So, usually when I start a character I get a house as early as possible, I play the main quest until the Grey Beards tell me what's going on then I focus on factions. Do you think you have to be high level to go in Solstheim? Because I remember being frustrated because some loot were outdated when I came here (Ahzidal's set and Blackguard's set for exemple). Going there would compliment nicely a Dunmer RP, I think.
What's the best time to go there according to you?
I was level 15-ish this time, went because the Thieves Guild gave me a pickpocket quest. I am a main quest procrastinator though (yep, the dragons annoy me) so I pretty much do everything else first and wander around a lot.
I went around level 50, and I found the lurkers to be a decent challenge. I guess it depends on perspective; if you want to do all parts of the game at once per se, then go early. If you want a bunch of quests later on, then hold off until you've leveled a bit.
As for the loot, I can agree that certain pieces are worthless later, but the same can be said for a number of artifacts throughout the game. Stahlriim armor is some of the best regardless, so it's debatable.
My first visit to Solstheim was around level 10 with my housecarl and the ash spawn were enough to make me end that vacation early and go back to Skyrim until later! I started the quests for killing General Falx, clearing the ash spawn from the tombs and cleansing the stones around the island. Revisiting at level 18 with my housecarl, I was able to cleanse all the stones and kill those nasty lurkers without much of a problem. However, still can't kill the ash spawn fast enough before they gang up. Takes several blows. I heard that glass arrows are good at getting them in one or two shots, but I haven't tried it yet.
I began playing Dragonborn a long time ago but was only doing the storyline of mirak and i was about 5 - 10 cause i was only doing the MQ up to that point and the only big deal that i had with it was the cultist those were a pain in the ass
I went at about level 45, and have been trying to be a completionist there and currently level 52. Lurkers are hard, and the Riekling Boar Riders are just scary. The loot is kinda lame... I would recommend it as a great starting place for a level 20 player. I used the staff maker to boost my echantment level to almost 100 with all the hearthstones. I only created Fear Staffs and never sold a single HeartStone.
In terms of the loot being "weak", I disagree. It's no weaker than the loot in the main game. Loot is generally leveled to your character whether you are in Skyrim or Solstheim, so there is little to no difference in terms of loot quality. I usually head to Solstheim later. In the mid to upper 40s level wise. By then I have Smithing and Enchanting maxed/perked out. As such, everything is weak because you will never find beter items than you can make/improve/enchant yourself with Smithing/Enchanting anywhere in the game.
You can benefit from going there early. Simply sneak into Glover's house and cast rout spell on him, and he'll likely run down to open that door so you can get this set even without joinning the guild.