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 Post subject: Daedric Princes
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:03 am 
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I've thought long about the way Daedric Princes and their quests were implemented in Skyrim and how it differed from earlier titles. I've played through the main series with a consistent character concept with some light roleplaying. He/she was very religious and considered daedra blasphemous. Only twice did I forego the rule of avoiding them: once in Daggerfall, to do a quest for Hermaeus Mora (it was just too damn tempting), and once in Oblivion, to do the Shivering Isles expansion (otherwise I'd have to skip it entirely).

That is until Skyrim, where every other Prince tricks you into their service. I was annoyed by it at first, since it was always such a clear conscious choice in the other games. Even Shivering Isles made sure you knew what you were getting into from the start. I just had to leave roleplaying at the doorstep in that case. In Skyrim you could of course usually leave the quest unfinished, as I did in Molag Bal's case, but that's annoying too.

Then I realized the way Skyrim does it is very lore-appropriate. Daedric Princes, especially the more sinister ones, would trick mortals into their service. I seem to recall several in-game stories where this happens. It is also a way to expose certain players to things they would normally avoid. Considering real world mythology, there are examples of demons and spirits snaring people either by trickery alone or by making them decide for themselves to "seal the deal". I guess there's room for both methods. What do you prefer? Should future games be as forceful with the daedric quests as Skyrim was, or keep them out of the way like in Oblivion, Morrowind and Daggerfall?

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 Post subject: Re: Daedric Princes
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:52 am 
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This thread was clickbait for someone with my username :P Anyway, I don't think it's really trickery unless you want to complete the quest because in most cases, they reveal themselves pretty early on. "The Only Cure" for example, makes it crystal clear you're communing with Peryite (my favorite Prince) right at the beginning. But then the way that quest starts is more Oblivion. There are some cases where you find out pretty late though, like Molag Bal's quest. But
Spoiler:
at least it's self defense!


I haven't done any Daedric quests in Morrowind cause my laptop stopped working a short time after I finished Tribunal. But I like the system in Skyrim better because they had a better flow. Overall I prefer Oblivion's Daedric quests though.

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 Post subject: Re: Daedric Princes
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:29 pm 
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I'm sure most daedric quests in Skyrim are hidden away like they are in Oblivion, but coming off of Oblivion it's a stark contrast in the way many quests get pushed on you. In Oblivion, you at most get a map marker to a nearby daedric shrine but it never clutters your journal unless you actively pursue it.

I haven't done many daedric quests in Morrowind either, but the setup is very similar to Oblivion's. I'd say their approach is a good middle ground between Skyrim and Daggerfall. With no prior knowledge, the daedric quests in Daggerfall take a crazy amount of time and luck to access. So, yeah, I'll agree Oblivion did it best.

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 Post subject: Re: Daedric Princes
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:53 pm 
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Honestly, I really loved the variety and how it was implemented in Skyrim. There were still quests where you go to a shrine, but I liked how not every Daedric quest was like that (Sanguine and Clavicus Vile's quests are really memorable in a way they couldn't be if you started them by going to a shrine.) And I liked how we got quests from all of the Princes (expect Jyggalag, which was kinda disappointing) instead of just a few of them like in Morrowind. And how they weren't an absolute pain to start like in Daggerfall. Of course I love The Daedra, I don't play characters who worship the Divines. They're my favorite part of the Lore and I genuinely like a number of them (probably only like 4 or 5, but still, that's enough.) I played an Azura worshiper in Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim.

Personally I think this is more of a problem of quest design in general. And yeah, I know, there can't be unlimited paths for every quest. But when you don't know it's a Daedric quest from the start, you don't know what you're getting yourself into. When Boethiah's worshipers tell you go murder someone so you summon them, you know what you're getting into. Some quests should have more than one path (I think this is a problem with the series in general, possibly my biggest problem, often the only choice with a quest is not to do it. Even the Civil War, you make your final decision really early.) I hated for example how there's no way to tell Molag Bal to go shove it and side against him. Because even if I am a Vampire Lord, Molag Bal is super evil and he wants to torture a guy forever, there's no way I'd help him. I wish I could have helped his enemy desecrate Molag Bal's shrine.

Also to this day, I felt no justification for why I needed to sell my soul during the Thieves Guild. "You can't defeat him without Nocturnal's help!" I guarantee you I can. Of course, the Dragonborn likely has multiple gods with a claim on their soul (you can have at least Nocturnal, Hircine and Hermaeus Mora not to mention possible right to Sovngarde.) So that will be an interesting funeral.

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 Post subject: Re: Daedric Princes
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:07 am 
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I absolutely agree. I too play a Daedra worshipper, always have. Certainly not Azura though, might as well worship the divines. Anyway I think if you're playing a goodie two shoes, Skyrim's approach would be a real test. It's easy to be holy when you can just walk past any Daedric shrine you come across but what do you do when a Daedric Prince comes to you? It's pretty smart and adds a lot more dimension compared to the system in the other games.


But Oblivion's quests were just more enjoyable IMO. The problem I had with Skyrim's Daedric quests was the amount of "go to x and or kill y" quests. Although I can't disagree with the fact that Skyrim's Daedric quests were a lot memorable because of the way they started off. Hircine, Sheogorath and Sanguine had some amazing ones story wise. But Oblivion's quests were just so entertaining. I liked how there were so many Daedra worshipping cults too. My homeboy Peryite had the largest following in Skyrim though :D

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 Post subject: Re: Daedric Princes
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:12 am 
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Kerr wrote:
Also to this day, I felt no justification for why I needed to sell my soul during the Thieves Guild.
This. This right here bugged me a lot. I mean, if you want to have is as an option, that's all fine and good. But what if we don't want Nocturnal's help?

And yeah, I'd really like it if all of the daedric quests had two possible endings. One with you siding with the daedric prince, and one with you siding against. It just seems a) more realistic and b) more fun.

daedricprincess wrote:
Oblivion's quests were just more enjoyable IMO.
I'm not super into daedric quests. I'm just kind of "oh look, this quest seems cool" or "oh, the reward for that quest seems cool". So I haven't played through a ton of them. But from what I have done, yeah, I'd say the same. Oblivion's were more entertaining, in general.

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 Post subject: Re: Daedric Princes
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:29 am 
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It would be a waste of time and resources to have the option to go against the Princes IMO. That's 32 options total, unless they cut off some of the Princes which would be pretty depressing cause my favorite Prince would certainly not make the cut. It would just be the Dunmeri Pantheon, Nocturnal, Herma-Mora and Hircine then. I would prefer if they could just allow you to directly abandon them and erase them from your journal altogether.

For me, the Daedric quests just became roleplay elements later on. I did enjoy a lot of them but the one I always HAVE to complete for my headcanon is "The Only Cure" and it's definitely not an enjoyable quest. Yet I have to complete it every single time.

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 Post subject: Re: Daedric Princes
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:41 am 
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daedricprincess wrote:
I absolutely agree. I too play a Daedra worshipper, always have. Certainly not Azura though, might as well worship the divines. Anyway I think if you're playing a goodie two shoes, Skyrim's approach would be a real test. It's easy to be holy when you can just walk past any Daedric shrine you come across but what do you do when a Daedric Prince comes to you? It's pretty smart and adds a lot more dimension compared to the system in the other games.

Well, primarily worshiping Azura. My characters typically will work with and to a certain extent venerate a number of other Daedra, but Azura is usually their main focus. Also Azura is nothing like worshiping a Divine, Azura does things for her worshipers more useful than minor blessings, like warming them about volcanic eruptions.

Cassandra wrote:
I'm not super into daedric quests. I'm just kind of "oh look, this quest seems cool" or "oh, the reward for that quest seems cool". So I haven't played through a ton of them. But from what I have done, yeah, I'd say the same. Oblivion's were more entertaining, in general.

Oblivion has stronger quest design in general (Oblivion's Dark Brotherhood is one of the best questlines in any game) in part because they aren't radiant, all the quests are intentionally designed so the people making them have them feel different. Radiant quests lack that personal touch and start to make a lot of quests feel samey. The guilds are a good example, in Oblivion the quests for all 4 are very different and involve actually using the skills related to the guild, so like how you need to practice magic to go to the Arcane University or almost all the Thieves Guild quests are about stealing, in Oblivion the last thieves guild quest is the ultimate heist, in Skyrim it's another dungeon crawl. Fallout 4 is even worse in this regard. And while Skyrim still has a lot of great handcrafted quests, I feel the game on the whole suffers for having more, weaker quests dilluting the experience and reducing the handcrafted quests we do get.

Give me finite curated quests over infinite radiant quests any day. Maybe most people don't feel this way but 80 hours doing all the side quests I come across is enough content for me, I can stop playing then and come back with a new character in the future. I don't want TES to have unlimited randomly generated content, the amount of quests and dungeons Oblivion had was huge already.

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 Post subject: Re: Daedric Princes
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:40 am 
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Kerr wrote:
Well, primarily worshiping Azura. My characters typically will work with and to a certain extent venerate a number of other Daedra, but Azura is usually their main focus. Also Azura is nothing like worshiping a Divine, Azura does things for her worshipers more useful than minor blessings, like warming them about volcanic eruptions.


Don't pay no mind to that statement as it is coming from a heavily biased Tribunal fan. So the Ashlanders, Azura and Alandro Sul can all get Muatra if you ask me. Back to Daedric Princes, there are at least 10 I'm completely obsessed with but I just dislike the Dunmeri Pantheon, except the Four Corners Of Trouble, three of which are my absolute favorites.

Quote:
Oblivion has stronger quest design in general (Oblivion's Dark Brotherhood is one of the best questlines in any game) in part because they aren't radiant, all the quests are intentionally designed so the people making them have them feel different. Radiant quests lack that personal touch and start to make a lot of quests feel samey.

Which is why I've grown to prefer Oblivion over Skyrim, the only reason I play Skyrim more often is because creating a headcanon and adhering to it is definitely better in Skyrim.

Quote:
Fallout 4 is even worse in this regard. And while Skyrim still has a lot of great handcrafted quests, I feel the game on the whole suffers for having more, weaker quests dilluting the experience and reducing the handcrafted quests we do get.

I love Fallout 4 but I agree. I keep replaying it but nothing ever feels different. No Fallout game can afford this radiant quest system tbh. Skyrim, being a TES game at least had the advantage of having Daedric quests, guild questlines, the Civil War and several other major questlines even if they were repetitive. The only major quest I can think of in FO4 would be the Cabot House one. And a few BoS ones.

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 Post subject: Re: Daedric Princes
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:58 pm 
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Bethesda is always going to be at a disadvantage, when it comes to writing quests for the Princes.

They're Daedric Princes. If you disobey them, they can just about smear you across Nirn with a thought. ...But you're a player. You don't want to be totally beholden to any quest giver, you don't want to be railroaded.

As a player, I too wished for another way to go about Molag Bal's quest. But then, that goes against Molag Bal's whole dealio. Domination. You will do what he wants.

Perhaps for those of us concerned with roleplaying, they could do a better job of making it clear "this is a Daedric quest for Bal" instead of there just being some random priest in the street asking for help. It's less organic, but the alternative is doing a quest you don't wanna, or having a quest stuck in your quest log forever.

Or for the more guileful Princes, they could deliberately mislead the player.
Spoiler:
Vaermina in Skyrim was very, very dumb. Waits until her artifact is about to be destroyed to be like "pls kil kind priest guy",
and then the quest choice is clearly labeled as MURDER.

Maybe if she had altered your perception in the Dreamstride? Show us Brother Casimir killing some babies or something, make us hate the guy, deceive us into thinking he's no better than Vaermina. Some more ambiguity would have gone a long way.

Or even totally misrepresent what the quest is for/in aid of. While you might have the player annoyed that they've been duped, ...you're playing to the Princes' character. And that's a way to get more people to do more Daedric quests, where they otherwise wouldn't.

We definitely need more moral ambiguity.
Spoiler:
I mean, come the hell on. Murder a priest and eat him? Really, Namira worshippers?

Why not, I don't know...quest us to raid the tomb of some legendary hero, and bring back his remains to eat and gain his power or something like that? It's a little more grey than black and white. Guy's already dead, yet it's kinda disrespectful and stuff. But it's more sensible than murdering a holy man for dinner. And you can toy around with our feelings on the matter. Maybe said hero would WANT their strength to live on and be used for good? But then maybe their descendants really don't want you to eat great great grandma. But maybe the descendants are fat, lazy, spoiled nobles, so their opinion might not matter so much?

I also feel that the artifacts should be a lot more powerful, and a lot harder to get.


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 Post subject: Re: Daedric Princes
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:03 pm 
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Disagreer wrote:
What do you prefer? Should future games be as forceful with the daedric quests as Skyrim was, or keep them out of the way like in Oblivion, Morrowind and Daggerfall?

I prefer wilfully summoning the occult to being tricked into the service of a demon. Gives the player a sense of control. As others have said, you get what you sign up for. In Skyrim the Princes were just another random questgiver.

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 Post subject: Re: Daedric Princes
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:41 pm 
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It felt dirty and cheap doing them for an achievement.

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 Post subject: Re: Daedric Princes
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:03 pm 
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daedricprincess wrote:
It would be a waste of time and resources to have the option to go against the Princes IMO.
Well, yeah, I understand why they don't do it. I just think that it'd be fun. But I guess Baloth has a good point, too. Disobeying them could very easily end in death. So I don't know. It must be hard to find the right balance between "I am the player and I can do what I want" and "I am a Daedric Prince and I can do what I want".

Kerr wrote:
Give me finite curated quests over infinite radiant quests any day. Maybe most people don't feel this way but 80 hours doing all the side quests I come across is enough content for me, I can stop playing then and come back with a new character in the future. I don't want TES to have unlimited randomly generated content, the amount of quests and dungeons Oblivion had was huge already.
Yup yup. You're very good at putting what I feel into words.

Baloth-Kul wrote:
Or even totally misrepresent what the quest is for/in aid of. While you might have the player annoyed that they've been duped, ...you're playing to the Princes' character. And that's a way to get more people to do more Daedric quests, where they otherwise wouldn't.
Mmm, this would be fun. I mean, if they're moving away from the going to shrines to start quests, I'd appreciate if they went all the way.

But again, I don't do any sort of roleplaying, really, so I don't have the same struggles that other people have.

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 Post subject: Re: Daedric Princes
PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:44 pm 
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Giving an alternate choice, yet protecting the player from the most dire repercussions. I do suppose you could have two Princes in opposition over a matter. (Perhaps one of their famous bets. Or just a cosmic squabble.) Side with Prince A; reward, plus protection from Prince B's retribution. Side with Prince B; reward, plus protection from Prince A's retribution. And it doesn't necessarily have to be to the exclusion of the other Prince's relic. But by the Nine, the other Prince ought to remember it when you take up THEIR quest. Work you to the bone for it.

That'd let you pick the lesser of two evils. Putting it mildly.

I also think the "good" Daedra need some muddying. ...Not the Dunmer's "Good Daedra". Boethiah and Mephala are pretty scuzzy by mortal standards. No, I mean those with agendas that we players generally agree with, or at least aren't vehemently opposed to. Azura, Meridia, Nocturnal.

Have us do a righteous quest for them. Unambiguous. Kill a necromancer and the souls he's bound to his will. Then when we go to turn the quest in at their shrine, Meridia just offhandedly says "by the way, one of my worshippers here blasphemed, kill him. Kill him now." He begs for his life, explains he just expressed doubts which apparently aren't tolerated.

Throw some more scum into the mix. Molag Bal speaks, offers to save the worshipper from Meridia's punishment, in exchange for his soul. And maybe the priest is leaning towards agreeing with Bal. Quick, make a decision. Do you strike him down to fulfill Meridia's will--or perhaps simply to save him from becoming Bal's puppet? Or do you allow Bal to take him, to be spared Meridia's wrath?


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 Post subject: Re: Daedric Princes
PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:23 am 
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If you want murk in a Meridia quest, involve something like two lovers separated by death, a desperate act committed in life which Meridia cannot tolerate, and you end up making a choice: obey Meridia and the two will never see each other again in this life or the next, or defy Meridia to give the offender some small chance at hope.

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 Post subject: Re: Daedric Princes
PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:27 am 
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That sounds interesting. Or a quest where you have to either obey Molag Bal or Boethiah.

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