Extra Punctuation: Too Many Options in Skyrim

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CrawlingPastaHellion:
There's a mod on Skyrim Nexus, it replaces Morokei mask with a circlet. There are quite a few archmage's robe retexturings as well. Give it a shot.

That would be cool. Unfortunately I'm playing on a PS3 - no mods for me :(

Well, Maybe Yahtzee decided to go rogue and just goes for controversial statements now. I mean, first he felt the need to chastize those who made and used the mod to make children like any other npcs (I believe they should die like any other, as it really is silly otherwise, in a game where you can go on a rampage and kill basically everyone else, lure someone into a temple to kill him and eat his flesh, etc... It's not an ethical issue, it's probably just to circumvent some controversy it would spawn in the non-gaming part of the society), now he feels the need to say that choices are bad in an sand-box RPG, that's just plain weird (as it is saying that Skyrim got difficult. I guess he really can't be bothered with trying to level up a little, and that should be necessary only if he tried some horrible build for his character). Skyrim probably did the best in years to bring together accessibility and depth of options. It has literally TONS of issues, but the sheer load of work to put together a game with such a scope comes with its inevitable strings attached. Anyway, these issues never make the game something short than awesome, in my opinion. I could talk about many of the issues in the game, but having too many options? That's not on the list. Sometimes, it actually has too little of them, but I guess that having multiple solutions for each of the many, many quests, would have been really too much. Maybe a little more focus would have helped smooth this issues? Sure, but this isn't what he seems to be talking about, for the most part. The only thing I agree with, is that sometimes you get some immersion-breaking moments, and they really hurt, but that's because the game generally does a decent job in keeping you in its world.

Bobby_C:
In Grand Knights History you can actually manage the pitch of your characters' voice

Yeah and in Soul Calibur 4s character creator you can change the voice ALOT if i remember. It just had like 8 presets with different accents, and from those different voices you could change the pitch.

I've never messed with sliders in character customization though, too much hassle when i never see it anyway. Plus whenever i try they end up not looking right. Like in Mass Effect 2 my guy looks alright but the animations do not fit it at all.
Usually though I just pick the preset with the most normal looking face, change the skin color to mine (caucasian if your wondering), and change the hair.

-|-:

CrawlingPastaHellion:
There's a mod on Skyrim Nexus, it replaces Morokei mask with a circlet. There are quite a few archmage's robe retexturings as well. Give it a shot.

That would be cool. Unfortunately I'm playing on a PS3 - no mods for me :(

I always forget that good games can be cross-platform as well, indeed... Anyways, off to enjoy my nude and smooth females mod ^_^.

I think the sliders are there for people who want to take the role playing aspect of these games as far as they can. In games that have so much depth that you can enjoy multiple playthoughs, I find my most memorable characters are the ones that I took time to construct. In Fallout 3, I intentionally made an ugly female with absolutely no charisma. Whenever she failed a speech challenge, she would kill the NPC that refused her. Or in Oblivion, I made a very old man who wasn't racially cool with the khajit because that was how he was raised. Even choosing a name is important to me, even though the name is never used in these games. It's a good thing that there are no children in Oblivion, or my Argonian, Eats-own-Babies, would have eaten them. Funny how my most memorable characters are the evil ones.

With regards the helmets, just take them off. You really don't need the extra armor all the time. I would usually enchant helmets with something that was only useful in certain situations, like night-eye. Then they were more like the invisibility helmet in Clash of the Titans.

I haven't gotten Skyrim yet but I'm glad to hear that failure is a possibility in it. The inability to make bad choices really break a game for me, like in FF13. In parts of that game, you are forced to use two characters with three classes each, and only one of them will have the healing class. You really have no choice but to level the healing skills on one and the damaging skills on the other. Because that game is so linear, you can only level up so much before you get to a boss. That makes it impossible to lose; It wouldn't be your fault if you did. There's no fun in that at all.

lithium.jelly:

Danyal:
If you want a preset face and cover it with a helmet, do it. If you want to see your face, do not wear a helmet.

This is one thing I do wish could be a little different. I'd like a menu option the same as in WoW where you can choose not to show your helmet. You can wear one for the stats but still see your face. I don't like wearing a helmet so I often don't, but since a few perks in the heavy armour skill tree require you to be wearing a full set including helmet I still put it on before a tough fight. It'd be nice to not have it showing so I don't have to keep taking it off and putting it on.

Well, walking around with heavy armor is slow. So I would like an option where my heavy armor gets auto-swapped with more comfortable stuff when I am outside a dungeon. When I engage in combat, I want the game to automatically put on my heavy armor again.

And when my health is low, I want my character to automatically use a healing spell or drink a potion.

Etcetera, etcetera.

My solution, instead of having semi-transparent WTF-helmets;
My helmet is '1.'. Made my helmet a favorite and I automatically wear or stop wearing it when I press 1. Totally armored knight in dungeon, but showing my face in cities.

To me, one of the appealing things of the game is the sense of 'being in control', and not letting half of the gameplay/action/think work be done by the game itself.

Seriously, if you want your face to be visible ánd protected very well, you've got to find some really special helmet. Don't demand *transparent helmets*.

By the way, I've played WoW, I know the option, but WoW and Skyrim are some completely different games. It doesn't fit in Skyrim. And I know it's only optional and I shouldn't whine about it, but you can request so many other things that seem more fun/suitable/necessary.

]

CardinalPiggles:
I personally don't use them because I'd rather spend that time playing the game, but there are always people that want them in there. All I can say is whoever thought of the randomise option, thank you.

As for your quest you got stuck on, why oh why did you not simply turn the difficulty down, at least for that quest until you got out of that cave.

And lastly...

I sort of accidentally got into the quest where you become [A werewolf] officially.

What is this quest called so I can avoid it.

Malty Milk Whistle:
this sounds pedantic. just sayin.

Hi new guy, I see you've just met Yahtzee.

i love the smell of condescension in the evening, dont you? and 'ole Yahtzee is the main reason why i joined here...

1- If you are stuck because of a difficulty peak, I suggest you use the difficulty slider in the options menu, put it to "easy" or "very easy", beat the shit out of the boss and slide it back to normal. Aaaah, sliders. Also, after doing that, don't forget to bake a cake in your princess dress, you pussy.

2- You can undo the werewolf thing.

3- Sliders and extra parameters are optional, so you can ignore them. I like to play with them, it's fun. Also, I don't wear a helmet in these games cause I like to see the character's face.

I actually play in 3rd person, partially BECAUSE I just spent all that time customizing my face and I'll be damned in I'm never going to see it.

I really don't think I could disagree with this more. I always roleplay in RPGs, and being able to meticulously customize my character to become my very own is very important to me, even if I don't get to see much of the work I did.
No word of a lie, I once spent probably close to an hour creating a new character in Mass Effect that I would use straight through to my first go at Mass Effect 3. When I was finally happy with how he looked, I went through all of the finalizing steps, eventually started actually playing the game, and didn't like how he looked in the actual game, so I started over.
Now that I think about it more, in Skyrim, I've actually avoided helmets of any type so that my character has more personality, hence being better for roleplaying.

The great thing about choice, you can choose "NO."

Ok, sure .. it might be an issue for a completionist or other obsessive-compulsive needing to make the toon look just right, but for the most part, wtf beef?

Malty Milk Whistle:
]i love the smell of condescension in the evening, dont you? and 'ole Yahtzee is the main reason why i joined here...

Sorry friend, I thought you might find my light hearted joke funny. I guess not. Honestly if anything it was adversely targeted at Yahtzee.

Oh and he is also one of the main reasons I joined too. Same as 80% of us.

BehattedWanderer:

anonymity88:

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

It's Billy "The Butcher" from The Boys. An actual cockney psychopath.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Boys_(comics)

Not sure if he's modelled on Bruce Campbell, couldn't find any information on frames of reference. I do know that Wee Hughie is modelled on Simon Pegg though.

Danyal:
My solution, instead of having semi-transparent WTF-helmets;
My helmet is '1.'. Made my helmet a favorite and I automatically wear or stop wearing it when I press 1. Totally armored knight in dungeon, but showing my face in cities.

To me, one of the appealing things of the game is the sense of 'being in control', and not letting half of the gameplay/action/think work be done by the game itself.

Seriously, if you want your face to be visible ánd protected very well, you've got to find some really special helmet. Don't demand *transparent helmets*.

By the way, I've played WoW, I know the option, but WoW and Skyrim are some completely different games. It doesn't fit in Skyrim. And I know it's only optional and I shouldn't whine about it, but you can request so many other things that seem more fun/suitable/necessary.

Favourites doesn't work for me, hopefully this is a bug that will be fixed at some point. So I have to wade through their buggy and annoying inventory menu every single time I want to take off my helmet or put it on. It's particularly annoying when it takes three or four clicks on a menu option before the game registers that I want to select it, which happens more often than not. And the "Don't show helmet" option is found in quite a few other games so it would have been nice to get it in this too.

For me personally, I love being as detailed with my characters looks as possible. I do occasionally check my own guy out with the till key and admire him for a moment when getting some new gear (That's not weird yeah?).

But indeed too many sliders are off-putting and useless to me as well however there are some in particular I always desire in every rpg. Such as the slider that allows my character to have angry looking brows or happy. I already had the desire to be in the Dark Brotherhood before I started so I did want the character to look at part.

CardinalPiggles:

Malty Milk Whistle:
]i love the smell of condescension in the evening, dont you? and 'ole Yahtzee is the main reason why i joined here...

Sorry friend, I thought you might find my light hearted joke funny. I guess not. Honestly if anything it was adversely targeted at Yahtzee.

Oh and he is also one of the main reasons I joined too. Same as 80% of us.

it seems we both missed a joke...damn thee internet! on a serious note, sowwy! (with "W"s to make it sound all cutesy and twee...)

CardinalPiggles:

Oh and he is also one of the main reasons I joined too. Same as 80% of us.

Actually if you google "the escapist" "zero punctuation" section comes before the mainpage. so yeah.....

lithium.jelly:

Favourites doesn't work for me, hopefully this is a bug that will be fixed at some point. So I have to wade through their buggy and annoying inventory menu every single time I want to take off my helmet or put it on. It's particularly annoying when it takes three or four clicks on a menu option before the game registers that I want to select it, which happens more often than not. And the "Don't show helmet" option is found in quite a few other games so it would have been nice to get it in this too.

Orcish helmets also leave the face uncovered. You should try them out.

Oh shut the hell up, Yahtzee. Now you're just bitching for the sake of bitching.

On the point of it being surprisingly easy to commit yourself to a cause, I agree. Now that i think about it, I've accidentally joined every faction in the game, with the exception of the Imperials, because I accidentally joined the Stormcloaks.

I actually wanted to join the Companions, but thanks to the main quest I've got mages bothering me to talk to someone or other, and I made the mistake of trying to figure out what these strange gems clogging my inventory that I couldn't drop were, so everyone in Riften's acting all chummy now. It's a bit ridiculous.

I honestly have to say I thought Skyrim did it just right in the character customization thing. It was hard to make a horrific looking character, but allowed a great deal of customization. It was fun to play around with, I thoroughly enjoyed myself doing it. Hell, I can say my Steamlist is full of people who were constantly sending me screenshots of "how hot" their char was, and "their new equipment" playing with camera angles and outfits just to send pics to their friends. Allot of these guys were people I'd not talked to in literally years, even.

bla bla bla... this read was a total waste of time

Honestly I think there are too few options in Skyrim, it feels like we get less and less options every game.

I like the idea of the facial sliders, but my problem is that it's very hard to tell what something is going to look like when it's actually displayed in game. My major fem-shep character in Mass Effect has mutant cheekbones I can't fix (but I guess give her character) despite looking good when I first worked the sliders.

That said, I think the complaints here are kind of ridiculous overall... other than how they should perhaps put combat and non-combat skills into differant catagories.

As far as being leveling themselves into a corner... well I could argue that a game that has no chance of really losing is kind of boring, I'd consider getting stuck this way a "defeated" condition for the game.... especially seeing as part of the fun is that you have so many options that you should be able to find a way to make any kind of character work to an extent.

Case in point, if your weapon and shield character is stuck, perhaps you should do a differant character or go back to a pre-dungeon save, and work on adapting your character. Elemental resistances on equipment help, as do summoning your own monsters. Not to mention bringing a follower along... especially one that can ALSO summon monsters can be a big help. Also having the right weapons making a big deal, not only in termsof making them youself, but getting your hands on some of those Daedric artifacts helps a lot. Spellbreaker in paticular is a HUGE help if your a weapon and shield character. The Sanguine Rose is arguably an "I win" button for most fights because with a few charged soul gems to recharge it if you need to you can just hide and summon Dremoras one at a time to wear down the enemies.

Also for the record if you were paying attention that "mangy dog" was not just a dog, it was part of the divine powers of a Daedra Lord... so you know... being invincible sort of makes sense. :)

All NPCs that join you are also invincible, or supposed to be. If they are defeated by an NPC they are supposed to be knocked down and will get back up after a few (even re-entering a fight). The thing is that your supposed to have the option to kill your followers (and it's something you do for a few paticularly evil quests), so you can deathblow them. If you find your followers dying in combat it's either due to a glitch or you accidently taking them down with splash damage or missing an attack.

At any rate if your having trouble I recommend grabbing an NPC, gearing them as well as posisble and giving them some nasty staffs for spells like fireball, blizzard, summon storm atronach (you can manufacture this with the Forge beneath Winterhold), and other things. You wind up being immune to their splash damage. Then start tough fights by summoning your own minion (a storm atronach or a dremora from The Sanguine Rose.. SA book can also be made at the same forge). You can wind up with a party of a dog (buy Vigilance if need be), a minion (I like Eola, the cannibal high-priestess of Namira), and two summoned monsters all going at the same time. If you hit 100 in conjuring you can have three summoned monsters going at the same time and well... yeah... big mess. I don't have 100 conjuring right now though.

The point is that there is some strategy and tactics involved, and that's what can make things hard or easy.

fieryshadowcard:
I don't think he dislikes the customization. Sounds like he dislikes the lack of focus or purpose for it, that its only influence on the game (or the game's influence on it) ends when you're done with the customization.

Pretty much this, it's a first person game, so we don't really see PC's face. And since it's single player, it doesn't serve to make your character different from others in co-op or multiplayer either.

Also, couldn't they give us a "make your helmet invisible" option.

I love the fact that I can customize in these games. It's part of creating your character. You don't HAVE TO tweak your character. So leave that to people who care for it and just skip over it yourself.

This kinda feels like yahtzee just pulling at strings. I mean it would be different if you were forced into sliding and customizing. But your really not because there are presets for every single race. You just don't have to be that creative.

I dunno, I think most of us have reached that point in RPGs where you have to grind out a couple levels to get past a certain encounter, and there have been a couple where mid-way in I realize I've been playing the whole game wrong and had to start over with a different spec. And there ARE preselected character appearances if that is what floats your boat.

I don't understand why you quit the game because it was too hard. You can always lower the difficulty and you should be saving regularly, on top of the auto saves every couple of minutes.

I have yet to receive Skyrim. I ordered it a few weeks ago and it was posted last week so I should receive it in a few days. After playing it enough to be able to contribute a sound opinion, I'll post again. Maybe I'll agree with Ben on that, who knows.

Edit: After reading a bit about the codes of conduct I decided to edit my post and write more content so that it's not a futile waste of time. I really enjoyed Oblivion but the levelling of monsters was getting ridiculous on higher levels. It grinds my gears that my very able character can die by the attack of one goblin which at that point is a formidable foe. That is absurd, the system should favour the playing experience so that easiest monsters would be just a few sword swings away from being dead but also give challenge in forms of stronger creatures. Skyrim has this same system implemented, I presume? It's bound to be heavily modded again but I'm quite confident that overall the game will be good :)

Istronen:
It grinds my gears that my very able character can die by the attack of one goblin which at that point is a formidable foe. That is absurd, the system should favour the playing experience so that easiest monsters would be just a few sword swings away from being dead but also give challenge in forms of stronger creatures. Skyrim has this same system implemented, I presume?

Skyrim's level-scaling system is not the same as Oblivion's. Yes, the hostile NPCs do grow more powerful as you level up, so if you spend an awful lot of time grinding up your enchanting and smithing skills prior to venturing out to clear barrows and shout at dragons, you may very well find yourself significantly outclassed by a lot of your opponents, but I feel that's no something you can criticize too heavily. If you choose to spend large amounts of time buffing up non-combat skills and then, in essence, take your blacksmith out to smite monsters you should expect to be in trouble. Just because you can make a sword doesn't mean you're any good at fighting with one.

Certainly, on my playthrough as a heavy armour, one handed and shield specialist I never experienced the situation Yahtzee outlines. Though the set up; painful undead melee attacker combined with Frost Atronach summoning friend, is familiar and did lead to me breaking out the bow and arrows so I could lure A to follow me up the corridor so I could chib him without his daedra-summoning friend to help.

The first paragraph of this article has stuck in my mind so I wanted to chime in. I think you are both right.

Definitely, having at least one other follower along is part of the game and if you don't have that you are doing it wrong. Add to that a horse, a dog, a zombie, and an elemental and you are good to go. Not doing that is like having two hands in a game, but only equipping one of them, and then complaining the game is too hard. Or not wearing a helmet because you like your hair. Or something. Your henchmen are really beneficial and enhance tactics and strategy.

But I find a lot of difficulty mismatching in Skyrim. While you level up and your power is highly dependent on levels, on sight it is hard to tell how hard your enemy is going to be, or how hard a dungeon is, and there is plenty of times I find myself in over my head making generous use of quicksaves, and other times I go for an hour or more never losing more than a quarter of my health.

There is no way to tell how hard something is going into it, whether it is at your level or not. Something like a skull and cross bones over the head of a high level boss or ring leader, or a feather for low levels ones, or color coding the quests, something like that, would be a big help.

Linear storylines can get boring. The role of the interactivity in gaming comes to question in such games. Without choices don't they just become pissing matches? Don't they all become that silly little flash game that's supposed to be the most impossible where you just have to press the right buttons at the right time and you win?

That's kind of ridiculous. I think there needs to be options. There needs to be a shitload of options. In fact, to fully adhere to the intended immersion, I think there shouldn't even be template options. It should be entirely freeform. However, there should be a linear plot. This would be the ideal RPG because the game is to roleplay properly. You can't be a citizen-saving, Blades-champion dragonborn out to save the people from any instance of discomfort (here, let me get that foot stool for you, Random Stranger!) for 90% of the time and randomly a psychopathic child-murdering kleptomaniac for the other 10%.

I have to agree that at a certain point, the character customization just starts to feel a bit overwhelming in RPGs. When I was younger I used to think it was all sorts of fun to spend hours in a character creator, just seeing what sort of interesting individuals I could come up with. Nowadays, I'm afraid I just don't have the patience for it anymore. I don't have as much time as I used to think I had for gaming, so I prefer to get into the action/storytelling as soon as possible.

I still enjoy character customization, mind you, just on a more limited level. Presets of facial features with a variety of colors to choose from works fine for me. I don't think they should take away the sliders, though, I just don't want that to be my only option.

Interesting beginning, I've got maxed out stealth illusion and archery and the game is a piece of cake now. I either sneakey-shoot down all of the enemies or cast my most overpowered civil war spell and sneakey-shoot down the last man standing :)

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