Extra Punctuation: Too Many Options in Skyrim

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I dislike the early level xp system as well. I specialized my first character in stealth, haggling, pick-pocketing and the like and got absolutely butchered my first dungeon. There really should be a big fat "LEVEL COMBAT SKILLS FIRST" sign as soon as you start a new character. Not to mention, even late-game, the skills are about as balanced as a fat lady with skates on a lamp-post.

As far as char customization, meh, I guess the Bethesda employees need to eat too and a lot of copies sold because of khajiit screenshots so I guess I don't mind.

Yes, choice is so overdone. Especially that choice to use the character presets that Skyrim offers you.

The problem with Skyrim isn't that there's too much of it (like that's an issue for a good game like this), but rather the balance.

Illusion becomes worthless at higher levels, even with perks and dual-casting and before that it's simply broken: you can just perma-charm your way out of any trouble. A bit too many extremes if you ask me.

Some perks are just useless outright. Tell me, why in a world would I take any perks in lockpicking if already at level 30-something I can easily crack master locks open without much of a problem. Not to mention the fact that there aren't that many locked instances in the game and the ones that are, mostly have crap. The only perk here that would've been kind of nice is "Treasure Hunter", but it costs a total of five perk points to get. Considering Skyrim is more of a leveling RPG than equipment hunting one, seems like kind of a waste. Better put points in smithy and enchant, if you're a warrior. Mages should do without any of those since they (in my case "us") have Morokei mask (100% mana regeneration increase) and Archmage's Robes(15% mana usage reduction, 100% mana regeneration increase and +50 mana), unless you want to break the game by getting a 100% mana usage reduction by crafting stuff using the enchant perks.

I don't really get how conjuration can break the game, at least for now for me. I use Destruction, Conjuration and Alteration all the time. Conjuration is a good support, but it's mostly just a cover for me while I throw fireballs at 'em. Could change in the future though, Frost Atronach is pretty damn powerful and it's only a second one and is without the Elemental Potency perk (50% buff, don't ask in what), pretty useless in boss fights still.

Oh, yeah, AI still sucks.

EDIT: a semantic error about Frost Atronach.

A patch? This is Saints Row The Third. It will be paid DLC, not a patch.

Also, in related news, I'm starting to dislike THQ.

CrawlingPastaHellion:
The problem with Skyrim isn't that there's too much of it (like that's an issue for a good game like this), but rather the balance.

Illusion becomes worthless at higher levels, even with perks and dual-casting and before that it's simply broken: you can just perma-charm your way out of any trouble. A bit too many extremes if you ask me.

Some perks are just useless outright. Tell me, why in a world would I take any perks in lockpicking if already at level 30-something I can easily crack master locks open without much of a problem. Not to mention the fact that there aren't that many locked instances in the game and the ones that are, mostly have crap. The only perk here that would've been kind of nice is "Treasure Hunter", but it costs a total of five perk points to get. Considering Skyrim is more of a leveling RPG than equipment hunting one, seems like kind of a waste. Better put points in smithy and enchant, if you're a warrior. Mages should do without any of those since they (in my case "us") have Morokei mask (100% mana regeneration increase) and Archmage's Robes(15% mana usage reduction, 100% mana regeneration increase and +50 mana), unless you want to break the game by getting a 100% mana usage reduction by crafting stuff using the enchant perks.

I don't really get how conjuration can break the game, at least for now for me. I use Destruction, Conjuration and Alteration all the time. Conjuration is a good support, but it's mostly just a cover for me while I throw fireballs at 'em. Could change in the future though, Frost Atronach is pretty damn powerful and it's only a second one without the Elemental Potency perk (50% buff, don't ask in what), pretty useless in boss fights still.

Oh, yeah, AI still sucks.

Theres a conjur quest line where you get an awesome summons for ZERO Majika to cast. And he's pretty good and killing things.

CyricZ:
I'm sure we've all accidentally become werewolves at one point in our lives.

Not me, but the last time I had a Saints Flow, I woke up covered in blood....And it wasn't mine.

bootz:
Theres a conjur quest line where you get an awesome summons for ZERO Majika to cast. And he's pretty good and killing things.

I'm not that far into the game, my highest skill is destruction, at 60. But yeah, conjuration could become OP later on, but wouldn't playing on master remedy that a bit?

EDIT: BTW, on customization "issue". I've constructed an enormously sexy female high elf and am proud of what I achieved with the customizer, but yeah, too bad I almost never see her face. Still, it's my character's identity and I respect that.

Honestly I like how skyrim handles character creation and I actually do like being to tweak minor facial features (I'm prob one if the few that uses this >.>)

"some kind of fantasy household where mummy doesn't drink and beat the kids"

This had me laughing. I come from a very abusive family, so I can see why that might be a fantasy.
But really, I've heard it *does* exist. Lucky buggers!

Learning from Dragon Age II, a title I loathe with more hatred than anything Harry Potter, I actually did make my first Dragonborn look very silly, with strange black eyes and a very peculiar protruding chin, expecting to make it easier to spot my own character in any nonsensical cutscene to come, should there be any. Luckily, most of the story had me experience it while in first person.

Everyone using "invisible helmets" should, in my very own, not too humble opinion, go back to play some Barbie or other make-up and dress-up game. I spent about an hour with the Dragon Age 2 face-creation kit, but the game annoyed me out of my socks after not even an hour of actual gameplay and a felt ten hours of nonsensical cut-scenes with annoying accents and a beardless dwarf.

I do hope, however, that Bethesda will find the time and motivation to put the amassed funds to good use and, well, reinvent their engine in a less buggy way. Some of the bugs I encountered were little more than "fun" and mildly annoying, others grabbed immersion by the floppy ears and spun it around just for the heck of it. Oh, I just remember another fun one: Sitting down to improve my blades, but the smithing subgame just never starting. Life would go on around me, people would come, chat me up, go to sleep, get up in the morning - I was frozen trying to sit down to sharpen my tools of destruction and make some cash off the 300 pounds/kilos/stones of surplus weapons. No can do, said the game. So I saved and called it a day. Next day, When I loaded from that very last save... yeah, I was still stuck. It already happened with the funky enchanting table, but that only lasted a couple of minutes at the very most. Not so this time. The whetting stone was cursed, and about ten minutes of trading, improving and making the inventory a little less cluttered were lost. All hail the Autosave!

During my trip though Skyrim, missing actors seemed to be caused mainly by dragons randomly eating them, or my misinterpreting people attacking me for whatever reason as valid foes worthy of beheading, but most of the time the engine did acknowledge my errors.

If, however, some quest givers call the cops, er, guards on me after I enter the instance they asked me to clear out, or the radiant engine orders me to interact with people who have been dead for weeks, I somehow come to believe that that particular bit would have needed a bit more polishing, and I would have preferred less bugs over yet another incarnation of Herbert West's face creation kit from beyond.

I think other obviously mostly missing content like the bard's college are very well missed opportunities fed to the deadline demon, but in the bigger picture - and Skyrim is close to being a rather crowded Hieronymus Bosch tryptich as interpreted by Geof Darrow - it's not that big of a deal, just yet another nice-to-have-had that could eventually be fixed by some Bard's Tale expansion.

As for the whole questing thing, it's kinda the point to become a super-powered god-hero by the end of the game. My first character was an assassin/mage. I contracted vampirism as soon as I could for the vision spell (hoping it would be night vision AND detect life like it was in Oblivion, had I known it was just the Kahjiit's night vision ability, I likely would have just made a cat) and spent the vast majority of the game just creeping along with the Blade of Woe doing over 700 damage with the stealth attack criticals (15x bonus from talent along with double damage from the Jester's Gloves). There literally wasn't anything I couldn't kill in one hit. When the shit hit the fan and I was forced into combat, I'd switch to my magic gear and melt people's faces off with Destruction magic.

However I had friends who were having just as easy a time with fighter classes. They all went into Heavy Armor, making their own with Smithing, saying that by the end of the game they were nie indestructible power-houses going around killing everything in one hit. The point being that if you do it right and don't focus on side-skills like alchemy and enchanting and what-not first, the combat-style you choose should and will pay off for you in the long run.

As for the facial generator, I thought for this game it was almost impossible to tell what changes were being made other than with the hair-style. My second character was meant to be a Dark Elf warrior so I tried to give him a stern, tough look...but he came out looking like a flesh-covered Draugr. All in all though I gotta agree: I do think that full-scale customization is really neat for full-on 3rd Person RPGs, but for games like Elder Scrolls where it's primarily 1st Person it really doesn't make that big a difference if that's blush on your character's cheek or a festering tumor.

Seems to me sliders and the like work better with multiplayer games, so you can actually set yourself apart from the people around you.

I'm guessing Mr Cro plays on a console where he's not able to take screenshots. I have over 200 screenshots, a fair amount of them featuring my character sans helmet. Sometimes in armor, sometimes in town wearing nothing but his civvies. So yep, customisation good. Gief moar.

I can never make any character look like I want with those sliders. I prefer to have just a couple of preset choices of face, hairstyle, haircolor, maybe a bit about the eyes, and screw the others.

I agree completely Yatzhee, but people seem to dig them. I just ignore them, with the exception of beard creation. If I can make a character with some manly ass stubble, I do, every time. I'll be honest, it's because I'm hugely jealous of people that can grow beards. I'm 24 for fucks sake and I can't has beard =[

I wonder if Croshaw realizes he actually comes up with good ideas sometimes when he is doing these. You see i was agreeing with him the whole time until he mentioned pin pointing the region of the world your accent comes from and that made me go "HA! i would actually love for that to be in a game. Every one of my characters would have a thick irish accent!" XD just for the lulz.

Ok game developrs, quit wasting time and disc space on facial modifications and just give us an "accent feature."

A friend of mine recently bought Skyrim, played it for about 48 hours straight, and took it right back to store where he bought it. He said that if he was ever going to do anything productive ever again, he didn't need virtual heroin hanging around his house.

I finally started up Dragon Age: Origins a while back, and am absolutely loving it. I love a good story when it's a directed experience, but I still typically enjoy free roam abilities. Loved Fallout 3, and RDR was great...really should go back and play it some more.

Skyrim is on my to-play list, if only I had the time...many hours to be sacrificed

I always strive to make my characters as ugly and retarded as possible, just so Liara has to make out with a pockmarked, sub-neanderthal Shepard.

Oh the day when voice acting is completely replaced by computer generated voices that have the proper accents and emotions. On that fateful day, porn and indie video games are going to get so very much more weird and awesome.

If I'm creating a character I know I'll care about, I'll tinker with their face, and get them right where I'd like them, given the choices. Other times, I'll find a preset, then tweak a few things (hair, beard, nose size), or just mash randomize until I like what I see. Though, there's a happy medium here: Invisible helmet option. All the attribute bonuses, all the defense, and all the lovingly slider-crafted ugly mudbaby faces.

But your point does stand--it's point in gaming is arbitrary, most of the time. You can look however you like, but if you spend most of your time in first person, and the character doesn't speak, and then you cover your face with a giant helmet, then there's little point to spending the time intricately crafting the face, for it might as well be a wooden mannequin head (albeit, one that can shout, in Skyrim). Almost all of the slider impact in Skyrim stems from two choices: race, and gender. No amount of sliding will ever make a character remark "wow, look at the brow ridge on that one!" or "I wish my sons had a jawline like that!". It can work in something like Saints, where you see the face as much as you like, the character actually talks, and the faces adequately transmit emotion. Especially when using a flamethrower on a guy in a hot dog costume, and the character is smiling.

anonymity88:

Is that...Bruce Campbell? Looks like him, a couple years back, maybe. Butcher, Baker, Boomstick-shaker?

I had a good deal of fun just making a face on my friends laptop running Dragon Age 2 even though I didn't actually play. Didn't realize that hitting DONE changed his character to mine - oops.

I suppose I agree. Dragon Age had the little sliders he's talking about, but I've never really used them. Normally I just go with one of the half-dozen or so default options.

Whoa Yahtzee what happened?! Usually I love your sharp, concise observations on the state of gaming in these highly enjoyable articles. This one fell flat though, seemed to meander without a purpose and then came to a quick, unsatisfying end. Just like my sex life Eyoh!

I'm going to go ahead agree for the most part, but then I guess it comes down to preference in the end. Some times there just too much shit to do, too much stuff to master and be the best at and so on. It would make more sense if it restricted your access to some stuff when you picked something else, like say not being able to get too far into the companions guild if you were already the master of the damn thieves guild. That would be on the writers though and them developing a decent story based around these decisions. I know some people like to be the master of every guild around, and it is kinda cool at times, but I wish they'd force you to make a choice some times, like Dragon Age or whatever. Also, making the main story longer would be nice, but then these games are more about the side quests it seems, so maybe hoping for something different is pointless and I should just look within another game for those traits.

6SteW6:
Whoa Yahtzee what happened?! Usually I love your sharp, concise observations on the state of gaming in these highly enjoyable articles. This one fell flat though, seemed to meander without a purpose and then came to a quick, unsatisfying end. Just like my sex life Eyoh!

I found his review of Skyrim to have the same meandering quality.

Maybe he's just incapable of reviewing the game in his usual style.

I can see where he's coming from, but I have to disagree. It only enhances the experience in my eyes. Watching my roommate sneak into a dungeon and sneak arrow half the people, steal everything and then sneak out before the rest notice, it's such a juxtaposition to when I ran in and fireballed everything to hell. It boggles the mind. I start thinking about alternate character builds, and it makes me feel like I'm a unique hero compared to every other skyrim player.

CrawlingPastaHellion:

EDIT: BTW, on customization "issue". I've constructed an enormously sexy female high elf and am proud of what I achieved with the customizer, but yeah, too bad I almost never see her face. Still, it's my character's identity and I respect that.

I did that. Took ages and then I've spent most of the game with the archmage robes and morokie. Finally I've got rid of them and can now see my character properly. Hooray!

Well, for me the amount of customization is why I love the game so much, and you can adjust the difficulty in many many ways if something is too hard or too easy, or even just come back at a higher level if something is just flat out impossible. Eventually, that impossible monster gets stomped and there is much satisfaction to be had.

As for personalities and face customization etc, I let my character's personality show in the choices I make in how I play the game. If you go through the game and just "do everything" and accept every quest on one character, that's your choice, but I'd rather try out a bunch of different builds, and have them all approach the world in different ways, and that gives my characters more personality then their faces. BUT, I should also mention too that there are a lot of helmets that show your face, so face sliders are still pretty relevant in this game.

Also, they do have preset options for faces if you don't like sliders. again, CHOICE here IS GOOD.

I'd just say right now that if they actually gave us less choices in the next elder scrolls game, that I wouldn't be nearly as interested in it.

ps, yea I agree though, that the "companions" werewolf and thieves guild quest chains were a little strangely told, but thats a problem with the stories and their execution, not really with having too much choice.

Huh, seems like ye olde internet paparazzi couldn't think of anything interesting to write this week. Hopefully he's just conserving bile to make the review of SS Zelda or SR3 one(s)for the books.

But games that doesn't have character customization in some way or form (Even if you wouldn't notice) get's bitched at for "Same dude all the time". Then, with it being an Elder Scrolls game people will bitch about the fact that the guys are taking away features instead of fixing them (Where this is the fix because "you don't notice anything apart from scenic images of your character with your helmet off")

Malty Milk Whistle:
this sounds pedantic. just sayin.

You should really have more to offer in the realm of criticism than "your opinion column has too much opinion I don't care about".

Just saying.

That said, my complaint with most Western RPGs' character creation systems isn't that my face is hidden the second I start playing (although that is ridiculous, now that you mention it), but that I can't make my character not look extremely disturbing and uncanny. Ever.

It's getting to this level in Eastern ones as well, but their stylized looks seemed to revel in the fact that it's not reality and shouldn't try to emulate it too closely has worked well enough, at least until they apparently forgot about it for the most part.

Technically the dog (spoiler) did contain half the power of what amounts to a demon god, so it's not that absurd that he's durable if nothing else.

Hell, the demonic horse you get from the dark brotherhood chain is nigh invincible, too. I gladly let it go toe to toe with the Ancient Dragon while I hide in my shadows plugging it with arrows. But then that's only because it's difficult to jump 50 feet in the air to backstab a moving target.

I do agree some instances because absurdly difficult rather quickly (master difficulty rating aside). I want to know where they learn a 300+ damage icy wind that 100% frost resistance does nothing against. Granted it's additive and not multiplicative so they might just have bonuses that require a higher percentage for immunity.

Still, adventures with magical talking dog, awesomeness. Screw the dragons and civil war, a talking dog needs my help.

Sliders? You mean those disgusting things that White Castle has???

And if you're so depressed, ~ (open the console), showracemenu

Works for every Bethesda game since Oblivion. Don't actually change your race though, as it may reset your skill levels :(

Scow2:

6SteW6:
Whoa Yahtzee what happened?! Usually I love your sharp, concise observations on the state of gaming in these highly enjoyable articles. This one fell flat though, seemed to meander without a purpose and then came to a quick, unsatisfying end. Just like my sex life Eyoh!

I found his review of Skyrim to have the same meandering quality.

Maybe he's just incapable of reviewing the game in his usual style.

Yeah I agree with that. My theory is that he was so used to the confined corridors of the games reviewed in Shooter Season 2011 that stepping into the extremely open ended experience that is Skyrim and given total freedom so soon after those shooters must have overloaded a part of his brain. We are just lucky he didn't lapse into a coma.

It makes me sad actually. I can only imagine Yahtzee running up to every chest high wall in Skyrim and weeping as he continually fails to become one with the structure :(

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