I have attempted to journey through Skyrim on two separate occasions. Both times I have failed to reach the third mission. The first, I spent around twenty hours doing very little. I completed the first two missions, and a few optional. My major undoing though was my level building. The second, I spent much less time doing even less.
I played Oblivion as stealthy archer, and a female Bosmer (Wood Elf for those uninitiated in Elder Scrolls lore) as my race of choice. This is how I tend to play all RPGs - stealthy and long-range. And a female character. Because we all want something nice to look at while trekking across a wilderness. For Skyrim, I didn’t see why I should deviate from that path. So, enter Tauriel.
Since Tauriel was a stealth-based character, I thought it would be an excellent idea to build up my stealth skill. So, just after the second mission, I headed to White River Watch, slaughtered the bandits outside and entered the cave. Inside, I lied to Ulfr the Blind about who I was (yes, Rodulf is definitely my name), and proceeded to rubber-band my controller so I was constantly walking into the wall behind him.
Then I realised I was wearing armour, which Ulfr could hear clanking away behind him. So I wasn’t actually earning any XP for this. Simple solution: take off all my armour. Half naked elf walking into a wall behind a blind guy. Rubber-band controller. Leave for four hours.
I came back and sure enough, my sneak skill was at 82, and Tauriel was level 14. Perfect. I unlocked a few perks and went on my way.
After completing a few meaningless objectives with absolutely no combat to speak of, I was wandering through the wilderness and saw three bandits in the distance. I approached them, dagger in one hand, fire in the other, confident in my abilities. I unleashed fire upon them and…
They lost about 1% of their health after several seconds of continuous fire. It was here that I realised what a terrible mistake I had made. While my stealth skills were almost unmatched in the whole of Skyrim, my combat skills were non-existent. Especially since the bandits were matched for a level 14 opponent. Through a combination of running and slashing, running and archery, running and healing, and running and blasting them with fire, I managed to kill one of them. I getting close to taking down another, but then a fugitive ran up and interrupted us. He wanted me to hold onto something for him so he could run away. While he was explaining all this, the bandit was busy murdering me with his axe.
To cut a long (well, not actually that long) story short, Tauriel died. I realised that while I could sneak through Skyrim with ease, if I actually came across any combat, then I was screwed. Therefore, I decided the best thing to do was to give up. So I did.
A few days later, I started a new character. I have no idea why, but I decided to be an Altmer (High Elf). They are skilled at magic, something I rarely use beyond healing and the occasional flaming hands. I did the first two missions and gave up, because I simply didn’t like the character.
Now, about a month later begins my third attempt in the world of Skyrim. I am returning to my standard model of female Bosmer. I’m also going to concentrate on getting the main story complete, rather than messing around with the side quests. I’m also going to try not to pick so much stuff up. There’s no point carrying over 100 books, 10 pieces of armour, 8 weapons, 12 boots and a hat. So I’m not going to loot every character I kill, unless they’re carrying unique items or better armour and weapons than I’m carrying.
This blog is going to tell the story of my character on her travels. Check back here tomorrow for the first true instalment of Adventures in Skyrim.