Desperate Housewives of Skyrim

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Desperate Housewives of Skyrim

It's impossible not to be a bad spouse in Skyrim.

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This is why I prefer Bioware games.

That ending was beautiful; even though the superficial emotion was thin, I could tell that Helsher knew it was the right thing to do, and his inner demons were finally settled. Wonderful article, I do say.

Lol. Reading the end of the article, I was kind of like "Oh. They have such an odd sort of understanding now; I think they're going to be okay."

That was a quite impressive and insightful piece of reading since long, here on the Escapist and hilariously funny and sad at the same time.

I feel for you! and LMAO at the same time.
Cheers!

It was pretty clear they threw in marriage as an afterthought, just a little thing they didn't bother to do much with. Fable was much the same, although with how much they hyped it up it was surprising how little they bothered. Quality would be increased if they significantly reduced the marriage candidates and bothered giving them actual personalities and quests even, perhaps each having their unique talents. It was clear from the start that they never really tried with Skyrim, though, we'll see in the future whether they'll either scrap it or try to actually do something with it in the next game.

Aye, the marriage feature in Skyrim really was something to take or leave... It's one of those times when the developers really shouldn't have bothered at all. I remember that I thought of this problem right as they announced that feature, that it wasn't going to be much more than having a vending machine knocking my bookstacks over back home while I do something exciting. Or eat all my painstakingly recovered Pre-Reman period onions.

My solution was to get hooked with someone more adventurous and with a follower-tag. Although it'd still be a very shallow mimic of a real relationship and everything, at least we could do some cozy grave desecrating together. It worked out rather well, until Uthgerd got pummeled by mean dwarven robots. And I turned out to be the world's worst widower, since there's no way to carry off and properly bury dead friends in Skyrim, so I had to leave her to the spiders. It's what usually happens with my companions... Hopefully, leaving her sword by the altar to Arkay will be enough.

But then again, the star that burn brightest, et cetera. Rather they die dramatically (and usually hilariously) while doing something fun with me than being reduced to talking furniture at Casa Dragonborn. It's a rather interesting Catch 22, either making sure your spouse will be reasonably safe but living a dreary life or taking the risk and sharing your actual life of adventure and spiders with them.

However, at the end of the day, my closest Skyrim-friend is always going to be my horse. And despite having gone through about thirty of them, it never ever gets any easier... It's interesting how I felt so attached, considering they never actually talk to you.

"Gunvald! Noooo! Please, get back up, Mr. G! Why? *Sob* Why...."

Muspelheim:

My solution was to get hooked with someone more adventurous and with a follower-tag. Although it'd still be a very shallow mimic of a real relationship and everything, at least we could do some cozy grave desecrating together. It worked out rather well, until Uthgerd got pummeled by mean dwarven robots. And I turned out to be the world's worst widower, since there's no way to carry off and properly bury dead friends in Skyrim, so I had to leave her to the spiders.

I've seriously been laughing at this story all day. So I Left Her To The Spiders needs to be the final line in every story about a past relationship. e.g.: "She wasn't willing to move states when I got my new job, so I left her to the spiders."

To be honest, I never played Skyrim with any sort of strategy guide (it's more fun to figure out on my own, since it's the mistakes that make it interesting) so I had no idea at first that I could marry a follower and have my wife come along on adventures. In fact I never got into using followers much--I acquired one by accident once, but she got lost in the wilderness while following me and I never saw her again. I finally found her mangled remains after backtracking for 20 minutes, and after that I decided followers were more trouble than they were worth and that my Nord was more of a loner anyway.

On balance, losing your wife in a dungeon raid then just leaving her to rot on the floor is almost more disturbing than the domestic containment scenario I encountered.

However, at the end of the day, my closest Skyrim-friend is always going to be my horse. And despite having gone through about thirty of them, it never ever gets any easier... It's interesting how I felt so attached, considering they never actually talk to you.

"Gunvald! Noooo! Please, get back up, Mr. G! Why? *Sob* Why...."

See, that's why I never bought a horse. I was perpetually cash poor for whatever reason (read: constantly buying metal to level smithing skills) and didn't want to invest in something that was just going to get murdered in front of me.

Besides, I found a lot of cool places traveling on foot...
In heavy armor...
Under constant threat of attack...
Unable to outrun trouble...

Yeah, I probably should've bought a horse.

I married Farkas of the Companions, after all who doesn't want a husband that turns into a bit of an animal at times?!
But even thought thier marriage has had it's rough patches they've got through it and even slew a dragon together...
now that's romance!

Robert Rath:
Snip

image

My god, the emotion and depth you went into ... it was, beautiful.

OT: Yeah this by far, is the biggest flaw for me in Skyrim. The fact you could finally get married to a character and not be alone- only for it to be a dull, robotic love that never developed between characters (yours and the NPC that you've married) ... it killed the purpose for me.

I'm a romantic, so hearing the news made my heart leap. I wondered about how advanced the system was to marry, and when first playing Skyrim it instantly became my favorite game of all time. Well, not as much as Dead Space is for me but of all time regardless. The marriage thing however, once I did get married and realized how little to nothing there was to do with your spouse .............. it made me depressed. I know it's a virtual game, but for Skyrim to be lacking so much on an aspect dealing with marriage (which is a complex thing filled with many emotional stages to behold), they failed hard accomplishing what could of made marriage very likable especially because you could marry almost anyone.

I married Aela the Huntress, and honestly she became .. a dud. Nothing about her sparked any interests, unlike the previous adventures I shared with her that made me grow to adore her- it all died out when she sat around saying things over and over that didn't seem like she meant the word's true meanings. Eventually I decided to have her go hunt with me, and that's all she is now ... a partner. Not really a wife but an NPC to accompany me so I don't feel to lonely in the huge world that has so much promise and addictive fun to explore. At least Bioware has Mass Effect and I have Tali to seek out. Of course, in real life I have a perfect girlfriend so thank GOD she's nothing like Skyrim wives. Life would be so meaningless if not dead inside of hollow-shelled wives and husbands. Luckily we're more complex then that, so get to better mechanics for marriages Bethesda!

Okay this line "Instead, the only interactions are: give me food, give me money, and we're moving somewhere else." cracked me up. It's just so dark because I know there have been many marriges inthe past where that really is the entire breadth of conversation.

Also, so I left her to the spiders sounds like an awesome band name for a terrible band.

The shallow marrige system is just another symptom of Bethesdas design. All the character interaction is shallow, hell the world is shallow. Really, really big and full of neat little details but not very deep. Good example, why is it the only people who think to occupy all the ruined forts in elder scrolls games are bandits or monsters? Even during a war soldiers wait for some random schmo to clear the place before they move in. Why are most of the forts not repaired? Why doesn't the war go on without your involvement? why is it there are ships in riften but none of the rivers reach the ocean from there? Why aren't there specific things to go and do with your spouse? Like a quest where they get kidnapped or you have to help their family save the farm or somthing?

I like the games but after playing a little while you keep noticing all these things that break the illusion of this being a world. Not that doing all this is easy while also making a game thats fun to play, but I'd love to see them improve.

Muspelheim:

However, at the end of the day, my closest Skyrim-friend is always going to be my horse.
"Gunvald! Noooo! Please, get back up, Mr. G! Why? *Sob* Why...."

My horse Lileth had been with me from hour 2 to hour 90 of my first Skryim character. The day I lost her will haunt me forever, if only I had been more careful. We survived our tumble off a cliff only to be ambushed by 4 marauding White Trolls. By the time the battle was over it was too late for me to do anything

='(

OT: Great article. It's a shame that the marriage system, like so many other things in Skyrim is completely void of any depth, partly why I've never bothered getting married.

EDIT: It's also a shame the Dogs kinda suck. I only had one but it didn't even survive contact with the enemy in our first fight together, it actually jumped infront of me and took an arrow for the Falmer I was shooting at and died in one hit -.-

You know, I always picked someone who I could take with me out on adventures for that reason. The whole stay at home wife thing never really sat well with me, if I'm out smashing in some bandits with a hammer, I damn well want my wife to be right there with me doing what she does best.

I always opted to marry Jordis the Sword Maiden, she was a total badass.

There is a priestess of Mara who is a totally awesome stay at home wife though, she always boosts your ego and never speaks to you as if she's tired of you.
She was a great wife, if you want that.

This is why I love mods. Whilst they don't completely fix this, they alleviate some of the problems. There is a mod that will make your spouse go out and run a stall in Whiterun during the day, provided they live in Breezehome, and there are a number of dialogue overhaul mods that say they add a lot of new dialogue to many characters, though I've not investigated them as my Mods folder is already approaching 10Gb, if not over that by now, so I can't say how well it does, or if it even effects all the wives.
However, if you learned how to do dialogue in the Creation Kit, you could fix that up yourself. Of course she'd still probably only have one line when you ask "How was your day?" that she'd respond with, but its better than nothing, and that could probably be built on if you learnt more about how to mod.

Of course, if you play on a console this is impossible, but that's one of the many advantages of getting the game on the PC; with enough modding you can fix a lot of the stuff Bethesda left broken.

It breaks my heart to have tied Aela the Huntress down in this manner.
I'd like to take her out on my adventures but couldn't stand it if she died.

Instead, I unwittingly turned one of the game's most badass females into, as this article said, a vending machine.

This is why I'm confused that Serena couldn't be married. She doesn't like temples, sure. So let's get married at the Castle! Something! Anything! She's so much more interesting and is marked essential so I won't have to worry about her health.

Best way to have a wife in that game is to pick one who you can have with you on adventures, like Lydia or Aela. My first character got Sylgja, and we grew distant, my third pick Muiri, and if I hear her say 'thanks for resolving my... problem' one more time she's going to taste the Blade of Woe, but my second was Aela. And our relationship is beautiful. I tear through dungeons with her, using healing spells when she gets weak, giving her amazing weapons that we found together, and exploring the world. Whenever I have to do a solo quest without her, she always comes running back at the end to greet me. She's saved my skin countless times, and I've done the same to her many more. I honestly can't imagine how that playthrough would've gone if I didn't have her. Way more engaging than any BioWare relationship I've had :P

Would've been great if they'd put some real effort into it, but I guess that's the price you pay for a game this big... :/

I think someone is reading too much into this. Either that or...

SirBryghtside:
Best way to have a wife in that game is to pick one who you can have with you on adventures, like Lydia or Aela. My first character got Sylgja, ad we grew distant, my third pick Muiri, and if I hear her say 'thanks for resolving my... problem' one more time she's going to taste the Blade of Woe, but my second was Aela. And our relationship is beautiful. I tear through dungeons with her, using healing spells when she gets weak, giving her amazing weapons that we found together, and exploring the world. Whenever I have to do a solo quest without her, she always comes running back at the end to greet me. She's saved my skin countless times, and I've done the same to her many more. I honestly can't imagine how that playthrough would've gone if I didn't have her. Way more engaging that any BioWare relationship I've had :P

Bingo.

SirBryghtside:
Best way to have a wife in that game is to pick one who you can have with you on adventures, like Lydia or Aela.

Agreed. Lydia and I tore through everything we encountered, her with a shocking warhammer, me with a shocking greatsword. I couldn't imagine the thought of leaving her at home; after all, who would carry 150lbs. of dragon remains when I need to loot a few more chests?

Rituro:

SirBryghtside:
Best way to have a wife in that game is to pick one who you can have with you on adventures, like Lydia or Aela.

Agreed. Lydia and I tore through everything we encountered, her with a shocking warhammer, me with a shocking greatsword. I couldn't imagine the thought of leaving her at home; after all, who would carry 150lbs. of dragon remains when I need to loot a few more chests?

I actually never did that. I cared about Aela too much to make her a pack mule.

Same about Veronica Santangelo in Fallout: New Vegas, but that was probably just because of her knowing that I'd just make her carry all the heavy stuff :P

Great story. I do love these little tales about Skyrim, and relationships.
It would be nice if they did the whole marriage thing better, and added more options for interactions with your spouse.
Also, it'd be great if they made some characters next time like the companions from Fallout New Vegas, and let us decide if we would like to marry them.

Oh well. Hopefully they will make it more fleshed out next time.

Yup. I married one of the twin companion brothers - the longer haired one - no don't say his name. He became a shell of his former self. I'd ruined him. I thought if I lived in Whiterun he'd spend time with them while I was gone and all would be well and... no. It wasn't. He opened some shop - which I couldn't believe mad a profit because the poor kid is like a box of rocks and... it was just awful. I decided then and there, with that first character: never again. All my following characters have remained steadfastly single - though I imagine an occasional toss in a tent comes up now and then with traveling companions.

This is one reason why I prefer Mount and Blade Warband- truth be told it's wifey interactions are slightly thinner even than Skyrim, but the key difference is at the menu of my castle/town/wherever my wife is, there's the option to 'wait here for some time', and while you're doing that you see the castle/town/wherever my wife is from above in timelapse, leaving it completely up to your own imagination what's going on. Personally I like to think that while my visits back home are far between, while I'm there I'm very attentive and loving and shut out the world for a few days to be with my wife blah blah blah.

The mere fact that Warband doesn't show everything allows me to do that. It's amazing how much more rich an experience can be when a game allows you to imagine the blanks without ever stepping on them.

Muspelheim:

My solution was to get hooked with someone more adventurous and with a follower-tag. Although it'd still be a very shallow mimic of a real relationship and everything, at least we could do some cozy grave desecrating together. It worked out rather well, until Uthgerd got pummeled by mean dwarven robots. And I turned out to be the world's worst widower, since there's no way to carry off and properly bury dead friends in Skyrim, so I had to leave her to the spiders.

What I did with Lydia was put her on one of those big stone tables you find in tombs, engulfed her in Flames, then deleted her body with the console, basically giving her a viking-style burial.

That was perhaps one of the greatest articles I've read recently, both entertaining whilst detailing the lack of emotional depth in Skyrim.
That being said, I've yet to play Skrim. I'm more of the Strategy guy, and my recent interest in Crusader Kings has been about marriage for alliance and statistical boost. Although, there is little designated action between spouses (As far as I know) there are plenty of holes to fill in with the imagination (Such as the two kids we had in three years).

This would all be very interesting if my wife had not disappeared after the marriage. When I find her, there will be hell to pay.

Consider this though, if the marriage system in Skyrim wasn't so dire, this highly entertaining article would not have been written! This makes it all worthwhile. Some advice though, you really should have married a more action-orientated woman and taken her along with you on your adventures, and lamented her unfortunate death at the hands of a ferocious mudcrab when she'd overstaid her welcome. MUHAHAHAHA.....I'm going to make a good husband one day.

The thing is that shallow two dimensional planks for characters is not unique to spouses. Every NPC stares at you blankly, spits out a stock phrase regardless of context, and don't respond to anything you do unless its murder.

Robert Rath:

Muspelheim:

My solution was to get hooked with someone more adventurous and with a follower-tag. Although it'd still be a very shallow mimic of a real relationship and everything, at least we could do some cozy grave desecrating together. It worked out rather well, until Uthgerd got pummeled by mean dwarven robots. And I turned out to be the world's worst widower, since there's no way to carry off and properly bury dead friends in Skyrim, so I had to leave her to the spiders.

I've seriously been laughing at this story all day. So I Left Her To The Spiders needs to be the final line in every story about a past relationship. e.g.: "She wasn't willing to move states when I got my new job, so I left her to the spiders."

To be honest, I never played Skyrim with any sort of strategy guide (it's more fun to figure out on my own, since it's the mistakes that make it interesting) so I had no idea at first that I could marry a follower and have my wife come along on adventures. In fact I never got into using followers much--I acquired one by accident once, but she got lost in the wilderness while following me and I never saw her again. I finally found her mangled remains after backtracking for 20 minutes, and after that I decided followers were more trouble than they were worth and that my Nord was more of a loner anyway.

On balance, losing your wife in a dungeon raid then just leaving her to rot on the floor is almost more disturbing than the domestic containment scenario I encountered.

However, at the end of the day, my closest Skyrim-friend is always going to be my horse. And despite having gone through about thirty of them, it never ever gets any easier... It's interesting how I felt so attached, considering they never actually talk to you.

"Gunvald! Noooo! Please, get back up, Mr. G! Why? *Sob* Why...."

See, that's why I never bought a horse. I was perpetually cash poor for whatever reason (read: constantly buying metal to level smithing skills) and didn't want to invest in something that was just going to get murdered in front of me.

Besides, I found a lot of cool places traveling on foot...
In heavy armor...
Under constant threat of attack...
Unable to outrun trouble...

Yeah, I probably should've bought a horse.

meh, horses.
i agree with your original conclusion horses are an expensive pain in the nuts,
personally i only use the city carriage or walk
the only use for a horse in the entire game in my opinion is to outrun some bandits when you steal all their stuff outside whiterun so you get some free gear to start with ( assuming you cant just kill them )

as for the carriage, yes theoretically it's more expensive in the long run but it's in tiny amounts that you loot off a corpse between rides so it's never an issue even at the start of the game and once you discover all the citys you can just fast travel to every corner of the map and walk about 2 minutes to anywhere
so, back to my first point 'meh horses' :D

And this is why I romanced a Party Member rather than a random NPC - because she could go adventuring with me rather than staying at home.

Also, I never had her make me the home cooked meal. It was just too creepy.

I did make us matching stealth armor, though, so she wouldn't keep failing all her sneaking checks and giving us both away.

Bara_no_Hime:
And this is why I romanced a Party Member rather than a random NPC - because she could go adventuring with me rather than staying at home.

Also, I never had her make me the home cooked meal. It was just too creepy.

I did make us matching stealth armor, though, so she wouldn't keep failing all her sneaking checks and giving us both away.

They still have the personality of a wet noodle, regardless if you take them with you or not. Bethesda never did know how to do NPC interactions. Out of all the followers not one is half interesting.

Quality > Quantity

hmmm for my Skyrim game, i ended up marrying Jordis the Sword Maiden, and took her everywhere until she started to bug out and i couldn't give her much stuff to carry as compared to before, since her carrying weight went all weird. (This was the ps3 version) That being said, she was really nasty in combat provided you gave her nice gear. Very good tank. Also i didn't mind her voice either so that helped. But yeah no way i would of married a char that couldn't fight.

But yeah your wife didn't have much dialogue or extra quests which was a pity.

Bethesda: Extra dialogue and story roles DLC for Skyrim. NAU.

Seriously, I could plan that out. Honestly, it's easy:

Go through and add about nineteen or so extra lines for each marriable character (It's not that much).

For fighting spouses, have them come forward with a mission connected to their backstory or character arc that the player can help them with at some point in the game.

For non-fighting spouses, have them, I don't know, get kidnapped and need rescuing or something. Yeah, that could work. In fact, it would really add to the whole classic fantasy-epic feel of TES games: what's more "Authentic fantasy" then killing a dragon? Rescuing a damsel in distress.

BOOM. That's about five months of work by my best guess, and PEOPLE WOULD BUY IT.

After reading some of the woeful tales here, I would do the opposite. Don't have a thousand choices, have only one. You can have a thousand where it's a three stage effort to get them in to bed and spend the rest of your days hearing the same three lines over and over, OR, you have one richly detailed and engaging relationship.

This was a pretty funny read. I never had the same problem though. My female khajiit married Mjoll like ten hours into my playthrough, and Mjoll can't die, so the rest of the fourty hours I played they were always together. I liked Mjoll, she was a good companion and wife, since she could fight and not just stay at home.

My life with Lydia in a nutshell.

Degrading her from valiant Shield Maiden to braindead housewife, stirring a dubious substance in the cauldron over and over again, made me feel really guilty after the first week of our marriage. To think that I had looked up how to marry her, because at the time her dialogue was bugged, made things even worse. I wanted to be with her, even though the only reason she was into my Redguard was because he was particularly good at destroying life and because she was bound to him by oath, not because of his sense of humour or his caring mannerism.

On the other hand I was too afraid she'd get herself killed on a Dwemer trap during one of my dungeon delving episodes, so I'd have to send her on her way back to Whiterun from some desolate plain on the other side of Skyrim. One time I asked her to leave, after I had finished the dungeon I'd fast travel back home, only to find the fireplace empty and Lydia nowhere to be found. It took her two more weeks to arrive home, and when she did she was not even slightly disgruntled that she had to walk day and night for over twenty days.

That's the main reason I re-rolled as a bloodthirsty Orcish commander; if you can't love 'em, beat 'em to death with a hammer.

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