Posts Tagged ‘Skyrim’


Skyrim – Nordic Legend ‘self-sufficiency’ challenge

April 20, 2018

Welcome to the Skyrim – Nordic Legend ‘self-sufficiency’ challenge.

This is something I’ve recently started, based on ideas obtained from various Skyrim challenges. It’s not particularly a roleplaying challenge, and it’s not intended to be crushingly punishing or extremely tedious, although it is to be played entirely on Legendary difficulty. I’ll post updates on an infrequent basis; if you take up the challenge, please add a comment or two to let me know how you’re getting on with it.

Overall purpose of this challenge: To be entirely self-sufficient on Legendary difficulty, and to abide strictly by the rules of the challenge.

Almost all the challenge rules do not require ‘player honesty’ or remembering ‘roleplay’ specific elements, as they can be continually checked against the recorded stats for the character. An exception to this is the first set of restrictions (see below) regarding the player state on leaving Helgen.

Character creation and state on leaving Helgen.

Race: Nord

Difficulty: Legendary. This cannot be changed at any time after leaving Helgen.


Restrictions upon leaving Helgen…

> Player must accompany Ralof and not Hadvar – the Stormcloak side must always be chosen.
> Player must be level 1.
> No skills are to be improved before leaving Helgen via the cave exit into the main game world.
> Player’s inventory must be completely empty. Anything being carried must be dropped before leaving through the cave exit.
> Gold carried must be 0.
> Player must be wearing nothing.
> Player must be wielding no weapon or shield.

Consistent restrictions (i.e. for the rest of the time this character is played)…

> Can only wear, wield and use items, potions and food crafted yourself. This means no bought, found or looted items can be used by the player. This includes weapons, armour, potions, food. However, all items (whether looted, found or crafted) can be sold in order to buy crafting materials.

> No magic spells can be used or learned apart from the two starter spells – Healing and Flames.

> Nothing can be stolen. This means that anything in the world marked ‘STEAL’ cannot be opened, unlocked, taken, or otherwise manipulated by the player or a follower.

> Pick-pocketing is not allowed at all.

> The murder of innocent NPCs is not allowed. i.e. Don’t attack any person who isn’t attacking you, unless that person is a quest target. (Yes, you can kill Grelod The Kind if you have the appropriate quest active).

> Waiting is not allowed.

> Cart travel is not allowed.

> Vanilla game should be played – no mods, particularly any that add or improve weapons, armour, or any crafting skills.

Actions that are allowed, which may not be clear from the restrictions…

> Followers can be equipped with anything you find, loot or craft.

> You are allowed to disenchant found and looted items, and to enchant items that you have crafted.

> Anything crafted by the player can be used by the player. This includes unique items such as the Aetherial Crown.

> Houses may be bought and used by the player.

> Sleeping (e.g. in a player house, at an inn, or on bedroll out in the world) is allowed.

> Fast travel to locations previously discovered by the player is allowed.

> Shouts are allowed.

> Perks can be put into any skill tree.

> Cooking, Smithing, Alchemy and Enchanting are all allowed.

> Filled soul gems that are found or bought can be used by the player.

> All crafting materials may be bought, including ingots.

General objectives / win conditions

> Progress as far as possible in the main quest line.

> Progress as far as possible in the civil war quest line, taking the Stormcloak side.

> Acquire 100,000 gold at one time (i.e. have that much in your inventory at least once).

That’s it. Actually pretty straightforward despite the lengthy description of the challenge. So far, I’ve made a fairly decent start in the first half hour, getting to Riverwood and crafting a full set of leather armour and an iron warhammer. I obviously took Sven’s side, and not Faendal’s, because Nords have to stick together. Sven’s turning out to be not too bad at all with a one-handed sword, but I don’t intend keeping him around for very long.

I’ll be concentrating on these skills:
> Two-Handed
> Light Armour
> Smithing
> Enchanting

And I’ll have  some interest in:
> Alchemy
> Restoration

Initially, up to level 20, I’ll be stacking level-up health and stamina in an 80:20 ratio, so by level 20 I should have 220 Health and 170 Stamina. After that, it will probably be 50:50 Health and Stamina.

If you’re really lucky, I’ll add some videos of significant moments…


Skyrim guides … a guide

December 28, 2011

I have rather heroically (or tragically, depending entirely on your point of view) played Skyrim for over 100 hours. I thought that was long enough to have formed enough of an opinion and gained enough first-hand experience and knowledge to enable me to assess and review some of the guides and wiki style websites that are available for the game.

Quentin the Orc pauses for a few moments while deciding where next to cause vast amounts of bloody carnage

Personally, I don’t feel much of a need for guides for a sandbox/exploration game like this, however they do seem to be very popular so I’d be a mug to miss out on the opportunity to write about something that could pull in a few site visitors… I also find the whole topic rather intriguing even if the guides themselves aren’t directly much use to me.

First up, an iPhone application called The Guide – Skyrim Edition. This is a great example of how to cobble together walls of text from other sources and pass it off as your own work. It’s dull, worse than looking at the same text in your browser, and I can’t recommend it. Here’s an example, where they have copy/pasted text from the Wikipedia Skyrim page and haven’t even bothered to remove the numbered links to the source references:

Every page is just a bunch of text. There are no links to cross reference quests and items, so it's not a lot of use

So that’s not a very good start. It gets worse, with rambling self-congratulatory speeches from the authors of the text walls, who may not even be associated with this app, and includes half-hearted, incomplete lists and item descriptions that fail to include the actual statistics of the items.

Universal (iPhone/iPad) app, Skyrim Alchemist has generally favourable app store reviews, but it only covers Alchemy, so its usefulness to you will depend entirely on how deeply you include Alchemy (if at all) in your play-style. At least it uses some decent touch-screen functionality and isn’t just a textual copy/paste exercise.

A fairly good looking (and one of the more expensive) universal iOS app is MAppz – Skyrim Edition, a map application that allows you to add your own notes to maps and use location filters to display different classes of location on the map. I haven’t tried this but it looks quite interesting and appears to be receiving regular updates based on user feedback.

There are plenty of online guides and wiki sites around. Here are the two that I think are particularly worth checking out if you need a bit of detailed information or feel like cheating…

UESP (Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages) Skyrim wiki

This one is probably my favourite (although I don’t use it at all, ever, for anything…) with a great, consistent style, a powerful search facility and tons of well written, clearly illustrated and relevant information. This is what it looks like if you browse it on an iPod:

The IGN Skyrim Wiki Guide

Nicely presented and easy to navigate, with a lot of cross-referencing links. I found one or two pages that ended up in a 404-not-found but, apart from that, this is a good site.

Finally, there’s the Besthesda Skyrim Forums, where you can witness the inevitability with which every player eventually hits a wall of boredom in an open and never ending videogame… good luck!



Saturday night … it’s Skyrim night

November 19, 2011

Sorry there’s no review today; I’ve been busy doing non-gaming real life stuff and I just need to relax a bit, out in the frozen wilderness of Skyrim. I’m currently level 18, just starting to get into the quests of the two slightly less lawful factions … and it’s a ton of fun, of course.

Some recent screenshots…