Escapist Podcast: 023: Skyrim, More Skyrim and Buyer's Guide

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023: Skyrim, More Skyrim and Buyer's Guide

This week, we discuss The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and the effect that bugs and various mods have on the game. We also talk about our Holiday Buyer's Guide, shopping for fellow gamers and answer your questions.

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Ninja comment (since I obviously haven't listened to the whole podcast yet): I loved Firefly, and I loved the movie.

And I hate Joss Whedon for killing Wash, but anyone who's a fan of Joss saw that coming.

Lisa, a guy who's got lots of ivory is less likely to hurt Stampy than a guy whose ivory supplies are low.

Dont think the rest of the team are as big of fan of the Simpsons as you are.

But it cracks me up when you quote it.

I agree completely when it comes to Skyrim. If they are not lethal bugs, I dont care.

Its also why I have a psychotic amount of saves.

Steve always cracks me up.

I think anyone who doesn't automatically believe every corporate PR statement, knew that Skyrim would have problems.
And yes, disappearing apples isn't a problem. I think the people who are seriously pissed at Skyrim are the people who are experiencing chronic crashing and freezing.

And please... let's stop overusing the term "entitlement." And let's start using it correctly.
Example of it being used correctly: Paying $60 for a game "Entitles" you to a game that works.

GonzoGamer:
I think anyone who doesn't automatically believe every corporate PR statement, knew that Skyrim would have problems.
And yes, disappearing apples isn't a problem. I think the people who are seriously pissed at Skyrim are the people who are experiencing chronic crashing and freezing.

And please... let's stop overusing the term "entitlement." And let's start using it correctly.
Example of it being used correctly: Paying $60 for a game "Entitles" you to a game that works.

Absolutely true, but some people also have unreasonable expectations as to what else that $60 entitles them to.

My favorite moment in Skyrim will probably always be that time some random guy ran up to me in the wilderness, shoved a magic bow in my pack and said "hold this for me, I'll be back for it. Double cross me and I'll kill you!" and proceeded to run away.

It was such a WTF moment I had to follow him. A naked guy showed up several moments later looking for a thief that stole his stuff. So, I gave him the bow back and proceeded to watch him run down the beach of the frozen north of skyrim in nothing but a loin cloth, shooting arrows from a soul stealing longbow at another NPC.

So now, I'm completely ignoring my quest of whatever it is I was supposed to be doing because I was so enthralled watching this scene unfold before me. The other NPC, the "theif", is yelling "ouch, ouch" every time he gets hit with an arrow and tries to get away by jumping into the ocean. The hunter is running down the shore line, twanging arrows every few seconds at the other guy and came across a giant walrus just hanging out chillin on the beach. The walrus didn't like that and reared up and in one hit crushed the poor naked bastard who's ragdoll flew like 20 feet out into the water.

Fucking tragic I know, but I couldn't stop laughing.

I never found the thief or figured out what the hell that was all about, but I did get to keep that sweet ass bow and my good Karma. :)

Skyrim, I love you!

For me, the most obvious problem with Serenity was that they showed the reapers directly, breaking the 'let the imagination fill in the blanks' rule that scary things in films tend to follow.

a podcast cat hat
that is going to be stuck in my head for a long while -.-

Yeah, the "anti-hero versus villain jerk" thing is just about as far as games have gone. Another example is Saints Row The Third, in which Killbane keeps whores in metal crates like they're real slaves and does other evil things (see spoiler). (Keep in mind that pedestrian deaths don't really matter in that context, especially because they can randomly run you over with trucks.)

My business card says I'm junior negotiator for a broker of souls.


Ah, kids that die. Let me tell you one of my favorite Deus Ex videos. It has that annoying kid in Hong Kong who says he's going to get you in trouble with a triad boss he knows because you had the audacity to ask him a question. In the video, as he says this, he's approaching a carefully-placed LAM (proximity mine).

And then he goes boom.

It makes me so very happy.


I never completed it, but I made a mod where the player's job was to lure villagers into the forest, kill them, and throw their body into a well occupied by a trapped spirit in an effort to free it.

What? After years of murdering evil cultists I wanted to be one for once.


The Batman picture Steve is talking about.... I've seen it because of a comic book fan I know writing an essay using it. Let's see if I can find a larger copy.... Ah! Here we go (maybe not worksafe). The specific "forbidden" items being depicted are listed at the bottom of the image, upside down in case you want to play along.

And restrictions can be good, but some of them can be very idiotic. You can't slap someone in the face but you can kick them in the face? You can't make reference to murder in a series where the protagonist's entire motivation is that his parents were murdered?

The problem is the people setting limits often have no idea of what's bad and what's not. They've been looking for demons so long that now they see them in innocence. For every one inappropriate thing they block, they'll make a half-dozen edicts where a girl can't kiss her brother because it suggested incest.

As for Skyrim.... The immortal-kid motivation was to keep parent groups off their backs. It had to be - if not then someone's got something very wrong with them, because I can't see any other sane motivation. Why is killing kids so much worse than killing adults?
Kids are innocent? That's like slasher-movie logic where sexuality makes a person a "deserving" target.
Kids are defenseless? So are most adults to the protagonist of a video game.
Some idea of wasted potential? So it's fine to kill senior citizens then because they probably won't do anything important in the time they have left?

If murder is wrong, then it is wrong for everyone. Any exception is incredibly situational: Anyone who claims you can pick or choose more or less appropriate targets by a physical trait has something wrong with them. (And I include a number of parent groups in that assessment.)


Ah, the creepy Skyrim video. Excellent for evoking feelings of discomfort and dread, far better a scare than the last three "screamers" idiots sent me. If that's proof that the creator was crazy, then that news item on Pedobear being used only by pedophiles was valid.


Observing gameplay as an image of the player: I have several characters for a game.

One is a ruthless cur for whom friends are something to keep until needed. Then she will calmly lead them into madness or death if that's what she wants. If she defends a friend it's because she thinks she might need them later, or because they're her property (ah, intelligent pets).

Another is altruistic and helps people out. His friends are his friends and he does them favors simply for sake of friendship.

Another is a seducer. He has some friends but he prefers to have conquests, and will convert the former into the latter if he can.

So what am I?


Did Susan say Fennec foxes or Fenric foxes?

Anyone against a Skyrim mod that made kids killable to everything except the player character?

That way the players aren't automatically child murderers and they get the realism from a dragon attack truly wiping out a settlement.

*EDIT*

Now that I've ordered mine it's safe to spread the news...

Formica Archonis:
The Batman picture Steve is talking about....

Ha! I went looking for it today and was surprised how much I remembered. The picture has really stuck with me over the years. I think I still have the animation magazine it appeared in.

To the attic!

The Escapist Staff:
023: Skyrim, More Skyrim and Buyer's Guide

This week, we discuss The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and the effect that bugs and various mods have on the game. We also talk about our Holiday Buyer's Guide, shopping for fellow gamers and answer your questions.

Watch Video

Loved Serenity. It was my introduction to the Firefly 'verse, and I love that it "ends" our window into that whole story. It leaves us with unanswered question, and the sense that it all continues beyond us.

And Skyrim. Skyrim, skyrim, skyrim, skyrim, skyrim!!! All of it! How long has it been since a game has captivated so many people so much like this, to the point that the front page is clogged up with Skyrim? Minecraft comes to mind. Not that this game is "the next Minecraft", but there's just so much in the game that gives you the "Because I can!" feeling and keeps people talking.

On kid killing, it's about making a mod that you have the skill to create (like Susan said)... and then talking it up, so that it appears this particular mod is critically important. It's like someone changing their job title to some artificially-inflated glory-label to make themselves feel more important.

But this game... wow... for all its shortcomings and bugs and all... its sheer ability to generate buzz to a greater degree than it previously generated hype. I unabashedly love this game.

Nasrin:
Steve always cracks me up.

I love these podcasts, because they awaken in me this burning geek rage that makes me feverishly wish I got to hang out with these people and have these conversations. You folks should raffle off a spot or something, so that I can cheat and win.

I'd really like to see that Bruce Timm artwork.

Also good on Susan for not kneejerk reaction to the guy making the creepy video in Skyrim, and for telling the guys off for their hypocrisy.

Listening to the podcast 10 minutes in were hearing about Skyrim, food, and many laughs being had... did you guys hotbox that room prior to doing this weeks podcast? j/k

Love hearing you guys talk. :P

Random thoughts:

I havent got Skyrim yet (lack of funds :( ) but myself and a whole bunch of role players I know I can easily see getting the child killing mod for all the various reasons of immersion that you talked about. I think youre underestimating people to say that most people want it just to kill the kids. If anything Id put the majority of people in the character of wanting the mod just because its there, without any real desires regarding the subject.

I loved the ivory reference... :D "I think his business cards are made of ivory."

I definitely agree with your answers to the question about playing Evil - you cant legitimately have an in-depth evil character that the player plays as because any in-depth character believes their goals are justified and not evil. You can easily have them play that character, but if you successfully put the player in the mindset of that role then they are no longer going to recognise that they are playing a villian.

An evil character is almost by definition one that the player cant fully identify with. That works for Dungeon Keeper, but you cant have a properly immersive experience based around doing things you cant identify with.

Where the hell can I find that "Things we couldn't do in Batman:TAS" picture?

NoTroll:
Where the hell can I find that "Things we couldn't do in Batman:TAS" picture?

By the description it would appear to be this one. Amusing, but not that impressive really... I cant find a better image of it, either.

I think a distinction needs to be made between the hero/villain and the protagonist/antagonist.

While the player might have to play the protagonist due to narrative structure, the protagonist could be the evil one of the pair.

Susan if you want Lydia back press "`" in the game then type:
prid a2c94
*press enter*
then type:
moveto player
*press enter*
if she dead loot her body if she got anything important on her.
the type:
resurrect
*press enter*
and you got lydia back!

also the kid in dragonreach is corrupt by the whispering lady if you want him to be nicer
go to the tavern and ask the barman/woman if he/she heard any rumors (you might have to do it a few times) then you will get a quest to get the artifact of the whispering lady...

The gift comments reminded me of what I did for my friends wedding gift.

I got them a Toaster.

Full of Money.

I'd just finished a Civil Service job, and had some to spare so I figured I'd help them out with something practical (the Toaster) and something useful (the cash.) I also put in a couple of other items, a Ghostbusters shirt for him and a Unicorn meat tin for her.

Wrapped it up in black wrapping paper with a white ribbon, just for that extra touch of class.

Nice podcast (at least the bit I heard, thank you for giving an index of contents)

About Skyrim:
Have you ever considered that it could be fullfilling NOT to kill the kid.

I remember my Fallout 2 experience where my character didn't have sex with more than one person and didn't enslave someone and didn't kill a single child.
It felt good having made that choice and it felt good not being a total jerk.

Now, if I endure those pesky little children in Skyrim every f*cking day, I can't feel good about it, because I can't do a thing to them.

You know what would be better though? A spanking option. Why murder them when you can have the option to spank them for half an hour. Then they rub their bottoms and run around screaming every time they see you. Very satisfying. Problem solved.
Some of those adults (especially the racists in Windhelm) deserve some sound beating, too.
I'm think I'm going to learn how to mod and implement that.

Susan Arendt:

GonzoGamer:
I think anyone who doesn't automatically believe every corporate PR statement, knew that Skyrim would have problems.
And yes, disappearing apples isn't a problem. I think the people who are seriously pissed at Skyrim are the people who are experiencing chronic crashing and freezing.

And please... let's stop overusing the term "entitlement." And let's start using it correctly.
Example of it being used correctly: Paying $60 for a game "Entitles" you to a game that works.

Absolutely true, but some people also have unreasonable expectations as to what else that $60 entitles them to.

Although most people, me included, just go 'yeah, I understand why Bethesda didn't put it in... but it's there, so I'll download that mod to improve my experience.'

The logic is almost like saying that in Oblivion, I would be 'entitled' to want to play a conjuration mage, which was a far more fun playstyle for me. I don't get it.

The other thing that was brought up was about quest-essential NPCs being unkillable too, and so we shouldn't complain about kids... when actually, most people who are against invincible kids are against the idea of immortal NPCs (again, me included).

I don't know. Anything can be stuck under the label of 'entitlement' nowadays, it seems to have joined the ranks of 'gimmick' and 'haters' in words that have lost all meaning.

I din't understand what you're saying. The people we were calling entitled were the ones saying Skyrim is terrible because it's buggy. Had nothing to do with mods.

If you're playing the PC version, you can resurrect Lydia in console. I think for a game as big as Skyrim, some bugs can't be avoided. As long as none of them are for the main quest missions, it's ok to me. I'm sure the fan made mods will fix them even if Bethesda doesn't.

I play most open world RPG games as a good guy but I do steal. I've stolen so much stuff in Fallout 3 and Skyrim now, but I don't go around murdering everyone that I see. So I guess I'm not extreme in creating a character. I watched that beheaded women video on YouTube, that was kinda disturbing.

Regarding Serenity, I'm one of those fans that really hate it. It's a fine movie, not great, but not bad. The big problem is that it's not Firefly. The characters, the direction, the lighting, the story, nothing feels the same.
I love Skyrim, have played over 60 hours and have only encountered 1 bug, and I'm not even sure if it's a bug or story related. In Riften I can't do the Saffire mini-quest cuz she won't talk to me. But that 3 corrupt save file story has scared the hell out of me, I've only got 3 save files, I'm gonna go increase it.
And I really love your stance on the Child killing mod, very fair.
In Skyrim I got inspired by Susan and decided on a character type before even getting the game. I was gonna be an evil mage. As I've played I've gone more towards good, mostly cuz I want to do all those fetch quests. I'm more of a mercenary now, chaos neutral, but once I'm beginning to run out of quests I think I'll start going around killing people looking at me funny.

Great podcast as usual, would love it in video though, I want to see that hobo beard!

GeorgW:

In Skyrim I got inspired by Susan and decided on a character type before even getting the game. I was gonna be an evil mage. As I've played I've gone more towards good, mostly cuz I want to do all those fetch quests. I'm more of a mercenary now, chaos neutral, but once I'm beginning to run out of quests I think I'll start going around killing people looking at me funny.

Great podcast as usual, would love it in video though, I want to see that hobo beard!

Yeah. She got me to. I've recently been thinking about my past actions and how I'll play Elder Scrolls because of her. I kinda had a way about my character and play style, but mostly my character was just a random prick I trained in a specific way. Props to Susan.

NoTroll:
Where the hell can I find that "Things we couldn't do in Batman:TAS" picture?

Ahem:

Formica Archonis:
The Batman picture Steve is talking about.... I've seen it because of a comic book fan I know writing an essay using it. Let's see if I can find a larger copy.... Ah! Here we go (maybe not worksafe). The specific "forbidden" items being depicted are listed at the bottom of the image, upside down in case you want to play along.

On the Skyrim bugs, I think part of the angst from vocal players comes from the fact that so many of the bugs seem like simple fixes.

Like that Lydia bug, one script could fix that. All it would have do is if your check current companion dead if not place it in the same cell (location) you are currently in.

Simple things like are really frustrating for pc players because they could fix the little things like that on their own. But since the creation kit won't be out until January that means no unofficial patches that fix major or minor bugs until 2012 and almost complete dependency on Bethsoft.

Also the unofficial buglist for this game is so long. I am sorry but no, Bethsoft can't take comfort in the amount content given the number bugs. The list so long I cant even copy it here because the system said my post would be to long.

http://forums.bethsoft.com/index.php?/topic/1303609-unofficial-buglist/

Good podcast as usual. I listen to this every week while playing games. Usually get my Path of Exile going with this in the background.

Lex Darko:
On the Skyrim bugs, I think part of the angst from vocal players comes from the fact that so many of the bugs seem like simple fixes.

Like that Lydia bug, one script could fix that. All it would have do is if your check current companion dead if not place it in the same cell (location) you are currently in.

Simple things like are really frustrating for pc players because they could fix the little things like that on their own. But since the creation kit won't be out until January that means no unofficial patches that fix major or minor bugs until 2012 and almost complete dependency on Bethsoft.

Also the unofficial buglist for this game is so long. I am sorry but no, Bethsoft can't take comfort in the amount content given the number bugs. The list so long I cant even copy it here because the system said my post would be to long.

http://forums.bethsoft.com/index.php?/topic/1303609-unofficial-buglist/

I've been considering getting this game on PC. Is there really no field of view option?

Some things in the list are hard to take seriously because it assumes to know the problem but sounds more like guessing.

* Some GPU's seem to be being incredibly under-used, despite apparent lag/FPS drops/slowdown issues - is this related to graphics-tasks being offloaded to the CPU because this is beneficial on consoles?

* Entire game-engine can for some players, eventually become extremely sluggish and unresponsive - for example opening interface screens taking 30-60 seconds - as if some sort of AI/scripting elements are getting stuck in infinite loops slowing everything down heavily?

* When needing to eliminate all Imperials in a Stormcloak assault on a fort, excessive lag can start when a certain percentage of kills is reached. Bodies not disappearing properly or AI scripting overload?

I suppose it's the tone I don't like... "I can tell you exactly what's wrong with your game, it's simple so fix it". At least that's how it feels to me...

I know pc players, especially with a game like Elder Scrolls can come off as elitist. Part of that is simply from the fact that people have been making mods for this series for nearly a decade since Bethsoft started using the gamebyro engine. It's definitely not my intention to give that impression to anyone.

But yeah if you are going to get this game get it on pc so at least when a quest breaks you can use console commands to progress through it.

Is Skyrim a good game? Sure. But the bugs, for me at least hold it back from being great.

For example after you finish the thieves guild questline no one treats you like you're the guildmaster of the thieves guild. Every time I go to the rataway I have to resist taking Dirge's head off, he is so annoying. Also Nocturnal's shrine that you get access to after the end of the questline doesn't update properly making it nearly impossible to switch powers like you should be able too. And the base your supposed to get after finishing that quest doesn't update either and the npc that's supposed to be there just disappears from the game world.

So given all of that when I hear people essentially forgiving things that are that game breaking just because the game has so much content it's a bit frustrating. It's not like the thieves guild is some minor sidequest either which makes it all that much more worse.

Edit: With out .ini editing or using console commands there doesn't seem to any FOV options at the moment.

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