Blog #051 - Two Weeks, 140 Hours in Skyrim

I'm just going to say it. One hundred and forty hours is a long time. A really, really large amount of time. I am not proud of how much I have played this game. As a friend of mine pointed out, that is 10 hours a day for fourteen days (2 weeks). I lost my job over a month ago and apart from looking for work, I haven't had anything to do.

Kids, listen up. Not having a job sounds great, because you can sit around and play games. It's not. You need money, but more importantly you need a sense of place in the world. Something that gives you meaning, and justifies why the world bothers to support your life. Sitting around and playing games isn't a fulfilling life.

Anyway, let's get to Skyrim. This is how I felt when it was announced. I made fancy headers based on the main line quest log glyphs, because I think they look great. This was formatted for blog view, not thread viewing but ehhhh.... what are you going to do?

Dovahkiin, Dragonborn. Such an iconic image.
I miss Cyrodil already...

I played The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion a hell of a lot. Over 500 hours of gameplay across 6 years and two platforms. It was the first time I felt fully immersed in a game world, where it was believable to a point where you could just live in the world. You could get a house, walk around town. Shop. Make friends. Eat. Train skills in a realistic way (level by doing). In the last year or so that I've been playing it I have had to mod it extensively, as a lot of the graphical quirks of the engine do not hold up, like most products early in a console generation.

Morrowind didn't do anything for me, purely because up to that point I was a console gamer and even though it was available on xbox it contained a lot of bad elements from porting and not what I would call user friendly. Maybe if Morrowind had made more of an impression on me I would have given it more of a chance and wouldn't have been so blown away by Oblivion, but I consider it a formative experience from my teenage years and don't think I have lost anything in the process of skipping the first fully polygonal Elder Scrolls title.

The game opens with you deep in Skyrim. Literally. You're being carted to your own execution already in Skyrim with your past being explained only briefly in passing (you were trying to cross the border for some unknown reason... allegedly). Events that you didn't know about are already well under way and the game doesn't go out of its way to patronise you because the characters in the world talk as if events such as the civil war are common knowledge.

As the player, there is something satisfying and immersive about slowly piecing together a timeline and a history of the world around you through books and dialogue and not having the game open with "Hey, let me break down exactly what is going on". It is part of what I feel is a way of introducing the player to the idea of talking to every character you meet and exhausting all of the conversation options. Information becomes a commodity to be gained through interaction. It is essential to understand the world, but also progress through items and quests. As a long time Oblivion player there is no way I'm not going to talk to every single character anyway, but it is an interesting example of immersive game design.

I name my RPG characters after Phoenix Wright characters

In Oblivion I felt the only real race and class people should play as was high elf. As the most gifted magical race, they have an advantage in magic and if you are a mage you can do anything. Any deficient aspect of your character can be supplemented by creating a spell or brewing a potion whereas a warrior is a warrior. This leads to some very interesting experiments involving stacking of spells and potions that allow you to run faster than the game can load, and jump above the game world in a single leap.

This doesn't hold true in Skyrim. Character race and class don't really matter as the bonuses are negligible, there is no spell crafting and potion effects are very limited (plus they don't stack). That said, I still picked high elf because that is what I enjoy. So, of course the first thing I try to do is break and exploit the game as much as possible. Leaving the starter dungeon at level 20 because of sneaking around and attacking my companion at the start, putting arrows in his head, slashing away at my friendly tutorial guide who has given me no reason to assault him over and over again.

Despite the levelling and class systems being radically different from previous Elder Scrolls titles I haven't felt constrained in any particular way. I play how I want and at my own pace. At level 58 I have spent most of the game as a mage, and progressed through 140 hours levelling just a few skill trees. The lack of spell crafting really limits my options as far as my options go but again, in Oblivion all I would use that for was to exploit and break the game. Just because I could. I wanted to see it break down.

All it took in Oblivion was getting Azura's star, summoning the top level daedra, capturing its soul, summon bound daedric armour, damage, drop and repair it to get completely weightless armour, enchanting each armour piece with 20% chameleon and that's it. You have broken the game. You are now permanently invisible, nothing will attack you. I don't think this is the reason spell crafting was taken out, but it helps streamline the game and forces you to play a more rigid path where the pace of progress is consistent at the higher levels as well as at the start.

As suggested by trying to break the game, I play fairly stupidly. That's not to say I'm bad at it, or make poor gameplay decisions. I mentioned this earlier, but I love the feeling that my character is living in the world. That makes my style of play in to a routine, much like real life. Clearing out dungeons and exploring is my job, and at the end of the day when I have finished I come home, say hello to my wife, unload all my shit and go to bed.

I have a horrible compulsion where I have to keep one of everything, and so I store everything in my house after each dungeon cleared then sell the duplicates. This adds so much unnecessary inventory management that I can't really fault the game for. It isn't supposed to accommodate my play style. This results in a very methodical and predictable pacing to the game where I have a regular cash flow and regular inventory of new items coming and going, and also the rate at which I can complete quests.

I can't think of any other way to play the game, because if I've learnt anything about Bethesda RPGs it's that at some point I will need an item. This way, I will probably already have it back home and just need to fast travel instead of hunting it down. You know what though? It's boring. Anyone else (yes, even you, reader) would go insane playing this way but I just can't help myself. I feel like it's a testiment to how good this game is that I am willing to put up with my own stupidity.

Despite all this self sabotage, the game offers an incredibly rewarding and immersive experience. The vistas in the game are beautiful, characters and objects are well modelled. There is some beautiful lighting and weather effects, which is appropriate considering the amount of snow and sunrises over mountains you'll be seeing. Textures definitely fall short when examined up close, but as always thee games are about scope, the bigger picture. You should be looking out over miles of tundra and thinking "that mountain in the mist over there... I could go there if I wanted to" not "compression artefacts are preventing me from enjoying this game".

There have been countless jaw dropping moments either because of funny encounters/bugs or impressive quests and enjoyable writing. About 40 hours in I had my first giant on dragon fight, and to see these two juggernaughts go head to head is something I just cant get in other games. Everything is so scripted in most franchises, but Bethesda made their name on open world with very loose scripting. I would happily watch a giant club a dragon to death again anytime.

Amazing landscapes

It sounds like I am giving Skyrim a free pass, but I'm not. The game also falls short in some minor ways that I didn't expect. I don't care what they say, this is still the gamebryo engine. Either that or the programmers recreated all it's quirks and bugs perfectly. It has to be modified, there is no way it was created from scratch. I have experience much less bugs however, compared to Oblivion. That game (without the unofficial and official patches) is so broken and unenjoyable whereas the worst I have experienced is not being able to progress through a quest stage or an item stuck in my inventory.

After 140 hours I am still discovering new places (I haven't even been to 2 of the major towns yet), facing new enemies and even hearing new voice actors. It's strange that this amount of content can be packed in to a game in 2011, where everyone complains about DLC and games being too short. The internet would have you believe that publishers are constraining game development so that experiences are shorter so that you will buy DLC and maybe that is true. I can't say that is never the case, but Zenimax just let Bethesda make the game they wanted to make and it is enjoyable, massive and in many ways the best game they have ever made.

I didn't think it would be possible to surpass my experience with Oblivion. Like I said in the opening, I spent so much time with that game and as a result I started to think that it was one of those experiences that will always be the best because it was the perfect game for that time in my life. Skyrim has made me feel fully confident that I was worrying over nothing, and that I can still form a connection and have intense experiences with games even in a difficult time of my life.

I am Jeff Gerstmann, and this is my Burnout Paradise. Oh yeah, one last thing...

Dragons are pretty badass, I don't know if you've heard...

I have to mention dragons. I'm sure everybody is sick of hearing it, but they are an important part of the story and world. Who cares though? All I care about is how good they look and animate. Their scripting is dodgy at times because they have certain attack patterns and now that I have broken the game by having unlimited magicka, the scripting bugs out when you have a dead flying dragon that spontaneously explodes when it feels like landing.

The best moment in the entire game for me was the first time I shot a dragon out of the air with a dual liughtning spell. It spun around, crashed to the earth with such momentum that it slid for 50ft and left a huge groove in the ground. Was this a completely scripted event and I was supposed to shoot it down? I didn't care. IT. WAS. FUCKING. AWESOME.

FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!

A friend who has been keeping away from this game for the same reason why I had to have it came over, and after pointing out the ridiculous and humiliating 140 hours listed on steam was blown away by how the dragons moved and looked. It is easy to become jaded about this kind of thing, but it is a spectacle when a dragon circles overhead, lands on a roof and tries to burn you. How can they top Dragons in The Elder Scrolls VI? Especially when they also have giants here offering two exciting enemies that provide so much entertainment when you catch them fighting.

Thanks for reading. I know this is long, but I needed to write something about my experience.

33 Comments
34 Comments
Edited by AlisterCat

I'm just going to say it. One hundred and forty hours is a long time. A really, really large amount of time. I am not proud of how much I have played this game. As a friend of mine pointed out, that is 10 hours a day for fourteen days (2 weeks). I lost my job over a month ago and apart from looking for work, I haven't had anything to do.

Kids, listen up. Not having a job sounds great, because you can sit around and play games. It's not. You need money, but more importantly you need a sense of place in the world. Something that gives you meaning, and justifies why the world bothers to support your life. Sitting around and playing games isn't a fulfilling life.

Anyway, let's get to Skyrim. This is how I felt when it was announced. I made fancy headers based on the main line quest log glyphs, because I think they look great. This was formatted for blog view, not thread viewing but ehhhh.... what are you going to do?

Dovahkiin, Dragonborn. Such an iconic image.
I miss Cyrodil already...

I played The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion a hell of a lot. Over 500 hours of gameplay across 6 years and two platforms. It was the first time I felt fully immersed in a game world, where it was believable to a point where you could just live in the world. You could get a house, walk around town. Shop. Make friends. Eat. Train skills in a realistic way (level by doing). In the last year or so that I've been playing it I have had to mod it extensively, as a lot of the graphical quirks of the engine do not hold up, like most products early in a console generation.

Morrowind didn't do anything for me, purely because up to that point I was a console gamer and even though it was available on xbox it contained a lot of bad elements from porting and not what I would call user friendly. Maybe if Morrowind had made more of an impression on me I would have given it more of a chance and wouldn't have been so blown away by Oblivion, but I consider it a formative experience from my teenage years and don't think I have lost anything in the process of skipping the first fully polygonal Elder Scrolls title.

The game opens with you deep in Skyrim. Literally. You're being carted to your own execution already in Skyrim with your past being explained only briefly in passing (you were trying to cross the border for some unknown reason... allegedly). Events that you didn't know about are already well under way and the game doesn't go out of its way to patronise you because the characters in the world talk as if events such as the civil war are common knowledge.

As the player, there is something satisfying and immersive about slowly piecing together a timeline and a history of the world around you through books and dialogue and not having the game open with "Hey, let me break down exactly what is going on". It is part of what I feel is a way of introducing the player to the idea of talking to every character you meet and exhausting all of the conversation options. Information becomes a commodity to be gained through interaction. It is essential to understand the world, but also progress through items and quests. As a long time Oblivion player there is no way I'm not going to talk to every single character anyway, but it is an interesting example of immersive game design.

I name my RPG characters after Phoenix Wright characters

In Oblivion I felt the only real race and class people should play as was high elf. As the most gifted magical race, they have an advantage in magic and if you are a mage you can do anything. Any deficient aspect of your character can be supplemented by creating a spell or brewing a potion whereas a warrior is a warrior. This leads to some very interesting experiments involving stacking of spells and potions that allow you to run faster than the game can load, and jump above the game world in a single leap.

This doesn't hold true in Skyrim. Character race and class don't really matter as the bonuses are negligible, there is no spell crafting and potion effects are very limited (plus they don't stack). That said, I still picked high elf because that is what I enjoy. So, of course the first thing I try to do is break and exploit the game as much as possible. Leaving the starter dungeon at level 20 because of sneaking around and attacking my companion at the start, putting arrows in his head, slashing away at my friendly tutorial guide who has given me no reason to assault him over and over again.

Despite the levelling and class systems being radically different from previous Elder Scrolls titles I haven't felt constrained in any particular way. I play how I want and at my own pace. At level 58 I have spent most of the game as a mage, and progressed through 140 hours levelling just a few skill trees. The lack of spell crafting really limits my options as far as my options go but again, in Oblivion all I would use that for was to exploit and break the game. Just because I could. I wanted to see it break down.

All it took in Oblivion was getting Azura's star, summoning the top level daedra, capturing its soul, summon bound daedric armour, damage, drop and repair it to get completely weightless armour, enchanting each armour piece with 20% chameleon and that's it. You have broken the game. You are now permanently invisible, nothing will attack you. I don't think this is the reason spell crafting was taken out, but it helps streamline the game and forces you to play a more rigid path where the pace of progress is consistent at the higher levels as well as at the start.

As suggested by trying to break the game, I play fairly stupidly. That's not to say I'm bad at it, or make poor gameplay decisions. I mentioned this earlier, but I love the feeling that my character is living in the world. That makes my style of play in to a routine, much like real life. Clearing out dungeons and exploring is my job, and at the end of the day when I have finished I come home, say hello to my wife, unload all my shit and go to bed.

I have a horrible compulsion where I have to keep one of everything, and so I store everything in my house after each dungeon cleared then sell the duplicates. This adds so much unnecessary inventory management that I can't really fault the game for. It isn't supposed to accommodate my play style. This results in a very methodical and predictable pacing to the game where I have a regular cash flow and regular inventory of new items coming and going, and also the rate at which I can complete quests.

I can't think of any other way to play the game, because if I've learnt anything about Bethesda RPGs it's that at some point I will need an item. This way, I will probably already have it back home and just need to fast travel instead of hunting it down. You know what though? It's boring. Anyone else (yes, even you, reader) would go insane playing this way but I just can't help myself. I feel like it's a testiment to how good this game is that I am willing to put up with my own stupidity.

Despite all this self sabotage, the game offers an incredibly rewarding and immersive experience. The vistas in the game are beautiful, characters and objects are well modelled. There is some beautiful lighting and weather effects, which is appropriate considering the amount of snow and sunrises over mountains you'll be seeing. Textures definitely fall short when examined up close, but as always thee games are about scope, the bigger picture. You should be looking out over miles of tundra and thinking "that mountain in the mist over there... I could go there if I wanted to" not "compression artefacts are preventing me from enjoying this game".

There have been countless jaw dropping moments either because of funny encounters/bugs or impressive quests and enjoyable writing. About 40 hours in I had my first giant on dragon fight, and to see these two juggernaughts go head to head is something I just cant get in other games. Everything is so scripted in most franchises, but Bethesda made their name on open world with very loose scripting. I would happily watch a giant club a dragon to death again anytime.

Amazing landscapes

It sounds like I am giving Skyrim a free pass, but I'm not. The game also falls short in some minor ways that I didn't expect. I don't care what they say, this is still the gamebryo engine. Either that or the programmers recreated all it's quirks and bugs perfectly. It has to be modified, there is no way it was created from scratch. I have experience much less bugs however, compared to Oblivion. That game (without the unofficial and official patches) is so broken and unenjoyable whereas the worst I have experienced is not being able to progress through a quest stage or an item stuck in my inventory.

After 140 hours I am still discovering new places (I haven't even been to 2 of the major towns yet), facing new enemies and even hearing new voice actors. It's strange that this amount of content can be packed in to a game in 2011, where everyone complains about DLC and games being too short. The internet would have you believe that publishers are constraining game development so that experiences are shorter so that you will buy DLC and maybe that is true. I can't say that is never the case, but Zenimax just let Bethesda make the game they wanted to make and it is enjoyable, massive and in many ways the best game they have ever made.

I didn't think it would be possible to surpass my experience with Oblivion. Like I said in the opening, I spent so much time with that game and as a result I started to think that it was one of those experiences that will always be the best because it was the perfect game for that time in my life. Skyrim has made me feel fully confident that I was worrying over nothing, and that I can still form a connection and have intense experiences with games even in a difficult time of my life.

I am Jeff Gerstmann, and this is my Burnout Paradise. Oh yeah, one last thing...

Dragons are pretty badass, I don't know if you've heard...

I have to mention dragons. I'm sure everybody is sick of hearing it, but they are an important part of the story and world. Who cares though? All I care about is how good they look and animate. Their scripting is dodgy at times because they have certain attack patterns and now that I have broken the game by having unlimited magicka, the scripting bugs out when you have a dead flying dragon that spontaneously explodes when it feels like landing.

The best moment in the entire game for me was the first time I shot a dragon out of the air with a dual liughtning spell. It spun around, crashed to the earth with such momentum that it slid for 50ft and left a huge groove in the ground. Was this a completely scripted event and I was supposed to shoot it down? I didn't care. IT. WAS. FUCKING. AWESOME.

FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!

A friend who has been keeping away from this game for the same reason why I had to have it came over, and after pointing out the ridiculous and humiliating 140 hours listed on steam was blown away by how the dragons moved and looked. It is easy to become jaded about this kind of thing, but it is a spectacle when a dragon circles overhead, lands on a roof and tries to burn you. How can they top Dragons in The Elder Scrolls VI? Especially when they also have giants here offering two exciting enemies that provide so much entertainment when you catch them fighting.

Thanks for reading. I know this is long, but I needed to write something about my experience.

Posted by AlisterCat

Added in all the headers I made and the screenshots I took. A waste of time, but at least I've got it off my chest.

Posted by tekmojo

Well at least 140 hours were spent on the right platform.

Posted by AlisterCat

@tekmojo said:

Well at least 140 hours were spent on the right platform.

I just realised, I never mentioned what platform I was playing on. Good deduction. The right platform is PC, despite the issues. Mods!

Posted by tekmojo

@AlisterCat said:

@tekmojo said:

Well at least 140 hours were spent on the right platform.

I just realised, I never mentioned what platform I was playing on. Good deduction. The right platform is PC, despite the issues. Mods!

Hell yea, we're all waiting patiently for the dev kit. Haven't played as much as you, but I feel like I've experienced a lot. Just reading and listening about this game from other peoples' stories is great though.

Posted by ssj4raditz

Shooting dragons out of the air is AMAZING! I did it once, it was something else when that sucker smashed into the ground!

Posted by Tearhead

Wow. Are you on vacation or something? Even if you are, that's an illegal amount of time spent playing that game.

Posted by AlisterCat

@tekmojo said:

Hell yea, we're all waiting patiently for the dev kit. Haven't played as much as you, but I feel like I've experienced a lot. Just reading and listening about this game from other peoples' stories is great though.

At this point I think I might just wait for the patch coming this week and finish the game. Then in about 6 months come back and make a new character and enjoy the mods.

@Tearhead said:

Wow. Are you on vacation or something? Even if you are, that's an illegal amount of time spent playing that game.

As I said in the opening paragraph, I recently lost my job. For this game it is appropriate, since there is enough content there to last more than the time I've spent.

Posted by Tearhead

@AlisterCat: OK, I actually read your blog now. Sorry to hear about your job. After 140 hours do you find the game ridiculously easy now? Or are you still facing challenging enemies?

Posted by AlisterCat

@Tearhead said:

@AlisterCat: OK, I actually read your blog now. Sorry to hear about your job. After 140 hours do you find the game ridiculously easy now? Or are you still facing challenging enemies?

it is much easier now. I don't die any more and dragons are trivial, but I am past the point where enemies stop scaling so they never get any more powerful and I am exploiting the game by having my destruction spells cost nothing to cast so I can spam the most powerful spells infinitely. Also, having maximum enchanting and smithing makes you virtually untouchable since if you combine the right enchantments and gear you can make yourself almost invincible.

However, I am playing on the normal difficulty. I could easily just turn it up, but I will save that for a second playthrough.

Posted by Ravenlight

@AlisterCat said:

Added in all the headers I made and the screenshots I took. A waste of time, but at least I've got it off my chest.

STFU! Those headers are awesome! The backlit dragon looming over the tower is pretty badass, too.

Posted by TheDudeOfGaming

This is what happens when you write long texts and put in a couple of images. I just look at the images, while skipping all the text. Fuck my attention span!

Posted by Mento

I used to do the exact same thing with irrationally hoarding one of every item at my home base. The previous Bethesda games will patiently wean you off that sort of thinking with horrific caching issues after a while though, which were deliberately included so people wouldn't develop real-life hoarding tendencies from playing their games. They think of everything at Bethesda.

I've put about 10-15 hours into Skyrim so far, taking sizeable breaks while renting everything else I wanted to play this year. There's a constant temptation to jump back in, but I'm waiting until the Jan/Feb slump to get hopelessly addicted to it.

Moderator Online
Posted by imsh_pl

This may seem like a stupid question but...
 
How can i check how many hours of Skyrim I've played? I can't seem to find it in the stats menu...

Posted by Captain_Insano

@imsh_pl: I check mine in my save files. When you go to save a game or load a save it will tell you how many hours in you are.

Posted by babblinmule
@Captain_Insano: Damn, I wish you hadn't said that now - I just checked my playtime in the save screen.... 82 hours.... fuck....
Posted by AlisterCat

@imsh_pl: Steam will track overall time, but for individual character time its written on your save file when you load or save.

@Mento: There isn't as much of a slump these days. Mass Effect is out around that time and I know I'll want to devote some good time to that.

Posted by Lotus

My first playthrough i chose an altmer, playing as a mage, expert dificulty. At lvl 20 or so i was having too much trouble with caster dudes, i deleted him and start over a breton chick. Dude! 25% resistant to magic, plus the perks in the alteration tree, plus the atronach or lord stone buff, dragon priests don't do shit to me, also dragonskin... still, random two-handed bandit can kill me in 2-3 hits, but, i like that, my fault for not having a frost rune in front of me.

The thing that i didnt like is the minor racial talk, i want the world be racist to me, even thalmor don't say nothing, tell me, "Your bastard race can't deal with magic" or something bro, i'm about to kill you.

Anyways great post.

Posted by AlisterCat

@Lotus: Thanks to enchantment I now have 40% resistance to all magic. When I work on my alchemy I should be able to boost that even more. Just work on your smithing and then make yourself some good armour. You'll be invincible.

Everyone is racist to the elves. In fact, I don't think anything but Nord is safe.

Posted by sirdesmond

Great blog post! Your experience has been quite similar to mine overall, although I'm only a paltry 46 hours in (but also unemployed at the moment). It's good to hear that the great content holds up and I can expect a lot more time out of Skyrim. I can't even think of any expansions they may be planning! Hopefully, they'll keep those away for 4-6 months and let us chew on all this current content.

Posted by Brackynews

@AlisterCat said:

Added in all the headers I made and the screenshots I took. A waste of time, but at least I've got it off my chest.

And here I am doling out props and respect for using full center block for everything. Very cohesive and yes, reserved, layout for the grand scope experience of a grand game.

May you be so employed to never be able to do this again. ;)

Posted by Hizang

Have you completed any quest lines.

Also great blog.

Posted by AlisterCat

@sirdesmond: I can't imagine anything will hit the PC before March. I'll be happy with whatever they cook up.

@Brackynews: The center placement looks a lot more tasteful in blog view, and horrible at high resolutions in thread view.

@Hizang: I don't think I have, actually. I started the thieves guild and dark brotherhood but apart from doing a lot of one off quests I haven't completed any quest lines. I am winding down on the misc quests since some of those are randomly generated, but there are a tonne of unique quests in that category alone.

Posted by BalrogsBain

what has been the biggest glitch in your game so far ?

Online
Posted by AlisterCat

@BalrogsBain said:

what has been the biggest glitch in your game so far ?

Not being able to turn in some minor quests. A bit annoying. Most things can be fixed with the console on PC. Least glitchy Bethesda game by far.

Posted by BalrogsBain

yeah had a few of them also that didnt finish had one quest just not work the code on the iron claw didnt open the door so i just turned round and hopefully it will work later, im playing on the 360 and noticed it lagging and im on 55 hours have you had any of that on the pc with your game

Online
Posted by AlisterCat

@BalrogsBain: The patch will be out in the next couple of days, so hopefully that fixes a lot of the scripting bugs. My game has lagged at various times but I use mods and have experimented with different settings and it runs at 60 frames per second. Consoles are fixed, so don't expect the framerate to ever improve. Open world games are demanding.

Also, check the claw again. I did that a few days ago and it opened for me just fine.

Posted by AlisterCat

An update on my Syrim experience. I am now on 173 hours. Visited Dawnstar, doing an awesome quest there.

I bought a second GTX460 to run in SLi with the one I have had for about a year. Problem is, I'm not seeing any real difference. I have the beta drivers for the SLI profile but nothing really changing. If anyone knows why that would be great.

Posted by dankempster

After you mentioned writing this in your comment on my Skyrim blog, I had to come over and read it. Man, this is an excellent blog. A perfect blend of information about the game itself, and the way you've chosen to play and the experiences that's brought for you. Reading this has made me even more stoked to get deep into the magic side of Skyrim, as well as the Smithing and Enchanting. I don't really have the same interest in 'breaking the game', but I would like to tailor-make some gear for my character. It would add yet another layer of individuality to my personal experience, I think. Not to mention the fact that I've established my character as a smith back in Cyrodiil, so it would be daft not to get stuck into that!

I definitely don't blame you for taking this approach instead of a journal-style one - the most frustrating thing about documenting a playthrough in that way is that it's seriously restricting my playing time, because I don't want to get too far ahead of myself. I haven't really had any awesome moments myself as yet, but the Golden Claw quest was a pretty awesome introduction to the game. Can't wait to get back to playing it this evening!

Posted by AlisterCat

@dankempster: Thanks for checking this out, it wasn't my intention though. If you need headers for your blog I can give you the PSD.

Posted by mikey87144

@dankempster: It doesn't really matter which race you pick if you're doing magic. The only thing you have to do when picking a magic style playthrough is go down the enchanting tree. I cannot stress how important that is to really getting the most out of magic. Also the other great thing about enchanting is that it allows you to pick another playstyle more seemlessly by simply creating armor or clothes that give you a great starting edge.

Posted by AlisterCat

@mikey87144: True, it doesn't matter compared to Oblivion. I did say in the blog that class and race don't matter in this game. The extra Magicka is nice but not essential, and to elude on what you are getting at, enchanting allows you to make your spells cost 0 magicka (meaning, ultimately, you never have to invest any of your points in magicka when you level up) and you can cast spells forever.

Posted by mikey87144

@AlisterCat: Yea but you can only make the 0 magicka thing down one discipline. The only real choice is destruction since the other spells are longer lasting.

Posted by AlisterCat

@mikey87144: You can do two if you have the double enchantment perk. Restoration might be another, but even that would be a stretch. I'd rather save that second enchantment for more health or stamina.