Welcome to another edition of the, er, we’ll say bi-weekly mailbag. All questions are from spammers who send their letters via courier, whether that be in Skyrim or New Vegas.
If any humans would like to send a question, PM me here or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Just make sure to let me know this is for the mailbag and that you want your name public, or else I will attribute your question to spammers.
On to the mailbag:
Free Piano asks:
Why is it that vegetables get softer the more you cook them, whereas meat gets harder?
Vegetables are full of pectin which is essentially the glue that keeps it hard and crisp. At a certain temperature the pectin melts, which causes the vegetable to lose its structurally integrity. While the collagen in meats go through a similar dissolution, the muscle fibers firm and harden, which is why a well done steak tastes like a Rob Liefield drawing.
Is there a game where I can play as a supporting player? I’m not protagonist material.
So you don’t want to be the guy, but you want to be one of the guys, unless you’re a gal. Of course, as a supporting character, you could very well be that guy, the party member everyone dislikes, or this guy, the one who’s always clowning around. But I agree, I think that would be a refreshing change from being the guy.
In any case, there are games where the primary character could be considered a supporting role, such as Vaan in FFXII, although being able to control Ashe, Basch (or Balthier) makes it less like the experience you’re going for. Mulitplayer in games like Borderlands offers the ability to hang back and let others take charge, as well as MMORPGs.
I don’t know of a single player game where that’s the main selling point, however, because most people prefer having more control over the outcome of their game, not less. I could see it working if you had an option to betray the protagonist depending on whether you agreed with their decisions. That way there’s a backup plan in case you get tired of following Delvin the Dragonborn and his cockney thu’um.
Best test for syphilis asks:
What school of magic is taught most in Dibellan schools? And yes, by “Dibellan” I’m referring to sex stuff.
If we ignore the fact that the schools themselves are mortal constructs, I don’t know if there’s a particular school, physical, alchemical or magical, that’s preferred. For example, take the three pillars of high school science -Biology, Chemistry, Physics. If you were training to be a professional sexmaster, you might mix in a combination of biological knowledge with a touch of chemistry (read: drugs) and the physics of humping.
Conjuration offers up bound dildos, for whenever you don’t have a horker tusk handy. Restoration would work great for condoms, i.e., dick wards. Alteration, with its paralysis, stoneflesh, would be popular with the S&M crowd, although Destruction would also fit into this category. Illusion would help with performance, whether it’s courage for yourself or clairvoyance to help you figure out what your partner likes. But if you suck at magic I imagine you just train by having a lot of sex.
Free Piano asks:
Tell me something about Amalee.
Talks to the wind like an old friend. Swears the sun dies every night to save the moon. Never blinks. Feels oddly conflicted when burrs get caught on her tunic. Has a cousin who makes the best sweetrolls you’ll never have. Believes time would not exist without nature to keep it. Raced barefoot up and down Markarth and never once slipped. Will neurotically count the stars to make sure they’re all there. Names the local wolves after family members. Once taught a fish to whistle. It sounded vaguely like Eyldi the Bear.
So I assume Anum-La wears the mourner’s clothes as a symbolic gesture for the loss of her past life and the lives she took. Do any of the other NPC outfits have similar meaning?
I honestly do not remember, but like most things, I doubt I put too much thought into it. I do know that I originally wanted to start Zora out in a hood and have her remove it later on when she got more comfortable in her own skin. There was just one problem, I didn’t know how to do it. Eventually when I learned how to change outfits, I implemented the tactic with some of the other characters, Anum-La included, but ultimately the point is moot when you can dress your followers however you please.
Using wardrobe as a mood ring is something better suited for linear stuff, and something you see costume designers do a lot in television. Every outfit, every set piece has a purpose, whether to set the tone of the scene or say something about a character. In a way that makes games like Skyrim more true to reality.
In real life, I don’t put on a gray shirt because I’m depressed, or a bright outfit because I’m in a good mood. Most of the time you’re just going for what looks good, taking into account the practical factors of weather, social acceptance, and comfort. Substitute those three for defense, weight, and agility and it’s more or less the same thing with games. Look good, fight good.
Lastly, variety matters too. You don’t want to go somewhere and find another person wearing the same dress, so I wasn’t going to have Morviah and Rinori doing the same either.
Pillz R Gud asks:
Why are Elf ears pointy?
If you’re asking from a Y TOLKIEN DO DIS perspective, I have no idea. Pointy ears look like leaves I guess. From a scientific perspective, the obvious answer would be they pose an evolutionary advantage.
According to some place called Google.com, larger ears are typically associated with cooling, which is why I imagine Hammerfellian elephants have humongous ears and why the mammoths in Skyrim don’t. Other desert animals like jackrabbits use their elongated ears to control temperature, expanding the blood vessels to dissipate heat during the daytime and reducing circulation to stay warm at night. The ability to remove heat without sweating or panting is also a key part of maintaining moisture and combating dehydration.
This would imply that Elves originated from warmer climates, or they were just so snooty they refused to sweat on principle. I like to think it was a little of both.