Matt's Podcast 6: Frustration and Loathing in Skyrim

  • warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/buckman/public_html/neo/modules/advanced_forum/advanced_forum.module on line 492.
  • warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/buckman/public_html/neo/modules/advanced_forum/advanced_forum.module on line 492.
  • warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/buckman/public_html/neo/modules/advanced_forum/advanced_forum.module on line 492.
  • warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/buckman/public_html/neo/modules/advanced_forum/advanced_forum.module on line 492.
Matt Barton's picture

It's like, how much more black could this be?It's like, how much more black could this be?I'm so angry about Skyrim that it was hard to make this podcast, but I did it anyway. I shouldn't have to say this, but if you are in love with Skyrim, this podcast isn't for you. This episode is intended only for complete morons, dolts, dullards, and out-and-out nincompoops like yours truly who are just too jaded and bitter to ever enjoy a truly fantastic masterpiece like Skyrim from the glorious design wizards at Bethesda.

Warning: There is some mild adult language here (PG rated).

Download this steaming pile of troll fat here.
Matt's Podcast 6

Comments

MazokuRanma
Offline
Joined: 01/01/2011
Why You Should Buy the PC Version

Matt, I think one of your biggest problems was that you played this game on a console. The Elder Scrolls series has never been as good on consoles as PCs for a very specific reason: mods. Now, this is not a defense of Bethesda. To be honest, I have found that I can only truly enjoy Elder Scrolls games once I have used mods to customize the entire experience. It is unfortunate that such a level of effort is required, but the end result is a game that I have custom tailored to be enjoyable in all ways. One specific thing that irritated you, that merchants have limited gold (This is in every Elder Scrolls game, and it is insanely annoying) can be altered using a mod. I did this with both Morrowind and Oblivion, and while I haven't had time to play Skyrim yet, I would bet there is already one for it as well. I will likely overhaul the interface, leveling system, loot system, and many other parts of the game using mods to get the best experience out of it. Of course, this takes some time and effort, and it is rather sad that making the game truly enjoyable will require me to use third-party alterations, but as long as I have a game I enjoy as the end result, I'm ok with that.

Some things I think you were unfair about though. As far as the books go, there is over a full novel's worth of text in the books they include in the game. That's not viable to be included in a game box. I actually enjoy the books though, as I appreciate that they've gone to such great lengths to strengthen the lore of the world of Tamriel. It's not the best format, true, but again, I don't think printing them out would be viable. I do like that someone has created the eBook file, I believe I'll look into reading it through that. Also, you mocked fast travel as a stop gap measure, but I think in a game world this size it becomes a necessity. You might have quite a bit of fun exploring the wilderness, but at some point you've already seen that area and you just want to get back to town. When the world is this massive, having a means of traveling about rapidly is required.

The last thing I would say is that the Elder Scrolls is a terrible game to play a mage character. They use a clumsy and poorly implemented magic and mana system, and the only way you will ever enjoy being a mage in this game is if you mod the game. One of the more popular mods increases the default mana regen of your character so that you can actually recover mana in combat to an extent and not become totally useless within 5 spells. Again, this is a mark against Bethesda, but there are ways to adjust things.

In the end, I believe Skyrim is a game I will greatly enjoy, but at the same time it will not be the game Bethesda intended me to play. Its greatest strength lies in the fact I can change it. Of course, with the numerous games available to us right now, you really have to ask yourself if you care enough to do so. I'm guessing you'd rather just go play Frayed Knights, and honestly, if you enjoy that better, there's no reason you have to like the Elder Scrolls. The idea that we aren't allowed to not enjoy AAA titles is ridiculous. I'm going to continue playing whichever games most entertain me, and I don't really care if other people don't like them. As long as I'm having fun, that's all I care about.

clok1966
Offline
Joined: 01/21/2009
just cuz
MazokuRanma wrote:

I'm guessing you'd rather just go play Frayed Knights, and honestly, if you enjoy that better, there's no reason you have to like the Elder Scrolls. The idea that we aren't allowed to not enjoy AAA titles is ridiculous. I'm going to continue playing whichever games most entertain me, and I don't really care if other people don't like them. As long as I'm having fun, that's all I care about.

That pins it down quite well.. why cant MATT not like elder scrolls? I have admited as much I was "how can he not like this game!" but then I remebered all the loved gamed I dont care for much. its just a bit more aplified when one dislikes what the MOB likes. and Quite often the MOB figures out later they where not so right in the first place. I'm stil firmly in Skyrims camp.. I'm loving almost every minute of it. But..

to comment on some complaints (from other comments).. mages.. I'm not sure they are as porrly implmented as some say, I was in this camp till i leveled mine in the 30-and 40's .. I'm pretty sure I can take on a town right now.. go in all fire and brimstone and walk out with nothing but corpses laying in the streets.. magic is like most games.. piss poor to start but great when built up.

The console debate.. MODS are sweet.. no doubt but I'm not so sure some are for the better. it gets down to haveing some "realistic " mixed with your fantasy.. Limited coin on vendors.. not really unrealistic at all.. I must agree its not the best design descison in my mind.. but I'm not agianst it.
it sso easy to pick this or that.. the companions walkign in front of you.. realistc..annoying.. should it be part of gameplay or not.. one mans challange is another mans labor.

Console controls.. Im firmly on the PC side of this.. and feel its a much better game to control on a PC.. but again.. gamepads are some people bread and butter and they rock with them.

I alwasy dread commign in here and reading ( and still havent listend to Matts podcast).. i alwasy fear I will join in.. and not in a nice way.. but so far most seem to be pretty much in the "discussion" area and not just silly like most threads about why one doesnt like something get. And even the guys who like who dont like parts I find those parts ok, and otherd annoying.. strange even us guys who like it dont like all the same things.. and I think that is one part of the elder scroll games that amazes me.. when I paly i see the most OPEN world ever.. while others see pieces of 4 dungones mixed. one sees every NPC sayign the ame thing. I see the asme thing i the real world (hows the weahter? 100 each day) so its not to much the words.. but .. eveybody talks!.. some see the snow.. and little green.. I see the lone hero in the bleak world kicking butt and saving the day!

and HORSES are worthless.. we all agree on that! Where is the BAG SPACE!!!! and if that littel gilr in Whiterun tells me off again im klling her!

MazokuRanma
Offline
Joined: 01/01/2011
Return of the Podcast

Forgot to mention that it's great to have the podcast back! Glad to hear the gap was because you're so busy and not because you lost interest. I enjoy these and look forward to whenever you have time to do another one!

Anonymous (not verified)
Nostalgia Might be Clouding Your Judgment

I'm about as old as you Matt and I think we played a lot of the same games growing up. I'll admit there are some valid complaints about the consolization of RPGs (Dragon Age 1 -> Dragon Age 2 for example) but honestly the podcast was hard to listen to with all the nitpicking and complaining. I think you are falling victim to nostalgia or are simply outgrowing the hobby. I've seen this happen to a lot of people with a lot of different hobbies.

I don't think I can recall you mentioning any RPG you liked after about 2000 or so. I don't even think you liked Dragon Age Origins, which I thought was a good, modern take on the Baldur's Gate style of gameplay. My guess is that you just don't have fun playing anymore and I'm not sure you would even have fun even if you tried an old school style game. Have you tried any of the Spiderweb software or the Eschalon games? They use the old formula (and graphics)for the most part.

Is Skyrim as good as Morrowind or Daggerfall? No quite, but it is still a great game and I really do have to question what you think is so different about it compared to those two games. Skyrim might not be quite as deep as Morrowind or as huge as Daggerfall, but lets not forget those two games have a lot of their own issues that Oblivion and now Skyrim corrected. For example, in Morrowind the quest/journal system was a disaster and in Daggerfall the random generation of the world left a lot of it feeling generic and unpolished.

Is the game perfect? No, but as a long time RPG gamer I'd mark it very good at a minimum. I don't see a drastic change from the typical elder scrolls formula here which make me question whether it is you or the series that has changed.

P.S. Having played every Elder Scrolls on both console and PC since Morrowind, I'd echo what some others have said here and tell you to play a mage on the PC. The console games are really only suited for playing a melee intensive class.

Anonymous (not verified)
Is there an RSS feed of the

Is there an RSS feed of the audio only podcasts? For those of us who want the updates in our app of choice but don't check the site.

Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
A Video Response

Ah, the irony. I've gotten maybe three video responses in my whole career as Matt Chat producer, but here's a great one for this audio podcast!

A lot of this is a recap of the podcast, but diedericky gives his own opinions on the points I raise in it. He doesn't agree 100%, of course, but he's surprised that none of them were raised by the "professional" "brand name" reviewers in the lame stream media.

Sorry about "lame stream." :)

But, yeah, you'd have to be insane to think you're getting unbiased reviews from places like IGN and Game Spot. It's always the same story with them--whatever game is currently being hyped and selling well, guess what--it's 9.5 and up with them. Of course once the fanfare dies down and everybody readjusts their opinions, they either retract their earlier reviews or (more likely) hope that the sucky game in question will fade from memory quickly along with their glowing review.

By the way, I find it weird that none of my usual blog and forum fans (and haters) haven't mentioned this post anywhere. It's like it's being blacklisted or something! I naturally expected some controversy, but the silence is even more eerie. Are people really in love with Skyrim to the point that they simply aren't interested in hearing it criticized?

n/a
clok1966
Offline
Joined: 01/21/2009
who knows
Matt Barton wrote:

Ah
By the way, I find it weird that none of my usual blog and forum fans (and haters) haven't mentioned this post anywhere. It's like it's being blacklisted or something! I naturally expected some controversy, but the silence is even more eerie. Are people really in love with Skyrim to the point that they simply aren't interested in hearing it criticized?

I think your missing one thing.. Much as I dont have any hard feeling you dont like it.. maybe the listeners dont mind either. But you gotta face it, most do like it (almost perfect Pro reviews, those paid an unpaid, in fact not a single negative one (75 pro ones last i looked) and public ones are almost all posative to, on Meta Critic*). I think most (suprisingly as you say so far all) like it enough they are playing it and not reading reviews right now (me i have lots of free time at work sometimes so i read too many).
SO far most of the responces to it are failry well thought and agree or disagree with you.. another reason i didnt feel like i needed to rebutt it .. I guess you suspected a love fest and some excitment to the dislike (and you almost got one from me hehehe).

160 hours with my archer, almost 90 with my mage.. and i started a thief ... not likeing it to much (thief) but 20 hours.. im guessing I will finish that way too. Then i think I will do hardcore mode with a MONK!
.
.
.

*meta critic- not end all be all factor on this.. just one point of refrence.

Bro (not verified)
Come on, Matt! It's just

Come on, Matt! It's just another post-Morrowind Bethesda's game. Of course, it's the same shit like Oblivion and Oblivion with Gunz. Well, it's actually slightly better, but it's not a great accomplishment by any means. And it's not a big secret, that IGN, GameSpot and other "professional" reviewers like money (who doesn't?) and every AAA-game is MAJESTIC nowadays.. IGN's "journalist" even wrote, that Skyrim has so-called "endearing" bugs (seriously, who much did they pay him?).

The most funny thing, that Fallout: New Vegas is a much better game and RPG in the core than Skyrim. Its biggest flaw is Bethesda's legacy - infamous GameBryo with dumb role-playing system from Fallout 3.

Also, have you completed Shegorath's quest, because it's one of the most horrible and poorly written (voice-acting is terrible, too, but it's a tradition in Bethesda's games) pieces of shit, I've ever seen in RPGs? Without Michael Kirkbride Bethesda cannot into writing, lol.

And I don't even talk about how new EA's slaves suck at making RPGs.

Bro (not verified)
2012 will be another great year for RPGs, yeah!
Bro wrote:

seriously, who much did they pay him?

Bro wrote:

who much

And I cannot in engrish.

I also got another sad question for you about current state of RPGs: are there any non-indie RPGs (CRPGs, WRPGs, JRPGs - doesn't matter), that you're waiting for?

Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
Hehe...The writing throughout

Hehe...The writing throughout was of the "OMG that's nerdy" variety for me, and not in a good way. I'm seeing those little loading screen popups with tidbits about the history of Skyrim and am reminded hilariously of REALLY, REALLY BAD efforts at turning something like Tolkein's Silmarillion into a fully bulleted Power Point presentation. How can people NOT find this crap hilarious?

Bethesda sorely disappointed me with Skyrim. It looks like all they did was take the Oblivion engine and make it worse. I don't give a bowl of troll fat for the graphical improvements; Oblivion's graphics or even Morrowind's graphics were fine with me. I just want a decent interface and fun gameplay.

For the record, a good interface is an interface that stays out of your face. These crummy games have me fiddling with it all the time, pausing, etc. Bananas. I'm the DRAGONBORN, I should have people to do that busywork for me.

n/a

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.