With The End Game In Mind

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One of the many video games I enjoy playing is Skyrim. It’s the fifth installment of the Elder Scrolls series of role-playing video games, but I’ve never played any of the previous ones. I hear they’re amazing and epic in their own right.

Skyrim puts the player in the Fine Boots of the Dragonborn. Dragons have reappeared in the land, and it’s up to the player to guide the Dragonborn through the wilds, depths, heights, and settlements of Skyrim to figure out why dragons have reappeared and to put a stop to them. What makes the Dragonborn the Dragonborn is the ability to learn, use, and absorb dragon powers! Along the way, the Dragonborn can partake in other adventures to further develop other skills and pursue other experiences. It’s pretty vast to describe here, but that’s the general idea.

As with any role-playing game (RPG), character development is key. In Skyrim, you can develop your Dragonborn’s array of weapon skills, armor skills, magic skills, and other practical skills. No nunchuck skills, however. A lot of nerdy players focus on their stats, skills, and equipment for the end of the game. This can be a big deal because focusing on an awesome character is a lot of work, especially for Skyrim.

In playing Skyrim, I’ve done some research on the best light armors in the game. By research, I mean Skyrim wikis and YouTube videos. I haz a Wood Elf Archer/Conjurer, and Light Armor is conducive to characters possessing non-melee and non-magical attack skills. To get some of the best light armors in the game requires a pretty high Smithing skill in order to create those light armors. If I wanted to really focus on my end game in Skyrim, I’d need to spend the time to collect the necessary materials and develop my Smithing skill. All this amidst slaying dragons and raising my Archery and Conjuring skills to max. Alas, I tend to get distracted by other such quests as becoming the master thief, the master archmage, master assassin, becoming a werewolf, unbecoming a werewolf, building my own house, and adopting kids. You know, the usual Skyrim-ish things. I don’t have a high Smithing skill currently. One day.

Stepping back, I’ve wondered why so much emphasis and focus can be spent on the end of an RPG game such as Skyrim. Sure! Technically there is no end to this particular game because a player can keep playing after every quest has been completed and every Burned Book collected. But why put forth the effort? I can only conclude that the reason why so much focus for the end game happens is simply because of the desire to finish well. To reach the point of “I have arrived!” or to be able to say “I finally achieved!”. Or really, for Skyrim, to be able to say “I’m such a badass!”

Just imagine. Being Level 100! Every skill Mastered! You can kill dragons just by looking at their knees! You own real estate across all of Skyrim! You have the best (and best-looking) armor and weapons in the game! Every Shout learned! Guards have a rough time deciding how they may address you because you are all the titles!

Striving for an end game done well is not an easy feat. It takes time, focus, effort, planning, dedication, perseverance, much consumption of Skooma and Potions of Vigorous Healing, endurance, and character-building—both the raising stats sort and recovering from jumping off mountains inadvertently.

The important thing to think about when trying to finish a game well is to be focused on that goal. Priorities! With the end game in mind, suddenly the quests pursued, items collected, skills leveled up, and equips worn have to be prioritized achieve the achieved end. For me, I wanted an awesome Archer/Conjurer because I love me some long range attacks, but I didn’t want to be carrying around actual weapons because they take up inventory due to weight. Conjurers can magically make weapons appear and summon helpers that attack enemies. Conjured allies are also useful for an archer, who can’t get up close and personal to duke it out. I’ve been focusing on leveling up my Archery and Conjuration skills, but I haven’t spent time developing One-Handed skills (for swords, axes, etc). Not a priority. Not part of the end game plans. With that simple example, it shows how my actions for my Dragonborn should tend towards that end game.

I wrote the draft thoughts for this blog post on my paperPad (as opposed to iPad). I was also watching TV at the time, and CNN was broadcasting Justice Scalia’s funeral Mass. Watching his funeral reminded me that I will die some day. And so will you.

In real life, what’s my end game? What is it that I will strive for? And how will I go about my life in order to achieve that end?

If I’m to be who God created me to be, then I should set my bow sight for heaven. I’m made for heaven. Everything available to me in this one life I have exists so that I can prioritize the quests I take and the character-building I endure in real life in order to finish well for my end game. Heaven.

I need to keep reminding myself to have the end game in mind.

So that in the end, I have the armor of God. It’s +1000. Best armor in life. And in the end when my time of departure has come, I can say I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith.

-JD

“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’” – Matthew 25: 23