David talked yesterday about our decision to cancel our subscription to Elder Scrolls Online (ESO). I think I am more heart broken over it than David because personally I got in to ESO much more than David and had enjoyed playing by myself. The story that they were telling in ESO was one that I connected with much more than I ever got into Skyrim. Some of it is I felt more like I had goals in ESO and was able to see where I was going and plan accordingly. Skyrim I often felt like I was wondering sort of aimlessly, which was really hard for me. I actually put it down because I was trying to do one of the initial Companion quest and got to a point where I was completely stuck and just dying over and over again. The other problem was it was a lengthy escort so it would have required me to go back almost two hours of game play. I basically did not want to play the game after that I was so frustrated and never picked up the game again.
David suggested since I enjoyed ESO that I should try and play Skyrim again. The thought being that maybe having some connection to the world that Skyrim is taking place in will help me connect with the game and story a little better. Unfortunately I do not think that is the case.
This is part of the difference between ESO and Skyrim that really made a difference to me. In ESO I knew exactly where I needed to go and what I needed to do. I could easily find the various quests that needed to be done and be careful about getting in to a situation that was over my head. I really felt like I was moving forward and progressing the story forward, but at the same time completing a variety of other tasks at the same time. In Skyrim I usually felt confused about trying to figure out what I even could be doing. It almost felt like I would run around and maybe you complete a quest, but it is not really necessary. I guess the story at the very beginning just did not compel me enough and then the quests felt so nebulous and I just could not get my hand on them.
Okay so the Skyrim skill trees are gorgeous. The idea of using constellations makes for a beautiful visual that you can look at, but that is not conducive to being able to easily tell what options are available. Making any sort of decision about what you wanted to do with the skill trees took so much effort in Skyrim. I sometimes I felt like I was going along without really understanding what I was working toward or how to get there. So you use it so many times and get your skill up, and then get to choose an option that were these paths along the constellation. I am sorry it is confusing and difficult to even figure out what the ultimate ability for each item was. I know eventually you could technically get to all levels, but you might want to decide where you want to start by what you want to get first and that was not easy to tell.
First Elder Scroll Game
The other part that I think did not help was that Skyrim was my first Elder Scrolls game. There had been four Elder Scrolls before even getting to Skyrim that introduced people to this world. Now they are shoving you into a new area of this world to play around with and introducing dragons. I did not have the history with the franchise to fully appreciate what was being introduced in this iteration. I also wonder if some of the story did not strike me because I was lacking some of the history. One of the neat parts of ESO that I liked was dealing with the demons and the daedra. I found the whole idea of a demon realm and trying to keep the demon lords at bay a fascinating story. That connects with me and seems to have dire consequences. I don’t know if I had a better understanding of the larger world that Skyrim took place in that the dragons would have been a more interesting story, but it was just a location and a world. Not that I need everything to be epic, but I feel like I want a reason to fight and I feel like that was lacking for me.
I did pick up Skyrim again and played for a couple of sessions, but in the end it has not held my interest. I say that because with Dragon Age: Inquisition coming out I decided I should finally do a second play through of Dragon Age and Dragon Age II to follow a different path in the story. Picking up Dragon Age has just reminded me how much I love that game, but that is another post. I might pick up Skyrim again at some point, but I have a lot of other games that are more interesting for me to play at this point.