If anyone has any suggestions for me on the same subject, fire away... I really WANT to love Skyrim, but haven't been able to get invested yet.
I loved morrowind and oblivion and Fallouts 3 / NV. Oblivion is one of the few games I've got every achievement unlocked in, including Shivering Isles + the non-achievement Daedric quests - I played Oblivion top to bottom...
Maybe that's why?
Anyway, I like playing casters, but found the lack of magic crafting dissipointing. I did a bunch of main story and mages college quests, but just found it all.... *blurry*
Anyways, I've got a PC version w/ Dawnguard and soon hearthfire and the HD bethesda texture pack. To anyone reading this, you'd be doing me a solid by giving me a protip where the most fun's at... I REALLY want to LOVE Skyrim, but I'm facing the same disconnect.
Unfortunately, the Mages College is the worst of the major quest-lines. Sorry bro lol. At least you have that disappointment out of the way. I would say the main quest starts poorly and gets continuously better until it ends on a strong note, but it depends who you ask.
I think you need to understand the advantages of the new magic system in order to forgive the loss of spell-making. I liked the old system too, but we all ended up with a small number of really powerful spells to spam. Or we just broke the game completely lol. And the character progression was all jacked up because it wasn't long before you made the spells you wanted and stopped growing your character. The fire spell you started with in the tutorial was pretty much the same as the spell you were using after 400 hours. If you don't think so, play Skyrim
and see if it changes your mind.
The old system was empowering, but the new system is rewarding. You start as a lowly wizardling with a wimpy flame spell. But as you level up and accumulate new spells, you slowly gain access to cool new effects and the 'feel' of the new spells becomes more and more powerful. You feel like you're really earning your new powers and you can actually see the results of your expanding abilities on the screen. At high levels, you end up with a list of powerful and interesting spells that really show off what a badass you have become. And you need to use a variety of them more based on context, not just make one uber-spell or an uber-combo and spam it on everything. Or give yourself 100% chameleon, you dirty cheat lol.
My earlier post
has some tips that may apply to you. If you absolutely cannot get into the game, please at least play long enough to do some or all of the Daedric Prince quests. They are some of the game's real stand-out moments. And never say no to a bottle of mead *wink wink*.