SkyrimVR: Bringing the Player to Tamriel, but not Tamriel to VR — Oculus
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SkyrimVR: Bringing the Player to Tamriel, but not Tamriel to VR

ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 13,658 Valuable Player
edited May 2018 in Games and Apps
I just checked my Steam Stats, and as of right now my Skryim playtime is as follows:
  • Vanilla Skyrim: 132 Hours
  • SkyrimVR: 10 Hours

Up to this point, I see SkyrimVR as a great game that offers a whole new addiction factor for those who love all things Elder Scrolls, action-RPG, and of course, Virtual Reality. When I first started with SkyrimVR I was concerned that I would get bored very quickly since I have already spent well over 100 hours in the original game. However, after 10 hours with the VR version... I find myself wanting more, and excited to experience the things I've already gone through in the flat 2D game - only this time in VR!

Virtual Reality has that effect by default. It can immerse you in to a familiar environment and completely change the experience. It's the proverbial, Through The Looking Glass.

Skyrim benefits from this right out-of-the-box. So if anyone is hesitant to buy this game because you've already played the original to death, rest assured that the VR experience won't feel as regurgitated as merely adding more Mods and DLC.

As it pertains to Mods, I played my first 2 hours without any whatsoever. I am not much of a graphics junky, and as mentioned, VR automatically changes how something is experienced. So venturing in to an environment of low- or poor-graphic quality isn't that big of a deal to me. One of my favorite VR games back in 2016 was Crystal Rift; which is graphically inferior to most VR games on the market, but I played that thing start to finish and loved every minute of it. In fact, I plan to compare something in Crystal Rift to SkyrimVR in this review.

I'll go ahead and give my SkyrimVR recommendations now. I have multiple because SkyrimVR is a conundrum (my recommendations are for Rift owners):
  1. If you are a PCVR enthusiast and lover of all things Elder Scrolls, then this is easily a 4.5 out of 5 rating.
  2. If you are new to PCVR and your preference is more towards full hand-presence and VR immersion, then this is a 3.75 out of 5 rating.
  3. If you are new to VR altogether, and you prefer the ease-of-use that comes from most titles available on the Oculus Platform, then this is a 3 out of 5 rating.

As most people know by now, SkyrimVR is best experienced with a minimum of 20 Mods added, but there's 40+ recommended with more on the way. That's not for everyone. And because it takes so much to really get this game going properly, it's hard to recommend to anyone who doesn't already function as a PC Gaming and VR Enthusiast.

For the rest of us, sure. But there are noteworthy flaws with SkyrimVR regardless of your pc gaming enthusiast standing.

Hand-Presence
The biggest reason I can't give this a perfect 5/5 rating, even for an Elder Scrolls luvin PCVR enthusiast, is due to the lack of hand-presence in the game.  As of today, this is a SteamVR Title, and the primary target controllers are the HTC Vive Wands. It does work just fine for the Touch controllers, however:
  • There is no finger tracking whatsoever.
  • Your hand-controllers have basically been turned in to a Gamepad split in two.
  • Oculus Touch owners will find that their hand-controllers have been "dumbed down" compared to what we're used to from games like The Unspoken, Robo Recall, and Lone Echo.
  • You can't actually grab environment objects with your hands!

That last one is the main reason that despite the addictive nature of Skyrim, I just can't give this a top score. And if you're not a big enthusiast for VR, or if you're not one to turn a blind eye to flaws within the Elder Scrolls universe, then this lack of hand-presence can be a real letdown:
  • You're not really squeezing a weapon, you just click a button to equip it.
  • You're not really aiming your spells with your eyes; you activate the spell with a button and move your hand to adjust the aiming cursor.
  • You can't pick up objects with both hands.

When I'm running along a path and I see a plant on the left side, I can't extend my left hand to pick the object up. The game requires me to use my Right Hand to point at the object and click the "A" button. The Right hand is the dominant hand for all interaction, including initiating dialogue with NPC's. You can change the dominant hand in the settings, but the point is that only one hand can do all this - not both. Not to mention how awkward it is to put your hand in front of every NPC you want to talk to - lol.

I have a slight bone to pick here. Because back in 2016 when the Rift shipped without hand-controllers (no hand presence), and only provided a Remote and an XBox Gamepad, the entire Interweb was flooded with Vive owners proclaiming how Rift owners are sadly enduring a complete lack of immersion. Because apparently: Without hand-presence there is no immersion.

Yet here we are in 2018 and SkyrimVR which is native to the Vive (with Rift support) is receiving such high praises despite a total and complete lack of hand-presence. How does that happen? lol

To illustrate my point. Exhibit A:

I cannot grab these weapons with either hand.



I want to touch them, I want to grab them. I really do. But I can't. How does this happen with a piece of software that is geared towards the VR product that was "first to market" with hand-controllers and hand-presence?

Instead... I have to hover my hand at a distance away from the weapons until a text-based menu pops up.



And this isn't an action that happens automatically. You have to make sure your hand hits that sweet spot, or else... no menu fo you!




This hand-presence issue is problem in many areas, and I'll only detail two more.

First, when sifting through the various lootable cargo throughout Skyrim, the Player can expect to hover their hand oh-so-carefully between Urns, Barrels, and Sacks. Since the game does not Highlight which object you are interacting with, you basically have to play a guessing game paired with lining up your hand with your eyesight.

Which Sack am I looting here?



The only way I can tell is the moment one has been looted and it says "empty." Be prepared for lots of this (there are thousands of sacks throughout Skryim).


Lastly... Crafting! The biggest thing I was excited about with SkyrimVR was being able to using my arms and hands to craft items.

I thought I would be grinding at the Grindstone, or swinging my hammer on the Anvil.





Nope! Instead I just have more Hand Hovering with a Menu Text:



It's not the worst thing in the world, but it's far from up-to-par with VR Standards in 2018.

Moving on...


Things I love about SkyrimVR
The sky in Skyrim is probably one of the most beautiful skies I have witnessed in a VR game. Whether daytime or nightime, it's fun to just look up and relax. In fact, I find that the daytime sky is pretty much as realistic as our own sky in real life:



A screenshot won't do it justice, but that Skryim sky is truly fantastic and downright flawless. Especially when viewing it over mountains.


Book Text! It is very readable, which is a pleasant surprise since so many VR titles have struggled with Text. In fact, when I received my Oculus GO unit, I loved how easy it was to simply read text with those improved lenses. But with Skyrim, PCVR has the much needed clear and gorgeous text available:


(Side note: There's a special place in my heart for letters that compliment the "power of my Thu'um")



The Role Playing element of Skyrim needs no review (it is legendary and we all know it). However, with vanilla Skyrim I would often skip through dialogue - or simply fail to pay attention. Yet with SkyrimVR, I feel like I'm part of the conversation. I enjoy standing around listening to NPC's talk, and I love when they acknowledge my presence.



The head-tracking of the NPC's themselves is also spot-on. If I move left/right or up/down, they keep their eyes right on me. It almost feels creepy (in a good way).

Other things I love with SkyrimVR:
  • Dungeon Crawling. It's creepy as hell (especially if you add immersion Mods).
  • Realistic Bow Combat. It's not as accurate as a game like, In Death, but it is challenging and addictive.
  • Realistic Sneaking. Using your own body to squat down as you try to sneak-kill an enemy with a dagger is one of the most rewarding things I've ever done in a game!
  • All forms of Magic. With first-person-view in VR, what a lovely light show every spell creates.
  • The skills panel! When leveling up you get to hang out in the Space Constellations menu room.

That space room is something that I was very much looking forward to with SkyrimVR. In Vanilla Skyrim it is a lovely area:




The dev's did not let me down with the VR version. I love hanging out here as I'm floating amongst the constellations in a full 360 environment. I'm a huge fan of these "space rooms," espeically when they appear in games where you least expect them. Other games that offer this experience include: Mage's Tale and Obduction.


Dragons
I'm using the Diverse Dragon's Mod which is great. However, the Dragon's are another issue for me.
  • Their flight paths are VERY scripted. They stutter in the sky (it's not a glitch) and often look like a stiff cardboard cutout being pulled along a string.
  • When fighting up close, they look great as creatures. But as majestic dragons, they are a bit of a let-down.

I got up close and personal with the first dragon, and the sense of scale was just not there. This is where I will compare a superior game like Skyrim to something small like, Crystal Rift. I loaded up Crystal Rift before writing this review and went to a Save Game file I had from 2016. It lets me encounter the dragon. And yep... I can say that the dragon in Crystal Rift feels more "overwhelming" than the Dragons in Skyrim (I've fought 2 dragons in SkyrimVR so far).

Yes, SkyrimVR Dragons have great creature models...




... but it isn't as grand as being in front of a true VR Dragon like in Crystal Rift:



... or Chronos:




Creatures
Aside from the Dragons issue, I do love all the creatures in Skyrim. They look great and fighting them is exciting. I especially love the Giant Spider encounters (because I really hate Spiders) since these creepers love to invade your personal space.


Fear Factor
It is a pleasant surprise to see actual "fear" showing up in SkyrimVR. The vanilla game was cool as it let you explore demonic locations. But it's a whole new game with VR added in. I screamed IRL as I was going down some winding stairs and a damn over-sized rat jumped outta nowhere to attack my face. Sneaking through the undead halls also starts to turn in to a slight anxiety exercise as well. High marks here!


Sense of Scale
Several people have talked about issues with Scale and Depth with Skyrim. I found that with some Modding things do look much better in these areas overall. The only complaint I truly have is with the Height aspect. I have a RL phobia of Heights. I freak out to this day with VR experiences like the "platform" in the Oculus Dreamdeck, or the robot attack in Face Your Fears. But with SkyrimVR, I can stand atop the highest ledge and look right on over; I feel absolutely nothing. Not even a little bit of hesitation. Things look high up when viewed from the bottom, but from atop... things just don't look that far down. At least not the way they would in real life, which is something that software built native to VR tends to capture well.

Superhot VR, for example. It has a level where you have to jump off a ledge. I had to close my eyes to do it. In SkyrimVR, I can look straight down and freefall no problem.


Final Thoughts
So why do I say that SkyrimVR is, " Bringing the Player to Tamriel, but not Tamriel to VR" ??

SkyrimVR is clearly a "VR Port" and while it's mighty fun, the fact is that there are key VR elements missing. I can't grab a door handle or a bottle. I can't drink anything or eat anything in a way that we should all expect from something marketed as "Virtual Reality." For example, in Mage's Tale I can grab mushrooms with my actual hands and hold them up to my face to eat; I can grab drinks and make a proper hand motion to consume them.

In Robo Recall I can use my hands to rip the arm off a robot and beat it to death with its own limb; in SkyrimVR I can't grab a sword off a rack. In fact... I can't even throw something properly! Everything is done with the "A" button; gamepad style.

The main rival in the entire game - the majestic dragon - sometimes looks silly when flying around and doesn't have a true "grand presence" the way other VR Dragons exhibit. This needs to get worked out soon. The hand-presence issue can be overlooked, but these dragons needs to get better, stat.

I consider SkyrimVR a successful VR Port, hands-down. It has definitely brought players to Tamriel. However, as a Port, all of its flaws are related to the fact that this is not a game built for VR from the ground-up. The day that Tamriel is built for VR, natively, is the day that we can finally start "feeling" Tamriel the way we feel things in other VR Titles; in a way that lets the player experience true presence in Tamriel. We're not really present in Skyrim yet. They just took our faces and shoved it down to the camera level.

Without true presence in Tamriel, we're missing a crucial experience with VR as it exists today.

Anyway... this was a long review and honestly the only thing I wanted to do the whole time is jump back in SkyrimVR to hit up another dungeon. I need my phat lewt!

Cheers!

EDIT:
Here are the Mods I used when writing this review.



Skyrim 2017 Textures was loaded as well, before anything else. But it doesn't show up on the Plugin list.
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/2347



Are you a fan of the Myst games? Check out my Mod at http://www.mystrock.com/
Catch me on Twitter: twitter.com/zenbane
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Comments

  • nalex66nalex66 Posts: 4,375 Valuable Player
    edited May 2018
    Nice write-up. One tip about picking up objects—if you hold the A button instead of pressing and releasing it, you can hold items in your hand rather than taking them into your inventory. This allows you to toss objects, carry them out of sight to steal them without being spotted, or do the old Skyrim trick of putting a basket over the shopkeeper’s head and then stealing everything in the shop while he can’t see you. 
    i7 5820K @ 4.25 GHz | EVGA GTX 1080 SC | Gigabyte GA-X99-UD4 | Corsair DDR4 3000 32 GB | Corsair HX 750W
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  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 13,658 Valuable Player
    nalex66 said:
    Nice write-up. One tip about picking up objects—if you hold the A button instead of pressing and releasing it, you can hold items in your hand rather than taking them into your inventory. This allows you to toss objects, carry them out of sight to steal them without being spotted, or do the old Skyrim trick of putting a basket over the shopkeeper’s head and then stealing everything in the shop while he can’t see you. 

    Yeah I noticed this in the early part of the game with the first cave. I found a Pickaxe and held "A" down by accident. I noticed it was floating over my short sword, which looked odd so I thought it was a glitch. I tried mining with it that way, but it didn't work! lol

    Thanks for the tip on how to use it for stealing though, I hadn't tried that yet. I never stole anything from shopkeepers in vanilla skyrim either. I recently saw the video about the basket trick. Can't believe I played for so long and never knew!
    Are you a fan of the Myst games? Check out my Mod at http://www.mystrock.com/
    Catch me on Twitter: twitter.com/zenbane
  • edmgedmg Posts: 1,131
    Wintermute
    On the sky front, when I first got Skyrim working with VorpX, one of the first things that happened was that I got caught in a storm out on the road, where I just stopped and spent about ten minutes watching the lightning. I haven't quite reached my first dungeon in SkyrimVR, but they could be damn scary with VorpX.
  • FastForward352FastForward352 Posts: 175
    Art3mis
    Nice review Zenbane !
    Asus X99-A MB | i7 5820K @ 3.30GHz | Asus ROG-STRIX 1080Ti | 32 Gb RAM | SSD SAMSUNG 500Go M-2 |  Samsung 40" 4K Screen | T500RS & TH8A Shifter on Wheel Stand Pro | TM Warthog & Combat Rudder Pedals | Buttkicker Gamer 2 | OCULUS RIFT CV1 - 3 Sensor roomscale setup

  • bigmike20vtbigmike20vt Posts: 3,787 Valuable Player
    To be honest the issues listed are the side effect of having 2D games hastily bolt on VR modes.
    I agree with everything you say, however personally am prepared to let it go because I guess it was a choice of either what we got or no vr versions at all.  imo bethesday threw as small amount of cash as they could at it to make it a product they could still get away with charging top dollar for, and, due to the incredible source material they started with imo they pulled it off.

    HOWEVER......
    imo this is a really time limited option.  Whilst I am ok with letting this go with old titles, moving forward I will be far less forgiving.  I am expecting future scrolls or FO titles to have VR consideration right from the design phase and as such i am expecting Fallout 5 / Elderscrolls next to have all the good stuff that you detail as lacking in sjyrim VR.
    Fiat Coupe, gone. 350Z gone. Dirty nappies, no sleep & practical transport incoming. Thank goodness for VR :)
  • vannagirlvannagirl Posts: 1,952 Valuable Player
    Great review Zenbane

    love when you put so much effort into reviews of games you are passionate with.
    Look, man. I only need to know one thing: where they are. 
  • cybernettrcybernettr Posts: 902
    3Jane
    You spent 132 hours in the original game? That’s nothing. I’ve spent approaching 150 hours in Skyrim VR so far and can see myself hitting 1000 hours in the game easily—the atmosphere in VR is that good.

    As far as hand presence, that’s true—more hand presence is always better. However, I see it as something like IoMoon, which has no hand presence, but it was one of my first real “wow” experiences in VR. Skyrim is like that. Plus, you didn’t mention realistic swimming, which is really pretty good, and there’s nothing that I know of like it in VR. 

    As as far as the lack of vertigo, that may be due to the lack of the crispness of graphics that a more modern game has. To me, while the graphics are not as sharp, the stereo effect is as good as any made for VR game. Absolutely agree with you on the sky, BTW. 

    So, here’s a partial list of things to love about Skyrim VR:

    • The scope — wandering around the vast countryside for hours,it seems like a real place. 
    • The topography — no mere flatlands — about Every type of terrain you can think of. 
    • The animals — and I thought the procedurally generated animals in Grand Canyon VR were impressive!
    • Interiors — in VR, they seem like real places. You can examine the construction techniques — boards fit together, supports are where they’re supposed to be. You can learn a lot about medieval architecture just from playing the game. 
    • Radiant AI — not perfect, but good enough to keep you from feeling like you’re all alone in a strange world, like in so many VR games. 
    • The lighting — flickering fireplaces, shadows cast by NPCs. 
    • Swinging your sword, drawing your bow (some glitchiness there though), realistic swimming. 
    • Different times of day, and how dramatically they change the atmosphere. 
    • No getting stuck like in so many smaller games — if you can’t figure something out, go onto something else. 
    • The beauty — soaring Mountain vistas, lush underground caverns, arctic tundras. 
    • The sky — yes, it seems like it’s never the same sky twice — blows away every VR game — clouds move across the sky, there’s rain, thunder, day, night, morning, dawn, dusk, different lighting conditions, the aurora borealis, and don’t forget the moon(s)!
    • The unexpected— there’s the Skyrim glitchiness — I’ve seen falling mammoths, NPCs running in place, flying horses, my follower walking on water, a moose trapped in the corridors of Markarth — but the “never know what you’ll see next factor “ adds to the charm and entertainment value of Skyrim!
  • RattyUKRattyUK Posts: 600
    Neo
    Great review Zenbane, all points presented with superb balance!

    Strange how VR Tamriel keeps on calling one back..  I'm over 90 hours now... Think I'll go for a walk...bye :p
    PC info: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero, 16GB Tforce Pro Dark DDR4 3200, Gigabyte GTX 1080, Samsung 870 Pro M.2, 2x 240GB SSD, 3TB WD Green HDD & 4 TB Seagate Barracuda HDD, Corsair Modular 750w PSU, custom watercooling loop. (Win 10 Pro & Opensuse Leap 15 Linux) 32" AOC 4K Monitor.

    Laptop: Aorus X5 V6-CF1 (I7-6820HK, GTX 1070, 2* 256GB M.2 NVME, 1TB 7200 HDD 3K screen)
  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 13,658 Valuable Player
    edited May 2018
    You spent 132 hours in the original game? That’s nothing. I’ve spent approaching 150 hours in Skyrim VR so far and can see myself hitting 1000 hours in the game easily—the atmosphere in VR is that good.


    Yeah, as I've mentioned in other discussions, I found vanilla Skyrim to be highly repetitious after the first 20 hours or so. I had a large number of Mod's and DLC (both official and unofficial). I forgot about a lot of it because it's been over a year since I stopped playing Skyrim, but I checked my backlog and now I recall so many of the experiences. It was fun, but after your 10th dungeon the repetition sets in. And after your 10th quest, running errands for NPC's loses its luster. The same goes for battling Dragons. Once my Bow skill was high enough level, it was easy peasy lemon squeezy!

    I'm one of those Elder Scrolls fans who loves Morrowind above all else! lol

    I posted this back in 2016 in anticipation of MorrowindVR:





    But yes, with SkyrimVR, I feel that the monotony will be overshadowed by everything else that the VR aspect adds to the game. Much like the monotony in Morrowind was masked due to just how well the game is constructed. I can see myself playing SkyrimVR on a regular basis for a long time. As opposed to how I gave up on vanilla Skryim after the 132 hour mark.
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    Catch me on Twitter: twitter.com/zenbane
  • SimonSays28SimonSays28 Posts: 578
    Neo
    Pretty much how I feel about it, great review Zenbane! Though I am a lot more forgiving of the port issues.

    The dragon animations were just as bad in the original Skyrim, and they never felt big past the first encounter in the tutorial where it takes out the town. I actually wish they had scripted the dragons to be more like that throughout - and far less of them, they should have just been boss fights / stuff for the narrative. I actually dread running into them not because they are scary - but because they are a chore. I doubt they will ever be fully fixed - because it would require a total reworking of both the animation and AI, and I don't think the animation system in Skyrim (or any Bethesda game) is robust enough to support the fluid motion required to make it believable.

    For the hand presence - I agree, and in getting about nearly 15 hours into the game myself, I actually think they could have implemented something fairly easy - as mentioned in this thread, you can technically pick stuff up by holding A but it feels hokey and kind of useless. Everytime I play I imagine how cool it would be to get into a fight where I could grab knives off tables and throw them at enemies - if they hadn't done away with the weapon degradation systems in Morrowind/Oblivion it could have made for some really interesting kinetic and emergent gameplay. A missed opportunity for sure - who knows maybe some cool modders figure it out using SKSE one day.

    As for the height - you are right, although I still feel my stomach rise when I jump off ledges. I think honestly if the Dynavision mod gets ported it will feel much better - again it is an issue that is present in the non-VR version as well. Installing realistic fall damage helps because it makes it so you can't jump spam the mountain side to shortcut everywhere (a habit I picked up from Morrowind - along with knowing that if you jump off certain large static meshes and travel at a certain angle you won't take any damage lol).

    I think that Skyrim is a great VR port - and most issues I have with it are issues I have with the original game and I can't really blame the VR port for that (though buying the game again did hurt a little and I want to blame it for that). Honestly I think it is something that every serious gamer who has a VR headset should play - even if only the vanilla experience because honestly for me it kind of solidified Skyrim as a good game. 

    The reason I was able to put thousands of hours into Morrowind and only a couple of hundred into Skyrim is because though Skyrim is technically the better game - Morrowind structured it's quests more naturally. Guilds / Factions had requirements to join and advance - and quest outcomes could have unseen effects in other factions or side quests. Where as in Skyrim the quest lines are all kind of self-contained plots - I mean they are much more fun and scripted in a way that doesn't require as much imagination as Morrowind - but they really do feel shallow compared to Morrowind. Also Morrowind had better unique loot - although with the Morrowloot mod and a few others this is a non-issue.

    That said - Skyrim has much better dungeons, combat, NPC interaction, etc. etc. etc. and as you said VR kind of covers up any of the faults I have with it and I can see myself finally sinking into it and actually playing the DLC this time.
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  • cybernettrcybernettr Posts: 902
    3Jane
    Yeah, Skyrim can be a little repetitious, but not bad considering it’s massive scale, and no more so than other favorite games like Elite Dangerous, Project Cars, Star Trek Bridge Crew and even Robo Recall. Farlands, despite its charming graphics, was the most repititious of them all.

    Robo Recall is the gold standard for Touch interactivity, however. With other games, you feel like your blows and bullets pass right through the NPCs, and you have to watch the health meter to see if you’re doing any damage, but in Robo Recall, enemies respond in real time to every blow and bullet. Truly the gold standard for all future VR games to go by. 
  • SimonSays28SimonSays28 Posts: 578
    Neo
    Yeah, Skyrim can be a little repetitious, but not bad considering it’s massive scale, and no more so than other favorite games like Elite Dangerous, Project Cars, Star Trek Bridge Crew and even Robo Recall. Farlands, despite its charming graphics, was the most repititious of them all.

    Robo Recall is the gold standard for Touch interactivity, however. With other games, you feel like your blows and bullets pass right through the NPCs, and you have to watch the health meter to see if you’re doing any damage, but in Robo Recall, enemies respond in real time to every blow and bullet. Truly the gold standard for all future VR games to go by. 

    Robo Recall and SuperhotVR are the two games that surprised me the most as far as how much the touch controllers really bring to the experience.

    Skyrim cannot compete with the level of control in both of them - but on that note, both of those games don't offer up the type of long form adventure that Skyrim does.

    I remain hopeful that one day there will be a truly great VR Elder Scrolls game that takes into account the full functionality of VR in the future. Likely by the time it comes out - the CV1 + Touch will look like a gimmicky toy by comparison. LOL
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  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 13,658 Valuable Player
    Yeah, Skyrim can be a little repetitious, but not bad considering it’s massive scale, and no more so than other favorite games like Elite Dangerous, Project Cars, Star Trek Bridge Crew and even Robo Recall. Farlands, despite its charming graphics, was the most repititious of them all.


    True, but that's is why 132 hours of Vanilla Skyrim is more than enough (for me). I don't think that repetition itself is a core problem with gaming. They are all repetitious to a certain degree - some moreso than others. For me, it's more about the time investment, which fluctuates based on the degree of repetition.

    I stopped Robo Recall and Farlands after about 10-20 hours or so. I hit their end-game and continued little after that. I feel that a player has done pretty much all there is to do in Skyrim after a similar timeframe. Anything beyond that stems from a natural love for the game. The Fast-Travel aspect plays a huge role in this with vanilla Skyrim. I can speed through dungeons and quests using Fast-Travel. This starts to make things feel very repetitious.

    And once you realize that a small number of Artifacts are all that is needed to compliment your character build, and everything else is best built using Smithing/Enchanting, then exploration loses some of its meaning after 20+ hours.

    Not to mention that Skyrim never actually finishes! lol - there is no real end-game...




    I'm not trying to be overly harsh with the game. And again, the VR aspect changes that experience in a way that I find fascinating (and addicting).


    I do plan to complete all the DLC in SkyrimVR.



    Are you a fan of the Myst games? Check out my Mod at http://www.mystrock.com/
    Catch me on Twitter: twitter.com/zenbane
  • SimonSays28SimonSays28 Posts: 578
    Neo
    Zenbane - use the Morrowloot mod and some of the other loot mods (Zim's immersive artifacts).

    It brings back what I loved about Morrowind so much - it takes away the level-scaling system. So enemies and items have set levels - meaning if you complete a quest that is for a Level 15 character and you are Level 4, the item you receive is a Level 15 and not a Level 4 but it also means that the quest is much harder as everything is not scaled down to your Level 4 character. It provides the structure that Morrowind had within the framework of Skyrim.

    I mean - I get why they changed it with Skyrim (to appeal to the lowest common denominator - most people who picked up Skyrim were new to the series or even to RPGs at the time). They provided an open world game where you could go anywhere and do anything - but in making it that open they made the game feel more repetitious than it should feel. For instance in Morrowind - you stumble on Daedric ruins pretty early and get your ass handed to you which gives you a goal to get better so you can go back to that dungeon later and beat it.

    In Skyrim I never felt the need to not go check out a dungeon as a low level character - I mean some of the quest lines have "boss" enemies that are scaled higher than the character. But to get to them it is pretty much the same slog through enemies you won't have any problem dealing with so long as you are properly equipped.

    With modding you can negate this though and return Skyrim to an experience much more inline with Morrowind - with all the advances in combat that Skyrim brought to the table.

    I'd also say that the Skyrim world has better dungeons than Morrowind and the lore and structure of the world is almost as interesting as Morrowind - or at least it is a huge step back in the right direction after Oblivion.

    Even Better Quest Objectives, Carriage and Ferry Travel and the Translocate mods also make it so that getting around is also much more in line with Morrowind. The map based fast travel system in games kind of ruins the experience - back tracking is part of the experience in these open world games, especially as there is always something new around every corner that is easily missed if you just quest marker hop around the map using fast travel. It is a huge immersion killer.

    Sorry for going off-topic - but the Elder Scrolls series is a game series that I feel very attached to as I have been following it since the beginning and I always feel the need to both defend it and point out all my misgivings at the same time :tongue:
    Check out my band at http://theheavyjack3.bandcamp.com/ - our entire discography has been released for free download.

  • LuciferousLuciferous Posts: 1,824
    Project 2501
    edited May 2018
    aye lad the pudding is a complicated recipe.
  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 13,658 Valuable Player
    How graphically modded is your version? Or did you try to review the most vanilla version you could get away with?

    I forgot to include my listed Mods. I'll edit it in to the end of the Review, but here is what I had installed at the time:



    I probably won't be adding much, if anything, beyond that. I started adding other stuff recently but the gameplay became unstable. I decided to stick with this since it's more than enough to enhance the experience.
    Are you a fan of the Myst games? Check out my Mod at http://www.mystrock.com/
    Catch me on Twitter: twitter.com/zenbane
  • SimonSays28SimonSays28 Posts: 578
    Neo
    edited May 2018
    You are truly more reserved when it comes to modding than I am Zenbane, lol!


    Check out my band at http://theheavyjack3.bandcamp.com/ - our entire discography has been released for free download.

  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 13,658 Valuable Player
    @SimonSays28 - You are a legend, good sir!

    I never know how much I'll commit to a game these days. It's harder for me to justify spending the time gathering a plethora of Mods. Due to time management constraints, I just try to grab whatever I feel is a "must-have" and then run with it!

    But well done, buddy. Impressive.

    How is your performance in SkyrimVR with all of those? What's you Graphics Card (sorry if you said this already)?
    Are you a fan of the Myst games? Check out my Mod at http://www.mystrock.com/
    Catch me on Twitter: twitter.com/zenbane
  • SimonSays28SimonSays28 Posts: 578
    Neo
    LOL - this is nothing too, I spent about 2 hours setting this one up. Although I had already downloaded half the mods from my first try. I haven't really committed to Skyrim since about 2013 - so this is the biggest mod I have done for Skyrim. But for Fallout New Vegas I have set it up with the Fear and Loathing in New Vegas STEP guide as well as several additional mods covering things I was surprised it neglected (visual drug effects, especially considering the title of the guide. lol) - that took me 2 days to get working and I just beat the game about 2 months ago now (well I am literally at the very end of it - but then I got Far Cry 5).

    As far as performance goes - I have played through to Whiterun and although I know ASW is kicking in from time to time it is for the most part buttery smooth. Especially indoors or out and about in the wilderness. I am running on a GTX970 no less so I am surprised how playable it is. That said - I am not using Skyrim 2017 textures - instead I am running it with Skyrim Realistic Overhaul which I have optimized and down sampled to 2K. So I get some of the better sharpness of a proper texture pack (one that was designed with the vanilla art in mind) but it hasn't affected my performance.

    In fact - I'd say Skyrim is running better on this setup so far as opposed to my first run - I am not sure if that is down to the texture optimizing or that I got rid of some other mods that were slightly more script heavy.
    Check out my band at http://theheavyjack3.bandcamp.com/ - our entire discography has been released for free download.

  • cybernettrcybernettr Posts: 902
    3Jane
    Skyrim has been going for 7 years strong for a reason, and in VR I think that reason is even greater. The good news for non-Skyrimers is I think the success of the first epic games in VR will pave the way for more AAA VR titles in the future. 
  • pyroth309pyroth309 Posts: 1,270
    Wintermute
    Zenbane said:
    Bumping this for an update.

    I recently decided to jump back in to SkyrimVR after nearly a year of not playing it. And when I did play it in VR last year, I didn't get very far before getting bored and shelving it.

    However, I had the urge to sneak around killing peeps with a Bow so decided to give it another chance. And while I still have my gripes about this VR Port, there is one thing I noticed - on a very positive end - that I wanted to mention!

    Going back to when I played Vanilla Skyrim, I found that I really hated the Maps for:
    • Soul Cairn
    • Blackreach
    Even though those regions looked quite pretty/unique, I just hated being there. In fact, if memory serves, I think that both of those maps caused me to take month long breaks from the game. These are large regions with only a Local Map and the experience just sucked overall (imo).

    But not in VR! For some reason... standing in these regions in Virtual Reality made me want to stay. For first time, I completed the sub-quests in Soul Cairn, and I'm almost done exploring Blackreach in its entirety. I noticed that while in VR, I am more comfortable with the regions and its landmarks, so it makes traveling around much more pleasant. Being able to see things with my own eyes seemed to remove all the frustration that I experienced back when I was using my Mouse/Keyboard to "pan" around these regions during the Vanilla experience.

    The fascination for me is that this is the first time during my 3 years with VR that I've had something occur where VR made an experience that I previously "hated" turn in to something that I thoroughly enjoyed.
    I actually ran into that a lot in VR in skyrim.....but I modded the hell out of my Skyrim to the maximum my 1080 could handle lol. Modded, It is still the most incredible game I have seen in VR. I still need to play Fallout 4 modded but I'm waiting for a new headset with a new GPU so I can get the full glory of it. 
  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 13,658 Valuable Player
    edited May 14
    Well don't get me wrong, I still think that at least 50% of SkyrimVR is total pants! lol

    The menu system frustrates me to no end, as it is constantly getting stuck inside walls, doors, etc. I have to make sure I position myself at proper angles before clicking that A button. Plus, mining, crafting, hotkeyed weapons/spells/potions, etc... all still poopish. Melee is like something out of an ACME Cartoon.
    Maybe some of these issues have been Modded by now, but I'm using Nexus Mod Mgr, and there's no way I'm migrating to a new tool.
    But hey... they get a +1 for making intolerable regions so fascinating in VR.
    :)
    Are you a fan of the Myst games? Check out my Mod at http://www.mystrock.com/
    Catch me on Twitter: twitter.com/zenbane
  • pyroth309pyroth309 Posts: 1,270
    Wintermute
    edited May 14
    Zenbane said:
    Well don't get me wrong, I still think that at least 50% of SkyrimVR is total pants! lol

    The menu system frustrates me to no end, as it is constantly getting stuck inside walls, doors, etc. I have to make sure I position myself at proper angles before clicking that A button. Plus, mining, crafting, hotkeyed weapons/spells/potions, etc... all still poopish. Melee is like something out of an ACME Cartoon.
    Maybe some of these issues have been Modded by now, but I'm using Nexus Mod Mgr, and there's no way I'm migrating to a new tool.
    But hey... they get a +1 for making intolerable regions so fascinating in VR.
    :)
    Yea I modded most of that lol. Complete Combat overhaul but to be honest, at least when I played Skyrim last year, the melee was still lacking. Archery was awesome though and I modded the magic too.

    This was some vids I shot when I was still tinkering and adding Mods. (There's some much more impressive skyrim vids out there but this was the base for the direction I went)



    112 mods there but I ended up over 200 lol. I couldn't do near what I wanted to do because the 1080 simply couldn't handle it. Once I get a proper GPU upgrade (Curse you Nvidia) I plan to go back to it make it ridiculous. 


  • saami81saami81 Posts: 83
    Hiro Protagonist
    290 hours in pancake Skyrim.
    128 hours in Skyrim VR.

    I wonder when im gonna catch up. Skyrim is one of those games that doesnt get old easily.
  • snowdogsnowdog Posts: 6,395 Valuable Player
    I'm going to try going back to Skyrim VR at some point and see how long I can play before my gammy leg plays up. I could do half an hour last time I tried.

    I think I'm going to switch back to the 2017 textures again before I do though.
    "This you have to understand. There's only one way to hurt a man who's lost everything. Give him back something broken."

    Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever
  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 13,658 Valuable Player
    You can play while seating. Just turn OFF the Realistic Sneaking option and you're good.

    I prefer to engage in all VR experiences while standing, but sometimes after a long ass day... I just gotta sit.
    Are you a fan of the Myst games? Check out my Mod at http://www.mystrock.com/
    Catch me on Twitter: twitter.com/zenbane
  • pyroth309pyroth309 Posts: 1,270
    Wintermute
    edited May 14
    Zenbane said:
    You can play while seating. Just turn OFF the Realistic Sneaking option and you're good.

    I prefer to engage in all VR experiences while standing, but sometimes after a long ass day... I just gotta sit.
    Yep, I play seated as well, especially something as long as Skyrim. 

    This is a good vid that shows some of the potential of Skyrim modded. 



    And I look forward to the day I can put these kind of graphics in VR 

  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 13,658 Valuable Player
    edited May 14
    Quite nice, pyroth! I instantly thought to myself that after all those mods... the game looks more like a region out of Final Fantasy as opposed to Tamriel. Very pretty though!
    I think that the moment a Player successfully installs 300 Mods in Skyrim, they have transcended and should instantly receive a version of the game that just plays itself.
    Are you a fan of the Myst games? Check out my Mod at http://www.mystrock.com/
    Catch me on Twitter: twitter.com/zenbane
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