Skyrim Is The Pinnacle Of Short Attention Span Gaming

Skyrim Is The Pinnacle Of Short Attention Span Gaming


I think that Skyrim might finally be the Bethesda game where I lose the thread. Or maybe I should say threads — this tapestry is so rich, and I have so many loose strings running through it, that I find myself letting go altogether and simply admiring the whole mess. The main quest seems great — and I’m sure it is! — but I’ve wandered so far from it that I don’t know if I’ll ever return.

I’ve heard many people say that they never finished the story for Fallout 3 or Oblivion, that they simply wandered the world and did sidequests and maybe started up a business somewhere. To them, the fate of Tamriel/Morrowind/The Capital Wastes may well remain a mystery.

But not me! I was a storyteller, man, I was a finisher. I plowed through the main story for Fallout 3, pausing some to take in the sights along the way but not really hitting most of the sidequests until my second playthrough. I rose up, lightning-hammer in hand, and defeated Dagoth Ur in Morrowind, too. I even finished Oblivion, which in retrospect may be the most thankless of Bethesda’s story campaigns. These were games, and they had stories. It was my duty as a gamer to see those stories through.

But Skyrim has me stuck.

I played through the story missions up to Whiterun, I defeated the first named dragon outside the city, I absorbed my first dragon soul and was revealed as a Dragonborn. “Go see the Greybeards at the Throat of the World,” they told me. And I tried, really I did! I went all the way to Ivarstead, I talked to some folks about the climb to High Hrothgar, and I got on my way up the mountain. Then I ran into an Ice Troll, who kicked my arse so hard that I turned right around and walked back down the mountain.

That was when I started walking.

I’ve played plenty of hours since then, but most of them haven’t even been spent doing sidequests, they’ve been spent doing… well, not much of anything at all. I’ve joined the Thieves Guild, I’ve tracked down the Dark Brotherhood. I’m also a member of the Companions. I have some quests from each of those factions, though I don’t feel particularly compelled to “do” them.

These days, I mostly just wander around. And it’s great! This isn’t a complaint. But I don’t believe I’ve ever played a game where I would forsake the story that’s been written for me, or even the sidequests that can help me level my character, in favour of aimlessly wandering around.

Skyrim drives me to distraction more perhaps than any other game I’ve ever played. I’m still getting my head around why this is, but the fact remains: the more I discover, the more I get distracted. I boot the game up with the intention of doing something — anything! — and find myself staring at the map for a good five minutes. I look at my frankly insane list of miscellaneous quests, blanch, and exit the quest-selection screen. I start walking again.

It would appear that for me, the nation of Skyrim is much more compelling than the game, Skyrim. Of course, that’s not a criticism! For starters, I’m sure that the story is great. But more than that, it couldn’t be a criticism even if I intended it as such — Skyrim the game is nothing if not a “place simulator,” and it succeeds marvelously at this task. Skyrim, the place, is one of the most spectacular creations yet seen in gaming.

But it raises the question of what a game like this is supposed to be, if anything. Is it an epic tale of adventure? Is it a series of RPG sidequests, dungeons and castles built into a large overmap? Or is it something more than all of that, a collection of ideas and stories and locations and randomania that is so thorough, so exhaustively large, that it finally just becomes habitable? I fear for the people of Skyrim — the Gods have given them a saviour with kitty-cat memory, a guy who is just as likely to valiantly Climb the Mountain and Fight the Dragon as he is to forget why he came to this town and spend a few hours looking in storefronts.

I’ve never quite believed the people who said that they bought a house and lived a life within Fallout 3 or Oblivion, how they never gave a whit about the main questline. I took their boasts of non-completion with a grain of salt. But here, I can finally see it. Skyrim is the first game I’ve played that feels so exhaustively expansive, so deep and well-realized, that I can be satisfied doing nothing much at all.

I’m curious if it’s just me. Do you find yourself getting more distracted in Skyrim than in past Bethesda games?

Comments

  • No. By far the worst offender is Bethesda’s Daggerfall in terms of getting lost amongst sidequests and the vastness of the the world. Skyrim is good, but it is a much easier game and a lot easier to get back on track when you finally decide to.

    • Agreed. Arena was even worse. I mean, how many pubs did each randomly generated town have? I think i managed to get the first piece of the staff but after that i just wandered until i got bored.

    • im sure the experience was like that back then, but now going back to that it would be horribly boring and hard to appreciate, the randomly generated quests would be totally obvious and lackluster, Skyrim is a new age game, its something we arent quite familiar with yet which is why it has such pull.

      IMO.

  • Yes. Yes I do. I’m actually avoiding certain areas and cities on purpose on my first playthrough so I have places left to explore on my second playthrough.

    My first playthrough, I am a Nord warrior, a staunch support of Ulfric Stormcloak, who favours a sword and a shield. There’s nothing thief-like or mage-like about him. He’s a Nord, and like most Nords, he likes to hit things.

    My second playthrough is going to be a thief-y, mage-y type who is alligned with the Imperials.

    • Unfortunately if you are a werewolf, you cannot become a vampire. Being a werewolf gives you 100% immunity to disease, and vampirisim is a disease in Skyrim terms.

      However, you can cure yourself of being a werewolf, then become a vampire, but you cannot go back to being a werewolf again afterwards if you’ve already done the companion quests.

      When you get to the stage where you can be cured, it is a choice. You don’t have to be cured if you don’t want to be. But do you really want to spend eternity hunting with Hircine when you could be drinking with Kodlak in Sovngarde?

      • I’ve been to Sovngarde. Its… its not all that its cracked up to be.

        Plus, I’d end up running into all those people I killed. Can you think of anything worse then getting stuck with a bunch of people telling you that “They where this close to beating you” for the rest of eternity.

        I can’t.

      • you can also get a ring that lets you turn into a werewolf at your choice… you can then wear this as a vampire and huzzarh! werewolf/vampire hybrid 😀

        • The ring you speak of doesn’t allow you to turn into a werewolf at will.
          You can do that anyway.

          The ring (of Hircine) allows you an extra transformation per day.

  • The ice troll kicked my ass at first too, so I just snuck around the side of the mountain, which took me all of 2 minutes. Then after I got a few more levels and came back and killed that s.o.b.

    I thought I had a short attention span, but you haven’t even begun the story yet. Wandering and exploring is fun, but gets tiresome after a while, and the story is great.

    • Ben White, our designer, and I had this discussion today. I manned up and killed it. He just ran past it straight to the door!

      I just doused that bastard in fire. Also — I had Lydia with me. Sweet Lydia.

    • excuse me but name one real life place where we can wander around forests and kill dragons and ice troll and wolves and not have to worry about, you know, DYING, or catching a plane home? get over it people like to immerse themselves in alternate imagined worlds. I for one would much rather play Skyrim than walk to the park. why? because ive been to the park 4000 times, and if i want sun i can just go into my backyard -.-

    • Just kidding Captain Kirk. Keep up the good articles. Refreshing rather than just here’s screenshots of MW[insert number].
      Have to admit that I don’t have the patience for Bethesda games. Tried Fallout 3 but after an hour or so gave up and haven’t gone back. Meh, only cost me $16 imported.

      • I would say Skyrim is most definately not the pinnacle of short attention span gaming and this comment pretty much proves it.

        • No kidding… Quitting after half an hour? I wonder if he even got out of the ‘growing up tutorial’ section…
          I imagine it going something like… “This game sucks, where’s the fun at? Why am I at a little kid’s birthday party? What’s that killer robot doing that to the cake for? This is stupid…*quits*”

          • Although, now that I compare it in my mind to the opening portions of Oblivion and Skyrim… a birthday part and a personality test *are* pretty dull ;-P

            But seriously, once you’re out of the vault that game gets pretty sweet pretty fast.

  • I’m enjoying the world so much – I find it much more immersive to just turn off all of the quest markers. I’ll read a quest description about where to look and then walk that way and inevitably get sidetracked.
    The only fast travel I’m allowing myself is the carriage between main cities and I’ve still yet to visit most of those…

    • i dont quite play like this but i respect that you do, i also do things the long way around, just because the game is so good i don’t feel like im wasting time. soak up every image, every tree rock and goat leg

  • I did the Go See the Greybeards quest. Those steps were a killer and I seriously struggled with the Ice Wolf, until I decided to fuck with the system and crawl along a cliff, knowing full well that the Ice Wolf would get stuck somewhere. When I got further up and saw the dragon, I decided to just run. I ran into the Ice troll, whom I backed off from and the dragon then occupied – whilst those two fought it out I kept running till I got to the Greybeards.

    I’d be curious if anyone has just tried to do the main quest without doing any sidequests. I don’t think the main quest is possible to do by itself and that seems to be encouraging people to stay away from it. Not to mention the main storyline is usually weaker than most guild quests, plus up to this point there doesn’t seem to be much of a threat on Skyrim – some dragons dropping in once in a while doesn’t really feel like a big deal anymore.

    • *Spoilers*

      There is a part of the main quest where it forces you to resolve the civil war. You must then do the Join the Rebellion/Join the Empire quests that have been in your quest log since Helgen.

      • Did we play the same main quest?

        Because, I had a pow-wow with both sides and nothing was solved, bar a momentary truce.

        • Admittedly, this is where I got sidetracked, so I’ve not got that far yet. But I won’t let the Empire get away with a truce. They will fall to the blades of the rebellion!

  • I went around the Ice Troll and then killed it on the way down. Added a little paralysis poison to an arrow and when the bastard got close enough I took it down and then burnt the crap out of it.

  • I get a quest to go somewhere and do something but either whilst I’m there or before I arrive, something else happens and sends me somewhere else and then the same thing happens again. And again. I’ve been all over the place and I have about 50 quests. I have only completed about 10.

  • It’s the first of them where the world itself just has me as a complete place. Oblivion just felt disconnected to me, but this one, I’m lost in it, totally.

  • It’s the first of them where the world itself just has me as a complete place. Oblivion just felt disconnected to me, but this one, I’m lost in it, totally.

  • I am the same with skyrim, although maybe for a different reason. 45 hours and counting so far, and I still feel like an empty shell of a character. I am definitely more invested in the world, as naturally I enjoy exploring in games. In Fallout 3, you were an actual character. You started as a child, met your father and had a meaningful role, which I enjoyed. Skyrim I feel like adventured 101. So for me, the story has become second fiddle to the world.

  • Was I the only who bought a horse and rode up the Mountain instead of walking?

    My guide for an interesting adventure is to pick a area on the map that looks cool, walk/ride to that area, viste every town on the way there, collect any interesting side quests and do them until the interest warns out and move on. Stuck on areas, The Reach, located at the south west on the northern face of the river (the cliff area) is a neat area to explore, the south east around the lake is another cool area.

      • dont underestimate the power of the horse, those things can climb mountains, cross fast moving rivers, kill bears, kill humans, and even kill Dragons as well.

        Super Horse I say, Super horse.

    • horses are the only thing i hate in this game. the animations look horrible. not the walking animations, but going up and down slopes is jerky and shitty, even in first person, and the speed increase isnt even that much, i just sprint, the quick move shout thing, and run in beast mode, gets me where im going, and i look like a fucking badass doing it too

      • Nah, the horse is sweet! I also didn’t like the look of the climb and left him at the bottom – I felt bad to take him on such an adventurous trek at the time.. After that however.. well, that guys been everywhere.. up cliffs, off cliffs, you name it, he’s done it. Also he’s made that painful noise way too many times to be healthy..

        But I actually kinda like the whole “you can’t gallop for long” mechanic.. it’s more realistic, you can’t gallop a horse for ages; especially not a fairly fat draught horse like mine appears to be..

        I end up just trotting around looking at the sweet world around me for far too long!

  • I’m loving the fact that the main quest can be completely ignored and just lighting out to explore the world on my own, plundering bandit camps for loot to offload for cash, doing the occassional bounty hunt, helping the companions out or just mining iron viens where I can find them. Skyrim is great in that it doesn’t shoe horn you into the main quest and you have freedom to do anything you want. *places basket on NPCs head* now back to Skyrim!

  • Some people are going to call me a heretic, but I think I preferred Oblivions system. Sure, you never really got stronger, which was lame, but at the moment, I keep getting forced off quest chains by difficulty spikes. In Morrowind and Oblivion, I almost treated each faction as its own game of quests, completing one after the other. It was the only way I could keep track of what was going on.

    Still, loving the hell ouf of this game.

  • Complete opposite, I finished the main story of Skyrim (killing alduin) but got completely lost years ago when I tried to play oblivion.

  • Yes, I’ve idling in game hours wondering where to live because it’ll take hours to fairy the 1000+ weight of gear I accumulated in my adventuring left at winterhold college.

  • Yeah, I don’t go to sleep any more. I just go to Skyrim. Work feels like a dream, and I’m pretty sure my wife has become my conscience. I get off the train from work and head toward the quest markers…

    I’m fine, though. Promise 😉

  • I bought Fallout 3, got up to D.C, got lost trying to find dad, and by that point i had about 25 hours played, got totally and utterly bored and never played it again. The landscape looks like shit (its a wasteland), i got sick of searching 200 file cabinets for the off chance that i would find something useful. Oblivion was better, but the main quest was boring as shit, dungeons all looked the same, and i similarly quit after about 40 hours (maybe more but mods extended that game a lot). Skyrim though… is a whole different beast. I trust this game enough to let it show me what it has, without having to try find it. Its because of this that i havent delved too far into the main story, i know that the side quests are just as good. And really for me, Skyrim is all about my character being who i want him to be, so leveling up in any way makes me happy.

  • I got sidetracked at “Meet the greybeards” atIivarstead after mysteriously getting roofied by someone in the inn there and ending up in Marcarth.

    After getting caught up in a political conspiracy, recovering/rediscovering no less than a dozen lost artefacts/locations, playing pawn to half the population of oblivion, breaking out of prison, breaking in to prison, and generally no going anywhere near the throat of the world, i decided to go and visit them greybeards at level 32.

    That poor ice troll had no chance ^_^

  • I found myself in the same issue, but i had gone to the grave beard and returned to white run, and i just find my self stealing items getting caught then breaking out of prison repeatedly i do not know why but the game itself with no point is so fun.

  • I got the Ps3 version on launch day, and several days afterwards recieved the PC version as a gift, so I’ve got two playthroughs going concurrently and they’re both about even when it comes to the main quest. I made it to the Greybeards and then they told me to go somewhere else further North(I think?) to get something of theirs.

    On Ps3 I ran past the Ice Troll after having it toss me off the mountain 😛 On PC I dual-casted Flames down his throat until he stopped moving… then I peacefully strolled up to the front door of High Hrothgar without a care in the world. 🙂

    As far as wandering goes I’ve certainly done my fair share, but the best story so far to come of it was on Ps3 probably the second day I played the game. I was walking through a field somewhere outside of Whiterun minding my own business, looking for game to hunt perhaps, and suddenly I heard a growl. Then out of nowhere I see a giant cat leap out from behind some boulders and come bounding at me. My first reaction was the natural one: “By the Nine! It’s a Sabertooth Tiger!” *turns and runs away*… BUT as I turn to run away, I see a Dunmer wearing Leather Armor and carrying an Iron Dagger stand up in some bushes back to my right side and he says “Well, this just isn’t worth it anymore.” or something to that effect, as he also turns to run from the giant cat-beast. Then just as I’m realizing what I’m seeing the Tiger lands on him and kills him instantly. After killing the Tiger-thing I go to loot the Dunmer’s body and find that it’s labeled as “Thief”… 😛 So some random Tiger apparently saved me from being pickpocketed/backstabbed out in a random field??

    Has anybody else had something like that happen? It was totally wild and I did not expect that such random encounters (Thief stealthily ambushing you in the wilderness) existed in the game.

  • Same as everyone here, I spend more time doing the side quests and fast-travelling to and from dungeons because I’m carrying too much gear, one quest I managed to accumulate 1800 in weight and just went FFS and slow walked all the way back to Whiterun.

    Did the grey beards quest almost by accident, picked up a side quest in the general area, went to explore and saw that it wasn’t too far away, did it, saw they wanted me to get some horn way off in the distance? BAH! More stuff to find here, I’ll get there eventually 🙂

  • SPOILER ALERT

    I consider myself a hardcore Elder Scrolls and Bethesda fan and truly love the series and think they are the best games, however, I am left with a feeling of disappointment after playing Skyrim. I have completed the Thieves Guild, Dark Brotherhood, both the Imperial and Stormcloak story lines, the Companions and the main quest. I have just started the mages guild (College of whatever).

    With each of the factions that I have completed, just as I was starting to get into the story line, I found that I was at the end of the quest line and was swiftly made leader of the guild or whatever other award was given.

    Let me provide some analysis for each faction so maybe I can better describe my frustration.

    My biggest problem with the Dark Brotherhood was that I felt as though I was given too much responsibility too quickly. After three generic contracts from Nazir, I started the quests to kill an emperor…whereas in Oblivion I had to do quite a few really unique quests before I started getting into the upper level quests from Lucian Lachance. I remember distinctly the quests from Oblivion, first you had to sneak aboard a pirate ship and kill the captain while evading his crew, or sneaking into a target’s house through his basement too release a mounted animal head on top of him or faking a client’s death to help him escape another assassin. Oh, and I cannot forget sneaking into the Imperial Prison to kill a target (who was present at the beginning of the game and gave me a lot of grief before the Emperor came though my cell-which made the kill all the more pleasurable). But after completing Skyrim’s DB quests, I only remember killing three characters to get to the fake emperor- and killing them in very generic manners and of course dealing with the betrayal and then killing the real emperor. Now the betrayal piece was good as was killing the emperor (I really like our conversation before I killed him and he seemed like a nice guy so I killed the client). But it happened too quickly, in Oblivion I had to prove myself my completing a handful of really unique and interesting quests before starting the actual story line of the Dark Brotherhood (finding the traitor) and having to betray your Family in Oblivion washes out the betrayal of Astrid. I found this problem within pretty much all of the story lines, that everything just happened too quickly.

    Let’s look at the Thieves Guild in Skyrim. Joining was less interesting than Oblivion- merely stealing and planting was pretty generic as compared to having to compete with two other wannabe thieves to steal an item. But besides this, was the fact that the Thieves Guild in Skyrim was more of a Marauder Guild, where you primarily had to kill a dungeon-full of bad guys to get an item or to find some information. There was virtually no stealing in the Thieves Guild quest line except for the generic and boring side jobs that only offer small amounts of gold in return. In Oblivion I had to sneak through wizard’s dungeons and towers and old monasteries filled with creepy, blood thirsty blind monks or sneak into a secret vampire’s lair in the Imperial City to get the boots of Jagar or whatever. I had to go through a complicated quest line of just getting rid of Hyranmous Rex which could have been the main quest line of the guild in as itself. At the end, I had to steal an Elder Scroll so the Gray Fox could regain his identity to return to his long lost love which was a solid plot. In Skyrim, I had to do like five quests of dungeon clearing to end with a mediocre boss fight with Mercer…and again the last mission (unless you count the Pilgrim’s Path mission as the last) of the Thieve’s Guild was killing somebody, not retrieving a freaking Elder Scroll. My favorite part of the Skyrim Thieves Guild was the Nightingale Armor and Nocturnal’s Blessing whereas my favorite part of Oblivion’s Thieves Guild were the quests. Oh, and I wish there were more quests associated with the Black Briars, but nope.

    Oh and this leads me to another point against both the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood: both of their story lines were pretty much the same. They both are weak when you join, and the main plot twist of both of them is a betrayal by the leader of the guild. I was surprised at Astrid’s betrayal, but I saw Mercer’s betrayal a mile off, because it was so similar to the Dark Brotherhood’s betrayal. I felt like I did the same quest line twice whereas in Oblivion the story lines were completely separate. Another problem with these two guilds was the fact that there was no advancement or differentiation in the plot. I was really hoping for the Dark Brotherhood to be a vast network of Sanctuaries and with numerous unique assassins because Oblivion just had the Cheydinhall Sanctuary, so I wanted Skyrim to be bigger and better. But nope, just one Sanctuary (I am not counting the Dawnstar Sanctuary, because it is filled with generic “Dark Brotherhood Initiates” as well as Nazir and Bobette). I wanted to have to travel from one sanctuary to another and meet different assassins with unique story lines and a variety of quests, but I guess not. And the Thieves Guild was the same, just one run down sewer base of operations and that was it. At least in Oblivion and Morrowind I felt like I was actually moving up in the ranks instead of staying as a new comer. That was the true beauty of Morrowind, was that when you were a newb, the game treated you as one. The first mission of the Mages Guild in Morrowind was to collect some mushrooms in the swamps. Boring? Absolutely! But at least when I became the Guild Master I felt like I had come a long way. And having more guild halls is for the win in my book, because it allows some diversity in the characters, it allows for the potential of recognition (only being allowed access to certain guild halls or quest givers after moving up) and makes the guild seem like more of a guild instead of a small group of little significance. I want to feel like I am joining something larger than myself that will require a lot of work to become a person of influence in.

    Moving onto the Companions. Another quick story line. I did two very generic quests before becoming a werewolf. I thought it was a glitch at first, because I thought that it was going to take some time for me to earn the respect of the Companions to be offered a spot in the circle. But nope, kill a few bandits and you can join the ruling body of the companions and receive this big blessing. I was excited to be a werewolf, but because it required no real effort to become one, I was deflated when they just offered it like it was no big deal…but then I suppose that makes sense, because being a werewolf sucked. I was too big to go through dungeons easily, and it was harder to see things like levers and chains to remove obstacles. I couldn’t access my inventory or powers or anything (which makes sense, but the benefits of being a werewolf did not outweigh my health potions and Fire Breath). If more than two bad guys ganged up on me, it became extremely difficult in battle whereas I stood a better chance of winning without beast mode. I mean, the advantages of being a werewolf sucked. I was expecting a lot more strength and damage and a lot more health. I quickly stopped using Beast Mode, because it was worthless. Another problem was that I did not like how non-Companion werewolves would attack me even after I released them from the Silver Hand’s cages. I mean, come on. But back to the actual guild itself. The quests were way too generic, retrieve this piece of the ax, go kill a Silver Hand group. That was it. Whereas in Oblivion and Morrowind, you had a variety of killing and fighting quests like clearing basements of rats/mountain lions to fighting a drug maddened guild of Aragonian fighters. And there was only a handful of these very generic quests before you attacked the main Silver Hand fort and killed your dead leader’s spirit beast. The biggest benefit of the last mission was being able to get rid of your own spirit beast.

    I am going to digress a bit here. As soon as I completed the Companions I was completely bored. So I decided to become a vampire. Which I did. And as with the previous Elder Scrolls games, being a vampire was fun…for a short while. The advantages were initially fun to mess around with and beneficial on some other quests or when I was exploring on my own. But, the negatives quickly became a major annoyance. To get the real benefits of being a vampire you had to wait till stage four hit, but then you could not travel in the daylight or go to any sort of civilized location without being attacked by the people. And again, this does make sense, I am not saying vampires should be able to walk around in the daylight or be treated completely normally, but the there were not enough benefits to put up with those annoyances. So, I decided to cure myself of this dark plague. I expected to go through a long quest line like in Morrowind and Oblivion to find a cure, but that was naive of me to think after my Skyrim experiences. The whole mission for curing vampirism was filling a black soul gem (which could easily be bought from the quest giver, so no adventure in trying to find one) and filling it with any NPC. Super easy. In Oblivion you had a to gather numerous ingredients which included killing a tough vampire lord. And just like that my vampirism was done. I was really hoping they would bring back Vampire clans like they had in Morrowind, but nope, so again, there was really no point in being a vampire.

    Finally, the main quest. Too short and too easy. It was primarily search and retrieve or search and kill missions which made it a bit boring. Speaking of boring, the Grey beards were god awful. They reminded me of the talking trees from Lord of the Rings. They talked very slowly and although I truly love the lore of the world, I found myself skipping conversations, because the Grey Beards just droned on and on and on. If you have a good amount of potions and good armor, killing Alduin was a piece of cake, just run around and dodge the meteors and hit him when he is on the ground. And there were virtually no unique quests to get to the last mission. I had to convene a peace council which required no effort, although it was somewhat interesting and then I had to trap a dragon which practically trapped itself and then the dragon just randomly offered to take me to Alduin, and I said sure, why not, and then I had to kill an army of Drugr and then fight Alduin in the Nordic Heaven. I must admit I liked Svvasgard or whatever the name of the Nordic Heaven is, and the music was cool, but again, killing Alduin was easy whereas in Morrowind you had to get a whole butt load of crap to be able to fight Dagoth Ur and had to follow a certain procedure to kill him, but it was better than Oblivion where you could not even fight the giant red demon. However, the biggest let down of the main quest was that there was no recognition whatsoever of my accomplishment. There were two dragons (one of which was sort of upset that I killed his brother and who then left to try and become the new dragon leader, which made me say WTF was the point of killing Alduin if another dragon is just going to take his place) who talked to me afterwards and flew off and that was it. I just saved the world from the Apocalypse and there was not even a single person to say thanks. I talked to the head Gray Beard and he gave me an unsatisfactory response that equated to saying that we will never know if Alduin is truly dead. Thinking back, the best mission of the main quest was going to Blackreach to retrieve the Elder Scroll. That was amazing, it was a giant underground world with its own city and dungeons, so that was a plus. But that was it. I am not sure if I would say Oblivion’s main quest was better, because it was filled with annoying tasks, but I cannot easily say Skyrim’s main quest was definitely better. In previous games, I had to do the guild quests and side quests before my character was strong and well equipped enough to undertake the main quest. But the main quest was one of the first things I did in the game and it really wasn’t difficult.

    With all of these quest lines I felt like everything went by quickly. And I am the type of player who walks everywhere, who talks to everyone, who reads every page of every journal and book except the books repeated from Oblivion and Morrowind, I explore every room and corner of every dungeon before I leave to make sure I have all the loot and didn’t skip a dragon wall. But with all of these factions, I’d say it took me two hours for each guild or quest line to complete it all the way through. I remember in Morrowind it would take me an hour just to travel to the dungeon and then I had to bring a boat load of potions and magic tricks to be able to survive the dungeon. And I don’t think my character is overtly strong. He is a level 31 Khajjit who is best at sneaking and one handed weapons. I play on expert. I have a glass sword and mace that I use with glass armor, and a combo of Nightingale and Ancient Shrouded armor. And I feel as though it is already over. Yeah, I have a ton of side quests to do, and a lot more exploring and dungeon clearing which will entertain me for some time to come, but I ask myself this: what is the point of doing all the side quests and clearing all the dungeons when I was already able to beat the game and guilds without the rewards of those missions. Am I supposed to spend my time leveling up my character even higher when there is really no point in being stronger, because I have already faced the head bad guy, and I have run across every other creature in the game and handled them fairly easily? I used to do the side quests and things in order to prepare for the real quests, but now I wonder what is the point. In Oblivion, I created over fifteen characters, in Morrowind I had over four characters, but in Skyrim, I don’t really see why I should make a character just for fighting or just for magika when I can do all of that on my stealth guy who is strong at fighting and magicka as well as stealth. And thinking back, there aren’t any quest lines I would want to do over again, when in Oblivion and Morrowind I never tired of going through the guild quests and such.

    Now I know this has all been negative, but I really do love Skyrim and I think it is a great game, but at least for me, it lost something that made me love the Elder Scrolls series. In Oblivion and especially Morrowind, there was an endless amount of UNIQUE quests and story lines. Thinking of Morrowind, you could join the Thieves Guild, the Mages Guild, the Fighters Guild, the Imperial Legion, the Temple, the Moran Tong Guild, the Dark Brotherhood (in Tribunal), the East Coast Trading Company or whatever, one of two Vampire Clans, the three Houses of the land, the Blades-which kind of was the main quest,etc. And each of these factions had extensive story lines with tons of unique stories and I never felt like I finished Morrowind like I did Oblivion and now Skyrim.

    I will be playing Skyrim for a long while yet, but I don’t think it is a game that will keep interested for more than six months. But who knows? Maybe I will change my mind about it. Please excuse the improper grammar and spelling as I did this in a hurry and solely based off of my memory.

    Thoughts?

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