The Skyrim Problems

January 3, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Posted in rpg | 25 Comments
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Fact or Fiction?

Skyrim is a fantastic game capable of sustaining hundreds of hours of content. After playing 200 hours of it though I have a couple of complaints.

The lighting. What the hell. I can’t tell you how often I change my camera view and suddenly become blinded by the shifting subtleties of light and darkness. It throws my eyeballs for a loop. Every time it happens I have to wait for my pupils to readjust to what I’m looking at. It’s frustrating.

Maybe it’s my graphics settings or some technical problem but I’ve tried a few different things and nothing has worked. A lot of things in Skyrim are strangely lit if you ask me, and I don’t find it pleasant.

My next problem will come as no surprise to anyone. The user interface. What a piece of crap this is. How much money did they spend on this truly fantastic game and then they end up hiring some amateurs to do the UI? I don’t even know where to start.

Wasted space on the screen for one. Or menus that need to be scrolled to when they could just be front and center on screen at all times. If you’re carrying 200 pounds of goods, you’ve got a lot of items to scroll through, why isn’t there an easier way of finding stuff? It’s clearly designed to work for consoles but I wonder how much money PC gamers put into Bathesdas coffers and all we get is this tragedy of game design.

A lot of people will tell you the mod community will take care of it, but I don’t use mods, and frankly I shouldn’t have to. I paid fifty bucks for one of the best games on the planet right now, it should have a workable interface.

Bugs. I have 8 miscellaneous quests left to complete and they’re all bugs. I have about 30 pounds of quest item weight to carry around and it’s all from bugs. This is actually pretty typical of a Bathesda game but considering it’s the same thing in every Bathesda game you’d think they’d get a better handle on it.

I’m still not getting souls from some dragons. This has been a bit of a pain in unlocking some of the shouts. I guess this falls under the ‘bugs’ category but as it’s a major part of the game I felt it required further examination.

And really that is it for me. It’s a wonderful game. I know some people would like me to be outraged that they have reduced the RPG elements to bare bones, and made everything easier and less traditional but considering the amount of fun I’ve had I can’t get on board with that. This game is just too much fun.

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25 Comments

  1. Re:Not getting dragon souls- I have noticed this too. I have noticed that it only tends to happen to me with dragons that have respawned near the word locations after you killed the original dragon there, and it only happens to me on dragons that are much weaker than me (like say, “regular” dragons). I don’t know, perhaps it was meant to not reward you for killing something so easy by just warping to the dragon spots and farming weaker ones, or maybe it’s just a bug. Either way, I feel your pain on trying to get souls for words.

    Also, totally agree on the interface. It drives me bonkers sometimes. Sadly my only solution was that I just stopped picking things up because money was trivial once I found the banish-enchantment-selling tactic (creating a minor banishing enchanted item with a petty soul gem sells for like 6-700 while only costing a tiny fraction of that). That’s a pretty sad state to be perfectly honest.

    • I’m not sure why it happens but it has definitely slowed down my quest to fully unlock all shouts.

      At this point I have stopped picking things up too but mostly because everything is a slight variation on things I already have. I still take unique weapons but otherwise I’m good.

  2. I was shocked when I saw the user interface. I’d heard it’s bad but… ugh! I bought a controller for the PC today and tested it with Skyrim and the interface suddenly becomes a lot better. But everything else sucks with the controller (says a person who primarily plays PC games) in Skyrim, so I switched back to the keyboard. Why couldn’t they make the UI for the PC game different than the one for the console versions? Where’s my paper doll? Grmpf.

    I’m currently looking around for a mod for a good windowed version. With all those 2-monitor setups (I know a lot of people who have more than one monitor), why do game developers still release games with sucky windowed versions? And whenever I tab out of Skyrim, I need to tab in twice again to actually get back into the game instead of just having a black screen. -.-

    Thankfully, I only paid 25€ for the game. 😉 I love my lizard lady. I haven’t done much in the game yet and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it. But yes, I agree that the game has a few very annoying things (haven’t encountered any bugs yet, fortunately).

    • I have that tab back in problem too, I think it’s due to steam. I also haven’t encountered all that many bugs, just the ones I have have been pretty frustrating.

  3. i knew about some of the bugs, but not the problems with the dragon shouts, thanks for the heads-up. bugs and the TERRIBLE UI are the main reason i have not and will not play this game. maybe if all the fanboys would quit gushing about this overpriced piece of garbage and boycott more, then bethesda would pay more attn to such glaring issues. and as you’ve stated, it’s a common thing with bethesda.
    why would they bother putting time and money to make a polished game? as long as people continue to buy their unfinished garbage, they’ll continue to produce it.

    • thats abit harsh, sure the game has bugs and the UI isnt the greatest ( although it hasnt been bugging me as much as i was expecting), but this game is not garbage by any stretch. I played oblivion for a few hrs and never really got into it, but ever since i got skyrim i played little else. So in my opinion this is one of the best games out there with all the things it does right i can easily overlook some of the little misteps. Give it a try at least.

      • well, it’s your opinion vs mine , so i guess we’ll just have to leave it at that. 🙂
        based on what i can buy(game-wise) for the same or less money, yeah, that’s garbage in my book. but maybe i value my $60 more than you do?
        say, you wouldn’t be interested in cleaning my house would you? i understand that’s one of the best features of this game. i won’t even charge you for the privilege.

        • Look no offence, but this comes off as really rude while I think wolfsergi was just offering an honest opinion.

          • none taken. once again, we’re talking opinions…and mine is as honest as it gets. ?…
            sounds like someone needs a sense of humor, imo.
            or maybe just as long as i preface my remarks to your liking?
            i’m having trouble following this logic, considering i’ve been called “harsh” and “rude” while i have yet to call either of you a name. the only i adjective i used was directed at a game.

            • Lol ur “opinion” doesnt bug me :), although i dont understand your cleaning the house remark. I havent run into anything like that, but what do i know i only actully played the game, unlike some people that spout of things that they havent even experienced. Anyway missed the whole point of what i was trying 2 say the game is not unfinished, with a game that huge there are alot of varibles to account for so cutting them some slack on a few bugs isnt asking 2 much. Although i just hit my 50 hr mark and im beggining to c the problem this UI is causing people lol.

    • I think the UI is manageable at first, but after several dozen hours it becomes unmanageable. It certainly isn’t something I’d completely avoid one of the best games of the year over, but to each his own.

      • Like i said above im begging to c where the problem is… With so many favorites and just stuff on the menu its pretty annoying having to scroll thru 20+ items to pop a potion. Im at 50hrs and my list and i cant imagine your list at 200+hrs lol. But thankfully there are a few very good UI mods ive seen already that i will be using on my 2nd playthru playing thru the vanilla version w/o mods bugs and all the first time. 😀 But i totaly agree with ur statement of not passing this game up for some bugs as annoying as they might be.

      • On a side note curious to c what you think on what Gw2 can do and not do after playing skyrim. I wonder if they will take any ideas and apply them somehow into the game that will work for an mmo. Personaly one of my most favorite things to do in skyim dungeons is find secret wall panels or finding traps w/o activating them or finding a secret entrance into a dungeon. Seeing that in gw2 would be awesome!

  4. Ditto on the user interface. Even many low budget and freebie RPGs have a better UI than the ‘lists from Hell’ Skyrim uses. I also tried playing with a controller and quickly went back to mouse and keyboard. Now, I did know it was bad from the previews and such; and hoped that it would be quickly modded, so I have no right to complain about it I guess. Still, whoever came up with it should be given several swift kicks to a very sensitive part of their anatomy.
    .
    I’m having a fun time with the game but trying to avoid certain quests, although I already have (I think) a bugged quest that messes with others. This is my first time of playing a Bethesda game at release, so now I get to experience the frustration of their well known buggy releases, hopefully followed by the joy of unpaid hobbyists (thank you Modders!) fixing things that should never have made it past early beta.

    • I just don’t understand the wisdom of the designers when it comes to the UI. so much money was pushed into this game, but they sacrificed every ounce of usability and common sense for a UI that on the surface looks modern but in actuality is useless.

  5. I would be hopeful that Bethesda will do something about the UI its the most glaring problem to me, (if I may add a little, this frustration you and others are going thru seems stupid in a ‘This should not be in this game’ kind of way [no disrespect at you guys its from me directed to Bethesda], its one reason I don’t won’t to know/take part in GW2 beta so I would not have to go thru this, whats wrong with Skyrim is the very type of thing that can destroy the joy a game brings). Best of luck to you all!!!

    • Bathesda really does rely on modders to fix their problems for them, I don’t expect them to fix anything at all to be honest, it’s just the way they operate, keeping a close relationship with their modder community.

      And come now, if someone gave you an invite, you’d participate in the beta.

      • I have asked myself if I would, after watching 3 hours of zero punctuation since finding out about it last night alot of his points hit home, I still love alot of those games but there was this underlying sense of “do you remember this probleam”(but still funny as heck), I really don’t want any bad feelings to be givien a chance to grow in a setting where its most likely to happen, I’m very happy that Anet seem to be taking the phases with utter seriousness and not as some publicity-stunt, plus Anet does the one thing ‘Paradox’ wrote on TotalHalibut’s ‘Mailbox Jan 4’ about creaters communicating with the fans from everything from Lore, cut designs and much more, so I guess while it would be tempting I would do everything to make sure it wuld not happen, I can think of mny others (TB being 1) who would not only do a better job but could help the game overall, sorry for the rant but I felt I had to explain how I want GW2 to be for me and the last thing I want is 1 bad glitch. TTFN(thumbs up)!

  6. No doubt Bethesda do not have the resources to make a game that is so incredibly large and detailed and at the same time attend to all the details. If they had fixed all the things that need to be fixed, I reckon the game would have taken twice as long to develop and I don’t think that’s any kind of exagerration. For me there are two major problems, not to mention the dreadful UI (possibly the worst in any game I’ve ever played), along with many (many!) perhaps more minor ones:

    The difficulty curve is out of kilter so that whilst initially it can be quite challenging, if you take a sandboxy approach your toon quickly becomes over powerful and outlevels the difficulty and reward system.

    The gather stuff / return to base sell/craft/whatever cycle is just too cumbersome (and no I don’t pick up every ashtray) and burnout inducing. They really need to streamline this. Perhaps some mods would help a bit – such as the ability to craft stuff directly from the inventory chests in your house/s (a really good feature of SWTOR BTW) and/or make it possible to ignore crafting altogether without gimping your progress.

    So for me, although I found the game incredibly absorbing at the start and the detail in the open word so immersive, its on the back burner wating to see if the modders can make anything of it. Would help if Bethesda finally release the pc SDK.

    • I admit, every other aspect of the game is pretty much spectacular, its just so surprising that at no point did they think the UI would be important.

      I don’t have a problem with the difficulty curve personally, I think if you’re lazy you’ll still be surprirsed by some powerful enemies and that keeps you on your toes.

      The gather stuff to me is optional. You don’t have to participate in the cycle, i like doing it to an extent but I can also just stop doing it if I want.

      • I think that one of the motivations that drives one along in a game is the urge to progress and make one’s character better – and possibly that’s the defining characteristic of levelled RPGs (otherwise why have the levels). Maybe that’s not one of humanitys greatest attributes – but its fun!

        But immediately the game makes you think – “well if I do that my character will be too powerful” or “if I take that loot I will get too rich”, you have to take a step back and the illusion that you are struggling to succeed in the game world is destroyed. It’s the developers responsibility to ensure that the players can not abuse their system, not the players fault if they take advantage of what the devs have allowed them to do – and consequently to make a good game it’s necessary to close all the loop holes – otherwise it just leads to an eventual feeling of dissatisfaction and disillusionment.

        Early game developers appreciated this, but it seems to have been lost in recent games – in Skyrim the challenge is just too fragile and gamable. I’ll bet that ANet will be making every attempt to avoid falling into this trap in GW2.

  7. The vast majority of commentors (including yourself) have praised Skyrim, on the whole, as an immersive rpg, and an enjoyable gaming experience. I have no reason to doubt those accounts.

    And yet, I have still not purchased the game, and won’t, until at least a year has passed from it’s release date at the very minimum. I’ve made it a hard, fast rule to never purchase anything coming from Bethesda for at least a year because I know my own personal tolerance for buggy crap in games is very low, and Bethesda’s capacity to release games absolutely chock-full of buggy crap is VERY high. (examples include a list of every single game Bethesda has ever released.)

    I sympathize with your frustration, and appreaciate your participation in the “paid-beta” (as I like to refer to this period of time) so that these things will eventually be corrected for the most part, around the time that I purchase the game at the reduced price it’s actually worth imo. Even then, there will still be bugs a plenty I’m sure… but hopefully reduced to level I’m more easily able to tolerate without it affecting my experience of the game.

    (btw… this rule does NOT always work. Example: Fallout 3)

    • I don’t consider it a paid beta, it’s definitely well worth the money to me and I don’t regret it at all, but i would be remiss to not mention that for such a good game that yes, there are problems with it.

  8. @wolfsergi

    the house cleaning comment was a reference to a reference to a review. lol

    more specifically, Nils posted a link some time ago to a Skyrim review at IGN or Gamespot or some similar games site. the referenced reviewer made a comment to the effect that one of the reasons he liked the game so much was the fact that he could tidy up his house and arrange things on the bookshelf.

    • Oh i c, now i get what your talking about… But i wouldnt call it cleaning… Its more like u buy a house and u can buy decorations for it. You use the book shelves for the books u collected i think thats a very cool feature as far as custimization goes… Wish you could rearange furniture tho lol.


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