The Lost Skill

Recently I purchased Skyrim, which would be my first Elder Scrolls game that I’ve played (watched my brother play Morrowind a bit). I am normally not a singleplayer guy at all but this game really grabbed me and held on tight. Next thing I know I had two characters in their 20s having done maybe 25% of the quests. I wanted more without ruining the game by overplaying it. So, I bought Morrowind.

Morrowind looks a lot worse than I remember. It feels like playing in Anarchy Online scenically while having EQ1 models. The graphics are not an issue for me as I was here for the game. I haven’t gotten that far in Morrowind, I’m still hanging around Balmorra doing quests, and the main quest is taking me to Vivee (where I died and forgot to fucking save arg!).

The joy of playing these games in first person prompted me to return to a certain DF beta that may or may not exist. I finally realized that DF is just multiplayer Elder Scrolls without the ability to save. I should not fear the ruthless world.

Something I discovered while playing the Elder Scrolls games is that sometimes you can get ahead of yourself. Maybe you didn’t do enough side quests and focused too much on the main story. Maybe you saw something while travelling and veered off course and never turned back. Eventually you come up against a mob that you simply cannot beat in a fair fight (read: going toe to toe if your melee and killing it before it gets to you if you’re mage/archer). But, if you are determined you can use the tools you have to defeat it by not fighting fair.

We have been conditioned to forget that this is even a possibility with today’s MMOs. You pull a mob and kill it no problem, even if it is upwards of 5 levels above you. Oh, you accidentally aggrod 5 mobs your level? No problem, you can take them out.

We have forgotten what it is like to fail, what it is like to feel lost, and how to overcome those feelings by using the lost skill: your brain.

This revelation excites me greatly as I return to the DF beta that may or may not exist. In the original I rarely ever fought “medium” difficulty mobs. out of fear. I probably tried once and either died or almost died and just thought, well, my skills aren’t good enough yet for that. The problem was that it seemed like they were never good enough for that. However my time in The Elder Scrolls games has reminded me that I actually can defeat these mobs, through trial and error, with patience, planning, and execution.

I feel as though I have turned a new leaf, or whatever the fuck that saying is, and I gotta say that I like it.


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