Good reading, but I actually don't think the conversations go far enough. Again, one of the things I liked most about Dragon Age was the great character interaction, relationship-building, and background you get, at least with your closest companions. If Lydia had 1/20th of the lines that Morrigan did, I'd be ecstatic. Instead I just get her sarcastic "I am sworn to carry your burdens" comment, and the occasional "I have a bad feeling about this" warning before a boss fight. I'd love if Companions had a story you could dive into; needing to go back to their hometown, track down some bandits who killed their family, retake a shop that a thieving rival stole.
My main complaint with Skyrim would be that the companion and marriage aspects aren't as good as I had hoped they would be. It might seem odd, thinking of all the other issues people have (bugs, lag, etc), but I feel that those two aspects needed a lot more fleshing out. Allow me to make-an-ES for a second...
1. First, allow collision with a companion to move them out of the way. It gets annoying having to try and leap into the upper corner of a doorframe to get out of a room when someone's in the way.
2. Introduce a "friendship" system similar to DA:O. You can have a companion carry an item... or give it to them as a gift. If it's something they'd equip, they'll do so and get a favor bonus. At certain levels of friendship, they offer personalized quests.
3. You can also converse with your companion about events and their history. Gives them a chance to talk some more, and maybe they mention a lost heirloom or something you can go find.
1. Can your spouse please do something more than just cook and/or pay some profits? Anything!? Heck, I have several ideas:
A. Throw parties. You host a party in your house to rub elbows with people in the town. Gives a good chance to pickpocket the guests, learn gossip, or accept quests.
B. If your spouse has a shop, be able to invest (with the proper Speech perks), and start a chain to buyout any competition. Would blend wonderfully with the Thieves Guild.
C. Offer more than just food. Sure, it gives a skill learning buff, but I think it would be awesome to let your spouse be something like a portable crafter. Give them all your +crafting skill gear, and ask them to make potions/equipment/enchants. Depending on the value of the ingredients, let it take more time (ie, a week to make a Daedric Sword, but only half a day to make an iron dagger). Base their skill and perks off what your character knows. Basically set them up as an autonomous crafting bot. I would LOVE to come back from a dungeon dive to have my wife waiting with 10 new healing potions.
2. Similar to a companion, make a love meter. This could increase the rate of crafting, allow more items to be crafted, or unlock new quests.
3. Let your spouse travel with you as well (can this happen already? I don't think it can). Allows you to have one more companion on your travels.
Maybe it's just me, but I feel like the NPCs lack much personality and the companions are really underutilized. Maybe some DLC or something will fix it later? Edited, Dec 1st 2011 2:52pm by LockeColeMA