Returning to Skyrim after months of Elder Scrolls Online

I’ve had a bug to buy a new house in Elder Scrolls Online lately so over the Easter holiday weekend just past, I gave in and bought a lovely little Nord race themed house. I spent a good weekend crafting up all the Nord themed furniture and decorations I could make.

Immersing myself in Nord zones and crafting Nord items sparked a craving to go back and play a bit of the actual Skyrim game. I decided to start a fresh game as it’s been a year or two since I last played.

ESO is set 1000 years before Skyrim so while the story itself doesn’t overlap, the lore does. Wandering around getting back into the swing of the Skyrim, I found that multitudes of the history books scattered around refer to the events and timeline of ESO, events I’ve just played through!

It didn’t take too long of playing before I started to remember how rich this game is. The story and quests are really engaging and there is just so much to the game. So many quests, crafting, exploring, and house buying/building and decorating!

I think I’ll put a bit of time back into this game and remind myself where my love for ESO was sparked.

 

Questing in Skryim

I mentioned to one of my twitter friends that I’d do a quick blog post on my evenings playing in Skyrim to show them what the game looks like. This post is all about how I spent an evening questing and playing in Skryrim.

I continued  from my last save  in my house in Whiterun. As a reward for doing enough quests for the local Whiterun Jarl (like a lord), he trusted me enough to allow me to buy a house in town which came complete with a servant, Lydia, who I enlisted as a companion. There are a number of npcs you can recruit but I’m happy to keep Lydia even if she’s not… I’m ranged and she’s melee so there have been a few times she’s got in the way of my spells and ends up getting a little burnt, she generally complains about that when it happens.

The house comes as an empty shell but you are able to buy furnishings for each  room to make it feel cosy. The house also has the benefit of coming with bookcases and cupboards so I can store extra items that don’t fit in my inventory.

 

Before I can head off questing I need to sell all the bits and pieces I picked up on my travels to clear out my bags.

Some vendors are specialists and will only accept certain items but there’s usually a  general vendor in most towns who will buy anything I care to sell. In Whiterun, I go visit Belethor.

Belethor

 The downside is he only has 750g at one time so I have two options in trying to offload all my goods. 1. Sell to him until he’s bought 750g worth of stuff from me then travel to another town and use a different vendor until his gold resets.. or 2. Sell to him until his gold is used up then I can quicksave my game and kill him. Once I reload my saved game his inventory and gold stores will have reset. Just a word of caution with this route, you need to reload after you kill him as  once killed he won’t come back to life and killing a peaceful npc puts a bounty on your head so the guards will arrest you and put you in jail. Don’t be like me who accidently hit save instead of reload one time after killing him and had to load an older autosave to get back to a point where he was still alive.

After a few saves and reloads, I have mostly clear bags so I pop up the hill to Dragonreach which is home to the Court Mage and his enchanting table. At the enchanting table I can disenchant any gear that has magical properties so I learn them and can place enchants onto gear if I have the mats.

Now all the basic housekeeping have been done I’m ready to head off and adventure.

I have a quest in my log to go see the Jarl of Windhelm. There’s a battle happening between the imperials and the Stormcloaks headed by the Jarl. I chose to join the side of the Stormcloaks and they want me to join them on a mission to find a crown which had been lost and which, if found, would help the leader of the stormcloaks assert his right to rule.

I hadn’t discovered Korvanjund, the quest location so Lydia and I set off to walk there.

Once at Korvanjund, we set to exploring old ruins looking for the Crown. My favourite quests are ones where i get to poke around in old ruins or tombs and this one didn’t disappoint. The group of soldiers sent to help me retrieve the crown kindly waited as I poked around looting the odd burial urn and worked my through the various traps and puzzles the ruins had in place.

I’m playing as a destruction mage, specialising in fire spells but I also have at my disposal spells from the other schools of magic that help make my life a little easier. I’ve levelled up a couple of healing spells from the restoration tree and a few handy utility spells from Alteration like Candlelight which gives a  ball of light to follow me around and light up the dark corners.

candlelight spell

Once the crown was recovered it was back to Jarl Ulfric who immediately sent me off on another quest to go sound out the loyalty of the local Jarl in Whiterun.

Ulfric didn’t even have the decency to offer me a meal before heading off again. I eyed off the desert on the table but the bounty to pay the guards if I was to steal the sweet treat just wasn’t worth it so I left it alone.

dessert.jpg

Luckily I had already discovered Whiterun in my travellings so I could take the easy way and fast travel there. Once there the news wasn’t good and rather than joining with Ulfic, Whiterun decided to stand with the Imperials. Back to Ulfric I went to pass on the bad news. War was coming and it looks like I was involved.

Back at Windhelm, but before I could pass on the bad news to Ulfric, there was  a random dragon attack. As the game progresses, these attacks are getting more frequent.

Dragon.jpg

Killing a dragon gives me the ability to absorb a dragon’s soul which then means I can use certain extra spells that are unlocked via dragon souls. The spell I use the most is Whirlwind Sprint, a dragon shout which propels me forward at great speed for a few metres. Seeing I do my exploring on foot (I had a horse but he was killed and I’ve never got around to buying another), this helps cover ground a little faster. There are also offensive and defensive options but I tend to leave the shout set to the utility one.

 Ulfic was a bit annoyed at the lack of support and decided the best way to move forward would be to declare war on Windrun.. and guess who he wanted to give a hand.

Off to battle.jpg

Once I got back to Whiterun I was a bit worried to see the flaming balls being hurtled towards the city.. my house is in there! We rushed the city walls and after checking my house was ok, we headed up to see the Jarl. The battle of Whiterun ended with him surrendering.

The next stage was to get more orders and continue harrasing the Imperials but I decided that was enough of that quest line for the evening and headed of to bit a questing from elsewhere in my quest log.

quest log.jpg

In addition to questing, Skyrim has quite a developed crafting system, where you can make your own armor, weapons and potions. I haven’t really played with the crafting system that much but I generally collect all the mats I come across and store them away for when I do want to have a go. You use herbs and flowers for making potions through Alchemy. The details on the flowers below is just stunning.

Herbing

Even though it’s been out for quite a while, it’s a really well designed game to play and one I’m really enjoying.