Mudcrabs on both north and south shores of lake Ilinalta are a good place to train Block to 20. Be careful swimming near the Lady Stone in the center as there’s a giant slaughterfish nearby.
Any damage you take will not heal on its own so having a way to heal yourself reliably is HUGE in Wildlander. You can use the alchemy perk that allows constant healing over time, as it basically functions as a slower, always-on Healing Aura spell (Both healing aura and perk function the same way, but Aura is time limited). Other options are health drain weapons, which is very reliable, or potions. However, potions are generally not fast enough unless you can make sure you’re not taking much damage through heavy armor or the like. You can also use a Poultice and wait for an hour which will heal you when not in combat.
Most sewers have lootable boxes which contain food for free, as well as ruined books which can be crafted into paper rolls for mages.
For the first few bandit camps you clear: Take EVERYTHING. Clutter, such as Wooden plates and tankards can be processed at the forge into charcoal and metal fragments if you have craftsmanship, or else can be sold for some coins.
Wildlander has completely reworked skill books. While they still give you an immediate 1-up in a skill you can also study them you can study the book over and over for the experience.
Skills in Archery (Now Marskmanship in the skill menu) will allow you to hunt more effectively, which is a great source of food and cash as selling pelts and reagents to vendors is great early game money. With the Craftsman skill, you can even fashion hides into armor and clothing. This is also a great way to practice Marksmanship and gain experience if you are short of a skill you need to level.
The “Bestiary of Skyrim” book is your best friend, it describes in detail ways of effectively dealing with some creatures which require specific methods of killing.
As a stealth character, you should use shadows to your advantage and bathe regularly, this will ensure NPCs have a harder time detecting you. It’s not hard to find someone who smells like a bag of day-old slaughter fish standing beside a brazier.
As a mage, the more “weight” you are wearing the more your spells cost until you get enchantments, so wear as little as possible. No, this does not give you an excuse to run around naked, shooting fireballs (As fun as that sounds).
If you pick up a disease, alchemists offer a potion of cure disease, but you can also use shrines. If you get cursed by grime covered items, alchemists offer a potion of cleansing.
There are also hidden hideouts in locations all around Skyrim which you can use for safe storage, sleeping, and some even have alchemy/cooking stations if you can find them.
Don’t try to go into Windhelm if you are a beast race without some bribe money or high speechcraft or you won’t be let in. This can lead you to freezing to death! However, there ARE sewers that lead into the city…
The main quest cannot be started until you have killed a dragon and absorbed its soul - depending on your MCM settings this will either be time-delayed or when you reach a certain level. Do note however you can still travel to Solstheim but you cannot complete the ‘main quest’ there, Dawnguard can be done as per normal.
Wildlander allows you to recruit an army of followers - if you are finding the game too challenging don’t be afraid to recruit any you encounter!
Manage your weight - Gold and arrows have weight in this game - only carry what you need. For a quick tip – if you have a horse, you can craft a barrel, store your gold in the barrel, pick the barrel back up and store it on your horse for only the weight of the barrel. This applies to other items too!
Use all of your senses - some animals sneaking around can be identified by the sounds they make. The Survivial ability from the center mouse button(Wildlander 1.0) or “Alt GR” keybind(V1.1 onwards) also gives visual indicators of paths noisy enemies have taken (white light), plants to harvest (white-purple or green light), and corpses to loot(dark purple light) or weapons/tinder - Yellow Light.
If you are an enchanter or mage - keep an eye out for Enchanted weapon handles, filled soul gem fragments or Imbued bones, they can be used for spell research.
Join companions if you’re a warrior or College if you’re a mage(note you need to pass a skills test to join), they’ll be an excellent source of experience if you care to do those quests, and the Companions require quite a lot of questing to actually advance in. Winterhold would be the perfect place to learn magic if it wasn’t freezing. However, the college itself is plenty warm as it has a training dummy in the basement – but be aware - he fights back!