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.


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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.

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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.

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Skyrim at Night

The other night I was up way too late playing Skyrim. I was on a quest to a region far away  and I climbed hills and mountains, but then I noticed the beauty of the night being revealed. I looked up to the heavens from a hilltop and saw a most amazing sight; a beautifully amazing sight.

Yordie Sands in Skyrim.

Quite late one night
I travelled steep
Above me the world
Was blue and deep

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Understanding Skyrim

I forgot to mention that I never changed my setting from Novice (Very Easy). I thought I did though. When I discovered my mistake I decided to continue on until I learned more about Alchemy, Potions, and Magic. But as I learned I realize I didn’t know much about Forging, Crafting, and Smiting.

I wasn’t learning Alchemy intuitively, so I had to seek out an article and came across this very instructive article that most would consider a SPOILER but sometimes you need help, Skyrim: 12 Things That Can Ruin Your Game.

I also learned that I just don’t have time for things like Farming, Fishing and other interesting but non-essential activities; OTOH, maybe in future I’ll incorporate those into my gameplay down the road.

The game moved along quickly and I reached Level 30 and was able to actually kill the monstrous dragon, Alduin.

[BTW, when I first played Fallout 4 back in 2016, I took it to Level 30 in Very Easy mode and took down the Institute; on second thought, I think I actually went with the Institute because my lost child, Shaun, was the leader…I mean, the crazy scientist was my son (this was a very stupid idea).]

Yordie Sands is a blogger, writer, photographer, gamer, and software engineer.

That’s me in my best dragon fighting gear.
I took a ride on a dragon to get here.
Now, I am ready to defeat the great dragon, Alduin.

The gameplay felt right to me most of the time, and at Novice level I didn’t get killed like I would at higher levels. And the world of Skyrim is very different than the Fallout series that I enjoy so much, so I had to adapt to combat with swords & shields, bows & arrows, magic & potions, and NO VATS aiming assistance. I feel like I have a handle on the basics now, even though I left literally dozens of quests and miscellaneous quest incomplete, so I’ll be planning to play the game at the regular level soon.

For anyone who happens over the age of 40 who has happened across this blog post: Gaming is not just for young people.

Gaming is not all shoot’em-up because the best games have extraordinary cognitive challenges that you must overcome. I started playing a few years ago with Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, a relatively easy game compare to Skyrim, and I had to learn hundreds to new ideas, discover amazing landscapes and cities, solve countless problems, overcome countless obstacles, descend into creepy caves, and in the process codify my own values.

There’s one other amazing thing about really good games, there’s a story. When you step into a AAA game that has been running as a series, like Elder Scrolls, Fallout series, even Lara Croft, there’s a great deal of lore that carries from game to game. For me, the lore enriches the gaming.

I’ll be writing more about Skyrim soon. First, I plan to return to Fallout 76 this weekend and explore some things and maybe build a new underground shelter.

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Dragon Hunting Ground

I don’t let games force me along into the mainlines. I like to explore and every game seems to have some built-in system for punishing players who don’t keep moving forward toward completing the main quest. I see this in every game I’ve played. They do it by arranging very unpleasant attacks on you when the game is especially displeased with your behavior. Is what I just said true? I don’t know. But it sure feels like it.

I’ve been sort of consolidating my gains and learning more about the various workbenches lately. And because my new home, the longhouse at Hendraheim, I’ve been running into a lot of trouble when after spending a couple hours Destructing weapons and armor, and creating new weapons and armor with powerful features. Literally, I walk outside the home and I’m unable to fast travel anywhere because some darned dragon is waiting for me. So the fight begins and those battles are getting harder and harder. So far, I’ve prolly killed at least a half dozen dragons.

As a consequence, I’m moving along the mainline at a faster pace and hoping the dragon menace will end at some point. I’m glad I didn’t move my adopted children to Hendraheim but my little trained goat is outside usually when the dragon attacks. Below are a couple recent pics from my time in Skyrim.

Yordie Sands is an avatar from Second Life.

That’s me near my alchemy and spells workbenches.
I still have a lot of work to do on both my armor and weapons though.

Yordie Sands is the author of The Temporal Expeditions.

That’s my adopted daughter Lucia holding a dolly at our home, Breezehome.
At her feet is her adoring pet bunny. Both of them turned out to be a great additions to the household.

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Going Medieval in Skyrim & GOT

Skyrim is a fictional medieval world and I’m spending hours each week roaming the land, killing dragons, retrieving magical stuff and talking to countless NPCs. Then I had the idea that it might be fun to re-watch the Game of Thrones at night; so I started about a week ago. In essence, I’m descending deeper and deeper into the the Medieval world. And it started to affect my dreams even. So, I’m slowing down the pace for both the game and the television binging. NTL, it’s kind of fun and I’m enjoying this experience a lot.

My most recent discovery is an estate located in the western mountains of Skyrim. I’d have probably found it sooner if I’d acted on a quest I picked up earlier in the game, but it was so far away from Winterun, and I figure it might be too deep a trip for me that early in the game. But WOW was I glad to find this place! It seems like this is the home where you can store all your stuff and be relatively secure. Well, I did get attacked by a dragon when I walked out the door the other day, but that’s kind of normal. Heh.

Yordie Sands in Skyrim

You can barely see the seemingly unimpressive house sitting up there on an unfriendly hilltop.

Yordie Sands wrote The Temporal Expeditions.

The house and surrounding land is a lot more impressive when you arrive. There’s all the workbenches and resources you could want. Even a home for my goat.

Yordie Sands is on Twitter.

That’s me in the center of the home’s great hall. The home is packed with supplies and there’s a bedroom in the back.

Yordie Sands is a gamer.

That’s the banquet table with all the delectable foods of Skyrim.

So, yeah, it was delightful to find this wonderful home base, but I had to fight the very aggressive owner. She tricked me into coming there with a letter saying that she wanted to give me some land. It was a viscous fight and I vanquished her. BTW, my goat (I bought the trained goat when I found the notice in Winterun) loves the place. Here’s the problem I have with the place, it’s not a good place to bring my adopted kids. Yeah, it’s really nice and there’s a bedroom for them, but it’s completely isolated. In Winterun, kids run around all over the place and play all day. So, I’m leaving my adoptees there for now.

Well, then there’s the new neighbors, a den of thieves holding up at a nearby fort. I didn’t like the idea of having thieves as neighbors, so shortly after moving in I went over and ran them off. I’m hoping they won’t be back.

Yordie Sands is a writer.

That’s a very big fort and it was packed with nasty thieves who didn’t want to be evicted.

I’ve moved much deeper into the game and am trying to stick to the mainline, but it’s hard to avoid getting pulled into the DLCs that are automatically loaded. Anyway, I try to explain this game will have to include words like: delightful, rich, and deep.



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