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Old Mon, 16th Apr '12, 3:16pm   #1
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Default WTF am I doing wrong?

OK, I enchanted a dagger with soul trap. I figured that with the 15X damage Assassinate perk, along with Shrouded Gloves that double that, I could set the timer to 1 second, and since I'm 1-hitting everything that I sneak up on, I can just equip that dagger then. Since the only things I'll be killing with this technique are people, I acquired several (five to be precise) empty grand soul gems.

So I go to this bandit cave, kill a bandit using the aforementioned technique, I see a blue swoosh thing, and I assume that means that soul trap worked. "Great!" I think to myself. In the next room there is another bandit, and I kill him using the dagger as well, and I get the message (no appropriate sized soul gems). Don't all people have grand souls, and therefore shouldn't grand soul gems be exactly what I need? It did appear to work the first time, so do I have to "spend" that first captured soul before capturing another one? (Although from the description it says that it should fill the first gem it finds that is big enough to hold the soul, using the small ones first, and then going to the bigger ones if you don't have an appropriate sized smaller one.) Is this not done automatically?
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Old Mon, 16th Apr '12, 4:16pm   #2
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Yep. You've forgotten one thing though.

There are two types of soul in the Elder Scrolls - Black and White.

Black souls can only be caught in black soul gems or the Black Star.

White can only be caught in normal soul gems, Azura's Star or due to a bug, the Black Star.

All player races are black soulled. Everything else (daedra, animals, undead etc are white).

Unless you have black soul gems or the unique equivalent, soul trapping bandits won't do a lot

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Old Mon, 16th Apr '12, 4:51pm   #3
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Damn it! The reason it worked the first time is I'm pretty sure I had one empty black soul gem. Well that just about ruins this plan. The plan was to one-hit kill bandits, and since I'm especially looking for greater and grand souls, those of animals aren't going to do a whole lot, as most of them don't have grand souls, and I seriously doubt I can one-hit kill the ones that do.

And there aren't a hell of a lot of greater or grand souls in the game either. I think I'm limited to Mammoths, Giants, and (presumably) Dragons, but good luck one shot killing any of them. Or even sneaking up on a dragon for that matter. (Although I suppose I could sneak up on a giant - or possibly a mammoth - 30x damage is a lot, so maybe a one-hit kill isn't out of the realm of possibility.
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Old Mon, 16th Apr '12, 6:25pm   #4
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Your only real option if you want to use bandits is to pick up the Black Star.

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Old Mon, 16th Apr '12, 7:34pm   #5
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I'm just trying to find the most cost-effective means of raising my enchanting skill. Since better soul gems give better results, I'm trying to limit my actual crafts to grand soul gems, and use the smaller ones for recharging my weapons. While it seems you get more enchanting experience for disenchanting stuff than you get from enchanting stuff, there's obviously a finite number of items you can disenchant, and so that can't be relied upon to raise your enchanting skill past the early part of the game, where just about every enchanted item you get your hands on can be disenchanted if you aren't planning on using it.

And the limiting factor is the number of soul gems you can get your hands on. Since purchasing empty soul gems that you can fill effectively doubles your supply - not to mention they cost about half what a filled gem does - this was the route I was planning on taking. I guess it's time to hunt some giants and mammoths.
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Old Mon, 16th Apr '12, 8:52pm   #6
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The most cost-effective method of raising your skill is by buying the smallest (Petty) filled stones, doing weapon enchants with them on anything you happen to come across (plenty of Iron and Steel daggers from Bandits, for example) and use the excess money to buy more stones but you knew that already, didn't you?

Now, as you're clearly planning on doing some killing yourself, you might as well scour any and every petty to normal sized stones you come across (loot or merchant, doesn't matter) and go one-shot crazy on anything that you come across with that dagger of yours equipped. Greaters require rare kills such as Giants (or Scourge Overlords) and Grands are exclusive to Mammoths, or in other words: keep them empty greaters and grands stashed away at some safe place until you start your monthly Giant camp sweeps so that you don't accidentally fill them up with the 2876 mudcrab souls on your hike from Whiterun to Windhelm alongside the river bank.

Edit: The point of the above being that the value of weapon enchants doesn't care all that much about the size of the stone used, so use the smaller ones for weapons, do your "real" enchants with the largest ones and recharge your items with the ones in between.

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Old Tue, 17th Apr '12, 3:40pm   #7
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Visit Azura's Shrine and start her quest.
As it so happened, when I checked last night, I had "Visit Azura's Shrine" sitting in my miscellaneous quest log. I just didn't know that had any correlation to the Black Star quest. So I started that last night, although I haven't returned the Black Star yet. (It was getting late and I needed to get to bed.)

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The most cost-effective method of raising your skill is by buying the smallest (Petty) filled stones, doing weapon enchants with them on anything you happen to come across (plenty of Iron and Steel daggers from Bandits, for example) and use the excess money to buy more stones but you knew that already, didn't you?
Actually, I didn't. That's why I said I was using the petty soul stones to recharge my weapons, and the greater/grand soul stones for my enchants. I should have figured the size of the gem wouldn't matter that much in terms of experience gained - just like the smithing skill. Even with the latest official patch that attempted to balance the smithing skill so that smithing heaps of iron daggers and leather bracers, no longer gave the same experience as crafting better items, it is still the easiest way to raise your smithing, simply because the raw materials are so abundant.

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Edit: The point of the above being that the value of weapon enchants doesn't care all that much about the size of the stone used, so use the smaller ones for weapons, do your "real" enchants with the largest ones and recharge your items with the ones in between.
This is good advice even after I get the Black Star, as it can only hold one soul at a time. That having been said, it also makes sense to empty that soul every time I see an arcane enchanted, as bandits aren't exactly rare finds.

I'm actually considering some investment in the Speech skill. Specifically considering "Merchant", as that would allow the sale of any type of item to any type of merchant. That would require two prerequisites, so a total of three perks. I typically have so much stuff that I can't sell all of it on one trip to town. I make my home in Riften as it is, because of the Thieves guild there that have additional merchants to sell stuff to. But with some of the potions I make selling for several hundred gold, some merchants can buy like two. But I'm underutilizing the fletcher and blacksmith down there. If I can sell anything to anyone, I can probably unload most of my potions between those guys, and the Riften Blacksmith (as opposed to just the general goods store, the Riften alchemist, and the fence that I currently use). So I would increase the amount I can sell in one trip from around 5,000 gp to 8,000 gp. Solitude would also be an excellent location to dispose of large amounts of loot.
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Old Tue, 17th Apr '12, 4:07pm   #8
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If you have access to all the fences I never found unloading loot to be much of a problem. All of them buy everything and they have 4k so a couple of round trips should empty your inventory. Also after a while of doing that you will have so much gold that it loses all meaning.
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Old Tue, 17th Apr '12, 4:41pm   #9
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If you have access to all the fences I never found unloading loot to be much of a problem. All of them buy everything and they have 4k so a couple of round trips should empty your inventory. Also after a while of doing that you will have so much gold that it loses all meaning.
I'm sure it will eventually - I just find it annoying having to travel from town to town just to sell my loot - I want to spend more time playing and less time selling. I'm also buying up soul stones like a fiend to level up my enchanting, and those things aren't cheap. Being able to buy and sell everything to all merchants will especially help with merchants that sell soul stones, as I can simultaneously purchase and sell much more without all the stops. Most of the major cities have court wizards that sell soul stones, and I can easily purchase 5,000 gp worth of them in one trip. Being able to then sell them 5,000 gp worth of potions is time efficient.
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Old Tue, 17th Apr '12, 9:55pm   #10
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I'd say download the Soul Syphon mod, makes soul-trapping so much easier (an AOE cast and about a minute to actually kill the mobs) but I think you have it on XBOX don't you? (for shame Alders!)
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Old Tue, 17th Apr '12, 10:02pm   #11
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It's not my fault - my PC is old, and I have a 4-year old who wanted a Kinnect, and he eventually wore me down. Now I can't justify the purchase of a new PC anytime soon, as Skyrim is the main focus of my gaming, so I'll just keep on using the PC I have. Then again, D3 comes out next month, and so there may be a need to purchase a new PC anyway.
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Old Tue, 17th Apr '12, 10:07pm   #12
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Old Wed, 18th Apr '12, 1:33pm   #13
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Old Wed, 18th Apr '12, 2:36pm   #14
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Mint = place where you make money, literally. I then guess that "minted" would mean someone with a lot of money?
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Old Wed, 18th Apr '12, 2:57pm   #15
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If so, then it's a case of mistaken identity. I am gainfully employed, but I got a wife and kid. Working Dad + Wife + Kid = No Money for Dad.
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Old Wed, 18th Apr '12, 6:35pm   #16
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Most of the major cities have court wizards that sell soul stones, and I can easily purchase 5,000 gp worth of them in one trip. Being able to then sell them 5,000 gp worth of potions is time efficient.
I find that most general goods stores have just about as many stones as any court wizard, and Khajiit caravan traders seem to carry especially many Grands and Greaters. But good point about being able to siphon back your gold from wizards as well.
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Old Thu, 19th Apr '12, 4:04pm   #17
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The most cost-effective method of raising your skill is by buying the smallest (Petty) filled stones, doing weapon enchants with them on anything you happen to come across ... The point of the above being that the value of weapon enchants doesn't care all that much about the size of the stone used, so use the smaller ones for weapons, do your "real" enchants with the largest ones and recharge your items with the ones in between.
Major props and major thanks for this advice. I noticed I had 17 petty/lesser soul stones in my inventory. Those were the kind that I was using to recharge me weapons. So I did some testing, and it turns out your completely right - it looks like the experience gain you get for enchanting something with a lesser/petty soul gem is nearly identical to what you get for using a greater soul gem. (I didn't test it with a grand, because I'm specifically saving those for my best enchantments.)

I took two iron daggers, but the paralysis enchantment on them both, the only difference being I used a greater soul gem on one, and a lesser soul gem on the other. While the resulting craft was more valuable with the greater soul stone, the experience awarded towards the enchanting skill seems to be identical. So it's definitely in your best interest to use your cheapest soul stones if you're just trying to up your enchanting skill.

While enchanting iron daggers you craft does seem to be a great way to level up both your smithing and enchanting skills, it doesn't seem to be nearly the money maker that alchemy is if you are purchasing your own ingredients. Even with a high speech skill, I'm only selling those daggers for around 100 gp, and that's a rough approximation of how much it costs to make one if you buy everything. Alchemy on the other hand, is a huge money maker. Since after a play through or two, you know all the common ingredients you need to make potions like slow, paralysis, and frenzy, and that those potions always sell for considerably more than you spend on ingredients, I can't see how I wouldn't include alchemy in all my future characters, even if I don't spend the perks in it. (Even with this character, the only perk I spent was the first alchemy perk.)

Also found a circlet last night that ups bow damage by 40% Woot! The armor on it is zilch, but 40% damage doubled what I had on my crafted dragonscale helm. And seeing as how I'm buying 5 levels of light armor training every time I level up (clearly, I've reached the point where money is no longer of any concern), I think I'll be OK with what armor I have. It's not like I'm getting hit much anyway.

I'm enjoying this character a lot more than my first. Missing out on the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood quests the first go through was a big miss, but I was roleplaying my character, and I couldn't see why a big burly fighter would have much interest in those things. It's also clear that this character is going to far surpass the level of my fighter, simply because there are going to be so many skills I end up maxing or come close to maxing.

My fighter had skills of 90+ in just 5 skills - all of the warrior skills except two handed. This guy is going to be 90+ in at least 9 skills - all 6 thief skills, plus smithing, archery, and enchanting. (For now, lockpicking is only in the 70s, but with the amount of break-ins I do, it's still increasing slowly but surely.) I need one more perk for merchant, and after that, the next three perks will all go into enchanting to get the two enchantment perk. (I'm assuming that I will have maxed enchanting by the time those perks are available to me.)
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Old Thu, 19th Apr '12, 9:33pm   #18
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There are loads of locks in the dwemer museum at the castle in Markath.
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Old Fri, 20th Apr '12, 1:13am   #19
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Plus arent there training chests in the thieves guild for leveling your lockpicking?
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Old Fri, 20th Apr '12, 6:32pm   #20
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Old Mon, 23rd Apr '12, 3:14pm   #21
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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.
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Old Mon, 23rd Apr '12, 5:11pm   #22
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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.
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Old Mon, 23rd Apr '12, 5:51pm   #23
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Quote:
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One rather awkward miss in your plan is that One-handed enchants do NOT work on daggers.
Bummer. And yet, one handed perks, like Armsman, DO affect daggers. Well that just sucks.

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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.
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.

Quote:
That, together with +enchanting potions, can net you up to +47% damage, -29% mana cost or +29% alchemy/smithing enchants.
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:

Quote:
One-handed weapons receive increased attack power from boots, bracers, necklaces and rings enchanted with the Fortify One-Handed enchantment. However, Daggers are uniquely unaffected by these enchantments. Whether this is an oversight, a glitch or an intended decision is not clear. Some would argue that this was an intentional decision on the part of the game designers, in order to prevent the use of Fortify One-Handed in conjunction with Assassin's Blade and/or the Shrouded Gloves, which could be so damaging as to seriously unbalance the game.
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:
Quote:
up to +47% damage, -29% mana cost or +29% alchemy/smithing enchants
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.
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Old Wed, 25th Apr '12, 8:35pm   #24
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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.
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Old Thu, 26th Apr '12, 2:55pm   #25
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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... ----------

Quote:
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.
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.
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