Life choices

Little by little

Wednesday, November 23, 2011 | 12:55 PM | by

I feel like I may be the slowest Skyrim player around.

Everyone else on my XBL friends list is level 40+... my little Orc is level 15. I finally just got over to the Grey Beards for the first time. I've been afflicted with a serious case of wanderlust, and while it is providing me with plenty of enjoyment, it is also making it nigh impossible to get anything done in the game.

Add in that I feel the need to check everything for value (every item on every shelf, every book that might contain a skill-up), and it doesn't take long before the tedious minutiae overshadows my desire to see what's over that next hill. A typical play session doesn't seem to last more than an hour or so.

While I was able to immerse myself for hours on end in Dark Souls, Skyrim is apparently a game I can only swallow in bite-sized chunks.

I am absolutely loving those bite-sized chunks, though. Last night I opted to venture to the far northeast, for a task I had been assigned in the region. I'd been doing pretty well, so I decided to treat myself for the journey, and purchased a horse. I immediately noticed there was no way to call the horse, and he didn't follow me of his own accord. I had a strong feeling I'd just wasted a thousand gold on a temporary meat taxi, as opposed to the game-long companion I'd been hoping for.

Either way, I struck out for the north. After wandering around amongst the ice floes for thirty minutes or so, and completing the task I'd set out on, I started making my way back to the mainland. Just as a blizzard struck. So my horse and I trudged through the tundra towards another objective, fighting off ice wraiths and hunters and wolves... it was in the middle of this storm that, sure enough, my horse keeled over (he may have caught a tiny little edge of my axe while I was swinging at a wolf).

So, taking my incredibly expensive piece of horsemeat to snack on later, I continued on foot, until I came across an ancient dwarven structure half buried in snow and ice. I spent the rest of my play session clearing out sections of this dungeon, and making trips back and forth between Whiterun to cart all of the dwemer metal I was collecting to the smelter.