Skyrim EP53: You Win at Skyrim!

By Shamus
on Jul 25, 2014
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

201 comments


Link (YouTube)

We give Bethesda a hard time for how shallow and unambitious the ending sequence is. And it really is. But in their defense, only 30% of all players ever see itOnly 30% of players have the Dragon Slayer achievement, which is given after completing the main quest.. (I only saw it once, despite the many hours I’ve clocked in Skyrim.) So if they want to focus their efforts on the parts of the game people are more likely to see, I can’t really blame them. On the other hand… where did they focus their efforts? Sure, there’s lots of fun / interesting / cool / hilarious stuff in Skyrim, but none of it stands out as particularly polished. Oblivion was criticized for being a mile wide and an inch deep, and Bethesda responded to this by making Skyrim even wider.

None of this makes it a bad game. It’s just that Skyrim is an incredible toybox of ideas and gameplay that always leaves me feeling vaguely unsatisfied.

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Footnotes:

[1] Only 30% of players have the Dragon Slayer achievement, which is given after completing the main quest.



A Hundred!A Hundred!1201 COMMENTS? What are you people talking about?!?

From the Archives:

  1. hborrgg says:

    Huh, I seem to remember Sovengard being way cooler. Maybe it was just the awesome chanting, also I had just played Skyrim for 100+ hours so I guess my expectations were pretty low.

    FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT SKYRIM: Eh, exploring and looting is pretty fun.

    • Grudgeal says:

      FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT SKYRIM: The best modern Might and Magic re-release that isn’t actually Might and Magic. And it’d probably be better without a storyline.

      That includes the DLC.

    • Wide And Nerdy says:

      Well, there is that light effect in the sky and there are opportunities to meet a few different people you knew. If you killed Ulfric, he’s here and regretful about what he did. High King Toryg is always here I think. And Kodlak Whitemane if you’ve completed The Companions quest which confirms that yes, you succeeded in getting him to the afterlife you wanted him to be in.

      I’ll admit though, its thin here. The various elements of the wow factor here only work once (for guys like me who enjoy actually liking things.)

      • Zukhramm says:

        They should have put everyone who’s died during the game in there. Everyone you’ve killed will be there and you have to kill them again. Then you walk all the way through the river and die anyway and you have to remember there’s a thing to revive you in your tooth.

        • Klay F. says:

          Easy there. I think that would give players too much Sorrow.

          • Faren says:

            I’M STIIIIIIIIIIILLLLLL IN A DREEEEEEAAAAAAAAM SPOILER WARNING!

            • Isaac says:

              OMG MGS3 SPOILERWARNING SEASON PLAYED EXCLUSIVELY BY JOSH

              MAKE IT HAPPEN SHAMUS!!!!!

            • Here Goes Nothing says:

              What a troll…..
              With Batman and smelly through the night…
              What a troll…
              I’m nitpicking and I’ll melt a grenade into you
              What a rage in my heart
              But the original’s so supreme!

              I’d give my life,
              not for Bethesda, but for you! [Spoiler Warning]
              In my time there’s no one else,
              Immortality, it’s the way I bunny hop into you! [Spoiler Warning]
              I’m still in a game,
              Spoiler Warning!

              Someday you play through the game
              And someday, you drink, the alcohol
              This ordeal, this trial to survive,
              For the day we see new Obsidian!

              I’d give my life
              Not for Bioware, but for you! [Spoiler Warning]
              In my time there’ll be no one else
              Railroading, it’s the way I bunny hop into you! [Spoiler Warning]
              I’m still in a dream
              Spoiler Warning!

              I am still, in a dream,
              Spoiler Warning!

        • Corpital says:

          They DID put every dead person in Skyrim there. They just all got beaten up by Tsun and were then eaten by Alduin. How else could he be able to fart that much fog?

        • Isaac says:

          That would make for a fitting end to the game but I fear that some fans may find it a bit too out there. That and the mental gymnastics one would have to do in order to figure out to use that thing in your tooth would be a pain. But in this gamer’s opinion a unique and weird solution to the main quest in something as flat, questwise, as Skyrim would be an absolute joy!

        • syal says:

          I like the idea of Reginald Catbert having a tooth that’s actually a flask of Resurrection potion.

      • hborrgg says:

        It was pretty neat to finally meet torygg.

      • Cuthalion says:

        Was Hlormar Wine-Sot there? Why wasn’t Hlormar Wine-Sot there? Hlormar Wine-Sot should be there.

  2. Tychoxi says:

    Did Bethesda focus their efforts on what people wanted to see or were people driven away from what Bethesda didn’t put much effort in? I’m, like, a philosopher or something.

    Also, yay! it’s over. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Josh’s shenanigans a LOT but the season lost its momentum many episodes ago. Here’s hoping you guys choose an interesting game next!

    • Tizzy says:

      Bethesda knows what they do well, I think. And they figured: let’s not even touch the other stuff, it’ll be good enough.

      • Josh says:

        More like, “Let’s ruin that other stuff by making everyone and their dog immortal because STORY.”

        • Tizzy says:

          In part, yes. But I think that’s only one piece of: “let’s not even attempt any fancy scripting” (so, in particular, we need all the quest-NPCs to be available). It’s not the story itself that really needs these characters, it’s the horrible scripting that seems unable to allow branching when an NPC happens to have snuffed it.

          Every time Skyrim attempts to tell a somewhat dynamic bit of story, I cringe because I wonder in what way the script will thoroughly break.

          In my latest game, I run into hostile Penitus Occulatus agents every time I visit Solitude. They’re a leftover from the assassin’s quest, and, fortunately, in a corner somewhere. I discovered their existence because, occasionally, they will make turn the other NPCs hostile towards them. I’ve killed them a few times to fix it, but they respawn.

          It’s a ridiculous example, but also weirdly typical.

        • Bethesda could go a long way to redeeming themselves regarding immortal NPCs and take advantage of their generic cross-game merchant dialog: Make one or more of the non-quest related merchants mortal. Every time you kill one, about 3 days later, a randomly-generated NPC with a random name is created. They just bought the place after “something happened to the last owner.” All the dialog can stay the same, they just swap out the voice actor from their generic male & female merchant sound dump.

          Where they would need to record some more lines is to do the same merchant dialog but in an increasingly nervous tone, as if they understand that their future existence is probably less than assured, since they’re now the fifth shopkeeper in charge of what’s quickly becoming known as a cursed store that dooms its owners.

  3. Grudgeal says:

    From what I remember of my Nordic Literature education, “Sovngarde” would translate roughly to “the place of sleep”.

    It sure makes *me* tired.

  4. Grudgeal says:

    “Most awkward ending to a season ever.”

    Oh, I dunno, it made for a pretty great call-back to how Fallout 3 ended. Reginald died pointlessly post-last quest there too.

  5. Wide And Nerdy says:

    They could have done more with it but there is some benefit to not rolling credits.

    I liked there over the course of the main quest, two songs are written about your character, one to acknowledge that you’re here and another to celebrate your victory over Alduin.

    Nice thing too, that first song, Bards react skeptically when you ask for it like “what kind of dick specifically asks his praises be sung like that?” But when you request the second one, they’re happy to play it. Then there’s Paarthurnax, The Blades, and various random guards all thanking you for what you did. A couple of encounters in Dawnguard and Dragonborn also play a bit differently if you’ve done this.

    You’re right about Sovngarde needing to be more like a chapter. I like to think the DLCs were about doing things right that they did wrong in the base game, and one of those things was the Soul Cairn which you visit for the main quest but can return to for a few cool little side missions. Something like that would have been in order.

    Then you talk about the Heros of the Hall standing around with props. They did that better with Serana who interacts with the environment.

    They did a better epic boss fight with Miraak. And introduced several new locations that weren’t just the same old stuff. That all showed me that they were trying.

    (goes over, sits on the couch, waits for someone to inevitably heap out dismissive snark.)

    • Zukhramm says:

      How would showing the credits change any of those though?

      • Wide And Nerdy says:

        I mean fair enough. You want to roll credits and then dump the player back into the game, thats fine. You’d arguably want to wait till after the Paarthurnax scene (assuming you haven’t killed him). I was more referring to the Main Quest actually ending the game as it is with most games. (I remember one of Super Bunny Hop’s complaints was that he plays the main quest to end the game but they dropped him back in and asked him “now what kind of hero are you going to be?” I had that in my head when I was writing the above.)

        Something else I thought of after my last post, it bugs me that we go through these cycles with the things we like.

        Go back to 2011 and the complaints floating around about the state of gaming at the time and look at how Skyrim gave people hope. I heard lots of critics gushing about how Skyrim gave the middle finger to things they’d been complaining about. Skyrim wasn’t just the hot new game, it was practically our savior.

        All the successful games seemed to be modern military shooters. Well here’s a fantasy rpg topping the charts.

        Everything has multiplayer pointlessly tacked onto it because the EAs think thats the only way you can make money. Well here’s a game that commits to single player and its kicking your ass.

        Everything is 5-10 hours for 60 bucks. Well here’s a game with hundreds of hours of play for the same price.

        Everything is a linear cart ride from one shooter set piece to the next. Well here’s a giant open world where you can pretty much go in any direction you want.

        I heard this stuff over and over at the time. Even Spoiler Warning would make these remarks periodically. Even Zero Punctuation, for all his usual complaining, said he would handily recommend the game because it broke away from all that above bad stuff.

        But as is always the case when we love something or someone, a game, a celebrity, a movie, these days it seems we turn on it (exception, anything old enough to be nostalgia). And not just here. I’m seeing it other places (like SuperBunnyHop). I guess I shouldn’t expect gamers to be better than anybody else about this kind of stuff. If anything we’re generally worse.

        • Robyrt says:

          I agree, Skyrim was a breath of fresh air from gritty military shooters. Unfortunately, Dark Souls came out the same year, showing that you could have a fantasy RPG with integrated multiplayer, a coherent storyline, a semi-open world, replay value, and an excellent combat system to boot.

          • Wide And Nerdy says:

            They’re different games with different goals. Implementing the mechanics I’ve heard described for Dark Souls would radically alter and undermine the Skyrim experience.

            But I guess I’ll see. Bought the game for a few bucks on the latest Steam Sale so I guess I’ll try it. Doesn’t seem likely I’ll enjoy a game about being a dead failure struggling hopelessly against a decaying world.

            I don’t see why I would want to run around putting the clues together to learn more about this world. This world and everything in it is dead, soon to be annihilated if I remember. You can’t change that. Learning about it is pointless. Its a mismatch of setting and design. New Vegas I think is my limit on that sort of thing. At least there are still living people in New Vegas even if all life and human endeavor is a farce.

            Point is, Dark Souls may be the superior game for people who enjoy wallowing in hopelessness and despair, but lots of people don’t and only Skyrim can deliver anything for those people.

            • Kana says:

              No, you’ve got it a bit wrong. The world isn’t ending, an era is. Right now, the Fire is dying. Nobody knows what will happen once it goes out, although if you want a chilling example Oolacile is what happens when the Dark gets to run free. The ones most screwed are the gods, not the humans. Their power runs on the flame. As that dwindles, so do they. You can choose to prolong that, give another thousand or so years to them to try and figure something out. Or just snuff it and let the Dark come that much sooner.

              Dark Souls isn’t about saving the world from some huge threat, it’s about personal victories. It’s true, you can’t stop the Dark from coming, it says so right in the opening video. You can hold it back, though. To me, it’s not about the world so much as the culmination of your story. The people you meet. The ones you help. The ones you hurt. A shared experience spanning the worlds. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve smiled at an extactic message from someone who I just helped kill a boss.

              Plus, you aren’t a failure until you quit trying. Undead who have purpose can hold on to their humanity. Those with nothing to live for hollow out and become mindless zombies damned for eternity.

              I don’t agree that the mechanics of Dark Souls would undermine Skyrim, since you only mentioned the lore and story. I’ve grown up playing Monster Hunter, and Dark Souls was a refinement on that. Gameplay in Skyrim just feels horribly dull and sluggish in comparison, but I get that not everyone likes that. There’s a reason MH and DS have never come close to Skyrim numbers.

              • Wide And Nerdy says:

                Are the people you help other players online through the multiplayer? See if I do play Dark Souls I will be taking whatever steps are necessary to prevent other players from ever being anywhere near my game. And if you’re about to tell me that the multiplayer is essential to the experience, then I guess I wasted five bucks because I’m not going to play it.

                I mean, its already hard enough to convince myself to play a character that is undead in a decaying nearly lifeless world (ok maybe the monsters are alive but I mean people) with frustrating combat and a story that requires you to take notes to make any sense of it.

                • IFS says:

                  No there are several NPCs that you can choose to help along your journey as well. Online is hardly essential to the experience, personally I like the online features but I’m sure there are plenty of others who avoid them at all costs.

                • Kana says:

                  “decaying nearly lifeless world”

                  No, there is plenty of life. Undeath is a curse and there are several human lands that routinely hunt them. Some places though, like Berenike, have completly fallen to the curse. Lordran is especially bad because that’s where all the gods used to be. They bailed when the First Flame started to die. Hell, I’ve give you a little story tidbit. It’s the fact that humans spread so much that the Flame is dying. There are plenty still out there.

                  Also if you play your cards right, you do meet a legitimate not-undead human being. She’s kind of a badass.

                  If you to avoid multiplayer, here’s what you do. Open the game. Disconnect from the internet. Reconnect to the internet. Congrats, you’re offline. There’s no easy way to cheat it, sadly.

                  I don’t like that only because I enjoy reading the stupid “Try Jumping” notes and seeing the phatasms of other players. Plus getting summoned is a stupid easy way to get souls. You can get around ever being invaded by not going human. Dark Souls was never very good at penalties or lost oppertunities for spending the whole game Undead.

                  The true way to play Dark Souls is whatever way you have the most fun. You want to play it entirely offline? Co-Op the whole way through? Look up every item and boss before hand, or go in blind? All of them, equally valid. It’s the story you make for yourself, the highs and lows of frustration and triumph.

          • Hydralysk says:

            I wouldn’t exactly call Dark Souls’ story coherent, since most of the details are left vague and only ever hinted at. It’s a much more interesting story IMO, but it’s also much harder to understand.

            In terms of the combat I also think it’s more about what you prefer. Skyrim makes you feel powerful pretty much from the word go since no matter what build you choose you’re able to kill most enemies fairly easy unless it’s on the highest difficulty. In Dark Souls, you are going to get stomped over and over until you learn the basic of dodging, weapon reach, and stamina management. The difference is basically that in Skyrim you feel like a badass because you are extremely powerful, whereas in Dark Souls you feel like a badass because you are comparatively weak but still able to vanquish a more powerful foe through skill.

            • IFS says:

              While I agree that Dark Souls combat wouldn’t fit in Skyrim that well there are certainly some cues they could take from it to improve Skyrim’s combat imo. You can add in different attack patterns for weapons or even special power attacks for some weapons (say the daedric ones, and maybe a few other quest reward ones) without impeding on Skyrim’s trying to make you feel powerful.

              • Hydralysk says:

                Oh definitely, I’m not saying there’s nothing Skyrim could take from Dark Souls to make it’s combat more interesting. I’m just that they’re trying to do different things with their combat.

                My main point is that in Skyrim you are supposed to feel like a powerful warrior who is born with legendary powers, while in Dark Souls you are supposed to feel elated at overcoming a challenge despite not being exceptionally powerful.

                Just look at how the people in the games react to you in the main story. In Skyrim they’re always talking about how you’re the only one who can save this world and how incredible your powers are. In Dark Souls most NPCs treat you as an equal at best, and many are either indifferent about you or eagerly tell you that you’ll probably turn hollow soon like all the others.

                • IFS says:

                  In Skyrim they’re always talking about how you’re the only one who can save this world and how incredible your powers are, except when they’re being immortal assholes who taunt you for no good reason.

                  Fixed that for you :P

        • Isaac says:

          People had the complaints you hear on SW right now back in 2011 too. Lack of choices and consequences, Skyrim is a mile wide but a few inches deep, Fallout New Vegas did X better, guilds and most quests are mixed bag, etc.

          • Wide And Nerdy says:

            Not nearly to this degree. By ratio, they were much more praising the game.

            • Isaac says:

              Dude the Bethesda Forums were filled with nothing but criticism of Skyrim after it came out. Things have actually mellowed out in the last couple of years. The criticisms you’re hearing right now have always existed but the ES community is a lot less vitriolic about it then it was back in 2011.

              • Wide And Nerdy says:

                Well sure on their forums I expect that. The game has a lot of bugs and some broken or poorly written quests (I agree with absolutely everything Shamus wrote about the Thieves Guild quests for example and for my own part I’d have liked to be able to tell the Companions that no, I don’t want to be a furry.)

                But outside of those forums while there were complaints about all the bugs, there was lots of praise for what the game did right. Now two and a half years later, the praise is gone but the complainers live on. Maybe the bugs are still there but the things that are awesome about it are too.

  6. Thearpox says:

    “Why is the best part of the game not the part that gets the most attention, the most lavish, (et cetera)?”

    Because if they had focused on it, they would’ve screwed it up. Bethesda logic. Also known as peripheral vision.

  7. Tapkoh says:

    There’s only a dozen people in Sovngarde because they were the only ones not essential in the past.

  8. Tizzy says:

    “What did we accomplish? Where did all that time go?”…

    … says every Skyrim player ever.

    (Given how addictive Skyrim was, TESO must have seemed like a slam-dunk.)

  9. 4th Dimension says:

    Yeah. Sovingarde situation is kind of stupid. Actually a lot of stupid. You have an afterlife in which all the greatest heroes of Skyrim live and are under the protection of an actual GOD of death, yet they can not chase away a dragon. A really nasty/stron one sure but only a dragon. And they have to wait for you to get there so you and like 3 random dudes go and defeat him.

    If he is such a threat/problem once you arive entire Sovingarde should be bumrushing him, and once he has defeated the rest (they get saved by Shor before Alduin can kill them permanently) and has been trashed by them then and only then you enter an arena strewn with corpses and you fight him on the ground.
    But I guess engine limitations.
    BTW I have been going over Spoony stuff and just today I have been listining him talking about how dragon encounters should go:
    http://spoonyexperiment.com/counter-monkey/counter-monkey-circle-strafe/

    • MadTinkerer says:

      “You have an afterlife in which all the greatest heroes of Skyrim live and are under the protection of an actual GOD of death, yet they can not chase away a dragon.”

      Yeah, the Dragonborn is supposed to be potentially a god or whatever, but the “real” gods seriously should be doing something about this.

      Rutskarn’s characterizing the Aedra as a bunch of do-nothing nerds and the Daedra as the cool guys you want to hang out with is spot-on. When I first played Skyrim, with no knowlege of the lore, it took me the longest time to figure out that the main reason why Meridia doesn’t get a shrine in the main cities is because of politics or racism or whatever. Other than being power sources for Green Lantern Corps batteries (aka “shrines”), the Aedra are completely uninvolved in mortal affairs to the point where they’ll let a giant civil war happen because they won’t clarify to the mortals whether or not Talos is in their club or not.

      But the Daedra are all about hanging out with mortals, especially the main heroes of the series. You know none of the Daedra, even the really evil ones, would put up with Alduin eating their homies. And a bunch of the Daedra aren’t even all that bad! Meridia is cool, Sanguine is cool, Sheogorath is crazy but downright benevolent at times, Hermaeus Mora acts hostile but keeps giving you unique gifts even if you’re super-rude, and Malacath is harsh but fair. The Aedra should be acting like the nicer Daedra, period.

  10. krellen says:

    A Spoiler Warning special of an MMO would be interesting. I doubt it would work as a whole season, but it would be nice to have someone other than Josh commenting on the immediate gameplay.

    • James Porter says:

      Reminds me of the 8 by Zombies video, with L4D, and i would be totally down for another of those, disapointed i cant see the full stream

    • I’ve been trying to get them to do Dungeons and Dragons Online. I think it would be a blast–the quest structure in DDO is SOOOOO different from most MMO’s that I think it’d work really well. Plus we could make up a whole group of characters instead of just having Josh play one. It has its own integrated voice chat so you don’t have to run an audio chat and capture in the background, either.

      That, and I’d love to see Rutskarn and Shamus react to some of the . . . odder parts of the game.

      • lurker says:

        If that ever happens force everyone to make their characters in isolation. I’d love to watch the inevitable 3 bard 2 wizard adventuring party.

      • Muspel says:

        I think that part of the problem with doing an MMO season of Spoiler Warning is that it’s not uncommon for one member of the group to be absent from a few episodes at a time, which would result in people outleveling each other.

        Also, DDO lacks an overarching storyline, and most quests actually have almost no story at all.

  11. Nyctef says:

    I disagree that the main quest is intended to be the core experience for Skyrim. Everyone knows that the main quest of an Elder Scrolls game is really an optional extra :) When they were marketing and previewing the game the focus was definitely on exploration in this shiny new open world they had created.

    • Zukhramm says:

      Then they should stop having one. Or do like with Morrowind and encourage you not to do it and not really have it kick off if you don’t poke it instead of going DRAGONBORN YOU’RE THE CHOSEN ONE GO RESCUE THE WORLD NOW!

      • Klay F. says:

        Bethesda hasn’t had a main quest in their open-world games that WASN’T abjectly terrible. They should have stopped having main quests two games ago. In fact, I’m in favor of them dropping quests altogether. They obviously aren’t what the majority of people play their games for, and they’ve long since demonstrated they don’t give a shit about player agency in regard to said quests.

        • Actually I thought the Nerevarine quest line in Morrowind was pretty cool.

        • I probably mentioned it before, but postponing the main quest in Fallout 3 makes the game more challenging.

          Whenever you get the hint to go to Galaxy News Radio to find Dad (where you fight with Lyons’ Pride against the super mutants), ignore that and head west to try and find Smith Casey’s Garage. Once there, rescue Dad from Dr. Braun and the VR pods, then continue the game however you want to.

          What’s challenging about this is that (1) finding the garage at such a low level is often a pretty difficult fight-fest, (2) if you dislike 3 Dog, you can ignore him completely, and (3) if you then head for GNR after rescuing Dad, you have to fight through the ruins and the GNR Plaza without a bunch of BoS knights to help you do so (though a dead knight is still in the plaza with the Fat Man, I think, for the Behemoth). This also makes 3 Dog’s info about your Dad’s location moot, so he instead offers an actual reward for getting his precious satellite dish: a key to a cache of loot that’s otherwise inaccessible.

      • Wide And Nerdy says:

        I hated that about Morrowind. “The world is under dire threat we need your help. Um what to do. Quick, go dick around doing some unrelated stuff. Maybe we can confuse the enemy or make him impatient waiting for us I guess?” Yeah I know thats supposed to help you establish your “spy cover.” Except you never do any spying. Nothing about the main mission requires that you have a cover either. And of course they drop you off in the wrong town. And you have to prove to everyone under the sun that you’re the guy. I kind of get that last part but with the other parts its like “do you want my help or not? I don’t even care about this place. Its your home. Not mine as you take every opportunity to remind me.”

        But thankfully, the imperial agents are so eager to help you in the first town that when you ask for their help finding their fellow agent, they eagerly suggest that you go ask around town and get directions and find him yourself. Its stupid. There’s no getting around it.

        • Zukhramm says:

          But you’re not aware of any dire threats when you start the game. That’s the point.

          • Wide And Nerdy says:

            So the emperor told those guys to let my character out of jail and didn’t bother to explain why? So its just the emperor who is retarded.

            • Zukhramm says:

              You’re not playing as the emperor.

              • Wide And Nerdy says:

                Thats correct. The emperor would be the guy who let my character out of jail and then apparently didn’t bother to explain why to anyone so that we could maybe start working towards whatever purpose I was supposedly freed for.

                Its the dumbest plan ever. Let a supposed criminal out of jail with no guidance and hope that he somehow stumbles into being the hero that saves a nation not his own? Playing this character anywhere near realistically, I’d be on the first ship out of Morrowind. And if I did somehow end up on the right track, so many of these guys are raging dicks that its only inevitable that I’d end up killing someone vital to the mission dooming Morrowind. Its stupid on every conceivable level.

                They give you no notion of what you’re doing, no reason to like or care about anything or anyone and then just hope it works out.

                • “…guys like me who enjoy actually liking things.”

                  • Wide And Nerdy says:

                    I was wondering if anybody would pick up on that even as I wrote it. I didn’t say I always succeed did I?

                    I arrive by this honestly though. I tried to like Morrowind, but it soured me over and over again. I’m used to playing games where I have to tough it out for a little bit till I get used to it and find the thing thats going to hook me (a LOT of RPGs are like that) but it just never comes in Morrowind. The game play is frustrating, the rpg system is just needlessly and uselessly complicated (as in the excess complexity yields no dividends for the game play or immersion.) I don’t like relying on written directions but I would have gotten used to that if the game was appealing enough to make me want to deal with that hassle (same with the complexity complaint).

                    And you can see the other gripes I encountered in my early experience above. Yes the game drops you off and doesn’t tell you what to do. You’re free to do whatever. Well in a situation like that, I feel my way around and try to see what I feel motivated to do and I never wanted to do anything. So I followed the main quest hook because at least there’s a plot there. So I spent probably an hour trying to figure out how to get to the plot hook. Then the plot hook said “Oh you don’t want to do the plot right now. Why don’t you go dick around some more and see what the world has to offer.” So I’m back to square one, sitting in a wide open world with no motivation.

                    I only forced myself through the game because the people hating on Skyrim were simultaneously gushing about Morrowind, so I was determined to at least experience the game so I could react to those remarks. In the end, it was spite that got me through the game. Morrowind is the only game I can recall being spite driven from start to finish.

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      “I only forced myself through the game because the people hating on Skyrim were simultaneously gushing about Morrowind, so I was determined to at least experience the game so I could react to those remarks.”

                      But why?You dont hate skyrim,so why did you think anything good would come out of that?

                    • syal says:

                      Morrowind is a slow-burning world; none of its threats are dire. That’s part of why it works; you can afford to dick around killing rats and stealing pie recipes, because the enemy’s plan is going to take decades, if not lifetimes, to accomplish. (They don’t even want to kill you all that badly.)

                      (In-game reason for Caius sending you on so many fetch quests: you brought his orders with you. He’s unprepared, and wants to know what it is he’s being asked to do exactly.)

                    • Wide And Nerdy says:

                      @Damien
                      Because I’d already played a few hours of Morrowind, wondered many times why anyone would want to play it over Skyrim, then quit then the Morrowind grognards said you have to be patient and explore and give it a chance and Morrowind is not just gonna give you fun on a silver platter the way Skyrim does, you gotta harvest the fun and churn it in a butter churn and make scratch built pancakes out of the fun.

                      Basically at that point, I didn’t want people to be able to tell me “well, you didn’t really give the game a chance.” So I played it clear through. Main quest, mages guild, house telvanni, a couple of side things, and lots of murdering of the loathesome NPCs once they were no longer quest essential and trying to kiss me and rub it in myface that I’m gonna get tumors and stuff and I tried to start Bloodmoon and thats when I stopped again for good.

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      “then quit then the Morrowind grognards said you have to be patient and explore and give it a chance…”

                      People do that shit to me all the time,but I still wont play any of the final fantasies(even though I do like that kind of gameplay in some games),nor will I watch stuff like gerry.I dont care who enjoys it,I know that I wont.

                    • Wide And Nerdy says:

                      Normally I don’t either Damien but this once I guess I just wanted to be able to take away as many of the usual dodgy arguments as possible. They still have things like “Well thats your opinion” or “Clearly this game was made for a certain type of player” but at least they can’t say “You don’t know because you haven’t tried it.” Just once I wanted that off the table.

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      “You don’t know because you haven’t tried it.”

                      Thats a stupid argument,and you should always call it out as stupid whenever you hear it.People have their brains and language so that they can recognize patterns and similarities.Therefore if you find someone with similar taste to yours,you are perfectly ok not to experience it personally something they dont like and to try out something they do like.The more your tastes have been similar in the past,the more they will be the same now.Analogous to this,if you recognize some gameplay/film technique/storytelling tropes that you didnt like earlier,chances are you wont like them now either.Sure,you could be wrong,but most of the time you wont be.So its not worth spending your limited time to find that rare exception to the rule.

                      TL;DR:Insanity is repeating the same thing over and over,expecting a different result.So if you see something that didnt work for you earlier,dont experiment with it again.

                    • Wide And Nerdy says:

                      The real argument against that (and the one I usually make) is that there is some amount of obligation on the part of the game to make you want to keep playing. I’ve heard some Final Fantasy games defended with “it gets good 5 to 10 hours in” but you shouldn’t have to wait that long. Its a game. It should be engaging pretty much from the start (I might make some allowance for tutorial).

                      I had in fact given Morrowind enough opportunity to do that the first time I played. But some grognards are adamant, making arguments like “The really rewarding things in life require hard work”. Basically it takes a little while to shake them of that and, this being the internet, its easy to get off in the weeds. Next thing you know you’re arguing social security reform or something.

                • Entropy says:

                  More accurately, he let you out because he had some idea you might be a hero of Prophecy. Why would he need to do anything other than put you in the right place and nudge you vaguely in the right direction?

                  • Wide And Nerdy says:

                    He couldn’t have given me a sword and some armor? He’s an emperor, he’s got cash. He couldn’t give me a ride to the right town at least or hook me up with a guide? Anything? Anything at all? No. Because just like every single other person in the entirety of all of Morrowind, he’s a giant dick. Everybody. And thats the good guys.

            • aldowyn says:

              you were released to investigate the possibility that the empire might be able to use the Nerevarine prophecy to your advantage – you specifically because you fulfill part of it, although you don’t know that to start IIRC.

              It’s probably half-way through the main quest by the time you figure out, wait, you might be the nerevarine and have some world-saving to do. (Or morrowind-saving.) Pretty sure the ‘go do more stuff’ parts are all before that point. (and pretty necessary given Morrowind isn’t auto-leveled, or not much)

              • Wide And Nerdy says:

                Actually Cauis tells you pretty early on when he finally gets word (after the first wave of dicking around but not the last) that they suspect it. The bulk of the quest is you proving it.

                And I understand mechanically why the game makes you dick around. My point is its completely at cross purposes with the narrative. Neither the emperor nor Caius know what level your character is or what the level requirements are for world map sector B-2 random encounters. There is no in story reason for them to ask you to dick about cluelessly.

            • You’re confusing Morrowind and Oblivion. Oblivion has the emperor (and he lets you go from prison and gets the main quest started), the Morrowind opening doesn’t seem to mention him at all, just that you were sent there from the Imperial City and that’s in a dream. I may have not gotten very far in that game, but man, I know the opening way too well.

              • Corpital says:

                If you are as awful and nosy as me, you could also notice the signature on the coded letter for Caius has the same length as the signature on a readable letter, deduce it is a simple substitution cipher and translate the letter on your way to Balmora. It is an absolute waste of your time, but I’m pretty sure the giggling whenever he talked about secrecy unnvered Caius after a while.

      • Tizzy says:

        The most annoying thing if you want to skip Skyrim’s main quest is the metagame aspect. The first time you play, it seems reasonable to power through the quest to kill Alduin and get rid of these pesky dragons.

        Of course, that has the precise inverse effect: maximum dragons! The only winning move is to not bite the quest hook… Sigh!…

        • James Porter says:

          I just don’t like how doing the main quest really discourages doing others. The best example being the Dark Brotherhood. It is a cool faction with cool people, with fun quests too, but i feel that from some character rolepay perspective, the two don’t mesh. I always feel kinda like I have to commit to doing one over another, and it never makes sense for me to do both.
          The main quest is an epic hero story about fighting dragons to save a fantasy land you may or may not be attached to.
          Dark Brotherhood is a bunch of assassins just going job to job, a profession for someone who isn’t all to attached to skyrim and their people.

  12. Akuma says:

    It’s times like this I wish the Skyrim toolkit wasn’t such an unwieldy tool. Making something from scratch is a nightmare, and trying to change any of the cities or main areas is like trying to unwind a ball of yarn with just your thumbs.

    I bring this up as I would be fascinated to know what a Skyrim ruled by dragons would be like. Would each city have their own variation of dragon cult honoring their chosen patron? What’s in it for the cults to follow the dragons? Would you resit that rule, and would you even be able to do anything against these killing machines?

    Enough of what if’s, on the game itself there is certainly enough mechanics and side things to keep most people busy for a long time. Looking up game times the average for Skyrim is 100+ hours which is nothing to sneeze at. Even I plunged something like a 120 hours into it, and things like this show or interesting mods will make me think “Oh yeah, Skyrim was fun, lets try that again” and then I’ll start feeling this crushing sensation as I replay it because its so hollow.

    If I had to come up with an analogy I’d say it’s like eating a papadum. There’s alot of it, you can eat it in whatever chunks you like and there’s plenty of dip to change things around. But end of the day it’s not a real meal, your not really full you’ve just been eating something for a long time to tide you over until something meaty comes along. But in Skyrim that main dish never arrives.

    I’ve always felt like there’s been a huge potential in the engine Bethesda uses, but it wasn’t really until New Vegas that I saw glimmers of that. Which was done by a different company.

    I think the guys at Bethesda are very talented in many regards, but I kind of have to accept there not going to make a game I or others think they should. Saying that I am fascinated by what they will do next. Will it lean even more heavily on combat mechanics? Or will someone crazy take over and flips some tables?

  13. bloodsquirrel says:

    So… next game?

    I’ll repeat my recommendation of Wolfenstein: New Order.

    • McNutcase says:

      I suggest a palate cleanser. Take a break from seriousness, and maybe have Josh play Kerbal Space Program. Or do a Borderlands 2 short. Something that’s about as far away from Skyrim’s opressively Serious Business attitude as possible.

    • TheDefenestrator says:

      I’d be interested in seeing them do Assassin’s Creed: Liberation. I don’t think many people even know it exists. Other than that, I think it’d be nice to have a “season” where they jump from game to game a little faster than they usually do. Doing a game for a week or so and then moving on might let them do genres that normally don’t work well with the Spoiler Warning format (like Freespace 2!)

      • How about Dwarf Fortress? With a mod pack to make it tile-based graphics instead of ASCII?

      • Otters34 says:

        Free-space 2! Free-space 2! Free-space 2!

        Seriously, it’s great, the mission system keeps it pretty bite-sized instead of a sprawling mass of game hacked into segments, and did I mention it’s GREAT? As in, pretty much the gold-standard of shining game-design and story-telling competence for years before and after its release?

        Other cool things I’d love to see Mr. Young, Mumbles, Campster, Rutskarn and Josh pore over include
        Spoiler Warning: THE LINE
        An episode of Sam & Max, contrasted with an episode of The Wolf Among Us
        The return of Mr. Briggs and his necrotic mask
        Transistor
        Beyond Good & Evil
        XII. Specifically, that hotel level where you have to monitor a conversation and do a huge series of actions in the . Exact. Right. Way.
        One of the later, crazier levels of Serious Sam
        A section of early The Longest Journey
        Wrangling over the puzzles of Myst
        Medal of Honor: Allied Assault

        Basically, ANYTHING but more Skyrim. I’d really have to say this was the first actually not-good season of Spoiler Warning for me. Nothing interesting happened on or off the rails, it was tiring to watch thanks to all the orange and grey, and little was learned despite the crew’s efforts.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Call of juarez:gunslinger.We know that they mostly praised that game,so it would be a nice change.

    • Boison says:

      I think Bayonetta would be fun.

    • Grudgeal says:

      Finish Marlow Briggs.

    • syal says:

      Contra!

      EDIT: Actually, I think I’d legitimately like to see Papers Please.

    • Strange guy says:

      I don’t think it’s worth a full season (and I doubt it would get an episode) but I’d been having a lot of fun with E.Y.E Divine Cybermancy after I went on sale and I realized I already owned it. It’s a weird game with imitating stats screen, with dialogue and multiple objectives that makes people think it’s like Deus Ex when it is actually more like Serious Sam, with a simple and sometimes badly written or translated story on top of a stranger one with dreams, monsters that talk to you about strange things and cycles.

      It’s definitely an interesting game that I’d like to see more people have a look at.

  14. Mathias says:

    Rutskarn with the correct pronounciation of the Norse gods.

    Hard Mode version: Pronounce “Iðunn”

  15. bloodsquirrel says:

    Stuff I remember about Skyrim:

    -Meeting Paarthurnax
    -The Civil War storyline.
    -Killing the Emps in the Assassin’s Guild storyline.
    -My atmospheric adventures upon picking a fight with a Giant.

  16. McNutcase says:

    Well, that puts to bed my feelings of guilt over not playing Skyrim. I can accept that there is the occasional gem-like moment, but the sheer volume of lukewarm Cream of Wheat I’d have to slog through to find one… yeah. I’ve finally managed to admit to myself that I don’t care, and uninstalled it with a clear conscience.

    As for any putative Elder Scrolls 6 game, I probably won’t bother. The enjoyment of the game has only been getting thinner for me. Morrowind kept me solidly entertained for a long time. Oblivion had its moments, but there wasn’t the sense of wonder. Skyrim’s just felt like a duty.

  17. Disc says:

    In a feeble defense of Sovngarde, I’d point out that compared to what the rest of the game offers, Sovngarde still stands well enough out for itself, even if didn’t live up to all the expecations of a warrior heaven. And the skybox is still the prettiest one you’ll ever see in the game maybe aside from the somewhat rare skynights where you can see the twin moons and polar lights.

  18. djshire says:

    In the Pharaonic pantheon beliefs (Ancient Eqypt; Horus, Anubis, Isis, etc.) , if I understood what I have read (as the belief of what happened in the afterlife changed several times in Ancient Egypts history), if you died and were judged to be good, you’d go to the afterlife in Osiris’ paradise….and continue doing what you did in the living world.

    So perhaps the Skyrim afterlife is similar, with the greater rewards going to the great heroes…or something….I’m just kind of guessing here. I really doubt Bethesda put that much thought into that part of the game.

    • Grudgeal says:

      They pretty much just ripped off Norse Mythology. Sovngarde is an obvious stand-in for Valhalla, the afterlife of warriors (well, one of two). The souls of those who died in combat are drafted as Einherjar, Odin’s army for Ragnarok, and spend the eternity until Ragnarok comes feasting all morning on beer and bacon and then fighting and killing each other all afternoon, only to be resurrected during the night and doing the same thing all over again.

  19. Corpital says:

    The most positive thing I currently remember about Skyrim is the music from Morrowind they brought back.

    All kidding aside, it is probably one of the only things my Skyrim has still in common with the original, after I’ve modded it to crap and back.

    In regards to Fallout 3: After you blew up Megaton, Liam Neeson told you he was not happy about it and will have to have A Talk with you later. That’s not something you’ll hear in many other games.

    • Tychoxi says:

      “That’s not something you’ll hear in many other games.”

      Especially not in a bored monotone.

    • Jokerman says:

      On the story of Skyrim Vs. Fallout 3….. Skyrim was better written (it wasn’t actually the worse story.) But the story of fallout 3 was much more entertaining… maybe for the wrong reasons, but i will take that over utter boredom. I had honestly forgot so much of the main quest of Skyrim, things i were seeing were completely new to me even though i had completed it.

  20. Asimech says:

    “How do you, like, cannibalize a hero in such a way that he turns into a gourd?”

    With gusto!

  21. somniorum says:

    Thor is only pronounced “Tor” by modern Scandinavians (or at least some of them I gather) – Old Norse, it was actually pronounced “Thor”. I used to think it was Tor, but Wikipedia set me straight (Wikipedia’s really useful if you’re curious about pronunciation of various names/words).

    Also, completely random – two of the people who worked on this game, as shown in the credits, are named (as their first names!) “Kal-El” and “Jerk”. Jerk Gustaffson, iirc. Forget what Kal-El’s family name was.

  22. Ofermod says:

    My summary of Skyrim: Addictive, with a really good sense of progression and advancement, but god-awfully repetitive and time-wasting, *especially* as far as the dungeons are concerned. I started to loath every quest that involved draugr or bandit-filled dungeons/ruins. Which is to say, everything that’s not Dwemer ruins, just about.

    And re: Dawnguard: I loved the concept (because I really like vampire hunting), but god was the Soul Cairn annoying as hell.

    • AJax says:

      “with a really good sense of progression and advancement”

      I’m really interested if there are others that share the same sentiment, but is it me or was Fallout 3/NV leveling system so much better and less restrictive than Skyrim?

      I was never a fan of Oblivion’s “keep doing thing to level up” so it’s weird they kind of doubled down in it in Skyrim. Every time I start I always resort to some stupid exploit like constantly casting Muffle to increase Illusion or agroing one Whiterun guard to keep beating the snot out of me to increase armor.

      In Fallout, I just have to complete quests or actually defeat enemies with any of my available options without restricting my playstyle like Skyrim does. I also remember New Vegas giving huge amounts of XP upon solving quests which makes Stealth/Non-Lethal/Social playthroughs much more viable.

  23. Mr Compassionate says:

    I’m sorry Shamus but if you want a satisfying and fulfilling RPG you are just gonna have to bite the bullet and actually play Dark Souls.
    It is your destiny young Skywalker.

    • James Porter says:

      Yeah, You really gotta.
      Rutskarn too, since he didn’t seem so keen on the game as well, which makes me sad.

      • IFS says:

        Clearly next season should be Shamus, Josh and maybe Ruts playing Dark Souls coop! (I know this is highly unlikely to happen, but a special of Dark Souls coop could be fun, and I certainly wouldn’t turn down a season of Dark Souls, they certainly proved in the few episodes they did of the game that they can make it plenty entertaining to watch).

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      If by rpg you mean ROLL playing game,then Id agree.If you have this (crazy) notion that it means ROLE playing game,then nope.

      • IFS says:

        I (and I’m certain many others) have role played in Dark Souls, the game might not give you frequent dialogue options but it does have a number of significant choices that people and the world react to. Certainly it gives more meaningful reactions to your actions than Skyrim does, though that is a fairly low bar.

  24. shamann says:

    “Only 30% of players have the Dragon Slayer achievement, which is given after completing the main quest.”

    A/some of the mods I used seemed to have completely broken achievements. I finished every questline in the game, but don’t have any of the achievements for them showing in my account, so I’d guess that the 30% would be higher factoring in everybody who broke it in some fashion.

    I think Bethesda was focused on making the all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of video games with Skyrim; it’s filling and overflowing with variety of content, sometimes it inspires awe at just how much is in there, but none of it is especially memorable or exemplary other than for its volume.

    • Achievements sometimes reset themselves, don’t they? I still see all of my cheevos for Fallout and Skyrim, but I’d almost swear that after uninstalling and reinstalling, I get achievement notifications for stuff I’ve already done before.

    • Also, only 80% actually reached level 5, and only 60% completed all three words of a shout. So, half of the players who got as far as the complete FUS-RO-DAH finished the main quest, which is actually higher than I would have expected…

  25. BeardedDork says:

    So the only time I had played this part of the game was before visiting the world largest repository of whale bones near Ushaia, Argentina. Why is the bridge to the Feast Hall a whale skeleton?

  26. The Rocketeer says:

    Oh, wow! The season ends with Rutskarn making a reference to A Dance in Fire!

  27. Matthew Melange says:

    ‘There needs to be a trope for when people die suddenly after talking to them.’ -Shamus

    Would it be called Sudden Death?
    *ba dun dunk*

  28. Isaac says:

    Alduin sucked. Like really sucked. He was a very bland antagonist that I had little to no motivation to fight or even dislike. He doesn’t do anything directly to you aside from reviving that one dragon and fighting you at the Throat of the World. His character design is boring, his VA is generic and his dialogue is forgettable. It’s a bad thing when the primary antagonist of the main quest is arguably the worst/least interesting part of the game. New Vegas had the Legate and Caesar, Gen. Oliver, and House as possible antagonists and even Fallout 3 had President Eden.

    • Microwaviblerabbit says:

      The game states Alduin is the main antagonist, but he really isn’t. The Thalmor are. NPCs care more about them, the great war forms the back story to the game, and even the main quest takes a detour to attack them. Dragons are like raiders in Fallout 3, a disorganized threat that occasionally attacks but doesn’t do any real damage. The Thalmor are an extremist, genocidal force that views everyone else as inferior. Thought of another way, dragon have razed a couple towns and killed a small number of people. The Thalmor destroyed half a continent and killed millions.

      Killing Alduin, no matter how well it is was done (which it wasn’t) would always be a let down because the real enemy still remains.

      • Matt Downie says:

        At the start of the game, I was under threat from the empire, presented as horrible fascists who execute suspected illegal immigrants without trial. Then I’m rescued from certain death by a dragon swooping down from the sky to save me. The game never really gave me an opportunity to thank the dragon and offer to repay him somehow.

        • Henson says:

          It really undercuts Alduin’s place as ‘Main Villain’ when he doesn’t even understand what an ‘execution’ is. You are the Dragonborn, the one being capable of ending him, the sole reason that he came to Helgen in the first place, and instead of letting the Empire do his work for him, he completely botches it. Way to go, Kenobi.

        • Grudgeal says:

          That’d be interesting, having the option to roleplay how Alduin, technically, saved your life and you owe him a debt because of it.

    • Destrustor says:

      What bugged me most about him is that he seems weaker than most high-level random dragons. I held off on the main quest until I was level 40 or so, and by that time I was able to kill him about twice as easily than the ancient dragons dropping on my head every three seconds.
      Checking the wiki, it seems his health at least scales much less aggressively than the random dragons encounters. He’s literally weaker than most end-game “mooks”. Kinda lame for “the most badass dragon ever”.

  29. guy says:

    “Where did the time go?”

    You got into literally dozens of entirely pointless fights with NPCs over, and over, and OVER again.

    • Paul Spooner says:

      Yeah, I’m pretty sure that question was bold faced trolling on Josh’s part, and it’s a credit to the rest of the cast that none of them fell for it.

    • James Porter says:

      Yeah, in all truth some better planning would have been nice, It kinda seemed like no one was on the same page most of the time, and then they could have prepared what to say better.
      It has always seemed to me like Spoiler Warning as a show tries to really break down and discuss the games they play. It has been the thing i enjoy the most (besides the puns) but I feel it is difficult to do that when most of the cast doesn’t remember most of the game. There was a lot of stuff that was really flat out wrong, and a lot of people talking about things they had not played this season. And you know what? for a game like Skyrim, that is perfectly understandable. There are going to be things that not everyone has played. Fresh eyes can bring new insight to conversation.
      However, Because of that, I think this season needed some direction, some better idea how it would all play out. Not a strict script or anything, as faffing about is Skyrim, but something manageable so everyone knew what they were talking about. That way, we could hit all the fun quests, meet all the cool dudes, and not feel any fatigue over the 20 draugr ruin that night.
      It is a shame that they didn’t do Dragonborn, it is is a pretty cool bit of game, and a great place to talk about past elder scrolls games like Morrowind(seeing as it takes place in Solsenheim) and has a lot of cool stuff in it like Apocripha and riding dragons.

      • Wide And Nerdy says:

        I wanted to hear their take on Dragonborn too.

        I mean they hardly did anything. Basically they did the main quest in a slow meandering fashion. They didn’t try to do any of the factions except the Bards, I think the only city quests they did were in Markarth, they started the Civil War quest and then said screw it, and they completely ignored the excellent DLCs (apart from some briefly spoken but not shown complaints about Dawnguard). They didn’t give this game the same chance (speaking strictly in terms of what was actually done on the show) they did with New Vegas where they ended up covering a lot of ground.

        All we really learned was that if you want to dick around endlessly in a game that gives you the freedom to do so, you can waste a lot of time and if you’re actively looking to undermine the experience, you have the freedom to do that too.

        Don’t get me wrong, there was some thoughtful discussion and some funny stuff but a lot of waste. My advice would be to take into account the problems Josh’s show play style can have in certain games like this. Its a lot more effective in more focused linear games where he can show the linearity failing comically.

        • James Porter says:

          Ya know, for all the complaining they did about Markarth, that was probably the best part of the entire season. It was at that point that they had a character, with a personality and traits (and a sidekick) and they did the most amount of quests, and if they didn’t do them, at least they sampled them.
          I feel what killed the playthrough has to be everyones fear of boring quests. They didn’t want to do a lot of the factions because “X quest is boring,” which was mostly true, but then there really isn’t anything to do, and something is better than doing nothing. And when they did talk about fun quests and factions, they had the idea that there “wasn’t enough time,” because they didn’t want to commit to anything that could POTENTIALLY be boring.
          And I don’t like saying stuff like this, but yeah, Josh and his playstyle really hurt things too. I like a lot of letsplayers, mainly group ones, (mainly the Freelance Astronauts) and something that the Freelance Astronauts have going for them is that Maxwell Adams, the guy in charge, knew what he wanted to do for videos, so his buddies could make jokes about it. The guy playing is in charge of the pacing and conversation. This is why everyone gets so off topic all the time, they don’t have any firm ground to stand on.

        • Let’s take a quick look at Skyrim vs. Fallout New Vegas as to why Spoiler Warning (or just playing the games) would be vastly different:

          1. The main quest. In Skyrim, the main quest is pretty vague and doesn’t give you a whole lot of obvious reasons to root for anyone involved. It also doesn’t really give you the opportunity to screw over anyone (or everyone, for that matter) if you’ve decided the quest is bollocks or you just want to give the finger to the whole land. In New Vegas, you’ve got several factions of varying degrees of virtue and vice along with an ultimate prize (Hoover Dam) that, if you want, you can destroy so nobody “wins” in the end.

          2. Killable NPCs and failable quests. Skyrim had fewer fail states for their questlines. And I don’t mean that the quests should’ve been easy to screw up, but the option to totally mess up something should’ve existed. About the only example I can think of is destroying the Dark Brotherhood, which I think should’ve also existed for the thieves guild. In New Vegas, there were loads of places you could decide to cut off whole quest chains by doing something like killing Follows Chalk or helping put a new Elder in charge of the BoS bunker (and then blowing it up). Skyrim was open world, but more often than not, each quest was a linear smash-fest with one and only one goal.

          3. Skyrim was too accommodating when it came to content. Are you being, for want of a better term, Lawful Good? Are you a murder machine? Are you stealing from everyone everywhere? It doesn’t matter, because everyone will let you do their quests or let you recruit them as a companion, because Talos forbid your choices and build keep you from playing the same game as everyone else. As broken as the Karma system was, it at least meant what you did mattered to some people (companions, factions, etc.) which influenced what you could and couldn’t do. This goes back to my loathing the ability of a thief build or a warrior build being able to become arch-mage.

          I’m getting into old arguments here, but simply put, New Vegas (and Fallout 3) gave Spoiler Warning more reason to care about what they were doing, even if that reason was “this faction was so poorly written we want to murder them all just because.” Those games had more to show off than Skyrim did, which was the same ol’ dungeon with the same ol’ lich at the end. Skyrim had some pretty locations, but that’s not enough to sustain a narrative, and if the reply is, “well, I bring whatever narrative to the game I want,” then that’s not really a part of what the developers created. Nobody praising a bad Star Wars movie will be taken seriously if they point out how cool they think an alien race is we get to see for two minutes which they’ve invented an amazing backstory for.

          • Wide And Nerdy says:

            As a general response, unlike with Morrowind, New Vegas has shown me things that Skyrim should have done. I would have gladly sacrificed some of Skyrim’s width for New Vegas style depth. On to specifics.

            1) I agree New Vegas main quest is hands down better. It did take me a few minutes sitting here to try to figure out how Skyrim’s main quest could have had at least some of that depth and choice. It would probably have had to involve merging Paarthurnax and Alduin in some fashion and developing on the ambiguity of what do you do about him. Do you take some kind of Blades path to destroy Aldunax, do you take the Greybeard’s path to placate him (because guess what, their dark secret is that they learned everything about shouts from this guy who’s probably bad) or maybe as a third option do you become Aldunax’s lieutenant and institute your own rule (or become the real power behind him?) and then you build your paths from there. Because the Paarthurnax thing isn’t really interesting. It amounts of one scene “he used to be a bad guy, we think you should kill him.” When that question should have had more time to percolate. Maybe the rule of Aldunax would make Skyrim stronger against the Thalmor, we trade possible annihilation at Thalmor hands for possible tyranny.

            2) Yes to fail states. I want to be able to kill the Thieves Guild (and Maven). Or if I do join them, I want to be able to tell Karliah to stick her special poison arrows up her ass (or kill her for being a complete dumbass). Or if I do work with her, I want to tell her I’m not going to be a Nightengale. I don’t care what consequences are written for those decisions, I still want to be able to make them.

            3) They would have benefited from faction reputations I agree. Funny thing is, if you look at the game’s variables, it looks like someone set that up or at least started to work on a system, it just didn’t get used. And having some options cut off because of factions you side with and choices you make just makes sense.

            Now where I part ways with you is on the mutual exclusivity of the guild factions. First, if you want to just go one way, thats your choice but the rest of us should have the freedom to join and progress in multiple guilds. Second, there’s really nothing about these guilds that suggests it should be a problem. The Dark Brotherhood is a secret so there’s no reason you can’t be in that guild and any other. The Mages are too removed from Skyrim to care. The best argument you could make is that maybe you can’t be a Companion and a member of the Thieves Guild. Because the Companions think they operate by some code of honor (when in fact they kill for money just like the DB). And the Thieves Guild believes in keeping violence to a minimum. But the guilds shouldn’t all mutually hate each other.

            I think a compromise would be maybe the requirements and differing concerns should be enough that you can generally only manage leadership in two guilds, maybe three if you’re especially clever about your build and choices (after all, an archery build with sneaking, alchemy, and lockpicking would have skills enough for the Companions, Thieves and DB.)

            • Microwaviblerabbit says:

              One way to deal with leading multiple guilds and make the civil war quests more relevant would be to have default alliances. This already exists, since the thieves guild supports the imperials, but the companions (or at least prominent members) are stormcloaks. This would also make guilds more interesting through internal conflicts about who, if anyone, to support.

              I agree Skyrim really needed faction reputations or at least a karma system. It is partially implemented in game, since stormcloaks/legionaries are more aggressive to a player wearing the opposite’s armor, and thalmor attack those in stormcloak armor on sight. Consider all the effort put into creating dedicated armor for every faction, it is strange it wasn’t put to more use.

  30. AlternatePFG says:

    Josh picked the renegade ending.

  31. MadTinkerer says:

    I currently live in the part of New Jersey where they’re desperately trying to overdevelop and turn all the farmland and suburbs into urban areas, but fortunately the economy has turned shitty enough that it’s actually hindering the efforts of the corrupt @#$%ers. For those of you who live in Ohio or Pennsylvania, this part of New Jersey was almost as nice as the nicest parts of Ohio and Pennsylvania when we moved here. There are tech colleges and techie places to work but still plenty of nice open fields and forests. But it seems like some folks want to turn the entire state into Jersey City. Thank goodness for the recession!

    Anyway, the point being that if you rewind where I live a decade and Heaven is like that, that would be okay. A little disappointing, but tolerable. If Heaven is like how this area is likely to be when the economy bounces back and we go from Garden State to Coruscant… not quite so tolerable.

    • AdmiralCheez says:

      We must be right near each other then, because that sounds a lot like the part of New Jersey where I am. They keep turning all these nice wooded areas into shopping centers, and then no one ever rents the space there. I swear, every time I go down the road, there’s a new shopping center being built. Or a new apartment/condo complex that looks exactly the same as every other apartment/condo complex they’ve built in the past few years. It’s ridiculous.

  32. Neko says:

    Eh, I haven’t finished it either.

    I love Skyrim (and Oblivion, and Morrowind) as a place to just kind of derp around in and explore. I don’t really need a Main Quest. I’m perfectly capable of making my own. Not many games let you do that.

  33. Ron says:

    I like to think that the reason the dragonborn never mentions going to Sovnegarde is that whenever he hears someone talking about how great the its going to be when they get there, he gets all depressed and feels bad telling them how shitty it is.

  34. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Shamus:”My spiderman is caught in basically the ’70s”

    And thats why spiderman had to make the deal with the devil.Thank you Shamus.

    • Wide And Nerdy says:

      1) He wasn’t a reader when that happened.

      2) They could have rebooted Spiderman in plenty of non stupid ways.

      Really if you want to blame anything other than pure editorial fanboyism, blame the movies. The movies always go with teen Spiderman making that version of him iconic. The comics are always influenced by the movies. They start drawing the characters to look more like the actors. Characters who have been irrelevant for years are brought back. Heroes revert to iconic versions of their costumes.

      Thats something Marvel, previously a company quite comfortable with moving its characters forward, is having to deal with now because of the success of its movie franchises. Do we keep moving things forward for our existing readers or roll things back to make it friendly to potential new readers. They’re a victim of their own success.

  35. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Are you grabbing your junk when you are shouting clear skies?Because in that case,why are you grabbing your junk?

  36. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Ah,the numerous deaths in this season.Sure am glad Josh didnt fortify health back when he had the chance.

    (honestly though,this time I actually am,because that gave me a laugh at the amusing way the season ended)

  37. AJax says:

    Now that’s all wrapped up, it was a good season overall. I honestly wouldn’t have bothered to watch an LP/Walkthrough of Skyrim if it weren’t for the crew’s commentary.

    Skyrim is one of those games that I don’t have any strong feelings towards, either positive or negative. At least Oblivion and Fallout 3 had some interesting characters and quests, Fallout 3 also gave us the hilariously insane Season 2 of SW. Skyrim is just…. meh.

    Well, still looking forward to the next season.

    • Tizzy says:

      The silliness that was the Fallout 3 season made me fall in love with the whole concept of SW. But I can’t really say I ever laughed as hard as I did then…

      … until this season.

      I watched this season more regularly than most owing to the many hours I spent in Skyrim myself (apparently, the game had not wasted enough hours of my life before then). The things that happened to Balgruf had me gasping for breath; I thought that I might pass out a few times.

      Between the victory speech delivered as he is running back to his haranguing post, and his choice of feline nighttime companions… It sounds dilly written like this, but the whole thing was so silly, so incongruous, so dumb… I had a good laugh. My thanks to the crew, I needed that laugh!

    • Jokerman says:

      Oblivion really blows Skyrim away when it comes to quests, it might of been lacking in some areas but good quests was not one of them. IMO Even the Dark Brotherhood, Skyrims best quest line was inferior to Oblivion’s.

  38. Entropy says:

    Wolf Among Us might be worth doing.

  39. Phantos says:

    This is why I watch Spoiler Warning. This is one of the few places where I can hear anyone criticize the big, AAA releases in video games.

    It’s a refreshing change of pace from being told by the entire internet that every hollow, culturally-worthless “Big” game release is some new masterpiece. Sometimes I feel like SW exists to give the thrashing a lot of games so richly deserve.

    On that note, I nominate Bioshock: Infinite for the next season.

    • Lachlan the Mad says:

      Actually, yeah, Bioshock Infinite would be really good — I actually considered doing my own Spoiler-Warning-esque thing of it, until I learned how hideously complicated the setup is.

      That said, it’ll have to wait until they’re done with Marlo Briggs.

  40. I’m not entirely sure, but the credits should auto-roll when ALL quests in the game have been completed. (failed quests also count as being “completed”).

    I think there is a console command/cheat do complete all quests but it will probably crash the game. (partly due to whatever and partly due to hundreds of quests being completed at once)

    • syal says:

      Maybe they could divide up the credits so you get the people who worked on a major quest line whenever you finish one.

      Best thing would be to make them translucent and keep the game going.

  41. The Skyrim main The Dark Brotherhood quest line isn’t it kind of like a sequel to the one in Oblivion?
    In Skyrim you get to be “close and comfortable” with the The Nightmother, I can’t recall if you really got to “meet” Sithis though (in either Oblivion or Skyrim).

    It does feel like the lore of The Dark Brotherhood is extended from Oblivion to Skyrim.
    Now if the same guy(s)/gal(s) that worked on the Brotherhood stuff in Oblivion and Skyrim does so in Elder Scrolls VI this could get really interesting as those quests are among the strongest and in my opinion the best ones in the franchise.

    Heck, they could easily have swapped the dragonborn with “The Listener” and that would actually have worked just as well as a main quest.

    Which is probably the main issue with the latter Elder Scroll games, it’s a big open world littered with quests but no over all story arch to tie it all together.
    Then again, this is probably why the Shamus’ in the world sink like a thousand hours into it, because it’s a world filled with quest and way too much stuff to do and explore and have fun with.

    In Comparison Fallout: New Vegas had a multi-threaded overall story arch leading the player through in a way that “The Dragonborn” quests could not.

    Nobody in SKyrim are acting as if you just saved the world once the quest is over, so the victory feels hollow.

    • Tizzy says:

      Can’t deny that the Brotherhood had some of the more interesting quests and some cute bits of storytelling, but overall, it did not fully satisfy me. The Listener is a quintessentially NPC role: the person who hand out the jobs that need to be done. Having the Dragonborn inthe role of the Listener was bizarre. Frankly, who needs the rest of these clowns now? The Dragonborn can be a one-person Drak Brotherhood…

  42. fdgzd says:

    hang on, I just realised something. The Soverngarde skybox. It is IDENTICAL to the skill/perk menu. Complete with the red/combat green/ranged blue/magic background.

    It’s identical

  43. Dragmire says:

    Well Josh, you listed several things that were memorable in New Vegas… My memory goes straight to hemipenes…

    … Damnit Rutskarn.

  44. Vect says:

    I don’t really see a problem with the whole “Forever Feasting” thing. Sovngarde is basically Valhalla. It fits the Nord aesthetic, and as the afterlife I think the “It’s Magic” explanation certainly works here. Of course, the game really should have acknowledged you being a non-Nord visiting the place, with the people here treating you with mixed feelings between respect and contempt.

    Still, I actually did like how Sovngarde looked, but I can agree on how it should have been expanded on rather than some place you visit for the third act.

    • Disc says:

      There’s the argument/theory thrown around that the PC, being the Dragonborn, has got some special privileges and/or destiny when it comes to the afterlife. I can’t recall it entirely, but it was something about the Shezzarines and the Dragonborn being one of them and their relation to Shor a.k.a Lorkhan.

      Or it’s just somekind of an unconscious achievement of CHIM where the rules bend in your favor by default. I mean, the PC is literally the most important thing in in the whole game.

  45. Maybe it’s something I’m doing wrong, but the playlist for this Spoiler Warning season on YouTube is completely out of order for me. It starts with episode 27 and then counts backwards to 53, then it counts backwards again until it reaches 28.

  46. MAVD says:

    I dunno, these guys were great to watch for a while, but, I just seem to be constantly cringing at remarks made toward the games they play. They just seem to amplify the bad things about the games they play, rather than a mix of the good and the bad. But, its whatever, I just wish that they weren’t so hard on the games sometimes.

  47. Tony Kebell says:

    I would LOVE if you did a co-op video, not even a seires, of Elder Scrolls Online. But that is expecting a bit too much.

  48. It’s funny how Bethesda seemingly listened to Campster’s comments about more Animal Crossing when they made Fallout 4. Town settlement and construction included…. in the most typically half-assed Bethesda way.

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