Skyrim EP47: Enchanting Questions Part 2

By Shamus Posted Thursday Jun 26, 2014

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 96 comments

Link (YouTube)

We regret any discomfort viewers may have experienced during the segment where we discussed Oblivion without immediately saying horrible things about it. We’re investigating the matter and reviewing our options to prevent an event like this from happening in the future. We value our customers and appreciate your feedback.

At the one minute mark: Josh is holding an invisible sword.

At the 13 minute mark, Rutskarn mentions a video but he didn’t give me a link for it. If anyone knows where it is, please post it in the comments. (EDIT: Here it is! (Note: Audio only.)

At the 14 minute mark Arcadia says, “Ah! So you’re an alchemist, then?” This line drives me nuts. She’s supposedly selling cures. Finished products. This is like if I go to the drug store and ask for something for my itchy foot and the person behind the counter is all like, “Ah, so you’re a pharmacist, then?” No, your verbally incontinent clodpole. You’re a pharmacist. I’m a customer. Imbecile.

Also, Valve evidently has a sense of humor. Right now in the Steam Summer Sale:


Yeah. Skyrim is “story rich”. I suppose that’s true, in the same way that a tub of lard could be considered “rich” food because it’s calorically dense.


From The Archives:

96 thoughts on “Skyrim EP47: Enchanting Questions Part 2

  1. Helios Apollo says:

    “I suppose that's true, in the same way that a tub of lard could be considered “rich” food because it's calorically dense.”

    The lard’s so dense, it’s got so much going on. It’s stylistically designed to be that way and you can’t undo that; but we can diminish the effects of it.

    *Harry S. Plinkett reference…..*

  2. Micamo says:

    An even greater irony: Kingdoms of Amalur is up there.

    NOTE: I liked Amalur for the gorgeous environment design and the great-feeling combat system (at least for the first 20 levels before you become insanely overpowered and the game runs out of enemy types). I just found what passes for the “story” to be much more offensive than Skyrim’s.

    1. Cinebeast says:

      In fact, do any of those four games qualify as “story rich?”

      Sleeping Dogs is, by all accounts, a grubby sandbox action game. (Haven’t played it myself.) L.A. Noire is technically story heavy, but generally poor and unsatisfying.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Out of all four,I think sleeping dogs has the richest story.

      2. Neruz says:

        Amalur has an extremely complicated and detailed story. It’s not very imaginative but there is definitely a lot of it and some of it is even interesting. Also Amalur lets you play a gigantic badass who flips fate the finger and the npcs actually freak out about this which puts it a step ahead of most other RPGs where the PC rapidly becomes a mass-murdering juggernaut and people continue to treat them like they’re perfectly normal.

        I will admit though I wasn’t really sold on Amalur until I got to a point where a major boss character who had recieved no small amount of hype realised who I was and basically shat himself in fear.

        1. Eric says:

          This comment makes me want to pick up my playthrough again. I’ve been having fun with it (40 hours worth, according to Steam), but after finishing the Dalentarth area (spelling?) and the Teeth of Naros DLC, I’ve kind of gotten burned out on it. There are only so many bandits and wolves I can kill before I get bored.

        2. MelTorefas says:

          Amalur looked interesting, but the split second freeze effect that occurs every single time you hit anything completely killed it for me. Given how much combat you have to do, and how jerky and disjointed the freezes made it feel for me, I had to quit playing (several times before I finally gave up for good).

          1. IFS says:

            For me it was two things that made me give up on the game, the dodge move seemed to have this weird delay before you did it which really screwed with my sense of timing and felt unresponsive and annoying. The second thing was that I was attempting to play a stealthy character (the combat didn’t really interest me but I still enjoyed stealth killing enemies) and there were no end to points in the game where enemies automatically became aware of me for no reason.

            1. newdarkcloud says:

              Yeah. I played as a pure stealth/thief character at first. As I leveled up, I eventually respeced into a Universalist character, and found I was having much more fun with the chakrams.

      3. Lalaland says:

        Sleeping Dogs is a good deal better than most GTA clones and has a great ‘feel’ to it’s representation of Hong Kong. The story is not amazing but it is well delivered and some of the DLC is excellent (I love the ‘Chinese Vampire’ one as it actually sticks to the chinese version of vampires, goofiness and all). It relies on hand to hand combat far more than shooting and is a lot better for it.

        If we’re grading it next to some of the more modern GTA clones I’d put it ahead of all of them especially bloody Watch_Dogs. I’m playing WD right now and it is the beige of gaming hands down, rote dialogue, rote plotting, rote mechanics. So bored.

    2. Vlad says:

      I think “story rich” may simply be a euphemism for “single player only”.

  3. Mumbles: “I’m just imagining a Khajiit, completely nude…”

    I think there’s a mod for that. I’m not going to go looking for it, but I’m pretty sure it’s a safe bet.

    1. Neruz says:

      There are several, in fact…

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        I wonder how many of them are correctly representing the male genitalia.Because cats are a freaky bunch when it comes to that(they have spikes on their junk).

        1. I’m sure Rutskarn can tell us if the mods for Argonians render the male hemipenes correctly. He owes it to the world to share his expertise, and I’m certain his colleagues will agree and encourage him.

  4. hborrgg says:

    I’d wager that the radiant AI was more apparent in oblivion mostly just because in oblivion you had more incentive to stick to towns and cities where the NPC’s are.

    1. The Fallout games split the difference (and did things the way the old Fallouts 1&2 did them) which was either someone stood somewhere 24/7 or they had their “daytime” place and then where they slept at night.

      Not that I hung around Megaton much, but seeing Moira in Moriarty’s might have been a nice touch.

      1. Jeff says:

        As much as I dislike Fallout 3 for what it wasn’t (and am now playing through the Wastelands 2 beta), it was considerably better in many respects than the TES products that came out afterwards.

        It’s ridiculous how often Bethesda loses features in subsequent games. Fallout 3 had kill cams with their ranged weapons, but Skyrim couldn’t do it until way after I’d finished with the game. Oblivion lost the ability to delete spells, and of course we couldn’t fly or have one giant map anymore.

        There was nothing more amusing than watching a missile you fire streak towards it’s target in slow motion. Although there was the time I watched the missile fire only to see Dogmeat jump in front of it, in agonizing slow motion with me unable to do anything. All that in front of my face, which shortly disappeared (along with most of Dogmeat).

        1. I’m starting to think a lot of what was good about F3 (and kept for New Vegas) kind of come from the original game mechanics. After playing Skyrim, I was kind of surprised by how many mechanic bits remained from F1&2 when it came to how skills worked, NPC mortality (F3 needed more, but you could kill more of them than in Skyrim), etc.

          I even find myself favoring the flawed Karma system in F3 over the “stolen item” system in Skyrim, since at least Karma sometimes gives NPCs a reason to change up their dialog and behavior, and nobody goes bananas when I try to sell them something I nicked from from a trader in a sewer halfway across the map.

          Also, Skyrim would be a lot more fun if the horses exploded like the car wrecks in Fallout. If you disagree, you’re wrong.

          1. Wide And Nerdy says:

            I’ve been the one defending Skyrim for the last few weeks here but I just started playing Fallout New Vegas and just finished the “Come Fly With Me” quest (which at first I thought was just a standard “clear out the building” quest.) Skyrim would have been so much better with Obsidian’s writers. Forget Morrowind, Obsidian is where its at when it comes to writing open world games. Morrowind made me hate dark elves, Obsidian made me like ghouls.

            So yeah, Bethesda needs to fire their writers and use Obsidian on everything.

            1. I wouldn’t count on it.

              Maybe Fallout 4’s sequel will be an Obsidian-written game, but I’m betting the next installment will be another RPG that has nicely-done post-apoc set pieces with an irritating main quest. On the up side, we could probably expect lots of good environmental storytelling and sidequesting.

            2. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Except for bug testing and removal.

            3. newdarkcloud says:

              Yeah. I’ve always said that if you can combine the mechanics and world design of Bethesda with the writing of Obsidian, you’d have the perfect open-world game…. three months later after the patches are released.

              1. Incunabulum says:

                More like a year, after the community has gotten ahold of the game for long enough to dig through the engine flaws.

                1. Wide And Nerdy says:

                  lol, agreed. But you know what? It would be worth the wait. And I’d make a point to buy it and all its DLC at full price on release (I almost never do that).

              2. The bugs can be half the fun, so long as they don’t actually break the game.

                I regret I didn’t get Skyrim soon enough after release to see the flying horses and so on. F3 didn’t present me with any amusing bugs, as the only ones I encountered was the inability to repair the robots at Big Town (they weren’t there, though a first attempt at patching the problem had the damaged robots come flying in over the horizon when you picked the option to fix them) and Ashur’s odd “speech-voiced-over-another-speech” in The Pitt.

            4. Tizzy says:

              Wide and Nerdy: I’m pretty sure that this is the Stolen Pixels comics you need to read to make your life complete…


              1. Wide And Nerdy says:

                Thank you. I’d seen that and it was probably in the back of my head when I was making that comment.

                I felt like this was a touch more realistic since Bethesda and Obsidian have already work together.

    2. Felblood says:

      It’s more than that.

      Unless this is your first hour of Skyrim, or you are a cat burglar, you never enter any part of a town other than the shops and the Quest Hut.

      Even if the NPCs were doing interesting things in there (they are not) their homes are mostly just places to run up your bounty pointlessly, and their bars are places to buy useless food items and get BS quests for crappy rewards.

      For a game so insistent of force feeding you all it’s content, it does very little to draw your attention to this obvious weak point.

  5. fdsafdsafsda says:

    Blame users for the mistagging. Steam seems to be picking games that meet the intersection of the 2 tags “Open World” and “Story Rich” Rich/
    => Narrow by related tags => Open World

    1. MadTinkerer says:

      Oh, so that’s why we keep getting games in categories with “female protagonists” that happen to include the option to create female characters. I otherwise never would have thought of Gone Home and Mass Effect as having much anything in common.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Except,neither of those four can be really classified as that story rich.Maybe sleeping dogs could pass,and la noire if you were willing to overlook a bunch of things,but the other two,not even then.

      1. It could be a misinterpretation. “Story? That’s rich!”

  6. Bryan says:

    What’s the difference between a duck?

    A truck. A car has four doors.


    1. MadTinkerer says:

      Ah, this once again reminds me of the time I innocently invented a perfectly innocent word that I had never heard before while discussing “Fat Ducks” with my cousin. My cousin had heard the word once in a movie, and repeated the exact phrase he had heard. So I was like “you mean he didn’t give a flying… duck?”. My cousin insisted he had heard the phrase correctly but he had no idea what it meant. After some discussion we concluded that the character must have meant that he did not give a flying fat-duck because that was the only way it made even a little sense, and that the word in question was a contraction of “fat duck”. Because what else could it mean?

      When my Mom overheard our conversation, she was surprised and upset and then we were surprised and upset and I didn’t understand why she forbade me from talking about Fat Ducks until a few years later.

      1. Bryan says:



      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Fat duck me,that was a funny story.Thanks for sharing.

    2. Piflik says:

      One of it’s legs is both the same.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Yeah,but its not anti humor any more if it starts following a formula.

      2. krellen says:

        Hurray, I am not the only person in the world to know this anti-joke!

        1. Dave B. says:

          It never fails to get a chuckle from me, especially when I imagine it as a Zen koan.

        2. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Does anyone else find it funny how anti jokes became as formulaic as the jokes they were invented to make fun of?Though,I guess its not that new of a phenomenon:

          1. syal says:

            No, because anti-humor is never funny.

          2. Wide And Nerdy says:

            They were never going to remain disruptive and novel forever. The quest continues.

        3. Henson says:

          What is the etymology of that jape?

          Does it originate from the infamous Uwe Boll movie, Postal? Because there’s totally a character in there who asks that question.

          …uh, not that I’ve ever actually seen Postal. I haven’t, I swear!

          1. Tizzy says:

            Apparently, the trail goes cold at the Marx Brothers. Either they originated it, or if they didn’t, who knows where it may have come from, lost in the oral tradition.

            Krellen mentioned on twitter reading it first in a gamebook, and this is definitely where I remembered coming across it as well, so I had to look up the precise reference. There aren’t a lot of likely candidates to begin with, and a quick search confirmed that it appeared in one of the Grailquest books, which are all highly recommended reading.

            Not all sources agreed on the specific volume, though, but I’m pretty sure it’s the second one: the den of dragons.

            1. krellen says:

              It is most definitely the Den of Dragons, asked by the Poetic Fiend, in a graveyard. (I acquired Den of Dragons at a young age at a school “Reading Is Fundamental” giveaway, and it took a few years searching to find the rest of the American print run. Never knew there were a couple more books on the UK until I did research while forming that tweet.)

              1. Tizzy says:

                Surely one of my favorite gamebook series ever. Good times…

          2. Bryan says:

            The way I’ve heard it, the “one of its legs is both the same” response dates at least back to WWII. Way older than Postal. :-)

    1. Grudgeal says:

      Well, *technically*, for all we know Argonians don’t have to obey the same rules as real-world lizards do. For all we know they’re endothermic live-birthing placental mammals who just happen to have scales and would therefore need to produce milk and have nipples.

      Or, you know, Bedestha just didn’t give it any thought and stuck a lizard head on a human body, added a tail and painted it green. I know which theory I’m leaning towards.

      1. krellen says:

        There are definitely references – in Skyrim, no less – that Argonians are egg-born.

      2. Lilith Novale says:

        It’s even worse. In Morrowind, the Argonians didn’t have boobs – there were other, more creative ways of distinguishing the genders.

        Here is an Argonian slave woman. Here is an Argonian slave man. (Note: both are shirtless.)

        Neither have boobs – their chests are the same shape and size. But sadly, Bethesda has made its lizards less lizardy and has decided to put boobs on the argonians because “who doesn’t like boobs” or something.

        It’s sad because it shows a trend – Bethesda are throwing away everything that could have been interesting in order to be “safe”.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Here are the links for the video Rutskarn was talking about:

    Part 1 (there are about 3:30 minutes of silence in the beginning
    Part 2

    1. Thearpox says:

      Listening to Rutscarn talk about not actually risking anything in case of death in a roleplaying game… Dwarf Fortress. Dwarf Fortress.

      The solution to this is a roguelike RPG.

      With the never version that’s coming out adding robberies, invasions, bandit harass, inter-village disputes, and insurrections, I feel like it would really be a step up for roleplaying with risk.

      PS: I actually haven’t finished the podcast yet, so forgive me if they mention just that. Also, stuff like FTL fits the above to some degree, since it does involve roleplay.

      1. Naota says:

        I’m actually pretty sure I specifically mentioned Dwarf Fortress at one point, but to be fair it’s not exactly a choice-driven story kind of game.

        In DF you put your pieces in place and story happens to them. Sometimes it’s something completely bizarre like a dwarf who carves a dozen statues of cheese wedges along the grand hall for no obvious reason, others it’s a riveting epic of three dwarves holding off a goblin siege armed with wooden sticks. It’s the only game I can think of with enough complexity and points of random diversion that you won’t know what to expect next. There’s no pre-designed “plot” – just great gobs of mechanics that all interact to generate stories.

        On the other hand, your typical “story-driven” RPG is a branching path designed in advance, which the player follows in order to experience content. It has (well, should have but frequently doesn’t) characters that develop, underlying themes, a setting which supports the narrative, and a plot with a natural point of resolution.

        These are two very different types of games with different objectives, and I don’t think it’s fair to compare them. While risk is a common factor of roguelikes and DF, both of those examples aren’t shouldering the burden of a pre-existing plot structure. Sure you could write a story which allows for the hero to die for real, forever, in any fight, but you would need some serious restrictions on the story to make the game palatable. In Unrest we do this through our chapter structure – each character with the exception of Asha gets a chapter to themselves, and untimely death is simply another way to end it.

        Dying works in a roguelike because starting over is (nearly, let’s be honest) as new an experience as adventuring further. But dying forever in a game with a static plot progression? Dark Souls with its heavily abstract plot is already sitting on the borderline for many people by sending them back 5-10 minutes for a death. I don’t think you could tell a story like Mass Effect or The Witcher or even The Walking Dead and have permanent character death.

    2. Zukhramm says:

      Youtube link. No silence. No two parts.

      1. ET says:

        Umm…it won’t actually let me click the link… ^^;

      2. Naota says:

        They left Ruts out of the credits! Come on, his RPG design puns weren’t that intolerable!

  8. I believe that Morrowind was the only game where Argonians had no breasts. they also had Digitigrade feet for some reason. I guess they didn’t want the work on the Khajiit feet to go to waste on only one race. Or they wanted to make them more Theropod like? I don’t know what they where thinking.

    1. Bropocalypse says:

      Interestingly, the Morrowind dev kit simply had this animation option selectable with a check box for each race. It was simply labeled ‘beast race’ or something. Not knowing what it did, I turned it on for orcs and, yes, they walked around on digitigrade feet.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Ha,beat you to it!And with links to actual videos,and not just the event,too.

    2. Zukhramm says:

      Don’t bother trying to find individual panels stored on Hitbox. They’re all on the youtube channel and that’s a lot easier to look through:

  9. Bropocalypse says:

    In all fairness, Skyrim’s story is more dense than the vast majority of games, especially mainstream ones.

    Though, it probably depends on how you define a story.
    Do in-game books that provide narrative count as story?
    By extension, does backstory, however optional, count as story?
    And even further, do narrative flavor and lore count as story?

    I’d say so. They’re more obscure(and better) than the story the player receives just by walking around doing quests, but anyone who enjoys stories enough to read them despite the heightened stimulus of the rest of the game will actively look for them. One could make the case that the more someone values story in a game, the more valuable the game is in its ability to deliver story, which is something the in-game books deliver very well.

    Side snark: Bethesda has this odd ability to make great story for the background of a setting, but leaves tripe for the things occurring in the game itself. I said it once before, but it really seems like that company is equal parts consisting of passionate creators and apathetic wage-earners.

    But I will concede that the story thing is kind of a gray area. At what point does an ingredient in food stop being nutrition and start being empty flavoring? It’s a gradient.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Sure,all those things count as story,and skyrim has a lot of it.But for a story to be rich,it has to be well presented,not just dumped in heaps.Like someone mentioned above,these games are merely story heavy.

      For example,brothers has very little story,but it is much richer than all four of these because it presents it all in a unique fashion.

      1. Bropocalypse says:

        I can understand where you’re coming from, but I would disagree that uniqueness of presentation is a qualifier for richness. Not that being unique is bad, it’s very good, but it doesn’t feel like it’s related to the wealth of story. ‘Rich’ to me speaks of quantity, not quality.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Well in the end its just semantics.But I tend to treat it like food.A crapload of poridge isnt rich food.Its a lot,but its bland.And I treat story the same way.A crapton of bland exposition and text isnt rich to me.But a nugget of interesting presentation is.

          That is,unless you accept the joking interpretation like ps238principal up there.

    2. LokiLaForge says:

      “Bethesda has this odd ability to make great story for the background of a setting”
      That got me thinking, does that mean the events from Oblivion work better as backstory in Skyrim then as the plot in game? Does/would hearing a condensed version in Skyrim framed as a history book work better then sitting through the whole thing in Oblivion?

      1. Bropocalypse says:

        The main problem with that is that the story to Oblivion was only slightly less nonsensical than the plot of Fallout 3, so it doesn’t work as a story at all. For one thing, the Imperial bloodline hasn’t been connected to Alessia since Katariah Septim, who was a Dunmer, so it would be impossible for the dragonborn bloodline to be passed down to Martin.

        Skyrim’s plot is simpler, at least. Canonically, the dragonborn of Skyrim would almost certainly be a nord, so being descended from Alessia by way of an unrecorded history is at least more plausible.

        1. Darren says:

          The neat thing about the Skyrim story–to me, at least–is that it ultimately boils down to a matter of in-universe theology. According to the game, the Nords received the ability to use the Voice–training required–from Kyne/Kynareth as an act of pity from when they were subjugated by the dragons.*

          The Dragonborn, however, is gifted the Voice directly from Akatosh for no reason other than it serves his needs, and can use the Voice without any training as a result. It’s implied that Alduin is the first dragon created by Akatosh, and so is something of a Lucifer figure who has fallen into Evil. Whereas Kynareth’s gift helped free the Nords, Akatosh’s gift–to anyone he damn well pleases–ultimately puts down his wayward son.

          *They’re very inconsistent on this point, but it seems that widespread, formal training in the Voice ended after the Nords’ defeat at Red Mountain and they entered into something of an existential crisis.

  10. @6:00 While I do agree that zoom’n the camera all up ins does make the conversations feel more immediate and personal, it still ABSOLUTELY needed to go. That level of game intrusion of player agency is bad enough with how jarring it is, but it’s made all the worse with that nauseating camera zoom that completely disorients you. It’s just not worth it…and that’s ignoring just how godawful ugly the characters are in that game.

  11. Fizban says:

    Everyone hates on the conversation wheel, but I prefer it over basically every other conversation mechanic I’ve seen. The crap in Morrowind where the only way to level up persuasion is to line up your menu boxes and click on an NPC literally thousands of times for no other benefit is the worst. Skyrim’s speechcraft skill doesn’t exist, they should have just abolished the pretense and left it named “bartering.” Other games like Fallout 3 work because they let you level it up in exchange for xp from murdering dudes, cashing in by speech-checking through quest and loot doors, or pull a Mass Effect and give you arbitrary good guy/bad guy points that you must slave yourself too.
    But in Oblivion, you can take the time to get friendly with NPCs with the conversation wheel. At low skill levels you’ll have to finesse it pretty hard, but it doesn’t take much before you can make consistent gains and if you spend enough time you can butter up the people you want buttered up. Early on you’re poor so you try and get all the merchants to like you, but later you’re rich and it’s not worth the time so you don’t, an emergent behavior I quite liked. The wheel’s a simple puzzle game that’s actually not that different from controlling a conversation. Chris may have been joking about working in “one of everything” into each episode, but that can happen, especially with new people. You want to test the waters, find out what parts of their personality match up with yours, and then emphasize those parts to make them like you (at least if you’re a manipulative bastard maxing speechcraft).
    The system is hindered by the immediate voiced responses. Clicking threat shouldn’t actually represent threatening them personally with violence, unless that’s the tactic they respond to best. For a person that threatening doesn’t work on, the threat wedge represents the part of the conversation where you make a slip and insult the nice orphanage lady, or made a snide comment about how the guards shouldn’t mess with you, and the person sees your bad side. In the middle, it’s making bro jokes. But since it’s all voiced responses with no range, every threat wedge is responded to as if you waved a sword in their face. If you can ignore that and keep in mind that the wheel is abstracting a flowing conversation about many topics, it works very well indeed.
    That said, it does get boring after a while. But that’s where the “uncaring rich person” emergent gameplay comes up. Even though you started out making friends and allies at the bottom, once you become rich and powerful you only care about manipulating powerful people to get what you want, and only stop by your bff Bob’s shop when you’re already in the neighborhood and feel like a discount.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      I think the problem with the wheel is in people thinking that if someone botches a system,the system itself is bad,so instead of trying to fix it,they just ditched it.

    2. I’ll be interested to see how the conversation mechanic in Wasteland 2 works. I believe you’re given the text of what’s said, then you can click on highlighted words to learn more (if the NPC can or will talk further on the subject).

      1. Grudgeal says:

        I’ve played the beta, and that’s pretty much it. Certain conversation skills (kiss ass, hard ass and smart ass) also lets you respond in certain ways that may give you a better result than just ordinary responses.

        Also, and don’t quote me on this, higher charisma, perception and/or intelligence in your character seems to highlight more words to select, thus expanding your range of conversation options to explore. Well, either that or those other highlights were added in a later patch and/or I just didn’t notice them first time around. As I said, don’t quote me.

        1. ET says:

          So, in essence it’s Fallout 1’s conversations system, with different skills, and different character attributes used for the thresholds. :P

          1. Grudgeal says:

            Well, yes. Except you’re given the keywords in writing instead of inputting them manually, so you always know which keywords you’ve got access to. You can also see all the keywords’ requirements for conversation skills, so you know what you’ve missed out on.

            1. ET says:

              Oh, I forgot you could cheat FO1’s system like that. I was more referring to the numbered options, I guess, than the box on the side, where you could type in “tell me about…” kind of thing. Like, in general, the numbered options behave exactly like the click-button options in Wasteland 2. i.e. They both use thresholds on skills and stats. I guess I also forgot that the un-met-threshold options are invisible in FO1, and visible in Wasteland 2. :)

              1. Jeff says:

                I’ve been playing Wastelands 2 (the beta, obviously) recently, and there’s actually a few keywords that aren’t put onto the buttons, which the NPC will respond to.

      2. Bubble181 says:

        So….The Daggerfall model? It works, but tends to become too much like link-diving through Wikipedia at times.

    3. Hal says:

      I will say that one of the things I missed going from Morrowind to Oblivion was the ability to incite an NPC to violence. I vaguely remember a quest where I had to kill a guy, but he was chilling in a pub in town with some buddies (and, of course, the local constabulary). Attacking him wasn’t an option because of the guards, but badgering him into attacking me worked just fine. I don’t remember the guards lifting a finger to help me, but they didn’t seem to care that I defended myself.

      1. ET says:

        That’s actually kind of a cool mechanic, which would be cool if expanded upon in some future computer game. Like, maybe if your speech skill is high, it functions just like in Oblivion – the dude attacks you, and none of the guards interfere. Or if your skill is low, then you both get arrested for being in a bar fight. Or if your skill is super high, one or two guars help a bit in the fight! :)

      2. Nidokoenig says:

        Yeah, being able to taunt someone into violence(possibly with a magic buff to give you a few seconds of superhuman speechcraft), or straight up cast a rage spell on them was always fun. Great way to make money selling armour or clear out the fuzz at higher levels was to steal a pillow or something, declare your intent to resist arrest, then wait for the guard to hit you first, and then defend yourself. Once he’s dead, find another guard and pay the fine for the pillow then go back to doing whatever it is you didn’t want him seeing you do.

        Morrowind was really fun in the way it let its mechanics go as far as the numbers would allow. It went completely batshit sometimes, but that doesn’t happen enough in video games.

      3. Bryan says:

        Risen does something similar in a couple of places — you can taunt one particular NPC into attacking you, at which point you take on both him and the guy he hired as a guard. Or you can taunt his guard into attacking you, at which point you fight him alone. After you knock him down (…but don’t kill him after that — *do*, however, take everything he’s holding), he refuses to fight for the first NPC when you turn around and taunt him into attacking you. Makes that fight a lot easier.

        And while you’re doing all of this, the town guards, who are milling around this entire time, have no reaction to you essentially picking a fight with two members of the town. Unless you outright attack the NPCs.

        (The whole point of doing this taunting and fighting, for the record, is to get “debt” money from the first NPC, at which point you choose whether to give it to the mob representative or the local representative of the law. It’s one of seven quests in that town that you complete for one side or the other; when you complete the fourth for either side, you join that side. You’re forced to join one side or the other before town guards will let you through the gates … unless you’re good at climbing and can get out over the walls. Anyway…)

        There’s another point in that town where you can follow an NPC who’s stealing from the local mob, to see who he’s working with. At the end both he and the guy he’s working with attack you. Can’t remember if there are any guards around, but there are a whole lot of other NPCs when it happens, and none of them cares.

        But never, ever, *ever* walk up into someone’s house while they can see you (which means, while the half of the world that they’re looking “at” includes your position; they look out over a 180-degree arc). They call guards, everyone starts fighting, and you have a rather bad day. Sneaking in at about midnight is a much better way to grab everything that isn’t nailed down…

  12. Ysen says:

    The major problem I have with the lack of zooming in on faces in Skyrim is that it makes the lack of body language and gesticulation incredibly apparent. I’m not sure if that’s better or worse than Oblivion’s badly textured, plastic faces.

  13. Raygereio says:

    Also, Valve evidently has a sense of humor.

    The biggest joke was this popping up on a flash sale.

    1. fdgzd says:

      I saw that and was thoroughly confused for a minute

    2. Sagretti says:

      The punchline? It was the second best selling product on Steam while it was on sale. Steam sale addicts are not in denial about their problem.

    3. Akri says:

      I dunno, I got a bigger chuckle out of Dragon Age: Origins being listed as 175% off for a while. “We want to get rid of this so bad, we’ll pay you to take it!”

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Storing someones junk is a profitable business after all.

  14. lucky7 says:

    At 14:14 Arcadia calls Catbert a Nord.

  15. Abnaxis says:

    Linked video plays no sound for me…


    EDIT:…and now I see where Daemian says the first 3:30 is silence. Cheers!

  16. rofltehcat says:

    I actually like the idea of dialogue as puzzles. Hower, it should really be more like pipe dream that you jokingly mentioned. Hell, you could even combine it with a deck of your choice (a bit like card city nights) so you can build a deck specialized on threatening, for example.

    There’d be several end results and every person would react differently to certain cards/puzzle pieces. A security guy wouldn’t be easily intimidated but maybe some flattery of his muscles will do the trick. So flattery pieces would stay on the board longer, intimidation pieces shorter.
    Or maybe depending on if your pieces fit and you use them in the right order you’ll end up at several or just one end location.
    So for example someone might tell you secret or easter egg if you got just the right pieces for his puzzle board but the kind of information you actually wanted would have required a U-turn joke piece.

    Just think of the possibilities! Imagine what the inevitable romance system could be like!

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Dialogue puzzles should be like insult sword fighting in monkey island.

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.