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Old 06-24-2016, 12:09 AM
The Lone Ranger's Avatar
The Lone Ranger The Lone Ranger is offline
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Default Well, It Looks Like I'm Going to Have to buy Skyrim ... Again

Bethesda is releasing Skyrim: Special Edition on October 28th, for PC, Xbox One, and PS4.

Apparently, it will have improved graphics, which is a no-brainer. What sounds appealing, though, is that console users will be able to use mods with this version.

Yes! Now that is what I've been waiting for!

As much as I love Skyrim, there are a lot of ways that it could be improved, and I've always been a bit jealous of those who play it on the PC, since there are apparently so many mods out there that can be used to improve the game.

I'm guessing that the Special Edition will basically just be a remastering of the game, with improved graphics. Hopefully, Bethesda will fix the remaining bugs as well (one of the frustrating things about Skyrim is that even the Legendary Edition has quite a few bugs, some of which can be game-breaking if you're playing on a console).

If I were playing it on PC, it probably wouldn't be worth paying for Skyrim all over again, since I doubt the Special Edition will add much that isn't already available to PC users. Bethesda seems to realize that; it's my understanding that PC users who already own Skyrim will be able to download the Special Edition for free.

I'm not about to go and buy a PC just so that I can play Skyrim with better graphics, bug fixes, and mods that improve the game in various ways. On the other hand, I've heard that it's possible to get the game to work on a Mac, and I've been tempted to see if I could do it.

But since the Special Edition will allow console users to use mods, that's no longer an issue, I suppose.

So, with that in mind, here are some ways that I think Skyrim can be and should be improved. I doubt that the Special Edition will make any of these fixes, but hopefully, there will be mods available that do.

Friendship, Reputation, etc.:
Okay, maybe this seems weird, but one thing that bugs me about Skyrim is that it's way too easy to make friends. I mean, you walk into town, some random person asks you to deliver some spices to a shop that's just across the street -- and after you do this trivial thing, the person is so impressed and grateful that they're now willing to follow you into life-and-death situations? Really?

Admittedly, for some characters, it makes sense that the "Favor Quests" earn you a loyal Follower who is willing to follow you in Draugr-infested ruins, risking life and limb in the process. But for most potential Followers, it does not.

Consider Mjoll the Lioness, for example. Her Favor Quest requires you to go into a Dwarven ruin that nearly got her killed, risking life and limb to retrieve an item of great personal importance. When you succeed, she's so impressed that she immediately volunteers to be your Follower, because she wants to learn from you. That makes sense.

That someone volunteers to be your Follower because you delivered a letter across town ... doesn't make sense.

I don't want to reinstate the mini-game from Oblivion that allows you to build Reputation Points with various characters. Still, it seems like it would be easy enough to incorporate reputation into the game.

For instance, you could earn "Friendship Points" with guards and city dwellers each time you help defend the city from Vampire/Bandit/Dragon attacks. Similarly, you could earn "Friendship Points" with guards by doing the Jarl's "Kill some local bandits for me" quests.

Of course, getting caught picking pockets, stealing stuff, or killing innocents would earn you negative Friendship Points.

Once your friendship level with a character is high enough, there could be dialog options which allow you to get to know the character better, and further boost your reputation with him/her. (Kind of like how dialog options in Knights of the Old Republic and the Dragon Age games allow you gradually form strong friendships with characters.)

Once your friendship level with a character is high enough, you should then be able to give that person gifts, which would further boost your reputation with him/her. And here's a thought: they should equip those gifts, if appropriate.

If, for example, I give Mjoll the Lioness a nifty set of enchanted, legendary-quality ebony armor, she should get rid of that crappy banded iron armor and equip the ebony.

Anyway, if a particular NPC is going to risk life and limb on your behalf, there should be a good reason for it -- because (s)he thinks you've proved yourself to be a really decent person who has earned that kind of loyalty, for instance.

Arms, Armor, and Smithing:
Another big thing that bugs me about Vanilla Skyrim is the lack of diversity in arms and armor. Also, why isn't armor customizable?

I've played a bit of The Elder Scrolls Online, and I think it's handled much better in that game. I'd prefer that you learn different styles -- Nordic, Orcish, Dunmer, etc. So, for instance, once your Smithing skill is high enough that you can make arms and armor with Orichalcum, you should be able to make it in whatever style you like. In other words, why does every piece of armor in Skyrim that's made with Orichalcum look the same? Why on Nirn is it that everyone who fashions a helmet from Dwarven metal deliberately shapes it to look like the stylized face of a Dwarven warrior?

How do you learn new armor styles? Well, the obvious way would be from an experienced Smith. For instance, a Smith who fashions weapons and armor for the Imperial Army should be able to teach you the Imperial style. An Orcish smith should be able to teach you the Orcish style, etc.

Another obvious way to learn a weapon/armor style is to find some examples of that style and disassemble them to learn how they were made.

Speaking of which, why can't I melt down weapons and armor to recover some of the metal? Here's a thought: I've just gone through a dungeon and picked up a bunch of crappy iron weapons and armor pieces; why can't I melt it down into iron ingots that I can actually use, instead of selling it to a merchant for a measly handful of septims?

Reforming the Companions, College of Winterhold, etc:
The Dragonborn will eventually become the Archmage of the College of Winterhold, and the Harbinger of the Companions, among other things. These positions are meaningless in the game, but wouldn't it be neat if you could actually do something with those positions?

Consider the Companions. Most of them prattle on endlessly about "honor," but none of them seem to really care about it. Aela the Huntress and Skjor make no pretense that they care one whit about honor, for instance: they just like killing stuff.

If you take quests from Vilkas or Farkas, they'll cheerfully tell you that it's about the money, not honor.

And let's not forget that some of the Companions' quests are pretty danged unsavory. For instance, you might be asked to threaten a merchant into paying protection money. For most of the Companions, "honor" seems to mean, "I'll do anything you ask, so long as the money's good."

So, once you get to be Harbinger, wouldn't it be nice if you had the option of trying to re-shape the Companions into the honorable organization that they pretend to be?

Maybe you could do something similar for the College of Winterhold.

Yes, the Nords of Skyrim are prejudiced against Mages. The problem is that the Mages of Winterhold are pretty arrogant themselves, and tend to reinforce the Nords' negative beliefs.

As such, wouldn't it be neat if the Archmage could set into play some schemes to rebuild the College's reputation. Maybe the College could help rebuild Winterhold. Maybe that could invite citizens for occasional tours of the College. That sort of thing.

Random Stuff:
Wouldn't it be great if you could remind Esbern and Delphine that they serve the Dragonborn, not the other way around.

By the time you've reached a high level, you've likely got literally millions of septims squirreled away. Why can't I use that to build a really nice house -- one with adequate room to store all the armor, weapons, and other junk that I've collected in my travels?

Similarly, wouldn't it be nice if you could re-build Helgen? It's not like money would be an issue, and it would be a fun long-term project.

Wouldn't it be nice if Skyrim had actual seasons? It can't always be Winter in Windhelm; it can't always be Autumn in Riften. It'd be neat to see the seasons change during the course of a year.

Anyhow, there's plenty of other changes I'd make, given the option. Hopefully, with the Special Edition, that will be possible.
“The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.”
-- Socrates

Last edited by The Lone Ranger; 06-24-2016 at 12:40 AM. Reason: Stupid autocorrect
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