The Love Affair Is Over

Posted by pickassoreborn (534 posts) -

The torrent of horizontal snowflakes appeared to subside with the discovery of a small settlement situated around a bay of ice-cold water. Before I have any chance to take in the view, a man in robes desperately runs towards me. Should I take out my sword? I stand my ground as he catches his breath. He explains the whole town I have just beheld has been put under a horrific curse involving the dreams of all the inhabitents becoming the most horrific nightmares. The only way to restore the town's sanity is to travel with him to an ominous tower high up on an overlooking mountain top. As I run upwards with him passing startled goats and as the winter wind rattles around my ears, little did I know that I was heading for the most deviously designed traps around.
 
This was waaay early into Skyrim. I was proud of myself discovering the advantages of a horse-drawn carriage giving me instant access to all the major settlements for a small amount of gold. In this case, I was taken to Dawnstar; the wizardy chap in question was Erandur, himself on a quest to destroy the Skull of Corruption - a Daedric staff capable of harvesting dreams of those who sleep. I was so early in the game, I hadn't even twigged about the possibility of performing acts of pure evil for Daedric favour and artifacts.
 
Now all this is well and good in hindsight. I wish I had struck down the dude when Lord Vaermina was whispering suggestive nothings into my earhole. Alas, I was a goody two-shoes in those early days of dizzying exploration. Nono, go ahead. Destroy the Skull of Corruption. Why do I care? Sounds pretty evil, right? I don't want to have the power to steal the dreams of the innocent on my conscious. As Erandur magicked away what was admittedly a pretty cool-looking staff, I thought that I had made the right decision. Major karma for this newbie adventurer - I saved an entire town from horrific dreams! With that, I pimped away from Erandur and started to explore the distant town below.
 
200 hours later, I am perusing a Skyrim achievement list on my phone. There's a sense of foreboding. A feeling that maybe I should have been too curious for my own good and researched those achievements before diving into the game with my fullest of commitment. You see, allowing that unknown wizard bloke to destroy the Skull of Corruption was not the right thing to do. Far from it. There's an achievement called "Oblivion Walker" which is given after obtaining 15 Daedric artifacts. I guess you can work out what has happened, right? Yep. That kick-ass staff was Daedric Artifact Number 15.
 
I can't get it back. There's no way to perhaps happen across an obscure questline which allows me to piece together the staff from several far-off locales in Skyrim. I already had 14 artifacts, 13 of which were obtained with no access to any strategy guides. A bunch of people in a beige meeting room somewhere in America though it was a good idea to make it impossible for some to truly S-Rank their copies of Skyrim through no fault of their own. As an almost-autistic completist, this reeks of the very putrid non-logic that some of Skyrim's designers have exercised. Skyrim was almost a religious experience - a daily delve into an almost-believable world only to be shook out of it by the cold logic of someone's spreadsheet.
 
I'm not entirely resentful of this one heinous act of stupidity on the developers' part. The game has provided me with a mind-bogglingly vast collection of experiences which I have appreciated and keep appreciating; nothing can prepare you for the moment a dragon in combat falls out of the sky and carves into the very earth you stand on, its head directed at your heavily-armoured legs; this was closely followed by a finishing move on said dragon which dragged out an "awesome!" from my jaw-dropped piehole. Climbing to the top of the world and looking around at the land below, dragons drifting across the landscape. These are all experiences rare and unique to Skyrim, and for this it should be celebrated.
 
Alas. Even though at times it is hard to believe, Skyrim is also a product of human beings. COMPLETELY FLAWED carbon-based units which - at times - miss something. Things break -  just look at my Miscellaenous quest log for proof. It is just a shame after all the adventures I have had, it all boils down to a petty, human punch to the guts.

#1 Posted by pickassoreborn (534 posts) -

The torrent of horizontal snowflakes appeared to subside with the discovery of a small settlement situated around a bay of ice-cold water. Before I have any chance to take in the view, a man in robes desperately runs towards me. Should I take out my sword? I stand my ground as he catches his breath. He explains the whole town I have just beheld has been put under a horrific curse involving the dreams of all the inhabitents becoming the most horrific nightmares. The only way to restore the town's sanity is to travel with him to an ominous tower high up on an overlooking mountain top. As I run upwards with him passing startled goats and as the winter wind rattles around my ears, little did I know that I was heading for the most deviously designed traps around.
 
This was waaay early into Skyrim. I was proud of myself discovering the advantages of a horse-drawn carriage giving me instant access to all the major settlements for a small amount of gold. In this case, I was taken to Dawnstar; the wizardy chap in question was Erandur, himself on a quest to destroy the Skull of Corruption - a Daedric staff capable of harvesting dreams of those who sleep. I was so early in the game, I hadn't even twigged about the possibility of performing acts of pure evil for Daedric favour and artifacts.
 
Now all this is well and good in hindsight. I wish I had struck down the dude when Lord Vaermina was whispering suggestive nothings into my earhole. Alas, I was a goody two-shoes in those early days of dizzying exploration. Nono, go ahead. Destroy the Skull of Corruption. Why do I care? Sounds pretty evil, right? I don't want to have the power to steal the dreams of the innocent on my conscious. As Erandur magicked away what was admittedly a pretty cool-looking staff, I thought that I had made the right decision. Major karma for this newbie adventurer - I saved an entire town from horrific dreams! With that, I pimped away from Erandur and started to explore the distant town below.
 
200 hours later, I am perusing a Skyrim achievement list on my phone. There's a sense of foreboding. A feeling that maybe I should have been too curious for my own good and researched those achievements before diving into the game with my fullest of commitment. You see, allowing that unknown wizard bloke to destroy the Skull of Corruption was not the right thing to do. Far from it. There's an achievement called "Oblivion Walker" which is given after obtaining 15 Daedric artifacts. I guess you can work out what has happened, right? Yep. That kick-ass staff was Daedric Artifact Number 15.
 
I can't get it back. There's no way to perhaps happen across an obscure questline which allows me to piece together the staff from several far-off locales in Skyrim. I already had 14 artifacts, 13 of which were obtained with no access to any strategy guides. A bunch of people in a beige meeting room somewhere in America though it was a good idea to make it impossible for some to truly S-Rank their copies of Skyrim through no fault of their own. As an almost-autistic completist, this reeks of the very putrid non-logic that some of Skyrim's designers have exercised. Skyrim was almost a religious experience - a daily delve into an almost-believable world only to be shook out of it by the cold logic of someone's spreadsheet.
 
I'm not entirely resentful of this one heinous act of stupidity on the developers' part. The game has provided me with a mind-bogglingly vast collection of experiences which I have appreciated and keep appreciating; nothing can prepare you for the moment a dragon in combat falls out of the sky and carves into the very earth you stand on, its head directed at your heavily-armoured legs; this was closely followed by a finishing move on said dragon which dragged out an "awesome!" from my jaw-dropped piehole. Climbing to the top of the world and looking around at the land below, dragons drifting across the landscape. These are all experiences rare and unique to Skyrim, and for this it should be celebrated.
 
Alas. Even though at times it is hard to believe, Skyrim is also a product of human beings. COMPLETELY FLAWED carbon-based units which - at times - miss something. Things break -  just look at my Miscellaenous quest log for proof. It is just a shame after all the adventures I have had, it all boils down to a petty, human punch to the guts.

#2 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3088 posts) -

I missed out on that achievement because I used the Oghma Infinium before I collected the rest of the artifacts. Such a bummer.

#3 Posted by MonetaryDread (2180 posts) -

So. You made a choice and that choice had a consequence. Where is the issue here?

#4 Posted by PassiveKaerenai (323 posts) -

Indeed: as flies to wanton boys are we to the Devs.

I had the same problem, but you know what? The set-up actually gives weight to the Daedric quest decisions - whether not to kill Erandur, or do evil stuff for Molag Bal, etc. Be good, and sacrifice power. Be evil, and sacrifice your conscience. By taking that dilemma into the meta-game - get achievements, or feel good about your character - it made the decision to kill Erandur actually difficult for me. Which I appreciated. If it was all easy, inconsequential achievement-grabbing, the RPG aspect would disappear.

#5 Posted by krazy_kyle (715 posts) -

One of the things that is great about RPGs is that you need to live with the consequences of your decisions. I don't think Skyrim was created with hardcore achievement hunters in mind so I think your frustration is misguided.

#6 Posted by punkxblaze (2990 posts) -

@PassiveKaerenai said:

Indeed: as flies to wanton boys are we to the Devs.

I had the same problem, but you know what? The set-up actually gives weight to the Daedric quest decisions - whether not to kill Erandur, or do evil stuff for Molag Bal, etc. Be good, and sacrifice power. Be evil, and sacrifice your conscience. By taking that dilemma into the meta-game - get achievements, or feel good about your character - it made the decision to kill Erandur actually difficult for me. Which I appreciated. If it was all easy, inconsequential achievement-grabbing, the RPG aspect would disappear.

I saved before I killed him, got the artifact, got the achievement, reloaded, and didn't kill him. Fuck the metagame.

#7 Posted by FreakAche (2955 posts) -

This is what achievements do to people!

#8 Edited by CJduke (800 posts) -

Thats why the PC version is the best. Any item you want at any time, if you so choose.

#9 Posted by ExplodeMode (852 posts) -

It probably would have been smarter to make it something more modest, like 5 artifacts.
 
I ignored what I or my character might do in a lot of those situations because I wanted to get them all for that achievement.  Sacrificing a friend or eating a guy.. killing some random dude for a vampire mace I don't even want.  You might say it's just a trophy, who cares?  And I would agree, but it's also just a quest in a game and I'm here right now so, might as well.
 
Looking back on it, I would have felt better about my game if I stuck with my gut.  At the time though, I needed to be saved from myself.
 
Really, you're better off having not looked at them before hand.

#10 Posted by PassiveKaerenai (323 posts) -

@punkxblaze said:

@PassiveKaerenai said:

Indeed: as flies to wanton boys are we to the Devs.

I had the same problem, but you know what? The set-up actually gives weight to the Daedric quest decisions - whether not to kill Erandur, or do evil stuff for Molag Bal, etc. Be good, and sacrifice power. Be evil, and sacrifice your conscience. By taking that dilemma into the meta-game - get achievements, or feel good about your character - it made the decision to kill Erandur actually difficult for me. Which I appreciated. If it was all easy, inconsequential achievement-grabbing, the RPG aspect would disappear.

I saved before I killed him, got the artifact, got the achievement, reloaded, and didn't kill him. Fuck the metagame.

Rule one: never over-estimate Skyrim. It's usually being less clever than you suspect.

#11 Posted by StrainedEyes (1334 posts) -

@pickassoreborn said:

A bunch of people in a beige meeting room somewhere in America though it was a good idea to make it impossible for some to truly S-Rank their copies of Skyrim through no fault of their own.

Uhh, you chose to not keep the staff... seems a lot like your own fault.

#12 Posted by Wacomole (836 posts) -

@pickassoreborn said:

...A feeling that maybe I should have been too curious for my own good and researched those achievements before diving into the game with my fullest of commitment. You see, allowing that unknown wizard bloke to destroy the Skull of Corruption was not the right thing to do. Far from it. There's an achievement called "Oblivion Walker" which is given after obtaining 15 Daedric artifacts. I guess you can work out what has happened, right? Yep. That kick-ass staff was Daedric artifact number 15.

Yep. I got to well over 500 relatively enjoyable hours with my single character with just that one same trophy to attain, only to find that I'd done the exact same thing as you, that I apparently should have been playing the game with an internet guide/walkt-hrough open all along, which is most definitely "not the way I roll" (as the kidz these days say)

You see, apparently they had allowed a "contingency plan" for you missing out on one artifact, where through some "gaming" of the system you could actually get 2 artifacts from one of the quests (the Hircine one). A fact that I also found out a good few hundred hours too late!

Luckily I had Mass Effect 2 and 3 waiting in the wings and (not to mix my metaphors too much) chomping at the bit to be played, so Skyrim went back on the shelf in anticipation of the day that I can bring myself to start a whole new multi-hundred-hour playthrough just to get that one poxy trophy.... could be some time!

#13 Posted by pickassoreborn (534 posts) -
@StrainedEyes: I disagree. There was no point during the decision where I thought I would kill the possibility of a full rack of achievements. I S-Ranked Oblivion and it was a satisfactory addition to completing the game too. It is a shame they couldn't telegraph this in the same way they did with Morrowind - killing main characters would prompt a message to let you know the game world was broken and only a reload could save it.
 
My argument is that people who worked on the game could have made the achievement 14 Artifacts instead of 15, or added a sub-quest to get the staff back.
#14 Posted by pickassoreborn (534 posts) -
@CJduke: I could "have done a Vinny" and opened up a console...
#15 Posted by Kyelb22 (294 posts) -

I luckily looked at the achievement list before getting that quest, so I knew to not destroy the staff. Although I don't see why you would've wanted to destroy it. The problem with Skyrim is there's almost zero consequences for your actions, so I don't even see the upside to destroying it.

#16 Posted by JordanK85 (140 posts) -

I'll never understand the point of view that achievements can affect a game negatively. I don't consider them to be a part of the game; I just see them as some bonus things to do if the game is actually enjoyable enough that I want to keep playing it after finishing it. Of course I'm also the kind of person who finds the whole concept of achievement points to be, well, pointless.

#17 Posted by StrainedEyes (1334 posts) -

@pickassoreborn said:

@StrainedEyes: I disagree. There was no point during the decision where I thought I would kill the possibility of a full rack of achievements. I S-Ranked Oblivion and it was a satisfactory addition to completing the game too. It is a shame they couldn't telegraph this in the same way they did with Morrowind - killing main characters would prompt a message to let you know the game world was broken and only a reload could save it. My argument is that people who worked on the game could have made the achievement 14 Artifacts instead of 15, or added a sub-quest to get the staff back.

During my first playthrough, I didn't realize the Hammer you can get from the Orc tribe mission was a Daedric item and I either sold it or just left it somewhere. Sucks to be me, but it was ultimately my decision.

#18 Posted by INV2 (263 posts) -

You know, you can get both the savior's ring and the savior's hide, you may still be able to get the Oblivion Walker achievement.

#19 Posted by Phatmac (5730 posts) -

I used to care about Achievements like you... then I took a Trophy to the knee!!!!!!!!! LOLLOLOLOLOOLOLAOSAOLSKDKJDJDJFFJ!!!1

Online
#20 Posted by ajdass1 (16 posts) -

I never even considered the idea that the lust for achievements could lead to you calling this a 'heinous act of stupidity.'

It's interesting that this, of all, things, should be what snaps you out of Skyrim's almost-believable world - the fact you couldn't get an achievement, something that doesn't even exist inside the game world. In fact I would argue that, by being forced to face the consequences of your actions, the fact that you can't reclaim the staff should contribute to your immersion, rather than disrupt it.

For me it was the fact that you, this random newcomer to Skyrim, could become the master of every significant organization in the game within a matter of days. It reeked of power fantasy. "Hey, you've been with us for about 3 days... guess you're the Archmage of the Mages' Guild now!" Just... wait, hold on? Sorry, what?

#21 Posted by mordukai (7185 posts) -

@FreakAche said:

This is what achievements do to people!

I agree. I am amazed how an achievement RUINED his entire experience. I say the OP needs to do some real evaluation as to why he's playing video games.

#22 Posted by pickassoreborn (534 posts) -
@ajdass1: There's a lot more which can snap me out of the game - the constant crashes, bugs and variety of broken quests. It's depressing to go onto the Skyrim Wiki and see so many entries with "this quest breaks if...". I would argue that it is even more of an immersion killer - if you own the PC version - to open up a console and type in something to fix what already should have been fixed.
#23 Posted by pickassoreborn (534 posts) -
@mordukai: It didn't ruin the experience, only contribute to my decision to not play it. It didn't ruin the 200+ hours I put into the game previously. The only time ruined was the five minutes of grim realisation.
#24 Posted by Maedhros925 (52 posts) -

If you loved Skyrim enough to sink 200+ hours into it, it shouldn't be a problem to start a new character. I missed just one artifact, the same one you missed. So after accomplishing damn near everything else with my overpowered male Nord warrior, I created a female Aldmer mage. I got to experience a whole new style of play, and since I knew what to do, getting the Oblivion Walker trophy was a breeze. If missing out on the Staff of Vaermina is your only complaint, then the solution is to play more of the game, not less.

#25 Posted by Relys (984 posts) -

Uhhh, if you have a USB stick you can fix that bro... ;)

#26 Posted by Slag (4891 posts) -

I get the feeling @pickassoreborn , Any OCD RPG completetionist has had similiar deflating experiences when missing a missable. For me the worst was when it happened to me in Final Fantasy X-2. I forgot to sleep in the cabin for one chapter and missed 100%. which I didn't discover to till about thirty hours later. :(

By then I couldn't make myself play the game anymore, it has been hard enough to swallow the story as it was by that point and there was no way I was going to do all that crazy grinding I had put into all the various costumes.

#27 Posted by Dimsey (967 posts) -

I made a similar error and also made that achievement lost to me.  
Though I'm going to rectify that and start another character just to get that achievement, which I don't really mind so much. 
I've only had the one character and would like to try a different build anyway. 

#28 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

Maybe stop playing for achievements and enjoy the game? Just a suggestion.

#29 Edited by benspyda (2051 posts) -

I accidently got 2 daedra artifacts out of the Hercine questline. I helped the werewolf and then when I didn't get anything for it I killed him and got the artifact off his body. Then hircine appears and gives me something else. So I got more than was needed for the achievement.

That sucks though I didn't know you could make an altruistic decision and then not get the staff. I played a power hungry maniac so I didn't even notice that choice.

#30 Posted by pickassoreborn (534 posts) -
@TheDudeOfGaming: Cheers, dude. I'll keep that in mind. Etc.
#31 Posted by Flawed_System (384 posts) -

I couldn't kill that damn dog. Damn him. Damn him. Damn him. I couldn't kill him on either of my characters. I kill the human NPCS, ah, no problem. But that dog...his annoying voice...his floppy tongue that never goes back in his mouth! I can't do it!

#32 Posted by General_Mapache (17 posts) -

This is perhaps one of the worst post's in a forum ever.

#33 Edited by Flawed_System (384 posts) -

"Infallible carbon-based units"

We can't make mistakes if we're infallible. Fallible means you're prone to mistakes. Unless that was sarcasm.

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