So yeah, it took roughly a stream and a half to do two close-by quests and get back to town. At least two hours, if you total up the time. To be fair, the traveling doesn’t take that long; the reason it took so long in this case was because of all the fighting, save scumming, resting and dying that came along the way. Cliff racers and dark brotherhood agents are not a good combination, especially for a low-level aspiring mage/thief.
You know what’s the strangest part? I actually kind of enjoyed myself. It was frustrating and irritating, but it was also kind of exciting in an alone-in-the-wilderness kind of way. As I’ve said before, I like the concepts of travel and survival used as game mechanics.
Here are my problems, though…
Successfully resting takes virtually all the tension of the scene away. It raises your health, mana and stamina right back up to full if you can find a safe place to hide in, and since enemies apparently can’t open doors, finding a safe zone isn’t always a challenge. Apparently you can rest on the open road, even when you can see a cliff racer in the distance.
If they had some sort of limitation for how often you can rest, that would make it less “Survive until you can rest” and more “survive until you can get back to town,” which would be more intense and exciting. Adding hunger would help with that; you can’t spend two weeks hiking from point A to point B if you don’t pack the food for it.
Of course, with things the way they are now, putting a limit on how much you can sleep would only make the game more egregiously hard, and the game definitely doesn’t need that. They would have to re-balance everything so that traveling from place to place while also minding your rations would actually be viable.
Beneath the egregious unfairness, shoddy gameplay and obvious exploits is a game I would absolutely love.