Well, I was right, and that beginner dungeon was easier than what comes after. But first things first.

After exiting the sewers, I took a little time to visit the Imperial City and do a bit of shopping. Then I hurried off on my errand. Getting there was easy. The game has something called “fast travel”. It is and it isn’t.

You can open the world map, click on a place, and go there directly instead of hoofing it. So in that way it’s fast. However, time is passing. If it would take you 5 hours to go from A to B on foot, five hours will pass when you go with fast travel.

Also, you can’t go everywhere that way. Some locations are available, but others you have to walk to first. You can also buy a horse, which will speed up travel time. However, from reading the boards, I already knew that horses aren’t all that great.

You can’t fight from horseback, the horse often gets killed, and sometimes they wander away while you’re mucking around in a dungeon. What really has me ticked off, though, is that there’s no travel system as in Morrowind, where you could purchase transportation from one town to another. I figure there’s a lot of walking ahead. Bleah.

So anyway, I get the first part of my errand done, then the guy sends me to another town. A town that’s under seige by draemora (demons). The captain of what’s left of the guard wants me to go through an Oblivion gate, that leads into what we can call Hell, and find a way to close it.

And I’m all of level one.

Makes you wonder, huh? Well, supposedly the game sets your opponents by your level. So no matter where you go, whatever you’re up against should be more or less equal to your abilities. This is stupid, but I’ll save further remarks for the eventual review.

Of course, I did go in for a look. Found Scamps in there. You remember them, the guys with the little fireball spells. Not too hard to kill, but not so easy, either.

Anyway, deciding that even with this feature I could use some extra oomph, I restored and went to another place and joined the Mages Guild. Just had to ask and I was a member. They didn’t even check to see if I had magic ability.

However, to get into the mage HQ at the imperial city, I need recommendations from each of the guildhouses. All seven of them. Only at the HQ can you enchant items or create spells. The easy way of Morrowind is gone. Sniff.

Used to be, you could go to a mage guild and have items enchanted for you, if you could afford it. Now you have to do it yourself. So what if you’re a regular fighter or thief type with no magic ability? Too bad, looks like. You’ll have to depend on what you find or buy.

Of course, we know that getting those recommendations is the usual “quid pro quo”. So I’ll be doing a lot of running around before enchanting is even possible. And I haven’t even been to the Fighters Guild yet. At least I shouldn’t have to worry about recommendations there…I hope.

The Mage guild quest sent me to a cave with a bunch of Deranged Zombies. I was still level 1, but those critters were tough. I’m beginning to wonder about how well that “monsters by level” stuff really works. And I’m having a hard time with the combat system, too. It’s just like in Daemonica, where it’s all timing and reflexes, and your skills don’t have anything to do with success. Double bleah.

Anyway, I did the quest, and now I’m taking time out to build up some skills before the next level gain. Boring but necessary. Onward, ever onward.