Skyrim EP44: I Hate Everything

By Josh
on Jun 13, 2014
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

Shamus was busy, so he left me to post the episode today. Which is unfortunate, because I really would’ve liked to have seen him elaborate on the part where I finally drove him insane. So I guess all I can leave you with is this quote, straight from the episode:

“Our show is horrible and nobody should ever watch it!”

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  1. GEBIV says:

    Josh, promoting the Stockholm Syndrome style of game promotion…

  2. Twisted_Ellipses says:

    I found the falmer scary. However, that was partly down to them to being annoying enemies & mostly down to the film The Descent…

    • Tizzy says:

      Same here. The Descent is one of these few movies that had an immediate impact on me, and I was immediately taken back to it when I saw the Falmer. (Funy, because OTOH, I completely missed the Descent reference in Tomb Raider…)

      They’re also scary because they hit so damn hard.

  3. IFS says:

    More things should be tagged with HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    Also everyone always talks about the levitate spells from Morrowind ceasing to be, and I too would love to see them return but mark, recall, and the temple teleport spells would also also be very interesting to see make a return. TES needs more spells that help exploration as opposed to combat, since its strengths lie more in exploration (for me at least) than combat.

  4. Nytzschy says:

    It’s official: present members of Spoiler Warning now have Bane’s permission to die.

    Poor Mumbles. She’ll have to soldier on all on her own. (It’ll be amazing.)

  5. Kana says:

    Don’t give up, Shamus!

    I like the little notes, because they can give a bit of a smile when times are rough. It’s good that even being separated 99% of the time, the community can still develop a sense of camaraderie.

    Anyways, has there anything been anything like that in The Elder Scrolls? Obviously not something online with other players, but notes or scribbles on the wall to make it seem like someone else has been through X dungeon before you.

    From what I remember, the only things were notes from before things went down, or dead/dying people scattered around. I never ran into anything hinting that were more people delving these ruins for cash/valuables/roaring good times. Kinda felt lonely that I was the only one.

    I mean, besides bandits/necromancers/bears with veggie carts, but they never offered tea and favorite dungeon haunts.

    Edit: At least just one “Amazing chest ahead.” It’d make my dungeon to see that in front of something.

    • IFS says:

      There are a couple where at scripted points the ghosts/memories of previous adventurers appear and provide some narration. Its an interesting if underused gimmick. Dawnguard also adds a pretty awesome quest where you work with the ghost of an explorer killed in a dwemer ruin trying to find something to prove a theory of hers.

      • Ilseroth says:

        The most interesting part about this quest is, it is completely unrelated to the story in dawnguard, and can be extremely easily missed; despite probably being one of the most interesting dungeon and quest designs in the entire game.

      • Tizzy says:

        Interesting, yes. Underused? I don’t know. I can think of at least four dungeons that feature ghosts of the past extensively, plus the half-dozen which, like this one, which have stories of previous adventurers that can be reconstructed through trails of corpses. I think that’s enough, or you get into gimmick territory.

        Actually, one of the big disappointment in Skyrim is how rare it is to run into anyone *alive* in these dungeons. Alive and friendly is even rarer; alive, friendly, and with interesting interactions is impossible. It says a lot about the limitations of the game, though it’s still not clear to me if the writers suck of if they’re just limited by a lousy scripting system.

        • IFS says:

          Hmm, I can only think of two that do the memory thing though maybe I missed some and I suppose there are plenty that have bandit journals and such that tell a story though. As for running into live explorers there is one place where some evil sounding dark elf lady conscripts you to help her reach the word wall in the place, only to betray you (which is about as stunningly obvious a twist as can be) and die on a trap.

        • Humanoid says:

          The most important question though, is can those ghosts be pickpocketed?

          • IFS says:

            I don’t know, but I’m sure Josh could find a way. I do know that the ghosts at the end of the companion’s questline can be eaten as a werewolf if you’re quick enough to do so before they fade.

      • Kana says:

        That sounds like it could be a lot of fun. What happens if her theory is right? Does she just pass on no-regrets style, or do you get to present it somewhere in her honor? Really curious now.

        Also, if Dawngaurd/any of the other DLC worth getting? I might go back to Skyrim if I can just stay away from the political nonsense. I did enjoy the dungeon dives, even if the gameplay wasn’t quite what I wanted.

        • IFS says:

          I haven’t finished the quest actually, her theory is about an invention of the dwemer and requires you to track down four or five different ruins scattered across skyrim and I am on a no fast travel run so it’s going to take a while. I’ve been assured by friends that it’s a great quest though.

          I would say Dawnguard is worth it, the main quest of it is stupid but fun and has some neat toys and it adds a few pretty cool areas/sidequests that are a lot of fun. (the vampire run skooma den was an especially fun encounter for me). Hearthfire is a good money sink and is especially worth it if you aren’t on PC and don’t have access to mods to create a house (and/or adopt kids). Dragonborn I have yet to get to so I can’t comment on it, but I’ve heard mostly good things.

          • Wide And Nerdy says:

            In my opinion, Dragonborn is the better of the two. It gets back to what is specific to this game, dragons shouts and dragonborn, brings back Solstheim and which now contains a beautiful little slice of Morrowind. The shouts are all fun or cool in some way.

            The items bring back a little of what we miss from Morrowind in the sense of having interesting powers. There are waterwalking boots which I adore (and which are very useful on a small island like Solstheim), and a blade that fires energy blasts when you power attack.

            Then you have the Apocrypha which is neat. Adds shades of something alien or Lovecraftian. Even if you find these additions derivative, they do provide a change of pace from the endless druagr ruins and bandit camps you’re probably sick of by now.

            Miraak has a little more presence and depth to him than other Skyrim villains. You learn a lot about him and the impact he’s having on the island as you explore it. He also sometimes pops up to steal your dragon souls. On the one hand it seems annoying, on the other hand, you probably have enough dragon kills under your belt by the time you get here. So you feel it but it isn’t horrible. Also, the final fight itself is by far the most epic of any Skyrim boss fight.

            Probably my favorite thing is the Bend Will shout which lets you turn enemies into allies. At it’s highest level, you can even bend dragons to your will (I always recommend the dragon no fast travel mod so you can experience the full glory of riding across skyrim on dragon back, even if you have to sacrifice a few graphical enhancements to keep the game from crashing.)If you’re on a no fast travel run, getting this ability will be all the sweeter (similar to getting Clear Skies when you’re using Frostfall).

            And you get Miraak’s duds which are one of the few truly visually unique sets of anything in the entire game. And probably the first of those that actually look cool.

            • Eruanno says:

              My biggest critique towards Dragonborn is that everything is very… brown. Solstheim is brown. Apocrypha is brown. Everything is brown :<

              • Ringwraith says:

                Wait, Solstheim isn’t white?!
                What do I even pay for?!

              • Wide And Nerdy says:

                You and I could not be more different. Besides, Solstheim is part brown part white and Apocrypha was a sickly green. At least there wasn’t as much bleak ash storm as there was in Morrowind. Also, there’s usually blue ocean in view whenever you’re in the ashy parts.

                Its bad in a few spots but not that bad.

          • Lachlan the Mad says:

            Big spoilers, if you care;

            The ghost lady’s quest is about a super-duper-magical metal called aetherium, which appears to be the Skyrim equivalent of mithril — except for the part where nobody has ever figured out how to actually make it useful. The lady is looking for a Dwemer invention which can refine aetherium, and the dungeons you crawl through were all stages in the aetherium refining chain. You need to find a key (also made of aetherium), open up the Aetherium Forge, and fight a seriously badass lava-spitting Dwarven Centurion. Then you realise that you don’t have enough aetherium to make any serious gear, but you can throw the key into the forge to get one of three accessories. I always went for the Aetherium Circlet, which stores a Standing Stone blessing so that you can have two blessings at once. Having the Steed Stone always on was a godsend for me :)

            Granted, this questline could belong absolutely anywhere in Skyrim — it’s based mostly in combat and the end results never really change the world (you can’t, for example, tell anyone else about the Forge and change the course of material refining forever). However, it’s well-remembered for being (a) way less plot-hole-y than the Dawnguard main quest (b) having really interesting dungeon designs, with some pretty good puzzles by Skyrim standards and (c) the ghost lady being pretty awesome.

        • Raygereio says:

          Also, if Dawngaurd/any of the other DLC worth getting?

          Dawnguard doesn’t have the greatest of questlines, but if you enjoy the dungeon-diving you’ll probably like it. Dragonborn has a pretty neat new area to explore in Solstheim.
          Hearthfire is kinda forgettable. If you don’t care about building a house, it can still be worth picking up for any mod that may require it.

          If you’re on the PC then wait for the steam summer sale and the daily deal Skyrim will likely have. They’ll be practicely giving the DLC away then.

          • Ira says:

            I would have argued, actually, that Dawnguard is much better than Dragonborn. I’ve never liked the ‘expansion island’ approach, and when it comes to stupid plots… well, Dawnguard gets its piece of egregious stupidity over with at the start, and then is pretty fun and atmospheric, while Dragonborn’s plot is stupid from end to end. Apocrypha is incredibly tedious and dull, while Dawnguard’s bigger dungeons at least had some atmosphere and creativity. (Notably the Soul Cairn and the valley with the snow elf shrines.)

            Dragonborn adds some decent armour and it’s nice seeing the Redoran again, but anything outside of Raven Rock is pretty dire, I thought. Whereas Dawnguard’s quest-line has a bit of meat to it, the new items and vampire abilities are neat, and it has some really excellent stuff in it like the Aetherium Forge quest.

            • Wide And Nerdy says:

              Help me out here. Whats stupid about Dragonborn (and I want something more specific than “everything” or don’t bother answering.) Dragonborn gets it’s bit of stupidity out of the way at the beginning too, and it could be argued that Miraak wanted to kill you before you had to much of a chance to build your power. Its no dumber than the game expecting you to sympathize with a vampire.

              • Ira says:

                I don’t think sympathising with a vampire is a problem. Indeed, what I liked about Serana was how incidental being a vampire was to her personality. She very much came off as a regular person with family issues.

                The issue I had with Dawnguard was that 1) it makes no sense for the sort of person who would volunteer to join the Dawnguard to take Serana to Castle Volkihar just because she asks you to, and 2) it makes no sense for the sort of person who would take Serana to castle Volkihar to volunteer to join the Dawnguard. Now, the main quest is very Serana-centric and I’m happy for Dawnguard to work on the assumption that you are Serana’s friend, but I think this could have been improved by making the first quest the raid on Dimhollow Crypt. You find Serana on your own initiative. She asks to go to Castle Volkihar: you can a) escort her, b) tell her to make her own way there, or c) attack her (and let her turn into a cloud of bats and escape). If you chose a) Harkon will offer to make you a vampire; the same if you chose b) and go there later. If Harkon doesn’t make you a vampire, you can go to the Dawnguard and ask for help figuring out what’s going on. Make a couple of branching paths, all of which leads either to the vampire questline or the Dawnguard questline. It’s not hard to fix.

                Once you get past the kludgy start, I think Dawnguard works fine. The only thing you really need to accept is that you are Serana’s friend, and I think the DLC did a good job of making her likeable and explaining why the PC is the only person she’d trust. I would have liked a little more explanation as to exactly why you need Auriel’s Bow to kill Harkon (would a “Harkon has used ancient vampire magic to make himself invincible!” dialogue been so hard?), but for the most part I think it hangs together well. And since the new monsters are mostly fun, the Soul Cairn is beautiful, and all the stuff with Gelebor and the Falmer is neat, I would say I’m very pleased with it.

                Whereas Dragonborn…

                I suppose the problem I have with Dragonborn is that its improvements are to the most boring and uninspired parts of the game, both in plot and in mechanical terms. The whole Dragonborn thing was never interesting as far as plot goes, and Dragon Shouts are mostly useless. The marquee addition, dragon-riding, is also practically useless: it is always easier, safer, and quicker to just get off the damn thing and do it yourself.

                The other thing that bugs me about Dragonborn is that its major characters are all really annoying. Hermaeus Mora gurns and mugs and goes on about you doing his will, but never with any coherent goal. (Beyond ‘recruit you as new minion’, but he never does anything to achieve that, and never attempts to influence you.) Miraak wants to kill you because… um… you are Dragonborn…? Why does that even matter to him…? And Neloth is infuriatingly self-important, like an NPC the GM believes is incredibly witty and cool. From a character perspective, the entire DLC just rubs me the wrong way. Mora even kill-steals the final boss from you. I wish I knew why anyone thought that was a good idea.

                I could probably go on a bit more, but this is not the best place for a long discussion. Sorry.

          • Humanoid says:

            Not guaranteed about the sale, in the past the numbers have been such that buying the DLC is more costly than just rebuying the full package. It’s a bit of an irritating trend where the game is, say, 66% or 75% off, but the DLC is only 50%, or even 33% off.

            • Again, if Bethsoft were smart, they’d release these FPS RPG games and not stop putting out DLC packs for them. If they could raise the level cap to the Elder Scrolls’ absurd heights with the challenge scaling of Fallout New Vegas, I’d happily buy new areas that grafted onto the core game.

              And if they really wanted my money, making these DLCs have an effect on the main game world and characters would seal the deal.

              You may laugh, but I think this would be a better and more reliable revenue stream than yet another WoW-clone MMO.

              • Humanoid says:

                Not for me personally though, the vanilla game as it is feels already about 100-200% too big in terms of quantity, so I’d just be making the game 300% too big.

                For what it’s worth my playthrough pretty much came to a dead stop right after the dungeon the crew are tackling right now. I would not play the DLC even if they gave it away.

                • Sleeping Dragon says:

                  I actually have a bit of that issue with Morrowind nowadays because I tend to pile too many (content) mods on top of the base game. It’s been forever since I actually finished the main plotline because I tend to loose interest after a couple of weeks of being distracted by new guilds, quests and dungeons.

        • Michael says:

          Dawnguard can be a lot of fun if you’re wanting to play as a vampire, because the Vampire Lord transform is just stupidly entertaining.

          Dragonborn is mostly a love letter back to Morrowind, and specifically Bloodmoon. It’s neat, but incredibly referential in parts, so I’m not sure how well it stands up without that background.

          Hearthfire is kinda neat. I actually use it as my preferred housing option now. Though, if you’re on PC, there are much better options on the nexus.

          • Wide And Nerdy says:

            I played Dragonborn before I ever played Morrowind and it worked for me. In fact being able to go back to that island and meeting certain npcs that show up in both games helped make Morrowind more pleasant.

        • Microwaviblerabbit says:

          If your equip one of the items you get as the reward for the quest, you can get a random encounter with the guy who wrote the book (and stole all her research). It always ends with him going hostile, so you can ‘avenge’ her. But you cannot actually present/publish her work, or anything similar. Considering you ‘write’ a book in the bards college quest, it should have been an option, especially if the player is the Archmage.

    • hborrgg says:

      There are lots of notes and journals occasionally found in various dungeons left by previous adventures as well as the occasional interesting bit of environmental story telling. Is that what you mean?

      • Kana says:

        All of the ones I remember were people that died in there or bailed out. I don’t remember reading a journal from another adventurer. Especially not something like a previous person scribbling notes on the floor for you.

        Just have the funny idea of these tombs and holes get infested with random crap every now and again. Someone has to go clean them out, might as well leave funny messages to the next poor sap who has to do it.

        Or something simple to give a smile during a long drawn out run.

        • Humanoid says:

          I’m getting the picture in my head of the dungeons turning into Skyrim’s main economy, such that flourishing trading posts are built outside each, while dozens of adventurers line up outside ready to raid the endlessly respawning gold, gems and cabbages within. Then I realised I was just picturing an MMO.

  6. hborrgg says:

    Lore question here: What claim does Elisif have to be high ruler of Skyrim or even Jarl of Solitude? Were she and Torygg close cousins or something, or should I just go back to playing CKII?

    • IFS says:

      I think it’s just that she was married to Torygg and has the empire’s support. Given she was married to Torygg she probably has noble lineage of some sort but I imagine the imperial support is the most important thing.

      • SpiritBearr says:

        According to the game the only person with a real claim was Ulfric due to his killing the King in the right way to win the claim. Since the whole he killed the king thing happened there was no way the Empire, people with reason or Thalmor would let him rule. Ulfric and the game even acknowledge this by saying there would be a moot to decide the king at the end of the Stormcloak quest line.

        Historically being a spouse did give you claim to the Throne but only if you had enough power to enforce that claim and fight cultural norms. The support of the Empire and Thalmor should have been enough.

  7. burningdragoon says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but was that the first time someone(thing) was actually soul trapped? And Mumbles wasn’t there to enjoy it? Bummer.

  8. hborrgg says:

    @3:50ish

    To clarify for people what happened, if you do power attacks while moving in skyrim the game basically just holds down the arrow key for a few seconds. This results in falling off ledges a lot and in general really hurts the feel of combat a lot.

    Dear game devs: in the future, please never ever lock down the player’s movement controls just for the sake of some flashy attack animation. If you want to make it so staying still or maintaining momentum provides a damage bonus or something, or you want to make it so doing anything else interrupts the attack that’s fine. But you don’t need to be taking the player’s control away.

    • PeteTimesSix says:

      Well to be fair, it IS basically impossible to deliver a proper overhead swing and such while simultaneously backpedaling, so at least from a realism standpoint (silly notion but yeah) it makes sense. Dont throw your giant axe around ledges you cant afford to fall off of, basically.

      • ehlijen says:

        I agree with that.

        I don’t have a problem with special attacks requiring specific movements. Sword swings are only truly effective against any kind of armour, even light, if you step into them with your full body mass and strength behind them.
        And figthing on a narrow ledge or in confined spaces does impose severe movement limitations on fighting.

        The answer is to not make it possible to activate these special attack accidently.

        Also, is it not possible to bring up the menu mid fall to pause the game select ethereal and activate it before you hit the bottom? Did Josh try and not get it in time?

        • Ciennas says:

          You haven’t played it?
          Yeah, that’s totally possible. I did it once when I realized I’d been pushed off the edge of some cliffs while trying to fight Ice Wraiths. You just have to Shout while falling, and the game has no problem with letting you do that.

          Although it’s been a while. Now I’m not sure if it does have problems while falling, but I don’t remember them. Become Ethereal was the fastest way down from the Throat of the World’s peak- Zero load screens, and all of the wondering if it will last for you to make it to that next ridge three hundred feet below you.

          • ehlijen says:

            I have played it, but never far enough to get any shouts/spells/potions that would help against falling, so I never tried that particular trick.

            I just thought it’s exactly what Josh did last episode, so I was wondering why he wasn’t saving himself that way here.

  9. Rick says:

    Okay FINE, I’ll play Morrowind, alright! You’ve convinced me already. Seriously, the last few weeks have been a test of my will to resist this relentless stream of screamingly unending praise, and I have clearly failed. It’s being downloaded as I type this. I hope you’re happy Spoiler Warning.

    • nerdpride says:

      I hear the OpenMW project has made some serious progress. Anyone around here excited for that? For clarity, I’m not talking about the other “Skywind” project using Skyrim’s engine to play basically Morrowind, but the one where a Morrowind clone engine is made open-source. I’m hoping for a few enhancements and Morrowind release bug fixes too.

      Wow, people really loved that game.

      • Bryan says:

        Wait… open-source … Morrowind?

        WHERE IS THIS?

        :-P

        …Awww, nuts, they used Qt, which I don’t have installed because it’s a giant pain to compile. Well, that’s going to be problematic. :-(

    • Ciennas says:

      Oh, we’re all stoked! Fair warning- You’ll probably need a few mods for it. I recommend at least the Better Bodies project, because out of the box was really bad. Passable, but not good.

      Also, the combat’s a little irritating at first. I’d recommend you train your primary attack skill to level fifty as soon as you can, because then you stop missing the skeever literally gnawing on your shins 60% of the time.

      (Your ‘to hit’ chance is really bad until about level fifty of that skill. Then it improves to usable.)

      And I hope you enjoy it! Morrowind really was one of THOSE games, and… I don’t know how it will hold up today. I have nostalgia. Do tell us what you feel about it!

      EDIT: Oh right, also, better heads/faces. I um… I don’t know if those are still hosted anywhere though, but I think they should be… they were so basic. Hold on.

      Yup! Stored on the Nexus site. Along with to my surprise, four variations. Huh. I just remember there being the one.

      • SyrusRayne says:

        I use a mod that fortifies the “attack” attribute by, like, a thousand. No more miss chance. Breaks combat completely, but at least it breaks it in the right direction.

        (Also a mod that turns cliff-racers non-hostile.)

        • Rick says:

          This seems very odd to me, as the first thing I did was grab a sword and go into a nearby cave. A slaver infested cave, which the villagers seemed very eager to send complete strangers into, but I digress.

          I ended up killing them all quite easily (including a rat), and I rarely missed. I wondered if this apparent witchcraft was the work of a mod, but a new game with fresh install on a separate pc produced the same results.

          Is that cave an exception, and the rest of the game’s enemies have a higher dodge or something? Because otherwise what everyone is says doesn’t line up with my experience.

          • syal says:

            It’s based around your starting stats; if you have about 40 points into a weapon it works pretty well, but until then it’s like a whiff every other swing. (Armor matters too, but if you’re fighting armored guys you’ve probably leveled up your weapon skill enough to not worry too much.)

            Basically, make a character without starting weapon skill bonuses and you should see what we mean.

            (AKA, start a fistfight with a mudcrab and see how long it lasts.)

            • Corpital says:

              Don’t forget the weapon degradation. The weapon will lose a point of durability even of you miss, so you can happily wail on a rat 300times for 5minutes, hit two times and then your sword breakes in half.
              And even if you hit with your last 20swings, you’ll do no damage thanks to the damage of the weapon being tied to it’s remaining durability.

            • Nidokoenig says:

              Another important point is that your stamina level influences your accuracy, which is another thing that can trip people up. It’s basically important to have some training in using a weapon. You can find trainers in the world and use them up to level 100 if you want a quick boost or to switch weapons, and you can finance this by robbing everyone blind, or use a drain skill spell to put you down to a few dozens points and get a discount.

        • Wide And Nerdy says:

          I highly recommend the Morrowind Overhaul Project which is a comprehensive set of graphical enhancements (including those mentioned above) and rules tweaks (like the Accurate Attack Mod, I think, if it doesn’t have Accurate Attack, grab that one as well.)

          Also, there’s a mod that gets the cliff racers to leave you alone? Monkey-Fighter! I wish I’d known about that one. Seriously, get that. In many areas of the overworld a new cliff racer will show up every 5 seconds and it gets old really fast.

          • The Rocketeer says:

            The cliff racer mod is one that’s probably even faster to do yourself than it is to look up and download. Just open the Constuction Set, find the Cliff Racer in the creatures list, and set its aggression to 0, or 10, or something else really low.

            Diseased and blighted cliff racers will still attack, but they’re a definite minority, and it makes sense anyway. I think it’s much more worth it to be able to have a Morrowind with pterodactyls flying around than one with them just taken out completely, or without at least a handful of them swooping down to give you ash-chancre.

            Of course, you could also just make the other two variants non-hostile as well, but hey, we’ve got to leave something for Jiub to accomplish.

      • syal says:

        …also maybe look up where to get the Boots of Blinding Speed, because they make movement not suck.

        • Sleeping Dragon says:

          It’s been forever since I played the game vanilla so this may be the effect of one or a combination of mods but I think even within the skill/stat caps of the game levelling acrobatics, and possibly getting some extra speed, allows you to traverse the landscape efficiently in huge leaps. Especially if coupled with some increased duration invisibility spells.

  10. hborrgg says:

    So, after going though Blackreach again recently I realized that the actual Blackreach part is not nearly as insanely long as people seem to remember it being.

    Instead it seems like Blackreach was originally designed to be more of a hub area with tons of little sidequesty areas, sub-dungeons, and at least 5 or so elevators leading directly to the surface. If you just head straight to where the elder scroll is being kept there aren’t many enemies and it doesn’t take that long at all, but if you try to explore every tiny little crevice on the way like the game has so far taught you to do in dungeons, blackreach takes hours and hours to get through.

    • Andrew_C says:

      Still, It’s beautifully designed IMO and it’s a real pity that Bethesda didn’t go with something more creative like this for the overworld, instead of GENERIC FANTASY ENVIRONMENT 2: VAGUELY NORDIC.

      They are capable of this level of creativity, so why not use it. The big cave environments in general are probably the best designed areas in the game (I’m not talking about the cave passages obviously, not much you can do with those).

  11. guy says:

    @ 3:55

    “Jump down here”

    I think the Falmer are all right in terms of diversity. I mean, they’ve got a hefty supply of staff guys, a lot of bound sword users, charus pets, and a fondness for poison.

    • Eruanno says:

      So… if the Falmer are all blind, how do they avoid falling off ledges? Shouldn’t there be a shitload of Falmer corpses below every ledge near where they live?

      • General Karthos says:

        They’re really, really lucky.

      • Ciennas says:

        Plenty of blind cave dwelling organisms have zero problems navigating their environment, and they might manage it by some other trick that you can’t really see unless you’re there. I imagine that the Chaurus that they are so fond of leave big ol’ stinky scent trails, for instance. Maybe they have some kind of extra sensitive foot soles, allowing them to percieve a ledge. Not as well as somebody with working eyeballs, perhaps, but better than just walking right off.

        Their hearing is repeatedly explained to be superb as well. They could just hear the change in the sound their foot makes and compensate.

        Tl;DR: There are loads of great answers, but none of them have been elaborated on. In game, it’s because they were designed to only get Shouted off of invitingly deep cliff edges.

        • Ciennas says:

          Also, come to think of it, MAGIC is not a particularly flippant answer, either.

          This is one of the settings where ‘a wizard did it’ is a perfectly rational explanation.

  12. Neko says:

    I’m sure the time-skip sequences are agonising for the cast at the time, but speaking strictly as a viewer of the end product, the sped up footage plus music you can bop your head to plus Shamus rage is fantastic.

  13. Tizzy says:

    Oh boy! Josh really doesn’t believe in saving, does he? I was on the edge of my seat for most of the episode, waiting for the other cast members to have yet another breakdown… I don’t know what Shamus is complaining about, this was gripping, a positively unbearable suspense…

    • silver Harloe says:

      doesn’t save often. doesn’t stock health potions. jumps around when he walks. collects treasure he totally doesn’t need because we’re about to end the season – even (especially) if it means pickpocketing someone he doesn’t want pissed at us. chases trash mobs when between parts we want to see played. attacks random people. interrupts good discussion to yell about where his horse ran off to or “hey, look I found an herb”, but lets digressions go on without impediment… … and so on.

      all this is wildly entertaining for the first 20 episodes of the season, but he never stops even when it’s far past aggravating his co-hosts.

      but, hey, it takes hours of his time editing and whatnot, and he’s already played through these games “the right way” for hours and hours before each season so he’d probably go nuts if he didn’t goof off, so there we go. it’s all good in the end. and, the show is free :)

  14. Phantos says:

    That has to be a world record, Shamus.

    “Man Plays Most Boring Game Ever For 1,000 Hours!”

  15. I liked Oblivion’s combat better than Morrowind’s (but I would like it far more if there was a Skyrim combat mod, why is there no Skyrim combat mod?). However, I learned tgm and tcai very early on and used them liberally until I got the hang of ambush-sneaking-bow-murder. (tcai turns off combat ai so things stand still and let you hit them, and do not use on dragons unless they’re grounded)
    Then again, I hate retracing my steps, love wandering around and exploring, and do not cope well with any sort of frustration in my solo gaming time. Also, I may have once broken fallout 3 by shooting the scripted mutant behemoth to death with a pistol because there was no way in heck I was going to pick up, much less use any version of a slingshot involving nukes. I remember thinking “wow, this is way harder than Oblivion” and wondering what the heck I was doing so wrong, but I don’t play first person games much so I expect to stink. And then I watched the spoiler warning version of that fight and realized that I’m an idiot who does not think clearly in combat, even video-game combat.

    I like the town portal idea, especially if guards would follow you back through to arrest you (so the portal’d need to be semi perm). That could be ridiculously entertaining… get all of Markarth screaming for your head, go gather up all the Falmer in a nearby dungeon, open portal, stick head through, and watch Markarth and the Falmer have an epic battle.

    • Viktor says:

      I’ve tried something like that, trying to kite enemies through a dungeon to the Dwemer Behemoth thingy. As it turns out, enemies don’t follow you any significant distance indoors. I just ran through the dungeon essentially unimpeded, healing occasionally, until reaching the boss with like 2 guys behind me. I was unimpressed by the AI after that.

      • Ciennas says:

        Actually, that strikes me as realistic. If your plan is to go around pissing off things called Behemoths, then I, as a town guard, would be happy to just let you, while I continued to wait for your return in a nice mead hall instead.

        The two who held on and doggedly chased you through an entire trap laden dungeon full of Falmer and Dwemer Centurions? THEY are the outliers of artificial stupidity.

        • Viktor says:

          To be clear, I was shortening the story for ease of reading. What actually happened was I picked up the perk that lets Frenzy spells work on Dwemer devices. So I figured I’d kite an entire dungeon of dwemer spheres and spiders to the basement so they’d kill their(suddenly insane and murderous) big brother for me. But they didn’t follow me, so I got no benefit from running. It did, however, teach me that you can basically skip dungeon crawling in Skyrim if you aren’t in the mood for it.

          • Ciennas says:

            Oh.

            Well, that’s pretty sad. Morrowind had a little room in Tribunal that was explicitly a battle-bots arena. I imagine it would have been awesome with the upgraded Skyrim versions.

    • hborrgg says:

      The dragonborn DLC actually added a spell you can find which allows you to summon a demonic vendor in order to sell all your excess stuff at any time.

  16. ET says:

    In addition to a town portal spell, I’d have liked it if Skyrim had a pet like Torchlight (2?). Those things were super cool, since they hauled all your junk to be sold at town, and you could feed them fish and make them look like different things. :)

  17. Commissar Moose says:

    You guys make me cringe every time you talk about lore because you get a crapload of minor details wrong and it drives me up the wall. For example, Chris described the Daedric lords as “fallen,” which is pretty much the opposite of how they actually are. The Daedra chose not to participate in the creation of Mundus. They basically sat the whole thing out while Lorkhan tricked the rest of the gods into lending their power into the creation of Mundus, which was ultimately unstable when the gods were present in this new world. So they got angry, killed Lorkhan, tore out his heart, threw it at Nirn, and then ripped him in two, which is where the two moons come from. Most of the gods then left and went back to Aetherius. The rest stayed behind and helped finish the creation of Mundus. Some died and became part of Nirn and the rest became the gods that the mortal races now worship.

    The Daedra, having sat all this out, are more or less removed from Mundus, except when they see fit to meddle in the affairs of mortals. To them, mortals are playthings that they can mess with, though obviously their power on Nirn is limited since they didn’t participate in its creation. Some (Dagon, Molag Bal) are more cruel than others, though they all don’t really care about mortals. So if you’re a mortal, you’re going to see them as evil.

    Also, the Falmer never actually consented to being poisoned. The Nords invaded Solstheim and forced the Falmer out, and they were taken in by the Dwemer as refugees. The Dwemer secretly put poison in their food to make them blind and less intelligent, so that they could make them their slaves. Over time they turned into the monsters that you see in Skyrim, but no one agreed to undergo that transformation.

    • hborrgg says:

      Why would the Dwemer, with their armies of robots and complex machinery, need slaves?

      Wait… actually-

      Dwemer robots apparently run on soul gems, and the falmer in skyrim actually fill white soul gems (unlike the black soul gems you usually get from killing people, implying that they are literally no more than animals).

      So the dwemer take in the snow elves and secretly feed them poison, twisting them until their souls have turned from black to white. Thus ensuring the dwarves have a steady supply of soul fuel for their robot legions!

      O_o

      —————

      Ok, it still doesn’t make much sense.

      • syal says:

        The correct question is, who tells you it was the Dwemer and why would you believe them?

        Like, the Dwemer are gone. They’re easy to pin stuff on.

        • Corpital says:

          One or two random books in the game tell you, so it has to be true.

          • Tizzy says:

            I found the lore super unclear on this point, because, when it’s convenient, the Falmer’s story is a well-known fact, and at other times, it makes for a better story if no-one even believes they exist. (A loading screen says it outright.)

            So here are these very secretive beings that you run into ALL the time, and then whenever they come up in any conversation, your interlocutor knows at least as much as you do about them…

          • Hitch says:

            Many of the books in the game(s) are contradicted by other books in the game(s). So it’s a problem deciding which (if any) of them you believe.

          • Andrew_C says:

            I still say “It was a Daedric Prince wot dun it!”, like with the Orisimer and Orcs would be a better excuse than the present one.

            Or just say they are the twisted remnants of the Dwemer. And have some real Falmer/Ice Elf survivors who get really shirty about people calling those things Falmer.

        • The Rocketeer says:

          As a revered scholar of the Dwemer, I can say with authority that they were all total assholes, and if you can pin something on them that they didn’t actually do, it’s really only compensating for something they got away with that we don’t know about.

      • Corpital says:

        I think the soul gems in the dwemer constructs in Skyrim are, at least in the spiders, solely used for their lightning attack. Back when I was young, the constructs in Morrowind just ran on steam and good old Phlebotinum. Anyone remembering the stronghold you got with House Telvanni? You retrieved a book about animunculi and they just built some to guard your awesome mushroom-fortress.

        I also just noticed the similarities to Bioshock, where they somehow taught their turrets to think with steam.

      • Ranneko says:

        The soul gem thing is one of the most interesting things about the falmer. Does it mean that metaphysically Falmer are no longer real people?

        Where is the line between white and black soulgem eligibility, it is at a particular level of sapience or sentience?

    • Humanoid says:

      And Elder Scrolls actual lore tends to drive people up the wall, so I guess we’ll call it even.

  18. Veloxyll says:

    Josh: Try falling.

    (This episode was beautiful)

  19. Dwemer ruins were the absolute WORST when it came to encumberance cause ALL the scrap metal is stupid heavy, but there’s just so damned much of it. I swear to God, I bet you could clear the smithing tree making just dwarf armor for all the crap you can turn into dwarven ingots in those places.

  20. I envision Chris someday inventing a medic-alert panic button keyfob marked “BECOME ETHERIAL.”

  21. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Guys,you should play ftl for the next season,just to see if Shamoose will be praising it while Josh throws out everyone out the airlock,or if hell be hating life even more.Either way,it would be most entertaining.

    EDIT:Uh,uh,an even better idea!Play fable 2!

    • Ciennas says:

      No to Fable 2: Shamus already laid his cards on the table for that one. Fable 3, however, would let him compare the two.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        “No to Fable 2: Shamus already laid his cards on the table for that one. ”

        Precisely.Which is why we want Josh to play it in front of him,and see if he remains true in his hate,or if he starts liking the game.

  22. Hitch says:

    I’ve never really thought too much before about Falmer history. Because thinking too much about Elder Scrolls lore makes you Rutskarn. But I have less problems with “the solution to our problems is to drink poison which will make us blind and insane” when I think about Jonestown or Heaven’s Gate. People have done worse things for stupider reasons in real life.

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      “Because thinking too much about Elder Scrolls lore makes you Rutskarn.”

      So… witty, geeky, about 10 years younger than me and earning money with his writing? Not to mention a full head of hair. Hm…

      On a more serious note, as someone pointed out above the whole story is not quite as clear cut as that. I actually like that the lore can get somewhat muddled and conflicting within the game world, especially relating to events from distant past or when some parties have vested interest in a specific version of history (like the details of how the genesis of the Tribunal). Not saying even my favourite parts of TES lore don’t have their share of stupidity.

  23. TMTVL says:

    What I wonder is: why can’t I attack underwater any more? I play Argonians, so it’s completely silly.

  24. djshire says:

    Soooo….best episode ever?

  25. evileeyore says:

    No 720p version? Spoiler Warning has jumped all shark! :(

  26. vacantVisionary says:

    I’m watching this season a year and a half later, and:
    Shamus: Josh makes me hate games I love, and love games I hate!
    Josh: See, we should do a Witcher season! You’ll love it!

    And then the prophecy came to pass.

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