Suggestion for Players: Shake Up Your Routine

Walheim - five bosses

TL;DR — Try different weapons and playstyles in order to maximize your enjoyment of this game. The results may surprise you.

The reason I'm writing this is because I've seen lots of posts advocating for big changes to the game that are subtractive rather than additive. Often, the justification is to make the game more challenging or improve "game balance" or make a particular playstyle more optimal.

Every gamer is different, and what's fun for one gamer may be completely different from what's fun for another. For myself, I enjoy exploring, setting tasks for myself, and then finding interesting ways to complete those tasks. I enjoy building and sharing stories with people. I enjoy getting myself into scenarios that are almost too much for me to handle, but then digging deep and finding the will and skill to prevail.

I've created multiple characters and played through the game multiple times, both solo and with other people. I've done a lot of building, a lot of farming, and I've fought all the currently available bosses multiple times. I'm still having fun because I keep trying different approaches.

The first time I went through, I went with weapons and armor that are probably more "standard." I'm not sure what "standard" means to everyone, but I think it's this: I used bows a lot and I avoided pole-arms and spears.

With other characters, both solo and with different groups, I've changed things up. My intention was just to see what the different weapon types felt like. The result was that I wound up having more fun, even when the weapons I was using weren't my first choice or considered optimal.

For example, in my current run I'm primarily playing with a spear and shield. I have a bow on me, but I rarely use it. A thrown spear can be devastating as a ranged weapon. Spear is obviously good against trolls, but it's also fun against all the creatures of the Black Forest and Swamp.

If you've tried playing with the spear, you probably already know that you can't hit a skeleton or draugr spawner with the spear unless you throw it. So my secondary weapon has been the stag hammer. It's been one of my favorite weapons ever in the swamp, with amazing utility for clearing blobs and leaches. Thanks to the stag hammer, I've spent hours and hours in the swamp without ever taking a poison potion.

I never would have discovered how much fun these weapons were if I didn't change up my style, leave my comfort zone, and run with them for an extended period of time.

Right now, I'm very dependent on shields. My next run, I'm going to try and play without shields entirely. I'll do a pole-arm only run and see what that feels like. I suspect it's going to be a lot of fun and probably feel like an entirely different game.

That's my advice: get out of your comfort zone and try different weapons and approaches. Trying to play "optimally" all the time isn't always the same as having fun.

Final note: I stated earlier that gamers are all different, and it may be what's fun for you is find the absolute most effective approach and sticking with that. I am not telling you that you are wrong, or that you must do something different to have fun. If my suggestion of trying different weapons in game does not apply to you, then it doesn't apply to you.


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