Am I Playing Skyrim Wrong?

If it’s not my choice of weapon, it will be my choice of quests, how I spend my skill points (if you were wondering, this could be described as “haphazardly”, at best), or if those don’t bother you enough, maybe you just don’t like my character’s name. For whatever reason, I wouldn’t be suprised if you think my current Skyrim character is a mess.

For context, she’s called Meera, and you can see what she looks like in the featured image above. She’s a Khajiit, and at the time of her creation (probably about 10am on a Saturday morning after downloading the game overnight), it sounded like a sufficiently cat-like name (in my mind, it’s not far off the sound of a cat’s “meow”…. “Meeee-ra”? “Meeew-ra”? No?), but at the same time, I figured it sounded just about cooler than something like “Whiskers” or “Ginger”. She’s also gained some pretty cool battle scars, and has just enough flesh on her bones to not look like she needs to be picked up by the RSPCA. For some reason, the game made it really hard to make her look healthy.

As you can imagine, I started out with the not-so-noble intention of being a “thief”. I was going to stay true to the Khajiit way, and pickpocket, sneak and silently take down my enemies to the end of the game.

But at some point within the first few hours of gameplay, that changed.

Whether it was because my inner rebel (ha!) got the better of me, or maybe because I simply didn’t really understand sneaking, and found it just so damn difficult, I decided that my Khajiit was going to defy all her race’s stereotypes.

Somewhere along the line, my once-innnocent Khajiit picked up an axe and some heavy armour, and she never put it down (apart from to upgrade of course – I’m not that stupid). Sure, she dabbles in a bit of archery every now and then, because the idea of getting close enough to a dragon to actually strike it with an axe doesn’t really appeal to her cautious mind. Is this a bad choice? Maybe. Did I choose the easy way by quite obviously picking the weapon with the highest initial damage, before realising that I’d upgraded her two-handed weaponry too far to turn back? Definitely.

But does this mean I’m playing the game “wrong”? I don’t think so.

I’ll admit, I chose a character with a relatively insignificant special ability, and then chose the least elegant way of playing the game. Oh, and I made her some kind of werewolf. Maybe some of these choices are questionable (it might be the werewolf part), but maybe, just maybe, she’ll take me through to the end of the game, and it might actually be [gasp] fun.

I say forget the “rules of gaming”. I didn’t enter a fantasy world to be bound by rigid rules that dictate how to play the game. I don’t play so I can be the best, or so people can message me for tactical advice (I would not advise it). And I’m not the only one.

Dishonored is another one of those games that players sometimes have that little bit of rigidity about: “well, you’re meant to play the game without killing anyone.”

But some people like to play Dishonored in a way that causes the darkest possible outcome – though I’m not one of those people: my fear of confrontation forces me to relentlessly press “load last save” every time a guard spots me, which is why I’m yet to complete the game. Similarly, some people choose their characters based on looks, and some people just aren’t

Similarly, some people choose their characters based on looks, and some people just aren’t good at games. Sure, some men also “just want to watch the world burn”, but this is hardly on the same level [Batman reference anyone?].

Maybe next time I’ll make an Orc that likes pickpocketing, or a High Elf that hates magic. Because that’s why it’s called free-roam. Kind of.

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15 thoughts on “Am I Playing Skyrim Wrong?

  1. An excellent post, I’ve noticed that many people can actually get upset when you don’t follow the “rules” concerning race attributes – but following the rules is so boring. The whole point of roleplay is to try out new combinations, see what happens when you combine this with that, learn about yourself as you move through the environment. It’s so much more fun when you don’t really know what’s going to happen!

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    1. They do, and it’s so silly! That’s exactly what I believe too. It’s all about trying new things, and being creative about it, not being bound by rules. And I love the unpredictability of creating a character that’s so different and imperfect that you don’t quite know if they’ll succeed. It’s much more fun than just following someone’s advice to create a character that’s “safe” but boring.

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  2. Skyrim is just one of those games that encourages chaotic behavior. Probably because there’s no other player characters involve. Stick it to those tropes! Great read, thanks for sharing the experiences.

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  3. I struggle with games that give you too much freedom. Fallout, skyrim, gta. I own skyrim but never got past about an hour of the game and the first half was creating my character! 😛 I always worry I’ve chosen the wrong race, class, hairstyle etc. Arkham Knight is the only one which I’m getting through!

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    1. I can see why you say that – there are just so many options in a lot of these games. It’s hard to know where to start! I think that’s part of why I love them so much though. Oh, I haven’t played Arkham Knight actually!

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      1. They are definitely harder to casually dip in and out of than smaller games with less freedom. I find Witcher 3 pretty overwhelming compared to something like Uncharted 2 (both of which I’m playing at the moment), so I know if I want to play it, I have to set aside a lot more time. I’ll bear it in mind, thanks for the recommendation! I have Arkham City on my Xbox, but I don’t think I could get properly into it for some reason (though I think I was probably in the middle of some kind of exams at the time and had too many games to play).

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      2. Haha every chance I get to be batman I’ll take it! I get that. It is quite overwhelming. I love the borderlands series though which is one of the rare open world games that I like but I think that’s because it focuses so much more on the action and loot! I would definitely recommend any of the recent batman games. I think they’re excellent. Strangely I’m actually currently replaying uncharted 2 as well. Spectacular game! Good choice. 🙂

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  4. I love Skyrim, every time I roll a new character though (and even though I tell myself to try a new race) I always end up playing a female Nord, and call her Persephone or Hippolyta, always like to bring Wonder Woman’s Amazons to life in video-games. 🙂 I have also played Dishonoured, but have one of those video-game moral codes, which means I am unable to harm innocents in games(!?) so always go the stealthy/tranq dart route. Very enjoyable post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, glad you liked the post. Love that idea of bringing Wonder Woman’s Amazons to life in video games! I always like trying to create video game characters to mimic characters in books or TV shows.
      Haha that’s a good moral code, but that can’t be easy! I’ve been trying to use the stealthy route, but it’s a very, very slow process (I’m a bit too clumsy with the controls).

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