The Adventures of Mr Sneaky: The Joys of Non-linear Game Design

Posted by benspyda (2030 posts) -

I've played a lot of Skyrim, which certainly isn't hard with such an engaging game. The first character I made was a warrior who wore light armor and used a sword and shield (and later switched to dual swords). He was your standard jack of all trades and with him I did all the main quest lines and guilds. It was fun but once I maxed out enchanting and smithing, all the challenge was lost from the game as my dude became a tank that did ridiculous amounts of damage. My second was a mage who focused on Conjuration/Destruction. This time I brought Lydia with me too and I had fun decking her out with cool weapons and armor so she could tank for me. The mage pretty much became a support class for my summons and companion. Then I made a Khajit unarmed fighter based on that forum post for laughs but that didn't last me long.

By this point I had to force myself to take a break from Skyrim (by getting obsessed with Dark Souls instead) and when I felt like returning to Skyrim I realized there was one more build left to make, Mr Sneaky. I never touched much of the stealth stuff in Oblivion so Bethesda's implementation of stealth was mostly new to me. After a few hours of playing this way it became clear that this was the most fun I had playing Skyrim so far. I focused purely on 'sneak' early on to get the 15x knife backstab skill (and then became a member of the Dark Brotherhood for the gloves that double it to 30x), so that my backstabs got the job done. The risk-reward nature of this play style became apparent when I ran into a sabercat head on and it destroyed me. I loved the risk, knowing that if I failed at being hidden I would be as good as dead. I then invested in illusion magic so that if I did get spotted I could calm so I could find a spot to re-hide. I also used my bow mainly to cause distractions.

I love how every time I re-rolled a character in the game, it became a very different experience and it is something I wish more games did. Rather than just replaying a game on a harder difficulty, I 'd prefer 'the way' you get through each scenario changed making it a new experience with the same content. This is one of the reasons I am looking forward to Bioshock Infinite because of its 1999 mode and Kingdom of Armular: Reckoning for its destiny system. Other games I can think of that have done this well were the Deus Ex games. With the raging success of Skyrim I hope it inspires future games to be more open and less guided.

#1 Posted by benspyda (2030 posts) -

I've played a lot of Skyrim, which certainly isn't hard with such an engaging game. The first character I made was a warrior who wore light armor and used a sword and shield (and later switched to dual swords). He was your standard jack of all trades and with him I did all the main quest lines and guilds. It was fun but once I maxed out enchanting and smithing, all the challenge was lost from the game as my dude became a tank that did ridiculous amounts of damage. My second was a mage who focused on Conjuration/Destruction. This time I brought Lydia with me too and I had fun decking her out with cool weapons and armor so she could tank for me. The mage pretty much became a support class for my summons and companion. Then I made a Khajit unarmed fighter based on that forum post for laughs but that didn't last me long.

By this point I had to force myself to take a break from Skyrim (by getting obsessed with Dark Souls instead) and when I felt like returning to Skyrim I realized there was one more build left to make, Mr Sneaky. I never touched much of the stealth stuff in Oblivion so Bethesda's implementation of stealth was mostly new to me. After a few hours of playing this way it became clear that this was the most fun I had playing Skyrim so far. I focused purely on 'sneak' early on to get the 15x knife backstab skill (and then became a member of the Dark Brotherhood for the gloves that double it to 30x), so that my backstabs got the job done. The risk-reward nature of this play style became apparent when I ran into a sabercat head on and it destroyed me. I loved the risk, knowing that if I failed at being hidden I would be as good as dead. I then invested in illusion magic so that if I did get spotted I could calm so I could find a spot to re-hide. I also used my bow mainly to cause distractions.

I love how every time I re-rolled a character in the game, it became a very different experience and it is something I wish more games did. Rather than just replaying a game on a harder difficulty, I 'd prefer 'the way' you get through each scenario changed making it a new experience with the same content. This is one of the reasons I am looking forward to Bioshock Infinite because of its 1999 mode and Kingdom of Armular: Reckoning for its destiny system. Other games I can think of that have done this well were the Deus Ex games. With the raging success of Skyrim I hope it inspires future games to be more open and less guided.

#2 Posted by DJJoeJoe (1317 posts) -

From playing past Bethesda games I knew I'd enjoy playing a stealth ranged character the most since it eliminates as much of the enemy AI and melee combat as possible, since they just die without having to unveil their 'great' tactics when I'm spotted etc. The downside is you don't get any interesting kill cam stuff with the bow/arrow, well other than seeing an arrow stick out of a dude :) Also I find that the bow is the best option for dragons, I can't imagine waiting for a dragon to land all the while being able to do nothing but get hit by it's fireballs, then to run at it's face and swing wildly etc. Downside of ranged against the dragons is that the dragon often will run away cause it saw a deer or something and I was already far away shooting arrows so I lose the dragon or have to chase it fora few minutes.

#3 Posted by Storms (341 posts) -
@DJJoeJoe: Reminds me of my wife. Played a mage for her first three characters, after having played as a mage 4 times in a row playing Dragon Age 2. Said she "couldn't imagine" playing anything else, waiting for dragons to land or hitting them with puny arrows instead of magic. Then, one day, I got to the PS3 before her when she was in the mood to play. Told her I would save & quit if she would play something other than a mage (I don't mind watching her play, but c'mon). 
 
I may be mistaken but I think she now likes her warrior and thief more than she ever liked her mage characters.  
 
Oh, and with warriors, you just shout at dragons until they land.

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