Not So Late to the Party: Skyrim

So, in the intervening period a lot has happened. I don't need to go into details, but pertinent to one of the themes of this particular blog, I now have a PC capable of playing the games people have been talking about for the past half decade. You might think that someone who has at least been paying attention to all the news of new games would remaind relatively jaded when actually playing them, but no. I spent my first few hours of Skyrim thoroughly overwhelmed by the jump in graphics quality; it's one thing to watch a video of someone else playing a game, it's another thing to be forced to interpret what you see, and if you fail at that the consequences come fast enough. No movie this.
 
And yeah, that's mainly what I've been playing. I've been given an opportunity to try out The Old Republic and I'll likely do that, but right now Skyrim takes up most of that machine's time, and that's divided amongst two people with an equal desire to play.  I'll probably talk about my impressions of that game when I have a while. It is awesome, but like most Elder Scrolls games it's easy to see where things can be improved even more.  I haven't yet reached the point where things repeat too much, but so far I'm digging the combat spells (it's the first time I've ever seen destruction spells as an interesting path to take), the weapon-handed system has a great balancing feature that means no tactic is optimal, but some fit situations better than others, and, well, there's a strong reference to Arena, the very first Elder Scrolls game, that pleases me quite a bit. I do find that I'm collecting books more than reading them; I think I start reading later, like I did in Morrowind, once I get a feel for the world. I also don't fast travel, because I think running into stuff is pretty much what makes the game fun for me; my eyes bug out a bit when I see all the contextless minor quests that are spilling down the journal page, but I've never been one for completing quests if there's no explicit reason to do so (new features are fine, but monetary rewards leave me cold).  I guess quest management could probably be improved just a bit, like an area-based to-do list that reminds you when you're in the right area to check off a few boxes, but then we get into the surreal "medieval times with a personal data assistant" clashes.
 
For those who say this game refers to Morrowind, I can't put my finger on it, having never played Oblivion, but I still know what you mean somehow. I don't think it's just the cart travel system, although I'm really happy to see that, it may just be the combination of things, the idea that this is off the beaten path, things are a bit rougher and more uncertain.
 
Speaking of uncertain, I'm not sure if the character I'm building is going to wind up being useless, but there's some adventure in that. I tend to use two-handed weapons, something I learned to appreciate when fighting spiders of the non-poisonous, fall-apart variety, along with spells and the satisfying bow and arrow for distance shots. I originall favored mace-and-shield, but found I was never quite sure how useful the shield was, and subequently never really put any energy into building up Block. Dual wielding still doesn't appeal to me, it never really has in any game, but I like how their damage output is tops, at the cost of blocking. So, since I'm on master difficulty, and haven't bothered to pull the dragon switch, I'm having a tough time of it, but it helps justify all the potions I make, justify the stealth I use, and justify every enemy exploit where I wait until I can shoot them in the back.
 
I'm entertaining the idea of playing a parallel game some day where the whole point is to never load after my character dies, but I'm not sure what difficulty would be appropriate-- Master is fine if you know you can load, but I'm not sure I'd get very far on one life.
 
I'm late the party, I guess, but only by a few months this time. It won't be like before, where Cake Is a Lie made no sense to me for years, although I'll probably still be laughing at Arrow in the Knee long after everyone else has stopped.

24 Comments
25 Comments
Posted by ahoodedfigure

So, in the intervening period a lot has happened. I don't need to go into details, but pertinent to one of the themes of this particular blog, I now have a PC capable of playing the games people have been talking about for the past half decade. You might think that someone who has at least been paying attention to all the news of new games would remaind relatively jaded when actually playing them, but no. I spent my first few hours of Skyrim thoroughly overwhelmed by the jump in graphics quality; it's one thing to watch a video of someone else playing a game, it's another thing to be forced to interpret what you see, and if you fail at that the consequences come fast enough. No movie this.
 
And yeah, that's mainly what I've been playing. I've been given an opportunity to try out The Old Republic and I'll likely do that, but right now Skyrim takes up most of that machine's time, and that's divided amongst two people with an equal desire to play.  I'll probably talk about my impressions of that game when I have a while. It is awesome, but like most Elder Scrolls games it's easy to see where things can be improved even more.  I haven't yet reached the point where things repeat too much, but so far I'm digging the combat spells (it's the first time I've ever seen destruction spells as an interesting path to take), the weapon-handed system has a great balancing feature that means no tactic is optimal, but some fit situations better than others, and, well, there's a strong reference to Arena, the very first Elder Scrolls game, that pleases me quite a bit. I do find that I'm collecting books more than reading them; I think I start reading later, like I did in Morrowind, once I get a feel for the world. I also don't fast travel, because I think running into stuff is pretty much what makes the game fun for me; my eyes bug out a bit when I see all the contextless minor quests that are spilling down the journal page, but I've never been one for completing quests if there's no explicit reason to do so (new features are fine, but monetary rewards leave me cold).  I guess quest management could probably be improved just a bit, like an area-based to-do list that reminds you when you're in the right area to check off a few boxes, but then we get into the surreal "medieval times with a personal data assistant" clashes.
 
For those who say this game refers to Morrowind, I can't put my finger on it, having never played Oblivion, but I still know what you mean somehow. I don't think it's just the cart travel system, although I'm really happy to see that, it may just be the combination of things, the idea that this is off the beaten path, things are a bit rougher and more uncertain.
 
Speaking of uncertain, I'm not sure if the character I'm building is going to wind up being useless, but there's some adventure in that. I tend to use two-handed weapons, something I learned to appreciate when fighting spiders of the non-poisonous, fall-apart variety, along with spells and the satisfying bow and arrow for distance shots. I originall favored mace-and-shield, but found I was never quite sure how useful the shield was, and subequently never really put any energy into building up Block. Dual wielding still doesn't appeal to me, it never really has in any game, but I like how their damage output is tops, at the cost of blocking. So, since I'm on master difficulty, and haven't bothered to pull the dragon switch, I'm having a tough time of it, but it helps justify all the potions I make, justify the stealth I use, and justify every enemy exploit where I wait until I can shoot them in the back.
 
I'm entertaining the idea of playing a parallel game some day where the whole point is to never load after my character dies, but I'm not sure what difficulty would be appropriate-- Master is fine if you know you can load, but I'm not sure I'd get very far on one life.
 
I'm late the party, I guess, but only by a few months this time. It won't be like before, where Cake Is a Lie made no sense to me for years, although I'll probably still be laughing at Arrow in the Knee long after everyone else has stopped.

Posted by JCTango

Glad to hear you have a decent gaming PC now =).

I'm with you on the random-esque encounters in the open world environment.. it really lends itself to a type of immersion. At certain points though, you might get to a stage where you'll get tired of running around and just fast travel, heh.. it happens.

I've taken a bit of a break from skyrim for now... I think it might have to do with the countless numbers of quests I'm currently listed as being on... a lot of them seem unappealing. I'll get back to it soon, I hope... I never did finish Oblivion, but this one seems more entertaining to me somehow. My current character is a bit of a stealthy archer... I hope to make either a 2hander or dual wielder next time.

Posted by PenguinDust

I just started Skyrim myself yesterday and I am loving it, too. I had to upgrade my graphics drivers because I encountered a lot of tearing initially. I hadn't updated in a while since there wasn't any need to with the crop I had been playing. I too was amazed at the graphical quality of the new game, but I quickly went over to the Skyrimnexus for some mods to make my character look better. I don't know why, but everyone in Bethesda games are always so ugly. Anyway, once that was done, I was back in the world again exploring and killin' bandits.

I'm still only at level 5, so I've barely begun, but I seem to be leaning towards magic. I started out using a two handed sword for up close engagements and a bow for distance, but I was spending my perk points on destruction and regen magics with good results. That dual wielded flame spell is rather potent and came in handy against some undead creatures I ran across during a quest. One thing I do miss from my two handed sword attack is that finishing move that sometimes occurs. I was taking out some bandits once and one startled me, so I attacked him with what I had in hand and was surprised when the scene dropped into slow-mo and I stuck the blade straight through him. I also like being about to stick an arrow in someone from behind at distance for that first stealth hit. But, using the tried-and-true "back away while firing magic fire" tactic works so well, that I'm heading down that path now.

This is my first time through, so I plan to just explore and see where it takes me rather than optimize my character for maximum ability.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

Well, we all know what high profile, graphically intensive release you can play now, now that you have a high powered computer like myself. That's right. Temple of Elemental Evil. Because if everyone on this site hasn't written at least one thing about it, my plans for world domination will fail. Oh. And don't forget Might and Magic VI. That sucker needs the most recent Nvidia graphics drivers to run properly.

Nice to see you are enjoying Skyrim. I personally burned out around 58 hours, a remarkable number, if only because it's only about ten less than my Oblivion file with the character who did everything except knights of the nine. It's definitely the sequel to Oblivion though, for as much as some people who hate Oblivion seem to enjoy clinging to this one. I think some of this is for the best, even if I may have been spoiled by some of Fallout New Vegas' allowance for non-combat character builds. If you ever get to play that, it would make good contrast to this title, as it really spells out the differences of Bethesda, Bioware and Obsidian.

Posted by RagingLion

Oh my word! *hands slapped to both cheeks* The world is going to be so very different. ahoodedfigure is going to start commenting on modern games, at least no longer from just a hearsay/watching previews perspective (which is also the major way in which I get an idea of the gaming landscape admittedly).

What will these new halcyon days bring?! I'm kinda looking forward to seeing your take on more recent stuff and seeing what you choose to play as well. Have fun with the new PC.

Edited by Neeshka

I'll give you a headstart on skyrim:

Make sure to level up smithing and enchanting as soon as possible to 100/100. To level these quickly exclusively make iron daggers.

http://skyrimcalculator.com/#35118

Is what you want to work up to by level 28.

After this start putting points into alchemy; and then heavy armor.

Don't bother with light armor unless you want to go for a stealthy playstyle; if you do put points into sneak and light armor instead of alchemy/heavy armor after 28.

To level up stealth quickly put a q-tip into your "w" key go near the guards inside dragonsreach and go afk for a few hours. When you come back you should be about 100.

Alternatively find an unkillable npc and keep spamming sneak attack.

Once you get smithing and enchanting to reasonable levels start making armor and weapons.

Grats now there is no reason to bother with loot in the game from either dungeons' chests or enemies.

I chose dual wield one-handed with full heavy armor; although a maxed out archery build; or sneak/light/dw builds are also equally strong.

Swords are probably the best since the 30% crit bonus perk is superb. Alternatively daggers with the 15x sneak attack in stealth builds are also great.

Posted by ahoodedfigure

@JCTango said:

Glad to hear you have a decent gaming PC now =).

I'm with you on the random-esque encounters in the open world environment.. it really lends itself to a type of immersion. At certain points though, you might get to a stage where you'll get tired of running around and just fast travel, heh.. it happens.

I've taken a bit of a break from skyrim for now... I think it might have to do with the countless numbers of quests I'm currently listed as being on... a lot of them seem unappealing. I'll get back to it soon, I hope... I never did finish Oblivion, but this one seems more entertaining to me somehow. My current character is a bit of a stealthy archer... I hope to make either a 2hander or dual wielder next time.

You're probably right about fast travel, especially if I want to just finish something and I can't be arsed to die a bunch of times to get it done. That said, I AM pretty stubborn-- I didn't look up how to heal disease when I was going through the beginning stages of vampirism. Decided it was best to hit a big town just in case there was a temple like the old games used to do to heal characters... learned to glissade, learned to die in all kinds of ways, but it was damned fun to just run into secret things I would have skipped if I'd resorted to island hopping to get near to a big town.

It's pretty easy to fall into the stealth part of the game, it seems. If you're in an area that's higher level than you are, and that happens a lot the way I play, being stealthy is pretty much a given if you want to proceed and not just run away (though I've done that too).

@PenguinDust: You know what's cool/evil about it, though? In the olden days it became clear after a few hours of play whether or not you'd picked the right skills. This meant that people like me might give up on a character build when you realized you wanted a different set of skills that would actually show up on the game's advancement radar. Here the game asks you to make a build for yourself, using perks as a sort of volunteer, parallel skillset to balance out force of habit. So if you find out you've done something that gets you stuck, it won't be until much later. You can enjoy the game a lot, but then... and this is theoretically possible I guess, you may still come up with a bit of a broken character-- but instead of a few hours you've maybe spent a hundred to find this out. The real test of the flexibility of the game's new system, then, comes at the end.

As far as the characters looking ugly though, I will say the elves look a bit nightmarish, but otherwise I'm fairly pleased with the range of faces that are possible in the game. There's one mod that tempts me so far in this regard, the one that removes the nose and chin boxiness, but since I don't spend too long looking at faces I guess I'm not too worried. I'm more interested right now in the flexibility of the creation engine, and how easy it will be for a scrub like me to use it.

(more replies forthcoming)

Edited by Xymox

Very cool. Looking forward to reading your thoughts about Skyrim later on.

The dead is dead playstyle is a lot of fun when you don't know what to expect, so I like doing that if I haven't played the game before. That said, I do *not* go to the extent of deleting the save game... I just admit defeat and keep playing. But that initial surge of danger is well worth it as it completely alters my game play style. I like stealthing, but if I the consequence of death is failing that, that's enough to make me not run head-on into a situation with the comfort of "i can reload later".

I was only 7 hours in on my skyrim attempt at that play-style, but I'm not going to replay those hours as there are other games that need completing. I'm also quite left in the dark... But steam has had 75% off sales all through the holidays, so I've been RACKING up games I never got to... I, also, only recently had a system upgrade. Currently I'm going through the Mass Effect series, while I'm resting my Skyrim play until the quest patches start rolling in.

Posted by AhmadMetallic

I've always appreciated your crazy long blogs about RPGs and other games/things that I didn't know shit about or have never played, but this time around this blog is right up my alley, as I have become an RPG enthusiast in late 2010 and have played several ones since, including the one you're discussing, Skyrim. 
Congratz on the new PC! It's a whole different world when you own a capable PC. What are the specs?! 
 

I haven't yet reached the point where things repeat too much
my eyes bug out a bit when I see all the contextless minor quests that are spilling down the journal page, but I've never been one for completing quests if there's no explicit reason to do so (new features are fine, but monetary rewards leave me cold).  
My advice to this is that you keep mixing it up. I have 54 hours in Skyrim, and apart from the first 10 hours when I was addicted to clearing caves, I haven't felt repetition once in my playthrough, or let my quests pile up. 
I travel on foot and, for example, find some lighthouse with a dramatic story, take it's quest on and finish off whatever was started there, then keep travelling until I run into a dragon and kill it, then take a minor quest from some old woman at a random town and finish it for her, then go sell my loot, then read a book, then take on a main story quest, then do some Thieves Guild quests and make some cash, then go to the magic college and learn a bunch of magic skills, etc... 
 
Seriously, as long as you mix it up, it will all feel light, exciting and fresh. Do not dismiss the minor quests, there's nothing wrong with going fishing or looking for somebody's missing helmet every once in a while! Don't allow those quests to leave you cold, jump into the next activity right away. 
 
 I guess quest management could probably be improved just a bit, like an area-based to-do list that reminds you when you're in the right area to check off a few boxes,
It would be so boring if that were the case! I personally enjoy tracking my quests on my own, figuring out which quest giver lives where, it's much more immersive than having them listed to me based on location. 
 
 there's a strong reference to Arena, the very first Elder Scrolls game, that pleases me quite a bit.
Never played that.. What's the reference?! 
Posted by TheDudeOfGaming

When i got Skyrim i spent most of my free time playing it..... Over 200 hours in the land of the Nords. And now, i just can't force myself to play it. God help me, but i can't.

Posted by DillonWerner

Arrows the the knee..

Posted by kingzetta
Posted by eroticfishcake

Glad you've got a good PC to play some recent titles (and thus take advantage of Steam sales too). I did get a strong Arena vibe from it mainly because I haven't played much of it but I did get a stronger sense as I did from Daggerfall (must be one of the tunes to bards play). It probably has to do with the Radiant Quests and Radiant AI which gives it some life and scale that Daggerfall had. It's a little hard to put my finger on it but it's a feels like a different game from Oblivion altogether. Either way, I'm still enjoying a lot. Bar the occasional technical hiccups.

Posted by Brackynews

I now have a PC capable of playing the games people have been talking about for the past half decade.

MERRY GODDAMN CHRISTMAS TINY TIM! :D

I will gladly roll with you in TOR. Even though I get much higher FPS in Skyrim. ;)

Posted by ahoodedfigure
@JCTango: Full disclosure: I've used fast travel now. Once, so far. I didn't want to walk all the way back to a stronghold I'd just done a little task for. I think my thing is I want new adventures, but on a well-trodd path that I've only recently gone over, it seems like a waste of time to just walk back. I'm trying to limit it to when I realize it's way too late and I need to just get stuff done and go to bed :)
 
@Xymox: Very good idea. If you play like you're going to die but keep it, you're pretty much getting the best of both worlds without actually losing what you've accomplished. I guess some people would have trouble fooling themselves though, and I imagine I would past a certain point.   
 
@TheDudeOfGaming: It's probably that once the novelty is spent, the gameplay itself is pretty straightforward and not full of surprises. I sort of wish you could just stumble upon quests and make create solutions for them (even if there's only one solution) rather than being explicitly told and getting another task in your to-do list. That's what potentially will wear me down, I think. I've only like, completed 2 or 3 quests so far, though, so it can't be bothering me too much :)
 
@DillonWerner
@kingzetta
 
It's heartening to see this sort of stuff. I don't remember Oblivion getting nearly as much meme attention.
 
@eroticfishcake: Yeah, there are a few hiccups. I've had a few game-killing problems, like when it didn't realize my combat status was over and wouldn't let me use any equipment, or the very rare crash-to-desktop-on-reload, or other things that are very hard to repeat (which to me suggests memory allocation problems, something they've always had problems with). 
 
I'm not sure how Oblivion gave out quests, but even reading up beforehand I definitely got that feeling, that they were allowing you to occupy your time with what you wanted to do, whether that's making 20 leather bracers or picking up EVERY GOLD COIN IN A DUNGEON. I'm really not sure where the planned game stops and Radiant begins, though. It also might make me feel a bit empty if I realized I could never solve the problems of this artificial world completely.
 
@Brackynews: Word. I'm not sure when I'll start yet, though, since I want to maximize my time.
Posted by JCTango

@ahoodedfigure said:

@JCTango: Full disclosure: I've used fast travel now. Once, so far. I didn't want to walk all the way back to a stronghold I'd just done a little task for. I think my thing is I want new adventures, but on a well-trodd path that I've only recently gone over, it seems like a waste of time to just walk back. I'm trying to limit it to when I realize it's way too late and I need to just get stuff done and go to bed :)

That's pretty reasonable :D. It's one thing to try to get the most out of the game... it's another to be completely obsessive about it haha. If you walked everywhere for your quests all the time, I think it would probably take years to finish this game if you include all the side quests and miscellaneous ones.

Posted by ahoodedfigure
@ArbitraryWater: You win. I bought Temple.
 
@AhmadMetallic said:
I've always appreciated your crazy long blogs about RPGs and other games/things that I didn't know shit about or have never played, but this time around this blog is right up my alley, as I have become an RPG enthusiast in late 2010 and have played several ones since, including the one you're discussing, Skyrim. 
Congratz on the new PC! It's a whole different world when you own a capable PC. What are the specs?! 
 

I haven't yet reached the point where things repeat too much
my eyes bug out a bit when I see all the contextless minor quests that are spilling down the journal page, but I've never been one for completing quests if there's no explicit reason to do so (new features are fine, but monetary rewards leave me cold).  
My advice to this is that you keep mixing it up. I have 54 hours in Skyrim, and apart from the first 10 hours when I was addicted to clearing caves, I haven't felt repetition once in my playthrough, or let my quests pile up. 
I travel on foot and, for example, find some lighthouse with a dramatic story, take it's quest on and finish off whatever was started there, then keep travelling until I run into a dragon and kill it, then take a minor quest from some old woman at a random town and finish it for her, then go sell my loot, then read a book, then take on a main story quest, then do some Thieves Guild quests and make some cash, then go to the magic college and learn a bunch of magic skills, etc... 
 
Seriously, as long as you mix it up, it will all feel light, exciting and fresh. Do not dismiss the minor quests, there's nothing wrong with going fishing or looking for somebody's missing helmet every once in a while! Don't allow those quests to leave you cold, jump into the next activity right away. 
 
 I guess quest management could probably be improved just a bit, like an area-based to-do list that reminds you when you're in the right area to check off a few boxes,
It would be so boring if that were the case! I personally enjoy tracking my quests on my own, figuring out which quest giver lives where, it's much more immersive than having them listed to me based on location. 
 
 there's a strong reference to Arena, the very first Elder Scrolls game, that pleases me quite a bit.
Never played that.. What's the reference?! 

I don't tend to talk about specs because I hate the idea of some reading this and feeling pressure to upgrade if they happen to be behind. But someone once told me that my comp is a decent gaming PC for 2009, if that means anything.
 
So far I've not completed so many quests. I mainly just run around, delve, craft, explore. I have, though, started tying up loose ends on groups I care about, like the orcs and their strongholds. I like the way the orcs are depicted in this game for some reason, and maybe I feel a bit guilty about slaughtering them for treasure in Daggerfall :) , so I've been trying to get those guys' needs met.
 
As for magic, I have more than I can handle right now. Favorite spell? Familiar-that-is-on-fire-and-explodes.
 
As for quest tracking, I didn't realize you could click on the side quests the same way you do for your main. No complaints in that regard now, although I would still like reminders because it's a bit painful to realize you could have finished something up when you've already traveled far away. I guess the fast travel solves that in a different way, but too much fast travel makes you feel disconnected, so I'm sorta stuck with how it is. I'll live :) I'll just roleplay that I actually forgot to do something :)
 
Arena is fun as a dungeon crawler, although I think it has problems that make its combat a bit too boring... if it was the same game with Daggerfall's combat (as well as having Daggerfall's persistent buildings and world, and having quest factions) I would have been in dungeon heaven.  The reference in Skyrim is the Labyrinthian itself; it was one of the major dungeons in Arena.
Edited by ahoodedfigure
@JCTango: Well, so far I HAVE walked everywhere (except that one time), but if it takes me longer to complete this game, that means as long as I'm still having fun, I might actually be getting more out of it, just because I get that bonus of feeling like I'm strolling through nature or running into some random group of people that need help that I wouldn't get otherwise. I guess it does feed into my obsession of harvesting ingredients, though... if I sold all my potions I think I'd have a lot more room in my inventory. They knew what they were doing when they forbade fast travel if you're over-encumbered :)
Posted by JCTango

@ahoodedfigure said:

@JCTango: Well, so far I HAVE walked everywhere (except that one time), but if it takes me longer to complete this game, that means as long as I'm still having fun, I might actually be getting more out of it, just because I get that bonus of feeling like I'm strolling through nature or running into some random group of people that need help that I wouldn't get otherwise. I guess it does feed into my obsession of harvesting ingredients, though... if I sold all my potions I think I'd have a lot more room in my inventory. They knew what they were doing when they forbade fast travel if you're over-encumbered :)

Haha. Yeah it's actually pretty relaxing to me too... walking around the forests and such. It makes sense for my character also because she's a Native Indian stealthy hunter-archer =). I usually sell most of the potions I make and keep a few bottles of ultimate healing on me. The crafting potions I keep in a cupboard at home. The ingredients I keep in an apothecary pouch on the alchemist's table.

Posted by Xymox

@ahoodedfigure: Indeed. I guess some would argue that it's not "really" dead is dead if you don't get rid of your character after they die... But you know what's funny though? Ever since I died in my recent Oblivion try with this playstyle... I've kinda lost the interest to play that character, as if it's the most natural thing? Like... There's no sense of loss of what I've accomplished... No grudges against the game or "omg I so don't want to do that stuff again..." and I even refused to fast travel and such. Like, I'm already starting to think about making another character. The risk with THAT, ofcourse, is that you start planning / designing your character to SPECIFICALLY fit the dead is dead style of play, getting rid of weaknesses you know are really bad to have, and then it's more about gaming the system instead of playing the character you actually want to play.

Posted by ahoodedfigure
@JCTango: Good idea about the pouch thing...  not that I have a home yet.  Haven't gotten around to it.
 
I guess I'm not really roleplaying per se, but if you were to describe it as such, my gal tends to be very laid back when it comes to quests and everything. She only helps if it sounds interesting, though she'll get around to everything eventually :) So a little stroll through the woods to stumble across a ruin sounds a lot more fun than rushing around to try to please everyone.
 
@Xymox said:

@ahoodedfigure: Indeed. I guess some would argue that it's not "really" dead is dead if you don't get rid of your character after they die... But you know what's funny though? Ever since I died in my recent Oblivion try with this playstyle... I've kinda lost the interest to play that character, as if it's the most natural thing? Like... There's no sense of loss of what I've accomplished... No grudges against the game or "omg I so don't want to do that stuff again..." and I even refused to fast travel and such. Like, I'm already starting to think about making another character. The risk with THAT, ofcourse, is that you start planning / designing your character to SPECIFICALLY fit the dead is dead style of play, getting rid of weaknesses you know are really bad to have, and then it's more about gaming the system instead of playing the character you actually want to play.


Yeah, that's the big trade-off. If you play to survive, you tend to game it hard. I might try that when I'm more familiar with the game and am comfortable with grinding the hell out of my character in smithing and so on because I know the alternative may be instant death. Right now I'm glad I can load because I'm just sort of experimenting with the world. My character isn't a character so much as an extension of myself, which is to say I load myself up to capacity with books and lumber around complaining about lacking the ability to carry more!
Posted by Xymox

That's great :)

I often end up doing that for first characters: just to get through it, and kind of "answer dialogue as if it was me", but I've found myself not doing that so much these days. There's really not much to compare to those initial steps when you don't know the game world or what to expect... I recognize the names of the books in Skyrim to be the old books so I rarely read them. I've been saying, since Morrowind, "I'll get to reading them some day", but it's just never happened. Oh well, maybe I'll sit down and read them in TES VI ;)

Posted by ahoodedfigure
@ArbitraryWater: It's interesting that you noted the non-combat builds for NV. NV's sort of interested me just from what I've been able to pick up through other people's games. It seems more my speed in terms of a Fallout game, and I'm considering getting it in the future, but I'm actually pretty happy that you don't have to run around blasting everyone. I often feel like Skyrim is populated with philosophical zombies: they look like humans, they're indistinguishable from the nice farmers and corrupt city dwellers you've met, but all they want to do is mindlessly attack you. Even their pleas for mercy have no mechanical value in the game, as far as I can see. 
 
I can't wait for a game to feel LESS rigid in how it deals with encounters. Combat can be fun, especially if there's a lot to combat, but if it's pretty simplistic I'd love to have other options (and, conversely, I'd love to be able to pick fights with people who are horrible and get away with it once in a while, although there are some Thalmor with some mace-shaped dents that totally deserved it in my game and so far there seem to be no bad consequences for me, which is a bit weird).
Posted by ahoodedfigure
@Xymox: Heh. It wasn't until I'd played Morrowind for like... more than a year before I actually started reading the books. Right now I tell myself that once I get a house I'll set up a nice library and read things at my leisure between missions. But right now none of the towns seem terribly appealing to me, they all seem so messed up I'd never want to live there :) Markarth's pretty, sure, but even if you ignore the corruption and the Forsworn, there's all that falling damage! :)
Posted by TheUnsavedHero

@DillonWerner said:

Arrows the the knee..

I just find it funny that he looks like Brad. The tiny dude, not the Nordic Warrior.