Adventure Log: Skyrim and Dragon’s Dogma

This week’s Adventure Log is surprisingly Dragon-centric.  Both of us worked hard to finish up games with open worlds and freedom.

Graev: Dragon’s Dogma

I beat Dragon’s Dogma yesterday, and now I’m working on New Game Plus (NG+) which means I beat the game and I get to play it over again while keeping my character’s stats and items.   I was originally a Strider which is a ranger guy that uses two daggers and a bow, but I changed to a Ranger that uses larger bows.  Then I became an Assassin which can use daggers, swords, and bows, adn beat the game.   Now that I’m in NG+ I might change to an arcane archer — changing classes is easy by going to an NPC and changing points; Some abilities even carry over.

I haven’t fought the huge world dragon yet.  I have to get back to that location in NG+ because I wasn’t ready for him in my first play-through.  He’s that dragon you get to fight for 8 minutes at a time and after 8 minutes or you deal a certain amount of damage he flies away.  The whole community playing Dragon’s Dogma gets to contribute to the fight.  If you contributed to fighting him you get a reward, but if you’re actively fighting him when he’s killed you get REALLY good rewards.  The Xbox community has killed him 30 something times, and the PS3 community is on 80 something.   I’m excited to get to that fight.

The coolest fight I’ve done is the big red dragon, which is part of the storyline.  To beat him I jumped and climbed on his chest/stomach area and stabbed at his heart.  My pawn, or NPC companions, helped me out.  Sometimes the dragon would fly up in the air and to bring him down I would get in a ballista and shoot him down. At one point he shot up in the air with me on his back and I had to climb around him to stab some more.  It was a really cool boss fight.

The story of Dragon’s Dogma is reminds of of the JRPG style that doesn’t make any sense — perhaps it’s lost in translation — but at least parts are interesting.  What keeps me playing are the boss fights and monsters.  Dragon’s Dogma feels like a mix of Monster Hunter and Shadow of the Colossus in combat.  The world is not terribly big but it’s open and feels larger than it is because of the number of monsters you have to fight to travel.  Limited forms of quick travel help create that sense of distance.

This has turned into a bit of a review, so I’ll end by saying that I recommend Dragon’s Dogma and give it a 4 out of 5.


Keen: Skyrim

Whiterun on a clear day. So many riches to steal and marks to assassinate.

I finally finished the main story and quest in Skyrim! I started a new file about a month ago because I lost all hope of continuing one of my other characters that became lost in their own misadventures in the world of Tamriel. This time around I played with a focus: I wanted to be chaotic neutral with a sense of duty to the birthright of Dragonborn, but a clear sense of my own self-importance. I went the route of a sneaking assassin that specialize in dagger/shield and Bow.

Before I started the main story, I joined and completed the Dark Brotherhood quests. I had a lot of fun coming up with unique ways of assassinating my marks. As a bowman, I found it was often in my best interest to find an accessible rooftop with shadows, hunker down in stealth, and snipe my mark without anyone seeing me.

I joined the thieves guild shortly after and began my work stealing, sneaking, and attempting to get rich all-the-while avoiding killing. It was hard to abandon my Dark Brotherhood ways, but I made up for it by taking far more than necessary in loot.

The main story was next, and this time I pushed through it with dedication. Minor spoilers ahead. Fighting dragons became very easy for me. Using a dagger was off-limits because I could never 30x sneak attack a dragon. Instead, I pulled out my bow and hid behind rocks — popping out to shoot then ducking to avoid breath. This is how I beat Alduin both fights without trouble. Dragonrend + chicken tactics with a Bow trivialized the fights — or was I just that good? My character likes to think so.

All I have left in Skyrim is to finish exploring crafting and finishing some quests with Molag Bal. Oh yeah, if you’re interested in the storyline for The Elder Scrolls Online, the main bad guy of the MMO actually gives you quests in Skyrim. Actually… I found myself serving several Daedric princes throughout the game. Hermaeous Mora was quite good to me.

  • At some point while playing skyrim I feel like my character is complete..
    So strong and so many useful skills that it becomes a drag to play on.
    At that point I make a new character.
    Been a while, since I played skyrim.

    I do not own Dragon’s dogma (and no netflix kind of service for games here)
    I will probably get it when its on sale.
    Does look good. Its just to bad its not released on PC.

  • There’s a quest chain associated with each of the Daedric princes. They all give you either a really good weapon or some other cool artifact for completion. As a dagger wielding assassin, if you haven’t been to the Dawnstar Museum, you should definitely go check it out.

  • @Cthreepo: There’s still some more Diablo 3 left in us. Neither of us like to put in the time to grind gear to progress through Inferno mode. We’re on Hell mode with our main characters.

  • Keen, you need to give Day Z a shot. It’s right up your alley. I love it when awesome gameplay trumps production value and huge budgets. It’s still in alpha, but it’s also the most fun I’ve had all year with a game. Give it some love!

  • I like Dayz.. well until they took out the bandit skin.
    (if you killed 2 or more people you became a bandit for everyone to recognise so you can kill such player killers on sight.

    They took out that feature and everyone became paranoid.
    Shoot everyone just to be safe. After all everyone could be a bandit right?

    I hope they add different features I will enjoy again.. until then I wont play.

  • I was just wondering if you had any strong opinions on Warhammer not going f2p yet. I was just wondering about it today, and would love to hear your ideas on why they should or shouldn’t, especially with Bioware chatting up the idea of turning SWTOR towards f2p.

  • @Aggronaut: Bioware is hedging right now with their F2P talks. They’re not ruling out the idea, but they’re not ready to go down that route and risk the subscribers they do already entertain.

    WAR has like one server, right? Their development team is likely very, very small and there isn’t a future for the game from a content perspective. They probably make money on what they have right now, but not much.

    They’re waiting for WAR to go out quietly. There’s no reason for them to promote the game (why promote a sinking ship?) with a free to play push and take any thunder from SWTOR. They’ll keep their ammunition for when it counts.

  • Makes a whole lot of sense. I guess they put all the Warhammer chaps that were left towards Wrath of Heroes. I wonder what would have been had they gone completely free a while back, when people actually would have played.

  • @Aggronaut: It needed to happen two years ago, but I’m not sure it would have made much difference for them.

  • To be honest i think Bio-ware would do better by going f2p early while there is still a little fire left in the title. I figure most of the subs will stay and those that dont will be easily replaced by new accounts.