A guide to finding happiness in your life and in your games.

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A blog about finding happiness in your life, and in your games.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Enjoyment Guide to Skyrim

Last time I left you with the thrilling moral decline of the Dragonborn. In it I chronicled the immoral slide I took while playing Skyrim. I hope you carve your own story out of the game too by remembering what you're doing when you play Skyrim.

Instead of telling you how I went from picking peoples pockets to chewing on their corpses, I'm going to outline ways for you to get the most out of Skyrim.

Maybe you've played Skyrim more than anyone else on the planet, maybe you've never really been into games like Skyrim. You may be two hours in or 200.  Doesn't matter. This enjoyment guide will hopefully help you get the best experience possible while playing Skyrim.

Choose Your Race Carefully 


When it came down to it for me, I made my choice of race mostly for aesthetic reasons. I chose an argonian because they look pretty awesome. Waterbreathing was a nice bonus.



Watch out though, I found playing as an argonian mildly immersion-breaking. First of all, argonians can breath under water, but your character still gasps for air after breaching the surface of the water.

That didn't make sense to me.

The other thing that I got over quickly but still found out of place was the Dragonborn's shouts. The voice for the shouts is the same no matter which race you choose, making it sound slightly out of place coming from an argonian or Khajiit.


Pick a race you'll like being! Though you spend most of the game in the first person, appearance is a fun way to express yourself in Skyrim. You don't want to hate how you look!

Learn to Enjoy the Slow Pace


It's inevitable.

You're going to spend a lot of your time in Skyrim walking from one place to another not doing much of anything. You have a lot of down time in Skyrim and it can feel like the game's pace has sludged to a crawl.

There's not much you can do to avoid this except fast travel whenever you feel like it, but a better solution is to just accept it.

Learn to enjoy wandering Skyrim's lands. Enjoy the scenery. Enjoy the sky (especially at night, use your 'clear skies' shout for best results).



Enjoy the beauty you find in your travels in Skyrim.

Wandering around will also be the best way to find all the hidden gems Skyrim has to offer.

Fast travel when you just want to get on with your quest, but take the time to walk when you feel like taking in Skyrim's beauty and finding undiscovered gems.

Here's a guide to finding the prettiest spots from one of my favorite websites.

Role Play


It's an RPG, duh, I'm automatically role playing. Stupid blog writer...


What makes a game an RPG? Hint: Any game can be an RPG if you let it.

Take on a role! 


You're the Dragonborn!

You're not just some gamer sitting on his or her couch manipulating a character a game. You are the character in the game.

Don't keep your focus on earning XP the whole time. It'll come naturally as you play.

Do what your character would do. Do what you would do.

Buy a house! Fill it with cool stuff.

Wear cool armor! Feel like a bad ass!

Talk back to people in your own voice, 'cause the people in Skyrim say some stupid stuff sometimes. Talking back to them is fun.

Find a play style that suits you, whether that is being sneaky or running around smashing everything.

You're living out a fantasy life. Make it your own. 

Remember what you're doing. 


You don't need to do Everything


Skyrim is what, 300+ hours worth of gameplay?

Yikes.

Don't feel the need to seek out quests or complete all of the quests that end up in your quest log. Play out your life as your character would.

Would he/she go running around Skyrim trying to find people who needed shit done for them because they'er too lazy or unable to do it themselves?

If you're a really kind go-getter then great! When I played I let quests find me. Erogu Lieut was a selfish Dragonborn who tended not to help out others unless there was something in it for him.

I never joined the Companions, essentially missing out on hours worth of gameplay and even achievements. Why? I didn't want to. The Companions were brash fighters and that didn't fit into my play style. It didn't make sense for my character to want to have anything to do with the Companions.

Don't let the unfinished quests in your log get to you. Some people want you to find their brother who was arrested by Imperials? Do you care? If you do go free that sucker! If you don't, don't bother. It's not your problem.

You don't need to do everything. You're going to miss a lot, and that's ok.

Skyrim is a lot of fun, but there are also a lot of other games out there, as well as stuff you probably need to get done in the real world.

Playing Skyrim without the intent of tracking down every quest and joining every faction can make the game less daunting and your playthrough feel more natural.

So play out your characters life how you like, how you think it would unfold, and then find a point where your story ends.

For the time being.

Be a Minimalist


This is something probably no one has ever thought of doing in a game like this.

Gamers love loot.

Loot loot loot.

You can even get a lute as loot in Skyrim.

After only a few hours of playing Skyrim I'm sure you'll will, or have, ended up with more junk in your inventory than you know what to do with.

You can't even sell it all conveniently in Skyrim because storekeepers don't have an infinite supply of money.

What you're left with is a cluttered inventory made up almost entirely of things you don't, or will never use.

Pick one or two weapons you'll use. Dump or sell the rest.  


You don't need 20 weapons shoved up your butt. If you actually use that many different weapons I'm impressed. And confused....

If you come across a better weapon, replace your current one. Sell it as soon as you can or just dump it where you find the better one.

Go through your potions and eliminate the useless ones. 


You're going to have a million potions before you know it. Most of them you will never need to use.

Sell or dump off the ones you don't need. Stamina, Magica, and Heath potions are king. You won't find yourself using much else. So choose which ones to keep. Enjoy your free space.

Do this for the rest of the categories in your inventory.

If you can't bring yourself to just drop items in the middle of nowhere, leave them in your house (you can buy one in ever town from the court steward). Put your weapons in a chest and your clothes and armor in a dresser. Keep it organized.

Keep the items in your inventory to a minimum. You'll never be over encumbered and you'll be able to find what you're looking for quickly with a neat and uncluttered inventory.




Find your own ways to get the most out of Skyrim and share it here in the comments!

Enjoy Skyrim.

Enjoy your life.


See also: An Enjoyment Guide to Gears of War 3

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