I can forgive the bugs most of the time. There's so much going on in the game, and so many optional quests and alternative paths you can take, that I'd be surprised if the developers accounted for everything. Some of them are ridiculous, though. It's nearly impossible to finish that "Amulet of Talos/Temple of the Divines" quest properly, because there are about 10 ways you can do the tasks involved in it, and they only allowed for the most linear and least likely path. And that guy that leads you through that Vaermina quest in Dawnstar always freezes up on me. He wants me to follow him to the library, then he just stands there limbering his shoulder muscles forever, even if I use the console to move him right in front of the door. I've done that quest four times now, including twice when I started new games just to run right to it at the first opportunity, and the only way I can complete it is to keep standing in his personal space, so he slowly backs up the stairs to the door.
I'm not even sure what about the game appeals to me. I guess I just love grinding and trying different builds. I love the open world, and I like that some of the simple Radiant quests sort of let you fill in a story around them. However, in the primary quest, where actual effort was made, the story is really light, and pretty silly. Even in the Radiant quests that attempt stories, you're mostly doing things because you're told to, or because they'll stay in your journal forever if you don't. Even so, I invested way too much time in it a few weeks back, and I keep hoping the mod community will produce some quests with rich stories to them.
Oh, and half the game's "story" content and other features are in the Thieves' Guild and Dark Brotherhood quest lines. That's bunk as far as I'm concerned. If I want to play a good-hearted character, I shouldn't have to join the damn Thieves' Guild to find out about the Stones of Barenziah, or other little random things that pop up. And everybody in Riften keeps wishing somebody would get rid of the guild, but there's no quest to do it, and all the NPCs are marked essential, so you can't even dream one up without using the console or becoming a wanted man. Even the Companion's quest line feels sort of morally ambiguous. I haven't found out if you can join the Vigil of Stendarr yet, but they're basically an inquisition going by what I've heard out of them. Most of the game, I feel like I'm doing nothing but searching for an honest man.
<Spoiler>Speaking of "silly" stories, and the Thieves' Guild, why the hell is Karliah's master plan to beat Mercer selling your souls for all eternity to a Daedra in exchange for some leather armor? I was smithing and enchanting stuff better than what that Daedric Lord was handing out. Why would I want to sell my soul for it? Supposedly, you also get the Daedra's favor, and "hopefully that will give us the edge", but that's pretty thin. Especially since the whole reason you can't get any powers from her is because her power can't enter the world without the key, so I guess her "favor" is just a hearty cheer now and then. I'd be perfectly willing to take my chances killing Mercer in my custom-made Dragonscale and with only the favor of two swords that do ridiculous amounts of damage. Usually, the authors at least take the trouble to come up with a reason why the bad guy is invincible without the power of Anubis's Ancient Coprolite, or something. Karliah eventually mentions some bunk about the key "unlocking the potential of the human mind", but Mercer never uses his awesome acuity to do anything, but sound grumpy and stab things. Basically he was a guy who could break locks, and who died in two hits.</spoiler>
Edited by Chris Lightfellow to better hide spoiler