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Thoughts from TheNinjaD
Since I am returning from a long while away from this blog, I feel that I should reintroduce myself to any potential new readers, even if they just happen by while browsing. For any old readers, or people reading that actually know me, this will serve more as an update on my current interests.
My name is David. On the internet, I’m usually known as Ninja D! or TheNinjaD. Rarely, it’s Istirith or Black Jack Davey. I may still even have some accounts that I no longer use under the names The Lost One or Davidknght. I live in Mankato, Minnesota. I love this city and it is pretty much the hub of south central Minnesota in every way. I’m 24 years old and I work overnights at a truck stop.
Something that seems to be the biggest development in the eyes of many is that I have started drinking. Alcohol, that is. I have always been strongly opposed to the stuff in the past. I guess you could say I gave in to its temptation in a time of weakness. After a series of disappointments, let downs, and otherwise unfortunate happenings, it felt like my life sucked for a little while. That’s when I started. I’m better now, more or less. However, since I can’t really say I don’t drink at all now, I’m not as inclined to avoid it. I’ve actually come to like the taste of UV apple vodka. Rumple Minze isn’t bad, either, and much stronger. Go figure. What hasn’t changed is what I think of alcohol. It’s still stupid because it is, in fact, poison. You really shouldn’t drink it. It’s a bad idea. Also, if you’re drunk out in public, you’re still an asshole. Do it at home and don’t bother anyone. An exception to this is bars because people working there signed up to deal with that shit.
My interests are still primarily music, comic books, video games, and just a whole lot of generally pretty geeky (but no less awesome for that) stuff. I’ve been working a bit more seriously on music than I had been for quite a while and watching a lot more TV shows and movies. I’ve also recently come to like suits and think I just might be wearing them often from now on.
Music. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of local music from the past and present. Among these are Old Towne Ghosts, Professor Fresh, !ntell!gent Des!gn, Discount Brown (no longer together), Phedge (no longer together), Collabo (no longer together), and probably a number of others that I’m forgetting at the moment. I’ve also been listening to a lot of (hed)PE again. As for what I’ve been working on, that’s mostly still with the project called Behavior Modification Therapy and we’ve actually been making some progress.
Comics. I’m still reading most DC titles, along with the big ones from Top Cow, and a few others. I really need to cut back on what I’m ordering and I’ve been doing that gradually. I’ve also only been ordering comics every other week instead of weekly and I guess that’s probably saving me a bit in shipping costs. I am, of course, still ordering from Midtown Comics. The Green Lantern and Batman books are mostly my favorites but there is a lot of good stuff out there. Probably a bit too much for me to go into right now.
TV and Movies. I am sometimes a Netflix junkie. Lately, I’ve mostly been watching How I Met Your Mother. Before that, I watched all that I could of Louie and Archer. I’m still gradually working my way through Star Trek, little chunks at a time. This week I watched the movie Trollhunter, which was excellent and easy the best found footage movie I have ever seen. The last couple of movies that I saw in theaters were Prometheus and The Avengers, both of which were quite good.
Video Games. I canceled my subscription to SWTOR because I just don’t feel like I have the time to dedicate to it. I’m still bound to WoW for a number of moths yet because of the Annual Pass that I signed up for. If anyone would like to play that with me, I would be very interested. I feel bad that I’m paying for it and haven’t even logged in for so long. I’ve played some Diablo 3, Skyrim, and Mass Effect 3 but I’ve mostly been hooked on Minecraft again, both on PC and Xbox 360.
And there you have it. I think that’s more than enough of a summary for now. I hope you’ll read beyond this point where things may actually become more interesting.
For my second Skyrim character, I decided to go pure mage. I focused exclusively on Destruction at first, as far as spells were concerned. After a while I started using a lot of Alteration while dabbling in a little bit of everything else. All the while, I was using Enchanting and Alchemy as heavily as possible.
I used Smithing whenever I happened to have materials that I could make use of but it wasn’t anything I was really working at intentionally.
I had a lot of fun early on doing the mage thing but after a while, I just didn’t enjoy it as much. Things got difficult because I could get hurt or killed too easily, even while using Stoneskin with the perk that makes it more effective.
I think I’m going to be done with that character now, at least for the time being.
My first character in Skyrim was a Nord named Heimdal. He’s based off the first character I ever made in Morrowind. That character was, of course, named for the Norse god.
From the start I knew I wanted my main weapon to be an axe and I wanted to take advantage of the Skyrim ability to equip a different thing to each hand. To round out the feel, I favored the idea of heavy armor to put emphasis on the nordvikingdwarfiness and destruction so he could go all wrath of god on his foes.
Early on, I toyed with mixing things up a bit and tried out some two handed and some block. I even used some light armor because that’s what was more readily available and cheaper. It was obvious right away that fire in one hand and an axe in the other is pretty much unstoppable at low levels. I stuck with that tactic for a long time. I always carried a bow, just in case, and even dropped a perk or two into archery.
Pretty quickly I fell into the same thing I did with WoW — Spending most of my time crafting. Alchemy and Enchinting ate a couple of perks but smithing was my bigger focus. I got that to 100 before anything else and got all the perks for it. A lot of my perks went into heavy armor and a few into one handed. Destruction got a couple to make flames cheaper and more powerful. Speech also got a few perks so I could sell anything to anyone and do it at a better price. After leveling up, I found myself using flames less and less. My second hand more often used soul trap or healing or a light spell.
I’ve stopped playing this character for now. Eventually, I may go back to them and take up two weapon fighting.
Playing a lot of Skyrim and not sleeping a lot has gotten me back on energy drinks. I had pretty much kicked them as a habit. I’m sure this game has done the same to a lot of people. While playing it, time goes by very quickly.
I forgot to mention the menus yesterday. Bethesda was making a big deal about how the menus in Skyrim were supposed to be “optimized for consoles”. The truth is, the new menu system is nothing but a pain in my ass. The new skill screen looks really nice but is the worst to navigate.
Also, the sheer content in Skyrim is amazing. In my first 25 hours of play, I stayed almost entirely around just one of the holds. More than 30 in, I’ve explored a bit but I still have not been to another hold and I haven’t even done everything in Whiterun.
I agree that this is what Oblivion should have been. I understand that a lot of extra work goes into coding the first game on a new platform and that a bunch of stuff that was meant to be in Oblivion got scrapped but I see Skyrim as the final, damning evidence that Oblivion was half-assed.
So far, I don’t find the game to be generally visually impressive. It’s a big step up from Oblivion but I’ve seen things drawn with a mouse in MSPaint that could be called a big step up from Oblivion. The night sky is great but that was great even back in Morrowind. If you see things from the top of a mountain or some other great distance, they do look pretty nice. Gettup close, though, and most off it is barely better than Oblivion at times. And there are still those damn lines. Armors look pretty sweet, though. Keep in mind that I’m playing with the game installed on my 360 so I’m stuck with thee glitch that is causing some things to not show up right. I’ll be able to say more once that is patched.
As an RPG, I think Skyrim took another step backwards mechanically. I don’t like the removal of attributes and I really hate some of the consolidation of skills. That said, while I don’t like it becoming more action and less RPG, it plays well so I can’t get too upset about it. The perk system is nice. They seem a bit overpowered right away but balance out very quickly.
With fewer skills and all skills counting toward a level increase, you seem to level really quickly. Maybe that’s what they wanted. I’m averaged at about one level per one hour of play right now. It could be better, it could be worse. It seems to easy to level skills to me. I can go through a single dungeon and see my Heavy Armor, One-Handed (both of which could be explained by my current use of the Warrior standing stone), and Destruction level TWICE. I also had an experience where I disenchanted three items and leveled my Enchant skill twice. Still, Smithing felt like it was also leveling too fast before and now seems to be at a more reasonable pace. Maybe I’ve gotten used to it or maybe it levels out once you get it to a really high level. Hopefully that’s the case and they all do it. I just wished that happened sooner (My Smithing skill is currently over 60.)
Khajiit finally look more than vaguely like abstract representations of cats! Of course, as soon as they manage that they make it so there are hardly in Khajiit in the game. What the hell.
I now suspect that a CBGer may be secretly working for Bethesda. There is is cabbage EVERYWHERE in Skyrim.
Sure, the game isn’t perfect. Nothing IS perfect. So if I’m going to use a numerical rating system, I have to take that into consideration. The upper ceiling is not and will never be perfection. This game could have been improved in any number of ways and every game could use more content. For everything that isn’t perfect in this game, though, it still got me to spend about 25 hours with it in three days and enjoy pretty much every second of it.
5 / 5
Today is 11-11-11, if you weren’t aware. The Elder Scrolls 5 : Skyrim is out today.
I’ve really enjoyed the game so far and I’ve been a hardcore Elder Scrolls fan since 3. I’ll have a more in-depth review next week.
In other news, the Green Lantern animated series starts tonight.