Jump to content
IGNORED

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim


ravnaz
 Share

Recommended Posts

These discussions about the combat model in the elder scrolls games have been going on since at least Morrowind (and maybe before, though I wasn't on board back then). I think it became more of a thing with Morrowind because the world took a big leap towards being more tangible and more realistic; it felt a bit jarring for players to be exploring this full 3d environment that has this rather unrealistic approach to fighting bolted on. But that's how Morrowind was; certain aspects of it were realistic, others were based on more abstract statistical probabilities. Like the sneak skill; anyone watching would have thought it absurd that you could pretty much move around and steal stuff in front of mans faces just because you had a high enough stat in it. Same with the combat; the fact that fights came down to you standing in front of an enemy, both of you throwing out attacks that looked like they were going to hit, but not actually doing so because of statistic looked, well, a bit weird. But it was part of the game's internal balancing and makeup. Despite all outward appearances, Morrowind wasn't really meant to be an action game.

Oblivion changed things up a little; they brought in a bit of skill and, well.. gameplay to the fighting. The stats were still the most important thing, but you could affect the outcome of a fight by proper positioning and blocking. Most importantly, if you were in range of an enemy and you swung your weapon at them, it would at least hit rather than maybe pass through as a 'miss'. It might do very little damage based on your stat, or perhaps be blocked, but at least this aspect of the world now made a bit more sense.

From what I've seen Skyrim is the same hybrid as Oblivion. There's a vague physical model going on, but I think the primary thing driving the combat is still stats. This may turn out to have been a mistake for Bethesda, because people's expectations change as time goes on; the fidelity of the world presented in Skyrim is such that we (or at least some players) maybe expect more accurate physical representations of MANFIGHTIN'. If we attack something we want to see it react; but again, this is primarily an RPG based on the idea of doing more hit points of damage to this guy than he can do to you. The series has actually toyed with stun reactions as a mechanic however; in the previous games you could knock an enemy down with a big hit or by, er, punching them until they got tired. (I remember you were supposed to do this to a dude in Bloodmoon, because he was standing outside a mine or something, being a twat). I wonder if it'll be a strength perk in this; stun enemies or knocking them back.

Fuck me this is a lot of text. Er, I guess what I'm trying to say is that while a better combat model would be awesome, it's so so tied into the overall gameworlds that Bethesda make with the ES series. We're maybe more used to fighting being more visceral and more chaotic in modern games, but i think there's still quite a traditional (you could say rigid) RPG at the heart of these titles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Strawman. I'm not asking for a highly complex tactical system, just something that isn't waving your sword wildly in the vague direction of an enemy who doesn't react in the slightest. Yes there are lots of other types of content in Bethesda's games, but the player does spend a fair amount of time in combat, and the standard of combat looks bottom of the class in the cold light of 2011. I don't think hours of content necessarily excuses such minor progress being made in an area of the game which was already substandard in 2006. Maybe I'm just crazy in hoping that something you spend quite a lot of time engaged in was a bit more than something to tolerate, at best.

It's ok though, you guys can carry on rebutting this by going off on a tangent about landmass and books to read and how quantity wins out over quality.

I feel what you are saying is perfectly valid. First things first, I don't wanna rain on anyone's parade. I'm sure the game will be great in many ways and I can see why people are excited for it.

But why can't you ask for better combat? I'm a huge fan of good combat systems in games and it's one of the things that always puts me off about Bethesda games. People are syaing: "Yeah, but combat is only a part of the game, there is also this and that."

That's fine, but why can't you ask for all these things? When I saw the E3 demo of Skyrim they showed Todd Howard taking on a dragon. The dragon was flying in the air and Howard picked a lightning spell that he just kept using. Eventually, the dragon fell from the sky. Howard walked up to it, started slashing with its weapon and ultimately finished it with a scripted kill. There was not an ounce of depth to it, nothing even remotely interesting or exciting. Why? I'm not saying it should be Dark Souls, but Kingdoms of Amalur shows that you can have a massive RPG with tremendous looking combat. I think it's perfectly fine to ask for great combat if combat is one of the main gameplay systems.

I'm a massive fan of the Uncharted series, which I think has some of the best gun combat, set-pieces and dialogue in gaming. But even I, as a big fan, can't deny that the SP navigation is very simple, as were the puzzles in the second (much improved in the third). That doesn't spoil my enjoyment of these game, just like many Skyrim players won't care about the sloppy combat. But that doesn't mean the criticisms are unvalid. People take different things from games.

I have other problems with these games as well. The art-direction, which I find rather cliched and generic. A game like Dark Souls probably has a tenth of the budget of Skyrim, but each monster is beautifully designed and unique. The writing and voice-acting would be another and I simply don't get how such a big budget game has animations of this quality. Maybe I'm a bit spoiled, coming out of Arkham City and Uncharted 3, but bigger open world games like the Assassin's Creed games and Red Dead Redemption show that you can have detailed open worlds with wonderfully animated characters and animals.

Again, I'm sure Skyrim will deliver for many of the fans, but I feel some of the criticism leveled against it is entirely valid and not something to be mocked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Polish is the enemy of ambition.

The vast majority of games are polished to a fine sheen, so leave us with one that's a bit rough around the edges but still hugely ambitious, please

even if it's a still a shallow watered down version of Morrowind

.

I'd take another Deadly Premonition over a half-dozen focus tested to oblivion shooters any day of the week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tempted to wait till the PC mod guys have put this into a good state. Textures look god awful.

Or maybe I'll just play through it once and then replay next November with mods. Then again the next November. It'll be like watching evolution in action.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Strawman. I'm not asking for a highly complex tactical system, just something that isn't waving your sword wildly in the vague direction of an enemy who doesn't react in the slightest. Yes there are lots of other types of content in Bethesda's games, but the player does spend a fair amount of time in combat, and the standard of combat looks bottom of the class in the cold light of 2011.

That's the great thing about these games, there's plenty to see and do and loads of different ways to do it. If the combat annoys you that much, have you ever considered playing as a wizard or a stealthy thief character? Using spells or sneak attacks/arrows to dispatch enemies instead of melee? I don't mind you and Vemsie being down on this game because you don't like the combat, but not looking beyond what is just one of many gameplay elements might be interpreted as a bit short-sighted, especially with games as expansive and all-encompassing as the Elder Scrolls games. Sure, who wouldn't like each element of the game to be as good as the respective leader of the specialised genre, ie stealth as good as Thief or Splinter Cell and combat as good Bayonetta? But even if the Elder Scrolls games don't achieve those lofty heights they are still amazing games for what they primarily are and aim to be: a massive single-player role-playing experience in a huge world to explore and lose yourself in. Combat is very much secondary and as such doesn't spoil the experience if it isn't up to snuff - unless, like I said before, you're a bit short-sighted and want these games to be something different to what they actually are. Don't play Elder Scrolls for the combat FFS, play it for the exploration and the freedom. If you really can't look past the basic combat then the game isn't really for you anyway, even if the next Elder Scrolls game would feature DMC-level combat it would still fall short of what you want it to be because you're not in it for the main experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think it's unfair to expect better combat, but I do think it's unfair to judge the game based on less than 10mins of combat from the opening of the game.

It's certainly no worse to say the game will be good despite it flaws then it is to say the game will be bad because of them. It really comes down to expectations. As a long time Bathesda fan I wasn't expecting a revolution in the combat engine, but I can see why some people might see that as a disappointment.

Still mega pumped for it myself, as I've surely sunk thousands of hours into Morrowind, Oblivion and Fallout 3 despite them all having dodgy combat systems.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nah. The likes of Blizzard, Valve, Nintendo, Team ICO, Clover/Platinum and other have shown that ambition and polish can go hand in hand.

None of those do anything near the level these games do. They're all short 8-15 hour experiences, focused on a single aspect of gameplay (platforming, puzzle solving, usually combat) in which each element of play can be handcrafted by developers. They're the very definition of "tight, focused" games, which isn't usually a synonym with "sprawling ambition".

Stick one of them in an open world 16 square miles in size, add in dialogue trees and support for another five different types of gameplay with the same amount of time, money and developers and you might get close. The only way to improve aspects of the game to be comparable to games solely focused on those is to shift developers and time off other aspects, requiring you to shrink down what you're offering or abandon other elements of your design, which The Elder Scrolls has already done this generation quite significantly - since it now offers less freedom and less than half the content of previous generation games.

With so few titles offering comparable freedom nowadays, you can understand why people are quite fervent when someone asks that it reduce those elements in an effort to make it more homogenous. See: all the people who following Oblivion said "it should be smaller, but denser, like in a single city".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's the great thing about these games, there's plenty to see and do and loads of different ways to do it. If the combat annoys you that much, have you ever considered playing as a wizard or a stealthy thief character? Using spells or sneak attacks/arrows to dispatch enemies instead of melee? I don't mind you and Vemsie being down on this game because you don't like the combat, but not looking beyond what is just one of many gameplay elements might be interpreted as a bit short-sighted, especially with games as expansive and all-encompassing as the Elder Scrolls games. Sure, who wouldn't like each element of the game to be as good as the respective leader of the specialised genre, ie stealth as good as Thief or Splinter Cell and combat as good Bayonetta? But even if the Elder Scrolls games don't achieve those lofty heights they are still amazing games for what they primarily are and aim to be: a massive single-player role-playing experience in a huge world to explore and lose yourself in. Combat is very much secondary and as such doesn't spoil the experience if it isn't up to snuff - unless, like I said before, you're a bit short-sighted and want these games to be something different to what they actually are. Don't play Elder Scrolls for the combat FFS, play it for the exploration and the freedom. If you really can't look past the basic combat then the game isn't really for you anyway, even if the next Elder Scrolls game would feature DMC-level combat it would still fall short of what you want it to be because you're not in it for the main experience.

I am in it for the main experience (I loved Fallout 3), I just find it weird that people are claiming combat isn't part of it. I mean, what exactly do you think you're going to be doing in these 80 dungeons? Combat is about as important in Bethesda games as it is in, say, a Zelda game IMO. Not the top priority and not something that needs tens of layers of depth, but you still spend a fair chunk of the game engaged in it, it isn't this little niche element you partake in if you desire, it covers everything outside the towns and cities, essentially.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The limitations of the combat could well be down to the limitations of the engine - or perhaps a hesitancy to not fix what ain't broke.

The GTA games are classic for having actually pretty shoddy combat. No one cared, dishing out 10/10's. Will GTA V make any real strides here? Unlikely.

There's polish and there's polish. GTA decides to invest in the gameworld first and foremost, then the cinematics around that. The combat has always been an afterthought. There's a good reason for that though and it runs through with the Elder scrolls games. With the right fiction the world comes alive. Start to layer elements on top of that and the player believes in the world. That's a really, really big thing. People are excited about this because of the narrative and being able to play in that gameworld again. It's more powerful than a hundred combat systems with no context behind them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm yes, ignore the rest of the post because I responded to your wide criteria with a short summation. You must be proud of yourself for besting me in that intellectual endeavour!!

No need to act like that. All I am saying is that it's not impossible to have multiple quality gameplay systems, no matter the ambition. As much as Bethesda may do right, it's not unfair to ask for better combat, animation or writing l think.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am in it for the main experience (I loved Fallout 3), I just find it weird that people are claiming combat isn't part of it. I mean, what exactly do you think you're going to be doing in these 80 dungeons? Combat is about as important in Bethesda games as it is in, say, a Zelda game IMO. Not the top priority and not something that needs tens of layers of depth, but you still spend a fair chunk of the game engaged in it, it isn't this little niche element you partake in if you desire, it covers everything outside the towns and cities, essentially.

Again, if it really annoys you that much and if you are really in it for the main experience - why not play as something other than a melee character? Playing as a wizard means blasting foes from afar and summoning beasts to do the dirty work for you.

And note that I'm not saying that great combat is too much to ask, I'm just saying that it should in no way hamper the main experience as it's decent for what it is. Combat looks improved compared to Oblivion but to be brutally honest I would have been fine with the exact same combat as in Oblivion. I could easily write a 5000 word post about what was wrong with Oblivion and what needs improving to enhance the core Elder Scrolls experience, but the combat is something I wouldn't even mention.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No need to act like that. All I am saying is that it's not impossible to have multiple quality gameplay systems, no matter the ambition. As much as Bethesda may do right, it's not unfair to ask for better combat, animation or writing l think.

With you being as nuts about melee combat systems as I am about stealth systems I think you might not be the best person to judge what makes the Elder Scrolls games great. To each his own and all that :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm looking forward to Skyrim a lot and the 25mins video didn't put me off one bit. For a start the video is too short to really get a sense of how the combat's going to play out as you earn more stuff and you haven't got used to or got into the flow of the combat just yet. However from the previous Elder Scrolls I don't expect great melee combat and from an admittedly very short time with the game this looks no different. I think Majora and others have a very valid point about the combat (and I'm also one of those people who love satisfying melee combat) but for some reason with an Elder Scrolls game I'm not too bothered, I guess I'm so used to it I'll do what I usually do and just roll with being a wizard and zap fools to death with crazy spells. I do think Bethesda can learn a lot by looking at games such as Dead Island and Dark Messiah Might and Magic in terms of melee combat with swords etc. I do hope they put forward some effort in the future to improving enemy reactions etc in the future. For now I'll just enjoy the exploring and unleashing fireballs on random bandits.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With you being as nuts about melee combat systems as I am about stealth systems I think you might not be the best person to judge what makes the Elder Scrolls games great. To each his own and all that :)

Well, obviously to each his own. But there's the thing. I bought Oblivion, l was looking forward to it. But for a game that's all about immersion, the wonky animation, clunky combat and poor voice acting and writing pulled me out of the experience. The dungeons looking all samey didn't help either. So l was hoping they'd fix that for Skyrim, but it seems to have many of the same problems.

It won't be for me then. Of course l hope you guys have tons of fun with it. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, obviously to each his own. But there's the thing. I bought Oblivion, l was looking forward to it. But for a game that's all about immersion, the wonky animation, clunky combat and poor voice acting and writing pulled me out of the experience. The dungeons looking all samey didn't help either. So l was hoping they'd fix that for Skyrim, but it seems to have many of the same problems.

It won't be for me then. Of course l hope you guys have tons of fun with it. :)

See, the samey boring dungeons of Oblivion is one the things that I would be bothered about. I do love a good combat system (I love Halo: CE and FEAR for that very reason despite not being too crazy about FPS games in general, and I love games like Condemned for its excellent first-person melee combat. Also loved the combat in Arkham Asylum) but the combat is just plain secondary to me in the Elder Scrolls series. The joy of exploration and discovery was unparalleled in Morrowind (less so in Oblivion for various reasons - combat not being one of them) and for me personally the clunky combat has no influence on that whatsoever. A matter of personal taste of course, but I guess that it applies to most people in this thread who loved either Morrowind or Oblivion - it just isn't about the combat and what combat there is, is more than decent for an open world rpg. And again, why not try being a wizard instead?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've always felt the combat in these games a little rushed perhaps. Everyone charges around without a real feel for momentum and it's WHACK, SMACK, over. I'd almost prefer characters to move slower, more cautiously...

Perhaps it's me and my old age. I'm happy with a slower paced game at times. Which is why I quite enjoy the wandering around doing not too much. I preferred Fallout to Oblivion in that respect. It seemed to work better - less foliage seemed to add more to the game. Plus the whole Landmark thing - you could see something and then walk to it, and you'd be sure of stumbling upon something along the way. That's some top design right there, even if they didn't mean it to be so. You rely less on mini-maps and markers, and traverse by the land. As it should be, and how more games should ensure navigation works.

What's fantastic about the Bethesda games is those little moments. The "flying" wizard in Morrowind is of legend and rightly so. And yet even small details/actions can impress. When I first emerged from the Vault in Fallout 3 I entered a nearby house with a woman in there...she told me she was a whore. Yet she wouldn't take any coin for favours. Angered, I gutted her like a pig. She might have had something to do with a quest who knows? She'd paid for her filth.

The Lamplight mission - having taking the kid to the grown up town I then defended against wave after wave of mutant attacks. Injured, bleeding, and yet grateful I asked for healing and was pointed to the local doctor. I found him and asked for healing, sure that he'd help out after I'd saved everyone. He asked for caps. The red mist came down. The town was soon littered with limbs and heads. How dare they!

I prefer those kind of experiences* in a game to a combat system that's the bee knees.

* invariably where I end up murdering everyone, for more evidence see the Deus Ex thread

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've always felt the combat in these games a little rushed perhaps. Everyone charges around without a real feel for momentum and it's WHACK, SMACK, over. I'd almost prefer characters to move slower, more cautiously...

Perhaps it's me and my old age. I'm happy with a slower paced game at times. Which is why I quite enjoy the wandering around doing not too much. I preferred Fallout to Oblivion in that respect. It seemed to work better - less foliage seemed to add more to the game. Plus the whole Landmark thing - you could see something and then walk to it, and you'd be sure of stumbling upon something along the way. That's some top design right there, even if they didn't mean it to be so. You rely less on mini-maps and markers, and traverse by the land. As it should be, and how more games should ensure navigation works.

What's fantastic about the Bethesda games is those little moments. The "flying" wizard in Morrowind is of legend and rightly so. And yet even small details/actions can impress. When I first emerged from the Vault in Fallout 3 I entered a nearby house with a woman in there...she told me she was a whore. Yet she wouldn't take any coin for favours. Angered, I gutted her like a pig. She might have had something to do with a quest who knows? She'd paid for her filth.

The Lamplight mission - having taking the kid to the grown up town I then defended against wave after wave of mutant attacks. Injured, bleeding, and yet grateful I asked for healing and was pointed to the local doctor. I found him and asked for healing, sure that he'd help out after I'd saved everyone. He asked for caps. The red mist came down. The town was soon littered with limbs and heads. How dare they!

I prefer those kind of experiences* in a game to a combat system that's the bee knees.

* invariably where I end up murdering everyone, for more evidence see the Deus Ex thread

You are a scary scary man

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, obviously to each his own. But there's the thing. I bought Oblivion, l was looking forward to it. But for a game that's all about immersion, the wonky animation, clunky combat and poor voice acting and writing pulled me out of the experience. The dungeons looking all samey didn't help either. So l was hoping they'd fix that for Skyrim, but it seems to have many of the same problems.

It won't be for me then. Of course l hope you guys have tons of fun with it. :)

Well there's more to immersion than production values. Agreed on the dungeons though.

If anything I'd say the creaky old Morrowind was more immersive than Oblivion if only because in the latter there was this weird game-ness to the whole thing. There's bandit camps ever 5 yards and they outnumber regular citizens, there's no industry in the whole country despite there being 100 abandoned mines everywhere. Cyrodil produces no goods beyond the odd wine vintage, etc. There was just more lore, more layers to the world in Morrowind, and the foreign slang and contrasting cultures in the world made it seem more like a real place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've always felt the combat in these games a little rushed perhaps. Everyone charges around without a real feel for momentum and it's WHACK, SMACK, over. I'd almost prefer characters to move slower, more cautiously...etcetcetc

I agree with all this, except for the bit about foliage - I got the forest mod for Oblivion (which makes all the trees really tall and much more numerous) and never looked back! I'm hoping for plenty of Autumnal forests to skip through in Skyrim.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's not basically the battle mechanics that put people off in Bethesda's games. I think it's the fact that a heavy long sword lands on an enemy's face and he doesn't blink an eye most of the times.

If we could see that our weapons had impact then we would feel better about dodgy mechanics (Condemned has done it).

It's not crazy for people to ask for something like this in this series - it's been, what, five years after Oblivion?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.