And this makes sixteen posts, next year I'm not going to make the resolution of trying to write more posts than the last because I just might go through several months of being fed up of MMOs, end up having to post several on the last day of the year again, and also I've been playing many more
solo single-player games lately, especially Skyrim.
I want to pick up from the last post and continue banging out a few more thoughts about 'solo progression'. I think anyone rolling their eyes at the phrase, is missing the point at what it entails, it is not 'raid gear for casuals', and the whole notion of working harder (i.e. a time consuming grind) for the same reward that gets commonly suggested is wide of the mark too. It comes down to why it is fine that no matter what difficulty a player chooses in a single-player game, they get the same reward, and why that is derided as 'unworkable' in MMOs.
That why Skyrim is refreshing to me, I'm approaching it as a journey involving choice and that I'm fine with not having an optimal character. I'm avoiding the wiki altogether, which is necessary because looking up some things that I thought would be fairly benign leads to spoilers, ok so what was that tough mob I just fought, oh it was a dragonpriest, and look there are more of them, all neatly listed in a table with locations, had to quickly look away, or checking out the enchanting page to see how it works and scrolling down to find a guide to fully optimising my character. I made that mistake in Oblivion because as soon as I think about optimizing my character, a lot of the fun goes out of the game, but it's the routine approach for an MMO.
There is still progression in Skyrim, but it is tied to player choice about how they build their character, but also some mobs are just tougher. I'm now swatting wolves like flies but I'm still running away from trolls unless I've back-up because at the moment my character is all melee without magic, but I wouldn't change it because I've already planned a second character to be a magic user. Playing a game in my own way is a welcome change to themepark MMOs where there is usually a single progression track, a one-size fits all mentality.