uses for tessellation, from the terrain to the dragons to the foliage to the buildings to the streets...), low res textures all over the place, low quality shadows, wildly varying character models (some look great, some look disastrous), mediocre particle and fluid effects, hilarious physics, furry animals that look like they're made of super shiny plastic, etc.
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Re: Skyrim, first impressions (limit spoilers, please!)

Postby Aubade » Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:06 pm

Fivelives wrote:
Aubade wrote:I think you're getting the story wrong. It's more about the civil war aspect, and WAY less about dragons.


Then the last boss isn't a dragon? I've already resolved the civil war questline, and the only intersection was with one of the very first main storyline quests. Hell, there's even a loading screen tip that talks about the legend of (you) kicking (the dragon's) ass. (parentheticals because it might spoil something - even if it's already all over the interwebz in reviews)



...spoilers.... I've only done the first 2-3 quests of the civil war, I was just under the assumption it would be more about that.
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Re: Skyrim, first impressions (limit spoilers, please!)

Postby Fivelives » Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:00 pm

I didn't figure the dragon thing would be a spoiler, since that's what the whole marketing campaign was based around. LOL U GUISE GET TO FITE DRAGONZ!!!1
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