As regular blog readers may hazily recall, I have repeatedly tried to mod Skyrim: The Videogame. That was interrupted by various things, most of which are ultimately my fault for letting them interrupt. But it’s a new year and with it comes new beginnings. Rather than jump straight back into the modding, I’ve decided to start off with something a little different. You see, I think part of my lack of motivation here is that besides firing it up to test my mod, I haven’t actually played Skyrim for what must be well over a year (and probably closer to 3 years).
The flip side of that is when I did play Skyrim, I played it a LOT. I have an embarrassingly high number of hours in Skyrim: Regular Edition and there’s basically nothing new for me at this point. That leads me to the natural challenge that accomplished Game Masters turn to: the speedrun.
So next week, I’m going to go into Skyrim: Special Edition and 100% it as fast as possible.
I should probably set out exactly what I mean by that. I’m treating 100% completion as “getting every single steam achievement” and I’m going to time it using the steam “Time played” counter. Currently, I’m at zero achievements and at maybe 10 minutes on the counter so that works out nicely.
Normally, completing everything this large game has to offer in a playthrough would take about 100 hours. That is slightly longer than I’m willing to invest in this so this is going to be a Tool-Assisted Speedrun, a.k.a. I’m going to cheat heavily. Skyrim does have some protections against that: In the Special Edition, having a mod installed also disables achievements but (of course) a mod exists that reenables them so I’m fine on that front. I don’t currently have any plans to install any mods for this as it’s perfectly possible to break the game in half without adding in any insanely powerful weapons.
Besides, who needs mods when the game comes with access to the developer console, which has all the godmode, teleport commands and of course, instakills anyone could ever need. I will have to be careful with console use though: overuse or improperly used commands can corrupt saves, break quest scripting and if you skip an achievement trigger, you won’t get it (eg if I set my level directly to 6 from 1, I won’t get the achievement for reaching level 5). Smart use will be key.
The majority of the game’s achievements are of the “completed X quest” variety which should be easy to handle with “teleport” and “kill” commands and a lot of the rest are skill challenges that would be easy to accomplish with a character boosted to a very high level. There does exist a console command to instantly complete every quest in the game, but I will not be using that one as it has a nasty tendancy to crash the game instead.
The usual hardest achievement in the game – kill a legendary dragon – shouldn’t pose a problem as the barrier to it is the time investment of reaching the incredibly high level needed for them to spawn rather than the fight itself. No problem with that here! For me, I think the problem objectives will be “finish 50 misc objectives” and “read 50 skill books”. These aren’t hard to do but the number required means I will have to dedicate some time to them, as I’m unlikely to fulfil the requirements organically. The werewolf and vampire perk achievements are also likely to be troublesome as they require ~150 kills each, cannot be worked on at the same time and have prerequisite quests that have to be completed correctly first.
The other enemy is going to be friendly NPCs. A fair few of the quests involve slowly following NPCs or listening to conversations in the world. There’s no way to speed those up without breaking quests, so these will slow the playthrough down. Even with no threats and teleporting on command, I estimate speedbumps such as these mean the speedrun will probably take around 25 hours. Unless I get carried away in character creation again. That can happen.
Check back next week for updates on how it’s going!