You know the drill. Just like last time, post your questions about Daggerfall below and I’ll go through and answer them.
But first, a sample of gameplay:
I’m not sure how long I’ve been in this dungeon for. A couple hours? It started out as a series of narrow sloping tunnels and then turned into a giant cavern…full…of…towers? Which is odd, because I’m relatively certain this was supposed to be a fort. Also I was sent here to kill orcs and this place is chock-a-bursting with werewolves.
Oh, it’s a room full of chains and torture devices. This can’t be that other room full of chains and torture devices–there were two half-naked female corpses in there from the assassins I killed–so this means I am, in fact, finding new areas. That’s a huge relief. Let’s check the map just for the hell of it.
Now, from this chunkily-rotating jagged 3D map of a winding multilevel dungeon with only one isometric angle that refuses to load anything but a very tight locus of content, I can conclude that I am currently in a dungeon. From this data point I can further induce that I am sick of the dungeon and that I want to leave.
I found a chain and clicked on it. Now I’m levitating. I’m not sure how that works, but I can use it to get down into this little pyramid thing. How will I get *out* of the pyramid thing? I couldn’t guess. It’s quite possible that I’ve just completely screwed myself and that there is no earthly way for my character to get out again. It’d be one thing if there was a vertical wall to climb, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.
A monster type I’ve never seen before is shooting spells at me. I kill it. It would seem that it is not, in fact, an orc.
There is definitely no way out of here.
Hey, on the bright side, now I get to go back three hours ago. If I’m very careful, and follow my notes precisely, maybe I can get lost in the same direction as last time.
I am neither careful nor precise. I wind up down a different passage and end up in another big cavern. Across a giant gap I can see more towers, more tunnels. I am sick at the prospect of having another complex the size of the one I just clambered out of to explore, and begin to reflect on the many ways this game resents my not being a wizard who can teleport himself home immediately. Oh, and here’s a spider that I have to wrestle my camera to an awkward angle to kill. Interesting nature fact: spiders are not orcs.
You know, if I’m down here much longer, this quest is going to expire.
And now, your questions:
Daemian Lucifer asked: When you’ve finished the main quest, how much of the game have you explored, approximately?
Depending on your accounting, anywhere from far less than 1% to approximately 85%. You’ll see a truly negligible percentage of the game’s rooms, fields, forests, NPCs, and towns–this is probably true no matter how much you’ve played–but you’ll see a very high percentage of the game’s actual assets.
Over the course of the main quest you’ll see (I believe) every handmade dungeon, many of the game’s monsters, and you’ll most likely interact with every kind of shop or service the game offers. There will be other factions with some flavor (more on that later), and there’s some suprises you can stumble on (like accidentally becoming a wereshark), but you’ve still seen most of what the game really has to offer.
James Porter asked: The FMV at the beginning of Daggerfall is kinda awesome to me, in an old school DnD opening kind of way. In fact, I dig it so much, I will go so far as to say that I prefer the Daggerfall Uriel Septim's performance to Patrick Steward in Oblivion. Do you have a preference?
FMVs suit the aesthetics of older games because they help fill the gap between what parts of the simulation the game can and cannot render. They provide a strong and absolute image to help the rest of the less-realized assets be interpreted. These days I’d say it’s better for AAA to maintain consistency, since their visuals are about as high quality as the original FMVs, but I’d say there’s an argument for their selective use in indie titles.
And yes, I have to admit, I admire its old-school sensibility as well. But the kitsch isn’t really the selling point of the franchise–I’d prefer to see it in another series than in this one.
MichaelGC asked: There was mention of a ghostly king, a letter, and the Queen of Daggerfall all playing a part, but I wasn't sure how those fitted in with wandering lost around endless dungeons filled with towers and pyramids and the wrong type of foes.
So, does the dungeon-wandering progress or have an impact on the story at all, or is that all “side”-content?
I’d argue it informs the player’s final decision somewhat by demonstrating the destructiveness and cattiness of politics in the Bay, but no direct impact that I’m aware of, no.
Grey Cap asked: How much does the crazy stupid dungeon design resemble the Blackreach in Skyrim? Because the whole “there's a bunch of castles here in this unreasonably huge cave” seems similar. An evolution of the same ideas? Or just a coincidence?
No, no similarity at all. It’s not an aesthetic, it’s a limitation of how they create their dungeons. It might or might not come off as charming, but it shouldn’t be given a lot of credit.
Rutheus asked: Was I the only person who played this and ended up with sweet gear and a horrid level?
The game seems to expect you to do a lot of sidequesting. And yes, in classic old-school style, it is often possible to obtain equipment that eclipses your actual abilities.
Fabrimuch asked: What's the most bizarre aspect of Daggerfall that was abandoned by later insallments? Was it the khajit porn literature?
I wouldn’t say that kind of weirdness was totally abandoned, just significantly softened. Besides–that’s not the weirdest thing in this game by a long shot.
It’s a very tough call, but I’d say the fixation on breasts in the weirdest thing in this game. The absurdity of wandering down the hall from a dominatrix and finding a formal brassiere in a chest is the part of this game that feels most incongruous to the rest of the franchise, where you’re rarely meant to feel singled out or seen differently on account of your gender.
John asked: Do the various guilds serve any purpose other than to act as a source of random and frequently impossible quests?
Da Mage asked: What aspect/s of Daggerfall's design would you like to see be updated and reintroduced to the series?
Tough question. Honestly, if you let me reintroduce something from Daggerfall into the next TES game, it’d probably be something that was also in Morrowind, but I get the sense that’s not the question you’re asking here. So I’m going to go with the ridiculously hands-on, in-depth class creation system. Unlikely, since as of Skyrim we don’t have any classes whatsoever.
bigben01985 asked (regarding quest expiry): Is that a thing? And if so, were there more sandbox-y open world giant dungeon games that did this?
It was a thing. The only game I’ve played that’s vaguely comparable to Daggerfall is the relatively obscure contemporary Realms of Arkania, and to be honest, I don’t remember if quests in that game expire or not–I don’t believe they do, but I’d have to dig it up and try it again.
Primogentior asked: Given the current Indie trend of resurrecting old gamestyles, could a game the scale of Daggerfall come back in the modern era? would the modern ability to actually generate quest targets in the quest location counter its charming brokenness? has it already and I've missed it?
Besides the fact that the indie games industry is incredibly bleak and this project is unlikely to succeed, there’s nothing particularly stopping a modern remake. It may have been made already, or a hundred thousand of them may have been made already come out, a quarter of them free to play, and we just haven’t heard about them because see point 1.
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