Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Roleplaying in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

I've been on a real Elder Scrolls kick lately. I've mentioned previously spending some time with Skyrim and Morrowind lately; the latter has given me the slip once again, I'm here to report. Or maybe I'd just rather spend time with its younger, prettier, and more friendly cousins. I think I'll get back around to Skyrim eventually, for the long haul, but in the throes of my recent fascination with the series, I had to check out Daggerfall, the only one of the games I had not played.

It didn't go over so well. I had a better time playing Arena for a short while, as a matter of fact. That's partly on me, though. I didn't RTFM like I knew I should have, and so I completely missed the fact you can look up and down in the game world, and also easily rebind keys. These follies as well as the game's inherent bugginess--my first character spawned knee-deep in the floor, unable to ascend stairs--put me off it sooner than was probably merited. That's OK, though. I have a history of coming back around to this series.

Last, and probably least, I picked up The Elder Scrolls Online in the recent Steam sale. Never was a game less necessary, but that said, there is something compulsive to it's playability. I liken it to junk food, the type of air-injected, sodium-laced carbohydrate empty calorie crap we all know is no good, but can't keep ourselves form engaging with all the same. It's all too easy to just jump right in and grind out some mindless quests and experience points in a bland, non-challenging setting and circumstance, as compared to challenging myself to progress in something requiring thought. I have an Orc Templar who is level 7 or 8, focused on heavy armor and two-handed weapons and healing skills. I guess I'm trying to be a tank, if I ever happen to play with other humans in this game. Since it's subscription-free, I guess that's not entirely implausible.

Jumping into our space ship and engaging our FTL drive, let's get galactic. I'm circling back around to Elite: Dangerous. I've had some podcast listening time free lately, and I still have a long way left to traverse back to inhabited space to unload this wealth of exploration data I've been carrying. I'll have been away so long the game will have shifted around me in my absence. I hope this data is still worth something. There's a new arcade mode to the game called CQC, which they somehow reconcile with your in-galaxy persona via your pilot ranking. I may check that mode out in the next week.

Finally, back to roleplaying, but remaining in the space variety, I'm playing Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic again. I've never made it more than maybe a third of the way into the game thanks to bugs and attrition, but this attempt is going well, so far.

I'm playing a light side Revan (of course I know the twist), though I have made a mistake or two, most notably proceeding with breaking the law in order to duel to the death with Bendak Starkiller. I was under the impression that killing him was OK, as it was to fulfill a government ordered bounty, but I got dark side points anyway, either due to participating in bloodsport to accomplish the end, or simply for the fact I killed him in cold blood--though wouldn't a hot blooded kill also be giving into the dark side? If killing itself is of the dark side, then why don't I suffer a penalty for all the trash mobs I take down wandering the world? Is it because they are hostile to me before I am to them? Perhaps that's the rationale. Either way, Bendak's blaster is apparently the best in the game, so I'm proceeding with this mistake as part of my character's background. After all, it's the least of black marks in his history.

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