Swim. Skyrim.

I decided to go to the gym and swim, in preference to walking, as much as anything because I needed to force my bloated carcass through the door of the building, you know how you kind of develop a mental block about going to the gym if you don’t go for a long time. So I swam, a respectable 60 lengths, or 1200 metres, or exactly three-quarters of a mile.

Naturally, I now don’t feel like doing anything and this is because I am unfit. Four months ago, I was fit and doing exercise resulted in feeling more energetic. But as of right now I am very unfit and therefore doing exercise results in feeling knackered. So I am going to play some Skyrim.

I have just started a new game of Skyrim for the third time. My first character, which I think might have been some kind of wood elf, was lost when my PC got trashed. Then just recently I was playing an Argonian who I got to about level 6 and that’s when combat started getting annoying difficult. I kept dying all the time. And I remembered that I ran into terrible difficulties with Skyrim when I was playing it the first time round as well. So I took the manual out of its plastic wrapping, in which it had sat for, like, two years, and looked at it, and realised that Skyrim was hard because I was playing like a complete noob. I now wonder how these two previous characters that I made even survived as long as they did.

I was just running up to things and bashing them. I suppose too much Warcraft has made me lazy. All you do in Warcraft is identify your two or three favourite damage-inflicting abilities, they are right there on the toolbar or you’ve even made a macro, and you just mindlessly cycle through them while the dragon or whatever that you are fighting dies a timely death. Skyrim, apart from the strange absence of a handy toolbar on the HUD where you could actually see the spells and weapons that you want to use, requires you to use everything in your repertoire. Range weapons, spells, shouts, words, scrolls, poisons, potions, you name it, it’s all gonna get used. You can hot-key 8 abilities to the keyboard and 8 isn’t enough because you need everything. Plus you have to learn how to manually block attacks, your character is not going to automatically do it for you and you will not survive without it. So combat is obviously much more involved than I was giving it credit for and I’m going to have to start playing it properly if I want to be able to get past level 6. Up to about level 6 you can get away with just running up to things and hitting them with a one-handed mace and I think this is true of all games, and perhaps life.

While I had the manual out, I read the section on character archetypes and realised that there is a build for the type of character that I was trying to play (as you can see, I am a slow learner, I have been gaming since the 80s, this type of thing should no longer come as a surprise). I did have a character in mind, when I made the wood elf and the Argonian. What I actually needed, I finally realise, was a Khajiit, because the character I had in mind that I wanted to play is an Assassin. The Khajit get bonuses in obviously useful skills such as stealth, lockpicking and one-handed weapons, and they have night vision. You would think I would realise that character builds exist, because I have 7 Warcraft characters dating from times when I did not know about these things and that’s why I have a female Undead that is a warrior while also being a tailor, and why my mage does mining. Here is what we are aiming for. A Khajiit assassin is a cat-like creature that wears light armour and looks like that, except mine is female and uses daggers, while that one is male and is using a sword.


As this is the third time I am starting this game, and I would like to avoid starting it a fourth time, I looked around for a simple guide or walkthrough that would help me not miss important quests, fight properly and build the correct skills. So I was thrilled to find this one, wherein the author had previously failed at Skyrim in just the same way as me, and made a new character with a specific interest in sneaking/thief type features. So that’s what I’m doing this evening. That and only slightly keeping one eye on my social media in case the Honcho comes looking for me. And it looks like we’ve run out of weekend, doesn’t it. 1 Health point.

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