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Early Look At The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the potions-that-destroy-your-soul dept.

Role Playing (Games) 210

Bethesda plans to launch their newest Elder Scrolls game, Skyrim, in November, and they've finally started to take the wraps off the game. A preview at Eurogamer provides some information about the game's combat, the UI, and exploration of the game world. Quoting: "RPGs send you into menus more than almost any other game genre, so it's weird that more thought doesn't go into inventory design, but as I play around with powers, weapons and items to lighten my load it becomes clear that Skyrim is a welcome exception. Its nested menus are accessed almost as smoothly as iPad page swipes, and navigating them is quick and clean. You can set favorites, equip items to either hand, and examine things in detail. More than once during my brief hands-on I have to rotate an object to look for a clue to a puzzle, or read a document, and it's all done without going to a different screen or do anything more complex than wiggling sticks and hitting a face button. It's easy to imagine that a system like this in Oblivion or Fallout could have shaved hours off the average player's actual game-time. As it is, it saves valuable seconds in my hands-on, and seconds are my currency today, so thank you to whomever at Bethesda designed the inventory."

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Meh... (1, Offtopic)

Marneus68 (2329096) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995146)

Am I the only one to think that they want to make it a plain console game, slowly taking away the RPG features. Okay, it's not yet a giant corridor with a single path. I don't want to say "things were better back then"... but look at all the gameplay possibilities the player lost since TES 2: Daggerfall... Climbing, Flying, many objects and inventory slots, spells... That said, I'm not really impressed by this Skyrim preview... but I look forward to try it. I don't want to rage about a game I didnt try.

Re:Meh... (0)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995178)

What does lack of climbing and flying have to do with being on a console?

Re:Meh... (0)

gilleain (1310105) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995214)

Heh I remember the days where you could make a suit of flying and get a ring of invisibility and be nigh invulnerable!

Re:Meh... (0)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995248)

Try Tempo's Jewellary for Oblivion.

There's an Attributes ring, a Restore ring, and a Skills necklace, all wearable together. Instant demi-God character (you can still die if you play badly though, hence demi-God)

Re:Meh... (0)

The Moof (859402) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995890)

You could just create various pieces of armor and items and and get 100% chameleon affect in Oblivion without any mods. The only way to die is to kill yourself since enemies will never attack.

Re:Meh... (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995444)

Removing easily exploited for easy victories features like that were a good thing.

Re:Meh... (1)

edremy (36408) | more than 3 years ago | (#36996030)

Why? It's a solo game- there's nobody else that you're trumping by making yourself into a demigod. Part of the fun of these sorts of sandbox games is finding out ways to exploit stuff- Morrowind's main quest line was solvable in ~10 minutes if you knew the proper alchemy exploits.

If you want to solve a $60 game in under an hour, who does it hurt?

Re:Meh... (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#36996148)

Removing easily exploited for easy victories features like that were a good thing.

Why? It's a single-player game so the only person being cheated is the one doing it and even then, it might make them enjoy the game more.

Re:Meh... (1)

tebixan (2118724) | more than 3 years ago | (#36996814)

I would just prefer things like that be enabled through a cheat code or something, rather than an exploit. There's nothing wrong with hacking a single player game, or using developer embedded cheats, but game breaking exploits shouldn't be part of the normal game.

Re:Meh... (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#36996848)

Good point. Thanks for clearing that one up for me.

Re:Meh... (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#36996464)

Half the fun of Nethack was in finding exploits.

Re:Meh... (5, Interesting)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995286)

No, you're definitely not the only one to feel that way. In fact, I'd say it's a time-honored tradition for older games to come out and poo-poo the latest Elder Scrolls game, regaling us with stories of how complex and deep the older games were. That's not to say that I disagree; in fact, I whole-heartedly agree with this criticism. However, I also find the later games to be enjoyable for what they are. As long as you're willing to accept that certain features have been irrevocably streamlined away, and they're not coming back, you can still have quite a bit of fun with Morrowind, Oblivion, and Fallout 3 (which isn't an Elder Scrolls game, of course, but still uses the same engine).

I get just as frustrated as everyone else, when I load up the newest Elder Scrolls game, and some weapon or skill that I liked is gone, but -- usually -- the rest of the game makes up for that. And they can never take Arena, Daggerfall, or Morrowind away from us. If you want to levitate, while shooting a crossbow, well, you can always load up one of the older games. In fact, Morrowind and Oblivion both still have a surprisingly active modding community (or, they did, when I last re-installed the games and was collecting mods).

Now, I'm not a fanboy, and I'm not saying Oblivion was an amazing, top-notch game -- but each of the Elder Scrolls games has been deeply flawed in its own idiosyncratic way, and I've been able to overlook those flaws, because I like the overall game design. Arena is a bit fuzzy in my memory, but I remember it being a bit shallow. Personally, I thought Daggerfall was almost unplayably buggy, soullessly random, and had a horrendous UI. Morrowind was frankly a bit boring, with nothing but endless Cliff Divers for miles and miles. Oblivion heavily penalized you for improving any non-combat skills, and the vaunted Radiant AI was a total joke. But there were aspects to those games that kept me playing for years. So, in the end, I'd advise cautious optimism and trust in the game design. The worst thing that happens is that you post another stereotypical "back in MY day" rant on the official forums and wait for a mod that fixes all the bone-headed decisions they made in the new game.

Re:Meh... (1)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995338)

Arena - was Teh Awesomes. Right up until I got a copy of it a couple of years ago and found out the hard way that nostalgia ages worse than white wine.
Daggerfall - hugest map ever. and the dungeons were a joy... up until I realised how thay were built from blocks and learned to navigate each block with my eyes closed (J-shaped green stone corridor? There'll be a secret door on the outside of the curve.)
Morrowind was a revalation at the time, but I soon got tired of how linear the plot dungeons were.
Oblivion. Shiny, new. Lots of things I abused in previous games taken out. I hate auto-level balance with a passion.

Each new game brought a whole slew of changes - mostly good (I've only gotten stuck on the scenery half-a-dozen times in Oblivion. But no levitate to get out quickly...) and some not so good. But at least Bethesda have listened to the fans and kept the open sandbox which is the reason we all play Elder Scrolls. Well, they have after the debacle that was Battlespire. (Which I still completed, I'm that badly addicted)
Plus, Skyrim comes out a week before my wife's birthday. So that's an easy present choice...

Re:Meh... (2)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995410)

The auto-level balanced was terrible.

Game started easy and stayed easy on easy mode, and started some-what hard and got impossible on hard mode.

Doing side-quests actually hurt your chances of winning with the difficulty set to be hard enough to be worth playing at the start, and never to doing a couple side-quests make the next main mission easier, unless you started with the game too easy for it to matter.

I also found that Oblivion and Morrowind felt smaller than Arena (when walking between towns), but there was a long gap between when i played them and Arena. Part of the thing about Arena though was that it was years before games came that felt as large and open. Playing in an open environment in a first person type perspective was amazing in the mid 90's.

Re:Meh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36995852)

The Oblivion system simply seemed impossible to create a "proper" difficulty curve in while playing. My own experiences had my initial character be brutalized by poor skill planning, after remaking him I breezed through the majority of the game feeling nigh invincible. To anyone who was put off by this and didn't get through the game I highly recommend looking up Obscuros Oblivion Overhaul. It includes a large collection of other great mods, but the big selling point is completely overhauling the game to create a more traditional leveling experience, removing the randomized loot/challenges and autoleveling of content. IIRC the creators work so impressed Bethesda that he was hired.

Re:Meh... (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995982)

+1 thanks.

I don't like to grind for eternity, but the game really should of been developed in such a way you had to do a little leveling between main quests (no auto difficulty).

The side-quests could be done auto-leveled, so you don't need to wander around looking for an easy enough dungeon, but I don't really know that I like that either.

The auto-leveling just made all progress feel worthless, defeating the purpose of a leveling system.

Re:Meh... (2)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#36996248)

Doing side-quests actually hurt your chances of winning with the difficulty set to be hard enough to be worth playing at the start, and never to doing a couple side-quests make the next main mission easier, unless you started with the game too easy for it to matter.

What they IMO should have done is have the auto-balance only be relative to your progress on the main quest line. This would have rewarded those who do side quests, who would then be more powerful versus the late level foes than someone who didn't.

But what really made Oblivion a game I don't return to is the lack of voice. You have people gathered, apparently always in somber mourning, because they're silent. In battle, I hear the swoosh of a sword, the bang of a fireball, but I can hack a guy to pieces and he bites his lip not to make a sound. There are lots of things I can ignore in order to dispense disbelief, but that one hits a nerve.

Second, to that, how everything is so sepia. Not as bad as Morrowind, but still. No, it's not "gritty", it's just plain yellow and brown.

Third must be how all tactics boils down to "run backwards and fire constantly until the enemy drops". Many games have this AI flaw, but Oblivion and Fallout 3 more than most.

Re:Meh... (1)

ifrag (984323) | more than 3 years ago | (#36996492)

"run backwards and fire constantly until the enemy drops". Many games have this AI flaw, but Oblivion and Fallout 3 more than most.

Until you find a critter which has more speed than you at least. I think a Deathclaw at least can outpace a player? Still, broken AI either way. I suppose enemies with ranged attacks don't suffer nearly as bad, but melee stuff yea... Maybe everything melee should be given some kind of "sprint" ability as to not trivialize an entire class of enemy.

Re:Meh... (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995778)

Oblivion. Shiny, new. Lots of things I abused in previous games taken out. I hate auto-level balance with a passion.

Each new game brought a whole slew of changes - mostly good (I've only gotten stuck on the scenery half-a-dozen times in Oblivion. But no levitate to get out quickly...) and some not so good.

This is why the only real way to play Oblivion is on the PC with mods that fix the bad decisions (like auto-leveling) and add so much more variety and fun to the game that Bethesda never did. I give them credit for building the framework of the game that only became amazing when combined with a dozen or more mods. It's such a completely different game at that point that you wouldn't believe it.

Re:Meh... (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#36996430)

the "natural leveling" mod is one of the most worthwhile out there.

I loved some of the ones I added, even the more subtle ones like the book and potion mods just added that little bit of richness to the world.

Re:Meh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36996256)

Arena was pretty damn fun, right up until the point where you find out you're supposed to go do the same thing to get the next staff piece, 6 more times.

Re:Meh... (1)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 3 years ago | (#36996406)

Why do you think they took out the passwall spell? Most of the staff dungeons had a wall you could just zip through, short-cutting 80-90% of the dungeon.

Re:Meh... (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995384)

While I did like the 'random' quest elements of Daggerfall, to be honest they were a little overwhelming. So many towns, cities, sites. Spending hours in a dungeon looking for a werewolf and then the exit...

I dunno, I think I preferred Morrowind to it. As long as the gameplay isn't padded by walking through the wilderness killing boring things, I'm not going to complain.

First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36995156)

First

Re:First (0)

Captain Hook (923766) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995170)

First fail you mean.

Re:First (1, Funny)

auLucifer (1371577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995192)

Disappointedly, that's what she said

Re:First (0)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995200)

No I didn't!

Question about DRM (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995168)

Is its DRM reasonable? If you buy the game, can you play and reinstall it as many times as you want on whatever computer you want, and can you play it without internet connection if single player?

Thanks.

Re:Question about DRM (2, Informative)

ZankerH (1401751) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995194)

In all of Bethesda's previous games, the answer to that would be an unambiguous 'yes'. They haven't indicated anything to suggest different for Skyrim.

Re:Question about DRM (1)

DRBivens (148931) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995378)

In all of Bethesda's previous games, the answer to that would be an unambiguous 'yes'. They haven't indicated anything to suggest different for Skyrim.

No, not quite all. While the original Oblivion was fairly unprotected, the Shivering Isles expansion and the GOTY Edition DO contain the dreaded SecuROM DRM. AFAIK, it does not "phone home" like some other titles, but it's there, nevertheless and will prevent use of some drive emulators and utilities like ProcessExplorer.

Re:Question about DRM (1)

The Moof (859402) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995972)

In all of Bethesda's previous games, the answer to that would be an unambiguous 'yes'.

Fallout 3 came with SecuROM (not the disk check version they claimed it was, even after they got busted for lying about it) and GFWL. So, based on history, 'no.' Their most recent offering was heavily hooked into Steam, so Steamworks seems like it'd be a good bet Skyrim's DRM will be.

Re:Question about DRM (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#36996336)

GFWL? Count me out, then. Having to create another e-mail account, Windows Live account, "gamertag", and remember more passwords just to play a game isn't an option for me. If it's not a problem for youse, great.

Re:Question about DRM (1)

garatheus (993376) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995206)

I don't think any of their games have been DRM-intensive? At least, I don't remember Morrowind having anything... Nor Oblivion. I just don't think it's something they do?

Re:Question about DRM (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995226)

No DRM at all on Oblivion if I recall correctly. I have no trouble running the ISO in my virtual CD drive. I think Fallout is a bit of a pain though. Funny I still play Oblivion often but never touch Fallout. Co-incidence? And yes I paid for and own a legal copy of both programs.

Re:Question about DRM (1)

the_bard17 (626642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995280)

Delete the original shortcut, since the executable it calls up includes the disk check. Create a shortcut to fallout3.exe instead. No more SecuROM disk check.

Yes, it really is that simple.

Re:Question about DRM (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995340)

I made an ISO of my oblivion disk: so convenient, no messing around trying to find the CD, just mount an image.

I actually own 2 oblivion disks: one came as part of a pack.

the no DRM thing is a big plus for the elder scrolls series.

Re:Question about DRM (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995366)

Yes I know oblivion didn't have it, but that's almost 5 years ago! It already existed, but wasn't such a trend as now yet.

Re:Question about DRM (1)

Chaosrains (1778770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995230)

Bethesda has a very supportive and open stance on the modding community, even going so far as to provide them with the tools they need to do so. From this, you could expect that you won't see any crazy, restrictive DRM. Bethesda's no Ubisoft.

Re:Question about DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36995262)

Bethesda seem married to steamworks as of late, so I wouldn't bet any money on the no internet connection part.

Re:Question about DRM (2)

MrKevvy (85565) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995324)

Already up for pre-order on Steam, and they will probably be using SteamWorks activation for the DVD (when asked about it, Todd Howard's only reply was "We like Steam") so whatever policies Steam applies will hold.
If it uses SteamWorks it will require an internet connection to activate but can be played offline after this.

Re:Question about DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36995462)

I know steam is the cool kid on the block but that sucks.

It means I might not be able to play it in say 10 or 20 years.

That might sound unreasonable, but I still play prince of persia (1990), moo or mario game gallery sometimes, not to mention some "newer" games.. Will steam have backwards compatibility or patches for the old games?

But it not just about that. It's the attitude towards me as a consumer that bothers me greatly. Why should I be dependable on a third party to use a product I own? And if I don't own it I'm not paying 60 eur for it. And why should I let a third party know what I spend my free time on? I'm having a serious moral dilemma over this. I might just have to find a pirate copy, which I really don't want to do. Had the same issue with Fallout New Vegas, ended up not buying nor pirating it in the end. If this is where things are heading maybe pirating it will be justifiable. They want to exploit me economically, might as well do the same to them.

Re:Question about DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36995916)

With many "older" games, you have to crack 100 versions of 5 different DRM variations. One for each game. Or you can keep disc images around and hope that the CD/DVD emulation works (it won't, always).

With Steam games, you have to crack the authentication layer to unlock your entire Steam library.

Re:Question about DRM (1)

slackbheep (1420367) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995954)

Hasn't Valve loudly and widely said that if they ever have to turn off the authentication servers the plan is to remove the necessity for them? That said, my issue with Valve is more to do with them trying to enforce certain idiotic standards. The slap fight between them and EA at the moment is ridiculous. It seems since EA didn't want to sell some or all of their DLC in the Steam store (instead having in game or onsite browsers for those purchases) they were forced to remove certain games like Dragon Age 2 and Crysis 2. Who knows how much of this is bad blood over EA wanting their own content distribution service in Origin, but either way Valve trying to tell other developers how they can and cannot distribute DLC is over the line. I'd care a lot less if Valve didn't have the most annoying method around for advertising this shit. No, I don't need to see Magicka and it's ten bloody DLC packs each time I look at the list of new releases.

Re:Question about DRM (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995990)

it'll most probably have drm, but you'll get a crack like always - you really think that crackers are going to pass on it?

same as always, really.

I think a much larger problem with the game is going to be targeting 360 as well. think about it, how much memory do you have to spare on xbox 360 for behind the scenes rpg world and ui decisions? and how you could throw an extra gigabyte for that on a pc. well, that and the fact that the edge preview of it sucked, I mean, it was a glowing preview, but focused on entirely meaningless things from game perspective, half of it was dedicated to how smooth playing it is as if you could play it in a coma.

Stick!? Face button!? (4, Insightful)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995180)

Stick!? Face button!? What are these foreign things you speak of!? My TES uses a moue and keyboard. I hope there's no port drama.

Re:Stick!? Face button!? (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995196)

That was exactly my thoughts too: I do NOT want a half-assed console port that is barely playable... :S

Re:Stick!? Face button!? (1)

Chaosrains (1778770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995274)

In my experience Bethesda develops the games for both in such a way as to make it not feel like a port. I'm not sure which platform is their main focus for Skyrim, but I wouldn't expect to see terrible control layouts. Oblivion is available for both console and PC, but has a fairly good control scheme on the PC, in my opinion. I think the only problem I would be worried about for the PC is no ability to remap controls - I can't remember if Oblivion or Fallout even had this option (I never found the need for it, anyway).

Re:Stick!? Face button!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36995468)

I hated Oblivion's dumbed-down-for-console-controls menu system.

Well, stay away from Bethseda then (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995334)

Morrowind, horribly crippled on the PC with regards to loading, although this was fixed when the PC only expansions arrived which suddenly realized PC's had more then 32mb of ram available and a speedy HD. Before: Loading every other step After: No loads ever.

Oblivion, OH MY GOD CAN THAT TEXT BE ANY LARGER and an inventory system from hell.

Consolitus has struck heavily in the realms of the elder scrolls. Luckily so far the games have been very modifiable meaning paying customers could fix the game unpaid but beggars can't be choosers.

At least they still bother with PC versions. Yes I am looking at you Rockstar, feeling to good to acknowledge your roots eh?

Re:Well, stay away from Bethseda then (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995620)

RAM isn't a loading limitation....bad game design is. There are PS1 and PS2 games that don't have loading screens in game, because they are dynamically streaming assets from disc as needed. One example is EQOA on the PS2, unless you directly teleport/coach/recall home between locations, you will never see a loading screen past game start. You could run from Fayspires to Freeport to Qeynos and then swim to Odus., and NEVER see a load screen, something the PC version of EQ at the time couldn't claim even though it was running on machines with more RAM.

Oblivion, OH MY GOD CAN THAT TEXT BE ANY LARGER and an inventory system from hell.

Yep, large text, designed so it was readable on SD screens. Once took my PS3 to a friends house to show him Oblivion, at that time he only had an SD display. Because of the UI decisions made by Bethesda it was still usable and playable on that screen...unlike certain other games. Now you're probably thinking, "well I'm on a PC and have a high resolution screen". That's true, but game dev time is finite, so they probably didn't do it to save time. Sooner or later someone has to decide that they're done, and not adding any more to it. Wanted a UI scaling option myself on the PS3 version, the text was a little large, I agree.

Consolitus has struck heavily in the realms of the elder scrolls.

Without the additional numbers from the consoles, there might not be any more Elder Scrolls games, because RPG's are a niche market, even more so than they used to be. Publishers look at sales numbers and think, why should we make a game that will sell less than a million when we can do another "16 million shades of brown military shooter of the week" and have lots more sales.

Re:Well, stay away from Bethseda then (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995860)

RAM isn't a loading limitation....bad game design is. There are PS1 and PS2 games that don't have loading screens in game, because they are dynamically streaming assets from disc as needed. One example is EQOA on the PS2, unless you directly teleport/coach/recall home between locations, you will never see a loading screen past game start. You could run from Fayspires to Freeport to Qeynos and then swim to Odus., and NEVER see a load screen, something the PC version of EQ at the time couldn't claim even though it was running on machines with more RAM.

Ridiculous. There's a difference in the size and amount of graphical assets used in games today than those in games when the XBox 360 was released, and PC graphics capabilities today far exceed the consoles. The XBox has a tiny amount of RAM compared to your average gaming PC, and it's a hindrance to development of games with large amounts of detail in their environment. That's why we get details popping in and out as you move around the world. There's no room to store that many things in RAM at once.

Re:Well, stay away from Bethseda then (2)

Danse (1026) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995906)

Without the additional numbers from the consoles, there might not be any more Elder Scrolls games, because RPG's are a niche market, even more so than they used to be. Publishers look at sales numbers and think, why should we make a game that will sell less than a million when we can do another "16 million shades of brown military shooter of the week" and have lots more sales.

Because the market can only support so many of those and you get massively diminishing returns being Brown Shooter #20 this year. There is pent up demand for games like the Elder Scrolls series because we don't get too many like it. If they're going to release on the PC, they should put at least a modicum of effort into ensuring that the interface is decent for PC users.

Re:Stick!? Face button!? (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995486)

Keyboard movement sucked in 1983 when too many C64/Atari/Apple/IBM PC gamers, after spending too much money on their hardware, didn't spend any money to get a joystick. Keyboard movement sucks in 2011 too, keyboards were designed for text entry not game control. Yes they have lots of buttons so you can have "I" be inventory or "M"
be map, but that's just bad UI design, relying on lots of buttons rather than designing a UI that doesn't need lots of buttons but has the same functionality. A keyboard based UI is also less hand friendly. Try playing the PC port of Diablo and see how long it is before you can't play before your hands get tired/cramp up. Then try the PSone version, you'll be able to play confortably a LOT longer.

  The best of both worlds is analog aiming and analog movement and there's two ways to get that, use an analog stick and mouse or a dual stick controller.

Re:Stick!? Face button!? (1)

Zencyde (850968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995544)

I've know some FPS players that want to ironically beat you with sticks.

Re:Stick!? Face button!? (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995628)

I'm one of them.

One my pet hates is console gamers who played Unreal Tournament on their "box" and think they could beat me on my kb/m with their "leet pad". It's a hate rather than just a niggle cos I can't prove them wrong because of the short-sightedness of games designers. We all know it's because it's unfair, but dumb console-heads seem to think they have the advantage!

Is there any way to directly compare the platforms through cross-platform FPS play? If so, I'll buy both platform versions of the game that allows it and a damn "box" just so my smug pad-wielding guests can finally shut up!

Re:Stick!? Face button!? (2)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995696)

You might be interested in this article covered in a number of places online.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/ms-killed-pc-xbox-cross-platform-play [eurogamer.net]
http://gizmodo.com/5593116/were-pc-gamers-too-good-for-microsofts-cross+platform-gaming-project [gizmodo.com]

The story was covered at slashdot, but my search-fu only really extends to google.

Re:Stick!? Face button!? (2)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995736)

Found it!

http://games.slashdot.org/story/10/07/23/2127253/PC-Gamers-Too-Good-For-Consoles-Gamers [slashdot.org]

Your search skill has inceased, you might want to rest to meditate.

Re:Stick!? Face button!? (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995770)

Thank you! Now I can relax when bragging chavs wax lyrical about how much better a pad is, I knew I was right anyway because I can turn and point my gun at your head faster with a mouse than is physically possible with a pad, but now I have it confirmed!

ps "your search skill has increased" - cute and bang on topic! Thanks for making me smile!

Re:Stick!? Face button!? (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995816)

You may not believe me, but PC gamers are ham fisted and have no fine motor control with their thumbs. It's why you can't aim with a dual analog. Simply put console gamers have been building up their thumbs over years, and you can't expect to be able to do the same thing if you've never used a right thumb analog stick. For example when I tried to play the PSone Quake II with the dualshock, I couldn't hit anything, because the games I played didn't use the right stick for much more than camera control. I simply didn't have the "training" to use it. I think it was 2002 or so when I finally could even half aim with it in a shooter. SOCOM helped me get better.

So yes, those dual analog folks probably could match you, depending on their deadzone and speed settings. And you can't blame "aim assist" because many console gamers turn it off. Can't stand it myself, always got in my way. Makes the PS2 port of Half-Life harder if you have it on.

That might be a good test, single player games. See who can do what, faster. Test out game veterans and people who have never played them. There's more to gaming than competitive FPS you know. And you and others who talk about how great keyboards and mice are are almost always talking about competitive fragfests, not RPG's like the TES series. But let me say again, I never want to play a Diablo clone with a mouse again...my god the wrist and the repetitive clicking....ouch.

Re:Stick!? Face button!? (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995880)

You are probably correct about my lack of practice manipulating analog sticks, and how stiff-fisted (I'd say that's a more accurate description) my hands will be, locked to the keyboard and mouse as they are.

However, you still can't argue with the fact that the reason there is no cross-platform play is that PC gamers were wiping the floor with console gamers.

And you can't argue with the fact that I sat in front of my friend's console, turned sensitivity up to max, pushed the stick all the way to the right, and was dissappointed with the speed of my turn. Sorry. Click. Head shot.

Bullshit (2)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#36996162)

Bullshit. And frankly, the farther I see you going down this line of pulling stuff out of the ass about keyboard controls, the more comical it gets.

A bunch of us have been playing TES games just fine with a keyboard and mouse too. And there are many millions of people world-wide playing WoW and other games just fine with keyboard and mouse.

And sorry, MOVEMENT is hard for you with a keyboard? WTF were you even trying to do, that movement was such a problem? Tightrope walking? Or WTH? Especially if we move out of the realm of FPS frag-fests and into RPGs like the TES series, then we can pretty much even exclude "jump puzzles" too, and I'm drawing blanks for ANY game where accurate movement with a keyboard or anything else was ever a problem.

Was there any map in Oblivion where it even mattered if you moved half a foot more or less with the keyboard than with a gamepad? Even the extremely few places where you could take a shortcut by jumping, were actually made for a game where Acrobatics skill made a huge difference in how much you CAN jump. I.e., the maps were designed for the case that you really can't jump more than a couple of FT.

So even in your delusional world where apparently PC gamers don't have trained thumbs and presumably can't press the space bar in the same time as you push the jump button, where the fuck in Oblivion did it ever matter how precisely you move with a keyboard?

Look, I know it's usual among cretin console fanboys to just make up their delusional bullshit about PC gaming. But, really, when you have to reach for such idiotic extremes of bullshit as that

- MOVEMENT with a keyboard and mouse is a problem, or that

- everyone disagreeing with your delusions is only playing FPS frag-fests, or that

- everyone disagreeing with your delusions doesn't also play console games, and doesn't have enough training with a controller to make an informed comparison (hint to the clueless: some of us play both)

that should give you pause for thought, really.

Re:Stick!? Face button!? (1)

slackbheep (1420367) | more than 3 years ago | (#36996012)

The PC Port of Diablo? That would be the one they modified from the original console version right? Hur hur hur. Keep your joystick, kid.

Console focus is not a good sign. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36995202)

Let's hope the HoKaM experience isn't too dumbed down...

Crescendos and magic (2)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995208)

One thing that bugs me about Bethesda is that they almost never ramp up the excitement. Sure there are plenty of interesting story lines, but I can probably count on half a hand the moments where something really exciting happened—a situation that made me go "oh shit!" and freak out a little about how I was going to survive. Not every quest line needs to have an awesome climax, but they could definitely use a lot more.

And make magic a first-class citizen, please. I'd love to use it heavily for offense/defense, but it was weak as hell in Oblivion compared to just wildly swinging a sword around. I really like being able to get creative about things, like walking on water while shooting enemies with my bow as they try to swim toward me. Other times I just want to be a little more Rambo and run in throwing fireballs looking badass. But in Oblivion the fireballs look and act like you're just throwing candles. There's nothing badass about them.

Re:Crescendos and magic (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995228)

That's why mods were so popular for Oblivion. Don't like the candle-strength variety of Fireball? Mod it, re-balance. Because it's such a single-player, unranked, non-social game, you've only got your experience to rate yourself by.

If you're happy wading into town wearing Tempo's Jewelary and blasting all in sight, do it. Whatever's right for you. That's what RPGs are all about.

Re:Crescendos and magic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36995400)

"...a situation that made me go "oh shit!" and freak out a little about how I was going to survive"

I'm not an RPG fan and usually I don't play them, so sorry if what i write seems n00b to you, but when I found out that I was going to become a Vampire I relly freaked out. And was fun to discover that a cure really exist (but will it work? I still don't know xD ).

Re:Crescendos and magic (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995830)

Did you never go into the darker caves where you had to chose between having torch or weapon equipped? I kept running into mobs and almost panic as I had to get my bow out.

Re:Crescendos and magic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36996674)

Nope. Night Eye.

Already pre-ordered (2)

Spacejock (727523) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995236)

I don't care what the previews say, good or bad, my copy is reserved and my kids have ordered theirs too. Daggerfall, Morrowind and Oblivion have all kept me entertained for hundreds of hours, and I doubt Skyrim will be any different.

Re:Already pre-ordered (1)

X3J11 (791922) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995428)

I don't care what the previews say, good or bad, my copy is reserved and my kids have ordered theirs too. Daggerfall, Morrowind and Oblivion have all kept me entertained for hundreds of hours, and I doubt Skyrim will be any different.

Same here. Although if not for the frequent crashes those hundreds of hours might have been dozens of hours instead. Having to restart the game because it crashed yet again is hardly entertaining.

Bethesda makes fun games. Bethesda also makes very buggy games. I can only hope Skyrim is better.

I also really wish they'd take the time to remake some of the older games. Morrowind was massive and there was just so much to do, but frequently borked when attempting to do the most trivial of things (such as equipping a pauldron!). I never managed to beat it, due to all the bugs.

Incidentally, Steam has their QuakeCon Pack 2011 [steampowered.com] up for sale for $70.00. It includes the entire Quake and Doom series, Fallout 3 GOTY & New Vegas (with the 3 currently available DLCs), as well as Morrowind and Oblivion and a bunch of other titles. It's a real steal.

Re:Already pre-ordered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36996240)

Incidentally, Steam has their QuakeCon Pack 2011 [steampowered.com] up for sale for $70.00. It includes the entire Quake and Doom series, Fallout 3 GOTY & New Vegas (with the 3 currently available DLCs), as well as Morrowind and Oblivion and a bunch of other titles. It's a real steal.

XE.com says :

70.00 EUR = 99.2851 USD

That's not a steal, it's more like highway robbery on Valve's part.

iPad rpg gaming now- NOOOOO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36995332)

anyone else just get a grind in your gut when the reviewer mentions ipad anything.....

Re:iPad rpg gaming now- NOOOOO (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995362)

Hang on a minute here - yes I am pissed off with the amount of worship the iPad gets in the media, mostly because the optimum tablet format (convertable PC) was quietly ignored by most geeks (go look at the HP tm2 - the fuckin thing can PLAY Oblivion on it's Radeon HD 3 series at native resolutions at 30+ fps!!!) BUT

and THIS IS A BIG BUT

Where the hell does he mention the iPad in TFA?

Re:iPad rpg gaming now- NOOOOO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36995474)

Are you a troll? Second paragraph under the video...

FTFA:
Its nested menus are accessed almost as smoothly as iPad page swipes, and navigating them is quick and clean. You can set favourites, equip items to either hand, and examine things in detail.

Re:iPad rpg gaming now- NOOOOO (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995566)

Oh hang on... I'll explain...

You're obviously correct, however, because the comment was on-context for what he was describing it passed right over my head!

So fair point, my observation skills are at fault here. Sorry everyone (winds neck back in) - don't you just hate looking dumb?

Re:iPad rpg gaming now- NOOOOO (1)

Lusa (153265) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995634)

In tomorrows news, Bethesda has been sued for patent infringement

Re:iPad rpg gaming now- NOOOOO (1)

stjobe (78285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995732)

Where the hell does he mention the iPad in TFA?

Here (it's even in the summary):

Its nested menus are accessed almost as smoothly as iPad page swipes

Note that the AC missed that it was a comparison to the smoothness of the menu system only, not a statement that the game will run on an iPad - it most definitely won't.

Re:iPad rpg gaming now- NOOOOO (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995800)

Yes, I have been corrected and have thanked the AC (for once!) above. I missed it because the comparison was such a reasonable one, in context (the old menus were crap!)

For those iFans out there, read my GP. That tablet really does run oblivion, in fact their 2006 tx2500 model does too (but at around 19fps as opposed to 30fps) so why all the fuss for a closed, underpowered, out-of-date piece of crap like the iPad? That's why I jumped straight in, I have a lot of tension about stupid people, commercial interests, and the two coming together to make life shit, when it could be great, for everyone.

pleeeeeeeeeease! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36995372)

don't let this be a shit console port. press B to continue.

Re:pleeeeeeeeeease! (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995670)

and what's wrong with that? It's 2011, a dual analog controller should be standard PC equipment by now. Cross platform is here to stay. just stop worrying and love the dualshock. Oblivion was a well regarded game on all 3 platforms. Ignore the PC partisans that say you need to mod it for it to be playable, that's nonsense and traditional PC gamer snobbery. Yes it has a 10 foot UI, deal with it.

Re:pleeeeeeeeeease! (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36996306)

"PC gamer snobbery" - you've just played your last card. I've sussed you. You can't afford to build a PC so we who can (and it's not much of a stretch, I'm currently unemployed!) must be snobs, what with wanting to customise the experienceand make it, err, better!

"stop worrying and love the dualshock" = we pwn you on level ground with our input devices, someone else slammed your reply to me above and my point was proven, and our games look and play better, so instead of aspiring to be like us you try to ram your crappy hardware down our throat?

Re:pleeeeeeeeeease! (1)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 3 years ago | (#36996386)

Us PC-gamers play our games on the keyboard and mouse because it is the basis UI, the conversion to joypads is a bad afterthought.
Joypads are great for platformers and Streetfigher type fighters etc and for the people who enjoy to play all kinds of games on the joypad, more power to them, but joypads on the PC doesn't really need a standard dual analogue controller, it already has that with the xbox 360 controller.

I bought Oblivion for the PS3 for +/- 6 euros and am playing through it. It is playable, but the experience on the PC is a lot better, just because the UI is a lot better. Don't really care about the mods personally.

Re:pleeeeeeeeeease! (2)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#36996614)

and what's wrong with that? It's 2011, a dual analog controller should be standard PC equipment by now.

Hint: It isn't, because we have something better: a mouse.
Once you have an analogue controller that allows you to turn around and aim at an arbitrary tiny spot of your choice within a fraction of a second, you can come back.

The only thing I feel a PC need is a WASD touchpad replacement, that offers infinite directions instead of just eight. But a mouse against the other controller is no contest at all - the mouse wins for both speed and accuracy.

Only one question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36995504)

Have they done anything to fix their stupid leveling system?
You know, the one where players can take a bunch of mostly worthless skills, and then level all the good ones to max in order to have godlike power, while all the monsters are scaled for a level-1 character...

Re:Only one question (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995532)

Yes. At least according to Bethesda.

Re:Only one question (1)

Dunge (922521) | more than 3 years ago | (#36996698)

I hope so. Remember killing Trolls and Vampires in Oblivion as level 1-2.. At level 25 I was killed by rats. Stopped playing right after that.

Seconds are My Currency ?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36995568)

Dude, if "seconds are [your] currency", then RPG is not your genre. Go pick up a pure shooter and twitch.

how nice (0)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995812)

From the article:

It's easy to imagine that a system like this in Oblivion or Fallout could have shaved hours off the average player's actual game-time.

How nice, the game developers are looking for ways to help us spend even less time with their $60 games. I'm so glad they've got our best interests at heart.

Don't get me wrong, I like a well designed inventory as much as anyone, but I'm uncomfortable with the notion that a game developer would have as a goal, making our experience of their game shorter.

To be fair, Bethesda is not one of the companies that's really guilty of cheating us out of game-time like some others I won't name (Infinity Ward). I've never really played a Bethesda game and felt like I didn't get my money's worth.

Re:how nice (1)

Quince alPillan (677281) | more than 3 years ago | (#36995928)

There's a difference between actual content and unnecessary time sink. Futzing with the GUI because you're messing with your inventory is an unnecessary time sink. If Bethesda is going out of their way to remove the unnecessary time sinks to make their game easier to use and in favor of content (see rotating objects for plot cookies), I'm okay with that.

Re:how nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36996374)

I think that was just a poor choice of wording. Perhaps something along the lines of "It's easy to imagine that a system like this in Oblivion of Fallout could have let the player spend more of their game-time actually playing the game." would have worked better?

I do agree with you at heart though. Part of the reason I tend to play video games instead of go bowling is that both cost me $60 or so, but the typical video game (that I play) provides anywhere from 10 to 100 times the actual enjoyment time. Case in point... Bowling lasts about 2 hours. So far I've clocked 98 hours on my main character in New Vegas, and I think I've got somewhere around 300 hours on Disgaea3. The later two offer much better RoI AFAIC.

Then again, with how buggy Bethesda's games get once you start to creep up in hours, maybe shaving a few hours off is their way of trying to stabilize it?

Re:how nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36996518)

You do realize this is not a subscription game right? They have your $60 already, no need for time sinks...

Re:how nice (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#36996748)

Yeah. They should just create less actual game content and instead require you to get through 15 levels of tetris in order to move an item in your inventory. You'd get to spend way more time playing their $60 game then.

(pre)reviewer is the wrong person to review. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36996102)

"As it is, it saves valuable seconds in my hands-on, and seconds are my currency today"

If seconds are so valuable, then WHY are you even considering playing an RPG? Has gaming really gone so ADHD? Im sure we have FACEbook to thank for that.

Probably the same person who hated the Witcher 2, because it required some time from the player to learn how to play it, y'know like games USED to be.... Sheesh

Re:(pre)reviewer is the wrong person to review. (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36996612)

Normally I'd agree with you about impatient gamers, however, that isn't the issue here.

The author is grateful for extra seconds because a) this is the first time anybody outside Bethesda has play-tested the new engine and b) they are being rushed for time by the people attending the console demos at the event.

He says so in TFA.

What?!?!? (1)

RandomPsychology (932636) | more than 3 years ago | (#36996114)

But...but...but...I haven't even finished playing Oblivion yet! In fact, I've only had it since March of 2006!!

Re:What?!?!? (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 3 years ago | (#36996296)

I'm with you there ... still haven't finished the main quest ONCE. had plenty of fun exploring and doing secondary (and mod-) quests though :)

Eurogamer (1)

Dunge (922521) | more than 3 years ago | (#36996646)

Eurogamer reviews,.. never trust them.

Re:Eurogamer (1)

Dunge (922521) | more than 3 years ago | (#36996746)

Just to clarify, they are sellout. For example, they gave Mafia2 4/10 but they gave VVVVVV 8/10. Article texts in itself barely say nothing about the games they review.

You've still got FPS in my RPG! (1)

timftbf (48204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36996750)

As far as I can tell, the combat is still dependent on *my* twitch shooter skills as much as *my character's* combat skills. So whatever wonderful story, exploring and interacting experiences are on offer, I'm not going to get to see them.

Combat doesn't *have* to be turn-based, I've learned to work with Dragon Age, for example. But it *should* be based on my character's abilities tied to my decision making, e.g. I choose to shoot a bow at the orc over there, the character's archery skill determines if I hit. If my accuracy at pointing something in the right direction with my right thumb is involved, it's an FPS, and I'm not interested in playing it.

I'm still baffled as to why this series is held up as the crown of "hard-core" RPGs, when it's such a hybrid...

Useless review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36996890)

That review told and said nothing, why was it posted? Just to annoy?

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