Author Topic: Skyrim: So What Will Be Canonical In Future Games?  (Read 3878 times)

Offline Silver Sorrow

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Skyrim: So What Will Be Canonical In Future Games?
« on: January 20, 2013, 09:31:35 PM »
If you haven't played Skyrim yet, you might find this post somewhat spoilery. Fair warning:

SPOILERS AHEAD.

So.

As I was running through the Civil War storyline again, I was pondering -- because I was bored; such is the prime mover behind all endeavors -- what exactly would be seen as "what really happened" in future games. Major (and sometimes minor) decisions, I mean. The Civil War, for example. The Dark Brotherhood, for another.

I don't recall the guilds (Morag Tong, etc.) from Morrowind making momentous decsions that would affect lore...although to be honest, I need a lot more sleep than the average month allows. So I may be mistaken there. Anyway, I recall that the only really important things I did was killing Dagoth Ur and Almalexia; most other faction quests just involved me clawing my way to the top. So when someone mentioned the Nerevarine, there wasn't a whole lot of questions about his/her extracurricular activities. The devs didn't have to worry too much about far-reaching consequences needing explanation in the next game.

Oblivion, however, posed a bit of a problem: the Thieves Guild, the Dark Brotherhood, Sheogorath...questions were asked, but were either sidestepped or addressed in an entirely different way. On the plus side, there are two hundred years or so between Oblivion and Skyrim, so one could assume forgetfulness and ignorance. For example, the Mages Guild is gone, the Dark Brotherhood is barely there, and so on. I do admit that the devs were smart about a couple centuries' worth of buffer zone; when you ask Delpine with genuine wonder, "Who are the Blades?" it isn't mere stupidity on your character's part.

And then there's the Jyggalag/Sheogorath dilemma, but no one knew much about that anyway. It's like in Morrowind when no one believed you if you said that you killed Almalexia, I guess.

...that always bugged me, though: I killed Dagoth Ur, but no one believed that I killed Almalexia? Bite me, elves.

So the question is, how are they going to reconcile your Skyrim actions in "TESVI: There's A Khajiit In My Pocket And He's Stealing All My Change"? And, possibly more to the point, what did the devs intend to be canon? I'll throw a few out there:

The Civil War: since the game opens with the Imperials trying to chop off your head just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, it's clear that the devs wanted you to think of them as the villains. Other than for the reason of pure roleplaying contrariness, there is no reason why any player in their right mind would even consider siding with the Empire. Okay, so Ulfric's a jerk...but he didn't try to murder you in an offhanded manner.

So I theorize that they intended for Skyrim to be self-sufficient, at the same time illustrating the continuing collapse of the Empire.

The Thieves Guild: I don't think this one matters much in the long run, even though you're pretty much recruited into the Guild merely by walking into Riften.  ::)

The Dark Brotherhood: Now this one is interesting. There are two paths you can take, one of which really isn't all that obvious. One might assume that you're kidnapped by Astrid and subjected to her little test purely on the fact that you murder an evil woman running an orphanage, and you're some kind of murdery-assassin type who needs to be with your peers in a creepy ruin. So you pass her test and join up, you climb through the ranks, and ultimately assassinate the Emperor. This is a big thing, I suppose; the consequences remain to be seen, but they could very well mean a hastening of the end of the Empire altogether.

And I think this is what the devs intended, so the explanation might not be all that difficult.

The second path, the not-so-obvious path, is taken when you kill Astrid rather than get involved with her sick little test. (Perhaps you killed Grelod the Kind because you're more vigilante than assassin; a bit of the ol' REALLY Dark Knight action, if you will.) It ends with you destroying the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim (and, apparently, in all of Tamriel), much to the relief of the Empire.

So the devs probably didn't really want that to happen.

Dawnguard: Come on...do you really think they wanted you to join the vampires and blot out the sun?

College of Winterhold: Hmmm. This one's interesting, as you do find that big pulsing globe doohickey. That might roast a few testicles in a future game. But there's no confusion there: "The Dragonborn found this..uh...thing, and now here we are. And it's cooking our balls."

...and The Main Quest: Again, straightforward: "The Dragonborn killed Alduin. Probably. There's a chance Alduin might come back at the end of time and kill us all, but we're pretty sure that isn't going to happen right this moment."

This might sound crazy -- have you ever noticed that whenever someone says that, it really does sound crazy? -- but I'd like to see a TES game in a far-flung moment of time where there's more...well...technology. Perhaps a little bit steampunk, but mostly I'd like to see modern buildings and contrivances, etc. Just to see how that would look. I guess I should just play FO3 and FNV and just pretend that one of the moons was lost somehow. Yeah.

Or maybe I should just take a really long nap. Or pick up a hobby. I hear that carpentry is great for when you're tired.
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Offline Starfox

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Re: Skyrim: So What Will Be Canonical In Future Games?
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2013, 01:48:49 PM »
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The Civil War: since the game opens with the Imperials trying to chop off your head just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, it's clear that the devs wanted you to think of them as the villains. Other than for the reason of pure roleplaying contrariness, there is no reason why any player in their right mind would even consider siding with the Empire. Okay, so Ulfric's a jerk...but he didn't try to murder you in an offhanded manner.

There's some reason to side with the Empire. First, as you point out, Ulfric's a jerk. However, that may be not enough, true. So my personal reason is that by siding with Ulfric, I do exactly what the Thalmor want; and somewhere I want to kick the Thalmor in the balls very hard so I don't see why I should play nice with them. Siding with Ulfric, you contribute to weaken a bit more an Empire that struggles hard enough to remain afloat, hence you do the Thalmor a lot of good. Siding with the Empire, despite the beginning hurdle, has for side effect to show Tamriel that the Empire is still in charge of its provinces, despite the Thalmor and their schemes.

But in the end I don't care as long as I can kick the Thalmor where it hurts the most.

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The Thieves Guild: I don't think this one matters much in the long run, even though you're pretty much recruited into the Guild merely by walking into Riften.  ::)

I don't think it matters either. In fact it's certainly the worst guild questline Skyrim has to offer. And becoming the big boss is a real pain in the ass unless you get the proper mod so...

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The Dark Brotherhood: Now this one is interesting. There are two paths you can take, one of which really isn't all that obvious. One might assume that you're kidnapped by Astrid and subjected to her little test purely on the fact that you murder an evil woman running an orphanage, and you're some kind of murdery-assassin type who needs to be with your peers in a creepy ruin. So you pass her test and join up, you climb through the ranks, and ultimately assassinate the Emperor. This is a big thing, I suppose; the consequences remain to be seen, but they could very well mean a hastening of the end of the Empire altogether.

Or the advent of a new line of Emperors that like Talos and the Septims would be from a true dragonborn lineage and the restoration of a stronger Empire that would kick the Thalmor in the.. well, you get the idea. Remember that the Emperor you assassinate in the DB questline is in no way linked to dragonborns or to the line of Emperors that died 200 years ago. It's probably one of the reasons why the Empire got its ass kicked by the Thalmor 30 years before that... poor leadership.

So yeah, you assassinate the guy but whose to say it's not for the best? It may still lead to an improvement. After all, how did Talos (who was a Dragonborn no more or less brilliant than the one of Skyrim) become the first Emperor? Any Dragonborn is directly related to Akatosh and from the view point of the Empire history, it's enough to make an Emperor.

Point is, I don't think the civil war is the beginning of the end for the Empire. Even if Ulfric wins and the Emperor is assassinated, Ulfric is a clown and I really can't imagine him bringing the Thalmor down, Skyrim just one province (as long as the others don't explode too, it's all right) and the Emperor barely qualified as a real one because of no dragon blood whatsoever.

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Dawnguard: Come on...do you really think they wanted you to join the vampires and blot out the sun?

Considering that my character once turned into a vampire looks like crap and that in general the werewolf abilities are so much more powerful than the "Vampire lord" ones, I'd say they didn't want that to happen  ;D

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College of Winterhold: Hmmm. This one's interesting, as you do find that big pulsing globe doohickey. That might roast a few testicles in a future game. But there's no confusion there: "The Dragonborn found this..uh...thing, and now here we are. And it's cooking our balls."

Yeah, that's a totally re-usable device. One you can make whatever you wish with as the whole thing with the Psijic order is so cryptic that after you became Arch-Mage you still don't have a clue about what the thing was or was supposed to do. Even the name "Eye of Magnus" is not its real name. Only thing you know, the Psijic monks virtually made you Arch-Mage -- despite the fact that they don't have any authority on the College of Winterhold hierarchy and Tholdir readily agrees because obviously he didn't want the job  :lol: -- just before they vanished with the "Eye of Magnus" or whatever the thing real name is... Tada... To be continued...

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...and The Main Quest: Again, straightforward: "The Dragonborn killed Alduin. Probably. There's a chance Alduin might come back at the end of time and kill us all, but we're pretty sure that isn't going to happen right this moment."

Not to mention the fate of Paarthunax... Despite several playthroughs I could never bring myself to kill the guy, no matter what... Not even for testing. The Blades may see the Dragonborn as the Ultimate "dragon slayer" but I think they are quite beside the point. I'm still convinced that the Dragonborn role is to act as a link between dragons and men (and mer). Sure he may kill dragons that don't play nice but he doesn't make a rule of killing dragons just because it's fun. All the emperors that the Blades served (Delphine says it herself) knew Paarthunax location and protected him. Because you're not an emperor the Blades (the two of them) want you to do their dirty work and I say "screw you". Want to kill him, no problem, go climb the f...ing mountain yourself. Oh, wait you can't get to the summit because you need to know how to shout "Clear Skies"... Too bad, can't help you there  :purplelaugh:

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This might sound crazy -- have you ever noticed that whenever someone says that, it really does sound crazy? -- but I'd like to see a TES game in a far-flung moment of time where there's more...well...technology. Perhaps a little bit steampunk, but mostly I'd like to see modern buildings and contrivances, etc. Just to see how that would look. I guess I should just play FO3 and FNV and just pretend that one of the moons was lost somehow. Yeah.

I don't feel that way BUT, I'd like to see someone do some steampunk thievery with the new TES engine because frankly there are times in the game, here and there, where I feel my name could be Garrett (and no I don't speak about the Thieve Guild questline that made me think exactly the opposite). Steampunk is already in there after all... with the Dwarven ruins. The whole atmosphere of some places is perfectly "Thief friendly".

But there's hope for you yet. Just wait for TES XXXVII: Tamriel's finally out of the medieval era.  :lol:


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Offline OrlopRat

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Re: Skyrim: So What Will Be Canonical In Future Games?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2013, 12:17:47 PM »
You'd think there would be some major technological advances in 200 years, I mean, look at the differences on Earth between, say, 1400 and 1600, or 1600 to 1800, and so on...is Nirn the Planet of the Luddites ? Or is everyone except the Dwarves just plain stupid?

I opt for stupid. Although it could be the educational system. :lol:
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Offline Starfox

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Re: Skyrim: So What Will Be Canonical In Future Games?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2013, 12:13:24 AM »
Oh wait, you have to give the guys some credits... somewhere, someone managed to invent the crossbow  :biglaugh: Just to discover that Dwarves did it before them...

But they do have magic... And a religious system that cures almost all illnesses... Who needs science? :purplelaugh: In fact they had too much magic so in two hundred years they reduced it tenfold. They even suppressed a whole school, mysticism and they made sure that no one could create new spells. Now you have to use spells officially approved.


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Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: Skyrim: So What Will Be Canonical In Future Games?
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2013, 08:15:12 AM »
And just about anyone could fly...or levitate quickly, thanks to the Windwalker scroll. But not anymore.

...staring into space for the last few minutes, I constructed a possibly unconvincing set of parallels between Tamriel and North America.

Skyrim: Canada.

Cyrodiil: the USA. (and all the problems that implies)

Valenwood: California.

Elsweyr/Black Marsh: Florida.

Oblivion: Texas and parts of Oklahoma. Most of Arkansas.

...and it all sort of falls apart after that.  :ss-kickcan :ss-meh

Anyway.

Did you ever feel like you're just a puppet in these faction quests?

"Dragonborn, why would the Thalmor care about who wins the the Civil War?"

"Don't know. Dragonborn only pawn in game of life."

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by siding with Ulfric, I do exactly what the Thalmor want

That's exactly why I usually ignore the Civil War quest. Why should I help the Thalmor further weaken the Empire? They can kill each other for all I care...I'm far too busy hunting down a crapload of various building materials so as to construct three nearly identical houses.

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In fact it's certainly the worst guild questline Skyrim has to offer. And becoming the big boss is a real pain in the ass unless you get the proper mod so...

Man...all those tedious "special jobs". Speaking of proper mods, point out a few for me! :lol:  Searching the Nexus is a nightmare...

There's one called Destroy the Thieves Guild (for those of us who enjoy destroying factions), but it seems so damned touchy with its requirements. Thanks to Bethesda, who made the thing so entangled ("as I count backwards your eyes become heavier still") that you can't just do something (homicidally) simple as walk up to Maven Black-Briar and chop her damn head off. No, she's integral to just about everything that goes on in Riften AND what happens in the Civil War.

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So yeah, you assassinate the guy but whose to say it's not for the best? It may still lead to an improvement.

In that light, I wonder if killing off the quest-giver just to fulfill the Emperor's last wish might be a bad idea... :ss-facepalm

Re: Post-Civil War, Ulric in charge: The Thalmor will likely have no trouble with taking care of Ulfric; he (and Galmar) are ruthless, but the Thalmor are vicious and quite effective. They wouldn't have had it easy with an Ysgramor or a Talos, but these latter-day despots aren't a problem. Too bad my necromancer character couldn't have helped resurrect Potema... :ss-devil2011

(Btw, magic still sucks. Necromancy especially so.)

And now I'm the puppet of the Psijics. Well...it's not like being arch-mage makes a lick of difference anyway. It's not like you get any true perks for finishing the faction quests. I'm not sure what I expected when I won, though...let's go to the post-triumph interview:

Q: Dragonborn: you clawed your way to the top of the College of Winterhold; you incinerated hundreds of hapless foes and left the others bleeding in the snow; you unintentionally exposed yourself dozens of times to your fellow students while trying on different outfits in the Hall of Attainment, not to mention while dealing with your odd endeavor to eliminate ugly body seams in your [currently] favorite body mod; you thwarted the Thalmor, you got the attention of the Psijics, and you're finally Arch-Mage. What are your plans now?

A: I envision a theme park with various amusements...mechanical rides and underpaid employees in comical costumes...I see my employees charging pasty white people from the middle regions of Tamriel extortionate prices for frozen treats and beverages...I see a line of those same pasty mid-Tamrielers, a line as long as the as the horizon, waiting, anticipating, hungering, for the opportunity to be flung out of a hatch six miles in the sky, with only a prayer and a slowfall spell to keep them from splatting all over the stony ground...yes, not only do I want to go there, I wish to own the whole damned thing. And I will be rich! Yes, RICH! Ha-ha! Rich beyond my own fevered dreams of avarice! But mostly I just want people to like me. That's doable, right?

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Despite several playthroughs I could never bring myself to kill the guy, no matter what... Not even for testing. The Blades may see the Dragonborn as the Ultimate "dragon slayer" but I think they are quite beside the point. I'm still convinced that the Dragonborn role is to act as a link between dragons and men (and mer). Sure he may kill dragons that don't play nice but he doesn't make a rule of killing dragons just because it's fun. All the emperors that the Blades served (Delphine says it herself) knew Paarthunax location and protected him. Because you're not an emperor the Blades (the two of them) want you to do their dirty work and I say "screw you".

It's too bad there isn't a "screw you" dialog choice. The Blades just piss me off; Delphine is a monster. It's at that point I want nothing whatsoever to do with the Blades, so I just ignore them for the rest of the game. What's irritating is that the quest stays open no matter what, cluttering up my journal.

And -- if I might digress -- what the hell is the deal with that crappy journal? Did Bethesda forget EVERYTHING they did in Morrowind??

Digression over. I'd theorize that the devs might be gearing up for something big concerning the Dwemer, but the cynical me says that they'll just keep peeking around the edges for the rest of the series. :P

Gotta run...dental appointment. Yes, on a Saturday. Ain't modern life somethin'!
An interview with Kim Kardashian? Who wants to see that? I'd rather see an interview with the mortician's assistant who had to piece her head back together so they could have an open-casket funeral.

Offline Starfox

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Re: Skyrim: So What Will Be Canonical In Future Games?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2013, 02:41:50 AM »
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Man...all those tedious "special jobs". Speaking of proper mods, point out a few for me! :lol:  Searching the Nexus is a nightmare...

I don't use an awful lot actually. For the Thieve Guild "jobs" however, I use this one; the purpose there is to remove the randomization of the jobs proposed so you can get quicker to the special jobs and not do a gazillion jobs in the same hold when 5 are enough. It cuts the time needed to become the big boss by a factor of ten, easy.

The interface is probably where I use the most mods because let's face it, the vanilla Skyrim interface is dedicated to consoles.

Better dialogue control for all those times when you want to choose a dialogue line and pick the bad one because the mouse/keyboard do not agree on a common choice.
Better Dialog boxes control because Bethesda decided to allow gamers to use the keyboard in some dialog boxes but not all of them.
Curiously enough, those two mods also seem to enhance things for those using a gamepad, go figure...
Categorized Favorite Menu because Bethesda thought "narrow" with the vanilla one.
And finally the must have Sky UI Which cure the consolitis...

The above UI mods are compatible between them.


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

 

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