Been addicted to Skyrim the past couple of days. That isn’t to say I’ve been completely unproductive. Nearly every time I go online I’m looking up something new on Mandelstam. I’m very frustrated that the one poem I want to blog on isn’t available online. The book I’m reading at the moment, Michael Davis’ The Soul of the Greeks, isn’t terribly dense itself but requires a lot of time per sentence. Re: the latter – he’s talking about what I know or should know. Either way, it’s review or adding something new to my understanding and requires time to sink in. (And his comments on eros in the Symposium do hit at a personal level.)
The neat thing about gaming is the feeling that something can be readily accomplished. You design a character in your head and do a rough calculation about how it will work in the game world. For something as involved as Skyrim, that’s not just about the mechanics of the world (i.e. characters with low health will die a lot). At least I feel the need to almost roleplay a bit with the NPC’s. There are plenty of quests in game I won’t do because who I’ve created won’t fit in with them. As my character was envisioned as Arnold/Conan, I’ve leveled two-handed and heavy armor highly. He can’t sneak at all: not worth even attempting Thieves and Assassin’s Guild quests. Not sure about mage’s college stuff: an Arnold type definitely envisions himself as an overachiever. He typically makes the “honorable” comment when choosing a response to a character. Fighting is wearing very heavy (exquisite, at this point) Dwarven armor, having a ton of potions for boss encounters, and wielding a Dwarven battleaxe that does 60 points of damage itself plus 10 points of shock damage plus (I think) the bonuses from the jewelry I’ve made (fortify two-handed), enchantments on the gloves, and the bonuses (I think) from leveling two-handed. Not sure what is calculated into the “damage” number on the weapon itself. I typically take a hit and respond with a decapitation or something close.
What does he do? Now that I think about it, I’ve actually been roleplaying the heck out of him I guess. He’s a thane in three different cities, gaining the title in two before I even did the starter quest (Bleak Falls Barrow) and activated the main storyline (where you get the title of thane automatically). (btw – when I activated the main storyline at level 19-20, the game was very generous in giving me Frost Trolls to fight.) He busted up the drug dealer in Riften and helped out as much as he could in Winterhold, Falkreath, Solitude. He’s got a house but I haven’t bothered furnishing it yet because he’s always traveling.
Of course most characters in Skyrim end up doing things like this. Quests are money and help from NPC’s (they’ll give you stuff out of their houses) and fame. But then again, I could have rolled a thief and gone on a huge crime spree. Sneak isn’t hard to up, archery has sick power. I could have rolled a mage like last time and invested heavily in followers (building stuff for them) and conjuration (raising zombies, creating atronachs). The mage was fun because I never had to fire a shot most times. This is definitely a distinct character – very hands-on, very much get-stuff-done. The funny thing about real life is how much one has to depend on others to get anything accomplished.