Anyone have advice about Skyrim? I want to play but don't know where the entry point is. Going back to the first game in the series seems like overkill. recommendations?
Start with Morrowind (or better yet, Morroblivion, or at least some "Better ____" mods to improve the graphics).
Arena and Daggerfall are DOS-era and barely-3D (Arena was 2.5D, like Doom), which means the control scheme is archaic and the 640x480 rendering feels claustrophobic. They also had mostly randomly-generated maps, which makes them repetitive.
Morrowind, on the other hand, uses a modern shooter control scheme and the entire world map was detailed by hand, so it's much more interesting and varied. In fact, I find the setting and lore to be superior to Oblivion, and maybe even Skyrim (I haven't played the latter enough to know). It also has interesting gameplay mechanics (e.g. levitation spells) that were removed from Oblivion and Skyrim when they were dumbed-down for consoles. (Some of the things were also removed because they could be abused to create exploits -- for example, crafting a dagger that turns you invisible on hit so enemies can't counterattack -- but it's a single-player game so who cares?)
In my opinion -- keeping in mind that I've never played Daggerfall and haven't played much Skyrim -- Morrowind is the best game in the series. Skyrim, despite having much better graphics, felt downright clunky in comparison (which is why I haven't played it much yet.)
Morrowind was awesome, HUGE I've probably spent hundreds maybe thousands of hours playing Morrowind and I'm sure there are still places I haven't explored. You can follow a main quest, but there are TONS of side quests, it's ridiculously fun.
Heres a few tips,
Save frequently, autosaves don't always cut it.
At some point you'll get a package that you have to take to I think Caius Cascades or something like that, DO NOT LOSE THE PACKAGE.
If you kill someone and it says you needed them for a quest, revert to last save and don't kill that person.
One of my least favorite things about skyrim is that stuff resets, on Morrowind you can just go kill people in a house and say this is my house, you can decorate the house and then leave for as long as you want, when you come back all of the stuff will be there. You can leave stuff in the middle of nowhere and it'll stay there forever.
There are cheats you can do if you'd like, something with soulbounding an enchantment or something and you can get infinite health and damage.
The mudcrab merchant is pretty much impossible to find, don't look for him unless you have many hours to spare, scamp is a good alternative and will even buy drugs.
Don't sell people stuff that you stole from them unless you want to fight them.