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  1. #1
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    Skyrim Skills Discussion

    If you're anything like me, you've spent a truly shameful amount of time with Skyrim since launch. After having spent so much time with it, I think now would be a great time to talk about the skills: what's good, what's not-so-good, and how to get the best out of the skills. Let's keep plot-and-quest spoilers out of it (don't talk about specific Daedric items or Shouts that are awesome for a certain skill/build!), but let's assume that MECHANICAL SPOILERS REGARDING PERKS AND LEVELING BENEFITS abound.

    I'll get us started by saying that Destruction is pretty awesome. Each skill increase reduces the magicka cost of spells and allows you to get more charges from a Destruction-charged staff. The additional secondary effects for Fire, Ice, and Lightning magic are quite good. I'm curious about a few things though. Is there any reason to pick up the rune-enhancing perk if I don't use them? That is, is there a completion-bonus for getting every perk in the tree or a benefit to it that I don't see? Also, does anyone know if ice magic slows enemies down? It seems like it does, but it's inconsistent; maybe if they're low on stamina?

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Smashbox's Avatar
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    I initially tried using a one-handed weapon and left-handed destruction spells, but at a certain point it became very difficult for me to kill enemies (especially magic users). I eventually had to pull out my shield and swallow my pride. After a few hours, I found myself much more successful as a specialized warrior type (who heals himself).

    As for getting perks you don't need in a tree - I haven't seen any reason to do so. And frost slows enemies with low HP, I believe.

  3. #3
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    @Smashbox: I've been playing as a dedicated mage, so my Destruction is in the 80s and I've cranked the hell out of my magicka. The game does seem to reward specialization.

    And magic-using enemies are indeed the worst, since they really know how to abuse shield and summon spells. I've got a few Shouts that really work wonders for giving me some breathing room.

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    Lesser Hivemind Node lasikbear's Avatar
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    I have been using mostly heavy armor and two handed, after coming to the same realization as Smashbox that the spell+weapon combo seems kind of weak. I generally burn all my mana up to start the fight with destruction spells then finish everything off with my weapon. Ice spike has been awesome so far, I can only cast it maybe 4 times but killing people with it and sending them flying is so satisfying.

    Otherwise I think my highest skills are smithing and enchanting which means I have great equipment and tons of money, my main issue now is getting rid of the 48 gold rings and other assorted jewelery I made after finding a gold mine.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Smashbox's Avatar
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    Seriously, has anyone come up with a solution for offloading all your en¢hanted good$? Fast traveling to every vendor you've met sucks and waiting for 48 hours for their money to regenerate sucks, too.

    I need to meet a shipping magnate or a wholesaler or something.
    Last edited by Smashbox; 17-11-2011 at 05:11 PM.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wolfenswan's Avatar
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    Smithing, pickpocketing and enchanting skill way too fast for my taste (especially smithing with hide bracers first and dwarven bows later) so I'd recommend that "Slower Skill Gain" Mod from the Nexus.

    My main character currently has 90 in two-hand but only 56 in heavy armor which (as a TES stable) skills rather sluggish.

    Seriously, has anyone come up with a solution for offloading all your en¢hanted good$? Fast traveling to every vendor you've met sucks and waiting for 48 hours for their money to regenerate sucks, too.
    i keep a few with me and store the others in a box in one of the houses as I don't need the money anyway.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smashbox View Post
    Seriously, has anyone come up with a solution for offloading all your en¢hanted good$? Fast traveling to every vendor you've met sucks and waiting for 48 hours for their money to regenerate sucks, too.

    I need to meet a shipping magnate or a wholesaler or something.
    I saved up for a house just so I could store shit while I wait for the vendors in the main towns to restock. That being said, the Speech tree (!) allows you to "invest" in the merchants such that they have more money to buy your ludicrously expensive shit.

    As for good skills, two-handed > one-handed until upper perks, at which point dual-wielding > two-handed for DPS. Basically, it's when your skill, crit rate and perks in one-handed outmatch the heavy armor and shields some NPCs use.

    I'm in love with Blacksmithing, because it allows me to outlevel my enemies, at least in terms of gear, and is easy to level up (buy out/mine all the available iron, craft iron daggers until your eyes bleed). Getting Daedric weapons at level 20 pretty much solves most combat issues by itself.
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    Destruction isn't all good. Even only choosing magicka on level up, getting all the perks and having gear that gives extra magicka and regen, you won't be able to comfortably afford to use anything other than Firebolt for most of the game. Incinerate does 2.25x the damage for 8x the magicka cost. Especially against enemies that ward themselves you just can't afford to have an Incinerate miss or be resisted.

    The only way to get round it is to abuse -Destruction% items and once you go down that route you'll soon find it's far too easy to get the cost of Destruction spells down to 0 at which point everything becomes a little silly.

    Basically Destruction on it's own is not very well balanced and as usual Enchanting allows you to break the game without much effort.

  9. #9
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    I saved up for a house just so I could store shit while I wait for the vendors in the main towns to restock. That being said, the Speech tree (!) allows you to "invest" in the merchants such that they have more money to buy your ludicrously expensive shit.

    As for good skills, two-handed > one-handed until upper perks, at which point dual-wielding > two-handed for DPS. Basically, it's when your skill, crit rate and perks in one-handed outmatch the heavy armor and shields some NPCs use.

    I'm in love with Blacksmithing, because it allows me to outlevel my enemies, at least in terms of gear, and is easy to level up (buy out/mine all the available iron, craft iron daggers until your eyes bleed). Getting Daedric weapons at level 20 pretty much solves most combat issues by itself.
    Yeah, the vendors+dragon bones/skin+enchantment skill make the Speech tree very tempting. It would probably be great for a thief, too, since one of the perks makes an invested shopkeeper into a fence.

    Right now I'm trying to get a complete set of Orcish armor so that I can kit out a mannequin in one of my homes with enchanted armor, so hopefully I'll get a reprieve from their woeful funds as I try to decorate my house instead of make cash.

    So crafting is effective enough to compensate for (relatively) weaker combat skills? That's nice to know.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Smashbox's Avatar
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    Yes - Nalano's right, all you have to do is buy all the iron you can (you should already have enough hides for more than enough leather strips if you've played a while) and make a million iron daggers (enter+click+enter+click+enter+click+enter+click).

    If you want to get crazy, you can then enchant each of your million daggers, but this actually takes time. Souls don't grow on trees after all.

  11. #11
    Network Hub gundrea's Avatar
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    They do grow on dragons though.

    Also I used a firestorm in an enclosed space once. I'm still picking corpses and loot out of walls on the other side of the map.
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  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jockie's Avatar
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    There is an area in the game where you can mine for Soul Gems, as well as a high number of the enemies there having Soul Gems as drops also.
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  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Smashbox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jockie View Post
    There is an area in the game where you can mine for Soul Gems, as well as a high number of the enemies there having Soul Gems as drops also.
    Oh? News to me - thanks.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sinister agent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smashbox View Post
    I initially tried using a one-handed weapon and left-handed destruction spells, but at a certain point it became very difficult for me to kill enemies (especially magic users). I eventually had to pull out my shield and swallow my pride. After a few hours, I found myself much more successful as a specialized warrior type (who heals himself).
    Blocking has been very useful for me. A shield's the first non-food thing I bought. Using your shield well can really turn the balance in your favour, even if you're using a cheap dagger against people with huge two-handed weapons. And that's without any magic at all, so far (including healing).

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    Quote Originally Posted by csuzw View Post
    The only way to get round it is to abuse -Destruction% items and once you go down that route you'll soon find it's far too easy to get the cost of Destruction spells down to 0 at which point everything becomes a little silly.
    Haha that's how i broke my game. EXPLOIT SPOILER Your enchant levels the same regardless of the soul gem quality. You can buy shitloads of low level soul gems from almost everyone at the Mage guild. Then you can just travel to Solitude to that clothes store and buy all the cheap clothes you want.
    I reached from 20 to level 80 stupidly fast. Spoiler end

    Now if there is an enemy that takes more than 3 hits i just stop time using that level 3 shout and pound away since i have around -20% to destruction on all but 2 apparel items.

    I have to question something though. Magic damage doesn't go up with skill level. Only those 2 perks per element increase your damage. Higher level only helps with lower mana. I only need master spells, but after that no more damage upgrade. Won't that make me really weak towards higher levels? Will being able to spam spells be enough?

    By that logic, i should just stop leveling up at 100 destruction or else it would make me weaker and weaker by every level, instead of stronger.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jockie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alez View Post

    I have to question something though. Magic damage doesn't go up with skill level. Only those 2 perks per element increase your damage. Higher level only helps with lower mana. I only need master spells, but after that no more damage upgrade. Won't that make me really weak towards higher levels? Will being able to spam spells be enough?

    By that logic, i should just stop leveling up at 100 destruction or else it would make me weaker and weaker by every level, instead of stronger.
    From what I've read on other forums, that is indeed a problem. Magic doesn't appear to scale as well as top tier, heavily upgraded weaponry, along with the more effective weapon damage perks.
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  17. #17
    Network Hub slick_101's Avatar
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    Currently I'm a mage/archer combo. I am currently using a the destruction mage clothing with a ranger hood and everything else being glass. but so far I've really tended to use my bow + sneak. with all my stat bonuses I've got an ebony bow that does 123 with elven arrows + mana damage. times that by 3 for the sneak attack perk and I'm taking taking down most units in 1 hit bosses during quests If I can sneak up on them are generally 2-3 including non sneaky attacks. I did try the full heavy metal + dual wield. but I was constantly dying so re-rolling a mage/archer is the best thing.

  18. #18
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    @Jockie:

    Soul Gems--including Black Soul Gems--seem overall much more common this time around. Are dwemer automatons powered by Soul Gems? Because they seem to carry a lot of them. Their general toughness and the typical complexity of dwemer ruins kind of keep me away, though.

  19. #19
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jockie View Post
    From what I've read on other forums, that is indeed a problem. Magic doesn't appear to scale as well as top tier, heavily upgraded weaponry, along with the more effective weapon damage perks.
    How high does this apply? My Destruction is in the 80s, I'm at level 26, and I have access to Expert level spells. My big problem isn't damage--the Expert level spells do a lot of damage--but Magicka. I've put all but two of my level ups toward Magicka, but I still burn through it like mad. I'm an Argonian--which doesn't help, but c'mon, lizardman--and I'm using the Lord blessing. I used the Atronach for a while, but I found the hit to Magicka regen outweighed the bonus Magicka, and I'm frankly horrified by the prospect of the Apprentice's double damage from magic.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jockie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drinking with Skeletons View Post
    How high does this apply? My Destruction is in the 80s, I'm at level 26, and I have access to Expert level spells. My big problem isn't damage--the Expert level spells do a lot of damage--but Magicka. I've put all but two of my level ups toward Magicka, but I still burn through it like mad. I'm an Argonian--which doesn't help, but c'mon, lizardman--and I'm using the Lord blessing. I used the Atronach for a while, but I found the hit to Magicka regen outweighed the bonus Magicka, and I'm frankly horrified by the prospect of the Apprentice's double damage from magic.
    As others have mentioned, you can spam - magicka cost (school) enchantments onto your equipment, meaning you can sustain a lot of spells and even have infinimana and Enchantment is pretty easy to level.

    To be fair the forum I was reading the numbercraft on seemed to be talking 50+ in terms of levels, but the numbers suggested magic gets seriously left behind.

    Also according to the random lore book I found (because I was curious about the prevalence of Soul Gems on Automatons too), they're used as some kind of conduit, but aren't actully the source of the automatons power.
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