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.

Oh Skyrim at late night!
I travelled the land so steep
Standing above the world 
The sky 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 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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Skyrim Madness

Yes, I got a case of Skyrim madness this past weekend. I was still playing at Very Easy (“Novice”) and I got totally swept up in the story. I started piling up pages of incomplete quests and miscellaneous quests, and it was making me nervous. On Sunday I invoked my lessons learned about Gaming Addiction and quit the current game.

Here are a couple photos of me progressing through the game, getting cooler weapons and armor.

Yordie Sands is the heroine of a virtual fantasy life.

That’s me in the batters box with one of my fave weapons, the greatsword.

Yordie Sands is a blogger, author, and Tweeter.

That’s me in Solitude taking a pose in my fancy armor threads.

After detoxing on my manic phase in the game, I started over. I slowed down the pace dramatically and I’m enjoying it even more. There is so much to learn and discover in this game that I can foresee playing for at least a year at the current pace. I continue to be charmed by the magnificent gamescape with beautiful landscapes, massive amount of things to discover, the fascinating story or lore revealed in conversations and books.

In essence, playing this game is something like watching a television series, but you are part of the action. I mean, something like Ensign Paris described holo-novels on the Holodeck in Star Trek Voyager (back before Star Trek completely ran amok in wokeness in Star Trek Discovery).

Anyway, more to come. I might try making a video and I’d like to add some narration but I don’t know how to do that yet.

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Totally Enjoying SKYRIM!

I’m several days into playing Skyrim and I’m so glad I bought into this game. I’m running the Xbox Series X version (it’s also available on PC & PlayStation) and with red hot FPS that translates into a beautiful gaming experience. I never realized how much fun this game is but I’m learning fast. Yes, Microsoft made a great decision when it bought Bethesda Software! Bravo dudes!

I’ll gush about the game a lot in the coming months but for those who play the game, I just bought a home in Whiterun, the cheap one, and I love it. When I killed the dragon attacking Whiterun, the “Jarl” gave me a “housecarl” named Lydia. So, Lydia moved in with me and before I got all my furnishings a child begged me for a gold coin and revealed that she’s an orphan, so I adopted her. I’m her “momma”. It’s cute but with all things Bethesda I fear that I’ve yet to pay the price for my charity. Heh. So far, she’s well behaved and its kind of fun to have her running around while the ever dour Lydia constantly hanging on my every word. Our household is a fun place. I have no idea where this is going but it’s amusing and makes me grin!

Below are some photos of my house in Whiterun.

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

That’s me in my steel armor outside my new home in Whiterun.

Yordie Sands is on Twitter.

This is the kitchen area of my new home.

Yordie Sands is the author of The Temporal Expeditions.

That’s the dining room and in the back is my adopted daughter. She’s hugging the dolly I just gave her. So far, she’s really cute.

Yordie Sands is a fiction writer.

This is the upstairs bedroom, and not visible is seemingly ever present assistant, Lydia.

BTW, the new house and furnishings cleaned out my gold stash and I’m already certain that was a big mistake, but hey, I’m winging it.

I’m still playing at Very Easy level and I’m sure “real” gamers won’t go near that level but I’m enjoying the story, the non-player character interactions, and all the amazing big and little things that happen in this very old game.

Microsoft gave this game a new lease on life that took this Oldie and made it a Goldie! I recommend it.

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Further Into The Wayback Machine

I finished Fallout 3, went all the way to the end with the Aliens mothership. I played at Normal level, so I’ll prolly go back sometime and play again at Very Hard. I enjoyed Fallout 3 but the landscape and just about everything was so bleak that I didn’t want to get into Fallout New Vegas again seeing as it was pretty much the same game engine.

I was considering returning to Fallout 76, but I’m not that excited by the two new DLCs. I’ll return to FO76 sometime this year because I have a Fallout 1 subscription. I want to work on my encampments and I like the larger utility room shelter; that’ll be fun to build out.


I searched many games and again and again I’ve ruled out: Grand Theft Auto (just don’t like the start of the game); The Elder Scrolls (don’t like multi-player games that much); Call of Duty (bad recollection of the linear nature of the game I played ages ago); and so forth and so on. Then I looked at Skyrim.

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

Okay, the cover didn’t really appeal to me but…

I’m not crazy about medieval games, partly because when I tried an early version of World of Warcraft it was a totally awful experience. In my early days of gaming I played a game called Might & Magic, and I had some friends who loved Skyrim back in the day, but I was still reluctant. So, I did some digging around into the game and discovered it had many of the story elements, landscapes, and flowed along the line of “Game of Thrones” and “The Lord of the Rings”.

So I bought a full special edition with all the DLCs and all the Creation Club items for Xbox Series X.

I started out playing at Very Easy just to get a sense of how the game works and because it’s a Bethesda game I found it very comfortable and familiar. I also discovered the game apparently uses a similar gaming engine to the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Lara Croft: Rise of the Tomb Raider games. I especially liked the Lara Croft games because of the great gamescape, but I disliked the relatively linear gameplay with one-way transitions and big impossible endings that you have to die a dozen times to find a solution to. HOWEVER, Skyrim had the great landscapes, villages, but is very open for exploration and has similarities to the gameplay of Bethesda’s Fallout games.

So, I took a ride into the game at the Very Easy level, and even though I’m still fumbling around with spells and potions, I’m enjoying the game a lot. Next step head back on Normal level and see how well I can figure this thing out. I think I’ll stick with being a Human but I like those big cat avatars, I might have to try one of those sometime also.

I intend to make a couple posts as I make my way through the game and I’ll try to figure out how to photograph my journey.

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Re-Visiting Fallout 3

I started playing Fallout 4 long before I decided I’d like to learn more about the earlier games. I’d seen a few of Oxhorn‘s videos about Fallout 3 lore, but the older graphics and landscaping didn’t entice me into the game. NTL, I took my first pass at Fallout 3 a couple years ago. I played at Easy level for awhile then Normal level.

Yordie Sands in Vault 101 taking GOAT exam.

That’s me as a sixteen year old taking the GOAT exam.
Yes, Vault 101 is a dreary place.

Fallout 3 interested me in casual play but I didn’t notice a lot of the subtleties of the game. The one thing I really liked was meeting McCready when he was a kid in Little Lamplight. NTL, when my father James was killed I lost interest fast. I didn’t like the idea of the Vault Dweller seeing her dad killed; still don’t.

I returned to Fallout 76 and rose to Level 240-something, but many Fallout 3 curiosities  continued to make me feel that I had a lot of resolved lines remaining in FO3. A couple months ago I took another shot at Fallout 3, starting at the Normal level because I’m still more interested in the story than in the top end gameplay. And I took the game down many previously unexplored pathways. Here are a few NON-SPOILER highlights of my latest game.

Yordie Sands in Fallout 3 settlement Megaton

Yordie stands inside the gates of Megaton.

Yordie Sands in Fallout 3 home Megaton.

That’s an interior view of my living room in Megaton.
Take a look at the Bobblehead stand with all bobbleheads.

Yordie Sands in Fallout 3 with Companion Fawkes.

That’s me in my house with my new boyfriend Fawkes. Yes, he’s a Super Mutant.
NTL, Fawkes is the best companion a girl could want in the Capitol Wasteland!

Yordie watching Orbital Strike against the Enclave

That’s an Orbital Strike against The Enclave’s mobile command post.
It’s one of the really cool events of game.

If you like the Fallout series of games, I think you’ll end up taking a step back in time to learn about the fascinating Fallout lore. If you’re interested, checkout Oxhorn. He’s got some of the videos of the story and lore of the game.

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