Did Daggerfall go overboard?

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Kaucukovnik
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Did Daggerfall go overboard?

Post by Kaucukovnik » Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:32 pm

I haven't consulted any historical demographic data, but I have a hunch the game went overboard in the exact opposite direction than any other. I think there shouldn't be so many big cities all over the place. I believe the game world's size supposedly corresponds to England, and I doubt you would find nearly as many walled cities even in late medieval /early modern England.

At first I didn't think about this for a long time, because it's definitely much closer to reality than capital cities with 30 houses you see in other medieval fantasy games. It started bugging me recently and I'd welcome other opinions. Especially if someone could prove me wrong, that would be the easiest way to be happy with the world once again. :)

ifkopifko
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Re: Did Daggerfall go overboard?

Post by ifkopifko » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:31 pm

Well, my explanation would be:

A) The "big cities" in DF are not that big actually. Understand, there are not that many houses, and some of them are really small. My guess would be, about 700 houses for the Daggerfall city. How many people per house do we estimate? 5-10?
B) You should not really compare it to medieval Europe... I mean, with the healing powers and other kinds of magic available in the game world, it is bound to be more populated. :-D

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Zadroter
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Re: Did Daggerfall go overboard?

Post by Zadroter » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:33 pm

By lore Daggerfall city is one of the biggest in Tamriel. Probably like 100k people population. But hey, by lore Vivec city have 50k population, and in tes3 it was cut very much because obvious game limitations.
Also by lore, Iliac bay is one of the most dence populated regions in tamriel, more populated than south glenumbra (this high rock peninsula) and northen Hammerfell coast is Imperial Heartland (Imperial city and around)

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Jay_H
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Re: Did Daggerfall go overboard?

Post by Jay_H » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:22 pm

Daggerfall ignores some very natural limitations around such numerous settlements. For example, what do all these people eat? One reason settlements would be fewer in older times is that they needed to plant crops and tend livestock over a large span of earth, and then rotate those plots of land with others to prevent sterility in the earth.

People naturally prefer to congregate together when not at war with each other due to commerce, family, and general security. Daggerfall's system of having 20+ well-armed guards in every village of 30ish people is certainly an aberration that wouldn't hold up under the historical lens. Cities would be larger and fewer to be more realistic.

Nevertheless, imagine the bother of entering Daggerfall City and having to walk 20 minutes to reach the Mages Guild each time :lol: Some sacrifices were necessary for an enjoyable experience.
Try over 140 all-new quests in the first Daggerfall Unity Quest Pack.

Tuaam
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Re: Did Daggerfall go overboard?

Post by Tuaam » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:03 am

Some of the locations of Daggerfall's provinces would have little to no towns. I know in places like the dragontail mountains it's not as dense, but then you have places like the Alikir desert which in theory should have little to no active towns, at least of the size mentioned.

I reckon they were going to add some realistically accurate locations that are lore - friendly (Since they automatically made up 1000 of the towns in the game), but bear in mind this game was developed over 2 years. Maybe there should be an overhaul / mod done to fix it now that we have the tools needed.

The farms you also come across don't really make no sense. Instead of generating large farms around the walled settlements or having some random ones strewn across the terrain, you have these terribly small plots for a single house. I'm sure there would have been much more.

Not too sure about the scale, even though it's very realistic. Maybe in real life it would have taken that same time to travel, but I'm not so sure.

Kaucukovnik
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Re: Did Daggerfall go overboard?

Post by Kaucukovnik » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:57 am

Jay_H wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:22 pm
People naturally prefer to congregate together when not at war with each other due to commerce, family, and general security. Daggerfall's system of having 20+ well-armed guards in every village of 30ish people is certainly an aberration that wouldn't hold up under the historical lens. Cities would be larger and fewer to be more realistic.
Exactly! Instead of many towns with wide roads and houses far away from each other, there would have been much fewer ones with houses crammed against each other, making the best possible use of those expensive walls and guards. And yeah, farms would also be in close vicinity of cities, for both logistics and safety purposes, and there would be way more farmland.
Nevertheless, imagine the bother of entering Daggerfall City and having to walk 20 minutes to reach the Mages Guild each time :lol: Some sacrifices were necessary for an enjoyable experience.
Well, a city that big would certainly warrant multiple guild halls for each faction. Much of the additional population would also be handled by density instead of size.
And what about fast travel in towns as long as you have visited the specific building before? With skipping weeks of travel being pretty much mandatory, skipping mere minutes or hours feels all right.

I am really excited about this sort of conversation. While I'm a purist to a great degree with most games, Daggerfall did so many new things it never had a chance to extensively explore all the ideas and possibilities. I'd treat the game like a sketch - while beautiful and speaking of its author's skills and sensibilities, it is in no way equal to the finished piece of art the creator had in mind. Maybe that face over there wasn't supposed to be cross-eyed, and it's just a stray line, intended to be ignored in the future?
Seeing how this Unity version already challenges Oblivion's single hand-edited valley when it comes to impressive vistas, there is incredible potential to be tapped.

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