So Dawnguard has me playing Skyrim again.
I had a 35 level spellsword-esque character. Maxed destruction magic, Archmage of the mage's guild. I found the magic to be unsatisfying and hated waiting for my magicka to recharge even with enchanted items that give recharge. Switching over to my light armor and one-handed weapons skills and my character was way too fragile to be fun. Relied on my companions too much and I hated dropping into the menu to chug one of my seven million potions so my high alchemy skill was more of annoyance than fun. I had about a million soul gems, enchanted items and weapons of various qualities waiting for an enchantment stored on my character, companion, Breezehome and Archmage's quarters and I could barely remember what I was doing with them but I do remember it not being very fun.
So I started a new character. Orc lady, heavy armor, 2h weapons, smithing. No companions no magic no alchemy. And holy crap this game is fun again.
My goals are clear; smash things, smith things. Smithing has been rebalanced so that your xp increase is proportional to the monetary value of the item created. Also having the warrior stone active and being well rested makes for some quick leveling.
I haven't gotten to the point where I can smith enchanted items so I always know I have the best shit because I make the best shit. I have one set of armor and one weapon and that's it. I always know what I need to do to get better stuff. I spend most of my money on smithing components and then I smith stuff and sell it back until I'm out of money and things to smith with.
Then I go out on an adventure and smash things. I'm pretty much a killing machine, but boss characters can be trouble making me have to fall back, be careful and use Berserker Rage and a shout or two. It feels pretty great.
Orc lady is level 12 and I just made myself a full set of Dwarven armor and got the "cut off heads" perk. I'll eventually have to get into enchanting to at least fuel enchanted items and for something to do after I max smithing. Maybe start on archery so I don't have to just stare at dragons while they rain fire from above. But all that's in the future.
Seriously can't stop playing. This game is pretty good you guys. Haven't even gotten around to the vampire shit yet.