Originally Posted by Foosinho
Got this for Christmas, and been enjoying it immensely. I'm level 6, and have just made my way to High Hrothgar, and this game already feels more "replayable" than the Fallout games. It seems like the experience could be quite different depending on your combat style and moral choices. FO3 and FO:NV were "shoot stuff", and that lack of variation in the combat meant I never felt compelled to play it a different way. I'm playing as a "neutral good" mage now, but I could see replaying as "chaotic neutral" rogue or "chaotic good" fighter or paladin. (I've never really managed to be evil in a video game - I just can't do it - so I'm not sure I could play the Dark Brotherhood line of quests, except for maybe as the rogue if
I can see a way to justify it as being in my best interest to partake in particular acts. Being evil just to be evil is something I'd have a hard time doing - my characters are almost always "neutral good" or "chaotic good".)
Unfortunately there is no way to really play morally different in this game. At least, not that I've found. The things you mention are not possible in the same way I think you're thinking? The decisions you make only affect whether you get quests or not (and whether or not you get the quests has no effect on anything, except how much stuff you'll find to do in the game). Seemingly, you can be a member of all the different types of "clans" or "guilds" or whatever at the same time with no penalty, and the decisions you make in response to people do not have an effect like they do in FO3. For example, you might say "I don't want to be a thief, that's wrong, I don't want to join the thieves guild." But in reality, that won't change anything or have any effect, except you'll miss out on a cool side quest chain. I guess if it just makes you feel funny to have to pickpocket someone, or shake them down, you wouldn't want to do the quests, but IMO they don't do a very good job of making you feel guilty after any of the stuff you do. And since it doesn't seem to have much of any impact on anything, it's really just following an interesting story and clicking the buttons more than it is making a moral choice. (ie it's no more of a moral choice than killing bandits that are trying to kill you, if you think killing is morally wrong).
But I do agree with your fundamental point that it has more replay value. The different classes alone add enough variety to combat (that didn't exist in FO3) that I could see some additional replay value. But unfortunately, AFAIK the story will be identical whether you're an archer, mage, warrior, whatever, and whether you choose the "good guy" or "bad guy" responses on the decision trees, or choose to do the "good guy" or "bad guy" quest lines, nothing will change except you will experience less of the game. So it's great that you can have a very different experience from the aspect of combat, but on the other hand, since you're doing the same things, fighting the same enemies, going to the same places, etc, I'm not sure how much more interesting it will be?
The only exception is that to start some of the side quests, you need to have a bit of skill for a particular skill, but it's pretty low. For example, to do the thieves guild side quests, you need a little bit of sneak and pick pocket skill. To do the college of winterhold quest line, you need enough magicka to cast the spell to gain entry. But I haven't found anything *yet* that needs so much skill that I'd need to start a new specific character specialized in XYZ to gain entry into any particular areas or quest lines.
IMHO that's one area they kind of missed on, is not adding morality, and not adding enough unique things to the character you build, so that it adds replay value. For example, to enter the college of winterhold (it's a mage training place), it'd be nice if you had to have a super high level mage such that the only way to really do it is to build a dedicated mage character. And so on for each of the skills. Something to entice me to start another character with different specialities.
Please don't misconstrue this post. The game is still FANTASTIC. And there is something to be said for doing it the way they have also. On my first pass through, I'll get the full experience of the game, and don't have to keep making more and more characters to experience all of it. That's nice too, and in my particular position, knowing myself, it's probably better that way for me. Just would be nice to have it tailor a little more to how I play, what I do, the things I say, etc, and get a little bit more of a custom experience out of it. A little more "open" if you will.