For some reason, I’ve been playing Skyrim again—I’m not quite sure what it is with that game but somehow it keeps drawing me back in from time to time. This time around, I’ve started a new playthrough as kind of a mage-y character mostly focusing on destruction so far with a bit of poking into conjuration which seems like a rather useful school of magic to have as a distraction—I’m not very durable as a mage after all, so having something summoned to take the hits is useful.

It has been fun so far, I’ve managed to play through the College of Winterhold campaign and have gotten a good start into the main campaign. It is a bit sad to see, however, how quickly it all goes past when one is moderately familiar with what is going on—it feels like the campaigns are rather short and shallow.

I mean, take the mage campaign for example: I’m barely getting started in the college, go on a field trip, find some big magical artifact, get sent to find another artifact related to the original one and to get advice on how to find it. After that, I basically get promoted to being the archmage of the college. Sure, there are some intermediate steps in there, but they tend to be rather short and samey which really makes the whole experience feel really compact.

I tend to find that the other Skyrim campaigns have a similar problem, where you get one small starter quest, then get a big goal and a few smaller goals around that and after completing those you’re the leader of the guild/college/whatever. And this is a pattern that from what I can remember tends to repeat throughout the guilds, at least Dark Brotherhood and Thieves’ Guild, not quite as sure about Companions as I’ve only played that storyline once I believe. It’s a rather unfortunate flaw in a game that otherwise is good enough to keep me coming back since I feel like I want to play it again which clearly means they have done something very right with the design of the game as well. Or maybe it is the very fact that I have played the game so much that is preventing me from enjoying these more focused experiences?

At any rate, I’m enjoying myself so far and I think I’ll keep enjoying myself for a while still—probably through the main and Companions’ campaigns considering where my strengths lie.