Tuesday, May 8, 2012

did i mention i play skyrim way more than i should?

I spent entirely too much time playing Skyrim yesterday and the day before. I built up this rather interesting assassin/thief character with the idea of minimizing actual combat while still being quite deadly. As usual with such a character, Sneak was a primary focus early in the game until it got maxed out around level 27 or so, at which point the focus has shifted more towards crafting skills, mainly alchemy and enchanting, as well as the more utilitarian thief skills like pickpocketing and lockpicking. The other main skill being used is Illusion magic, particularly the Fury spell, which is nicely useful for thinning out herds of powerful enemies. Calm is also good for getting the large wilderness creatures to just leave you alone - which honestly I think should, along with Fear, be built into the A.I. for when the player is obviously vastly more powerful.

The idea I had wanted to pursue with this is to see how a more stealth-action spin on the game plays out at the mid-higher levels. The character is something along the lines of what's called a "nightblade". My thinking with this one was to eventually go the whole nightingale route with the armor and ability and all that. Actually getting those is way too easy in the game - it's really just a matter of going through the thieves' guild questline. Actually playing the role of a nightingale is a somewhat different set of skills to be built up from the beginning.

So I started by just being generally sneaky everywhere, not being shy about stealing things, and preferring to use the Fury spell to get herds of enemies to kill each other rather than to engage them head-on. I took over Anise's Cabin early on in the game, which has this cellar that's great for crafting. I've been deliberately avoiding anything having to do with the main quest. Instead, I went through the Dark Brotherhood questline, and then went around collecting the Stones of Barenziah when I was done with that. It's really just been mainly a mix of Sneak, Illusion, as well as lots of potion, particularly poison crafting. Now the character is doing some work for the Thieve's Guild, cashing in on the Stones of Barenziah with the side jobs as well as the radiant quests from the Night Mother.

Crafting poisons as well as healing potions would really save my bacon in the rare battle where I'd be forced to fight an enemy head-on. After a while I started to get good at crafting invisibility potions, which, combined with a high sneak skill and the Assassin's Blade perk, is pretty much a battle-ender. I also found the Sanguine Rose to be very useful for unavoidable combat situations, especially in the draugr dungeons where both poisons and illusion magic are useless.

So the character is basically leveled up to what I'd call the "mid-game", around level 28-30, where there's at least one questline finished, one skill tree is pretty much mastered, and the character is starting to move up one or more other skill trees. For this character, it means shifting from a more purely assassin play style over to more of a traditional thief.

I have to say it was a bit of a hoot going through the Treasury House in Markarth picking everyone's pocket, "borrowing" those extra rings and necklaces they had on their persons, and then just sauntering up to the vault behind the front desk, crouchy-crouchy-no-one-can-see-me, and grabbing a whole bunch of silver ingots, leaving only an iron ingot because it wasn't worth carrying around and the gold, because there seems to be some kind of bug where stealing any amount of gold corrupts the rest of your gold and shows it as "stolen" in your inventory, although I haven't really had any guards take it when I'd pay off my bounty in a town.

Eventually, of course, it's all going to play out, and this will just be yet another playthrough of Skyrim with yet another character build. I guess I do find it interesting that it is possible to play the game from this variety of perspectives, even if the do for the most part converge into either killing things with a sword/axe/blunt object, killing things with magic, or killing things by sneaking up on them. Maybe the reason I found this character a bit more interesting is that being an assassin is really a bit more of an honest take on the gameplay itself, rather than try to befuddle it all up in all of this "honor" business. Sorry, I just don't empathize with computer data quite as much, no matter how beautifully rendered it is.

No comments:

Post a Comment