Marc P
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Spoilers ahead if you haven't finished the main quest.

So I get to Sovngarde...
Spoiler (click to reveal)
and recruit the heroes of old to do battle with Alduin one last time. It was pretty anticlimactic, I have to say. First, I've already defeated him alone. Second, did three legendary heroes of the Nords really require my presence? They all knew the shouts that I knew--hell I learned Dragonrend from them!--so why were they just waiting around for me? Some parts of this game feel so well thought out, but some seem really dumb. Between this and the horrible bug that occasionally renders Alduin invincible in Alduin's Bane, it seems like the main quest is more of a toss-off than the civil war quest, which was really well done.
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Liam
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Re: Sovngarde: Am I really necessary?
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I agree with all points.

Decidedly - meh. I pretty much just ran through it with the sound on low, avoiding chatting to people as there didn't seem to be any set up or point to the whole thing. Done - good completed.


You might want to put Spoiler in the title and hide your text.
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Tristan Hall
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Re: Sovngarde: Am I really necessary?
I was level 70 before I finally hit this quest, so yes, it was a bit anticlimactic. Alduin went down after a couple of hits. But nice to finally finish the story and put the game to bed.
Probably the best video game I've played.
Last year a pleasant evening for me would mean: bag of roasted peanuts, couple of bottles of San Miguel and an hour or two of Skyrim after the family had gone to bed. cool
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Matt
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I think that the mist covering Sovngarde is what keeps the three warriors from going after him themselves. Even still, they've never actually defeated him before - they just displaced him in time. So your Dragonborn lineage makes all the difference.
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Luke Stirling
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vyran wrote:
I think that the mist covering Sovngarde is what keeps the three warriors from going after him themselves. Even still, they've never actually defeated him before - they just displaced him in time. So your Dragonborn lineage makes all the difference.
I agree. Though it was one of the more narratively clunky moments in the game. Very few RPGs with open structures handle the climax of their stories very well. Partly this is an inherent deficit that derives from there being no fair way to mesh the difficulty of main quest challenges with the supporting narrative. Designers have no way of knowing what level a player's character/party will be when it reaches the end game. And difficulty scaling feels unfair to a decent segment of gamers.

Still, Skyrim drops the ball a little more clumsily than most, as they double up on the inherent weakness of the combat by narratively tying the villain's defeat to the actions of other characters. In doing so they rob the player of a certain sense of agency in the ending, at least in part.

I concur that there were sufficient explanations for the ending to make sense in terms of internal self consistency, but that doesn't mean I think it made a good ending. I have to say that from my limited experience with internally developed Bethesda titles, this is not a problem unique to Skyrim. Fallout 3 does a similar thing of ramping up the spectacle and epic qualities of the moment, but at the direct expense of making the player feel like a meaningful part of the moment. This is a "show, don't tell" problem. They tell the player they are important, but that disappears in the noise of the visual spectacle they create which shows something entirely different.
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paralipsis wrote:
vyran wrote:
I think that the mist covering Sovngarde is what keeps the three warriors from going after him themselves. Even still, they've never actually defeated him before - they just displaced him in time. So your Dragonborn lineage makes all the difference.
I agree. Though it was one of the more narratively clunky moments in the game. Very few RPGs with open structures handle the climax of their stories very well. Partly this is an inherent deficit that derives from there being no fair way to mesh the difficulty of main quest challenges with the supporting narrative. Designers have no way of knowing what level a player's character/party will be when it reaches the end game. And difficulty scaling feels unfair to a decent segment of gamers.

Still, Skyrim drops the ball a little more clumsily than most, as they double up on the inherent weakness of the combat by narratively tying the villain's defeat to the actions of other characters. In doing so they rob the player of a certain sense of agency in the ending, at least in part.

I concur that there were sufficient explanations for the ending to make sense in terms of internal self consistency, but that doesn't mean I think it made a good ending. I have to say that from my limited experience with internally developed Bethesda titles, this is not a problem unique to Skyrim. Fallout 3 does a similar thing of ramping up the spectacle and epic qualities of the moment, but at the direct expense of making the player feel like a meaningful part of the moment. This is a "show, don't tell" problem. They tell the player they are important, but that disappears in the noise of the visual spectacle they create which shows something entirely different.



I was hoping they'd do a wrap up narration in Skyrim like at the end of Fallout 3 where there's a recap of all the different shit that you caused along the way. It was pretty transparently tagged on, but I liked the way it made you feel like you'd had a significant impact on the world.
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ninjadorg wrote:
paralipsis wrote:
vyran wrote:
I think that the mist covering Sovngarde is what keeps the three warriors from going after him themselves. Even still, they've never actually defeated him before - they just displaced him in time. So your Dragonborn lineage makes all the difference.
I agree. Though it was one of the more narratively clunky moments in the game. Very few RPGs with open structures handle the climax of their stories very well. Partly this is an inherent deficit that derives from there being no fair way to mesh the difficulty of main quest challenges with the supporting narrative. Designers have no way of knowing what level a player's character/party will be when it reaches the end game. And difficulty scaling feels unfair to a decent segment of gamers.

Still, Skyrim drops the ball a little more clumsily than most, as they double up on the inherent weakness of the combat by narratively tying the villain's defeat to the actions of other characters. In doing so they rob the player of a certain sense of agency in the ending, at least in part.

I concur that there were sufficient explanations for the ending to make sense in terms of internal self consistency, but that doesn't mean I think it made a good ending. I have to say that from my limited experience with internally developed Bethesda titles, this is not a problem unique to Skyrim. Fallout 3 does a similar thing of ramping up the spectacle and epic qualities of the moment, but at the direct expense of making the player feel like a meaningful part of the moment. This is a "show, don't tell" problem. They tell the player they are important, but that disappears in the noise of the visual spectacle they create which shows something entirely different.
I was hoping they'd do a wrap up narration in Skyrim like at the end of Fallout 3 where there's a recap of all the different shit that you caused along the way. It was pretty transparently tagged on, but I liked the way it made you feel like you'd had a significant impact on the world.
Fallout: New Vegas had an excellent denouement section. Just because it's still images and narration doesn't mean it is less impactful. One of the reasons it works so well is that when New Vegas ends, it ends. That finality allows for the post end-game monologue to include broad changes to the Mojave Wasteland well beyond the scope of what could be achieved had they been directly integrated into the game. With Skyrim, the fact that the game continues after the end game destroys any potential for this. The changes would have to be integrated into the game, or else the disconnect between what you are told happens in the monologue and what you witness as you wander about after the end game would be too jarring.

Fallout 3 kind of sits in the middle of this. Broken Steel's post-end-game experience limits the scope of changes possible in the denouement, but it also still has one, and it makes some attempt at reflecting some of the player choices made in the past. So it does the end game better than Skyrim, but I still fall the camp of liking a real finality to an ending and making the changes possible way bigger in scope.

I think having a main quest line in an open world RPG, but having it seemingly have no real impact on the world when completed is a bit of an attempt to have one's cake and eat it too. Personally I feel like almost every other conversation you can have with an NPC after the game is completed is spoiled because they transparently do not account for the crisis being over. I play RPGs at least in part for world immersion. The reason I think Skyrim is a great game is that it manages to create a compelling and complex world. I've probably only spent an hour or so playing after the end game with any of the characters I've played simply because of that immersion killing lack of impact. Any future playthroughs will either involve me never completing the main storyline ever again, or invariably quitting and deleting my save once it is done. It's a weak band-aid over a glaring flaw in an otherwise great game though.
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Marc P
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ninjadorg wrote:

I was hoping they'd do a wrap up narration in Skyrim like at the end of Fallout 3 where there's a recap of all the different shit that you caused along the way. It was pretty transparently tagged on, but I liked the way it made you feel like you'd had a significant impact on the world.

Yeah, having to actively seek out the Greybeards to get their final pat on the head was a little off-putting. I, like, just saved the whole world, man! Aside from a few additional random comments from strangers, and the really stupid decision to have the Blades have a total hangup over Paarthunax, the rest of the world seems unaffected by Alduin's defeat. Granted, I've only visited one Jarl since then, but he didn't have any new dialogue options.

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Ian S.
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ninjadorg wrote:
I was hoping they'd do a wrap up narration in Skyrim like at the end of Fallout 3 where there's a recap of all the different shit that you caused along the way. It was pretty transparently tagged on, but I liked the way it made you feel like you'd had a significant impact on the world.

Oblivion ends similar to Skyrim...there is a non-ending. The main story ends, you talk to a dude about some armor and then you just go on your merry way.
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TheWulffman wrote:
ninjadorg wrote:
I was hoping they'd do a wrap up narration in Skyrim like at the end of Fallout 3 where there's a recap of all the different shit that you caused along the way. It was pretty transparently tagged on, but I liked the way it made you feel like you'd had a significant impact on the world.

Oblivion ends similar to Skyrim...there is a non-ending. The main story ends, you talk to a dude about some armor and then you just go on your merry way.

That's a shame. Never finished it myself - fired it up on the PS3 for a quick run-around but my eyes and ears had already been spoilt by the beauty of Skyrim.
 
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