Game: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Content Type: Gaming News
Date: October 8, 2013
Welcome to the Skyrim Fansite game guide for the world’s greatest video game. The Skyrim Guide is primarily a helpful resource for new players looking to play Skyrim. Here you’ll find basic information to help you get started on your journey through this incredible world. You can browse different topics by following the links in the table of contents below. When you’re finished, consider joining the Skyrim Fansite to share your passion for the game with fellow players. We’d love to have you as a member!
What Is Skyrim?
The Elder Scrolls V:Skyrim is the fifth installment in the Elder Scrolls series and takes place, and is named after, the snowy province of Skyrim, homeland of the Nords. Following the tradition set by Skyrim’s predecessors, the game starts out with the main character being a prisoner, in the opening sequence the character is literally at the executioner’s block when a dragon attacks the city, allowing the player to escape and the game to begin.
Skyrim is set in an open world allowing the player to travel by foot, horse or fast travel to any place that they have previously discovered. Skyrim features non-linear gameplay where players can choose and complete quest in any order they wish. The gameplay, events and quests in Skyrim are generated through a mixture of scripted events and the Radiant AI system. This new feature, the Radiant AI system, triggers unique events and dialogue to create an original gameplay experience for each character based on their actions, race and their attributes.
A lot of changes have been made to the gameplay in Skyrim, when compared to its predecessor, Oblivion. Weapons and armor can no longer deteriorate and doesn’t need to be repaired, players can either wield a two-handed weapon, different weapons in each hand, a weapon in one and a shield in the other, a spell in one and a weapon in the other, or dual cast a spell to make it more powerful. The leveling system was totally redesigned, removing the attribute feature which was present in previous titles and replacing it with a perk system that allows a perk to be chosen within a skill tree when leveling up, which resembles the perk system of Bethesda’s Fallout series.
Skyrim is set 200 years after the events in Oblivion, in the 200 years that passed the Bosmer and Altmer formed the Aldmeri Dominion and invaded the Empire at Cyrodiil triggering “The Great War.” Eventually causing a treaty to be signed between the Aldemri Dominion and the Empire to end the war, the treaty had one condition; the Empire had to ban the worship of one of the nine divines, Talos. Following these events, Ulfric Stormcloak formed a rebellion against the Empire and took the life of the High King of Skyrim in a duel, this caused the Empire to send the Imperial Legion to Skyrim, causing a civil war. The player can choose which side to aid in the civil war but it’s not the main storyline in Skyrim.
The main storyline is centered around the mysterious return of the dragons and the Thalmor’s, shadowy influence in these events. When the player slays its first dragon it is discovered that they’re Dragonborn, born with a gift to understand and speak Draconian, the dragons’ language, which results in a powerful shout or a “thu’um”. The player can discover and unlock twenty-three shouts consisting of three words each, through discovering “word-walls” — ancient carvings, and absorbing dragon souls by slaying them.
Dragons and werewolves and vampires, oh my! In November 2011, with the release of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, fantasy role-playing fans (myself included) rolled off their couches to huddle on the sidewalk of Gamestops nationwide for its midnight release. This game delivers on so many levels: stunning graphics, smooth gameplay, amped up controls, expanded storyline. Even with the glitches, this game is brilliant! Ready to lose hours and even days as an alter ego? This is your game.
Why, would essentially rational humans give up hours of their real life playing on an imaginary plane as an alter ego? Well, besides possibly New Guinea, it’s one of the only places around where you don’t have to be politically, or morally correct. Don’t like the way someone’s eyeballing you? Smack ‘em down! Like the neighbor’s possessions? Take ‘em. In Skyrim, you will be rewarded for this kind of behavior, with an increase to sneak, pickpocketing, and lockpicking skills, provided you’re not caught.
Then, there are the graphics: the stars and sky, skin texture, arm hair – all delivered in stunning detail. A unique new world that emulates our own medieval times, complete with 10 races, not all of primate origin. The Khajit and Argonian races are evolutionary relatives of the cats and the lizards. Mages, warriors, and stealth characters alike all have a new world to explore.
Each new generation of games ushers in an increased level of control. The newest improvements, the favorites’ menu and dual-wielding, gains major, innovative ground. The favorites’ menu is uberuseful; it allows loading your most popular weapons, spells, and items into a quick-use menu for swift transitions, instead of tedious maneuvering through the long menus to search for items. Dual-wielding takes the focus off of the right hand, enabling ambidextrous weapon handling and spell flinging. This added versatility makes switching back and forth between shields, spells and weapons simple, increasing the overall time spent on the plains of Skyrim. Sprinting might not seem like an improvement, but Skyrim is a big place; being able to cover ground faster, or overtake adversaries, becomes a must.
When you’re finished exploring topside, head down into the Dwemer ruins; massive caverns expand underground full of ancient technology and booty for you to loot. Skyrim is a multi-faceted society with room for all tastes. Was Robin Hood your childhood hero? Or was Conan more your type? Maybe the Romans spoke to you? There are guilds for thieves, warriors, mages, murders, and even werewolves. Additionally, you can join rebel factions or invade territories to fulfill your deepest anti-hero desires. You can even explore domestic bliss; buy a house, get married, get a dog, etc.
Let’s talk glitches, since that has been a real downer for many, especially Playstation 3 owners. Most are just hilarious: dragons twitching in the sky flying backwards, giants launching characters skyward never to be seen again, city walls suddenly going missing, characters getting stuck in between floors-as in the legends from the Manhattan Project. (Even the glitches are awesome!) The least amusing one is a freeze. Set your auto-save up for every 5 minutes, but don’t rely on them; the system only stores the last 3. Get into the habit of saving your game. To watch countless hours of game time lost when, suddenly, the screen locks and you are forced to turn off the console. Those agonizing seconds spent reloading the game, sifting through foggy memories. “When did I pee last? I know I did a manual save before I left the room. It was just a few minutes ago…or was it a few hours?” Spare yourself the gut-wrenching realization that it was, indeed, a few hours ago: save often – manually.
Why would Bethesda release the game, no matter how awesome, so riddled with glitches? Safety and economics; in conspiracy theorist circles, it is believed that Bethesda, concerned by the annual increase of hate email, finally released the game with software issues and all, rather than face riots. It has been, after all, 5 really long years since Skyrim’s predecessor, Oblivion, hit the market. Five Earth-years equates to roughly 200 virtual ones, since the Skyrim storyline picks up about 2 centuries after Oblivion ends; a really freaking long time to wait for a sequel! But so worth it. Release your inner nerd: play this game!
Skyrim System Requirements
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was designed and is powered by Bethesda’s brand new game engine, the Creation Engine. The new game engine was used to design the game world with greater graphical detail than its predecessors. The draw distance and lighting were improved, creating a more atmospheric environment and greater detail when every object in the game world casts a shadow. Bethesda created the entire flora in Skyrim by utilizing the Creation Engine, instead of SpeedTree which they used for previous titles. Bethesda also utilized Havok’s Behavior toolset to create smoother animations for characters’ movements and actions. In addition to the PC, Skyrim is playable on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.
Skyrim Character Creation
In the latest edition of the Elder Scroll Series, Skyrim, Bethesda Sofworks decided to give players true freedom to create a character that’s truly unique and to be what they want to be. In the previous Elder Scroll games, players usually created their characters according to a set of initial skill points and perks that depended on their chosen starsign and race. Character creation was also heavily influenced by leveling and some players even created formulas on how you should play according to your play style, what race you should pick, what skills to select as major skills, what star sign to choose, and which skills to focus on when leveling.
In Skyrim, Bethesda redesigned the whole character creation system, so that players are no longer restricted to what character they should create if they want to play as a mage, warrior, thief , or a combination of the three. Instead, of choosing major skills Bethesda reinvented the leveling system and borrowed the perk feature from their other successful game series Fallout. This allows players the freedom to create any character their hearts desire; they could create a warrior high elf, an orc who specializes in magic or a nord who is dedicated to be an assassin/thief.
While many of the original character creation features are still evident in Skyrim many of the features has been changed. Players still receive initial skill bonuses and perks based on the race they choose, but the starsign system has been totally replaced.
In Skyrim the starsign system has been replaced by standing stones, which can be activated throughout the game to replace the previous standing stones’ perk . For example, a player may choose to activate the warrior stone at first, to learn combat skills faster by 20%, but later on in the game when they start the thieves guild’s questline, they may want to activate the shadow stone to become invisible once a day when they’re in a tough spot.
Of course, Bethseda has also added new features for players when they’re creating their character’s appearances, from choosing a body size, multicolored eyes, and even warpaint. The team at Bethesda Softworks has really reinvented the Elder Scrolls wheel with the release of Skyrim, focusing on giving the player more freedom, they created a new character creation system in Skyrim that enables you to truly be who you want to be and to create a really unique character.
In the world of Tamriel there exists various human, elven and beast races with 10 of them which are playable in Skyrim. The Human races consists of Imperials, Nords, Bretons, and Redguards, the elven races consists of High Elves, Dark Elves, Wood Elves and Orcs which are referred to as the Mer races, and last but not least the beast races which consists of Khajiits and Argonians. Let’s have a closer look at the playable races in Skyrim.
The Elder Scroll V: Skyrim takes place in the homeland of the hardy Nords, a human race in their homeland of Skyrim. The icy atmosphere of Skyrim has made the Nord race adapt to the snowy environment and they developed a natural resistance to harsh weather and therefore also a resistance to any form of frost magic. They are natural warriors and take pride in battles that their ancestors fought for Skyrim. They have the Battlecry ability that can be used to make opponents flee from battle.
Redguards are a human race hailing from Hammerfell, they are among the most talented warrior races in Tamriel. Redguards can use an ability called Adrenaline Rush once a day to rapidly replenish their stamina, and have a natural resistance to poisons.
The Imperials are a human race with their home in Cyrodiil, the center of the Empire, therefore also known as Cyrodiils. They are generally known for their silver tongues, their natural gift at trading, and their talent to sway any diplomatic dispute in their favor. They are born with the power called “Voice of the Emperor” that calms opponents until they forgot why they were attacking.
Bretons hail from the province of High Rock, although they have an elvish ancestry they are still a human race. They are natural mages and known summoners, they have built a resistance to all forms of magic and can use their Dragonskin power to absorb any incoming magical attack once a day.
Argonians are a reptilian race from Blackmarsh, Black Marsh consists of mostly swamps, and therefore Argonians have built natural resistance to diseases. Argonians swim using their tail to propel them through water, and they are the only race that can breathe underwater. They are born with the useful ability called Histskin that they can use once a day to regenerate their health.
Khajiit are a feline humanoid race hailing from their homeland of Elsweyr. They possess superior agility and intelligence, and therefore make excellent thieves. They can use Nighteye multiple times per day which enhances their vision at night. They can also attack with their claws which deals four times more damage compared to a unarmed attack from the other races.
The Altmer or High Elves, hailing from Summerset Isle, are the most gifted in the arcane arts of all the races in Tamriel. They are an extremely proud race and sometimes even snobbish. They are born with an ability called Highborn that replenishes magicka once a day.
Hailing from their homeland of Orsinium, Orcs also known as Orsimer are a tribal race that mostly consists of ruthless and loyal warriors. Orcs are also excellent blacksmiths and known throughout Tamriel for their craftsmanship of weapons and armor. They can use Berserker Rage once a day, a devastating ability that doubles the damage of each strike and hardens their constitution.
The Bosmer, also known as wood elves, is one of the elven races which hail from Valenwood a forested region within Tamriel. There are no better archers within all of Tamriel than the Bosmer. Their forested homeland has made them adapt to various poisons and diseases and they have gained a unique ability to control lesser animals.
Dark elves, more commonly known as Dunmer, originally originated from Morrowind. They are skilled in magic and stealth, and therefore can become excellent mages, assassins or spellswords. They have built a resistance to fire, and can cloak themselves in fire once a day, to damage nearby threats which they call Ancestors Wrath.
Skyrim’s weapons are forged and crafted by blacksmiths which are considered to be mages in their own right. In Oblivion and Morrowind forging weapons and armor were non-existent; players were restricted to maintain their weapons as they slowly deteriorated with each strike and repair their armor with each blow they took.
The Armorer skill, with the deteriorating effect of weapons and armor, was completely removed and replaced with the new skill – Smithing, which allows players to enhance their weapons and armor, and forge new items, ranging from daggers, greatswords, warhammers, leather armor, steal armor, and even jewelry.
There are literally tons and tons of weapons to be found, purchased, looted and forged in Skyrim. The weapons that players will usually start off with in Skyrim will most likely be mundane daggers, swords, and maces made from either iron or steel; but as you progress, raise your skills, and complete quests, you’ll find more elven, ebony, daedric and glass weapons, usually with enchantments, popping up all over the place.
The most effective weapons in Skyrim are of course, the unique weapons and the daedric artifacts, which are not the same as normal daedric weapons. The unique weapons are one of a kind, only one has been forged and only one can be found the same holds true for the weapons obtained from daedric quests.
Although daedric and unique weapons are powerful, players can forge their own weapons to be equally if not more powerful than unique or daedric weapons. With the Smithing and Enchanting skills maxed out to 100, players can easily forge devastating swords, maces or warhammers that deals excessive damage with brute force and at the same time debilitates opponents with magical effects ranging from elemental damage, absorbing health, and temporarily paralyzing opponents. A weapon which has been forged with maxed out skills, sharpened, upgraded, and enchanted; can become powerful extensions of your character, however combining a maxed out weapon with poisons can elevate your character to a god-like status.
The weapons you choose to wield in Skyrim will depend on your character type and how you want to play the game. Warriors will most likely equip a two-handed weapon like a greatsword or a warhammer, Thieves usually feel more comfortable with a dagger or a bow with arrows dipped in poison; and mages… well, generally full-out mages don’t use any weapons with the exception of occasionally using staves.
With all these new features and weapons added to the latest chapter in the Elder Scrolls series, Skyrim became considerably better than its predecessors, however there is still room for improvement, even though we can finally forge swords and warhammers I think the mages would’ve enjoyed crafting their own unique staves.
Helpful Skyrim Resources
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