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Kicking Skyrim's Ass

Despite having spent about 450 hours in the game (according to Steam) Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim hangs over my head an unfinished nordic epic.  During the Steam summer sale, I actually purchased the last expansion to it (Dragonborn) but I never got around to playing the other two expansions I bought for it (Hearthfire and Dawnguard).  Given the time and money I invested in this game, I should really finish it.

My first attempt, near release, ground to a halt when I reached the end game and discovered that the developers were too lazy to balance the end game to satisfaction: I was killing everything with one arrow and it bored me.  I blamed myself, and all my other attempts over the years were pretty much attempting to find a satisfying solution.

Now, I believe that no such solution exists.  Skyrim just sucks.  No, I take that back... a game can do worse than merely suck; a game can be good enough that something truly important is lost when something ruins it.  Skyrim does that.
Maybe it sounds a bit hypocritical to complain when I got 450 hours of play out of Skyrim.  Well, the game has been out for almost 2 years now, has been massively successful, and Bethesda not only left the end game unbalanced, they also left over 1,000 bugs for the community to fix on their own: how's that for hypocrisy?

Ladies and Gentlemen, PC Gamer's #1 PC game of all time

Maybe I have been going about this all wrong.  All these worries about creating a gloriously fun or realistic character are moot when there is no such thing.  No matter what you roll up, it'll eventually bottom out in monotonous, casual-friendly gameplay: the antithesis of serious gamers everywhere.   I should not even create a character under the pretense of roleplay, because this broken sonovabitch game doesn't deserve it.

No; if the developers don't care about their game, why should I care, either?  I'm just going to kick this game's ass;   I'm going to create a character whose sole purpose is to put Skyrim out of its misery (and mine) as expediently as possible.
What is this "Fus Ro Dahing" I am referring to?  Perhaps this video will explain.

Not lacking at all in Skyrim experience, I knew immediately how to go about constructing such a monster:
  • Archery - Skyrim's NPC are helpless against ranged attacks, as they can't jump and path like a drunk.  If they ever back me into a corner, I can usually just Fus Ro Dah them away.   Why even let those foils get into striking distance before putting them down?  Put away that spellbook, Merlin: bow and arrow trumps Destruction magic so hard in Skyrim that it's not even funny.  Archery is the only means of direct damage I will ever need.
  • Conjuration - Since what I plan to do with archery is far closer to a fair fight than Skyrim deserves, I will cravenly abuse the one skill that can produce unlimited allies from nothing.  Maybe my NPC hireling will get one or two hits in on our enemies before they are promptly obliterated under raw demonic fury.
  • Smithing, Alchemy, and Enchanting - Utilized to full effect, the crafting skills in Skyrim will quickly render my equipment into such artifacts that the titular elder scrolls will little more than toilet paper in comparison.
  • Sneak - What hurts more than a 400 damage arrow smacking into a hapless bandit like a freight train?  That same arrow with a three times damage sneak attack multiplier.
  • Light Armor - Hah!  Given my tactics, I don't need no stinking armor.  Despite that, any damage I do take will roll harmlessly off some stylish light armor that has been smithed to the hard-coded limit, making wearing heavier armor completely pointless.  Throw in enough anti-magic enchantment, and the only enemy I need worry about is falling damage.  You shall not best me this time, gravity!
  • All Other Skills - Playthings, nothing more.
In other words, since Skyrim's balance is so screwed up, the shortest path to defeat it is by shoving it right up itself.  I wonder if NVIDIA knew that this was the way Skyrim was really meant to be played?

I am only about 4 hours into my new Skyrim game so far, and the build has worked exactly as I knew it would.  I fell the first dragon effortlessly with bow and summoned flame atronach.  I suppose I could bump up the difficulty past the default, "Adept" level, but that sort of defeats the point of what I am doing here: it's endgame or bust.

Some accounts hold Skyrim's main quest as completable in a number of hours measured in the single digits, but I should I should probably pay some token effort to playing these expansions I bought.  Better take this opportunity to get those scales shined up nice and pretty, Alduin: I want that head of yours to look good when it's hanging on my wall.

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