Game Plan

There is something satisfying about getting that almighty perfect build for a character that you’ve always dreamed of. It can take a lot of work and a slightly skewed mind though.

Take Skyrim as an example. I’ve played it for nearly 200 hours now on the 360, but I’ve lost interest in my character as I’ve invested in perks I’ve later regretted. So what do I do now? Well, first I’ll polish off that last achievement I need to get (the bleeding “Reader” one), and then I’m off to the PC version to get it right. The only time I’ll ever touch my 360 character again will be to dash through and get any inevitable DLC achievements that come along.

Yes, my character is tainted as I didn’t have a game plan for my initial playthrough. Well, after that 200 hour investment alongside a fair bit of Googling and a messy Excel spreadsheet I’ve finally figured out my final character build for my PC playthrough.

I mean, who wouldn’t want a stabby, silver-tongued, sneaky archer who can conjure up two permanent atronachs at the same time? Feverishly researching and planning my character’s every step along their journey can be just as much fun as any high point in the game itself. Poring over the ideal spouse who’s not only a looker but comes with her own apocatherapy shop (sorry ladies, it’s just how us lesbian Bretons think) or figuring out a unique combo of odd armour for your follower. Doesn’t everyone fancy someone with an enchanted execution hood assisting them? No? Just me then?

In an all too familiar situation, I lost interest in my Fallout: New Vegas character build earlier this year. I realised I’d killed the only two people who could raise my reputation with Caesar’s Legion while trying to impress Boone down at Cottonwood Cove. This meant I would not be able to get the key for the Caesar’s Legion safehouse which contains the “Lucky shades” that would have given my character the +1 Luck and +3 Perception she needed for my ideal build. This may sound trivial, or even a tad obsessive-compulsive, to the average gamer, but I can’t help it if issues like these make or, indeed, break the game for me. I’d chosen to go for for a couple of quirky perks rather than go for a few rounds of Intense Training on my character, and by golly I was sticking to that decision.

Perhaps my love of planning my character-builds to such a degree stems from my interest in Pokémon eugenics. Mmm. Yes. It would be nice to breed dozens of the same Pokémon in a third generation game until they have near-perfect stats and ideal Natures, then transfer them across to Pokémon XD and the remakes of the first-generation games. Make sure the Move Tutor has taught them several moves they can’t learn in later generations, then send them across to the fourth generation games, then rinse and repeat until they land in my fifth generation cartridge.

Oh, sorry, I think I lost you for a minute there. What do you think? Am I a lost cause at this point? Should I be trying to just let go and play in a “normal” fashion and just go with the flow when planning to this extent brings me so much joy? As I’m writing this now I’ve ended up looking into the Perks that came with the last few pieces of New Vegas DLC. Time to open up that ol’ Excel sheet for a new build methinks.






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