Before I get started is this topic just a little bit weird? Am I the only person in the world that sets goals while gaming or have regrets about not reaching a personally set milestone. Whether it be to complete a certain game on a harder difficulty, to acquire certain players on Fifa Ultimate Team or to tame a rare pet or find a rare mount in World of Warcraft. I always have some sort of milestone that I want to achieve. Does anyone else even put themselves through this or should I just be enjoying playing the game and appreciating the story? I have never openly discussed this topic and it seems like it could be an opening a can of worms type moment so I shall rein myself in and focus on the topic as intended.
I was inspired to write this article after reaching something I have wanted to do in the gaming world for a very long time but never managed to have the patience or the dedication to accomplish it. Finally, after years of playing console games I have amassed 100% achievements on an individual title. It was Skyrim. What a game. But how I would have loved it so much more if it were not for me being so blindly determined to amass completion.
This article has been in draft for about 2-3 weeks now, it has also taken a few different directions due to my near failure and landing the 100% achievements. The first stumbling block was the achievement Oblivion Walker. As far as the internet was concerned this was the only missable achievement in the game. You have to collect 15 Daedric Artifacts, but some of the artifacts will only be obtainable depending on which decisions you make in the game. Quite a lot of them needed you to be inherently evil and trick some poor soul into a death trap. This would have been fine but I decided to go for maximum achievements long after I was “finished” with the game first time around. I had vaguely remembered the Daedric artifacts I’d come across and I hadn’t remembered messing any up. All was going well, I had probably my most entertaining moments in gaming for years being disgustingly evil to the friendly folk of Skyrim then 14/15 artifacts down I had run into “The Whispering Door” quest.
Following the guide I was using I headed to see the Jarl that would instigate the chain. Nothing. At this point I had spent a whole day, and by whole day I mean from about 9am in the morning until about 7pm at night only stopping for toilet and food breaks, endlessly hunting daedric artifacts. Obviously panic set in, then rage, then once I’d calmed myself I had a little look around for a solution. Alas, with me choosing the Stormcloaks all I had to do was head into the basement, find the old Jarl and then head back to the inn at Whiterun and the innkeeper would helpfully direct me to starting the chain. So off I went to Solitude, taking a sack load of abuse from all of the Jarls I have scorned in the basement fast travelled to Whiterun, walked myself into the Inn where the kind maiden told me absolutely nothing at all. The only feasible solution was to butcher everyone within a 10 mile radius and then turn off the Xbox off so that is exactly what I did. I also spent most of the night in a foul mood unable to shift the disappointment in wasting so much time only to be bugged out of something I was aiming for.The next day for whatever reason I loaded the game back up, at a save before I performed acts of genocide on Whiterun, talked the Innkeeper and there was the quest. I can only describe the feeling as a mixture of relief and excitement but also with a helpful amount of anger and bemusement. Regardless, I pressed on.
Level a ridiculous amount of Alchemy, Smithing and Enchanting to hit the lvl 50 achievement: check. Got myself arrested and then escaped from prison: check. Acquired a bounty of 1000g by shooting a guard and running away in all 9 holds very fast: check. 990 achievement points it is, so what was left? Capture Fort Sungard or Fort Greenwell. Only a 10 point achievement, this shouldn’t have been too hard should it? Of course not. Well it wouldn’t have been if the game hadn’t bugged while doing the civil war chain and it not giving me the option to even capture the damn fort. Once again I had my goal in sight but it was cruelly ripped away leaving this article reading like a tale of how I manage to fuck up in everything I ever play and set out to achieve in the gaming world. I did a little more reading around the subject and basically that was it. The quest was broken. I read about people starting new characters just to obtain that achievement but levelling something else high enough to tackle the quest just didn’t seem like something that was going to happen after spending two straight days working through the nitty gritty end of Skyrim.
This is where the luck part comes in. When I started Skyrim I never altered the autosave function so when checking my save files I had one, yup you’ve guessed it, just before I started the civil war chain at around level 30. So instead I started the chain as the Imperials got to the point and thank the gods captured the fort thus resulting in 100% achievements. It took me around 95 hours to complete everything in Skyrim plus another 2 hours for the time it took to re-do the Civil War chain but I can tell you it was absolutely worth it. I’m also pleased I did it in a game I value so much like Skyrim.
Another shorter story, one without a happy ending, involves my time in World of Warcraft. I’ve more than likely mentioned this a few times but I have been playing WoW on and off since Vanilla. I have played every expansion but I have never still been active player at the end of one to take down a final boss in its pomp. Not Ragnoras, not Illidan, Not Arthas, and most recently, not Deathwing. I have been part of raiding guilds and successful raiding guilds during my WoW career but not at the time when it really counts. The latest expansion has proven my biggest opportunity to accomplish my goal with the Looking for Raid function but sadly I just haven’t had the motivation to press on for a few weeks and achieve something I’ve also wanted to accomplish.
Is there anyone else out there like me that sets silly goals or milestones? Do you have any stories of a similar ilk you could share with us? Let me know in the comments.