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WTF am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim' started by Aldeth the Foppish Idiot, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking

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    Oh, I don't intend to deliberately level lockpicking. It's still like 20 away from being maxed, and I already did the dwemer museum in Markarth. (IIRC, it was part of either the Thieves Guild or Dark Brotherhood quest line.)

    Speaking of which the Dark Brotherhood actually gives a better cash flow than the Thieves Guild. Once you get all the merchants and fences in the Thieves Guild, all future Vex and Devin missions pay 500 gold each. But the Dark Brotherhood Forever quests, available in unlimited supply from the Night Mother pay between 1000-1500 gp each. Even if you aren't playing a sneak character, combining alchemy with this quest line is an easy path to riches. The other thing that leans me towards the Dark Brotherhood missions is that the first Thieves Guild mission of burning the beehives is quite likely the most difficult. (There are a TON of guards at the estate.)

    Anyway, my character is now level 55. I have maxed out enchanting going along the middle path that gives a bonus to effects on armor and the like. (In other words, NOT the side that gives bonuses to elemental enchantments.) I also have 4/5 levels in Enchanter. Now the question becomes what do I want to enchant? (Well, obviously I want to enchant all my gear, with what?) I have saved up enough dragon scales to redo all my armor, as you can't add a second effect to something that already has an effect, so everything needs to be re-crafted.

    I probably have close to 30 black soul gems/grand soul gems filled with grand souls, so there really isn't any reason for me not to get top notch stuff out of this. I'll also craft a few enchanting potions first. (I don't even need to craft a set of alchemy gear - stuff I've acquired through my travels already gives me a nearly identical amount as I'd get from crafting a set - although the ring and amulet are each 15%, so I guess I can improve upon that.

    My first inclination - unless you guys have a better idea - is to focus first on upping my damage. So, I use bows the most, but I do still use daggers for melee combat, and I do that often enough that I'm disinclined to let that slide. There have been more than a few times that I wish I had more melee damage when I'm toe to toe with a heavy two-handed opponent. So anything that can get Archery and/or One Handed enchantments will get them. That means that my gloves, ring, and amulet will each have both of them. The helm will only have Archery, and the boots will only have One Handed. (This combination will actually result in slightly less bow damage, as one of my pieces of gear has 40% damage from bows, which AFAIK, is not able to be duplicated with an enchantment. But it's worth it for the much improved One Handed damage, of which I currently have nothing.)

    So now for filling in the rest. The second enchantment on the boots is easy - if I have Muffle it will be that, otherwise, I'll get Sneak. Either one is perfectly acceptable. Now for the helm, and frankly, there's nothing there that really blows me away. You can't get any of the elemental resistances, and I don't need any of the reduce casting costs of any of the schools of magic. So looking at the list of things I can put on helms, the only other thing that would appear to have practical utility is lock picking. So be it.

    Which brings me to my armor, and all I can say is unless you're a mage, you get hosed when it comes to picking enchantments for armor. If you could get things like fire, frost, shock or magic resistances, then the only decision would be deciding on which two. But you can't. So I'm left looking at what I can pick that will be any benefit at all. I guess, since I wear all light armor, that the light armor enchantment will do something. Other than that, maybe fortify health? Like I said, there's not a hell of a lot.

    For the bow, the first pick would be fiery soul trap - if I knew it. But I don't, so the first is just the generic soul trap. Pick two looks to be frost damage. Anything I don't kill with the first hit will be slowed and easier to hit with the second one. With my dagger pair, there isn't any reason to get soul trap on both of them. One will be soul trap/frost, and the other could be frost/shock.
     
  2. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid The Old Guard

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    One rather awkward miss in your plan is that One-handed enchants do NOT work on daggers. Yet another bug. :(

    Since you're already swimming in black/grand stones, go ahead and enchant a new set. Otherwise I'd wait to get 5/5 Enchanter first. That, together with +enchanting potions, can net you up to +47% damage, -29% mana cost or +29% alchemy/smithing enchants.
     
  3. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking

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    Bummer. And yet, one handed perks, like Armsman, DO affect daggers. Well that just sucks.

    I can do that. There's no need for it to be top end gear either, as I wouldn't be using it for combat purposes. I could just make a set of leather armor if I'm going to be doing it just for the alchemy boost. Then again, if I can't have any one handed boosts, that could be my second enchantment on my ring, amulet, and gloves, obviating the need for a second set.

    But to what end do I need further smithing enchants or -29% mana cost on anything? I don't think I've killed anything using a spell with this character... ever. I cast heal every once in a while, I cast transmute once in a while, and that's about it. Would +smithing enchants allow further improvements to my weapons and armor beyond what I have (I'm already at 100 in smithing - I thought you couldn't go any higher than that.)

    Then again - I can just carry around a set of swords AND a set of daggers. I only really need to use daggers when backstabbing anyway.

    EDIT: Damn it to hell. From the wiki:

    OK then, I need a set of daggers AND a set of swords. One for sneak attacks, and the other for regular melee. Daggers are fast, but other than that, hold no advantage over any melee weapon once I'm detected.

    EDIT2:
    I'm not getting that either. From what I read, you only get that kind of boost if you have 5/5 in enchanting, along with 5/5 in alchemist with the benefactor perk to boot. Once I saw how much money I was making with potions, I stopped after just two perks in alchemist. I saw no obvious need at the time to boost alchemy any more, as I was only doing it to make money, and seeing as how I was already making more potions than I could sell, even with the Mercahnt perk and in Riften where I had two alchemists, 4 armor shops, and general goods store and a fence, I didn't at the time foresee a need to invest further.

    Of course, that was also when I was planning on a character that would be done around level 50. I didn't think I'd hit level 55 (where I am now) until very late in the game.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  4. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid The Old Guard

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    Oh, don't worry - the standard 40%/25% enchants (with just the standard perks anyone dabbling in Enchanting takes anyway) are plenty strong all by themselves. The only thing where the extra percent comes in somewhat handy, without adding to the already existing overkill, is the -29% mana enchant. Three of those gives -87%, effectively almost nullifying mana cost for the given magic school, without needing all four item slots for the complete -100%.

    Smithing enchants are THE reason why Smithing is considered so stupidly overpowered, together with self-made potions from Alchemy. Smithing all by itself "only" gives +10 straight base damage to weapons (maxed with corresponding perk), but after you multiply it by +116% (enchants) and further by +132% (potion, IIRC) you end up with +46 straight base damage. Or +92 base armor on any piece. If only the boosts were limited to something like +40% tops, you could make a case for not NEEDING the perks in both Alchemy AND Enchanting to really max it. Do note, however, that you break the game balance for good way before reaching such dizzy heights - anything beyond the standard +10/+20 is already pushing it a bit too far, IMHO.

    Also, while you can technically get bigger backstabs with any non-dagger one-hander boosted with at least +150% One-handed damage enchants (6x backstab times 2,5 = 15x, the same multiplier as daggers), the daggers have the advantage of freeing all four damage enchant slots. However, any melee outside backstabs suffers, leaving the unwary backstabber into even deeper dark hole if detected prematurely.
     
  5. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking

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    Yeah, I crafted what I expect to be all my end game gear last night. I had one set that now doubles as a alchemy and smithing set, and a second set that is my questing equipment. And I agree 40% is plenty good enough. That's 160% damage bonus from both swords and bows, and while I still carry a dagger with me, it's only used for backstabbing. The other overpowered aspect I've found with dual wielding is picking paralysis (with just a one second paralysis time) as one of the enchantments. When you're dual wielding swords that each have paralysis, you're hitting more than once per second, so the paralysis is continuous.

    ---------- Added 17 hours, 53 minutes and 0 seconds later... ----------

    Especially as regards armor. My latest set that I made and upped using just a regular set of smithing gear yielded a set of dragonscale with 868 armor. That total is completely superfluous, as the game has a cap of 80% physical damage reduction from armor, which is attained by getting around 560 armor (I think it's 567 to be exact).

    Now granted, I do have a few light armor perks - I think 3 in agile defender and the Custom Fit for wearing all light armor. So with a total of +85%, it would seem that my base armor would be 470. That said, it would appear that with a high smithing skill, you wouldn't have any reason to need ANY perks in either light or heavy armor that improve defense (other than the first one that you have to take to unlock the rest of the tree). Going all the way out to 5/5 is a total waste. With just that first point into light armor for the 20% bonus, would have made my armor total 563 - right about at the limit. With the heavy armors, having a higher base defense, you'd likely reach the cap without any perks at all.
     
  6. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi ★ SPS Account Holder

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    The dagger's attack speed also makes it useful for poisoneers of all stripes. I have never been impressed with magicka cost reduction enchants, these would have been very useful early on but as you progress through the game the magicka problem tends to go away on its own. Then there's things like magicka potions and spell absorption.

    I can see a case for people who want to cast magic more powerful than their actual skill level, though I assume the only reason they'd want to is for the novelty.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  7. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking

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    At over 1000 magicka per pop for master level spells? And up to 1400 a pop for master destruction spells? Even with the half magicka cost perk, you're still looking at 500-700 magicka. Even with +magicka items, and completely avoiding any increase in stamina and health, you're going to well into the game before you can cast even one of these spells without running out of magicka.
     
  8. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid The Old Guard

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    For the record, fully maxed Smithing (with boosts from both Alchemy and Enchanting) is just a hair short of capping your armor when applied on Dragonscale (light) Armor without ANY perks devoted to the actual skill, at minimum skill level.

    Any combination of Light Armor skill above 30 or so, just one single perk in the Light armor tree or Heavy Armor of any kind with or without perks is enough to cap your armor as it stands now. Makes most of the crafting rather redundant if you ask me. Or, if you prefer, makes the choice of armor a question of aesthetics rather than powergaming. ;)
     
  9. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking

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    That reflects my opinion and experience as well. I'll never devote a perk point into those trees again unless I want one of the later perks that have the first point in the tree as a prerequisite. Of course, that's a limited set of perks, that all require getting at least two others that will be of questionable value.

    For Heavy Armor, I suppose Tower of Strength, Conditioning, and Reflect Blows all could be worth it if you don't mind the number of perks needed, and with Light Armor, there's Unhindered, Wind Walker, and Deft Movement.
     
  10. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi ★ SPS Account Holder

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    That's based on the assumption that I'd want to cast master level spells early on in the game. Things are very different when you actually play, there's the magicka cost reduction for actually leveling the spell school of your choice and I assume you will be using the Archmage's robes at some point. There's the huge gap between the mana costs of Expert and Master level spells, the fact that Master levels spells tend to be impractical to use as your main spells (higher level spells in Skyrim only occasionally replace lower level ones), and there's the presence of master-level spell scrolls.
    Early on in the game the situation is different, but I don't think it's possible to powerlevel enchantment fast enough.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  11. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking

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    @Paracelsi - Those are all fair points, and I must concede that seeing as how I'm only playing my first mage right now, and I haven't left Whiterun yet, that I'm hardly in the position to be making sweeping assessments of the most advantageous ways of playing a mage.

    From my admittedly limited experience however, I have been able to glean a few things. It seems like the higher level mage spells with their long casting times would be best cast while not seen, to start a battle. With a decent sneak skill, and a couple of perks (one in stealth and one in muffled movement - which I now consider a must regardless of what type of character I'm planning on making), you should be able to get a jump on the enemy. Combine that with the silent casting perk, and you should be able to get that first spell off before being detected.

    One thing I was unaware of is that there is a magicka cost reduction as you level your skill. Even a rather modest percentage reduction in magicka costs can significantly reduce what you'll need for those higher level spells. As a side note, I do not plan on using archmage's robes for any significant length of time, if at all. I'm a sucker for high defense builds, and my mage will be wearing armor of some type. Given the fact that all my characters work on smithing, there really is no reason not to, especially once you add in the enchantments.

    And I do agree with your overall point - that's what I meant when I said if you're willing to miss out on frequent casting of master level spells in schools that you don't have reduced magicka costs, and are willing to make due with expert level spells instead (which as you point out are less magicka intensive and are not all that bad), you're all set. The driving force behind my interest in magicka reduction items is actually to save perks for other uses. If, by the time I'm ready to start casting expert and master level spells I have the means of casting those spells for free, it makes little sense to spend the perks to half the cost of them.
     
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