Yes, shouts are rather obviously just "magic done differently".
Why not all magic shouted then? Also rather obvious as you could throw the story / plot down the gutter, not to mention that such a change wouldn't fit into the TES lore at all. Just because some of us don't care about "being Dragonborn" / main plot isn't really a reason to take that road. :)
Well, Bethesda doesn't give a crap about lore, so it doesn't matter whether or not it fits. And if you want a lore-friendly explanation: After the dissolution of the Mages Guild, the Thu'um could have become the common magic taught in Skyrim (anyone can learn it with study, after all). It's always been the "magic of the north" anyway, so it wouldn't be too drastic a change.
I remember when the Dark Brotherhood venerated Mephala, when Cyrodiil was said to be a lush jungle, and when dragons were said to have been allies of the Empire, but Bethesda seems to have forgotten. ;-)
Also don't see Morrowind being more subtle or ambiguous in that department either. Even all guild / side quests aside just doing the mainquest, it's a long way until you discover Azuras involvement. I dare to say most players at that time didn't bothered / cared (hell even missed) that part - and the reward for all your work was..... underwhelming.
The Emperor commands that you be sent to Vvardenfell because you were "born under a certain sign" and might fulfill the prophecy (of course, many would have been born at that time, but for one reason or another, the Emperor believes you capable of fulfilling the prophecy), and Azura opens the game speaking to you in your dreams and telling you that she has chosen you as champion (perhaps implying that she had a hand in your being sent to Vvardenfell, nudging the Emperor or his advisors to notice you, etc). That's it, tho: It's all up to you from there. No special powers, etc. You come to be named the Nerevarine but it's always ambiguous whether or not you are actually Nerevar reincarnated.
But I won't argue the point too much, because it does have elements of pre-ordained destiny, too, and I don't care much for such things. Just saying that Morrowind doesn't hit you over the head with it like Skyrim constantly reminding you that you are special only because you happen to be Dragonborn.
Don't see Nocturnal's blessing of luck being contradicted by your actions, as your success is countered by Mercer's action - all the time. So no luck for the guild. You think you work for the guild, but actually only do for Mercer's purse.
Sure, but it's *Mercer* working against the guild, not some mystic bad luck. If anyone should be having bad luck, it's the man that betrayed his duties to Nocturnal and desecrated her holy place, but he seems to be doing just fine with his schemes until you come along. Seems more like Nocturnal is all bark and no bite, if you ask me. She can't even prevent Mercer from using the power of her Skeleton Key for his own ends. ;-)
And sure, Mercer has stolen the loot, but the more important thing is that the Thieves Guild is respected again (guards/citizens mention this if you hadn't noticed).
I could understand the personal revenge part but frankly put, if guild honor isn't enough for you to go after Mercer you should been thrown out of the guild. ;)
Important? Yes. Worth selling my soul? No. :-P
Nightingale powers not given - don't know / can't check at the moment. Though I think the enchantments from the armor set does work, regardless of what Karliah said. Also a "bond" is being made with the three involved, to tie them together agains Mercer.
And yes, the Dragonborn DOES need the help of Nocturnal. That Mercer can counter the mentioned bond by taking two out, wasn't foreseeable - even more you should thank Nocturnal for her (invisible) help. Especially all those who don't care for the whole Dragonborn thing..... :p
The "trinity" could have ventured forth together in pursuit of Mercer without involving Nocturnal. No mystic bond needed. The enchantments on the armor work, but they certainly aren't worth my soul. Nightingale powers aren't granted until the Skeleton Key is returned to the Twilight Sepulcher. Also not worth my soul.
Rather than Nocturnal's aid, all I needed was Unrelenting Force. ;-)
Not being able to buy or "inherit" homes - you neglect that NPCs have relatives. That paperwork is involved when someone dies. You don't become owner of a properity by murdering someone. And just because someone died, doesn't mean his belongings are up for sale.
Going down that road you would / could end with owning half or more of all buildings in the gameworld. How that would be a good thing, neither economic / gameplay or roleplaying wise, is beyond me.
So Mercer's brother is going to inherit and move into Riftweald Manor, huh? A Thane of the Rift and Guildmaster of the Thieves Guild can't swing getting that property somehow? And Alva's house in Morthal is still empty... guess it'd be too much to ask for the Jarl to sell it to a Thane of Hjaalmarch? :-P
To be honest: it's more a "I want it, you don't give, your game sucks" attitude - even trying to fulfill those is impossible. And yes, I still don't see ANY other games outside Bethesdas own, that gets you any closer to that point.
Well, don't mistake me: I'm not saying Skyrim sucks as a whole
or as a game
because of any one thing. I'd call it a mediocre game, but that judgement is based on the whole rather than a particular gripe like the above nitpicking. Poor writing, unbalanced mechanics, a shoddy implementation of level-scaling, a lot of bugs, general unfinished or half-assed feeling of several aspects, etc. BUT it does have its charms, and it's nowhere near the f***ing travesty that is Dragon Age 2.
The beauty of it is that unlike other developpers who are doing everything they can to close and protect their games, this game can be modded. Therefore everything you don't like about this game can be easily fixed if you are the type of person to go a bit beyond bitching (no offense meant in this statement). There will be modding hubs for different type of players, like cheat-like mods, graphic enhancement mods, realism mods, lore mods, etc. This is pretty much what a lot of people are saying when they are ''waiting'' before they purchase, a GOTY edition with DLC and mods.
Yeah, I know. I've made and shared several mods for both Morrowind and Oblivion, some of which have over a thousand downloads. Not a "popular" modder, and my stuff isn't revolutionary, but my mods are quality and I have my niche. If not for Steam, I'd probably be too busy modding to bitch much about the game here. If the patches/DLC/GOTY polish up the game a bit, perhaps I'll consider using a cracked no-Steam version and get back to into it. Prob not, tho, as I don't see myself wanting to replay to any of the questlines I've completed so far. But then again, I felt that way about Oblivion and modded for it anyway. ;-)