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November 25th, 2012, 22:29
A little off topic I guess but I liked the discussion.

I thought the BG games did a nice job of providing a story without to much pressure - I always felt driven along but also felt like I needed to build up my power/character and hence did that via exploring and training.

Another example that *could have* worked was the story idea of DA2, at least for me. The idea of being this person who has adventures and there are ongoing stories being told both for the character and those around him … helped to keep me interested in the various characters and plots while not making me feel this need to focus just on the quests. However the exploration totally suffered for well known reasons.

Skyrim, for all its sandbox style, does apply pressure as far as the story goes, for me. Once I get going I feel like every time I slack off to explore I am letting Dragons and Vampires run amock killing people. I am holding off on my destiny or letting a war fester. As I spend time building a house, raising orphans, getting married, mining ore and crafting, cooking food, playing tourist to every thing I come across … I feel this little urge about more important things that should be done.

My favorite game was when I created a character and right after Helgen I went to Riften and pretended that was where the game started. I got to level 21 doing all types of things … then I returned to Helgen and re-entered the dungeon beneath it … and then just RP that I had just escaped the dragon. Good Ole Alvor was still waiting to kick everything off for me in Riverwood. I then moved forward with the story with a lot of "history" behind me.

Course I can also just pretend I am training my character, building up my power base, etc. Lucky for the inhabitants I can travel all over Skyrim multiple times and become famous and powerful in a remarkably short amount of in game time i.e. made Harbringer in 27 in-game days. Thats just a month from the newbie to their leader!
Character is centrality, the impossibility of being displaced or overset. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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