Sturmgewehr_44 May 10 @ 10:00am
What's up with Skyrim forts?
I just realised that forts/castles/keeps in Skyrim are much less advanced then they are in Oblivion. Why is this? The stone towers often have pre-romanesque angled Battlements whilst in Oblivion they are Gothic-style. Whiterun is made up mostly of a hill fort with sharpened timber, which is Early Medieval and mostly occurring in Northern Europe and North Atlantic islands. Is this because of Skyrim's lack of technology? However, even Solitude is lacking in defenses, which is odd considering it is an extremely geographically important city.

http://www.uesp.net/wiki/File:OB-place-Bruma_01.jpg

http://images.uesp.net/e/e3/SR-place-Fort_Sungard.jpg

http://www.uesp.net/wiki/File:SR-place-Fort_Snowhawk.jpg

This appears to be the most advanced castle in vanilla Skyrim: http://www.uesp.net/wiki/File:SR-place-Mistwatch.jpg
Last edited by Sturmgewehr_44; May 10 @ 10:07am
Showing 1-14 of 14 comments
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Sturmgewehr_44 May 10 @ 10:15am 
Bump. Sorry but it's necessary.
Teemi06 May 10 @ 11:11am 
If I had to place a guess, it's the differences between Cyrodiil, being the heartland of the empire, and Skyrim which is a province. Cultural differences, the empire being less interested in placing state of the art fortifications there..
Sturmgewehr_44 May 10 @ 11:12am 
Historically though, is it relevant?
Last edited by Sturmgewehr_44; May 10 @ 11:12am
mpd1958 May 10 @ 11:35am 
STG44, they look quiet similar to the fortifications that the English had in the Viking era of our own world and since the games Nordic race is a parody(?) of the Vikings I would say they are historically accurate, as to relevence I have no idea.

It looks to me as though the forts are all from a previous era since not a single one of them is intact. You would think that there was a war where all fortifications were damaged but nobody has bothered to repair them. Wasn't the Empire at war with the Altmari Dominion just 30 year prior to the current game timeline?

Edit: Also remember that terrain determined the shape and structure of fortifications, as well as available materials and manpower.
Last edited by mpd1958; May 10 @ 11:45am
tonyrayvick May 10 @ 11:42am 
Originally posted by Sturmgewehr_44:
I just realised that forts/castles/keeps in Skyrim are much less advanced then they are in Oblivion. Why is this? The stone towers often have pre-romanesque angled Battlements whilst in Oblivion they are Gothic-style. Whiterun is made up mostly of a hill fort with sharpened timber, which is Early Medieval and mostly occurring in Northern Europe and North Atlantic islands. Is this because of Skyrim's lack of technology? However, even Solitude is lacking in defenses, which is odd considering it is an extremely geographically important city.

You just answered your own question. It was a stylistic choice to keep Skyrim looking like the time and country it was inspired by. The Nords are way into tradition, and it is likely they resist that kind of change. Just because they are an imperial province, doesn't mean they let the Empire tear down their forts and build new ones. Most of those towns and cities are ancient structures, and the Nords care a lot about their heritage--too much to "upgrade" them. It is implied that the Empire used to leave Skyrim to its own devices, which is why the Nords are so pissed they're all over their shit now.

Of course, this does lead to bad things happening. If you didn't know, many of the bandit-controlled forts in Skyrim used to be towns and cities themselves, but were taken over, probaby because the forts were not very sturdy. Look up a map of The Elder Scrolls Arena. You'll find that a number of forts and towns are now in the control of bandits or dark wizards.

Bethesda always keeps to a stylistic choice representing the ideals and heritage that inspired the province and its people. If you go to Morrowind, the structures are even more incomprehensible, and again lack the structural integrity of Cyrodiil's.
tonyrayvick May 10 @ 11:45am 
However, I do agree it is a little odd that the Empire has not tried to build its own structures to fortify its defenses. I can only assume they want to avoid pissing off the local Nords. It's a precarious political situation they've found themselves in.
Fayde1 May 11 @ 1:09am 
what is "BUMP?"
mpd1958 May 11 @ 1:16am 
It's where the OP responds to his own post to move it back to the top of the list.
mondriandroid May 11 @ 1:23am 
Skyrim hasn't been invaded nearly as often.
Fayde1 May 11 @ 1:58am 
@ mpd1958 Thank you
mpd1958 May 11 @ 2:05am 
Fayde, your welcome. Two in the morning here, time to hit the sack, see ya.
Skyrimnut May 11 @ 3:26am 
Have you seen Solitude's natural geographical defenses? The city has only two ways to access it, a heavy fortified gate area, and a small secret entrance at the base of the cliff on the left of the photo I'm linking. The main area, where most military units can fit, is essentiall two gates, a sort of watch tower area and then the main gate. After you cross that gate, you'll find that you are no longer on the the mainland, but in a jutting cliff of sorts. If you continued walking past the Blue Palace beyond the wall, you'd fall down. You could try to get up that rocky area, but lead a land army up it? You could also attempt a sea approach, but again, you'd probably need projectiles to reach the top of the cliff. A bit difficult. Now, the secret entrance is interesting. One could conceivably mount an attack up that, but by sending one person, who would then sneak to the main gate and open it. However, going up that way also leads you to a guarded area. I find it charming that when you're doing the battle for Solitude, this secret entrance is not employed in any way.

http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20111113022820/elderscrolls/images/c/c9/Solitude_Side_View.jpg

But yes, I agree that it is mostly a stylistic choice. Of the cities, Windhelm and Markarth look like the most fortified, but Markarth was built on the ruins of Dwemer contruction and Windhelm is an ancient city with a big wall and a mountain almost right up against it on one side.

Yep, lots of bandits in Skyrim.

PS: Nice way to start the morning, by the way. Debating the soundness of Skyrim structural defenses with fellow gamers. Very nice. Good thread to see here. Wish there were more like these.
Last edited by Skyrimnut; May 11 @ 3:28am
Sturmgewehr_44 May 11 @ 12:06pm 
I do threads like this a lot, lol. Here: http://steamcommunity.com/app/72850/discussions/0/792923683829422576/

I'm into the historical aspect of nearly everything. I look at it and realise what it could be, and it has to be something.
Vigo the Carpathian May 11 @ 2:28pm 
I'd agree Solitude is the defending generals dream.

Markarth has a formidable gate but once your through, the city has no choke points to hold back an enemy force. Death would be swift.
http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120513041252/elderscrolls/images/f/f6/Markarthmapkey_03.png

Windhelm is a tough one, but the dock gate is a wekaness in my eyes. Also once your inside you can run the length of the surrounding wall and surround everyone in the city.
http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120123155307/elderscrolls/images/4/47/Windhelmmapkey_03.png

Solitude has only one way up, a steep narrow climb. Fire from that looming gate would crush any army. Even if they did manage to breach the gate they'd then have Castle Dour to take and the Imperial tower linked to the outer wall with that bridge, would hold advances to the Blue Palace for a time.
http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120124135437/elderscrolls/images/a/a2/Solitudemapkey_03.png

Also very interesting thread btw +1
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Date Posted: May 10 @ 10:00am
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