I have a really bad habit of always wanting to create new characters, no matter the game. It was a bad habit of mine when I used to play WoW, it was a huge habit when I was younger and played Morrowind, and I never got far in Oblivion because I always restarted. I think part of that was based in the pre-built characters, and wanting to try a different style of playing early in the game because I didn’t like the one I was playing or just out of curiosity. The only way to try a new style when I played those games was to start over.
It’s been talked about on the blog before, but I’ve been playing Skyrim (on PS3) again on and off recently, and I’ve been pushing myself to stay with the same character. One of the reasons I love Skyrim so much is because you actually can stick with the same character – while also trying out new styles of play whenever you want. The way that Skyrim lets you build any combination of character from the start is amazing. I love that you can level using any skill, and are as competent in them as you try to be. I started this game as a heavy armor wearing mage who stole anything and everything, but that turned into a light armor wearing conjurer who uses bows.
The addition of making skills Legendary upon maxing them out is another fantastic way of continuing to try new styles within the same game. To make myself stay with the same character, I’ve been resetting skills – even ones I use all the time (RIP my awesome sneakiness) to try new styles of play without giving into my awful character creation addiction. One can only escape from Helgen so many times before it gets old. This is challenging me to experiment and explore. I’m actually doing quests I thought were too tedious before to even try. I spent more time in Blackreach this time (if you’ve been there, you know how intensive it can be) because I wanted to experience more. I’ve been checking out the many hidden Easter Eggs and the Unmarked Locations, some of which are insanely cool and hilarious.
I’ve loved Skyrim since it came out. The gameplay is so much fun. The scenery is breathtaking. The characters are engaging and oftentimes hilarious (“I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee”). I think that’s part of the reason I could not get into Elder Scrolls Online. After Skyrim, it was such a letdown graphically, gameplay-wise, and in terms of story. Plus for me that was all coupled with the fact that I’m really over MMOs because people in general are the worst and I’d rather do my own thing. Skyrim, on the other hand, I can return to again and again. I’ll probably start a new character at some point, and try to challenge myself with different parameters, like no fast traveling at all, but for now I’m going to try to get through as much of the game as I can. It’s going to take me a while.