63 Hours Into Skyrim – I Re-Roll An Orc
Re-rolling. From Battle-mage to Savage and not knowing what the hell I’m doing to probably knowing too much
That’s “Prisoner” my new Orc Warrior. Say what you want about the lack of multiplayer in Skyrim (I know I’ve said my fair share) there’s still a ton of stuff to explore and a million different ways to approach the gameplay that keeps it fresh. Take Prisoner here for example. Previously I had invested 63 hours and some change into leveling and adventuring with a Breton that I used primarily as a battle-mage. I pretty much exclusively used dual casting for that entire length of play, so starting this warrior class Orc is pretty new and exciting, despite the lack of initial surprises that made entering Skyrim so fun.
Traditionally when I’ve played games in the past I tend to approach them with as little spoilers as possible. I had watched a lot of the trailers and game play videos of Skyrim before it’s release but I didn’t spend hours online reading the forums or trying to figure out every little thing I could so I would be overly prepared when it released. Instead I kind of just gawked at the imagery and got myself prepared for the hours I’d spend exploring dungeons and caves and fighting dragons. By preparing I mean telling my girlfriend what was up.
I didn’t realize how uninformed I was in the beginning. For the first 10 hours of the game I wasn’t really sure how, or why, I was gaining experience. I didn’t realize that the way you level up in Skyrim was based on how you played your character, and not by what quests you completed. I was coming right off playing Fallout 3, so I was kind of expecting a similar level system where quest completion resulted in XP gain.
Designing the Orc based in traditional savagery
I tried to design this orc to be as savage and menacing as the developers would allow for given the presets. I went with a dark brown skin (seen here it looks green, but that’s from the ambient light of the fire) and a contrasting white war paint that dominates the majority of his face. I’m pretty much grunting around with him as much as possible, using only fur armor and dual wielding some pretty crappy axes I found in some caves. The more rugged I can make him look the better. I really wish the devs had gone a little overboard with the “orc” body options. No matter how savage and menacing I make this guy look I can’t help but think he’d be even more so if his chest and arms were drastically bigger. Maybe I’m just too hyped up on the Hulk in the recent Avengers release or maybe I’ve just been spoiled the orcs in Warcraft. I have to keep in mind that this is a different game. Oh well. Still looks bad ass with that torch.
I’m going to try and play this char as much as possible with as little armor as possible (because it looks cooler that way!) but I’m also going to keep a full suit of armor on me in case things get too dicey. I started climbing the 7,000 steps before bed last night and I couldn’t handle the Frost Trolls so I ran. Better to run and learn a new Word of Power than stay and waste all my healing pots!
What I’d like to see added in the new Dawnguard expansion
One of the things I noticed from playing this character as a melee class are the frequency of the final move animations that occur when you critically hit an opponent. A pretty cool feature that isn’t relevant when you’re dual casting. At best your opponent disintegrates or turns to ice, so this was a welcome change from the norm. However, I couldn’t help notice how repetitive the killing blows got. I think adding 2-3 new finishing moves (at least for when you’re fighting humanoids) would add some richness to the combat system.
I’m not a developer, so I don’t know if that’s too much to ask for. I know multi-player is because to my understanding the game wasn’t designed to support that kind of interaction and would no doubt require hosting servers and yadda yadda yadda. WHATEVS, a guy can dream. Plus the Elder Scrolls Online is happening so there’s our multiplayer right there.
I was watching a video with the creative director (link here) about what lovers of The Elder Scrolls can expect and I’ll be honest that the video didn’t really get me too excited. I think the MMO market is a little stale right now, and I don’t think this “more of the same” vibe I’m getting from it is enough going be any fun, especially since WoW still dominates the market, and the Elder Scrolls’ greatest asset has always been it’s rich and detailed single player hero experience. Tough call. Nerve Protein will be keeping up with ES: O as things develop and move forward. In the mean time check out the link to the Elder Scrolls Creative Director, Paul Sage, and tell us if you think there’s anything worth a damn in there. It’s a 20 minute video and I’ll be honest, I kind of trailed off in interest at about the 12 minute mark. It just all reminded me of WoW and I kept thinking back to my two years of playing it when it came out. I spent so much time on that game that 63 hours in Skyrim is a joke. Try 30+ days in WoW. And I’m a casual gamer!
More info at E3 this year
Also I couldn’t sleep so here’s a drawing I did of him while I was waiting to get sleepy.
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