The Skyrim Rigmarole

December 6, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Posted in rpg | 18 Comments
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I come over the hill to Winterhold. How anybody could live in a constant snowstorm is beyond me. Oh wait, I live in Canada. Nevermind. Winterhold at first glance is less impressive than other cities. Immediately I notice several abandoned and ruined homesteads as I do some recon. And then I hear a familiar sound coming from the skies.

Just another day in Skyrim.

The dragon kills two guards before I can even get it to land on the ground. Once down I make short work of it. My ebony war axe is exquisite and does cold damage. Nothing like dealing death with something you’ve made yourself.

The first thing I do in any town or village is talk to every single person. I don’t care if it’s a child, a servant, or the Jarl, I’m looking for work and will take it where I can find it.

I’m in town on a number of jobs. I have to pick up an item for Riften’s court wizard, talk to a contact about translating an old journal, and I’m interested in joining the Mages College. Before I leave the village for the college I have collected yet more things to do.

I wander up to the college and repeat. Talking to every single man and mer, entering every room, and cautiously avoiding any area that looks like it may become interesting later on. The Midden suspiciously qualifies as one such area, so I look through my to-do list and pick out a random activity.

Because I’m incredibly anal and travel on foot (not horse since you sometimes miss interesting things from horseback) to locations that are generally on the way to my destination, I’ve already visited the spot in question and quickly make my way there.

I do a quick reconnaissance before entering a dungeon, every time, and then while inside, look over almost every burial urn, body, and chest. One reason they say I have the Golden Touch.

I switch between axe and bow, but I’m always sneaking. This is the first skill I completely master in Skyrim, but it won’t be the last.

The details of the dungeon don’t really matter. At some point I’ve avoided traps and tripped others. I’ve made child’s play of one enemy while another with the exact same skills nearly kills me. I’ve discovered one hidden door or chest and probably missed others. The final boss is either challenging or a walk in the park.

By the time I leave I am carrying at least 100 pounds of loot.

It’s fascinating to me that even though I keep to a personal rule of thumb (I only pick up things that are worth more than 10x what they weigh) I still get overloaded pretty quickly. Probably because I pick up too many weapons and armour, but if I don’t have anything to sell to the blacksmiths I won’t make much money and we come back to that whole anal thing.

This means that every two dungeons I have to return to town to visit various shopkeepers. At each shopkeeper I have to first purchase things, because by the time I’ve sold them all my stuff, they’re going to be broke. It ends up being a near zero sum game but it keeps me supplied and there is a reason my speechcraft is so high when I don’t work on it outside selling things.

It’s all incredibly pointless but fun to me.

There are of course the things I intend to keep as well. I stop off at home and drop those off in their respective chests. Each chest is organized in a way that probably only makes sense to me.

I have a chest for books and keys. The bookcases provided fill up quite quickly. I could sell the books of course but sometimes I want to read them later and sometimes they only make sense to hang on to since as a professional thief for instance I should hang on to tomes about sneaking.

In Oblivion I preferred the small squat shack outside the Imperial City because it was centrally located and easy to get to. In Skyrim Breezehome is very near the gates to Whiterun and easily purchased. I put my alchemy agents, potions, smithing ingredients, and soul stones in the first cabinet on the left.

I then proceed to the back where I shove armour and weapons. I usually hang on to anything with a rare enchantment that might be useful in a rare situation. Bracers of pickpocketing for instance, since pickpocketing for me isn’t a priority they might be useful if a situation calls for it.

After I’ve lightened my load of any and all extraneous weight, I start looking at my next quests. Rinse, lather, repeat.

Some people are slightly less organized with their loot in Breezehome.


  1. Open console and then type in this;
    player.setav carryweight 2000

    It should solve your problem with returning in town on every visit or two in dungeons. Also, makes life much easier.

    I find myself also to be a collector over all limits. I collect heavy armors, greatswords, books, materials, and any worthless junk I believe is not good to sell to vendor. (somehow that is a lot)
    I’d kill for another 2-5 manequins in house in Solitude.

    • Honestly i’d rather play as I am than just add carry weight. I think its fun.

      • Agreed

      • A very reliable source, and good friend, tells me that pursuing Pickpockets skill at least a little bit gets you a bonus 100 lbs carrying capacity within the normal confines of gameplay. (ie; without having to enter an cheat code.)

        I haven’t played this game myself (I always wait at least a year before installing Bethesda viruses on my computers) but I definitely sympathize with the “packratitis” as I’m a fellow sufferer of that ailment.

        • enh, there are a lot of ways to increase carry weight, i’ve already got a necklace and thieves guild armour, not to mention the normal progression.

  2. Haha i do almost the same exact thing in every bethesda game. But for me it starts getting tediouse towards the 50hr mark. MUST COLLECT LOOT!

    • I admit it gets tedious, but thats when i just cruise through dungeons like a dangerous madman. unstoppable.

  3. “But for me it starts getting tediouse towards the 50hr mark”

    Me too – Don’t think I’ve ever been able to “finish” a Bethesda game. The problem is that the meticulous (read every book, search every pot, climb every mountain, ford every stream…) approach satisfies a sense of completism … for a time. But when I get to the Nth book (Yawn!) and find that nearly all the pots contain 5 tomatoes it becomes too tedious to log on.

    Also, Bethesda have made the return to town step incredibly inconvenient. It takes hours to divest oneself of vendor trash, save crafting stuff in chests and use it to level up the crafting skills, divest ones companion of kit etc. Further the NPCs you trade with always say exactly the same thing – entirely eliminating any illusion that they have an iota of AI.

    • yeah i give up on most stuff at some point and just clobber the hell out of stuff which is fun too. It helps that i like the elder scrolls lore and can read teh books without getting bored.

  4. Heh, pretty much the same way I play. I agree with roq’s comment about lack of AI speech. It would be nice if they actually changed over time. Sell lots of the same stuff to one merchant and they eventually ask you to stop and bring them something they can actually sell.
    Had the thought the other night while watching the NPCs go through their day/night cycle that while it is good they aren’t just standing there 24/7 like most games, this isn’t much different than some of the Ultima games (III or IV I think) which had NPCs with a similar routine. 25+ years and NPCs are still pretty limited. 😦

    • and there is a real lack of voices, same 10 voices over and over, i thought they said there would be way more this time around but nope.

      • The guards in Whiterun all sound a bit like an effeminate version of Arnold Scharzenegger… Anyway since I’m now the thane I reckon they should show a little more respect and not repeat that sweetroll comment so often. Reckon I’ll get Lydia to bash some sense into them, being as it’s a little below my dignity to notice such insults.

        • That sweetroll comment. I hate it. Maybe i fucking like sweetrolls you jerk guards!

      • Skyrim has 70 voice actors, compared to Oblivion which had 14 🙂

        But, yeah, the guards get annoying all to quick. As well as, the same repeatable dialog that NPC love to spout as I go sprinting by….. I don’t care about the goddamn silver-bloods. Stop your pouting, as you lean against the same wall 24/7!

        • Maybe it does have 70 but damn, it still sounds like 10. You have to admit.

        • I don’t think that game companies have yet fully thought out how to use voice immersively. Instead, they are at the stage of: “Look we are now fully voiced!” put a tick in that box please.

  5. I always carry some strength potions on me to temporarily up my carry capacity, just long enough for me to initiate the fast travel to Whiterun. It’s come in handy especially when I’m out in the middle of nowhere and I’ve just killed a dragon and the bones and scales put me over. I am so loathe to drop anything.

    I can’t stand to travel on horseback either. Then I’m missing out on all the flowers and bugs and mushrooms I could be harvesting. Plus the horse handles somewhat clumsily…when a sabercat came out of nowhere and mauled my horse, I was actually relieved. Saved me the trouble of butchering it myself.

    • See I dont’ even bother, because i’m usually carrying 200 pounds of loot so why would i fret over 5 pounds of whatever, so i don’t bring strength potions or specific pieces of apparel that help me carry aside from one necklace. At this point I’ve begun not picking up stuff not even dragon bones. My cupboard lags when i open it because theres too much stuff, which is pretty funny.

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