100+ reasons why Dan Vavra hates TES V: Skyrim


You may’ve been wondering why why Warhorse was in one of the graphics demo pitching the toilets in the game so much. I found the reason. It is point 33. on this list in the following 2011 blog.

100+ reasons why Dan Vavra hates TES V: Skyrim

Dan Vávra: The Facts and Research behind Kingdom Come RPG
An update on Alpha?

I don’t think that he hates Skyrim.
But, some critism is alright.
×it has terrible pc port
×it was just a skeleton of a great game (I had to download 60+ mods, to make the game enjoyable for me)
×Game could not be completed without googling how to remove some already completed quest or quest item
×it has hundreds of bugs
×it needed tens of updates

But still it was awesome game that deserves 9/10 (not 10 because of list of things above, which reviewers seems to forgot)


That was both an amusing and sad read, and Dan feeling so strongly about things like this speak to the high hopes I have for KCD.


I agree with everything he’s saying. I think he has to realize though that given the huge scope of the game, some of the issues are understandable.


sure, but when it’s as overrated as skyrim, i say they deserve every bit of vitriol.


This is basically Bethesda being Bethesda. I have to agree about the analogy made at the top about the desert island.



If you’re not good or skilled enough to make a big game make a smaller game. There is no excuse for stuff like that, especially not for Bethesda. They make the same mistakes in each and every game AGAIN. I call that arrogant and lazy…


Yeah, even in Czech magazines, TES series seemed like a popular target of mr. Vavra. It seems to be turning into almost personal vendetta by now, so I wouldn’t actually put that much stock into it being somehow unbiased.


Well, if he won’t make these mistakes, then Kingdom come will be totally worth the money.


Yes the game design in TES is a disaster, and became wrong and wrong.
Daggerfall has the best one, with a lot to improve.
Oblivion and Skyrim are games with no logic, wich is bad for a ROLE player game.
I stopped playing Skyrim after 40h, even with the mods (and thanks the community to put back some senses in this world) because I didn’t felt the role part of the game.
Reading Dan brings me hope.
Now will they do better? I guess yes, the only things i m afraid about kingdomcome, is may be a bit lack of ambition and crazyness.
When I say a lack of ambition, is not about the quality, i m confident on this point, but the quantity.


Nah. TES games were always about options (at least from Morrowind onwards), and those options were always sub-par, that’s just how the series always worked. With less options, TES games would not work quite as well, and Bethesda realizes this damn well.

TES games never worked in spite of having a lot of sub-par mechanics, sub-par game world (altho the graphical design of Skyrim IS pretty damn beautiful, I’m sorry, I’ve never seen such stunning locales in a videogame - not even Witcher 2 which is technically far superior) and sub-par quests and small stories, it worked because of that. TES is very much a quantity over quality kind of deal, and it ends up being much more than a sum of its parts.

The only bits which are objectively bad and need to be changed are the UI, which Bethesda is obviously trying to improve but fails at doing so, and more Q&A, altho that still sort of ties into what I said earlier. Vast majority of other points mr. Vávra has made tho? Fans of TES games just don’t give a toss about that. Unrealistic architecture? Meh. Unrealistic gameplay for that matter? Meh. Weird level-design? Meh. Technically sub-par graphics? Meh. And I mean… Why should we care? If that’s what people are looking in their RPGs, they should just … you know, not buy a TES games. However, it’s obvious that people do want what Bethesda has to offer, even moreso than a lot of way more realistic and thought-trough RPGs out there. Perhaps instead of criticizing why it doesn’t work, one should stop for a while and think just why does it work.


He does make a fair point though (albeit using a rather crude example). Even if that is what you’re looking for in your big open world RPGs, there aren’t really any alternatives when it comes to big fantasy open world RPGs aside from TES games.

People care because with the money behind them, they had the potential to go further than they did. Skyrim is more than a sum of its part, but if each part is even better the overall experience would have been better as well.


Is that so? Can those parts be better with the same amount of budget and manpower put into them? I have no idea. And people can talk all they want, until I actually see a game with the same production values as, say, Skyrim, yet with its individual parts being better and having the same amount of content, graphical design and polish, I will believe that it can be done.

Until then, what I see is a game packing an incredible amount of content and mechanics, and, because of that, options, and I am absolutely willing to believe that Bethesda has balanced their budget and development time in a way that the individual parts of the game are as good as possible, and that expending too much on one feature would harm the others.

Now all of that stuff can be done better, there’s absolutely no argument about that - but I don’t see anyone willing to put the amount of resources required for that to happen, and so far anyone trying to imitate the TES experience has only ever gotten its subsets right (and better), but not the whole thing.


And that’s the tragedy. There isn’t any capable developers with a large budget willing to throw resources into a big open world RPG like TES except for Bethesda. So we don’t have a good bar to compare it against. So taking the thought of, well what are game engines doing today (or in 2011 when the game came out) and seeing what Skyrim could have been capable of in retrospect is all we can do. Stuff like animations, character models (specifically faces) and UI do definitely stand out as artifacts from an aging engine that I think are fair game to make fun of.


no, he definitely hates it. he probably goes easy on it when the west media is snooping around of course.

anyway, that article is great. i’ve read his blog as well. vavra is a good critic, and a funny writer. and clearly he is more intelligent and observant than most developers or managers because he spots these things that nearly no one else does. and when they do, it’s because people like him point it out.

it’s the same issue with another sandbox game, like the arma series. arma 2 was fine, arma 2 expansions were fine, then came arma3, the most pathetic pos i’ve ever seen, using the same decade old engine, poor, buggy animations. same mistakes carried over from past games, basically suffering from everything bethesda games suffer.

the most important point to take away from the article, to me, is how developers don’t develop from passion or interest anymore, they just want to punch the clock, make the deadlines and deliver crap like skyrim.


[quote=“Fenixp, post:12, topic:16121”]
Nah. TES games were always about options (at least from Morrowind onwards). [/quote] Agreed. Personally, infuriating UI aside, Morrowind is still a superb game.

[quote=“Fenixp, post:12, topic:16121”]the graphical design of Skyrim IS pretty damn beautiful[/quote] Disagree. Without the HD patch the game is pretty muted/bland. With the patch it’s on par with Oblivion. I still prefer Oblivion’s palette variety.

The UI in both games, without patching, is still mind-bogglingly atrocious.

Not much of what Dan highlights can be argued with. In Morrowind it was entirely possible to collect an OP weapon in the beginning of the game and spend 50% of the game with the same kit. Unforgivable. Not forgetting the Cliff Racer tragedy. Oblivion had some superbly well scripted moments, (the first time an atronach threw a building-sized boulder at me I was sufficiently awed to simply stand there and get squished), but was also riddled with bugs.

Skyrim was technically interesting but dull in comparison. Seriously simplified mechanics, (for obvious reasons), and peppered with NPCs you just couldn’t care about. I suspect the scale defeats the immersion. The larger the world, the more NPCs, the less attention each of them gets. :confused:

The shouts are a clumsy gimmick.

The skill tree is inexcusably clunky and unnecessarily obstructive.

Honestly , Skyrim was a struggle to play through on the main story arc and I have yet to muster the energy to face it again to complete the expansions.Yet I still play Morrowind/Oblivion every so often. What that says about me vs the content is probably quite boring.

The one thing the TES games do really well is the lore. Yes, I read the books.


Points 29 - 52 are so true… what really freaks me out is point 31: I never got over this.

What disturbs me even more is actually that some people fail to see this… :wink:


People see. They just don’t give a shit. You know, there’s a bunch of players who play videogames to get enjoyment…

This is just extremely subjective you know. I too don’t like the murkiness all that much, and I have preferred the colorfulness of Oblivion. Honestly, I have preferred a lot of things that Oblivion did, including quests relying on quality more than on quantity. But when it comes to the world itself, I just feel Skyrim is way more interesting, with some breathtaking locales to visit. But… As I said, that’s incredibly subjective.

Not argued with per se, but their importance is questionable. I’m fairly sure that upon release of KC: Deliverance, it would be entirely possible to nitpick and write a compilation of ‘100 things I hate about it’. I don’t know why would I do it of course, I want to enjoy my investment… But I am yet to encounter a game which would not be very flawed, one way or another.

Like the points he has made about graphics and animation quality - that kind of stuff will be forgotten in 10 years from now, people won’t care anymore and will just say ‘old game.’ Skyrim will most assuredly be remembered by many tho.

The sad part is, UI seems to be in a constant decline. In Skyrim, it’s considered an improvement to get UI to the Oblivion level of awful.

No argument there.

I actually belive it did a lot of steps in the right direction there, actually. I’m actually of two minds about complete removal of stats, but the way actual skills in Skyrim work is actually incredibly natural, and in the end your character will actually end up more profiled than ever before. Actually. (I could have just removed the duplicite actually from the first sentence, but this seemed more fun)

Yeah, it might very well be a case of an one-eyed king, and I would definitely love to see more competition there. But as I said, I’ve never seen open world RPG done better than Bethesda’s products. … Well, I have seen an open world RPG done better, but I like my games to have non-ASCII graphics :smiley:


part of the enjoyment comes from being immersed in a world. so that’s stupid and wrong.


I will freely admit that I’m stupid and wrong to immerse myself in a world which happens to not be realistic.

Suspension of disbelief is what makes it possible for one to even begin to immerse oneself in a world while playing a videogame with a controller, on a display screen. Different people have different capacity for this, and their disbelief gets suspended on various criteria. In other words - I’m sorry you can’t have fun. I’ll have it for you :stuck_out_tongue: