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Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Batteries not included.



Since one maximum difficulty let's play at a time is evidently not enough to send me to videogame Valhalla, I'm going to aggro a second!


About Me:

Some of you may know me from my ongoing or finished LPs of Age of Mythology, Civilization 2, Fire Emblem, or Fire Emblem: Binding Blade- but since Skyrim is a very different kind of game, many of you probably donít.

What I do is make challenge runs of my favorite strategy (or strategy/skill) games, piling up obstacles on top of max difficulty and then finding the most elegant way to win. My style is to go in-depth about the best possible tactics, hidden mechanics, and what I think of the narrative and game-design choices.

Although you can see Iíve done quite a few screenshot LPs, Iím still fairly new to video editing and always looking for feedback on how to improve.


About Skyrim:
Skyrim is the fifth main series game in Bethesdaís Elder Scrolls franchise, and the first to become widely popular- with good reason. While the other entries in the series were often groundbreaking and unique, they were also usually rather bad as games.

Skyrim changed that, so I loved it from the first time I turned it on. The mechanics were simple, yet deep. There was finally enough everyday detail included that you could play a character rather than just a game. The world was wide and open, with innumerable interesting things to find and places to explore both on and off the path. The aesthetic was a dream come true for me personally, the kind of setting and style Iíve often written and always longed for in a videogame. Most importantly, it never stopped being fun.

Combat was fast-paced and easy to pick up yet complex to master; winning even small fights was more about player skill than stats and numbers.

Even leveling up wasnít a pointless treadmill because you got to choose new and interesting capabilities rather than merely gaining higher numbers, but leveling didnít trivialize the game either because the enemy powered up too.

Replay value was nearly infinite with so many places to go and different approaches to take. Plus there was room for the player to replay and grow because the difficulty modes were admirably balanced, offering everything from a borderline god mode on Novice to a massive challenge for even expert players on Legendary. Which brings me to the subject at handÖ


About this LP
There are thousands of LPs of Skyrim of all styles, many even on legendary difficulty. So why make my own? Two reasons.

First, I think I have unusually deep knowledge of both the game mechanics and the game lore, so I can talk about some little-trod ground.

Second, none of those guys actually played on legendary as far as Iím concerned. Nearly all of them relied upon one of a handful of simple, cheap tactics that trivialized the game and let them completely avoid the challenge of legendary: that enemy damage is tripled and player damage is quartered.

Most of them just used followers. That alone makes difficulty irrelevant. Enemies will mindlessly attack your followers, so you will never face any danger at all.

Many of them broke the game in half with silly crafting grinding. By abusing the crafting system a knowledgeable player can become a literally invincible killing machine without ever facing a single fight along the way. For that matter, even a little bit of smart crafting grants vast amounts of money and matchlessly strong equipment with no real effort and no impact from the difficulty.

Others simply used stealth. Now I readily concede that stealth should be a legitimate tactic, but the fact of the matter is that the enemy AI canít deal with it. Thatís one of Skyrimís biggest flaws. Even a player with no knowledge and no investment in the stealth skill is borderline undetectable unless they try to be found, and you can shoot arrow after arrow into most enemies without them even being certain you exist, let alone finding and fighting you.

My problem with these tactics is not that theyíre effective but that theyíre equally effective on all difficulties, so LPs using them donít actually show anything about legendary difficulty. My LP will be nearly unique in that I will face the challenge head-on, relying on tactics and skill and limited resources to not merely survive but roleplay through the world.


So here are the rules (feel free to suggest others as I get ready to get this started):

1) I do my own stunts: No followers. If a quest makes me take a follower I have to get that part over with as fast as possible. No silly little things like recruiting a follower, stripping them of all their gear, and then immediately telling them to go home either.

2) I see what you did there: No defeating (or avoiding) enemies with stealth. The only thing I can use it for is taking a five-finger discount when Iím already unseen (because even if youíre inside a locked room NPCs psychically know youíre stealing unless youíre in stealth mode).

3) Bannedicrafts: No crafting at all. Cooking is alright exceptÖ

4) No soup for you!: No using the soups or other foods that restore 1 stamina per second to infinitely stunlock enemies. For that matter, no carrying around a stack of 50 stamina potions and chugging one per power attack (a few stamina potions used in a non-silly way are fine though).

5) Noverhead: No getting up on cliffs or boulders the enemy canít climb and just sitting there getting free hits because Iím the only one in the universe who can jump.

6) Right into the danger zone: No fast traveling, wagon rides, etc. At least not until Iíve taken that route a bunch of times so it would be boring.

7) Nil trainers: No using skill trainers (or grinding) to boost up my skills without effort. Every level up has to be earned through actual adventuring, finding skillbooks, etc.

8) Oh know you donít: No abusing out of character knowledge. This is a really broad one, but basically Iím going to try to roleplay my character such that their choices may be very smart mechanically but always make in-character sense. So no traipsing off to a place Iíve never heard of to go get a legendary weapon I shouldnít know is there.

9) VictoryÖ or SOVNGARDE!: Permadeath in battle. Anything where my character would take their rightful place in Sovngarde, but not silly things like a basket I bumped richocheting back at 1000 miles an hour (thatís killed me on 3 separate occasions) or walking around a corner and getting one-shot-killed by an arrow from an enemy I didnít even have a chance to see.


Well there we go, one each for all 9 divines. Anyone want to give me one for Lorkhan the missing god? Any dirty Thalmor sympathizers think I should drop to 8?
Most importantly, would people rather see a run as a warrior or mage?

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Rigged Death Trap
Feb 13, 2012

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP


Through might of muscles, prove yourself. Warrior.
And
9) I swear these are for when I forget my keys, officer: Only lockpick doors you cant find the keys to. chests are fair game because fuuuuck that.

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007

Mary Worth had an illicit affair with Refurb and kidnapped Sophie when she learned the truth. Little did Sophie know, but she was held in Apartment 3G under the watchful eye of The Phantom until Dick Tracy rescued her. Meanwhile, in spite of everything, Working Daze still sucked.


Mage because playing as a warrior seems tedious and boring to me.

Poil
Mar 17, 2007



Tiggum posted:

Mage because playing as a warrior seems tedious and boring to me.
lol

Mage, it should increase your survivability slightly. As long as you don't mind running out of mana before you've even taken half the hit points off an enemy.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Batteries not included.

Rigged Death Trap posted:

Through might of muscles, prove yourself. Warrior.
And
9) I swear these are for when I forget my keys, officer: Only lockpick doors you cant find the keys to. chests are fair game because fuuuuck that.

Iím not sure I understand? Like if a key exists for a door I must go and find that key rather than picking the lock? That seems like it would require a lot of out of character knowledge (and also for me to have a perfect memorized list of all keys and doors in the universe)

Rigged Death Trap
Feb 13, 2012

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP


Melth posted:

Iím not sure I understand? Like if a key exists for a door I must go and find that key rather than picking the lock? That seems like it would require a lot of out of character knowledge (and also for me to have a perfect memorized list of all keys and doors in the universe)

Sounded good in theory. Mainly because usually I tend to go lazy and just lockpick sequence break through some dungeons.

Commander Keene
Dec 21, 2016


Mage, because I find the difference between spells more interesting than the difference between weapons.

Also, are you married to vanilla or will you accept mod suggestions?

Kaboom Dragoon
May 7, 2010

The greatest of feasts

Hmm, this may be more interesting than the other LP going on right now. The guy knows his stuff, that much is true, but every video eventually turns into him plinking away with a bow and arrow from stealth for 45 minutes. It's one thing if you're doing that yourself in your own game, but it really doesn't make for interesting viewing.

Anyway, I'd actually like to see a Fighter, because permadeath makes combat much more meaningful when you don't have a dozen flame atronarchs backing you up at every turn.

RickVoid
Oct 21, 2010


Ooh, this sounds entertaining.

So is the thread over if you get a suitably metal death, or will you restart a time or two?

Spellblade: One-handed weapon + spell. Axes are neat too.

edit: Not one of the fuckin' beast races, please. Mad Khajiit and Wizard Lizards are not funny anymore.

RickVoid fucked around with this message at Dec 7, 2017 around 19:39

Dragonatrix
Aug 16, 2009

You have offended STRINGIE! You must be punished!


Kaboom Dragoon posted:

Hmm, this may be more interesting than the other LP going on right now. The guy knows his stuff, that much is true, but every video eventually turns into him plinking away with a bow and arrow from stealth for 45 minutes. It's one thing if you're doing that yourself in your own game, but it really doesn't make for interesting viewing.

Is that the Ironman one where he can die 8 times before it becomes an actual Ironman challenge? Because boy yeah that sure sounds like a boring waste of everyone's time twice over.

I got bored of Sneak Archery when I was playing, because it's both really boring, really easy and yet really slow. At least Sneak Daggers deal all of the damage ever and get you sweet kill anims every time for good measure. Still gets old real quick tho'.

I might be forgetting some fun builds, but I think the only one I haven't at least attempted at some point is good ol' fashioned fisticuffs - biggest, heaviest armor and the almighty Iron Fist bearing down on poor fools. Probably isn't that good at damage for the longest time, though, so it'd probably be really tedious for ages especially without smithing real stuff to use with it.

Dragonatrix fucked around with this message at Dec 7, 2017 around 20:30

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Batteries not included.

Regarding mods, Iím going to keep things very close to vanilla. I guess Iím open to suggestions but I plan on only:

1) the unofficial patch

2) the quest reward leveler so I can do the fun quests without waiting for level 40

3) Disable killcams against the player. I have no idea what they were smoking when they decided to give enemies a luck based chance of cinematically one-shotting the player with no chance to dodge, block, stun, etc. Itís one of the stupidest ideas Iíve ever seen in a video game. If Iím a mage Iíll disable killcams for myself too since they glitch constantly for magic.


RickVoid posted:

Ooh, this sounds entertaining.

So is the thread over if you get a suitably metal death, or will you restart a time or two?

Spellblade: One-handed weapon + spell. Axes are neat too.

edit: Not one of the fuckin' beast races, please. Mad Khajiit and Wizard Lizards are not funny anymore.

Donít worry, thereís no way in Coldharbor I would ever play one of the sub-human races. With my LPs I always try to show the smartest ways to approach a game. Khajiit are completely worthless even at their intended role (and Iíll go into which races are best and worst at great length later). Argonians are not completely worthless but they do suck.

Similarly though Iím not going to play with spells in one hand and weapons in the other; thatís one of the worst possible fighting styles. Now I could play a hybrid magic and weapons character, but I wouldnít use that fighting style.

Kaboom Dragoon
May 7, 2010

The greatest of feasts

Dragonatrix posted:

Is that the Ironman one where he can die 8 times before it becomes an actual Ironman challenge? Because boy yeah that sure sounds like a boring waste of everyone's time twice over.

Yup, that's the one. He also did a New Vegas run that was a little more interesting, due to added conditions, but, again, it all boils down to sneak&snipe&sneak&snipe&...

Like I said, the guy knows the game well, which is good, but anything even looks at him, he runs to the other end of the map. Even speeding up combat (which is all bow and arrows), every fight takes way too long, and he only gets into melee combat if he has a follower with him and the enemy is fighting them.

double nine
Aug 8, 2013



mage, the added variety in spell schools should help avoid the tedium of bashing the billionth zombie with a slightly bigger club than the one before that.

actually, here's a thought: after the mandatory tutorial dungeon, don't go to riverwood/whiterun, but anywhere else.

double nine fucked around with this message at Dec 7, 2017 around 22:16

SHISHKABOB
Nov 30, 2012

I am gently caressed by my SAnta


Do it as a mage because I think magic in this game is dumb.

double nine
Aug 8, 2013



you're not wrong.

RickVoid
Oct 21, 2010


double nine posted:

mage, the added variety in spell schools should help avoid the tedium of bashing the billionth zombie with a slightly bigger club than the one before that.

actually, here's a thought: after the mandatory tutorial dungeon, don't go to riverwood/whiterun, but anywhere else.

This is part of why I love Skyrim. Finished the tutorial?

Pick a direction. Have fun.

After several hundred hours it's now hard to find something that feels new, but it took several hundred hours and I dunno how many characters and mods to get there.

I've only actually finished the game once though.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Batteries not included.

Oh as a note for you guys voting; if I'm a mage then I will definitely be a vampire. If I'm a warrior I guess I'll join the dawnguard but it's not going to be a priority.

Weeble
Feb 26, 2016


Even more reason to be a Mage then.

ApeHawk
Jun 6, 2010

All the NPCs will look up and shout, "Do this quest!"
and I'll whisper, "Sure, why not."


I have an arbitrary challenge for you, should you choose to accept it:

No Graverobbing: You cannot loot dead enemies (unless it's necessary for quest/progression reasons).

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007

Mary Worth had an illicit affair with Refurb and kidnapped Sophie when she learned the truth. Little did Sophie know, but she was held in Apartment 3G under the watchful eye of The Phantom until Dick Tracy rescued her. Meanwhile, in spite of everything, Working Daze still sucked.


Melth posted:

I have no idea what they were smoking when they decided to give enemies a luck based chance of cinematically one-shotting the player with no chance to dodge, block, stun, etc.
They were probably thinking that it would be pretty funny. And it is!

Melth posted:

If Iím a mage Iíll disable killcams for myself too since they glitch constantly for magic.
You mean how you get the slow-motion shot of your attack zooming harmlessly past your enemy's elbow and hitting the side of a hill 100m behind them? But that's literally the best thing in the entire game!

Poil
Mar 17, 2007



I suspect that it is more how it's just random slow motion of your spells being normal. You don't even get a screaming burning corpse collapsing or anything. It's just a waste of time. Arrow hits at least have the projectile cam and melee has neat stuff where you kick a dog/wolf in the ribs and drive an axe through its back.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Batteries not included.

Poil posted:

I suspect that it is more how it's just random slow motion of your spells being normal. You don't even get a screaming burning corpse collapsing or anything. It's just a waste of time. Arrow hits at least have the projectile cam and melee has neat stuff where you kick a dog/wolf in the ribs and drive an axe through its back.

Itís both. The arrow cam can glitch sometimes too, but not all the time at least. And seeing that projectile cam can be a fun pat on the back if you made a skillful trick shot against a moving target or something. On the other hand, projectile magic takes very little skill to hit with, so thereís not much to celebrate following the projectile. And then yeah it always glitches and misses. And then sometimes youíre frozen in time for minutes on end as enemies walk up and kill you in slow motion.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Batteries not included.

ApeHawk posted:

I have an arbitrary challenge for you, should you choose to accept it:

No Graverobbing: You cannot loot dead enemies (unless it's necessary for quest/progression reasons).

Hm. I think I'd miss out on too many unique, interesting items and like 90% of all quest rewards. Thanks for the suggestion though.

TheGreatEvilKing
Mar 28, 2016


Mage

I remember the damage spells being useless rear end and I look forward to you getting around that.

I'm guessing paralysis/illusion spam.

Sel Nar
Dec 19, 2013


ApeHawk posted:

I have an arbitrary challenge for you, should you choose to accept it:

No Graverobbing: You cannot loot enemies Objects, including chests, shelves, and sarcophagi. (unless it's necessary for quest/progression reasons).

Fixed that for ya.

Commander Keene
Dec 21, 2016


That also seems really dumb to me. Most of the "challenges" in this run are basically Melth saying "I won't exploit this feature of the game to become ridiculously OP". This, on the other hand, coupled with the "no crafting" challenge, just seems to be saying "don't have money".

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Batteries not included.

It's not a bad challenge idea for another kind of LP, but I don't think it's a perfect fit here. My goal is more to show how to face legendary at its full ferocity and defeat it without exploits, so I'm mainly looking for exploits to rule out in advance. I also think it would add less raw difficulty than you might think. As a mage, I will be drowning in money before long. Warriors may have a money shortage for a while, but eventually anyone in Skyrim can become extremely rich with normal play. Taking away one out of about 4 major money sources would certainly slow the gain, but not eliminate it entirely.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007


A real nord uses weapons. Warrior.

Sylphosaurus
Sep 6, 2007


Go with a Nord Warrior who uses two-handers and guzzles potions like there's no tomorrow.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Batteries not included.

Currently Mage has a hefty lead so Iím going with that (unless a ton of people vote for warrior this morning before I start working on the first episode). If I die though Iíll try again as a warrior. Either way, Iíve got a character idea in mind.

ilmucche
Mar 16, 2016


I'd like to vote warrior if it isn't too late

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Batteries not included.

ilmucche posted:

I'd like to vote warrior if it isn't too late

It's not too late yet, but the clock is really ticking now! Rickvoid, since I'm not doing a spellblade are you going to pick a side in warrior vs mage?

emormu
Jan 16, 2012


I'll toss in another vote for Warrior.

90s Cringe Rock
Nov 29, 2006


Gimmick option: both. Warrior and mage, but each episode you only use one loadout - either regular spells, or the special short-ranged spell that is "a big loving weapon."

This is probably a bad gimmick though. It would change things up a bit, but it's probably not worth doing.

Zoe
Jan 19, 2007

THE SCALES OF JUSTICE


Nap Ghost

I"ll vote for Warrior too, avoiding exploits means you have honor, not like those tricksy mages always cheating their way through life.

Skippy Granola
Sep 3, 2011

It's not what it looks like.


Jeez, Magic is pretty trash in Skyrim I find. Wouldn't mind seeing a mage run to be proven wrong.

Siegkrow
Oct 11, 2013


Melee, heavy armor, FISTICUFFS!

So yeah, Warrior

lordlimpet
Apr 9, 2005
that one in the corner

Fun Shoe

I'm going for mage. zap, zap, zap!

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Batteries not included.

Mage wins by 1 vote then, I'm going to start working on the video. And if I get killed, I'll try again as a warrior.

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RickVoid
Oct 21, 2010


Mage would have been my vote, so this works.

Looking forward to the video.

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