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Lydia Vs Gate

By Shamus
on Wednesday Nov 30, 2011
Filed under:


Lydia is one of your possible companions in Skyrim. She’s likely your first and the only one you must obtain during the course of the main quest. She’s strong and stalwart, and doesn’t give you any crap for any of the insane things you may find yourself doing. She’s easily the most popular companion. But beneath her pretty face (by the standards of the gameworld) she is very much a product of Betheda Softworks. For example:

Link (YouTube)

Comments (183)

  1. Varil says:

    Why I don’t use companions : Exhibit A.

    • kjones says:

      Same here. Fallout 3? Solo. Oblivion? Don’t even remember if you could get companions.

      Their AI is always, always terrible, and they always get in the way. Doesn’t help that I like to play stealthy characters when I can, and no game has ever done a good job of providing stealthy companions.

      • Stacy says:

        There are at least two stealthy companions. I’ve seen the one from the Brotherhood sneak up behind enemies and slit their throats while I sniped from the shadows with my bow. I was colored impressed!

        • bassdrum says:

          As someone playing a sneak build that relies heavily on backstabs and surprise, I found myself much less impressed by the Guild companions–if enemies even slightly suspected my presence (such as if they were investigating a slight noise, or a comrade’s death, or some other thing which usually DOESN’T lead to full detection), they would stand up and charge into combat… meaning that I lost any chance of getting my usual 30x backstab bonus. Plus, they set off every trap, stood where they could be seen by enemies, etc. Basically, every time I got detected, it linked back to my companions, and the only time they were useful was in open combat–which I avoid at all costs, and usually escape from if detected so that I can just sneak up on them again.

      • Irridium says:


        Though it changed with New Vegas. Mainly because they were invincible so I didn’t have to babysit them, and they were actually interesting. With their own story and quest(s).

        Though to be honest, I’m using Erandur. Because he has the same voice as The Burned Man. And it is amazing.

        Or I was using him. Can’t do much in Skyrim anymore since the 1.2 patch broke my game. Resistances are now useless, can’t absorb dragon shouts anymore, dragons are just generally glitchy, and the bookshelves break when you add/remove books.

        Dammit, Bethesda.

        • Mersadeon says:

          Good thing I didn’t install it yet. I read the patchnotes and thought “hey, that will fix some of the stuff that annoys me!” (especially the fact that I once didn’t get a dragons soul), but then I heard it just made things even worse. I’ll just wait till they pump out a patch that really works. And, you know what? This game has WAY less glitches than the other Bethesda games, I think. I only crash once every two days, never had any corrupted savegames, and apart from occasional pathfinding problems and disappearing stuff, I can’t really complain.

        • Peggy says:

          I am SO glad I managed to stumble upon warning about the busted patch before installing. But I feel your pain! I’ve denied the patch. It didn’t fix my quest bugs anyway so I don’t feel bad. Ah, Bethesda. Gotta love em!

      • Lintman says:

        I don’t recall companions in Oblivion, but they were useful as pack mules in F3, and you missed out on a fair bit if you didn’t use them at all in Fallout: New Vegas. They have some fun personalities, and a few interesting quests, even if you don’t have much use for them in combat.

        • Hitch says:

          The closest thing Oblivion had to a Companion was the Adoring Fan (shudder), although there were many mods that added companions to the game. Bethesda actually looked at those and improved them in Fallout 3 and later games. (The fan-made companions were buggier and more annoying that the official ones that came later.)

          • Eschatos says:

            Oblivion actually had a number of companions, but you had to beat the various important quest lines to get access to them.

            • zootie says:

              The best one of which (I think) was the half-orc warrior you could get on a mission – Mogra or something like? She was 6th level and you could get her mission at like 2nd level.

              Your job was to lead her to her mission objective and help her win, but since she’d follow you everywhere and fight anything that attacked you….. let’s just say it could take a few levels before you remembered where you were supposed to take her :D

          • Tzeneth says:

            You had the assassins from the brotherhood after you finished its quest line. You had the mage apprentices after you finished the mage questline and the adoring fan I believe.

          • Hal says:

            If you got the wizard’s tower DLC, you could make an elemental companion who would follow you around.

            I generally took the Ice Archon; while not the strongest, it could deal damage to the Lightning Archons who appeared at high levels (and were resistant to lightning damage themselves).

            Unfortunately, I generally liked to summon other creatures at those levels as well, and the summoned companions did not get along with the elementals. In fact, it would frequently occur that I would find myself facing a room full of enemies, summon an epic beast, and then watch in horror as my two monsters would start pummeling each other while the room full of enemies started smacking me around.

            And yet I went back to that game so many times. Stockholm Syndrome or just looking past the flaws?

            • Eärlindor says:

              There were also the knights you could get from the Knights of the Nine DLC.

              This is turning out to be an interesting posse: a knight, mage, assassin, atronarch… fan…

              I wonder what would happen if I took them all with me… could I do that? Why haven’t I tried that yet?

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Its a necessary evil if you want to clean the dungeons.And who doesnt want to?

      • CTrees says:

        Fun fact: Dovahkin doesn’t mean “Dragonborn.” That’s a common misconception, as people assume it’s based on the roots “dovah-” meaning dragon, and “-kin,” meaning child of. However, it’s actually based off the roots “dov-” and “-kin,” with the middle “-ah-” in place stemming from a pronunciation convention.* “Dov-,” in the language of the dragons, means “janitor.” Thus, the main character of Skyrim, the dovahkin, is literally “the janitor born.” This is born out by his obsessive need to remove all the clutter any place he travels (going so far as to resort to outright theivery), and to obsessively straight and clean his own house(s).

        *similar to how some consonant sounds change based on placement in Japanese, or “de el” being transformed into “del” in Spanish. All three examples are to make pronunciation simpler.

    • King Lysandus says:

      I wear heavy armor, wield Wulfgaar, and hack my foes to bits for fun. I have Marcurio as my companion, wielding Nocturnal armor and Chillrend.

      Interestingly I have a really hard time with traps, but Marcurio never does. I just never see those stupid little triggers until it is too late…
      Marcurio seems to have no problem stepping aroung them however…

    • nehumanuscrede says:

      ” Why I don't use companions : Exhibit A ”

      Exactly. I have yet to use a single companion unless it was forced upon me. Why ? Because I play a thief with sneak and bow maxed out level and perk wise.

      Which MEANS I have to be damn sneaky and get my shots off from distance before the ( insert bad guy here ) can reach me and tear me in half because I wear light armor.

      This is IMPOSSIBLE to do when you have ( insert companion here ) clunking around behind you in full plate being about as sneaky and quiet as a GD TIDAL WAVE :|

      They wake up every undead critter in the entire dungeon, they trigger every damn trap and love to stand in my arrow flight path while fighting. . . .

      When I’m trying to set up a shot from the corner of the room, they go all Leroy Jenkins on me and charge right into things. Lovely.

      They stay at home if I have any say so in the matter.

  2. JPH says:

    Fun stuff.

    I almost never have a companion with me in games like this, despite how helpful they are. Partially because they break immersion in ways like the video demonstrates, partially because I generally use stealth and many companions will catch the enemies’ attention, partially because sometimes they’ll make the game too easy, partially because they get in the way a lot. They just seem like a ball and chain to me.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      I dont get why we cant use a modified version of control that was used in isometric rpgs.Most of these games have a pause key,so why not enable us to get a glimpse through their eyes and chain commands.It would make life so much easier.

      • CTrees says:

        Simple – that’s no “innovative.” One can’t proclaim how advanced the AI is, just to go and subvert it by allowing a user to override it and make people do something actually useful! Why, that would break immersion!

        • Raygereio says:

          @Daemian: You want to know something really sad? Someone made a mod for controlling followers that did some of that for FO3.
          Heck, mod-added followers for FO3 and New Vegas also tend to have such basic options as “Don’t attack until I attack”.

          @CTrees: On that note, I’m going to go ahead and do something rather shocking by praising BioWare. They knew their AI for the Dragon Age games is crappy and it if left unchecked would ruin the old school tactical gameplay they were going for.
          So they made a system that allowed the player customize the AI to their liking. Sure, it wasn’t perfect and it needed mods to work right, but dammit the concept was gold.

          • Simulated Knave says:

            Uh…you’ve been able to adjust companion AI in Bioware games since Jade Empire. At least.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              Even before.In baldurs gate there were rudimentary behaviors that you could choose.Of course,it was not necessary,since you could always pause and order them manually.

            • Raygereio says:

              All you could do in Jade Empire either tell the AI to attack willy-nilly in attack mode, or do nothing but give you a buff in support mode.

              Seriously, I’m having trouble comming up with any other (unmodded) game where you can customize AI behavior to your personal preferences. The closest thing I can come up with from other games is the abillity to chose between certain preset behaviours.

              • Abnaxis says:

                The Final Fantasy XII AI was almost identical to DA’s, except you had to buy programming options in shops/find them in the world map (a lot of which weren’t available until late in the game). That made it my favorite game of its time, and I was so excited when I saw DA used a similar system, with all options available from level 1.

                They still tied it to the levelling system, though. Seriously, why can’t anyone let me have competent AI without grinding? How does that add to the value of the game

                • delve says:

                  “you had to buy programming options in shops/find them in the world”

                  I never really understood that either. They tried really hard to excuse it in the story, if memory serves, but every time I found a new one I always thought “Oh lookie! A new… chip… to put in everyones’ heads… Damn, what a weird game.” Talk about a dis-immersive system.

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                Im not sure if it was in earlier bioware games,but I think nwn had the custom preset as well,that allowed you a bit more control.

                But,all of those are just backup,because manual control is still the best route,and the one used for the toughest battles.

              • zootie says:

                Playing NWN2 now, and the Behaviors tab with TonyK’s AI mod has a lot of presets. Combine that with the use of the voice command keys and you can get by somewhat well. If you take the time to set up all those options though :(

        • TSED says:

          My friend and I have, for a very long time, tried to make a strategy RPG in first person. We have rather detailed mechanics, lore, blah blah blah figured out – but no one actually wants to program the thing.

          Basically, I blame programmers for everything now.

  3. Bill says:

    She's also really excellent at jumping right in front of you just as you release a double-handed chain lightning at the dungeon boss from surprise.
    I'm about 21st level and I've had to reload from save at least 10 times because she has heroically leapt into my spells and died.

    • krellen says:

      This is why we need turns back.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      At least companions can be ordered to wait.The thing that pissed me off the most was when that guy asks to tag along to the tree you need to cut.And then he proceeds to rush at any enemy in a mile radius,jump in front of your spells(for which you get bounty on your head),and you cant even equip him with something useful.

      • Mersadeon says:

        Had him die for heroically attacking a troll while I ran to the next village screaming like a little girl. Did he REALLY think he could take that thing on with a lousy little dagger?

        Well, I hope there is no super-awesome reward for getting him there.

      • NihilCredo says:

        That one is kind of justified because bringing him to the sanctuary alive is the real challenge of the quest (you get the “good” resolution if he is there).

        I am inordinately proud of the fact that I kept him alive even though we had a freaking [i]dragon attack[/i] along the way. On Master difficulty :)

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Sure,but the challenge should be to protect him from enemies,not from stupid game mechanics and dumb ai.If I were some fighter and escorting a civilian through a dangerous territory,I sure wouldnt ask him to help me fight,rather Id tell him to stay while I clear a path.

      • nehumanuscrede says:

        “The thing that pissed me off the most was when that guy asks to tag along to the tree you need to cut.And then he proceeds to rush at any enemy in a mile radius,jump in front of your spells(for which you get bounty on your head),and you cant even equip him with something useful.”

        VERY funny moment with that guy. I let him tag along and I fast travel to the closest point I have to the grove. The MOMENT we show up, DRAGON shows up :D This guy runs right up and slugs the dragon in the nose.

        As expected he got munched about .0002 seconds later.

        End of companion :D

  4. SolkaTruesilver says:

    The story of the guy is… strangely sad.

    I know people develop some strange sense of sympathy for video games, but this was a bit creepy. And sad.

    Clearly, we need to create mods that will only make NPCs less obnoxious and more nice to be around, so we develop even stronger emotional attachment to them!

    • Sumanai says:

      I suspect I’m a bad person since after the second video on RPS I laughed. Then I read some more and laughed again.

      • SolkaTruesilver says:

        Only a bit. It’s still only a video game, after all. But I am still touched when I read these stories.

        “Video Game Caring Potential” –> Troper Tales. When I feel depressed, I go read that.

        • Raygereio says:

          I don’t know. I rarely take such stories seriously. Especially after a story from rockpapershotgun about how the reporter cried like a little baby once he figured out that the child he spend barely a second with in the ME3 died.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Did you mean mw3?

            Really,that scene was so idiotic and pointless.And if you think about it,like Yahtzee said,rather scary:You have this faceless corporation carefully calculating what shocking moment to put in where in order to provoke emotional responses from players.

            • acronix says:

              Doesn´t surprise me. Everyone knows corporations have no souls.

            • SolkaTruesilver says:

              Hey, it’s not about game designers trying to make cutesy moments.

              It’s about players taking a direct interest in some characters in their games. I specially like Dwarf Fortress stories…

            • Raygereio says:

              No. I meant Mass Effect 3.
              In the intro when the reapers attack earth, you will come across a little kid hiding in some vents. Some time later you will see the transport the kid boarded being blown up. It was shown in the E3 demo and in the leak.

              It’s a really hamfisted attempt from BioWare to shove some DRAMA! in there. It’s about as subtle as hitting someone over the head with a golfclub, dragging that person’s dazzed body onto a truck filled with nitro and setting said truck to ram into a porcelain warehouse.
              The fact that people actually thought the scene works is about as baffeling to me as the people that think the scene in FO3 where dad offed himself was emotional instead utterly hysterical.

              • Velkrin says:

                There’s a word for that. Narm.


                Tv Tropes link hidden for the sake of your productivity.

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                So me3 basically became mw3 in space?Not just in gameplay,but in cheap drama as well.

                Having your companion sacrifice themselves so that the rest could leave the planet in 1 was drama,having to kill one of your companions because of serious conflict of interest was drama.But I guess those took time to plan and set right.Plus,when you have a bitchy companion like ashley it fails,so you have to be careful about that too.Easy way out for the win!!

              • Awetugiw says:

                I don’t think that your description of people `thinking the scene works’ is entirely accurate. If someone gets emotional from a scene in a book/game/movie he doesn’t think the scene works; the scene works for him.

                And, yes, it is sometimes very hard to see why a particular scene works so well for someone. But that’s because the reason a scene gets to you is usually not entirely contained in the scene itself; a scene interacts with the viewers memory, opinions and initial emotional state.

                If someone cries about the death of a character he has only known for a couple of seconds that is probably not because he started caring for the character in that time but because at some level he draws a parallel between the dying character and someone else (real or fictional).

                Mind you, this doesn’t change the fact that adding such scenes and expecting the viewer to care is bad storytelling. But don’t be too surprised if some people do care.

                • Raygereio says:

                  If someone cries about the death of a character he has only known for a couple of seconds that is probably not because he started caring for the character in that time but because at some level he draws a parallel between the dying character and someone else (real or fictional).

                  No, I recall the artical in question stating the reported cried because he felt the scene was so incredible emotional. Not because the reporter in question recently lost a child himself, or something.
                  Nor do I recall anyone saying they thought the scene in FO3 was so powerfull because they just lost a father a stupid suicide-for-no-reason-at-all.

                  Furthermore, constructing a scene that relies on the personal experiences of whoever is reading/watching/playing to be effective is rarely a good idea, as it will not work (and probably have a negative effect) on those who don’t have that experience you’re targetting.
                  The only time when this is a good thing to do, is when you’re going to to actively target the demographic with your media, for which said scene is meant. Now, I don’t recall BioWare stating they’re going to market ME3 at whoever recently lost a child.

                  I did perhaps worded my post poorly. If a scene works for you, then you’re indeed not thinking about it. Heck, I doubt anyone really thinks about scenes unless they’re actively analysing it.
                  However that doesn’t change the fact that those people for who those shitty scenes do work are wrong in their opinion and should not like those scenes. Why are they wrong? Naturally because their opinion is different then mine. ^_O

              • acronix says:

                Children mortality is a way to make sure everyone gets that your work is TOTALLY Dead Serious and not just cheap drama.
                Except of course that it is, since you basically had to resort to a cheap tactic to make the claim in the first place.

                • Velkrin says:

                  It’s also a handy way of making sure that the player knows the guys that are trying to destroy all sentient life in the universe are bad. Just in case you didn’t figure it out before.

    • Tizzy says:

      I don’t want to jump to conclusions or anything, and yes there are some weird people out there, but, in this case, I think the story is very much meant to be tongue-in-cheek…

  5. twm says:

    she used to be a lot smarter, but then took a door to the face

  6. drlemaster says:

    To be fair, I have run D&D campaigns featuring players who were about as good as Lydia at learning from experience.

    “So you are leaving the continual light shining all night, again? Roll for surprise.”

    “Oh, I didn’t think there was anyone here to ambush us, this time.”

    • CTrees says:

      Heh heh, good ol’ night ambushes. Hint: there will ALWAYS be an ambush while you’re trying to rest. They will get more and more devious, the more you play with watch schedules, defenses, and so on, until you start spending resources every night to keep yourself safe. On these nights, there will not be an ambush until you’ve gotten a quarter mile up the road from your campsite.

  7. Mathias says:

    God I love the companions in this game. They are such dunces.

    “Lydia, charging into that spiky death trap wasn’t a good idea the last five times. What makes you think this is going to work -now-?”

  8. Stacy says:

    To be honest, I’ve accidentally struck my companions with my own weapon thousands of times, set them on fire with clumsy spell casting, abandoned them to fight on their own in order to heal myself, accidentally stepped on traps that injured us both, hopped down cliff faces where they couldn’t follow and Leroy Jenkinsed to my death many, many times. If they could snark, they would be snarking about MY intelligence.

  9. Zukhramm says:

    Somehow they seem to have done a downgrade on companion AI. I’m pretty sure they never got stuck this much and this bad in New Vegas.

    At least now they’re invisible so I have to worry less than in New Vegas.

  10. Piflik says:

    And in typical BethSoft tradition, she needs a glitch to pass the trap…

    But yeah…the followers suck…especially when I am trying to sneak or draw out single enemies that I would yet be to weak to kill…for example Draugr Deathlords at level 6 (I will never part with my Staff of Paralyzation…that think rocks)…whenever they are lightly aware of me, Lydia storms right into the midst of things…

  11. Hitch says:

    Responding to Shamus’ twitter comments, not the post:

    Admittedly, there is a bit of equal opportunity wardrobe nonsense in Skyrim. Nord men are ridiculously hardy running around bare chested with a loincloth in a blizzard, but that doesn’t entirely forgive the Forsworn feather bikinis.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      When Im around,everyone is running around in their underwear.Even in a blizzard.

      People talk how bunch of crap you carry on your person would suck the world into a black hole,but they didnt see the chests in my house.Theres enough crap to suck in the entire galaxy into singularity.

      • Paul Spooner says:

        People throw around “singularity” and “enough stuff for a planet” but I’d be willing to wager that all the goods in Skyrim put together wouldn’t be enough for even a decent sized mountain, which wouldn’t even produce a noticeable gravitational effect. Skyrim may have a bunch of stuff, but it’s no Katamari.

        • Syal says:

          Now someone has to gather everything together and build a decent-sized mountain out of it.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          You have to keep in mind though,that while on their own these things wouldnt seem like much,but they are all packed in a volume of one single chest.

          • CTrees says:

            THAT is the important point. Take it to it’s logical extreme with the (apparently steel-walled) apothecary’s satchels*, that is a LOT of mass in one very small container.

            Dammit, now I’m going to have to do the math and figure out how much density it WOULD take to create neutronium, and how doable that is in game**

            *Technically, having a bald, male bosmer with nothing equipped, just in his loincloth, would likely be the smallest place you could store that mountain of stuff, but I REFUSE to do the math on that, let alone even think about how he’s storing a few dozen suits of armor, thousands of arrows, etc!

            **Given enough time a/o the console, you could create near infinite amounts of items, but… well I suppose the point of the exercise is to see how near infinite we’d need to go.

            Unrelated edit: I kind of want to fill every cubic inch of one of the houses with items, now. Just to see what happens (beyond the obvious of crashing my computer, dealing with the physics).

            • Eärlindor says:

              Actually, I think the smallest game container would be those tiny urns you find in the barrows–no! I take that back; I just had a thought while writing this: it would be one of those small satchels you occasionally see in people’s houses or at campsites.

              • CTrees says:

                The one’s I’m thinking of are called “Apothecary’s Satchel,” I believe. Usually full of ingredients, there’s one on the alchemical station in Breezehome in Whiterun…

                Also, even with an estimate on the low side for their size, and assuming Skyrim’s unit of weight is pounds… The napkin level math is you’d need hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of sets of armor in one of those satchels to create neutronium. Creating noticeable gravitational effects would be a lot easier (and could, theoretically, snowball into “destroy the planet” based on a lower threshhold). What’s more interesting is seeing if you can reach a nuclear critical mass. Radiation with magical items is an… interesting… question, but ultimately, the non-magical stuff, in sufficient densities, should initiate a fission bomb style reaction after a certain point, potentially achievable with just Skyrim’s collection of junk (things like uranium are normally used simply because you have to compress them a lot less to start a chain reaction, but even water would do it under ridiculous enough pressures).

    • rrgg says:

      From their dress and culture I assume that the forsworn are some sort of “earth-mother” hippie cult, but the reason they aren’t using metal weapons or armor never really comes up, ever.

    • acronix says:

      Remember that Nords get a reduction to frost damage, so evidently they suffer only half from cold weather. You may feel 2°Celsius, but they feel 20°!

      • Even says:

        That would explain why they have no problems baring so much skin in the cold weather. Just look at those armors. Bare arms and legs everywhere. Don’t even get me started on the Forsworn.

      • rrgg says:

        If they only get half as cold wouldn’t that mean -126 degrees C feels like room temperature to them?

      • woofty says:

        They might have reduction to frost damage and be hardy versus the cold, but I didn’t see any, “Damage Resistance,” to the business end of my sword. I would say that I found the oddity of people in animal fur kilts having higher armor and HP’s than my hero in full-plate is amusing, but I most definitely did not. I really hate Bethesda’s system.

  12. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Yahtzee just said something that fits my experience with the game perfectly:After a while all conversation about it turns into a glitch swapping party.And for once,this is not a bad thing.So instead of making their games less buggy,bethesda made their bugs more amusing.Thats downright genius.

  13. Blackbird71 says:


  14. SougoXIII says:

    Oh Skyrim, you have done so many things right… Good AI companion is not one of them.

  15. Robyrt says:

    This is why I immediately let Lydia die, then picked up Erandur, who never runs into the way of my shots, and is thankful rather than passive aggressive, and has an interesting backstory which he is happy to explain while I wander through the dungeons. He will still get stuck in doorways and trigger all the traps though.

  16. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Did bethesda ever say why they decided to make traps undisarmable?That seems like a pretty absurd decision.Though it does give us funny moments like this one.

  17. webrunner says:

    One of the reasons I took Brelyna Maryon, was that ranged character = doesn’t run in front of me and doesn’t need to pathfind to enemies.

    She does get caught on traps sometimes though.

    • Mathias says:

      And she’s made of paper, of course. Thin, thin, thin paper.

      • Hitch says:

        If you give Lydia a bow, she will attempt to use it. She doesn’t always, and I can’t say if she’s any good, but it might cut down on the number of times she runs in front of you while you’re attacking the enemy. (And I can’t promise she won’t shoot you in the back.)

        • Joerg Mosthaf says:

          Oh, she’s actually guite good with a bow.
          At one time, I decided to take out a bandit camp and the last bandit standing screamed “We’re outnumbered! Run for it!” and did just that. I ran after him swinging my axe but couldn’t catch him (hadn’t found the sprint key yet ;)). So I decided to let him live and stopped, only to suddenly see him go down, hit by an arrow. Turning around, I saw Lydia putting away her bow way over there by the entrance of the bandit hideout – it was at least 200 m. When I got to her, I swear I saw a smirk on her face ;)

  18. rayen says:

    Wellp’ that’s it. I haven’t even played the game and I’ve hit skyrim saturation point. i don’t care anymore. can’t afford the game but i don’t care cause I’ve seen NOTHING but conversations reviews gameplay videos and other various BS about it. Too much hype before a release is bad, too much hype after release is worse. now it’s boring, i don’t care, lets talk about something else. skyward sword maybe? it is a zelda game, and it has a somewhat new dynamic. Or saints row the third? is it just a crazy, colorful and mindlessly violent as saint row 2? does AC revelations fix the problems 2 and brotherhood had with the story/gameplay? how about super mario 3D land? I know Peta killed it with it’s crap flinging but did that game bring anything new to the table? I mean tanooki suit, where did all that excitement go?

    /bored with skyrim

    • ps238principal says:

      How can you have lived for more than 10 years and not be bored with anything to do with Mario and Zelda?

    • acronix says:

      Saints Row 3 isn´t as good as 2. It´s, on essence the same game, is more stable (on my end, at least) and is still quite fun. But they went to far away with the “for the lulz” mentality into “totally random” territoriy.
      The new city is smaller, there’s less choice for clothing (through it´s still a lot), they got rid of some of the most fun minigames (celebrity bodyguard and the sceptic avenger ones) and they went a bit overbroad with the “superhenchmen” enemies they throw at you (until you become an unkillable munchkin).

      They also killed Jhonny Gat and tried to replace him with three or four new characters. And no, that´s not a spoiler because it happens in the first ten minutes of the game.

    • chiefnewo says:

      Might I suggest you start your own blog if you wish to dictate content?

    • BeardedDork says:

      Really? Three posts, This one, the goofy little fan-fic bit, and one from Josh, since the game came out, and that’s your limit huh? In that time they’ve talked about Assassin’s Creed 2 (Primarily), Shogun 2: Total War, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and I suppose you count Desert Bus as a Game, though I tend not to. All in 19 days, that seems like a pretty fair amount of variety to me. Just no pleasing some people.

      • rayen says:

        +everything on the escapist+all the stuff on penny arcade+ the inexplicable crossover with pony thing on deviantart+ steam store+ youtube/facebook posts from friends+other corners of the internet where i hang out.

        I go to these places for escape from my life where i am a poor lower class white boy, but the constant bombardment of this game does nothing but hammer home that i am a poor lower class white boy who doesn’t have a certain game that people will not stop going on about. I respect that people want to play it but enough is enough for me.

        • BeardedDork says:

          I empathize, everyone has problems. I can’t afford $60 for a game either. That, however, is not anybody else who happens to be enjoying the game’s problem. You could have simply read the first sentence of the article decided you have no interest and moved on.
          There’s absolutely no reason to be a Drama Llama about the whole thing.
          This is Shamus’ corner of the web, this is the kind of game he has demonstrated that he enjoys, he’s going to talk about it. Some of us want to hear his thoughts on it.
          If that’s not something you are interested in, I’m sure there are still hundreds if not thousands of captioned pictures of cats you haven’t seen yet.

        • Pete says:

          So youre complaining that you hear too much about Skyrim… from a game magazine website, a game-based webcomic, a game deployment platform, a fandom that crossovers with absolutely everything in the universe, and your gamer friends? Have you considered that perhaps the problem might indeed be on your receiver?

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Every october 30th I see halloween creeping into every comic,every blog,every show that i follow,and I see all these people dressing into these cool costumes,despite there being no such stores in my country.And I dont mind.Even more frequently,I see people going to all these great cons,doing all these crazy things,but there are no cons in my country(the closest one was 2 countries away,whoopee).And I dont mind.Never have I asked people to tone down their fun just so that I wouldnt feel left out,because thatd be selfish.

  19. Conlaen says:

    I loved this article. I haven’t actually played the game myself yet, but watched Lydia fail as she was “helping” my girlfriend.

    Also have you seen the song John Walker wrote for her?

  20. Phoenix says:

    My Lydia died killed by a troll in a climatic battle. Now I have uhm… Jenessa or something like that, the dark elf woman from the pub in whiterun.

    Anyway there’s an immortal companion: the dog. It’s near falkreath. You must start the quest and never end it, so you keep the loyal immortal dog who also talks. Plus, it doesn’t count as companion so you can have both dog and companion.

    They’re terrible with traps. I’ve got the skill to ignore plates but they keep walking on them and sometimes they activate the trap on me. ^^ But the traps do so little damage that it’s not a serious problem.

  21. burningdragoon says:

    I’ve only used a companion once so far besides specific quest-specific companions. There is one dungeon you can’t get into without completing a puzzle where someone has to sit on a chair. And even then, I tried for a good many minutes to get the corpse in the room to sit on the chair before going and getting Lydia.

  22. Steve C says:

    You can do funny things with Skyrim. Check out this trick arrow shot.

  23. Even says:

    I’ve found that mage companions are much more useful to have around, especially against dragons if you lack a good ranged DPS of your own or don’t have Dragonrend yet. Only thing really annoying about them is when they start kill-stealing low-level mobs. I used to roll with Aranea Ienith but it got boring after a while so I’ve gone more solo lately.

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      Funny story about the mages. I was in the middle of the college questline when a dragon spawned in the area. For some reason, I don’t know if this was related to some event in the quest, time of day or plain luck, almost every NPC was in the main courtyard at the time and when the thing started getting close it got a constant barrage of spells to the face. I’m not sure if I zapped it even once before it landed and keeled over.

      • That’s happened to me a bunch of times. One time the arch-mage was there, and helped, but most of the time nobody bothered. The stream under the Winterhold bridge is littered with dragon corpses now.

        • acronix says:

          I´m quite sure the zone gets “locked” to NPCs when a dragon attacks a city or other social hub. NPCs that are inside stay inside (which explains why no one bothered to help you) and those outside run aimesly or try to punch the dragon to death.
          That´s how the smith from Riverwood got killed while the whole town was spared on my playthrough.

  24. AlternatePFG says:

    What annoys me most about followers in Skyrim is that they love to use gear that is worse than the things that I give them. For example, I gave Aela the Huntress (One of the people from the Companions) a really powerful enchanted daedric bow, but she opted to use her hunting bow instead.

    Don’t remember companions nearly being as stupid in New Vegas, but then again, I haven’t played it in awhile.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Like krellen said above,new vegas was obsidian.And I wish bethesda picked at least moving away from your path from that game.

      The equipment thing,just dont give them anything they can use,except what you want them to use.Unless you use them just as mules,in which case it doesnt matter.

      • AlternatePFG says:

        Oh, I very well knew New Vegas was made by Obsidian, but Bethesda could have learned from NV/used the same AI is all I’m saying.

        As for that, I take everything out of her inventory except for the bow I give her, and she just magically pulls out a hunting bow.

      • ps238principal says:

        Yeah, I often see any damage/kills made by companions to be a happy accident, no more expected than a mob glitching into a wall and dying.

        • AlternatePFG says:

          Pretty much, companions who are supposedly powerhouses with two handed weapons spend way too much time in ranged combat, and by the time they finally get into melee range, the enemy is already dead. You should be able to switch between having them prefer melee or ranged.

          I miss the Companion Wheel from New Vegas. Ordering them around through dialogue menus feels really clunky in comparison.

    • acronix says:

      Aela is bugged in that aspect. Try any other companion and you´ll see they use their best equipment (Disclaimer: or at least the ones I tried).

      • AlternatePFG says:

        Tried giving Vilkas some nice enchanted Wolf Gauntlets, and he used his default ones over it. Pretty much every companion in the game I’ve tried uses their default bow over the ones I give them, it’s extremely annoying.

      • J’Zargo and the dark elf mage whose name I forget both refuse to equip master destruction robes and the arch-mage robes , instead favouring their novice gear. I had to give the former a full set of dragonplate armour before he’d wear anything else. The only one who reliably changed her equipment is Lydia.

        • acronix says:

          That´s a typical Bethesda oversight: the companions AI in them is programmed to equip whatever has better armor/damage stats than their current armor/weapon. That means they will never equip cloth armor (since it has a 1 in armor), no matter how awesome it is. That priest from the Nightcaller Temple doesn´t equip cloth, neither: you can even undress him down to his loincloth and he won´t mind.

          The bow thing is a bit baffling, though. I´ve got some new henchmen and they all seem to have the same problem.

  25. Lydia comes off as a goddamn GODSEND after having to deal with the retardation that is Falfucker. I can’t remember his full name (I’m fairly certain it started with an ‘F’ appropriately enough) over my haze of hate for him, but he’s the prick you had to bring into the Cairn if you wanted to become a Companion.

    Lydia is dumb, but so is everyone else that follows you around, which is why it was so nice of the game to tell her to stay put like a good lil lass, something you COULDN’T tell the lumbering dumbass barbarian as you tried in vain to sneak around the place without waking everyone up. And having the game point out this guy was a dumbshit was not much consolation.

    So yeah, after having to slog through that dungeon with Tardface McAggropull, I was more than willing to get back Lids…and this was BEFORE I was aware you could use her as a walking inventory chest.

  26. Jarenth says:

    It’s videos like this one that simultaneously make me regret not taking a companion, and make me really convinced I made the right choice.

  27. acronix says:

    I dislike Lydia. The tone whe uses when saying “I´m sworn to carry your burdens” makes it look like she´s tired of being a housecarl or whatever her profession is called.

  28. Jez says:

    The trap thing is really annoying, and as others have noted the primary reason to bring companions along was to hold stuff till you could sell it all. Once you have over 100k gold though and much more of your own carrying capacity, they swiftly become more of an annoyance than a help.

    Erondar’s voice acting and backstory were interesting and entertaining, until you realise that he says the same few lines over and over again. The city ones in particular are annoying: “What an amazing city. I’ve always wanted to visit Whiterun, but have never managed to”, said Erondar on our tenth loot dumping trip to Whiterun.

    I was annoyed to see neither of these bugs were addressed or fixed in the most recent patch.

    Follower Leveling: Follower skill levels and core stats remain static from the moment they are first loaded in a zone, although their stated character level increases along with the player. There are two known exceptions: Uthgerd the Unbroken levels archery and blocking, while the Dark Brotherhood initiate levels all skills. Bethesda’s intended follower leveling design is unknown, so it is unclear to what extent this represents a bug. (PC/360/PS3)

    Follower Gear Duplicates When Dismissed: The hidden base armor and weapons that all followers have are duplicated when you dismiss and then reacquire them. If you dismiss a follower several times, they will eventually be unable to carry anything.

    I haven’t completely verified the two bugs, but the first one seems to ring true for me. I noticed Lydia (who I first met at very low level) was incapacitated very swiftly (even in full dragon armour) whereas Erondar (who I met at level 30 something) took much more punishment despite only wearing a robe. Makes me think that his base hp and skills were much higher.

    Don’t know about the second bug. Lydia never seemed to be able to carry very much, but that may have been because dragonbone armour is heavy. It would be nice if they actually gave us infomration like the carrying capacity of the follower, but the whole UI on PC is completely shambolic.

    • Even says:

      The gear duplicate is probably because of a script to ensure that they’ll always have their default gear. It’s evident when/if you’re married and then buy something from your significant other’s shop. Their basic armor shows up on the list if you’ve just previously made them wear another set (hire and dismiss inside the house etc.) You can buy it off from them, but if you hire again and remove the gear you just gave , the default gear spawns back on them.

    • acronix says:

      I heard you can solve the levelling issues via dismissing and using the console to disable and enable them before rehiring them, but I have never tried.

  29. KremlinLaptop says:

    Beth? Do me a favour and take some lessons from Obsidian in making your followers just BETTER. In New Vegas? There wasn’t a single companion I had that I wasn’t interested in one way or another.

    I liked that. It added immersion. Skyrim is amazing, but the followers are just so bloody bland.

    • 13CBS says:

      Well, writing was never Bethesda’s strongest point…

    • webrunner says:

      Two of the three College of Magic followers are pretty interesting.

      • acronix says:

        I dare you to remember their names.

        • Jeff R. says:

          I remember J’Zargo even though I haven’t used him.

          I’ve been using the Shrine Priestess as my mage-follower. Although she…doesn’t work well with others. Whenever I have a quest-based ally along too, she or her flame elemental tends to deal out enough friendly fire to make the other ally start attacking her, and after all of the actual enemies are gone they keep going at it while I’m trying to do the rest of the dungeon. (Generally speaking, they both tend to be immortal, so they can’t ever actually end these running firefights…)

          My suspicion is that all mage-type followers do this…

  30. Dork Angel says:

    Yeah, I took the perk which means I don’t set off pressure plates when I walk over them. Now I creep silently through the dungeon while my companion blunders along behind me setting off every trap I have avoided and making enough noise to wake the dead and unfortunately they wake easily.

  31. Zak McKracken says:

    I guess this type of problems is why most game producers just skip the open world concept altogether and rather build a nice, scripted railroad, where nothing unforeseen can happen.
    If you have to prepare the story, every NPC and really the whole world for anything the player could do to it, and then give the player opportunity to do anything … well, that’s never completely achievable, I’d guess. And if the developer puts more effort into player-proofing the universe, that’s less effort going into other things, like good ol’ bugfixing.

    The best way not to fail at open worlds is not to try, and for my part I’m hoping Bethesda won’t try that.

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