Thursday, 26 July 2012

Skyrim: Rav goes Skyrim

The Steam summersale is over, and one thing I can conclude is that it's bad for your purse. I'm specifically talking about my boyfriend's purse, as he can hardly resist to buy everything. The positive side of this all is that I can 'steal' his games as well, so I now got many games on my menu! One of these games is the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim...

...wherein I immediately got stuck in the all too familiar trap of all such games: the character creation. I've already spoken before about my talent to take hours to pick a character, so please help me a bit. I created three characters I like, but I really can't choose which of the three I should continue with. As usual, I tried to give each their own characteristics and story. I've completed the introduction with each, but like them all in their own way. Which of the following characters should I stick to?

Who of the three?

1. Ravereth
Elf (Wood Elf)
Favorite weapon: Longbow and daggers (for the occasional sneaking)
Character: The hunter-type that has great knowledge of nature and wildlife around her. I hope I can fight with animals on my side.

The hunter playstyle usually doesn't appeal to me, but what I've seen so far in Skyrim actually looks like much fun. I started this character because I'd like to play something else than a human, and I can't set myself to play a cat or lizard (they just look so weird!). A wood elf of the hunter-type made sense to me.

2. Tessel
Human (Imperial)
Favorite weapon: Two-handed Sword
Character: This probably is the most 'normal' character of the three. Even though she herself is an Imperial, she fled with the rebellion after she was caught and almost beheaded for seemingly no reason by Imperial guards. She doesn't know which side to pick and is probably a lonely survivor type.

Funnily enough, this character looks the most like I do in real life (both in fighting style as in looks), but feels the hardest for me to play. Even though I have a lot of experience with medieval sword fighting as a sport, I usually don't play melee classes in games. That has a reason: I generally suck more at it.

3. Ravanel
Human (Nord)
Favorite weapon: Magic
Character: Ravanel is a fiery, talented girl, who loves to put things on fire and brawl potions. Eager to learn new scrolls and zapping left and right, you don't want to be on the wrong side of her.

I usually play mage-like classes in games and generally love them. In fact, I play them so often that I wouldn't mind playing something else now. Still, I enjoyed my mage elf in Oblivion (magic was great in that game) and think I will in Skyrim as well.

First impression

I love what I'm seeing in Skyrim. So far, it looks like Oblivion, but... better. The landscape is well done and the light is nice... somehow it all looks very realistic and medieval. The start of the story was also very exciting, with nearly being beheaded and having to run through a very realistic burning village from a dragon and all. In Oblivion, I got a bit bored by the repeating storyline (close this hell gate, close that hell gate, close this hell gate... etc), but there doesn't seem to be anything like that in Skyrim, as far as I've seen. I can't wait to get starting, at least, as soon as I know which character I should continue with.

So have you also played Skyrim? And do you know any tricks / do you have a a favorite of the three characters above? Let me know!


  1. Wait, wut?

    Summer sale BAD for boyfriend's purse?

    How can that be?

    I thought "the more you spend, the more you save!!" -- no?? :P

    I was going to say Ravanel, but since she's "tired" then go for Ravereth!

    Have fun!

    1. Oi oi, with that spirit, your coins are going to feel very lonely in your purse. ;-)

      Thanks for your voice. :D

  2. Yeah, Steam sales can be destroyer of wallets. So many games for such small prices...

    I'd say, either go with Ravanel or Ravareth. Magic can be pretty fun on Skyrim specially when you do some double casting for a more powerful effect. Also Clairvoyance is finally useful in that it can give a trailing light to your goal.

    Sneaking and backstabbing is also pretty fun. Although in the early levels it can be hard to do it well and raise your skills like in all other Elder Scroll games. But later on it gets easier to do. Also, keep an eye for lantern thingummies hanging from the ceiling. You can shoot them and it often has some oil in the floor that will be ignited when it hits the floor. That should do some nice damage to any enemies in the area.

    That oil on the floor can be ignited with flame spells too if you have them.

    I like melee in Skyrim too but I haven't tried it with two-hand weapons yet (went with a war-axe and shield with my warrior). So I would suggest to give it a try eventually.

    Also, quick traveling between towns may be handy and even practical but taking your time to walk between then can be very interesting too as you get some encounters you wouldn't get to see otherwise or find some interesting places to explore. :)

    And... I think that is it. Hope it helps a little. :)

    1. So you advice either Ravanel or Ravereth... What's Clairvoyance? I remember I used to be able to 'track' and see enemies through walls and light up in the dark when I played Oblivion (I was addicted to that!), but it's been so long that I forgot how that worked. A magic spell, I suppose? And it is improved?

      I've played Ravereth a bit today to get back into the spirit and you're right - sneaking around is so great! Indeed I get detected all the time, but it's always better than getting ambushed myself by others. And besides, I'm great with the longbow now, and sneaking + shooting often ends up with a one-shot. :)

      I noticed the oil on the floor by accidentally blowing it up on Ravanel during the introduction, but hadn't noticed the lanterns yet. Thanks for the tip, I need to try that out!

      I need to find some balance in between running around / exploring and actually doing the main quests: I don't even remember if I completed the main story in Oblivion at all because I got so distracted by all the side quests around it.

      Thanks for all the tips, they surely are helpful.

    2. The spell you describe is "Sense Life" if I recall the name correctly (been some time since I played Oblivion). It still exists on Skyrim and works exactly as you described it. :)

      Clairvoyance is a spell yes. What it does is this. You have a quest on your journal and you are in the general area where you are supposed to do something. Let's pretend it is to go up a mountain and kill a dragon there. Only problem is can't find the dang road to go up the mountain. You make sure that quest is marked on your journal, use clairvoyance and a glowing trail will appear showing you the way you need to go to get to the dragon. Since I can be pretty oblivious and get lost easily I found that to be a handy spell. I don't remember what it did in previous games though.

      *nods* With my assassin thief I went mostly with dual daggers since I just prefer to get close and personal. Also I like backstabbing.

      Oh, finding a balance between side quests/main quests is definitely a good idea. The system to determine the mobs levels is slightly different than Oblivion.

      In Oblivion the level *all* monsters, NPCs, etc. would automatically adjust to your own. In Skyrim the level of a zone (a town, a dungeon, whatever) gets determined the moment you step on there. They also have a minimum and maximum level. For instance, let's say the monsters in a dungeon can be between level 20 to 30. If you step on that dungeon at level 23 then the level of the monsters will be level 23 too. If you step at it at level 40 then the level of the monsters will be 30 since that is the maximum level a monster can have in that particular dungeon.

      What that means is that if you focus just in the main storyline or just the storyline of one of the guilds you might end up stumbling in a dungeon with enemies you are not ready to fight just yet. I found that the hard way when I made my assassin/thief and mage characters. On them I focused mostly on the Dark Brotherhood/Thieves Guild and The College of Winterhold story lines respectively and at a certain point I was fighting enemies stronger than I could deal with at their level.

      So, yes, mixing things up gives you better chances of having the levels for those dungeons and some good equipment too.

      - Rakuno

  3. hmm I just love the hunter/assassin style in elder scrolls game... there is nothing (and for me, absolutely NOTHING!) which could beat the fun and thrill of sneaking up in the shadows, one-shotting a baddy dead while his mates stand around saying who's there? i know you're there somewhere? :D I absolutely love it, and its Oblivion's fault that I rarely play anything other than a hunter type ;)

    oh remember though, that just because you spend most of your points in say archery, you can still train up one or two magic schools. I think there are mods out now so you can reset your points too... experiment ftw!

    so I'd say choose your favourite look/back story and then find out how you prefer to play in this game :) I also totally agree about trying not to fast travel everywhere - its a beautiful world with loot hidden in the strangest places... have fun!

    I think I'm going to have to get back in Skyrim myself, especially with this hot weather we have here in the UK ;)

    1. Hehe, you're so right! It's super effective to sneak around and attack from stealth. I found that if I don't, I get assaulted by packs of wolves and stuff, and inevitably die. However, almost everything I shoot while being stealthed drops down in one hit. ^^

      That's an interesting idea, so I could use a bit of magic and still use the bow (on Ravereth)? My only problem so far is that I don't really know what to pick. With my sneaky-bow strategy it's all about hitting them hard real fast (which works reasonably well), but if they come close, I'm sort of screwed (put almost all points in stamina).

      I got this awesome spell to summon two wolf adds, which fits great with a hunter, I think. The only problem is that I'm not that... sneaky when I got them glowing and running around me. And when I don't one-shot something, I'm probably better off getting some daggers in, not trying to summon some wolves while I'm getting hit. *shameful sigh*

      I'd be great to read something about your Skyrim adventures if you're returning for a bit indeed. It's such a great game!

    2. I've been having a lot of fun in Skyrim the past few nights, I'll post some screenies up soon :)

      some tips (apologies if any are too obvious for words ;))
      ~ my lvl 21 hunter has 200 pts in health, 150 in stamina and 150 in magic.
      ~ I only pick up magic armour or weapons (unless upgrades), they weight too much and you can get gold fairly easily
      ~ in fights, I always use food over potions (weighs more)if I have it, I always collect every scrap of food, cook it and use it first.
      ~ after fights I always use restoration to heal up. I tend not to use magic in fights as much but for emergency situations ie more than a couple! its good to conjure pets/atronachs then. don't forget to walk backwards as you do so!
      ~sneaking and bow attacks get very powerful as you level, it will get better. The thieves guild has an amazing set of gear as well as looking really cool ;) best set of quests in game imo ;)
      ~ I rarely switch to a blade if I don't one shot, I either kite backwards, sideways, anywhere! or I turn tail, sneak, run until I'm hidden, then come back and finish them off ;)

      erm... will stop there! hope some of that is useful!

    3. I'll just answer in the same order:
      ~ Okay, now you're going to laugh at me... My level 16 hunter has 120 pts in health, 220 in stamina and 100 in magic! Is that bound not to work? So far it's going well as long as I have a companion or can summon some wolves for the harder parts. I like going all out DPS, but perhaps I'm a bit crazy.
      ~ I do the same.
      ~ I do the same, but might change my habits regarding collecting food (see my new post!)
      ~ I do the exact same here again. I love how my summoned wolves are actually useful in the harder fights (like, once you're out of stealth anyway)! I simply *love* my wolves, even though they're look-through and do suddenly disappear with a sorta creepy sound.
      ~ Hmm, that's annoying. I was really planning not to go for thieving on this character, it's just not my cup of tea. Will have to find out just how good that gear is, thanks for the tip.
      ~ Haha, I love to do that as well! Sometimes you can even just quickly hide behind a pillar and they won't know where you've gone. They can be so stupid! xD

      It would be great to see your screenies, you made me curious now. Thanks for sharing! :D

    4. yes sorry thought some of those tips would be redundant :D I've gone back to my old character now (lvl 43ish) and she has over 500 health and 350ish in magic and stamina... I tend to prioritise health over stamina and that works for me - but I don't really use magic when I'm fighting... or melee weapons! I found the thieves guild questline huge fun, plus Brynjolf has a lovely voice (ahem!) and Karliah was really well voiced too... and it was just huge sneaky fun! but if its not your cup of tea then you'll probably love one of the other guild questlines:) plus with enchanting you can put your own stats so you could build a custom set to fit your playstyle.

      oh and an old post here of some sneaky skyrim stuff :)

      sorry for rushed comment but if i dont reply now i prob wont get time in next few days!

  4. I was hit pretty hard by this Steam sale, I won't lie. :) However, picking up Skyrim for $30 was awesome, and I've been enjoying it quite a bit. I do have some advice, though, with Skyrim as it is a little fundamentally different than Oblivion.

    1) There is no class, or attributes like Strength, Dexterity, etc anymore. This means that instead of only leveling when specific skills are leveled, ANY skill raise will help you level. However, if you're a jack-of-all-trades type player like myself, this can lead to a much weaker character compared to your level. I've been schooled quite a few times by mobs in my path, and I'm only level 14 in the section of the game, kind of like Oblivion had, where the mobs seem drastically tougher and death could be around every corner.

    2) There is a skill for one-hand weapons, and a skill for two-hand weapons, which encompass all types. For one-hand weapons, daggers, sword, and mace are all considered the same, except for weapon speed. Daggers are the fastest, and maces are the slowest. Until you start giving yourself special abilities in a specific weapon type, they are all pretty much the same.

    3) The maximum level you can achieve is level 81, when all skills reach 100. This means that out of the 251 skill perks available, you can only choose 80 of them (no skill perk for level 1), and all skill perks are permanent (unless they release something or there is a mod that allows a respec of them).

    4) There is no longer a method of persuasion like in Oblivion (thankfully... I found that system annoying). It is now purely based on your speech skill.

    5) Mods are much easier to get through Steam, but I'm sure the selection isn't as grand as say, the TESNexus website. However, installation is much simpler. You find the mod you want in the Steam Workshop, and click on Subscribe. Then, when next you launch the game it'll find the mod subscribed, download it, and list it. Here are a few (non-game-breaking or lore-breaking) mods that I think are relatively good: Pure Waters, HD Plants + Herbs, Whistle (a horse call whistle), Unlimited Bookshelves, Wearable Lanterns, Open Face Guard Helms, More Rain (tbh, it hasn't rained yet in my game, but the rain storms are more fierce), Alternate Sun Glare, Gender & Race Height, Lanterns of Skyrim - Villages and Around Cities, Better Quest Objectives, and Enhanced Distant Terrain.

    - Ocho

  5. Hey Ocho, and welcome to my blog. Thanks for all the tips!

    1) Hehe, I noticed already that I leveled up a lot from things like Crafting and Speechcraft. Luckily I haven't had much problems with the content yet. Sometimes I have to try things over a few things, but that keeps it a challenge.

    2) That makes sense. I love to use daggers for if a fight gets close, but I feel that I need that shield not to get killed. I really can't decide what to spend my points in!

    3) Cool to hear what the max level is, I had no idea. :)

    4) Speechcraft ftw!

    5) Thanks for your favorites. I have some installed already (Pure waters, plants, whistle, better quest objectives), but some I haven't heard of. Do you know if there's a "don't show helmet" mod? That would be something I'd love - I now just don't wear a helmet. One thing I'm going to try is a mod that allows you to do shouts in your microphone and translates them to the should action in-game. It sounds like great fun, that is, if we get it to work.

    Last question: do you know how to use the horse whistle? I can't seem to equip or use it.

    Thanks again for all the advice. :)

    1. I don't know if there is a no helmet mod... there might be, as I'm sure it would be fairly popular. I don't think it would be too hard, either, as one of the ones I mentioned were to make invisible the guard helmets... (sadly the server doesn't seem to be working right now, so I can't check. If I see a good one, though, I'll let you know.) I've heard of the microphone shouts, and I'm pretty sure there is either one out there or in the works. How to use the horse whistle? I believe there is a book or something in your inventory you have to activate. Once activated, the horse whistle becomes one of your powers, and can be found in your shouts/powers menu. Then just climb onto your horse the first time (I'm assuming it's one that you own, not just one you steal) and it should be good to go. :)

  6. I played a dual-wielding character and I found it to be pretty effective once you start getting some points into the tree. Though I was weak against some of the nasty mages. But! What I highly recommend is sneak as much as you can. I've even spent time purposefully making an enemy become alert to the point where he's always *just* about to see me but never finds me. Once I got my sneak level high enough, I could literally walk up to quite a few mobs without them seeing me, do a two-handed sneak attack and BAM! They're dead. :P It was quite satisfying.

    I also made sure I had a good heal spell and enough magic to use it. It meant I could survive fights a lot longer. You can also spam level those by finding a trap where you can continually hurt and heal yourself and can safely wait for magic to regenerate.

    I hope you enjoy the game. There's some really cool story lines in it. I would open all the books I could find (sometimes you get free skill points from them) and if they looked interesting, read it. Once not long after reading a book, I ran into the character I'd just read about. It was one of those "Oh cool!" moments. I never did finish the main storyline. I was trying to space it out with all the other cool areas but I started to get burnt out on all the dungeon caves and took a break. I should go back and finish that at least.


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