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Tag Archives: The Elder Scrolls

Skyrim : Dawnguard Out Today

Before you get your hopes up (because that could realistically happen, right?), I will let you know that I actually don’t have much of anything to say today. More than a proper post, today is just kind of an announcement day. Dawnguard, the first expansion for Skyrim is out today for Xbox 360. It will be released at a later date, probably still this week, for PC and PS3.

The story of this expansion focuses around an ancient vampire clan and those hunting it. It includes new locations, equipment, and perks. There are two new perk trees; One for Vampire and one for Werewolf. You can become a vampire lord. Unfortunately, you can’t be both a werewolf and a vampire at the same time. Hopefully someone will fix that for PC with a mod very quickly so you can become the most badass thing ever: A rampaging werewolf that turns into a cloud of bats and flies away when threatened.

Soon I will have more to say about this expansion.

My Second Skyrim Character

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 Skyrim Character

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.

Skyrim Has Turned Me Back Into An Energy Drink Junkie

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.

More on Skyrim

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.

Skyrim Review

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

This Day Goes To 11

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.