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Scrappy Mechanic / The Elder Scrolls

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The Elder Scrolls series contains the following examples of Scrappy Mechanics:

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     The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall 
The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall
  • Jumping became a Scrappy Mechanic due to the buggy nature of wall collision detection near the seams. A badly placed jump can drop you into the Void. Fortunately this was fixed in the patch, that gave you a key press that took you back one step. You could use it to back your way out of the dungeon.
    • It gets worse on more modern computers where your jump can be more dramatic or less useful, hence inconsistent, due to the recalculated number of times the game does a collision check during movement (as a result, you'll also walk slower and enemies may not be able to move).
    • One specific kind of dungeon stairs is impossible to walk up like stairs and involves such dangerous jumping or dangerous climbing to navigate.
  • Melee combat. It involves clicking and dragging the mouse on the weapon to swing it. Unfortunately, it's horribly slow and unresponsive, which means that first time players are often screwed the moment they first enter combat.

     The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind 
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  • Spell reflection if you're a magic-oriented character. Many enemies in the game will randomly throw your powerful destruction spell right back at you - which, considering the likely power of your spells combined with your own squishiness, is more than likely to kill you outright. Gets absolutely ridiculous, to the point of being unplayable, in the expansions. Further complicating matters is that any enemy with even a small percentage of spell reflection can cause this to happen due to how the mechanic works. For example, an enemy with 10% Reflect doesn't reflect 10% of your damage back at you, which would be more tolerable. It means that enemy has a 10% chance to reflect the entire force of your spell back at you. Even low to mid-tier enemies like Ash Ghouls and Atronachs have at least a 20% Reflect.
  • The Imperial Legion's fixation on uniforms. When you first join, you're given an Imperial Chain Cuirass as your uniform that you HAVE to wear if you want to talk to anyone in the Legion. As you advance through the ranks, you'll be given additional armor pieces and increasingly better cuirasses up to the mighty Lord's Mail, which is one of the best armor pieces in the game. Until then though, you're forced to carry around least one Imperial-type cuirass with you (as you'll most likely find much better armor rather quickly) and if you make the mistake of talking to anyone (higher or equal-ranked to you) in the Legion without wearing it, you'll be curtly informed that you're out of uniform (which will cut off further communication) and suffer a small disposition loss with that person. Note that this will even extend to any fellow soldiers you're sent to rescue (unless they are of lower rank than you), who apparently care more about the Legion's dress policies than they do about being saved from murderous Daedra worshipers or bandits. The Legion is also the only faction in the game that has this mechanic, making it seem even more out of place.
  • Having to wait several days between quests for the East Empire Company in Bloodmoon. While it makes sense in-universe in that construction on the colony is ongoing between assignments becoming available (and those assignments are usually you removing issues that were holding up construction,) it unfortunately allows all of Solstheim's vicious and plentiful wildlife to respawn during that time. The lack of fast travel across much of the island means you'll be battling the same packs of wolves and hordes of Riekling Raiders every time you cross the same track of wilderness. While not overly challenging to a high-level character, they do wear out your equipment and greatly slow your traveling speed.
  • Stamina drains as you run and the more Stamina you lose, the more often tasks you perform fail. This leads to players having a hard time dealing with doing anything after running a short distance, including battle, unlocking things, and bartering. (While it makes sense that one would have difficulty with precise movement tasks and speaking if they are out of breath, it probably should have been an Acceptable Break from Reality for the sake of the player's sanity.)
  • The lack of the series standard fast travel. Instead of going to a waypoint when you're outside and safe, you pay for travel services from one city to another. This makes traveling into the countryside very tiresome, especially when you're trying to find the Ashlander camps or your House manor.
  • The beast races (Khajiit and Argonians) not being able to wear boots or full helms. This cuts them off from using some of the best equipment in the game, like the Boots of the Apostle (legendary Light Armor boots with a Levitation enchantment) and Masque of Clavicus Vile (a legendary Heavy Armor full helm with a massive Fortify Personality enchantment). The game does Justify it as each race has non-humanoid feet and snouts too long to fit under helmets, but it is extremely unpopular nonetheless. (All future games in the series changed it to allow these races to wear any boots or helmets available.)
  • The lack of passive magicka regeneration could make things frustrating for a mage oriented character. This means that you need to really stock up on magic potions and rest a lot if you have to cast multiple spells.

     The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion 
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  • The strictly scaled leveling mechanic attracts a large degree of hatred, particularly since the way the leveling system works punishes the player for not being a munchkin, makes exploring at low levels fairly boring (Why go look for a new dungeon in hopes of a cool item when it will have the same exact useless loot guarded by the exact same enemies?) and leads to oddities like being the champion of the arena at level 1 thanks to the fact that skills increase independently from level-ups.
  • The stat mechanics are extremely wonky. If you want to increase your health, the best way to do it is to put on heavy armor and have a Mudcrab beat on you. If you do not manage your stat growths efficiently, the enemies can actually grow faster then you!
    • The enemies levels up with you, but your abilities, your spells, friendly NPCs, and many quest rewards don't, which obviously makes the game much harder as you level up. To clarify and make it even more annoying, many quest rewards do scale as you level, but only take into account the level at which you obtained it. It's entirely possible to complete a quest at level one and obtain a weapon little better than a butter knife, or complete the same quest twenty levels higher and obtain that same weapon in gamebreaker form. As many such rewards are unique, it leads to putting off those quests or encounters as long as possible in hopes of getting something that remains useful for longer than an hour.
    • One of the more popular mods is a Quest Reward Leveler, which when activated adjusts your quest rewards to the version you'd get if you'd just completed the quest.
    • Some quests teach you leveled spells as rewards instead. Unfortunately, the leveling of said spells wasn't particularly balanced. Do the quest at too low a level and you get something that's obsolete right out of the gate. Do the quest at too high a level, and casting the spell will cost more mana than your character actually has.
  • Though not as heavily reviled as the leveling system, there have been complaints about the minigames required for lockpicking and conversation, particularly in convincing an NPC via a sort of pie-graph based system. Yahtzee explicitly considers the latter to be a particular bugbear to the game's immersion.

     The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • Dragon attacks, which work well in principle, but suffer from so many flaws that numerous mods were made simply to counteract them.
    • Dragons are unexpected. You must be ready for a dragon attack at any time, especially since...
    • Dragons will kill NPCs without warning. Since dragons level up with the player, but the town NPCs don't, an Ancient Dragon can easily wipe out towns such as Riverwood or Falkreath. Unless you survey the town for damage before saving, you'll likely end up losing merchants permanently, as well as having quest-givers killed before they can give you their quests.
    • Dragons completely fuck with the fast travel system. Once a dragon is on your radar, even if it's a mile away, you can't fast travel until it is either dead or it leaves your radar, which is mostly up to chance.
    • Dragons are annoyingly common at higher levels. The novelty of fighting dragons wears off quickly. You do need dragon souls to unlock shouts, and you also need dragon bones and scales to make equipment, but eventually you will end up with enough of both that you'll start using the former to reset perks en masse while selling the latter for gold (of which you'll likely already have plenty).
    • Dragons are hard to fight with melee characters. Bows and spells are generally the best way to deal with them; dragons deal so much physical damage in melee (along with an instant kill move) that melee classes pretty much have to rely on potions to live. Not to mention that until you knock their health down quite a bit, dragons love to fly around well out of your reach.
    • The final word of the Bend Will shout is no doubt useful, but you'd think the ability to ride dragons at will would be great right? Wrong, for one simple reason: when you ride a dragon, you have no control whatsoever of where the dragon goes. You want to fly across the land on the back of a dragon? Too bad, they'll just circle around the area and never go the direction you want to go. While you can still fast travel on them, that means you have to already have found the area, meaning you essentially can't use this to explore.
  • The first major DLC,Dawnguard, adds vampire attacks. Essentially, take the "unexpected" and "NPC-killing" aspects of dragon attacks described above, then add the fact that they only happen in cities. Further, it's possible to enter a walled city only to have a group of vampires spawn all around you. If you go between cells within the city, it is possible for them to spawn at the entrance so that you may not even know the attack was happening until you stumble upon the dead bodies.
  • Kill cams, both how they interfere with certain play styles and how it can instantly kill players without warning. They have a nasty habit of missing with projectile kill cams, they interrupt player control, and there's mounting evidence that they disregard all damage-mitigating factors: damage resist, magic/elemental resist, blocking, cover, not being anywhere near close enough to be kill-cam'd... Not much of a problem when you inflict it on people, but when that dragon bite-thrash-toss kill-cams you when you were nowhere near, had capped armor, your shield raised, had over half your health left, and were beyond their bite range. The worst part is that the game checks for the kill cam at the beginning of the attack animation, so a bandit could be swinging a slow warhammer at you and you'll be immediately killed before you have the chance to drink any potions, dodge out of the way, or use a shout. There are mods that exist just to protect the player from kill cams.


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