Monday, 2 March 2015

I Swore I Heard Something

I've played Skyrim before with some different builds. It seems like the most efficient way to club your enemies to death is to use a club. You can get your damage so high through smithing and enchanting that you can one- or two-shot dragons. I've also played magic-heavy builds that end up relying most on summoning dremora who used clubs.

Directly attacking with magic seems pretty weak, and I didn't play very far into a stealth game, so I decided I'd go with bow and stealth this time.

Leveling up pickpocketing and stealth means you go up levels with skills that don't directly affect combat. That ends up putting you in a tricky spot when the fights are harder. So basically if you want to do a stealth build you have to actually utilize the stealth or you'll get killed by things that just have more health and do more damage than you. Playing with stealth has some pretty comical results.

When you do something noisy, like shoot someone in the back, all the enemies within earshot notice that something is going on, but unless they have a direct line of vision to you, they don't know where you are, only where the noise came from. So they start running around looking to see what is going on. If you remain hidden for enough time they eventually give up the chase and go back to their starting positions and mutter to themselves about not being able to find you.

So I'm up on a little ridge overlooking a camp where five bandits are hanging around. I put and arrow into one of them, killing him outright with my triple damage sneak attack, and back away from the edge so they won't be able to see me. After a little while they give up and head back to where they were standing, and one of them says, "I could swear I heard something."

Yeah, your friend is dead on the ground.

So another arrow goes into another head and another look-around-to-see-what's-up begins. Soon it's back to what they were doing.

I think my favourite was getting a mission to assassinate someone in the middle of a city. The person was leaving a tavern with someone else standing a few feet behind. I waited until they got to a side street so no one else was watching and carefully aimed from behind them to hit the person in front rather than the nearer person. As fatal shots often do, the impact launched the victim forward with rag-doll physics, and they skidded and rolled to a stop a fair distance away.

The person walking because them didn't appear to notice at all, but, upon reaching the dead body, he stopped to say, "What happened here?" He lingered for a moment while I looted the body right in front of his eyes before continuing on his way home.

The stealth system can definitely be frustrating - especially in certain fixed encounters where the enemies appear to cheat and automatically know where you are - but it certainly has its rewards

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