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Dragons, and Wizards, and Spells. Oh, My!

Here we go!...wait how do I fight these, again?

"Alright, here we go!...wait how do I fight these again?"

It's easy to get sucked into an expansive RPG. An entire world is at your fingertips, and the customization offered promises a unique adventure for you to shape your character as you see fit. These 40+ hour titles can be hard to put down, but the demand of other games will usually have me drop an RPG shy of fully completing it.

Now that things have started to slow down a bit, I found the time to dive right back into Skyrim. I returned to fixed glitches, dragons that no longer flew in reverse, and brand spanking new kill cams to enjoy. I also realized something...

I have no idea where I left off.

Here was this two-handed warrior I had invested so much time in by delving into treacherous caves, slaying vicious dragons, and making a name for myself in a local town; and now I was staring at a complete stranger. My armor is coated in a sheen of some magical substance I am unaware of, my weapon is glowing red and boosting some stat I cannot remember, and why did I have a cloth helmet on with heavy boots?

Mom!...I can't find my shoes!

It is the problem I have with every RPG I pick up. If I fail to completely play through and invest time from start to finish, I return to a pile of confusion. The long list of quests, the pages of abilities, and the numerous skills in each class tree can be a lot to reabsorb. Each character acts like a long lost friend that I bump into, struggling to remember their name or how they remember me so well...

"He said he would meet me here for a Bloody Mary..."

This is worsened in MMOs. I cannot remember what planet my poor Republic Smuggler has been left on in Old Republic, but I'm sure he is at some Cantina getting drunk and recounting tales of past glory to passing Jedi. Reassuming a taxing role like a healer is even worse, as the burden of remembering all the tactics for each boss and rotation of heals can take a bit of homework. This is further complicated by the numerous patches that have the potential to nerf or shuffle abilities completely.

It may be time consuming, but the completionist in me prefers to start from scratch. It's a lot of work and I'm sure I have seen the intro half a dozen times, but at least I have an inkling as to what is going on. Then once I become reacquainted I can usually get back to where I was...

Jumping from game to game, they all start to blur together into one, cohesive blob of spells and weaponry that I have to familiarize myself with to enjoy the game. I don't mind starting over, as most of my newer playthroughs fair better than the original once things start to click. I just feel sympathy for the poor abandoned warrior that I leave in a tavern, twiddling his thumbs, wondering if I am seeing other heroes...

Not to mention all that inventory is a pain to clean: