Monday, October 08, 2012

Borderlands 2 pissed me off tonight, so I picked up the Hearthfire DLC for Skyrim.  I needed something relaxing, and it seemed like just the thing.  I'm quite enjoying it, and I'll explain a few reasons why.  It may seem odd for a Skyrim player who plays it on the PC enjoying such a piece of DLC, since everything Hearthfire offers can be done better with the Steam Workshop.  The first reason is that I just never took the time to learn how to use the Steam Workshop nor the modification tools for Skyrim.  It's not my thing, plus I don't have that kind of time.  (I've got games to PLAY, man!)  The second is that fiddling around with the mod tools feels like I'm creating something of my own, and not doing something in the game.  That right there is exactly what draws people to the workshop -- John included.  Creativity, imagination, making something of your own.  I don't particularly need that.  I'd rather just do something in the game, something that has a set of tasks or a path to follow, however vague that path may be in an open world.  So therefore, yes, I quite enjoy what Hearthfire has to offer.

It's been a while since I've played Skyrim, and the first thing I did was utterly forget the controls and accidentally shoot a guard in the face with an arrow.  Oops.  Things went better after that.  After getting the breadcrumbs for the questline, I went and purchased my plot of land.  The first thing that I really liked was being able to create each singular item one at a time for the house, and look at everything in between steps to see how things progressed and were created.  It was really neat to start with a barren piece of land, and watch the foundation, floors, walls, and so on all start to be built and put into place.

I've spend at least an hour tinkering around with this DLC so far, and all I've managed to accomplish is the main house, a hall, and a library.  That's a very small portion of everything you can build, and I haven't even furnished any of it yet.  Except the library.  Naturally, I filled it with bookshelves.  That leads me to the few gripes that I have.  One, the cellar is a separate load screen.  Boo!  Second, you don't have any freedom where you place furniture and shelves, nor how many of what you can build.  It's preset.  Of course, if I wanted that total freedom, I could just use the modification tools, so I'm not going to gripe about that too much.

For the price, I'm getting my money's worth out of it.  For someone that likes working with the modification tools, I'd tell them to give this DLC a pass and not to bother.  But for someone like me who just wants a more "official" way of building a home, complete with new achievements, unlimited resources of clay and stone set next to your land, and new things to purchase from general goods vendors all over Skyrim, this is quite worth the investment.  

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