You know what? I could talk about Overwatch and it’s private beta (which seemed more like a press release than a beta…) but I’m honestly not fussed. I’m annoyed about other things. Particularly a place in Skyrim. Markarth.
Screw Markarth. It’s the worst city in Skyrim. I absolutely hate it there, so much in fact that I actually didn’t visit the city at all while doing Medic in Skyrim, and I’m probably going to avoid the city completely in Dawnguard Snipin’. I really just dislike the city, to the point that I’m more likely to visit Falkreath for fun, and everyone forgets that little town exists. Although every time you DO remember it exists, generally because of Hearthfire and Lakeview Manor, a dragon is always there to ruin your day.
Alright, some will argue that Morthal or Riften are worse. After all, Riften IS filled with thieves and mead, but the alcohol is good and don’t deny it, you’ve stolen crap that you now need to sell. Morthal has less going for it, what with being in the middle of a swamp, but Morthal has a practical use in being the only place in which you can cure full blown vampirism. There’s also a plot of land nearby for sale, which, while not being as pretty as what will one day be Lakeview Manor, it’s still pretty nice. Both towns also have quests that don’t break.
So yeah, Markarth. It’s built from Dwemer ruins. Dwarven stuff if you’re not an Elder Scrolls person. There aren’t actually any living Dwemer in Skyrim though, since they noped themselves out of existence ages ago. So you’ve got a big empty ruin full of people who kicked out the old people who lived there and are either really rich or really poor. The Reachmen, the natives of the area, were kicked out and are all stranded in random outposts throughout the Reach, and none of the people in Markarth will stop going on about it despite it being their fault. And for some stupid reason, EVERYONE IS SO DAMN SMUG. Everyone you talk to, from the people in the local inn to the fricking beggar, is a smug bastard.
The city itself is also a pain to navigate. Being a typical Dwemer ruin, it’s rather all-over-the-place and has more vertical terrain than any other city. Getting to the purchase-able house is a pain in the backside, as you have to climb some steep steps and paths. No fun if you’re over-encumbered. Alright, it’s nice to have a different sort of city, but they need some signs or something.
The worst thing about Markarth though? Every single major quest is buggy as heck. The main city quest (needed in order to become a Thane there) is the buggiest quest I have ever done. Just look at the UESP page and see for yourself. The following quest, No One Escapes Cidhna Mine, is just as buggy, and I had to use the console to get through this pile of crap. The name of the quest is stupid as fuck too, since somehow no one can escape but there you are, escaping with ease. I actually wanted to do this quest in favor of the Forsworn, but was never given the choice to. One time, as soon as I entered, everyone was hostile to me and I ended up Yol Toor Shul-ing them to death. I have no idea why the Dragonborn is even here – everyone could just leave, it’s not like he doesn’t have a key or anything, and why do you need that poor fellow prisoner dead? Makes no fucking sense. The biggest issue is that if you start the quest, easily done by seeing the murder and being spoken to, and don’t finish it because of the Civil War, you might not ever be able to finish it without cheating.
There are two other notable quests here, both of them Daedric. You can speak to a Vigilant of Stendarr and end up getting the Mace of Molag Bal, or you can find yourself becoming a cannibal and getting the Ring of Namira. The former is a buggy quest when it comes to actually getting the mace, I’ve found that things will randomly, just, well, stop. It’s a heavily scripted quest and sometimes things just don’t work. At least the mace itself is cool, guard comment on it and it fills soul gems.
The quest for Namira though is simply lame and most people I know only do the quest for the achievement. The Daedric artifact is particularly weak, like a crappy version of being a werewolf (which is shit anyway) and it involves killing a Priest of Arkay. Personally, I don’t like killing Priests of Arkay at all, since they’re the only things stopping people from being constantly reanimated as zombies and dead thralls, but even if you don’t mind the risk of being brought back from the dead as a mindless beast, Brother Verulus is a nice guy and a pretty damn good battle mage. Even then, he’s STILL bugged and will always try and force a conversation with you.
Even the minor quests aren’t great. The quest for Dibella, one of the few Aedra quests in the game, has a habit of joining up with the Molag Bal quest and the giant spider that’s supposed to be guarding the entrance to the deeper parts of the Dwemer keep has a nasty habit of respawning. Combined with everyone hating your guts, Markarth leaves a horrible taste in your mouth.
It’s so bad in Markarth that even the guards complain.