Things that Arena did better then Daggerfall

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Werewolf
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Re: Things that Arena did better then Daggerfall

Post by Werewolf »

Daggerfall’s cover art is darker, and the cutscenes have a gritty edge, but the actual game is still an epic fantasy. I find it funny how Daggerfall’s cover and cutscenes are dark, gothic, and a few notches below Diablo, but the actual game is just as adventurous as Arena. I just find it to be funny that the cutscenes and game over screen are gothic but the actual gameplay is a vivid fantasy world that’s ironically safer then Arena with its monsters at night. Battlespire actually properly implemented the gothic atmosphere of Daggerfall’s cover art and cutscenes into the actual game but man it should’ve been an expansion, not a buggy standalone linear dungeon game. With things like the disconnect between the atmosphere in cutscenes vs actual gameplay, Daggerfall seems finally inconsistent in numerous ways. Arena however is an epic fantasy adventure and the cover art, cutscenes, and music convey that. Daggerfall is also an amazing epic adventure, but the cutscenes and covert art feel like they’re from a different game in that the actual game is adventurous fantasy through a breathtaking world, not dark gothic fantasy like the cover art would have you believe

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jayhova
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Re: Things that Arena did better then Daggerfall

Post by jayhova »

Werewolf wrote: Sun Oct 02, 2022 2:36 am Daggerfall’s cover art is darker, and the cutscenes have a gritty edge, but the actual game is still an epic fantasy.
Arean's cover art was made for a different game (in effect). They started with the cover art when the game went into development. The initial game was all about fighting in the arena. You would journey from town to town doing this. However, as the game progressed the developers noticed it was more fun to do the side quests than the game they originally envisioned. But they were stuck with the name and the cover art so they stuck "The Elder Scrolls" on the title to make it sound more grand.
Remember always 'What would Julian Do?'.

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Werewolf
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Re: Things that Arena did better then Daggerfall

Post by Werewolf »

jayhova wrote: Sun Oct 02, 2022 3:12 am
Werewolf wrote: Sun Oct 02, 2022 2:36 am Daggerfall’s cover art is darker, and the cutscenes have a gritty edge, but the actual game is still an epic fantasy.
Arean's cover art was made for a different game (in effect). They started with the cover art when the game went into development. The initial game was all about fighting in the arena. You would journey from town to town doing this. However, as the game progressed the developers noticed it was more fun to do the side quests than the game they originally envisioned. But they were stuck with the name and the cover art so they stuck "The Elder Scrolls" on the title to make it sound more grand.
Which makes Daggerfall’s cover even more jarring. The tone of Arena’s cover fits the adventurous tone of the game very well whereas Daggerfall’s cover gives the impression of a dark gothic tone despite the game being just as adventurous as it’s predecessor

Sappho20
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Re: Things that Arena did better then Daggerfall

Post by Sappho20 »

Personally, I preferred some of the early concept art for Daggerfall more than what they used as it appears far more atmospheric and spookier.

See:

https://en.uesp.net/wiki/File:DF-cover- ... ox_Art.jpg

https://www.nexusmods.com/daggerfall/images/9/

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Werewolf
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Re: Things that Arena did better then Daggerfall

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It does seem that at one point Daggerfall was actually going to be darker then Arena. On paper it makes sense with Daggerfall’s grey world as opposed to Arena’s “save the world from the villain” plot line that the simplified future entries brought back and even delved more into with the player character being a literal “chosen one” as opposed to in Arena where you’re a regular person who ends up saving Tamriel. But I guess with the constant shuffling of artists Daggerfall ended up with an atmosphere similar to Arena but just less colorful. I will add that the introduction of the Daedra, whom Julian said in the AMA “The Daedra are pretty much like fantasy demons” kind of represent the darker tone Daggerfall seemed intended to have. The Daedra have kind of devolved into silliness in modern Elder Scrolls but in Daggerfall they were mysterious, malicious, and really set a morally grey world and that the mortal races of Tamriel are insignificant. Daggerfall’s lore in my view mixed a medieval worldview of demons and angels with modern pessimism where Tamriel is a magical place but the existence of its mortal inhabitants aren’t viewed as significant or even valuable by many beings on the higher planes.

It’s funny that Daggerfall’s gameplay had elements that were similar to Dungeons and Dragons when the actual lore and characters were grey and subjective as opposed to being labeled “lawful good,” “chaotic evil,” etc. While Daggerfall’s atmosphere was adventurous the lore and morality did successfully be darker.

Say what you want about Battlespire but it actually had the atmosphere in game that Daggerfall’s cover art and cutscenes had. And I’m praising that as someone who prefer’s Arena and Daggerfall’s adventurous atmosphere

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jayhova
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Re: Things that Arena did better then Daggerfall

Post by jayhova »

Werewolf wrote: Mon Oct 03, 2022 4:42 pm Which makes Daggerfall’s cover even more jarring. The tone of Arena’s cover fits the adventurous tone of the game very well whereas Daggerfall’s cover gives the impression of a dark gothic tone despite the game being just as adventurous as it’s predecessor
I'm pretty sure they wanted art that was connected to the game and the story they were telling.
Remember always 'What would Julian Do?'.

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Werewolf
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Re: Things that Arena did better then Daggerfall

Post by Werewolf »

jayhova wrote: Wed Oct 05, 2022 3:14 am
Werewolf wrote: Mon Oct 03, 2022 4:42 pm Which makes Daggerfall’s cover even more jarring. The tone of Arena’s cover fits the adventurous tone of the game very well whereas Daggerfall’s cover gives the impression of a dark gothic tone despite the game being just as adventurous as it’s predecessor
I'm pretty sure they wanted art that was connected to the game and the story they were telling.
The cover is accurate to the main quest but over 90% of Daggerfall’s content is not the main quest so it’s still an inaccurate tonal representation of most of the game

Vorzak
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Re: Things that Arena did better then Daggerfall

Post by Vorzak »

Say what you will, but Daggerfall has the best damn cover art in the entire franchise.
(sorry for the large image size)
tes_covers.jpg
tes_covers.jpg (135.78 KiB) Viewed 295 times

Additional thoughts: Dark and gritty has always been good for advertising, they knew what they were doing with this cover. Regardless, to me the cover represents Daggerfall just fine. Daggerfall is probably the darkest tone and most visually violent game of the franchise, the second is Skyrim. There’s a fair amount of dark-fantasy, reminiscent of some old horror games, combined with the high-fantasy in this game. DF has gory dead enemy flats, many dungeon flats are grotesque and disgusting, zombies, skeletons, lamias, etc. are actually scary compared enemies in later games, creepy random sounds in dungeons and outside at night, eerie music themes for dungeons and night, vampire faces albeit cliché are a bit disturbing, vampire/werewolf cutscenes are a bit morbid but still tame in comparison to the rest of the game, daedra princes you summon appear dark, sinister and intimidating, etc. This stuff used to frighten me as a kid, we’ve become used to it over the years and many hours of gameplay we barely give it a thought. Sure, Arena has some dark tones to it, but not to this extent. In my opinion, the Daggerfall cover art fits pretty well with the main quest and overall dark tones of the game.

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Werewolf
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Re: Things that Arena did better then Daggerfall

Post by Werewolf »

Daggerfall is darker then the future entries not because of being “dark and gritty” but because it’s genuinely more adult and mature then the more commercial future entries. The Daedric princes are genuinely dark and sinister and bring a lore that combines modern existentialism and feelings of humanity being insignificant with medieval belief in demons. The morality of Daggerfall is grey and your character is just an ordinary person, etc. After Arena had a pretty standard save the world story Daggerfall introduced a lore that actually had the foundations of something philosophical. Future entires of Elder Scrolls gradually removed those existentialist elements that Daggerfall laid down until it became similar to Forgotten Realms (Dungeons and Dragons) where it’s a fantasy lore that is developed as the plot demands. Except Forgotten Realms’ Faerun is a lot bigger, varied, and has a much bigger lore then Tamriel, with far, far more places, races, creatures, deities, monsters, lycanthropes, etc. Daggerfall’s portrayal of the Daedric princes seemed to acknowledge that Elder Scrolls couldn’t have a very complex lore so to make it actually be interesting it could be existentialist and morally grey. But now Elder Scrolls is just a pulpy lore that doesn’t have much merit when Forgotten Realms does pulpy lore far, far better.

I think Daggerfall has a great cover art.

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jayhova
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Re: Things that Arena did better then Daggerfall

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Werewolf wrote: Wed Oct 05, 2022 10:27 pm The cover is accurate to the main quest but over 90% of Daggerfall’s content is not the main quest so it’s still an inaccurate tonal representation of most of the game
The previous game was much more main quest centric. I don't really think that the developers really considered that Daggerfall would not be. They made cover art based on the game they thought you would be playing. I'm not sure they considered that many people would just stop caring about the main quest.
Remember always 'What would Julian Do?'.

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