I’m finally back from my vacations in the land of Skyrim. It’s been a great trip and loved every minute there. After a hard year of work I really deserved it but will talk about it later.
As a teacher, my school year usually ends mid-June but this year has been a bit different. I’ve been doing an investigation work for the Uni to improve the musical subject in High-Schools and had to present the conclusions on mid-July. Also, when I was about to take vacations, a publishing house offered me to make some educational songs for 4-5 year old kids to include them in a book. I had to write and record those songs in my recording studio. I usually make these kind of works but this time was a bit different as they were in a hurry and only gave me a week. They paid well though!
So finally, my holidays started the 21th of July and the first thing I did was something that I’ve been waiting for so long: to play Skyrim.
I love RPG games, specially this kind. I used to play them a lot when I was younger and did not have to worry about almost anything else in life. But, nowadays, is quite complicated for me to play them, as I don’t have a proper schedule to spend long periods of time in front of the TV. That’s why I’m playing more brainless games lately, that don’t keep me very concentrated and busy. I usually play while listening to music, news or podcasts, or even reading something else. It’s quite complicated for me to spend long times just playing and concentrated in one game. RPG games are made to be played like that. If it’s a good RPG game, like Skyrim, time flies. There’s always a lot to do and to read, a great story to follow and to get deeply trapped in. Unluckily, I ain’t got the time to play like that anymore, unless I play on holidays. Those and many more are the main reasons to not play them as much as I’d like to.
When my holidays started, I talked with my GF about starting Skyrim before she gets on holidays too. She knows me pretty well and knows how I get completely absorbed by this kind of games. It happened before the Xbox and she has suffered it when I played Oblivion and Fallout games. I can play the games for 12-15 hours non-stop. No need to eat or to do any other physiological necessities. I don’t care about anything else apart from the game. I mean, I could play the game like every other one, but I don’t like to do it. If I’m not going to be able to play it like that, I prefer to play something else. RPG games are like reading a book for me, where I want to get trapped and do nothing else but experience the game on its whole concept. Escape from the real world for a while. Dream a little dream.
I’ve done other things too. I’ve celebrated my birthday, seen a few concerts, go to the swimming pool, take a walk with my GF, have some beers with friends… but most of the time I’ve been doing nothing more than playing Skyrim.
So, the 21th of July, I went on vacations to the land of Skyrim to come back today. It’s been one of the most wonderful gaming experiences I ever had. First of all, I decided to not care about achievements and I started the game even without looking at the achievement list. I knew that the game can be buggy sometimes but I didn’t care. In most games, achievements are tied to almost everything interesting to do in the game. But Skyrim is different. This game could have a 1000 achievement list and would still not get even close to all the things that you can do on it. I did not want the achievements to guide me through the gameplay. I have done whatever I want and whenever I want at every moment. When a couple of days ago I was getting close to the deadline, I decided to check what I’ve left to do and complete the game, so I could come back from my vacations back into the real world.
I’ve sunk about 250 hours (probably a bit more) into the game. I’ve seen many sunrises while playing it. As I’ve said, time really flies with these games, at least for me.
Even that I’ve not used any guides for the achievements, I’ve been using a wiki site to gather more information about the game, the story and the different places and characters I’ve seen in the game. I’ve used it enough to get a better understanding of the background, but not enough to screw the different surprises, plot twists, options… This way of playing makes the experience even better. The site I’ve been using is simply amazing and cannot thank enough the hard work that some of the wiki contributors have made. It’s another proof of how big this game is.http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/The_Elder_Scrolls_Wiki
I’ve played the game as a wood-elf. I ended up getting up to level 83 mastering sneak, speech, lock-picking and archery. I also used some destruction-restauration magic and some one-handed weapons and shields. But overall, I was a thief, with a bit of warrior and mage skills. Enchanting and smithing have been also part of my development, making my own custom weapons and armours worked greatly. I’ve not used many potions though. I've completed about 175 quests and almost 400 miscellaneous quests according to the stats. The truth is that I've the feeling that I've missed a lot of the game as I still have many active quests and many places yet to discover. But I really needed to finish it, at least, in terms of achievements.
Playing directly with the DLCs installed made the game even better, except for those nasty vampires who killed some of the NPCs. Both Dawnguard and Dragonborn are some of the best DLCs I’ve ever played, but I also liked Hearthfire.
One of the things I love about the Elder Scroll games is collecting stuff. I ended up having every available house fully customized. What I loved about Hearthfire was having the opportunity to build your own house from the ground. I ended up building three completely different houses. One for the family, where my children and wife could live. Another house for everything related to weapons and armours, sorted by materials and weapon types, also every unique item or weapon I’ve found. The final house was the magician house. With all the ingredients, potions, enchantments and a huge library where I kept every book I’ve found alphabetically sorted. That’s one of the things I love doing in the Elder Scroll games, collecting books (just like in real life).
As always, I ended up being the master of every guild and a loved character in the whole land of Skyrim. I’ve got to be honest, I always play these games as a ballsacker who will do whatever they ask me to do. Even that I’m probably the most important and powerful character in the game, I’ll still bring that old ring to the poor woman who lost it in the woods.
People say that Skyrim is buggy… well… Hour of Victory is buggy!
Skyrim has bugs, of course, because it is toooooooooooo dammmmmnnnnnnnnnnnnn biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiggggggggggggg! Expecting no bugs from a game like this is like believing in unicorns: it won’t happen. But saying that the game is buggy is like saying that the Lord of the Rings books suck because you’ve found a couple of grammatical mistakes on it. C’mon, give them a break! I’ve suffered a few of them, especially those related to some quests not being completed even after doing them, but luckily none of them affected the achievements. Overall, the game is less buggy than Oblivion and for me, it never destroyed gameplay at all.
Another decision I took while playing was about how or when to save the game. I ended up not using the auto-save feature and having several save-files just in case, but I never loaded or saved the game in case that something went wrong. I tried not to manipulate the “free-will” of the game by abusing with save-files. If an NPC dies, well, fuck it!
About the different difficulty settings. I started it on hard and after trying very-hard and Legendary difficulties for a while, I went back to hard. It ended up being the best for me, in terms of not playing the game too slowly but making the battles still interesting. I leave those difficulties for the real masters of the game who don’t mind sinking thousands of hours into it. Sometime I wish I could do that but, honestly, I’ve got better things to care for.
So what comes next? Well, the festivities of my hometown start next week and after that I’ll go on vacations (this time for real) with my GF so I’m not going to have much time to play till September, which actually ends my holidays. So, this is going to be, without any doubt, the summer that I’ve played less to games in my whole life. But I’m happy with it. You cannot expect to live life the same way. As time goes by, new things come up. That’s what life is about.
I’d try to finish COD Ghosts Extinction mode if possible and maybe play something else before September. Then, I plan to clean my gamertag as much as I can till the 11th of November when The Master Chief Collection will be released. Really looking forward to play Halo 2 multiplayer again. I’m sure that I won’t play a lot as I’m a bit tired about competitive multiplayer because it stresses me so much. But really want to walk down memory lane and play with some of my old fellas. I also want to get all the achievements of the game and play the games back to back in order, starting from the first Halo. I hope that the achievement list makes the game interesting. I really hope for a big achievement for completing all of them in Legendary alone.
Probably I’ll finish GTA V, Singularities and Darkness stacks, some other short and easy stuff too… not sure yet. Right now, I’ve just landed back into the real life and the jet-lag is still horrible. Now I want to enjoy the rest of the holidays with my GF, family and friends. Get the most out of the festivities, concerts, beach… and enjoy the vacations at the end of August. Chill and relax to recharge the batteries and go back to work in September.
Thanks for reading and enjoy the summer holidays!