My feeling was that the political conflict was not resolved in any real fashion. But, maybe I just missed something. It's been a long time, so maybe I'm just forgetting stuff. I remember the peace conference, but that didn't seem to feel like any lasting end to the conflict.
The peace conference is an optional quest in case you don't solve the political situation before deciding to go after the final boss.
If you aren't in an hurry to save the world, you can go around conquering forts and cities for either faction until you kill their top leader, and then the other big leader makes a grand speech. Along the way earls and their courts and guards will have been replaced, all that will be left of the other faction are some scattered bases across the countryside, and you're told you can go wipe them out if you please, but they don't pose any real threat anymore to the current government.
Of course, that demands you actually worked up your ranks in either factions, so you may've missed that.
I'm not sure how I'd go about implementing all of that, maybe just late game questlines or something. Or, a sequel, as noted above. Or, a less atomized management of the IP, which I think is a real issue with Elder Scrolls, at least from what I've gathered. But, the game seemed like it wanted to set itself apart in this regard, but it went through fairly standard (which isn't to say unenjoyable) quest lines to get you to various social positions, and then it was just off to the next set of fairly standard RPG questlines. And, it probably doesn't help that it was all bookended by bog standard main questlines.
Well, I guess the problem here is that Skyrim isn't Mass Effect. Aka you're trapped in some forsaken frozen wasteland whose entire population consists of a few hundred dudes, and half the world is in ruins with the wilderness monsters out of control. You're not
the high ranking officer of a capital ship that sits side by side with the most important dudes in the galaxy in the first couple of hours in the game, neither do you get to go around planets with a team of the best hand-picked warriors in existence.
Basicall, it's a matter of scale. You're not expected to worry about high politics in Skyrim, just like in Mass Effect you don't have to worry about dirt-covered raiders randomly trying to jump you in the street, or having to crawl around sewers killing rats with rusty weapons.
Indeed, you can always polish a program more. But eventually you have to release it to the public. There will be flaws, that may be corrected by others later on that have the extra free time for it, but the original developers of Skyrim had a deadline to meet. Some things will always slip trough the cracks.
It's kind of hard to sustain that argument when Skyrim uses the same engine Fallout does, and the game-breaking bugs stem from the way their engine handles things - which means some of those bugs go all the way back to Fallout 3.
Given they did not have to code the game FROM SCRATCH again, you'd think they'd dedicate SOME time to, y'know, fixing what they know would STILL be broken in the next game.
Granted, with the kind of community Bethesda games get, and their main attention being on PC consumers, I can see how that's not high on their priority list either...
Heh, Skyrim vanilla has a lot of bugs, but still less than Fallout 3.