Author Topic: Jubal goes to Skyrim  (Read 1020 times)

Jubal

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Jubal goes to Skyrim
« on: December 04, 2020, 02:01:30 PM »
A thread for updates on my adventures there.

So I've played a reasonable amount of the game now - I thought I'd give it a fair shot after the number of recommendations I've been given - and

Things I've done:
  • Main quest as far as meeting the greybeards.
  • I'm a thane in Whiterun and Hjaalmarch (I think that's the marsh area)
  • I have a small house in northern Hjaalmarch which I'm thinking of expanding. I'm kinda nervous in case I get dragon attacks there.
  • I became a bard, and have been set a bunch of quests relating to finding lost mythic instruments
  • I also went to wizard college and now have to go find the staff of Magnus
  • Like a bajillion other minor quests, this game does not mess about when it comes to sheer quantity of content.

I'm running a magician-based character (summoning, destruction, restoration) and trying to do some specialising in alchemy and speech/persuasion too: I'm using Lydia as my companion since she fights better than I do (literally I sometimes run fights where I just cast healing on her and let her hit the enemies with axes and stuff).

Geenral feeling so far is that the good about this game is mainly in sheer quantity of plot, which is very large indeed, and in the cinematics: dragon fights are really well handled and feel very good indeed, and that sort of fight I think I'd say is the core game selling point: feeling the three dimensionality of fighting a dragon isn't something often done well in games. I quite liked meeting Sheogorath, that was fun, and the range of enemies is quite reasonable though I'm starting to get deja vu on dungeon crawls and draugr. There's definitely a degree of investment in the setting that feels expected but is somewhat rewarded with time sunk into the thing, and it definitely effectively gives the impression that there is way more to this world than can reasonably be dealt with, which frustrates the completionist part of my brain but which I like from a world building angle.

My feelings on the downsides are mostly mechanical and in the depth of content. The inventory system is clunky, feels a bit too designed for consoles, and sometimes closes when I'm trying to click a menu option - and also has perverse incentives especially re weight limits where the ideal thing is for me to run multiple times around empty dungeons to pick up stacks of swords to sell, which I don't actually do much because who has time but then I end up constantly short of coin. Whilst the super clean UI is good for cinematics, I really want much easier weapon and spell switching available most of the time. I'd happily have traded in having far less total content in favour of having more depth on the characters, especially companions. Like, Lydia has been carted around half of Skyrim, fought multiple dragons with me, and it feels weird that in that context I know basically nowt about her and our interactions are limited to orders, her explaining the title I now have two of, and me getting her to carry all the dragonbone that I'm too weedy to lug around? Also I've had characters still talk about people as if they were alive when it's literally their husband whose corpse is sitting five metres out of their door after a dragon mauled him, which is also odd. I dunno, maybe I care about companion dialogues too much, but I'd like the game to feel like there was a bit more heart/emotion in there, and I think that means more dialogue depth (I guess there's probably a billion mods for this but haven't looked into that side of it yet).
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Tusky

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Re: Jubal goes to Skyrim
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2020, 09:53:57 AM »
I'm starting to get deja vu on dungeon crawls and draugr.

Yeah I get that actually. Some of the dwemer dungeons go on for aaaages, and I feel like a little more variety would help massively

the ideal thing is for me to run multiple times around empty dungeons to pick up stacks of swords to sell, which I don't actually do much because who has time but then I end up constantly short of coin.

Maybe you have got the hang of this by now. I found that the trick was knowing what the best vendor trash was for your character. So my last char didn't really do alchemy or use any but the best potions - so I would collect ingredients, potions, gems and other little valuable things, then sell them. I generally found the issue was that the vendors kept running out of money  so I end up running around all the shops in towns in rotation

Also I've had characters still talk about people as if they were alive when it's literally their husband whose corpse is sitting five metres out of their door after a dragon mauled him

Yeah, I find that pretty funny. Behavior like that is where a fair few of the memes come from I think

I'd like the game to feel like there was a bit more heart/emotion in there, and I think that means more dialogue depth (I guess there's probably a billion mods for this but haven't looked into that side of it yet).

Yes I think there are, but I know what you mean - the NPC's don't have many dimensions unless they have a whole story / quest written for them
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Jubal

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Re: Jubal goes to Skyrim
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2020, 10:22:56 AM »
Adventures continue!

  • Expanded my manor though it's still not well furnished yet
  • Finished all the bard quests. They were kinda fun but I wanted more bard content.
  • Didn't finish the Staff of Magnus dungeon bc decided I might be underlevelled for it so I'm just sort of meandering around sidequesting. Did the Geirmund's amulet quests and stuff.
  • Advanced the main quest a bit, met the blades, not done the hit on the Thalmor embassy yet.
  • Did Meridia's quest, so Lydia now has Dawnbreaker and is happily blowing up undead with it.
  • Explored more of the map - Found how to get to Solstheim but didn't do anything there, dropped in at the rest of the map's cities. I most recently went to Markarth, died in prison doing The Forsworn Conspiracy, decided I really hated that quest so when I respawned after death I just left the city rather than completing it.

I feel like I'm at a bit of a loose end and just sort of dungeoneering for the sake of it at the moment. The Thalmor embassy sounds like it could involve a lot of sneaking which is a thing I very rarely enjoy in games, so I'm not super keen to jump in on that, and the mages are the main quest line I'd like to finish but I am pretty sure I'm going to be underpowered for that at level 17. I've had a couple of amusing sessions with friends watching bits of me playing. Cara plays sneaky archers exclusively, and her watching my character was just a solid run of "but you should sneak and not take the hit from that trap", "that's what I have healing spells for", "but what about combat", "that's what I have conjuration spells for" - eventual upshot "so you're just going to solve every problem with magic" "yep".

And yeah, I guess I've played a number of games in the past year or so with really good dialogue and character writing - DA:O, Shadowrun: Dragonfall, to a lesser extent Shadowrun HK and Pillars of Eternity - so maybe I'm just a bit spoiled for how in depth I expect companions to be at this point :)
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Jubal

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Re: Jubal goes to Skyrim
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2021, 05:13:57 PM »
OK, I think I've finished my run more or less, I may go back and do Dawnguard sometime or get a more modded version where the characters feel a bit more 3d.

I've now:
  • Become archmage at Winterhold and done most sidequests there.
  • Finished my manor, where I now live with Lydia as my tank, Valdemar as my Steward, Sonir the bard, and my two adopted orphan daughters.
  • Defeated Alduin
  • Gone to Solstheim and got a house in Raven Rock after doing quests there
  • Defeated Miraak (whilst trying to give Hermaeus Mora as little satisfaction as possible because maaaan that guy is an arse). I mean literally that guy is mostly eyes and tentacles, but he's definitely also an arse.

I think I've done... most of what I want to do? I don't think it would be right for this character to go and do the civil war, I might make a slightly morally different character to go fight for the Empire in another run someday.

Also to copy a rant from FB, am I the only one who finds Hermaeus Mora not so much creepy or doom-laden as really, really, obscenely annoying?

I think the reason I find this is that he's basically the demon god of gatekeeping nerdbros: hoarding endless knowledge without the understanding, utility, or empathy needed to process it, shrouding it in arbitrary aesthetic mystery and judgement, and making it difficult and painful to get to. And that's a somehow a more relatable, real, and thus incredibly /annoying/ daemonic motivation than the stuff of power, intrigue, murder and death.

I guess this is a kudos to the writers for writing a character who definitely got a reaction out of me, though I'm not sure if "I want to give you a slap round the face with your own bloody tentacles, you twit" is the reaction they were actually going for.
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...