Mastering Skyrim: Day Six

Mastering Skyrim: Day Six

Posted by on Jan 18, 2012 in Commentary |

TESV 2012-01-18 07-45-02-83

This is a series of blog posts about playing Skyrim on Master, the highest difficulty setting. At this level the only thing that changes is damage: player characters deal only half of it while receiving double the usual amount.

I admit that I only decided to head up to High Hrothgar after finding out that I was losing direction. The thing about Skyrim is that it offers so much gameplay it’s often difficult to prioritize. Getting a full-powered Unrelenting Force seemed like a good idea so that’s what I set out to do.

I fast traveled to Helgen, turned around and made my way down the mountain. Previous playthroughs have taught me that this was the fastest way to Ivarstead. They also showed me that this was a safer path in general. Encounters were rare and, in the cases that they did happen, usually involved weak enemies.

That wasn’t meant to be. I ran into two spiders first. I took care of one while Brelyna handled the other. It’s funny how an oft-neglected fight on Adept turned out to be a tough experience on Master. Each bite took about a third of my health away. I scrambled to find higher ground as the spider chased me. Once I was atop a small hill I hit with Flames until it died. Brelyna had an easier time with hers, it seemed, using a summoned Familiar to tank the spider while she threw bolts of fire.

The second encounter came in the form of a bear. Simply put, Brelyna and I were outmatched by the beast. Fortunately there was an Imperial camp nearby. I lured it there, then let the soldiers fight it for me. I’m not proud of what I did, but the experience only made me even more determined to get to High Hrothgar. If I had Unrelenting Force maxed out, I would’ve been able to throw the bear off a hill or cliff.

The rest of the journey to Ivarstead was uneventful. I grabbed the delivery from Klimmek as usual then made my way up the mountain. The inevitable ice troll encounter lingered in my mind as I made the trek. As I neared the point where it would drop off I scaled the terrain sideways, looking for an alternate trail. There was no such trail, but my character continued moving so I made one of my own. I managed to get up as high as where the ice troll actually was, before it would jump down to meet me had I taken the usual path. As I neared it it jumped down, leaving the rest of way unhindered.