Skyrim – The Riftkin Conundrum

Commence Rant:

I was playing along in my second iteration of Skyrim when I decided to plunge into The Thieves Guild. I figured I’d be able to run them out of town on a rail or have them jailed, or it that failed I’d be able to wipe them out. WRONG.

First, I like to play a “good player” game, meaning I fight evil and don’t become evil. I consider thieves to be evil because I met a couple people in my life who seem to be congenital thieves. I realize I’m probably naïve but that’s who I am. I tried playing Grand Theft Auto once and just couldn’t get into the story, so yeah, I’m like that.

I had to reset my current game back to an earlier saved checkpoint after I began playing with the Thieves Guild line. I really disliked bullying and shaking down honest people and hated breaking that storekeepers precious vase, for example. That was too much, but I continued.

When I stopped the current iteration of the game and started researching this problem. I try to avoid researching a quest line but after hours of game play I felt like I had no choice and what I found was: There is no anti-Thieves quest line. I did find a DLC/Mod that a guy invented, but I’ve not gone to Mods yet because I want to register as many Achievements as I can.

Necromancers, Vampires, and the like are among the factions I dislike the most, and I’ll take them down wherever they pose a threat; so that’s kind of how I roll. I haven’t chosen a warring faction to support yet, but I’m very sympathetic to the Stormcloaks vs the Imperials.

Anyway, in my research I noticed that there is an Anti-Dark Brotherhood questline and I’ll pursue that in the future, but for now I’m miffed… HOWEVER.

Is the game flawed?

Well, there is plenty of real life corruption and some real cities are as insidiously bad as Rifkin. So, there’s that. And in Skyrim, there are good cities and bad cities and maybe this is just a reflection on life in our times being demonstrated in the fantasy world of Skyrim.

So, NO, the game isn’t flawed.

However, I wish Microsoft/Bethesda would either buy or create an Anti-Thieves DLC into this otherwise great game. This 10 year old game is amazing on so many levels that product managers should make a commitment to taking it to the Legendary Level.

Just my humble opinions here. End rant.

Posted in Gaming | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Skyrim – The Lore is Amazing

I began playing Skyrim at a higher level about one month ago. I’m finding every aspect of the game to be rich in all aspects of gameplay but the story is deep and engaging. I was fortunate to find this video by FudgeMuppet on YouTube.

When you consider that the first game in the The Elder Scrolls series began in 1994, there’s a vast history and extensive lore. It’s really the dream in gaming, to have a game that goes on and on; yet carries the tradition of the original work.

So, here’s FudgeMuppet’s thirty-years of history in 15 minutes. It comes at you fast and the graphics of the early versions will appear weak compared to the graphics of the state of the art graphics; so, parts are a bit like watching an old movie. I found all of it enlightening and delightful.

One last thought: If you haven’t played Skyrim before, don’t be overwhelmed because you can always begin as I did, on Novice level (aka Very Easy). The game is so vast you’ll have endless hours of enjoyment as the story reveals itself to you.

Note to newbies: Do not become addicted. Gaming Addiction is real.

Posted in Gaming | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A New Day in Skyrim

This past week I came to understand that I’ve learned enough about Skyrim to actually play the game for real. I’ve loved learning the story and how all the game elements work, but when I tamed a Unicorn it was the final sign that playing in the easy levels was done.

I had vast wealth, vast quantities of ingredients, ores, foods, ingots, everything I needed. And I could always use the mannequin glitch to create greater wealth; in fact, I had so much wealth that I was having trouble finding stores that had stuff that I want.

Yordie Sands is a writer of time travel science fiction.

That’s me deep in the night aboard my magnificent Unicorn. This unicorn is also a great combat partner, attacking dragons right in their faces.

I began a new instance at a higher level of the game this weekend. So far, there’s less of everything, attackers are more aggressive, and all the things you expect when you up your level. The difference for me is that I’m studying the details of each quest more thoroughly and making small changes in my gameplay. For one thing, I’ll be able to avoid some of those quests that leave you with excess, unremovable junk in inventory.

I expect that at the pace I’ll still be playing this same game instance next year.

However, I may take a break to play Fallout 76 for awhile (I still want to achieve Level 300), so I’ll definitely still be playing Skyrim next year. Seeing as I’m replaying most of the early obligatory levels now, I’m not sure what I’ll be commenting on.

A decade ago, a friend tried to encourage me to play online multiplayer games and I wasn’t really interested. But now, I know my way around Fallout 76 and the kinds of players that play, I think I can call myself a gamer; not a great gamer, but good enough.

Posted in Gaming | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Skyrim Journey Continues

I’m at Skyrim level 44 and still playing at an easy setting, but I’ve mostly stopped exploiting the mannequin glitch.

I’ve learned a lot of Blacksmithing, Enchanting and even Alchemy, but I’m still befuddled by all the Magic, especially those Staff weapons (I dislike these). Well, there’s so much armor (I love the Ebony armor though) and so many enchantments and a massive number of ingredients and potions; so, magic just adds to the complexity of building your character.

NTL, I think I understand enough to make better decisions when I finally end this instance of the game.

Yordie Sands is a blogger, writer, photographer, Tweeter and gamer.

This is my armory at Tundra Homestead. These are some of the heavy armor sets I’ve accumulated.

Yordie Sands is a writer.

The other side of the armory has mostly light armor. I’ll be trying out the Glass Armor soon.

I continue to ride my horse into the night on quests; like recently I happened on a beautiful scene where the Moon dominated the night sky.

I saw a moon like this once night will driving south into Los Angeles. I'd never seen a moon so large before and was frightened until I learned how this happens.

Giant moon at night
Starlight melts into the midst
Oh, this world so bright!

I rarely have the presence of mind to take photos of scenes that happen as I interact with the vast number of NPCs that fill the story of Skyrim. I’ll start doing this in more in coming posts. I’ll try some videos also, although I’m not sure how to do the voice-over yet (I’ll figure this out).

Yordie Sands is an avatar in Second Life and Xbox Gaming.

That’s me meeting the Jarl of Solitude. I still haven’t formed an allegiance with either of the waring factions but I’m inclined to support the rebels, the Stormcloaks.

It’s pretty clear to me that I’m near the end of this playthrough. I’ve already decided to restart the game on the regular level after taking some time off. I’ll probably return to Fallout 76 (I’m currently level 244) and tryout some of the newer developments, and I want to get my level up to 300.

Posted in Gaming | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Skyrim is a Masterpiece

I am so glad I finally started playing Skyrim, a game that is over ten years old. It is so masterfully developed with all the gaming elements that I can only think of one word to describe it, a Masterpiece.

Before I started playing the game I did a Google search for videos and found a popular young Canadian guy talk about the re-released version for Xbox Series X. He said one thing that gave me all I needed to know, in his gamer enthusiasm he did a quick run through and I could tell he was thrilled, saying something like all he could think about was how much there was in this game to do. I’m discovering that very thing.

This past weekend I played for way too many hours as “Spiritual Opium” took hold of me and I made a constant stream of new discoveries. Thanks for my exploiting the wealth that can be created by the Hendraheim mannequin glitch, I’ve been able to enjoy many luxuries that would take someone playing at a much higher level. For example, I purchased a complete set of Ebony Plate Armor (see below) and jacked it up with the Enchantments I wanted most.

Yordie Sands is the author of The Temporal Expeditions.

That’s me in full Ebony Plate Armor without the helmet. The headpiece I’m wearing grants me 30% greater Archery.

Yordie Sands, writer and gamer.

That’s me in my full Ebony Plate Armor aboard “Horse With No Name” in his finest armor.

BTW, I’m still playing at “Adept” (Easy) and I’m at level 36 for now. I feel slightly guilty about playing at a low level even though I’ve exploited a fortune in gold. I’m using this playthrough to gain an understanding of Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Enchanting, Weapons, Armor, and to a lesser extent I’ve begun learning about Magic.

Alchemy is daunting, it permits you to combine hundreds of ingredients and make hundreds of potions and other compounds. THAT alone is an awesome undertaking because–for me–most of those compounds are useless. Maybe I just haven’t figured out how to use them all effectively yet, but for someone interested in exploring all the possibilities it is probably quite enjoyable.

Then there’s Blacksmithing which is far easier to understand but to get the most out of your weapons and gear, you need to apply Enchantments. This gets tricky because at a low level, even when using potions to enhance both operations, you don’t get the strongest items. And I’m not even at the level where I can forge Ebony items, so I have to buy them. I’m probably nowhere near discovering the strongest of the metals to work with, but I recently found armor pieces made from dragon parts, so there’s prolly much great discoveries to make.

I’ll probably set my gameplay to the next higher level soon, but for now I’m still simply captivated by the story and lore. And concerning the story, it is enhanced so much by the voice actors who portray the characters throughout Skyrim.

Praise to Max von Sydow who passed in 2020 at the age of 90!

I just checked and master actor Max von Sydow did several of the really great parts. I recognized his voice from “Three Days of the Condor”. Touches like this makes the great games so much greater. Like in Fallout 4, we had “Wonder Woman” Linda Carter playing the part of Magnolia who sings at The Third Rail.

Oh, before I forget: Tundra Homestead became far too dangerous for my adopted kids, so I took them back to Breezehome for the foreseeable future.

Posted in Gaming | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Skyrim is “Comfort Food” for Gamers

A few days ago I had a Twitter exchange with a guy; we were talking about the Fallout series but then we chatted about Skyrim. I told him I really love the game and he said one of the most memorable things I’ve heard about a game: “Skyrim is almost comfort food for some of us wierdos that still play games.”

Comfort food! Yeah, that’s really how it feels to me also. It’s just the perfect mix of quests, story, characters, gear, landscape, and every other aspect of gaming that I enjoy. It’s probably not that great for gamers who prefer non-stop Shoot’em Up but for me, it is perfect… well, even with the occasional defects.

Anyway, I’m at the stage were I need to fully ramp up as the Dragonborn and take it to the penultimate event, but I spent some time taking some pictures of my new homestead and my adopted kids, pets, and the ever dull and my ever attentive housecarl, Lydia.

Yordie Sands has been on Twitter since 2010.

That’s the Tundra Homestead in daylight on a kind of foggy day. It’s really an idyllic place, except when dragons attack.

Yordie Sands explore the virtual fantasy world of games and metaverses.

That’s a view of one of the giant mountains to the north of Tundra Homestead, near Whiterun.

Yordie Sands is an avatar from Second Life, since 2007.

Behind the Tundra Homestead is a little garden but also functional bee hives.

Yordie Sands was once the heroine of virtual fantasy life.

Inside the sturdy Tundra home, cozied up in their beds are my adopted children being protected by their adoring pet fox.

Yordie Sands is the author of The Temporal Expeditions.

That’s me in my best Steel Plate Armor mounted on my war horse in full armor. We’re outside Whiterun but we travel throughout Skyrim.

It’s pretty clear to me now that I must up my level of play soon. The main reason I continue to resist doing this is simple, I’m enjoying the story embedded within the gameplay so much that I just don’t want to be fighting for my life all the time. I know it’s kind of Whimpey gameplay, but it’s not hurting anyone.

Eventually, I take most of my games up to highest level of play; well, I never choose the survival mode because it is just not enjoyable to me at all.

Also, it’s about time for me to upgrade my armor and I have my eye on a full set of Golden Saint Armor. It’s pretty flashy, so next time you see me I might be all dressed up in pretty golden armor.


Posted in Gaming | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Skyrim: The Continuing Saga

I’ve developed a new set of mostly Steel Plate Armor and I’ve jacked it up as much I can at Level 24. It offers plenty of protection at the low difficulty I continue to play.

Yordie Sands is a writer, blogger, Tweeter, photographer and gamer.

That’s me in my mostly Steel Plate Armor. However, the Banded Iron Shield is so strong I’ll use it for awhile longer.

I’m very happy that I was able to focus on learning to use the Arcane Enchanter, Alchemy Lab, Smelter, Blacksmith Forge, Grindstone, Workbench, Tanning Rack, Oven, and Stove. In the Fallout series it took me a couple years to become fully proficient, and I’m nowhere near fully proficient, but I was baffled by some of those tools. I also bought the Tundra Homestead and I moved in with my adopted kids and a pet fox.

Yordie Sands is the author of The Temporal Expeditions.

I bought the Tundra Homestead late one night. It took hours to move it and there will be more photos to follow.

I left ole Lydia back at the house in Breezehome where I’m sure she’s still eating bread in my bedroom.

I’ve been on some amazing quests so far and I’m so impressed at every aspect of this game. It is by far the most immersive and engaging game I’ve ever played. There’s conflict of course, but the story and gamescape is just magnificent. This game is over 10 years old but it is totally new to me.

Posted in Gaming | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments


I hit a wall a couple days ago with Skyrim. I’ve previously shared my joy at acquiring the house in Hendraheim; in fact, all my in-game stuff is there with it’s many storage places and all the other joys of a home base in a role play game.

I started noticing things like if I put weapons in the weapons racks, some of them would never let me access them again. Then came the mannequins. It’s really great to put you latest armor pieces on mannequins to get a sense of how the attire looks and to help you decide what kind of magic spells you want to attach to it. However, the mannequins are literally infested with defects.

I believe the defects are triggered when you start dressing out the full complement of mannequins. I’ll probably continue to try to figure out the cause, but this is a great disappointment.

Naturally, I didn’t think to check to see what other players have encountered, but when I did I found this on Reddit…

Hendraheim is a Creative Club feature. It is such beautiful craftsmanship, but I haven’t even encountered all the defects this place has to offer. It has taken the joy out of the game for now. I’ll be back during the weekend.

All games I’ve played have some defects, but it’s always disappointing when you find yourself trying to find a hack to fix it. And BTW, this is no longer just a Bethesda problem, it’s a Microsoft problem.


I stopped playing Skyrim for about a day then realized, I can use the problems at Hendraheim to my advantage. Hendraheim’s mannequin problem created a big opportunity for me because it was duplicating some expensive armor pieces, namely Golden Saint armor pieces (boots, gauntlets, helmets) plus costly mage robes, vampire armor and other modestly valuable items.

SO, I EXPLOITED HENDRAHEIM. Yes, gaming purists consider that cheating but I’m not playing for the record books. And I really didn’t understand all the magic, alchemy, crafting, blacksmithing stuff. I decide to abandon plans to restart the game and just take the money to the bank so to speak.

Every time I went to a city to sell the loot from my mannequins, I’d have a new batch when I returned. So, I spent hours getting rich. I bought soul stones, ores, ingots, ingredients, all kinds of stuff to experiment with and as my wealth grew, I even bought the Tundra Homestead as a replacement home, then I bought a horse. Yeah, when the world hands you lemons, learn to make the most of your armor, weapons, potions and everything else.

I feel like this playthrough is really tainted but I’ve probably learned more about the quiet aspects of the game that I would have spent a year in the learning.

Posted in Gaming | Tagged , , | Leave a comment