Whenever I’m pissed off with another game, whether it’s Team Fortress 2 and having experienced most of it, or me being a whining baby when it comes to Warframe, I always come back to Skyrim. Unless Skyrim is the thing that has pissed me off. But normally, it isn’t. Skyrim is the sort of game one can spend hours upon hours playing in and manage to not really do anything. Unfortunately for me, ever since I lost most of my saves, I haven’t really done anything at all.
Well, I say nothing at all, I’ve done the main quest, and I’ve started on the Dragonborn quest over in Solstheim. I haven’t really done anything else though. A handful of Daedric artifacts as I stumble across them. No Thieves Guild. No Dark Brotherhood. And hell no to the Companions. Screw those mangy, furry, dumb werewolves. I mean, what did you fucking expect, you stormed into the headquarters of a bunch of werewolf killers and murdered a bunch of them, of course they were going to fucking want revenge! I’ve also been avoiding most quests, thanks to a mod that edits every single quest and allows players to decline to do them, rather than having quests forced on you.
But yeah, I’ve just been wandering around. Well, not so much wandering, more flying around. It’s insanely interesting to see just how small Skyrim really is when you fly above it. Not saying that the game world is actually small, but it’s not insanely huge either. Even on foot, you could walk from Markarth to Riften in a couple of hours. Even quicker on a horse. Or cheating and using Whirlwind Sprint or Become Ethereal to jump off cliffs and stuff.
That being said, that’s probably why I never seem to do anything in Skyrim. I’m always just walking or running for flying and seeing what happens. Even without mods, the amount of things you’ll see on the roads, from wildlife to random fights to interactions with past friends depending on your past actions, it’s pretty impressive. For example, there’s a wandering bard who will play a song of your choice, and a child vampire who you might meet on the road. Or the noble couple who never make it to a wedding. I’ve run into a bunch of Afflicted people, trying to just get away, who will set you on your way to one of the greatest items in the game.
Then there are unique characters like Mai’q the Liar. He’s supposed to be uncommon. A rare sight to behold. But funnily enough, I meet him on a regular basis. He’s in every game and people go on saying that they haven’t seen him for hundreds of hours, but I met him in my 10th hour in Elder Scrolls Online. Took me about a hundred hours to find him in Skyrim, but now I can’t seem to miss the guy. The last five times I’ve played Skyrim, I’ve seen Mai’q five times. One time was twice in the same session, once between Dawnstar and Windhelm, the second time outside Whiterun.
That’s the thing though. Doing nothing in Skyrim is perfectly reasonable. That was the whole point of the previous games too. But that is where Skyrim initially fell down. All the quests seem to rush you from place to place. The main quest mostly, but the majority of quests are guilty of it. Characters make it seem that you have to do this thing now. But when you ignore people, when you go off on your own, the game feels far less shallow, far more like an open world, which you’re free to explore.
This is why I always come back to Skyrim. The quests mean nothing. None of it means anything. It’s just me in this magical world, doing as I please.
I recommend, if you’re ever stressed, just booting up Skyrim and walking around. You’ll be surprised.