I still remember the day The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim launched in 2011. It was a magical time full of wonders and new, memorable experiences.
It was a wonderful time to be a gamer. It was a wonderful time to be alive.
During the golden age of Skyrim’s modding scene, countless mods were released every day. Looking back, most of them were garbage – but that didn’t matter. The community was using a game we universally loved to express our creativity and vision. The mods that stood the test of time are testaments to the hard work, creativity and passion of the modding community.
But everything has its limits, and I’ve finally reached mine. So let’s take a trip down memory lane!
Bethesda released three amazing DLC packs. Dawnguard, my favorite of the three, introduced some of the best features in Skyrim. When I stepped into the dark expanse of the Soul Cairn for the first time, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. It was midnight, the lights were off, and it was a cold, cold night. I felt isolated and alone. When I defeated the undead dragon Durnehviir, it felt like a personal accomplishment.
Also, werewolf perks. Freaking werewolf perks.
Heartfire wasn’t too exciting, but I enjoyed building a personal house for myself, my husband Farkas, and my two children, what’s-his-face and what’s-her-face.
Dragonborn was legit. It was the most epic of the three. Returning to Solstheim felt like coming home after a long absence. By the time the DLC came out, I thought I had explored every solid inch of the frozen north and was hungry for more. It was a treat to experience the feeling of being lost in a huge open landscape again, even if it was for a shorter time. I liked Dawnguard more, but I thoroughly enjoyed every new experience and location introduced in Bethesda’s final DLC.
While I was busy getting hyped about a possible upcoming expansion and subsequently disappointed, modders were coming out with awesome fanmade expansions like Falskaar. With even more mods like Wyrmstooth and Moonpath to Elsweyr, and upcoming expansions like the legendary Luftahraan, I’m dying to play the game again.
So why can’t I do it?
I’ve played this game too damn much.
I’m stuck in a never-ending loop where I excitedly download the game, spend hours modding it like crazy, launch it, and immediately lose interest. Then, like an idiot, I uninstall the game and all the mods I install. I feel like I’m chasing the dragon now, turning an intense hobby into a waste of time and effort.
A few years ago, I spent a month playing Skyrim nonstop for the umpteenth time. Then my laptop crashed and I lost the save file. Even if I backed it up ahead of time, it would have been impossible to restore the game to the modded state that fully supports that save.
I never thought to properly document the changes I made to Skyrim’s mod list. I didn’t install the game onto a second hard drive so the files could be safe, nor did I ever back up my computer’s files on a semi-regular basis. I keep fighting the urge to go through the stress of creating a comprehensive mod list and trying again.
But honestly? I don’t mind losing my save file. I could just play the game again, right?
If I could ever experience a game for the first time again, it would be Skyrim. No second thoughts. Because despite being the best gaming experience I’ve ever had, Skyrim has become predictable. I never gave myself time to rest.
I’m giving The Elder Scrolls a good long break. I often return to Oblivion or Morrowind in a vain attempt to relive the Elder Scrolls experience. But I’m burned out from playing those games, too!
I need to experience the feeling of “newness” again. So I’m going to put The Elder Scrolls series aside for at least a year so I can return refreshed. Next time I can look back on this post and remember to document my mod list and install the game on a second SSD for faster loading times.
There are going to be some badass mods released in my absence. So I can definitely look forward to that!
So that’s it! No Elder Scrolls until January 2017.
A Trip Down Memory Lane
I’m going to finish this article with a slideshow of my last full playthrough. I played Aidan Rulrindale, a Breton Paladin-type character specializing in restoration and alteration magic. For every picture there is a memory.