Sunday, December 25, 2011

Goin' easy in Skyrim

Having returned from Thailand, I've been continuing my travels in lovely Skyrim. The going was tough at first. so many people looking for a hero to get things done for them that it's easy to get overwhelmed. Find this, fetch this, bring this, kill this... the demands are endless and your quest journal fills up with a laundry list of things to do. and while you're trudging the main map, there's more locations to be found, more wild things to defend against, more dungeons to go spelunking in 'cos the opportunity to venture is too good to pass up and just because they're there.

First, the landscape in Skyrim is just beautiful. No sunny, tropical locales with swaying palm trees and hula girls, but hard, cold Northlands, sweeping vistas and open plains. Day transitions into night seamlessly as does the weather which changes at random, though logically according to the terrain. There is no load time between regions so it's rewarding to hoof it between locations just to see the variety of countryside. But because the map is so huge, we're also grateful for the fast travel ability between known points on the map.

Things have become a lot easier since I could afford a travelling companion and a horse. Two swords are better at taking out the nasties and the crazy horse lends a couple of fighting hooves too when we're attacked outdoors (poor Frost, how did you end up dead? I only left you for a moment). Recently I picked up a dog who is both a boon and a bane. In battle, the dog is an excellent tank: he draws nearly all enemy attention 'cos he can only melee attack, he's tough, heals fast, and while they're all wailing on him, I and my partner can pick them off one-by-one with arrows, flame, ice or lightning as the situation merits. Oh, and he's a bane because he tends to walk so close to you that he often pushes you away from what you are examining, or he traps you in a corner, and if you're not careful he might accidentally push you over a cliff out of affection. Stupid dog.

Life in Skyrim is manageable once you figure out that selecting quests in the journal often puts a marker on the map or person you need to go to for this or that. There are so many ways to make money too, so whether you want to just sell loot; or craft potions; or smith/enchant arms, armour or jewellery you'll soon have more moolah than you know what to do with. In between quests, there's also flower picking and food gathering along the way for your inner chef to express himself. Get in good with the local Jarl in the eight cities and you'll soon be spending money on some local real estate, and furnish it to look more respectable than the yokels. Also great for storing your hoard of souvenirs collected from your travels.

The game adjusts itself to your preferences. The more you use a skill, the faster it levels up. That makes choosing perks a lot easier since each perk augments the skills you like to use most. There are lots of skill options, so try everything first. Eventually, your gameplay style will become evident and you can tune up your character accordingly.

With so many side quests, it's easy to forget why we're in Skyrim in the first place: Dragons. 'nuff said. XD


Elim said...

I love dragons! hahahhaa and...did you get pushed off your cliff by your dog? haha!

Min Seah said...

Stupid dog. Not yet, I've been careful, but it could happen. I did fall off a cliff riding my horse, though. Equestrian off-roading is harder to control than it looks >:(