August 7, 2007

Elder Scrolls 4: new crack.

Well...."new" crack implies that I had "old" crack....which has never been my thing. I've never played World of Warcraft (WoW) because I know I'd get sucked in and I really don't need my boss staging an intervention.

Right now I'm towing the line with my new PS3 game: Oblivion. Damn that's a fine game! The graphics are outstanding and gameplay is pretty darned good. The level of customization allowed is almost mind-boggling.

First you have a LOT of character races to choose from, and if the multitude of classes wasn't enough you can custom create your own. You also get to choose what "sign" you were born under for some added special effects.

My rule-of-thumb for any new game (usually an RPG) is to try and make the best Archer I can. I chose Wood Elf (I think....definately an elf though) with the Archer class and born under the Thief sign. My guy is damned good at sneaking around and sniping with the bow.

Level advancement is interesting....your skills improve as you use them and when you advance your major skills 10 times (not each one 10 times, but a total of 10 times altogether). Each skill has a couple of attributes associated with them and when you level you can increase three attributes. The skills you used the most offer an increased attribute raise. Basically you get rewarded heavily for doing stuff. The Archer's main skills include Light Armor, Sneaking, Marksman, and a few others. Since I've spent the last 17 levels pretty much sneaking around and sniping stuff I'm doing well with those skills.

I've used a bunch of other skills, especially Security (lock picking), and have joined several guilds. I just managed to become the Arena Grand Champion and I'm currently the head of the Thieve's Guild (It's a secret, so don't tell!) I'm working my way up the Fighter's Guild and after I serve some painful penance I can try to get back into the Mage's Guild. I killed a Guild member during a Thieves' Guild quest (had to or I'd have been toast) and now I have to collect 20 piles of Vampire Dust and 20 Daedra Hearts. The vampires I was able to hunt down, but those Daedra are too much for me to handle right now. Fortunately I've been able to nickle-and-dime my way into buying the Hearts on the open market.

Dungeon delving is awesome.....sneaking about is really a lot of fun. I have a magic item that lets me see "living" creatures at a set distance..even through rock. Really helps me be able to sneak up on the buggers.....combine that with some armor that offers me limited cameleon abilities and I've been much better at sniping. Sometimes my foes can't tell where I'm sniping from and I can get in multiple sniping shots.

Of course being able to snipe well comes at a cost. I'm not very good at direct combat and I'm spending a fortune on ammunition. Last few days I've been working on increasing my Conjuration skill so I can summon a creature to help fight. Right now it's a Scamp, who can keep the foes busy while I sit back and strike with my bow. Regular arrow shots do a set amount of damage while a sniping shot does 3x damage. If you get in a suprise shot with a melee weapon you do 6x damage.

I've got a lot of in-game gold (finally) and have bought one house. I can tell the game wants me to buy multiple houses, but I don't see the point. I have a cheap-assed run-down shack in the main city. I keep my stuff there....ok some stuff. I've got a great relationship with a shopkeep who buys all my "found" weapons and armor for 65% of it's sale deal I have going on so far. My cupboard is stuffed with potions and ingredients galore. I figure I'll work on my Alchemy skill later in the game.

Right now I play almost daily. Carolyn often has to work at 7 AM and I'm not needed at work until 9 AM. I've been trying to get up early in the morning and just chill. I don't play everyday, sometimes I just check email and watch the morning news. It's been nice to have some "me" time every AM and I find my day goes much better when it's not a get up and rush to get to work.

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