on Feb 12, 2014
Chris hit on a really good point in this episode, which is that Elder Scrolls AI goes along with zombiekind much better than with sapients. The mindless bloodlust, the lack of idiotic and repetitive combat taunts, the sometimes janky pathing, the inept “search for the player” stealth mechanics… it all fits mindless beasts, and comes off as unintentional comedy when used by gangs of bandits.
I also enjoy the scenery of Draugr ruins more than the somewhat bland caves used by bandits. I think Draugr ruins are more interesting places to explore, their inhabitants make more sense, their loot is more varied, their atmosphere is more tense, and the traps are more clever. But the fact that they’re so good is probably why they’re featured in the core game so often, which is why people get sick of them.
I suppose that having just a couple of different “spook” foes would help alleviate this. As the game stands now, caves are filled with one of the following: Draugr, Falmer, Forsworn, Necromancers, Vampires, Dwemer Automatons, or Bandits. (There are many factions of “bandits”, but they all play pretty much the same.) There are also a few wildlife foes scattered around: Bears, saber cats, skeevers, spriggans, wolves, and giant spiders. While these wildlife foes don’t have their own dungeons, they appear in little pockets to break up the monotony.
That’s not bad in terms of foe variety. But this game is so huge and the dungeons so numerous that it’s pretty much inevitable that you’ll start to feel like it’s getting repetitious, particularly if you wander off to do some unstructured dungeon diving.