Monday, July 2, 2012

That old damp feeling

Fast travel to new area to move the Dawnguard main quest along.

Hey look, a cave that I haven't been into yet! I'll just take a peek inside and

(three hours pass)

...what the hell was I doing?

...

Skyrim is at its best when diverging from the task at hand. Being able to fast travel from one side of the continent to the other removes the distraction of discovery. All that is left is combat that I have long since broken with stealth and arrow sneak attacks. Dawngaurd is forcing me off into corners of the map that I did not explore very well. I am walking past content than may or mat not be new, so the old compulsion to spelunk every cave and kill every forsworn I encounter is back. Just in time, too, as realizing that I may never level up again was something I was having trouble getting past.

My character is just the way I like him and I don't deviate from his MO very often. He has no use for two handed weapons or heavy armor or any magic so all of those skills are of very low level. The ones he does use are capped out at 99. The result is a character who is very good at what he does (sneak up and shoot people with arrows) but has relatively few hit points and therefore is crushed in melee combat. The poor bastard is only level 43. I assume the level cap was raised, as I have seen people online above the old one of 50, but unless I start wearing heavy armor and slinging spells I am never going to get there.

The same thing happened in Oblivion: I was actually roll playing a character. It wasn't just about maximizing damage while minimizing risk, I attempted to look at things through the eyes of my avatar, deciding what needed to happen based on what he would do, not what I would do. This is why I refused the vampires invitation to join them: Leven did not necessarily like the companions, but they did take him in, and losing the ability to turn into a werewolf would be a betrayal.

As a player I would be much happier if playing as the werewolf was fun and worked (because it does not, at all) but sacrifices must be made.

At this point I have no idea if the Dawnguard expansion is any good or if I am pleased to be playing Skyrim again. As soon as I get around to playing the new content I will let you know.

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