Tobold's Blog
Saturday, November 12, 2011
No Skyrim for me

I did my homework and watched gameplay videos of Skyrim in both 1st person and 3rd person mode. And in all of them the cursor is stuck firmly in the middle of the screen, just like it was in the previous games, Morrowind and Oblivion. That control scheme leads to more camera movements overall, because you can't click on let's say the chest on the ground without looking down. And in the previous games that excessive camera movement did cause me video game nausea, making them unplayable for me.

So, sorry, but whatever other great qualities Skyrim might have as a computer role-playing game, I will not buy it. Not before I at least have played a demo for an hour to check whether the game makes me nauseous. And apparently there isn't a playable demo for the game, a Google search for Skyrim demo only turns up "demo trailer" videos.

If you get motion sick easily, Skyrim is not for you, unfortunately. You can't change your field of view and third person view, while possible, isn't really working for me.

However, if motion sickness is not a big problem for you, you should get Skyrim right now. There is no better RPG about exploration on the market by a very wide margin.
Many, many games trigger nausea and headaches for me. One thing that really helps, even though it seems like it shouldn't, is seasickness wristbands. I prefer the Psi-Bands variety over the Sea Band brand, but they might be worth looking into if you really want to play Skyrim.

Another thing you can do to combat video game nausea are playing for very short bursts (stop before you get sick) to train your brain that the game is safe.

But it's totally understandable if you don't want to bother trying to play at all. That feeling is just awful. I sympathize.
Oh, thanks for the warning! I have the same problem but thankfully, I've been able to play Oblivion and Divinity II - but I do have to be careful and need to make regular breaks (but I couldn't play other games that were similar, so I always need to check first to see if it's okay or not).
I've had the same thing with past Elder Scrolls games (or really any FPS game), but Ive had much better success with Skyrim. I think the higher graphics settings, and mainly the SMOOTHER graphics settings (especially on High or Ultra) has worked absolute wonders. No motion sickness yet for me.

The "training your brain" idea might also have some merit. When I first started Mass Effect 2, instant head aches, but the more I played in little bits, the easier it got to handle (and perhaps that has also helped with Skyrim now...)

It actually is possible to change your field of view. There's a thread on Reddit about it here (with a few other tweaks too)

Apparently you can change it in the ini file but it doesn't stick, so you need to use the console to change it permanently.
From your previous posts I've gathered that you have enough disposable income to dump $100+ on World of Tanks or whatever it's called, but you can't sacrifice $60 on a decade defining RPG that you *think* will make you sick? I've never read a bio (don't know if there's a link on your blog) so I'm not sure how old you are, but it seems like a lot to miss out on for someone who writes articles that MMO/RPG elitism literally bleeds out of. I think that you should invest the $6 on motion sickness pills and complain about the game mechanics or scenarios if you need to.
Just because I can afford a ticket to the latest Disney World thrill ride doesn't mean it would be a good idea to buy that ticket, if similar rides made me sick in the past.

And I do not believe the "decade defining RPG" part, and that is after reading lots of review. Skyrim is good, but there are a bunch of other good RPGs out there, and more great RPGs announced for the remainder of the decade.
I'm tempted but several reasons are making me hesitate:
- the PC version is still a console port. I'm wary of console ports.
- being a console port, the interface isn't particularly suited to mouse/keyboard, from what I saw in a bunch of reviews
- I didn't like Oblivion (though I loved Morrowind) so I'm afraid I wont' like this one either. It looks like the same type of gameplay with updated graphics.
As a former victim of video game motion sickness myself I can sympathise. It is a genuinely awful feeling and I found that unlike regular motion sickness the headache and and nausea could persist for several hours after I stopped playing.

Happily for me very few games made after about 2000 give me motion sickness. Perhaps this is because of higher resolutions and faster frame rates, I don't know. I do know that setting vsync to on and adjusting the field of view to about 90 degrees helps.

One option for Skyrim by the way would be to play the console version. The extra distance between player and screen seems to make all the difference.
I feel exactly the same. When you play a game on a PC you want to have freedom via the mouse. The game looks great, but nothing for me with that darn stuck cursor.

It would be soo easy for them to implement decent mouse controls.
To distill the FOV tweak out from the big article, hit the tilde key and type fov 85 (or whatever number you think is best). I've also had better results with third person view in this game than the previous two Elder Scrolls games, so you might give that a try.

The game's really nice, though. Very pretty and the quests so far are intelligently written.
wow just wow, i feel sorry for you. you're like missing out on the game of the decade there :( was looking forward hear about your adventures :((
One option for you given the lack of a demo: Redbox.

It's what I did when I wasn't sure whether the game would be compelling enough for me to spend the time in it to be worth 60 dollars US.

So I spent 2 dollars US to play it for one night and happily returned it to the machine the next day having spent 58 dollars less than I could have to find out that it was a well done game but that I no longer really enjoy the genre.

(all of this assumes you have some version or alternate incarnation of Redbox where you live. it's really transformed my consumption of visual media across the board.)
Based on my personal first impressions, you're not missing much. The game looks like it was released in 2005. I recently played a lesser-known RPG, Risen (which I heartily recommend, by the way), it looks WAY better than Skyrim, and it was released in 2009! But then again, Risen is not a direct console port, I guess.

The control scheme is also horrible. I am disappoint.
Shame your missing out some rather fine dragon encounters.
My personal opinion on Skyrim, PC version: a potentially amazing title... ruined by horrendous animations (npcs/monsters) and an absolutely stupid and crappy inventory system (direct port from consoles, requires WASD keys).

Textures vary from mediocre to good. Nothing amazing though, you will hardly find textures highly detailed.

The overall feeling IS epic, I agree on that, but there are too many puppets around (npcs) that can ruin the immersion.

I am trying to play more and get into the lore/story, to see if I can pass over the cons and enjoy the pros.

I just can't understand how reviews give out a full 10/10 for a game that uses a mediocre 3D engine and shows puppets instead of humans.
@Loque: Yeah, it's so weird! How can a game have bad graphics and still be amazing?! Blows my mind man.
From the mixed echo I hear, it appears that it simply doesn't amaze everybody.
from what people are writing hear, reaching their expectations of a good game seems impossible. srsly wtf did you expect, how can wow make you happy but not this. You honesly gotta experience it for yourself. others might as well write blabla tectures blabla animations blabla. it's like complaining over so small things just for the sake of complaining. This is the best game Bethesda has ever created.

I think this game is absolutely breath taking, all the things you can do, all the things you can craft, the possibilities are literally endelss, colelct herbs, mine, enchant, alchemy, smelthing, smithing, create hide. Game of the decade and i've only played some 17-18 hours.
Check these screenshots for yourself
Hmm, it appears that if you use the console to type in FOV 100 to get a wider field of view to not get motion sickness, Bethseda considers you a cheater and locks you out of the achievement system.
@ Emilmf

I personally consider textures and animations a huge component of a game like this. Of course they are not THE core of the game, but if you find Skyrim's animations, facial expressions and textures "absolutely breathtaking" then your expectations were very low.

The game is fun, yes. But it's not a "masterpiece" in every aspect, because it would require perfection in any field: gameplay, story, graphics, animations and so on.

Npcs look like stoned dummies and (often) move like moonwalker. THAT kills the immersion, in a game where the visual aspect is a HUGE component of the experience.
@ Loque Nahak

my exectations were low if i find the game breathtaking? i think you came into this game very narrowminded, the way the NPC's react is way more natural than in oblivion, and they actually say something logic almost everytime. i don't know, i haven't seen 1 stoned dummy er moonwalker so i don't know what you're talking about, seems like your game is acting weird.

When i mean masterpiece and perfection, that's when this can barely be done any better, i think they nailed it amazingly Bethesda. The visual aspect as well is immersive with the nature, wild life, animals and random bandits. I even sneaked my way to a tower when i hear an NPC say to himself he thought he heard something, but it might just be he's mind messing with him. That's pretty cool imo. How can a game be good enough for you?
Tobold, I suffer from motion sickness as well. Morrowind was not really playable for me, Oblivion was endurable but I tended to not play for long durations. Halo and Everquest were completely unplayable. 10 mins in and I get a headache + nausea lasting over 2 hours.

But we're all different in terms of our extent of nausea and the games causing it. Skyrim is better than Oblivion, but I tend to use 3rd person 80% of the time which works find for me, the other 20% is necessary cos aiming spells is much easier in 1st person.

For whatever reasons the Elderscrolls was never my favorite RPG, perhaps most felt like it was a console port or because of the 1st person view. I much preferred DAO and DA2. All that has changed with Skyrim. In fact I feel almost disloyal for liking Skyrim so damn much.

But while DAO holds dear to my heart, I have to admit that Skyrim really proves how much DA2 falls short of the RPG bar. Perhaps it has a lot to do with my perchant for always choosing a mage class, and Skyrim excels at this, also finding items in Skyrim + custom crafted dungeons really showcase 2 areas DA2 fell short.

I completely agree that having a demo of Skyrim before buying it is a must if Oblivion caused you much nausea. All I can say is that Skyrim is a huge improvement over Oblivion, the way Oblivion was over Morrowind if that's anything to gauge by.

I also can't speak for best RPG of the Decade because Open World RPGs are very different from RPG's by Bioware. But its easily the best RPG for 2011.
PS. About the cursor being fixed in the center of the screen? You're right, however because you're moving using WASD and there's no head bobbing thing going on, I'm not having much of an issue with being sick as I might with other games.
Didn't get sick from Oblivion but Skyrim makes me feel like puking.

Only about a half hour of game play and it hit me like a punch to the face.

I can't increase the "prettiness" of the game beyond "medium" so a lot of graphical effects are in the "low" category except textures which were "high."

Can't tell if it's the juxtaposition of high and low quality game elements or my character's overall movement.

I've been able to curb most motion sickness in games by tweaking with the settings and so far the only one I couldn't make work 100% was Singularity. Hopefully I won't have to add Skyrim to my list of unplayables.
I wish I had looked into Skyrim causing motion sickness / nausea before I purchased the game today. About an hour into playing the game, I had a huge headache and started dry heaving in the sink. Thank the maker for saltine crackers, a bottle of water, and a 4 year to make me feel better. But it took like 2 hours to finally rid myself of feeling cruddy.

Unfortunately I purchased the PC version and it is a total financial loss. Buyer beware if you have these issues or if you even think you could. This is the first game I have ever played that has made me ill. Games like World of Warcraft, Rift, Dragon Age, ect do not make me ill at all.
Unplayable for me - both times I have played (10 - 15 minutes each time) left me with a bout of nausea that lasted almost 24hrs. Shame, because it seems an excellent game.

I wished Bethesda gave an option to turn off the motion...
I am having alot of fun playing Skyrim, but it is hardly the RPG of the decade. It IS a great RPG, but it is far from the masterpiece people are claiming it to be.

As for motion sickness, I've been playing video games since the 80s and Skyrim is the first to ever make me feel nauseous from playing it. If i stop playing for a while when I first feel the nausea setting in then I find I can usually avoid feeling too terrible, then return to the game when the feeling fades. One thing that Skyrim definitely gets right is letting you save any time anywhere. Use it when you feel sick, then come back when it fades. You should be able to play through the game just fine if you take it in reasonable play sessions.

It would be a shame to just pass it by, for all its flaws it is still a very good, if not repetitive, game. Find someway to play it before buying it, whether through a friend or some....other way.
Sigh...found this post while looking for causes of nausea while playing Oblivion. Glad I cheaped out and bought the older game, since from what I've read Skyrim is even worse.
I got to tell you, this is bad. Can't play the game. Making me dizzy and sick to my stomach.
I've been doing some research into how a video game can make one sick. I really like Skyrim BTW. How if fixed the issue. I lowered the graphics settings! It seems the problem is low frame rates create a flickering effect that for some individuals causes a vertigo/nausea. Its a lot like being hit by a strobe light. So in theory to resolve this you want to get the frame rates above 60 FPS. That should eliminated the strobe like effect on your nervous system.
So glad I found this and I am not nuts. People look at me weird when I tell them about this.

Quake 4 also was a BIGG one for me. Luckily for me, I acquired it be purchasing it. Too be to, I love this game, but my life enjoyment is not worth it for this game.

As for the above 60 hertz comment. I agree. Unfortunately my crappy dell laptop will not go above 60. Really? *sigh* back to Fiesta (^_^)
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