So you've ventured into the world of Skyrim (purchased the game). It's a daunting world when you discover its size, and the amount of things you can do. Most people will just venture off into the unknown and try to overcome any situation the game throws at them. This is all good if that's how you play, but I say this "forewarned is forearmed".
I did just that myself after researching the perfect character for me. A Wood Elf which had great stats to begin with: 50% resistance to poison, 50% resistance to disease, the Command Animals spell and plenty of skill bonuses Alchemy: +5, Archery: +10, Light Armour: +5, Lockpicking: +5, Pickpocket: +5 and Sneak: +5. After adjusting the finer details, name: Malrock, hair: a long rocking style that looked badass, and a nice goatee I was all set to go.
After quite a bit of game play and now at level 21 I wish I had stopped, actually planned what I was going to do and maybe set out with some kind of game plan (which in itself is probably impossible taking into account the amount of variables). I've made this blog entry to forewarn you of some pitfalls you may encounter in the game and some tips that may be helpful, and in doing so you may not fall victim to the same situations I have….
1. Choose the vital skills to level up and stick with them
Before venturing off into the unknown, take a good look at your stats and what skill bonuses you already have. Mine had a bonus to light armour, lockpicking, etc. This is probably what I should be ranking up as I already had a head start in that skill, instead I ranked up everything across the board. Because there isn't a way to get them all maxed out, I now only have a little in each…. But I could have had some really good abilities had I concentrated on a few select skills.
2. Seek out Followers to help you
Followers are NPCs you will encounter on your journeys, which will follow you into danger, carry some of your loot and save you from some sticky situations. The first one you will encounter is Lydia after completing a quest not too far into the game. She on many occasions ventured out with me into many hostile dungeons and hostile territory and held her own. She did however have one fault, a major fault in my opinion…. Her annoying sarcastic reply every time I wanted to swap or equip her with armour or weapons "I am sworn to carry your burdens"…… She had to go. Now I have Benor, a nice guy I met in Hjaalmarch, in Morthal. He reckoned he could knock my lights out…. I proved otherwise and now he follows me as my bitch wherever I go. Lol He's a burly guy and an expert in two handed weapons and heavy armour. Not the best follower around but he will do until I find someone better.
Don't befriend these followers. Whilst they do help you and probably save your life, there's probably another one out there that could do it better. There are many out there with different skill sets. Not quite sure which would go well with mine, probably something along the lines of Benor, but with a more versatile skill set I guess. It would be good if you could train your followers to become better, but alas, this isn't so.
TIP: try to not run off on your followers as you could find yourself running into trouble and fighting off multiple hard opponents without someone to help. (followers cannot climb as good as you and can be known to stop dead behind a rocky surface or float off downstream of a river. Take care of them.
3. Save a lot, and often
There's been many a time when I've gone into a quest thinking it was a walk in the park, getting a majority of the way through a dungeon or stronghold and being killed by a rogue arrow or magic spell, which resulted in me shouting to the heavens "why didn't I save more often!!!". This is the key to good game play. If before entering a cave or fort or anywhere you know there will be enemies save the game, when going from one area to another with enemies…. Save, when starting to venture into an ominous passage….. save. That is all. "in save do we trust". You'll notice the benefits of this, if you die at the hands of a surprise attack of zombies or mages, you can then start off where you saved last now knowing what's to come around the corner and preparing weapons and spells accordingly.
4. Try to judge if a quest is aiming higher then your skill level
There are many many quests out there in Skyrim. There are the main ones, some are from groups and factions you join and some are grouped under the title miscellaneous.
I find the best way to go about the game is to collect quests, as you go from place to place. I've joined a few factions in Skyrim, the Thieves Guild, the Dark Brotherhood, the Companions and The College of Winterhold to name a few. As you follow each of these group missions they will get harder as you progress and you will need to figure out the line you cross where the quests become too hard for your current skill level. There is also the option to lower the difficulty setting, but I'm of the mind, "If I started at this level, then I will keep it at that level". Saying that though, I may have to lower it if I just cannot do a level
There are millions of books scattered around Skyrim (this place must not be bloggers). Most are just there to read but some upgrade your skills, so my advice would be to become a bookworm and search for good books around areas. There are some called Spell Tomes, which give you much needed spells to add to your arsenal of spells, which could help you against some tricky customers.
These are dotted around Skyrim, so beware. The dragons are a pain in the ass. Sometimes you can see them miles away, but sometimes they are literally on top of you. It is worth taking them out because you are the Dragonborn and can absorb their souls and then you can use the dragon soul to unlock the word of power and its associated dragon shout. You will learn more about dragon shouts as you progress through the game.
TIP: If a dragon strikes and for some reason you are on your own and unable to take it down effectively, look on the map to see if a settlement or hold is nearby with people there. Run as fast as you can to that place, so that the people there can help you. Yes, you will be subjecting many to a gruesome dragon death, but I found this to be a really good way at distracting the dragon from you thus allowing you to shoot at it with arrows from a safe place.
Giants are usually found walking around in the open, usually with 2 – 3 mammoth like creatures. They are mostly friendly as long as you don't disturb them or anger them. If they come lumbering at you, try not to stand your ground as one hit from their clubs can kill you instantly.
Bears, jaguars and trolls are some of the other creatures you will find on your travels most can be taken out quite easily but can damage you quite a lot. Trolls regenerate their health if left to do so.