I hate seeing a good
vacation end. The five days I had for Thanksgiving were too good to
see them end so damned soon. While I stayed at home, I think it's
safe to say that in my mind I spent my time in the land of Skyrim
with a brief layover on my flight home in the Mushroom Kingdom.
First off, I have no
played about five worlds of Super Mario 3D Land and can say a little
bit about the game. What can I say? The game, and this is a double
edged comment, is a poorly designed game that is very fun to play.
It plays too slow to be a traditional non-3D Mario title, but the
game is engineered to feel like a traditional non-3D Mario title. In
other words, the game doesn't know what it wants to be. It wants to
be many things, and feels fundamentally flawed in all regards...but
it still is mildly addictive. Is it as fun as an old school Mario
(Super Mario World, for example) or a 3D masterpiece (Super Mario
Galaxy 2)? No. Not even close. However, it still has it's charms in
I'll try to finish the
game sometime, but ultimately it will be left to slow times when
Skyrim is not demanding my full 100%.
Speaking of Nintendo
failures...I actually used my Wii for the first time since playing
Super Mario Galaxy 2. I needed a Netflix box for my bedroom (well,
Velveta did since I was using the main TV of the house for the
somewhat interesting and exciting Seahawks game yesterday), and the
Wii seemed like the perfect fit. I forgot how lame this thing feels
when compared to any of the other consoles that have been far more
streamlined over time with firmware upgrades. The Wii is so damned
clunky and the Wiimote interface just lost all of it's charm in the
last couple of years. Yes, using Netflix is possible. However, it's
an annoying experience from bed when you need to point and click
your options while trying to remain comfortable for a movie.
Anyway, without further
ado...Skyrim! Damned game has devoured my free time (I'm nearly at
100 hours now) and still has all of its charms. The only thing I am
not enjoying is that it becomes too easy, with the right plan, to
make the game too easy. For example, I now take nearly no damage
from anything (including dragon breath or physical attacks). I also
heal all damage I take thanks to my bow. With a little work, anyone
can break the game in four easy steps.
1. First, you must play
as a thief type of character. You need to use sneak, bows, and one
handed weapons (daggers are best, but a sword for intense moments is
good). Now just level up sneak to get the damage bonuses (the right
hand path of perks), and to get the bonus to not make extra noise if
you move fast while sneaking. Also boost the archery skill to get
zoomed in and slowed down time features on the left archery path.
2. Smith. You have a ton
of ores and hides after playing for a bit. Well, find a house to
store them in and then hit the blacksmith when you have enough. Just
go crazy with smithing and enjoy the items that comes out. Sell
anything large or useless, but keep your rings (two rings from a
piece of gold or silver). The quality of item you make doesn't
matter. Only how many things in total you make. You want to hit 100
and pick every perk (five of the first perk).
3. Take all that junk
you made and hit an enchanting alter. Just check the wizard's room
at Dragonreach for an easy to find alter. You also probably have a
ton of petty soul gems by now. First, enchant a bow to steal souls.
Always use it in the wilds to get some quick petty and lesser souls
off of the wild life in the game (will also boost your archery and
sneak if you hunt while sneaking). Now just keep enchanting stuff.
Being a thief helps since you'll find many more free soul gems and
minor jewelry to enchant. When you hit 100 on enchanting, you're
there. Now pick the entire left path (elemental bonuses) and the top
option (two enchantments per item). Now make some "enhance smithing"
items (take the enchant perk for bonus skill enhancement to make
this even more broken). First drink an enchanter's elixir (boost
enchant score) and make sure you took five levels of the first perk.
4. Wear the smithing
enhanced items (ring, armor, and necklace...there are also gloves in
the world that do this if you find them). Make a dragonscale armor
set and some daedric weapons (a bow, a sword, and the dagger to end
all daggers). Now drink a smithing elixir and hit the grindstone and
workbench. Upgrade everything and you now are nearly broken. To
round it out, take everything to an enchanting alter and drink
another enchanter's elixir. Make sure you have some grand souls
ready. Now make sure your sword and dagger have fire and ice damage
(really broken combo since it will deal massive damage on almost
anything, without worry about immunity and resistances). Put
soultrap and drain health on the bow (keeps you filled with soulgems
for recharges and will ensure even a dragon will not be a problem
with the health drain to keep you going during damage intensive
fights). Put a mixture of fire, electricity, and ice resistances on
your armor pieces and your jewelry. Also, on the ring and necklace,
add a sneak enhancement to keep you stealthy at all times.
Optional step 5. Win!
Optional step 6. Turn up
the difficulty slider because the game is now on easy mode.
This is how I approached
the game, without knowing what I was doing. I just started by
wanting to make some armor out of the dragon bones and scales that I
had painfully lugged home after many journeys (painfully due to the
massive weight of these things), and then it spiraled out of
control. Also, on the note of how heavy this stuff is, a couple
perks in pickpocket are great to get the +100 encumbrance perk.
Luckily, the game is fun
enough with the plot to negate the loss of challenge. Also, having
the ability to change the difficulty on the fly is a blessing when
you no longer feel any challenge due to making a broken character
like the one above. For the record, I also have a few perks in light
armor, which rounds out the awesome and broken nature of this
character. In total, I am running with ~90-95% immunity to all
elements (dark elf gets 50% from the start on fire), 490 armor with
a shield (about 95 less with a bow equipped due to no shield), a bow
that does greater than 100 with iron arrows (before the sneak attack
bonus), a dagger that does 55 base damage (before the 15X sneak
bonus), and usually will use my gloves that grant double damage
sneak attack on one handed weapons (making a dagger attack for 1650
base sneak attack before the 32 fire and 32 ice damage bonus, but
with a loss of some armor that isn't too bad due to my shield no
being in effect). If this isn't broken, then I don't know what is.
My only dream now is to get a 30X dagger sneak attack on a dragon to
one shot it.
This week saw me finally
upgrade my CPU. It wasn't needed, since Skyrim (the most tech
intensive game I'm playing) was working fine, but I still needed to
get it done. After a lot of swearing and some small wounds (it's
always fun getting cut on the sheet metal of a computer case), it
was done. Then I added in some tweaking to overclock the new CPU and
can now feel good to know I went from a 2.6 GHz (overclocked) CPU to
a 3.96GHz (less overclocked) CPU.
However, with that
minor change, or maybe with the supposed Skyrim update that came
along this week (with Steam, you never know if you're getting
updated or not), Skyrim is no longer running perfectly, beyond some
minor annoyances. It now has a major problem...a very major one that
pisses me off but still allows the game to be played. I use a lot of
magical weapons (a sword for fighting normal, a bow for getting soul
gems filled and for sniping, and a dagger for my insane times
sneaking around doing 15 or 30 times normal damage). I also have to
charge them often. When I now charge, by hitting the T key while
highlighting a drained weapon, I still get the soul gem selection
menu. However, I cannot scroll this menu, so I have to chose either
one of my two sizes of black soul gems, or a common soul gem. There
is no going down the list to find my petty, lesser, or my
rechargeable black star soul gem. It doesn't break the game, but it
is annoying and leaves me either wasting larger than needed soul
gems or unable to use the refillable black star (my old favorite
charging source)...or I go through the hell of transferring all soul
gems except the star to a container or my partner and then being
able to recharge my weapons.
I suppose another
option may exist, but I really don't want to try it. I could see if
my 360 controller will allow me to scroll down the list, but then I
have to play with my input source every time I want to recharge a
weapon...and my weapons do require constant maintenance. I mean if
you have two enchantments per weapon and they are all full powered
with grand soul gems to make them...well, you recharge quite
frequently. For now I'm stuck with wasting common souls...but I
don't want to keep that up when I have a ton of petty and lesser
souls doing nothing for me but wasting inventory space.
Bethesda needs to
do a good solid update to solve the menu control issues, since these
are not new issues, even if it was an update that caused them. The
menu always has had some quirks. Now it just feels worse due to
either an update or a new CPU.
On a different
note, who the hell was playing against the Eagles last night in
Seattle? That was not the Seahawks. The Seahawks don't score first
and maintain a lead the entire game. The Seahawks don't have a
running game that puts up more than 100 yards every single game for
a month. The Seahawks are not that dominant and don't play with so
few penalties. Whoever this team is, I wonder where were they at the
start of the season. Even with T-Jack...even with an injured T-Jack,
the Seahawks are looking pretty solid. They are not a Super Bowl
team...but they are a playoff team with how they have been playing
since November started.
Of course, despite
how the NFL Network kept saying the Seahawks are "in the hunt", they
are not playoff bound. When you have the Lions, Bears, Giants,
Falcons, and a few other teams with more skill who may not be the
division champs this season, you cannot except one of the two wild
card spots to land in Seattle. In fact, Seattle only has a chance
right now to have a better than expected record at the end of the
season and a lower draft pick, but not chance to play after game 16
ends. The only way Seattle could see the playoffs is if San
Francisco loses every remaining game and Seattle wins every
remaining game. Could it happen? Yes...I mean a 7-9 Seahawks may the
post-season last year despite a losing record. Will Seattle make the
impossible into reality? Hell no.