...and it is a skill that will not do me much good in ordinary life, or indeed for too many years in the future, so it's a good thing that it wasn't a skill that took me too long to acquire.
The skill is: Creating custom weapons and items for Borderlands.
Not Borderlands 2, which we don't have yet, though sometime in the future we almost certainly will. By "we" here I mean one of my partners whom I live with and the only partner with whom I game with pretty extensively.
One of the reasons I decided to figure out how to do this was pretty basic. I love game mods in general, and Borderlands is one of the vanishingly few games on the PS3 which can be modded, and therefore one of the few games where me learning how to mod it will actually benefit anyone besides myself. (I normally don't put much time into game modding anymore precisely because if it's only benefiting me, why am I not spending that time writing?)
The other reason... Well. For those of you who don't know, Borderlands is a game based in large part about acquiring ridiculous amounts of entertaining guns and associated loot....
(Side note: "Entertaining" loot is key there; Borderlands guns are
best thought of as combinations of real-life guns with magic wands. A
sizeable percentage of them spit elemental fire, lightning, green
"corrosive" uh... "bullets", and, well, explosions. And that's not even
touching the special effects. It's this that allows more fun to be had with Borderlands loot than your average gunwank action game, such as Army of Two: 40th Day, which we've also played. 40th Day is fun to a certain extent - certainly, the mechanics are fairly excellent - but once you get bored with the aggro system and painting your guns bright purple, the entire game feels old very quickly, especially considering the overall terrible aesthetic. Might play it again, sure, but there's a limit to the replay value there.)
....And acquiring said ridiculous amounts of loot can be a lot of fun. Eventually, though, you can reach a point in the game where you're no longer finding anything that isn't the same as what you already have, unless you're willing to farm for hours, which we're only willing to do in short spurts and with an actually decent payoff rate. We reached such a point, and got sick of farming, and therefore... just stopped playing the game, a few months ago.
There really aren't very many coop games on the PS3 that work for both me and my partner. Besides Borderlands, the main option is Resident Evil. (Review Part 2 of which is coming when I get my head back out of Borderlands.) Mutually being not-terribly-interested in playing one of those games presents a problem if we want to play together.
So... solution: Use mod tools to generate the loot we would have farmed for anyway. Not necessarily all of it, but a chunk of it, including level-appropriate versions of weapons we already have but don't won't to discard just because they're basically useless now due to level difference. Also, for changing out parts of guns that are perfect except...
A good example is a particular sniper rifle that my partner loves, but which for some reason she keeps getting with a randomly assigned scope that she absolutely loathes because it has no crosshairs and our television is decidedly not high-definition and is fairly small when it comes to split-screen gaming. This is a problem when she plays the sniper character. (I play the... the wizard character. Not sure how else to describe her. She's pretty much a wizard. Except less on the 'glass cannon' side of things, and obviously not with real guns.) Now we can just pick a different scope. (Any different scope.)
And that's why I've picked up a new yet relatively useless skill.