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    dkirschner's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC)

    [April 22, 2016 07:05:16 PM]
    Beat Skyrim! What an epic journey that was. After all my stop-go playing of this for A YEAR I finally decided to hunker down, finish the main quest, and see how everything ends. I can say that going to Sovngarde, especially after spending so much time with the Companions, was really rewarding. I can't imaging having gotten to the end without ever doing the Companions questline. That questline culminates in you saving their leader's soul, preventing him from living out eternity as a werewolf in the huntsman god Hircine's hunting grounds, and sending him to the Nord afterlife in Sovngarde where he wanted to go. When I actually met Kodlak at the end in Sovngarde, I had many emotions. I was especially happy for him because I'd helped him have the afterlife he wanted and deserved. It was cool too how (especially since I'm the new Harbinger after Kodlak), all the Nord heroes talk about awaiting me in Sovngarde when I die. I really do feel like a hero!

    Oddly, I didn't care too much about defeating Anduin, as that doesn't feel urgent or particularly impressive. Nor does it have much (if any) impact on the game world. After defeating him, you just get shouted back to Skyrim, listen to some dragons acknowledge Alduin's defeat, and...go back to doing quests or whatever else it is you were doing. I would have enjoyed the option to lose to Alduin and watch the world be torn asunder. Then game over and reload to win!

    So at my typical rate of Bethesda RPGs, I can expect to purchase Fallout 4 in 3-4 years and beat it after another year. Haha. It's pretty interesting looking at Steam stats. 27.7% of Skyrim owners have beaten it. My most rare achievement was picking 50 pockets and 50 locks (12.1% of players).

    Now back to the Witcher 3!
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    [April 11, 2016 11:16:01 PM]
    Iím pretty exhausted with this one. The game has become more about me gaining skill points than caring about much else. For example, Iíve gotten one-handed weapons and heavy armor and several other skills to 100. At 100, you can make a skill ďlegendary,Ē which resets it to some base number and refunds the skill points youíd put in that skill. This is nice because it lets you try out new builds and keep only skills that were really useful when you level up that skill again. It also ensures you can keep leveling up your character since characters level up by gaining skill points. At 100 skill points, youíre not contributing to character level, which feels wasteful.

    Anyway, I started using bows, two-handed weapons, and light armor to level up more, but now battles are just irritating since enemies scale with your level. They hit way harder on my crappy leather armor and take a long time to kill with my crappy non-one-handed weapons. I could just use one-handed weapons and heavy armor, but then Iím not leveling anything, and Iím just accumulating crap in my inventory. Not really a fan of the system once stuff starts maxing out I guess.

    Iíve sunk 111 hours into Skyrim (lots of it being for a research project on the Companions). I played a couple hours the other day and a few hours tonight, and I just canít get into it. Like, itís entertaining, but in a mundane sort of way, like playing some casual phone game. I thought Iíd play the Thievesí Guild quests, and that was alright, but itís really not too different from doing what Iíd been doing for 100 hours. All the faction-style side quests seem the same. You join as a nobody, go on a grand important quest, and wind up the leader. I thought Iíd do the Dark Brotherhood. I donít know too much about it, but I know they are assassins, so I think it would be justÖkilling people. Iíve killed like 5000 enemies. Do I really need to kill more to hear what is probably only a decent story? Then I thought Iíd just finish the main story, but Iíve only done half of it according to wikis! And I canít imagine it is interesting enough for me to spend however many more hours. Iíve used all the spells and specced my character every which way, and I canít find much new or exciting except the odd neat quest, but I have to go through so many dull ones to get there.

    There is SO much to do. I still have one whole hold to explore, and I got into Markarth tonight. Basically the bottom-left quadrant is pretty much unexplored. The thought of going into any more Dwemer ruins, mines, caves, forts, etc. is really daunting. I am also really tired of taking quests that are ďradiantĒ which means they are simple repeatable quests for little reward. You donít know itís a radiant quest (and therefore advances nothing) until you realize youíre getting offered it again or something. Those are such wastes of time.

    But you know what? Maybe I should just deal with it and knock out the main quest. With a 1-handed weapon. Donít worry about skill points and leveling. Donít pick up loot. Iíve only got 1000 potions in my house. Who cares. Just get through it. After 111 hours, donít I owe myself an epic victory?!

    Argh! Anyway. I really enjoyed most of my time with this, and am looking forward to a couple presentations and a paper on communities of practice to get something out of the research. I need a new game! Maybe Iíll pick the Witcher 3 back up, but should I take a break from open world RPGs for a little bit? We shall seeÖ

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    [December 19, 2015 04:25:39 PM]
    Been playing lots of Skyrim the past couple weeks, and I think I've almost exhausted it. I've put in 79 hours according to Steam, systematically exploring Skyrim and doing quests along the way. I've worked most of the way around the map and basically have the lower left quadrant left. I've done some of Markarth and the only other hold is Falkreath. Tons of cool little stories collected over these 79 hours, but I am getting tired of all the "side" stuff and want to just finish up the main quest lines and call it. There must be hundreds of locations on the map. If you are trying to walk from A to B, it is inevitable that you'll find like 2 caves, a barrow, a watchtower, and about 3 other interesting things along the way. Needless to say, for the explorer, it can take a long time to get places!

    I've still got the Companions, the Thieves Guild, the Dark Brotherhood, and then the main main stuff about the Dragonborn and the Stormcloaks. The Companions and the Thieves Guild I have to record for a project, which is why I've put them off. Anyway, I think I will do the Companions next, do my work in the game, and otherwise set it aside for a little bit and get through another couple games during the break, and pick Skyrim back up later.

    I've gotten most of the achievements, except for those related to quest lines that I've mentioned, and a couple randoms like "Escape from jail" and "Get a 10,000 septim bounty in every hold" and "Have 100,000 septims" (I'm relatively close on that one, which is crazy.) My character is an absolute badass by this point. She's a one-handed sword and shield master, heavy armor master, high restoration and destruction, and I'm currently leveling archery for fun when I'm fighting easier enemies. Alteration is also over 50, pickpocketing is over 50 for the second time. I made that one Legendary (oooh, ahhh) which just means I got it to 100, and then reset it so I could keep using pickpocket to level. I'm not doing that for one-handed swords, blocking, or heavy armor because I need those to survive!

    I will say that one of my favorite things is my constant stream of followers and companions who die in funny ways (falling off a cliff, splash damage from my fireball, stepped in the middle of a fight between a dragon, mammoth, and giant, etc.). One of my least favorite things is hands down the dragons. These were super cool at first, but now they are annoying. Dragons seem to spawn fairly randomly outside small towns and will begin terrorizing them, strafing fire breath and whatnot. When a dragon comes, you just have to deal with it or run away until it leaves you alone. They're not hard to kill, but they are tedious because you can't do much to damage them until they land. So you just mill about healing yourself and tossing the odd fireball at the dragon until it decides to land, then hack at it until dead or until it flies up again, and repeat.

    I will also say that I don't use many of the shouts. Every now and then I'll use the force one that stuns enemies. Then I realized that I don't use the other shouts and I started trying to use the other shouts. One slows down time and isn't that useful because you slow down too. Another makes your weapon attacks faster, but doesn't work on enchanted weapons (and why wouldn't you have an enchanted weapon?) so that is useless. I dunno, I thought the shouts would be cooler, but they're really not. Meh.

    Companions, here I come. Werewolf time!
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    [December 4, 2015 10:53:58 AM]
    My husband is dead. Killed by a giant. We were married one happy week and went on many adventures together, him shooting fire and lightning, me protecting him with a raised shield. His name was Marcurio. He ran a small store in Windhelm and gave me my share of the profits (100 gold) whenever I asked. He carried my things and never complained. He loved me and I...well, he was a really useful follower. I hired a Nord woman whom I will call Brienne of Tarth to replace him, although there are no romantic feelings. Life goes on.

    My horse is dead. Killed by the same giant. Or possibly a mammoth. I was busy looting my husband's corpse, reclaiming my valuables that I'd given him for safe keeping, so I didn't see. I'd owned Frost longer than my husband. Frost was a feisty horse, always attacking my enemies. He was protective, but his fearlessness got the best of him. While looting my husband's corpse, Frost's corpse skidded past me on the ground. I looked up, shocked, then looked left to see a giant and a mammoth charging toward me.

    Of course I killed the mammoth (so the giant could watch his pet die as I'd watched Frost) and the giant (for revenge...and a quest). I now have a personal vendetta against all giants and am cross at the man who gave me the quest to kill that giant. That husband-killing, horse-slaying jerk of a giant.

    What else notable has happened in Skyrim this week? Hmmm...

    *I can kill frost dragons now, presumably tougher than regular dragons.
    *I've found several new words of power for new shouts, although I haven't tried them out yet.
    *I've unlocked the ability to steal equipped weapons, although I haven't found anything neat yet.
    *I've learned how to mine ore. You have to have a pickaxe in your inventory and go to a mine. Presumably, it is the same with harvesting wood.
    *My restoration spells now recover stamina too, so I'm able to power attack more frequently.
    *My standing power attacks now have a chance to decapitate enemies!

    I am poised to enter Winterhold, where the mage's college is. If there is a mage's guild, I want to join it. I'm very excited to learn some new spells and join a guild. I've avoided doing most faction/guild quests because I have to record the Companions and Thieves' Guild stuff for a project. Looking forward to Winterhold and beyond.
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    [November 30, 2015 04:54:31 PM]
    On the eve of Fallout 4, I started Skyrim. That's just how I roll, 4 years behind.

    I will go on record as being mildly obsessed with the game at the moment. It is wonderful. There is so much to do. I haven't gotten bored. I want to see what is around every corner, in every chest, in every cave. I want to listen to every NPC and help them with their problems. I want to join all the guilds and play with all the skills.

    Here's where I stand so far: I'm an Imperial woman specializing in one-handed weapons, shields, heavy armor, and destruction magic. Although I just married a guy upon meeting him for the first time. He is a sorcerer's apprentice and casts destruction magic, and so I haven't used any in a while. I suppose with him around, I've turned myself into a meat shield: heavy armor, learned to block well, alteration spells to enhance my defense. I block, absorb damage, and hack at enemies, while my husband shoots them with lightning and fire. I am also quite adept at restoration magic. This all is a great combination, as I can solo well and engage in co-op with my AI husband well. Some enemies I like to stay away from and shoot firebolts at because they hit extremely hard (trolls so far are a good example), and other enemies, such as magic users or archers, are great to charge, stun, and kill with my sword. My character is extremely versatile!

    In addition to all that, I cannot help but steal things in Bethesda games. My highest skill is pickpocketing (78), and I have a 90% chance to steal most anything. This strikes me as odd because my sneak skill is low. Stealing from NPCs is a matter of just staying out of line of sight. There isn't any necessity to sneak or be in the dark. Perhaps Thieves' Guild and Dark Brotherhood quests will change that, but I haven't joined either.

    Today, I betrayed a man for a horse named Frost. Now I have a horse, and I learned that my horse goes to the nearest stables when I fast travel. I'm glad that I will not lose my horse. Yesterday, I learned how to not lose my husband. Followers and hired mercenaries return to where you found them if you get too far away, go to jail, and meet some other conditions under which they cannot follow. If you go find them again, you can hire them back without a fee. My husband better not charge me a fee or I will divorce him.

    I stopped playing today outside of a small town where I may have tracked a man who got me drunk and stole something that he owed me. I noticed hostile NPCs, so I believe I will have to clear out the town next time I play. This is also right next to another hold (big town; there are 9 in the game), so I will be exploring that as well. I think it is the hold where you can join the Stormcloaks, which is the rebel faction in Skyrim trying to overthrow the Empire. Even though I am an Imperial character, I will join the Stormcloaks, in part because I agree more with the rebels in the story, and in part because I think it is funny to be an Imperial Stormcloak. Many Stormcloaks throughout Skyrim are wary of me because of my race. I like this about the Elder Scrolls games.

    This has been a nice stream of consciousness. Some things I will say I dislike about the game include the menus. It's very console/controller friendly, and unfortunately this isn't great for a mouse and keyboard. Only in the menus though--the rest is good. This has consequences for the map and quest tracking as well. Quest tracking sort of sucks. First of all, you have so many quests, that tracking them all is an exercise in madness. I thought that the Clairvoyance spell would help. It sends a trail of light toward your desired quest, but it doesn't work half the time. If you have many quests, of course it doesn't know what to point toward. But even if you untrack all but the one you want, Clairvoyance will still lead you astray. The only thing I've found is to untrack them, then actually restart the game. Then Clairvoyance leads toward the correct quest. Several times today, I've follow the map markers to quest objectives (find an NPC for example) and there is just no one there. Normally, the marker moves with the NPC, or you can see the quest marker on the main game screen if you are nearby. It is a little annoying and is leading to me just ignoring things for now. Finally, the fact that you cannot be left-handed sucks. I am really bummed out over this. I want so much to hold a sword in my left hand and shield in my right so that it would be like me, but I can't. Your shield MUST be in your left hand. I looked for mods but there are none. Apparently it is a gargantuan task to implement this feature. Maybe in their next game. Does Fallout 4 have this?

    Anyway. Skyrim is treating me well. I get lost in it. I can't wait to just utterly sink a day into it. I'm level 26 and am sort of working my way around the map. I estimate I've covered roughly 30% of the surface area, and of course there are things in that area I haven't found. So much cool stuff, aaah!
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    Status

    dkirschner's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Wednesday 21 October, 2015

    GameLog closed on: Friday 22 April, 2016

    Opinion
    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    So. Excited. Finally starting! ------------ Epic, cool ending especially after being immersed in the Companions.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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    1 : The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC) by Mraza1101 (rating: 5)

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