I thought this weekend might be filled with simply ‘getting ready’ to play things. As troublesome as extensively modding Skyrim might still be — it still went a lot faster than I remember from the days before mod managers and the like.

Warframe of course needs no mods — just the update download, which I’ve done. XCOM 2 I setup already through the much simpler ‘one-click subscribe’ style of collections via the Steam workshop. That leaves ESO and RimWorld to go.

ESO I expect to only lightly touch. Maybe a bit of a UI clean-up. Some map enhancements. A graphical reshade perhaps. Not too much else. So that one can just wait until I actually get an urge to play.

RimWorld too will slot somewhere between that and Skyrim levels of effort. RimWorld has a full set of mods on the Steam workshop — but load order does also matter. And this is not something that Steam Workshop mod collections is any good at keeping track of. A few of the more promising packs I looked at today had a separate download for the mod load list though, which certainly makes things easier. The only real complication is the game had a patch in the last few weeks and these collections haven’t by and large been updated for that yet.

But anyway — never mind all that. I killed a dragon. And sucked in its soul-juice so I could shout really loud and push stuff off tables.

Coming across the carnage of the Dragon’s earlier attack in the night was quite the sight. Looking up at the clouded sky above, it was difficult — but not impossible — to make out the shape of gliding wings above.
(Click through to see more detail)

Discovering my Character

Even after the initial tutorial sequence with the Dragon attack on Helgen and siding with either the Imperials or the Storm-Cloaks — I didn’t really have any idea what this character was going to be. Magic-user? Archer? Sneaky Rogue? Sword and board? How about giant 2H weapons?

Part of the issue deciding was simply that I’d done them all before.

So I decided… Not to decide. Well that’s that exactly true. I decided to remove a degree of the meta-gaming I’m usually prone to doing and just go with the flow. Not quite roleplaying in the sense it is typically meant in — but I had indeed decided to ‘play the role’ of the character I was controlling.

Common sense would rule the day. Well — that and to some degree, fate I suppose. Take what comes on its own terms.

Nooope. Nopenopenope.

That thing? I would have kept my distance and burnt that thing with fire if not for the fact I had a friend along who I didn’t particularly want to turn into a BBQ.

Hitting it with a heavy metal ball seemed to be about the next best option. And this continued to be the best option for some time. That’s not to say I wouldn’t pull out my bow if I thought I might get an early shot on someone or something nefarious. But once combat began?

Apply heavy ball to face until the problem stops existing. A winning strategy, if I do say so myself.

“Come here! I wish to show you my winning strategy!”

Well alright, there might also have been a fair amount of, ‘Let the AI companion run in first and see how it goes’ at play.

Anywho — screenshots to the contrary, I avoided a great many distractions. Part of removing my meta-play means I don’t go off the beaten path just randomly looking (read: hunting down an icon on the compass) for things that wish me dead.

No, I use the compass and map to head as directly as possible to sort out this clearly very urgent message from the people of Riverrun. They need help against the probability of the Dragon attacking. And since I’d seen such an attack not more than 20-30 minutes prior I was inclined to believe the urgency and the need.

After letting the Jarl of Whiterun know — and also letting his council-mage know — I was directed into the dungeon above to recover a tablet on the Dragons.

One of the puzzles solved.

Incidentally, I’d also been asked to recover the Golden Claw which had been stolen from a local trader. Yep — the Golden Claw in the image above. I needed to borrow it first from the thief who had taken it, in order to get through into the depths of this place. Past the Draugr. The Traps. And that terrible spider above.

But I did it — and I swung by the trader quickly to return his property even, on my way back to the Jarl’s court to present the tablet of lore. Of course, no sooner had I done that then reports came through of the Dragon attacking the western watch tower.

With a small contingent of troops from the guard and the Jarl’s own Housecarl — we went on the offensive. More then one person tried their hand at impersonating burnt-toast during the fight, but ultimately we won.

And then… Well. Then the lightshow started and the men started throwing around the ‘Dragonborn’ word. Something the dying breath of the Dragon itself called ‘Dovahkiin’.

That was me. Again. And the Greybeards up on the tallest mountain of the area cracked the sky with their shout of my summons by the same word again. My own shouting cannot crack the sky yet — but hoo boy, give me a table filled with crockery and there won’t be too much of that left when I’m done.

But that’s where I’ll leave off tonight — undisputed saviour *cough* of Whiterun, and about to head out on a pilgrimage to the top of a mountain to learn how to shout better.

Additional Contributors to the ‘Five Games’ Thought Experiment

Since I last linked the responses I was aware of in the October Journal, there have been four five additional:

Hopefully I’m not missing anyone — but let me know if I am! :D Not sure exactly what yet, but I want to do something with the collected views at the end of the experiment.