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This Weekend: Looking for Skyrim Smithing Advice

What are you guys playing this weekend?

I’m playing a lot of Skyrim on the Switch. I’ve been leveling a warrior-type using 1h and block. Having not played Skyrim for years, I wasn’t aware of so many of the little changes. The biggest change is to Smithing. My goal was the level up Smithing and craft some pretty epic items. Turns out, it’s a little more difficult now. Smithing in Skyrim now works off the value of the item. From what I read, the best ratio of resources to skill gains comes from making ‘gold rings’, but I’m also reading some info about Dwarven Smithing. Looking for some advice here.

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When is The Elder Scrolls 6 Coming Out?

When is The Elder Scrolls VI coming out? Sorry, I don't know. That's why I'm asking.

I've recently been on a Skyrim kick thanks to the Switch version being an awesome way to play the game on the go and/or away from a traditional TV setup. 

I'm also watching a lot of Oblivion being played by a streamer named DansGaming. He's currently playing a modded play-through and I've decided if by the time I'm done with Skyrim and bored enough, if nothing else is out to play, I'll be doing the same.

All this Elder Scrolls has me thinking that we're due for a new release here soon. Technically, we're way past due. Morrowind came out in 2002. Oblivion came out in 2006. Skyrim came out in 2011. It's now 2018, and even accounting for the increased development time between games, we're due.

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What are You Playing this Weekend?

This weekend I’m looking forward to having some time to relax and invest in some games. This week was marred by food poisoning (or something unpleasant…) and a ton of client work. I’m ready for some R&R.

I’ll be clocking time in Skyrim for Switch, finishing up an Assassin’s Creed 2 play-through with my wife, and perhaps looking at getting We are Billions.

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Skyrim Survival Mode

I think the idea of a Skyrim survival mode is awesome.  What a cool way to keep updating a game that is getting up there in age.

Survival mode transforms the world into a "land of unrelenting cold and harsh wilderness." They're adding hunger, fatigue, cold, warmth, freezing water, reduced carry weight, sleeping to level up, and lots more.

I think some of the neatest additions are having to eat to survive. This means more random hunting will happen, and cooking food (or having to stop to do so) will make the world feel more immersive and sandbox.

Skyrim Survival Map

The world is also being updated to include climate regions, and other items for survival.

What I'm a little disappointed about is that instead of being a core update, this will be a "mod" to the game. I get how classifying it as a "mod" makes sense, but that also means restrictions.

PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players will get to experience Survival Mode and other Creations early next month. Both PC and console players will get Survival Mode free for one week once it launches on their preferred platform.

I'm planning to pick up Skyrim on the Switch, and unfortunately there won't be any "mods" on the switch. Since Skyrim Survival is going to be a "mod," that means I'm out of luck. 

I don't really want to play it on the PC if I'm going to spend the money to get it (again) on the Switch. Just a grumbly bit detail for players like me.

Otherwise, a very cool (pun intended) update mod.


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.

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