Tag Archives: Elder Scrolls

Protect your Knee

Every year in December and January, I come out of hibernation long enough to get inspired to work on the web page. Usually, that only lasts until February when I start back to school and everything falls into a state of disrepair for a few months. I am not the type to do resolutions, but this year I hope to power though those months of inactivity and instead make the page what I always hoped it would be.

As part of that plan, I’m going to start playing Skyrim and Fallout 3 again. That, too, is tradition. However, this year definitely feels different. I have, so far, avoided the post holiday “blues”. In the past, that is one of the things that has kept me from contributing to the page on a regular basis. If I can just keep that momentum going, things will be good around here.

My father believed firmly in the power of positive thinking. He also lived by the credo, “It’s a good day to die.” Time to start living up to his standards.

I started my trip back into Bethesda fantasy RPG this time with Skyrim. At first, my XBox 360 door did not cooperate and I was afraid that this plan might be dead in the water. However, through persistence (and a little bit of muscle, a steak knife, and a lot of swearing), I got the game up and running. What better way to start this adventure that with a quest!

Once I loaded the game and continued from my last save state, I texted Kevin to laugh that starting back with these games after months off was always an experience (pun not intended). He replied that it always took him about a half an hour to get acquainted again with the story, his character, items, etc. That’s about how long it took me.

Pardon the language, but this is exactly how I felt.

It didn’t help that apparently I saved the game in the sewers and the color scheme was nearly monochromatic. That alone made me almost quit the game and restart. On top of that, the reason I was in the sewer was that I was on the Thieves Guild quests. I had to collect three debts from people. It took me at least 3 failed tries of killing the first person and being put in jail before I considered restarting again.

I didn’t restart. I got smart. In all honesty, I stumbled on quest completion by accident. Instead of pulling out my mace and bludgeoning her to death and then having to beat the rest of the town to death, too, before either dying or ending up in jail, I simply punched her until she submitted. Not necessarily good, but at least it finally advanced the story.

All’s fair in love and Skyrim.

What are the chances that I continue playing to beat that story? That’s been my goal for the six years that I’ve owned the game. I can honestly say that after this latest play session, I don’t know. That’s unusual for me. I’m usually a big fan of the D&D style fantasy.

We slept in the living room last night as a family and we plan on it again tonight, so I played some Hearthstone and Minecraft on the computer. Therefore, I didn’t get a chance to play last night to see if I could find that hook. That’s the main problem. I’m just not that interested in the main story. When I played the other day, I completed the quest to be inducted into the Thieves Guild and I was so excited that I completely zoned out on the conversation that led into the follow up quest.

That’s not an isolated incident. When I first got the game, I played it for 50 hours over two weeks. I was unemployed and had a young child who napped daily back then. How did I play 50 hours and only make it to the Thieves Guild quests? A majority of that time was not spent questing. Mainly, I roamed the countryside looking for butterfly wings and flowers to increase my alchemy skill.

Skyrim can save its damn self.

I took stock of what my life had become and didn’t like it one bit. So, I put the game to the side for the first time. As I wrote, I’ve since given it a few more chances. Here I am giving it one more. One last?

What keeps me coming back? Obviously, I don’t have to like the game. Sure, it is almost universally considered to be one of the best games, both in the series and overall. It’s not like I’m ever shy about going against conventional wisdom. It’s clearly not a “keeping up with the Joneses”.

I think that it just goes back to what I wrote earlier. I’m usually a fan of any type of fantasy setting and I’m a fan of RPGs. I suppose that I just have to face facts and realize that if I’m going to beat this game, I may just have to power through the story that I don’t like very much. It’s either that or hope that some aspect (besides chasing butterflies) of the story finally hooks and speaks to me. As it stands right now, I’d much rather play the apocalyptic future version of the game in Fallout 3. Maybe I will just do that and try again with this game once I’ve finished Fallout.

After all, it’s looking more and more like Fallout might be a instruction manual for the near future.