*** The Casual Gamer ***
1) You Can't Fail - Introduction
1a) Important People Can't Die
1b) NPCs Can't Be Offended
1c) You Can't Fail Quests
1) You Can't Fail - Conclusion
2) Faction Memberships Have No Consequences
3) Choices Have Little Impact on The World
4) Quest and Journal Systems
5) Reduced NPC Conversations
6) Oversimplified Puzzles
7) Reduced Item Values
1) Not being able to fail during the opening cutscene is kinda normal for games, y'know. The only difference here is that it is rendered with in-game graphics and gives you some slight control, like what for example Half-Life 2 did. You can still die to the first soldier you fight afterwards.
1a) More convenience than anything. Going to pick up an item off a table, accidentally taking the thing next to it, and then having everyone swarm you and your follower happen to kill a quest character is just annoying. Heck, I once made people mad by accident, by walking into a physics object which then bounced into their head and counted as an attack. I agree that sometimes it's annoying not to be able to, for example, kill Ulfric right then and there if I feel like it, but it's a minor inconvenience compared to accidentally messing a quest up by accident.
1b) NPCs can be offended as all heck by you stealing something. Maybe you can't smack-talk them in dialogue, but they can certainly get mad at you. Some send assassins after you if you steal, that's pretty offended.
1c) Killing a vital character or losing certain items are still a possibility. And also, making relevant people mad at you also fails quests. Most of the time failing a quest means getting killed in the process, however, and so of course you never see "Quest failed - Dragonborn dead".
1) Conclusion? Are you talking about the final quest? If so, you can most definitely get killed, it's just that you're likely to be packing 300 pounds of enchanted gear and potions that make most anything a cakewalk.
2) I agree with this one. Factions were pretty disappointing. There were no real benefits from being Archmage apart from getting a bedchamber, for example, and the quests in the College can even be accomplished by sword-and-shield most of the time. No reason why I should even be the archmage when all I have is the basic Flames spell.
3) True. The second big complaint about this game. However, it does not necessarily make the game "for kiddies", mate. It just means that it's a bit shallow.
4) I have no idea what you mean by this? How is a quest/journal system bad? If you are talking about the markers showing you where to go, you can turn those off.
5) It depends on what you want from the conversations, I suppose. Some places I wished I had more dialogue options; other places I wanted the NPC to shut up already.
6) Agreed on this point. It's tragic that even the traps I trigger will usually not even pose a treath to me because they either miss or deal too little damage to even scratch me.
7) You can still get filthy rich, and I'm not sure how having to work more to get cash makes the game "dumbed down"?
This said, I do agree that Skyrim could have been much, much better, and I have modded it up the wazoo. I got so many mods and "fixes" that I can't imagine playing vanilla again at all.