Forums » Elder Scrolls

Live a 'better' live: Start at higher lvls? (Skyrim)

    • 96 posts
    May 24, 2016 4:14 PM EDT
    Be it for a build or just for fun, have you ever been in that situation where you had to grind your way up to your 'starting form', just to be able to use that specific ability/gear of your favorit character, superhero/villain, etc? Most times, we have to invent some serious explanations why every hero is 'born' in Helgen, lacking even the most basic of skills.

    I'd like to know how you think about builds that allow you to 'start' the game at a point where you already have the desired gear & set of abilitys.
    1. How would you feel to begin at lvl 15-25 but with access to said powers/aesthetics?
    2. Would it 'hurt' the experience?
    3. Would it be much different from a standard build?
    4. Would the starting skills/equipment justify the preparation time?
    5. Would you play such a build?
    6. Would you say alternate-start builds could become a trend? If yes, why? No, why?

    We're excluding builds that take way too long to prepare, start too many quests, are basically 'finished' by the end of the prepare time or let you check for fast-lvl / early-access-items guides yourself, but not builds that provide short&clear explanations in the beginning, still have a lot of things like gear, powers etc to achieve, take less than 3.5 hours and only one-three quests to prepare for.

    Please be honest & serious, thank you.
    • 1441 posts
    May 24, 2016 4:50 PM EDT

    I would feel a bit jarred at first, but get into it. No, it wouldn't, at least not much. Possibly, since most builds "build up" to certain levels. Yes. And yes, cause I feel it could branch out from the normal "Helgen" builds, 

    • 558 posts
    May 24, 2016 5:05 PM EDT
    I sometimes power level Sneak on Ralof to level fifty if I am playing an Assassin type. I don't think builds that "start" at level 20 hurt the experience, because I already do a lot of pretending in Skyrim anyways.

    I think it is a cool idea for people who don't have alternate start mods or refuse to use them.
    • 1441 posts
    May 24, 2016 5:14 PM EDT

    I normally power level sneak to 100 or so

    • 59 posts
    May 24, 2016 10:07 PM EDT

    This would help role play, because you can role play as a skilled warrior with 60 o e handed instead of 15

    • 295 posts
    May 24, 2016 10:57 PM EDT

    Well, when Aelberon's initial build bugged out at level 47 after Dawnguard's Bloodline, I was forced to start the build again. A Requiem build from scratch. That is a hard, hard pill to swallow. So I helped myself out that time by downloading a wood-chopping mod and then chopping enough wood to raise enough money to pay for Requiem training to around level 18 or so. At least get some skills to past 50. I think under certain circumstances I can see the need. But I usually don't like doing that. I roleplayed his stupidness in the beginning by him recovering from the effects of poison he got at Helgen, which if you know how dem frostbite spides bite in that overhaul, I'm not far off the mark. 

    As to whether I'd play a build like that under normal circumstances, I don't know. For me, I'm very journey-oriented in my playthroughs, though I do also like them to have something to do once they've amassed their skills and gear. You'd have to give me a really legit reason why I'm doing specific things early on in your explanation of the elevated skillset and it has to feel right with the roleplaying. I'm not a huge fan of grinding in the beginning. Do I see alternate start builds becoming a trend? I don't know. I think it depends on the person. 

    • 27 posts
    May 25, 2016 8:14 AM EDT

    1. How would you feel to begin at lvl 15-25 but with access to said powers/aesthetics?

    I don't see this as a problem per se. As a matter of fact, I have done a couple of play throughs that I did some serious craft grinding to get to a certain stage for gear and walked into the play through at about Lv 15. I tried going with a higher level before, (LV 20) but it really was not at all fun at that point, only because of all the preliminary quests that were more of a drudgery than excitement. LV 15 offers s small set of skills in whatever area I wish and gives me specific styles of gear that feel more immersive. Now to do this honestly, there is an older housing Mod out there that comes with a butt load of crafting materials (Fort Riverwood I think it's called). Added into the mod of Complete Crafting Overhaul which allows me to slide bar crafting experience on the tanning rack and smelter, I can usually knock out Lv 15 within about 15-30 minutes. The rest of the crafting materials I save for as I level and want specific things down the road.

    2. Would it 'hurt' the experience?

     Depends. I mean theoretically you could probably craft grind till about LV 40 or 50 but why spend 2 or 3 hours grinding stuff without drinking, sleeping, bedding and slaying my way across Skyrim? I think if done in moderation so as not to become too OP it can be ok if you need a different starting point within your game play. I consider it non time that I can come up with a feasible background or justify an alternate start point and pick up from there.

    3. Would it be much different from a standard build?

    Not sure what this means, every skill build I do is different based upon how I envision the character.

    4. Would the starting skills/equipment justify the preparation time?

    Absolutely, more for equipment than for skills. Those are just a nice bonus. This is due primarily to the armor mods I have collected over time. Both for my character as well as any followers I might be running along side.

    5. Would you play such a build?


    6. Would you say alternate-start builds could become a trend? If yes, why? No, why?

    Really depends upon the crowd currently playing. There is the risk of OP builds becoming the easy answer to getting through different quests. The problem arises when quests get done too easily and boredom ensues. Since I have not tried Requiem as of yet I cannot speak to that player base's experience. But for standard play, I don't see it as a huge trend that people will use from other posted builds. That's really kind of a pigeon holed way of play. Players may do a quick grind to get skills they want to play themselves though. From that point of view it may have a regular following.

    • 96 posts
    May 25, 2016 9:34 AM EDT
    Remember, we're not talking about builds that use this method to access overpowered gameplay mechanics or that start too many quests. Grinding hours long is also excluded.
    • 96 posts
    May 25, 2016 9:37 AM EDT
    That brings you up to ~ lvl 18. Doesn't it make you a bit weak in comparison to higher lvl enemys? Because a steel dagger will hardly do enough dmg at this time.
    • 96 posts
    May 25, 2016 9:45 AM EDT
    So saying that your Thief starts with some lvls in sneak, pickpocket and lockpicking isn't a good explanation? And does the preparation time really have something to do with roleplay, aside that it gives you the ability to start at a point in the game where you are able to roleplay said Thief?
    • 27 posts
    May 25, 2016 10:21 AM EDT

    Yup upon re reading I suppose really my post was irrelevant. I guess disregard my post....

    • 96 posts
    May 25, 2016 10:49 AM EDT
    That wasn't my intention. I just wanted to remember you that this is the 'perfect case'.
    • 295 posts
    May 25, 2016 11:34 AM EDT

    Is it really that hard to level up to say level 15 by just playing the game? I mean, depending on the skillset and how long you devote to actual playing, this can be done in less than a day of play if you're focused. The only reason I skipped this in Requiem because leveling in Requiem is insanely slow compared to Vanilla. Vanilla, you look at an enemy with purpose and you can gain XP. 

    I'm sorry, Relycs, perhaps it's me and I'm just really not understanding what you're trying to point out with this discussion. 

    • 27 posts
    May 25, 2016 11:39 AM EDT

    No worries, I just didn't read carefully lol.

    • 485 posts
    May 25, 2016 11:51 AM EDT
    It all comes down to Roleplay. The immersion factor of certain builds would actually be enhanced by this concept. The builds I speak of are the ones whose back stories imply they're the most bad ass thing to ever walk Tamriel. But it's hard to feel immersed and invested in such a role when you're starting at level 1.
    • 8 posts
    May 25, 2016 12:19 PM EDT

    "How would you feel to begin at lvl 15-25 but have access to said powers/aesthetics?"
    I would honestly feel alright about it. I've a few original builds that I have in my head with amazing backstories, that I just can't upload onto this site purely because it doesn't fit in with how the game starts (either with the vanilla start or with the 'Alternate Start' mod). Even my Dwarf build turns a blind eye to the fact that he starts off as an absolute novice at everything. So I think there's definitely a place for this kind of start.

    "Would it hurt the experience?"
    The short answer for me is that it is entirely situational. There are many builds on this site that would benefit greatly from it. Take for example Raid's 'White Walker' build, which turns a blind eye to the fact that you start off as a living mortal with only a basic fire spell and a healing spell (none of which you're likely to use), and the roleplay of your Undeath and your mastery of frost is kind of crowbarred into the build. But if you start off as a vampire with a stahlrim blade and a few frost spells, then you're already heading in the right direction.

    "Would it be much different from a standard build?"
    I think i've already kinda answered this. It'd be 'different', but not for any better or worse. Most people look at different builds for the roleplay and gameplay aspect moreso than they do for the 'challenge' or difficulty. Otherwise we'd all be trying to punch Alduin to death barefisted.

    "Would the starting skills/equipment justify the preparation time?"
    How do you mean? This whole concept is begging for a mod that could set all this up for you. Character Creation could work kind of like Fallout's S.P.E.C.I.A.L. points; you have so many skill levels that you can invest into a character (let's say 100, which would get you to around level 20 or so), and you can either load them all into one or two skills, or spread them out evenly. Or better yet, take the vanilla starting skill levels, and be able to 'rearrange' them. So a burly 'sword and board' Nordy McNordface will reduce aaaaall the magic skills to level 0 to show complete aversion and ineptitude in magic, and invest those points into more martial skills like block and one-handed. So gameplay-wise this could take two minutes maybe. It's just a fair bit of work on the modder's part.

    "Would YOU play such a build?"
    Absolutely yes. Not all the time, mind. But I think even the very best builds on this site would benefit. For example, Mason's 'Seraphim' build - imagine starting with sun and healing spells, and maxed restoration? Every other skill could be sub-par if need be, but if nothing else it'd make the RP of the 'Seraphim' being an angel a lot more believable.

    "Would you say Alternate-Start builds could become a trend?"
    Well, my builds already includes advice and recommendations for those playing with mods (as well as a 'Recommended Mod List') and those playing vanilla. It wouldn't take a great deal of work to do a small section on those starting with this custom setup.

    There is a whole well of untapped potential for builds with this concept in mind, but there are also so many builds that would just be utterly ruined by it. For example, one of my absolute favourite builds to play is a simple, honest 'huntress'. Hunts for her own food; crafts her own salves; makes her own bows and arrows. Sells pelts to make a living; invests the profits of her hunting into purchasing land to build her own home in Falkreath. I don't think she's ever hit level 30 before. Just sneaking; archery; and a few levels in smithing. Good, simple, honest gameplay. She doesn't need to start off as a '360 no-scoper' with a Dragonbone Bow of Genocide and armour made from Hircine's own flesh.

    But maybe i'm just boring. :P

    • 77 posts
    May 26, 2016 12:28 PM EDT

    I think a little grinding to get to the "start" of a character is fine if the build is good enough.  For instance the Ralof/Hadvar sneak exploit is perfect for a master thief who is travelling to Skyrim, it just makes sense that you would already be good at sneaking.

    I'm a bit biased because my upcoming build kind of expects you to use Librari's Gold Route and my NecroGrind leveling method before your really start the playthrough which takes about 45 minutest to an hour to complete.

    • 96 posts
    May 27, 2016 2:07 PM EDT
    Thanks for your input :).