SEE WHAT I DID THERE?
I’m sorry, let me apologize for my bad puns.
Anyway, Skyrim’s DLC “Hearthfire” was released on Tuesday! To say I was excited would be somewhat of an understatement. It was the only thing I was looking forward to this week. One of my favorite parts of The Sims, okay, MY FAVORITE PART, is character and home creation. Goddamn, I love me some house designing. I am kind of afraid for when I get to actually get to design my own home, because it will be the most tedious and nerve wracking process of my pathetic life. This, combined with the fact that I’ve only recently really gotten into Skyrim within the past month, has turned me into a Skyrim-consuming monster.
So, let’s get to it.
Jumping right into it, I got a letter from a courier from the Jarl of Falkreath, who I had not met yet and it turns out he is kind of an asshole. When I got there, he asked me to go take care of some bandits for him, which was pretty simple, and in return he gave me permission to purchase land in the area.
But this whole section with the letters is kind of buggy. I got the letter from the courier, and Ryan, when he played, did not, despite the courier saying he gave him one. He did, however, get the letter from the orphanage saying that he could adopt children, whereas I received no such letter. Since I didn’t have a letter, the orphanage didn’t recognize that I was there to adopt children, and nothing worked. However, there are kids you can just pick up off the streets and adopt as long as you have a children’s bed and a chest for them in your house. There’s a complete list here for those who need it.
There are three places you can purchase land. The Falkreath plot might be the prettiest; it sits right on the edge of a lake between Riverwood and Falkreath. The Dawnstar plot gives you a nice view of Whiterun from the north, and the Morthal one has a southern view of Solitude. And you can purchase and build on all three of the plots of land. They all have…interesting quirks though.
The Morthal plot is smack-dab in the middle of some swamps that are surrounded by ruins that contain loads of Draguar who will terrify your children (although this was Ryan’s child, and I think his child might be disturbed anyway, because it keeps talking about a stray dog that it wants to keep, but there is no dog anywhere on the property). There is also a Dragon Priest right next door at High Gate Ruins! How convenient!
The Dawnstar plot is nice if you like to go out hunting, because it’s right on those plains above Whiterun. However, there is a giants’ camp nearby, so take that as you will. You will probably have them lumbering over and trying to make your cows into pets or such shit at some point.
I chose the Falkreath plot, both because it was reported to be the prettiest and because you initially get the letter about it from the Jarl there. It is really lovely, although there was already someone using my land for something else. I walked around the area and saw a circle of stones at the base of a hill. So when I went over and looked down there, was a necromancer trying to raise the goddamn dead on my new land. We had a stare down before I shot him in the face. His setup appears to be permanent though, so I guess if I ever need to reanimate some corpses, I’m already prepared.
So building the house is a process. A process that involves getting a crapload of stuff together. You should get a house steward first, because they will be ordering materials and furnishing rooms and buying you horses and cows and bards. Your steward can be almost anyone who can be a follower. Since I was so close to Riverwood, I just ran up and grabbed Faendal to be mine, and I spend a lot of time running around yelling for Faendal to order me more things. And you will need A LOT of iron. Almost all of your time will be spent making iron things. You will do lots of running back and forth to the blacksmith. I CANNOT EMPHASIZE ENOUGH HOW MUCH IRON YOU NEED. So much that it will become horribly inconvenient, because you will be trying to do things, but you will be weighed down with iron, and thus everything will take forever.
Speaking of blacksmiths, I went to Falkreath to get some more goddamn iron, and as soon as I got there, a dragon attacked. The dragon swooped down and landed in the town, picked up Lod the blacksmith, tore him to shreds, and then threw his corpse down in front of his blacksmith shop. Guess I won’t be buying iron from there anymore.
Anywho, you get three wings to add to your house. And you have three options for every wing. For example, you can have one wing be a library, a kitchen or something else (I forget). Obviously, I chose the library. I was really pissed about this before I realized that you could build houses on all three plots of land. So pretty much you can build with all the options you want, just in different locations.
There are also three things that will probably happen to your house: giants, bandits, and skeever infestations. Ryan apparently had one bandit show up at his house, whom he killed, and on the bandit was a note saying they had kidnapped his wife. So he went inside, and his wife was there, but she was acting like she had been kidnapped. And then she took a few steps and snapped out of it. It was weird.
There was also the fugitive and the mudcrab.
I stepped away from my carpenter’s bench outside my house I was building, and as soon as I did, a fugitive ran up to me and asked me to hold on to something for him. He said he would be back as soon as he could. Except he didn’t get very far, because following behind him was a mudcrab who ran up and pinched him twice, and then he fell over dead. Right in front of my goddamn house. So I shot the mudcrab because it came after me next, and then I had two corpses hanging out outside my front door. So that was something.
Anyway, the finished house is awesome, although all of them in each location look the same. The bugs aren’t bad enough that they bring the DLC down, they are mostly just weird, little annoyances. Ryan wrote his two complaints about the DLC on my notes, and they were, “MY BARD SUCKS” and “YOU CAN’T RE-ORPHAN YOUR KIDS.” Which, admittedly, his bard really does suck. And if I had disturbed children like he did, I would want to re-orphan them as well.
Fix the bugs, add some more locations to build houses on, and vary the design. I really love Hearthfire though, and it’s really cool to build your own house in Skyrim. The DLC was only $5 (400 Microsoft points), so I would definitely recommend picking it up.