Would I like Skyrim? (PC gaming)

I traditionally look for game deals around the holiday season, and since the stores and distributors are generally kind enough to indulge me around that time, fun-time usually ensues. Skyrim has been on my radar since before it was released, but even though it’s been out for over a year, I just can’t decide if I should give it a chance. There’s not too many other games on my radar at the moment, and as the holiday sales aren’t too far away, I thought I should try to decide on it before a sale appears and I have to decide quickly.

On the one hand, I loved Fallout 3 and New Vegas. I loved exploring everything, finding new locations, new side-quests, new gear & weapons, etc. I liked the leveling, the perks, and adding points to skills as I wanted to. Along the way, you could build some things like bottlecap mines, and you could learn to make some meds and such.

On the other hand, I did not like Oblivion. I could wander seemingly endlessly and not find anything but random creatures that killed me. I never figured out the magic potions, or whatever I was supposed to be crafting. I didn’t really get the combat down very well either, and IIRC, bows & arrows kind of sucked. I generally got killed a lot. It just seemed like Oblivion didn’t direct me enough, didn’t teach me enough, and it was essentially a great deal of tedium & confusion followed by moments of aggravation and death. I somehow found my way to a small fort or keep, killed everyone and made it my own, then lost interest.

I was hoping someone familiar with these games might give their opinion on Skyrim, particularly how it compares to Oblivion & the more recent Fallout games.

More games I’ve played and liked over the past few years: Dungeons & Dragons Online (several Sorcerer characters, and one Artificer), Borderlands 1 & 2, Portal 1 & 2, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Left 4 Dead 1 & 2, Battlefield 3 & Bad Company 2. I’ve long been a big fan of the Half-Life series as well.

Hm. Up to the point where Oblivion punched you in the face and stole your lunch money, I was going to say Skyrim would be a great game, given the kinds of things you enjoy in games. I’ve got over 1,000 hours played and have been through the game (at least) dozens of times, and it does seem to have gotten past the steep part of Oblivion’s learning curve, the part where everything kills you.

I think it does do a better job of giving you quests that makes sense, and that are more local (so you can cruise around in one area and do stuff without “okay, now go back to the other side of the contintent”). There are some minimal in-game tutorials for blacksmithing, but alchemy is kinda not explained well at all.

All those things are exactly what I love about Skyrim. There are seemingly endless side quests and you’re never at a loss for something to do/explore. There’s two main quests (three if you get the Dawnguard expansion) and you can do all of them or none of them or some of them and in any order you wish. The possibilities for how you want to play the game are endless.

I actually played Oblivion AFTER I got Skyrim and…I hated it. It was just TOO big and TOO open. There was, like you said, hardly any direction. Skyrim does NOT do that to you. Once you begin the game it gives you very clear direction on where to go to progress in the main quests. You can do so or just wander around. You never have to go far to find a town or a cave or just something new to explore. And…well dragons! Gotta love the dragons! I haven’t actually died in Skyrim myself BUT I’m a wimp and I have it set on the easiest difficulty level. Also, the lockpicking? SO much easier than Oblivion. Seriously, wtf? I couldn’t stand it in Oblivion but I love it in Skyrim.

Overall, I’d highly recommend it. There’s a few things that are annoying but chances are, if there’s something about Skyrim you don’t like, there’s a mod to fix it. :slight_smile:

interesting, i find Oblivion/Skyrim to be Fallout 3 with a new skin, basically. anyway, there seems to constantly be deals on Steam, should be cheap to try.

I am a very inexperienced gamer who just started playing Skyrim about a week ago. So far I am enjoying it. At the opening stage you get a lot of guidance. You start off as a prisoner, but you are basically broken out, during a dragon attack, by a friendly fellow prisoner. (I was, anyway. I understand that if you make some slightly different choices a friendly guard helps you instead.) Although I could have killed a number of the guards trying to stop me at this point, I had not figured out the combat well enough yet, and was blundering about fairly randomly. However, the friendly fellow prisoner did it all for me, killed the guards (and let me loot their bodies) and guided me out, so I got out safely. Since then I have learned to fight (plus a little bit about smithing and alchemy), and completed a couple of small quests on my own. There seems to be a lot more to the game than I have yet even begun to explore (both geographically and conceptually), but it does seem to give you a fairly shallow learning curve, and lots to do. If anything, so far it has been a bit too easy (even for a noob like me), though varied enough to be fun - and I think you can set the initial difficulty level higher if you want. The only part I have had real problems with was using the unintuitive Skills Menu, but I got help with that from this forum, and I gained the impression from those who helped me that I would not have been quite so confused by it if had played the earlier Elder Scrolls games.

I’d say that it has most of what you liked about Fallout 3 and New Vegas. In many ways it feels like a step up from them. The leveling system is much more like Oblivion’s, though, except with perks.

Incidentally, I’ve found the UESPWiki to be a helpful resource for when something in the game wasn’t clear.

As another data point, I loved both new Fallouts, hated Oblivion back when it first came out, tried it again a while ago and hated it again, but loved Skyrim. I was really hesitant to buy it after my bad experiences with Oblivion at first, too. It’s just a lot better game in almost every way and since you are getting it on PC you can fix almost every small annoyance you might have with a mod.

Some great info here, thanks folks. My concern was, would Skyrim play more like the Fallout games, or more like Oblivion? So far, the consensus seems to be they took the best from Fallout and improved on it. Good to hear.

I’ve also heard they changed the creature leveling in Skyrim. IIRC, no matter where you went and what level you were in Oblivion, you’d run into random critters at your level. I didn’t care for this too much. How does it feel like you’ve improved if every critter everywhere ranks up with you? Might as well not have leveling in your game at all.

They did fix this… a lot of “set” monsters, like packs of mudcrabs or wolves or keeps full of bandits, don’t level up much (if at all), and this is handy if you need to train up a new weapon or armor skill later in the game, or if you just need to slaughter many things so you can make shiny magic items out of their souls. However, there are also some “set” creatures which have a minimum level, and if you run into them too soon, they’ll eat your face. And, there are also places which do have levelled monsters (meaning, of a level to match your abilities). They also tend to have levelled loot, so that kinda balances out.

Oh, and, arrows are now WEIGHTLESS thank you jesus.

Skyrim does this too, but a lot less blatantly than Oblivion did. For example, you won’t be seeing Ancient Dragons or Ascendant Necromancers until you are some particular level. On the other hand, you’ll always run into basic wolves even if you are level 50. In Oblivion you could get to a point where all the enemies kill you easily if you leveled “badly”, using non-combat skills. That sort of thing doesn’t really happen in Skyrim (unless maybe you do nothing but lockpicking, stealth, pickpocketing etc and never fight a thing - even then the difficulty can be changed mid-game).

One thing that’s not so great still is the combat, which is fairly basic mechanically. It still feels a lot better, maybe because of far superior animations and sounds. Also, spells are a bit boring. Bows got a lot better, on the other hand, and a good stealth archer can clear a whole dungeon with ranged sneak attacks without ever being seen.

Mmm, now I almost feel like playing Skyrim again …

Can’t speak for Skyrim since I’ve never played it, but I just wanted to say that both of you would’ve hated Morrowind.

Definitely hated it XD It was just WAY too hard to get anywhere and WAY too easy to get hopelessly lost. I died countless times and had no idea if there was even a main storyline. I’m really impressed when I hear about people who’ve stuck with the Elder Scrolls for so long. I started with Morrowind and decided that I absolutely hated those styles of games. Luckily, when Skyrim came around, I heard enough good things about it to give it a shot and I’m glad I did.

My understanding of the level scaling is that monsters have a range through which they can be adjusted. So if a monster’s level range is 10-20, it will match your level if you’re 13 or 18, but will never be less than 10 or more than 20.

I remember the first time I ran across an ice troll. I had to fight it to get to my destination (part of the main quest line). I tried fighting it, but it was just too strong for me. I reloaded and went and did some side quests for a while. A few levels later, I killed that troll handily. Now any troll I that crosses my path is little more than an annoyance.

Yeah, the creature leveling works like Max describes, which is also how it worked in the Fallout games. In fact, some of the early press-releases about Skyrim touted the “Fallout-style leveling.”

There’s another trick I’ve heard of* for dealing with that troll; run past it, let it chase you until you reach the Greybeards; they’ll squish it for you.

*By happening across a video on YouTube showing it.

Hi all,
I thought this was going to be my first post until I tried to register and it turned out I actually registered 9 years ago!
I have quite enjoyed Skyrim, and I think it is vastly improved over Oblivion in many respects. However, my heart belongs to Morrowind. Because there was no need for expensive voice actors for conversations, a lot more could be said. Stories were richer and deeper. Quests were more fun, because there was no magic arrow telling you where to go - you had to do some figuring out on your own. Conversations were logged so you could look up important information to figure out what to do rather than your journal simply telling you. Features have also been slowly taken out of the games with each new game. For instance custom spells are not available in Skyrim, levitation was removed in Oblivion, and there seemed to be way fewer organisations you could join.
That’s not to say Oblivion and Skyrim have not improved over Morrowind. NPCs mostly act like people, voice acting helps immersion, you can no longer miss when you swing with a weapon, there are more varied quests, some operations have been streamlined, and lots more.
For the casual gamer that just wants to spend an hour here and there playing, and wants to have plenty of fun in that time rather than spend time “working” for later pleasure, Skyrim is very good. If you enjoy puzzles (Portal 1 & 2 are the only games on your list I have played - FWIW Portal came very close to supplanting OoT as my favourite ever game!), Skyrim won’t provide very much of that, Morrowind would serve you slightly better. Same if you enjoy a good story in a game (the lack of dialogue in Oblivion & Skyrim reduce the amount of story room - also I enjoyed the Main Quest story in Morrowind way more than Oblivion and Skyrim).
Hope this helps somewhat :slight_smile:
P.S. Whatever you do, don’t buy it for PS3. Doesn’t look like the downloadable content is coming my way anytime soon :frowning:

I’m going to buck the trend here and say…I’m not sure if I could recommend Skyrim to you.

On the plus side, it looks fantastic (especially with mods), it’s huge, and the first 20 or so quests you do, you’ll love. By the time you get tired of this game, you’ll already have spent much longer on it than comparable RPGs.

On the minus side your memory of the good quests will be watered down with the memory of the many instances of “Kill that guy, and everyone else there”.
And generally to me the game is lacking “soul”; it’s all the standard sword and magic tropes (in fairness though, I have this same objection to most RPGs).

Other way around. TES had the same view since 1994, Fallout since 2008. And Oblivion was like 2 years before that. The older Fallouts were 2.5D.

There’s also TES Wiki. I find UESP is better with lore-type things, while TESWiki is better with obscure items. Like they’ll have a page for calipers or whatever, UESP will redirect you to a “Junk” page.
Main difference in leveling (for almost all these games): in TES, skills gain through use. This can become unwieldy, particularly in the pre-Skyrim games. In Fallout, skills are assigned by the player on level up.

Generally took the best. One step back is that New Vegas’ companion system (the wheel) is way better.
Most hated Oblivion’s leveling, but the monsters were the worst. If you procrastinated on the main quest, all the Scamps and such would be nonexistent, and you’d be fighting an endless sea of only Dremora Valkynaz, with no diversity. Max’s post #13 is how I understand the leveling in Skyrim. You can still encounter Skeevers and Mudcrabs at level 80. They can be killed by a sneeze at that point, but they still exist to give up their juicy tails or chitin (and legs with Heartfire installed).

I think it’s the engine that gives one that feeling, or specifically, it’s the limitations it imposes on the art style that sets a similar overall tone. The engine Oblivion used is the core one used for Fallout3 and later Skyrim, and playing though them you definitely get the same “vibe” in terms of how the world and the NPC’s look/move/act, etc.

Also the old Fallouts were not 2.5D - although that term has been used to describe many things, so maybe we’re using different definitions.

I’m almost certain that the first Fallout games used 2D sprite based engines.

2.5D is usually used to describe a fully 3D game engine who’s camera is fixed/gameplay happens in a single 2D space (think something like Sine Mora) and/or features a combination fo 3D elements and 2D sprites.

Same here!
Actually, just last week I re-installed FO3, and I’m playing it through for perhaps the 5th time!

Same here!
Honestly, I’m not sure exactly WHAT it was, but Oblivion lost me probably 1/8 through the game. I just turned away, and never looked back, this after having played Morrowind for about 2-3 hours. Just long enough to realize I’d never like it.

When I find a PC game that I absolutely LOVE(!) I will generally play it completely through several times.
I’ve played the original “Half-Life” til the end 9-10 times! (It’s STILL my all-time favorite game)
“Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City” 4-5 times each!
“Fallout 3” (and the addons); “Fallout: New Vegas”; and “Portal 1 & Portal 2” 3-4 times each!

I played through Skyrim first as a melee-fighting bruiser, good guy, but then replayed it as a good “Sneaky Archer”. I finally decide to play it again as an evil Necromancer, but lost interest about half-way through.

Skyrim is fantastic in its weapons/magic/customization options; exploration; combat and more!.
You may want to give it a try.