starting over and simplifying

Posted by august (3866 posts) -

So Dawnguard has me playing Skyrim again.

I had a 35 level spellsword-esque character. Maxed destruction magic, Archmage of the mage's guild. I found the magic to be unsatisfying and hated waiting for my magicka to recharge even with enchanted items that give recharge. Switching over to my light armor and one-handed weapons skills and my character was way too fragile to be fun. Relied on my companions too much and I hated dropping into the menu to chug one of my seven million potions so my high alchemy skill was more of annoyance than fun. I had about a million soul gems, enchanted items and weapons of various qualities waiting for an enchantment stored on my character, companion, Breezehome and Archmage's quarters and I could barely remember what I was doing with them but I do remember it not being very fun.

So I started a new character. Orc lady, heavy armor, 2h weapons, smithing. No companions no magic no alchemy. And holy crap this game is fun again.

My goals are clear; smash things, smith things. Smithing has been rebalanced so that your xp increase is proportional to the monetary value of the item created. Also having the warrior stone active and being well rested makes for some quick leveling.

I haven't gotten to the point where I can smith enchanted items so I always know I have the best shit because I make the best shit. I have one set of armor and one weapon and that's it. I always know what I need to do to get better stuff. I spend most of my money on smithing components and then I smith stuff and sell it back until I'm out of money and things to smith with.

Then I go out on an adventure and smash things. I'm pretty much a killing machine, but boss characters can be trouble making me have to fall back, be careful and use Berserker Rage and a shout or two. It feels pretty great.

Orc lady is level 12 and I just made myself a full set of Dwarven armor and got the "cut off heads" perk. I'll eventually have to get into enchanting to at least fuel enchanted items and for something to do after I max smithing. Maybe start on archery so I don't have to just stare at dragons while they rain fire from above. But all that's in the future.

Seriously can't stop playing. This game is pretty good you guys. Haven't even gotten around to the vampire shit yet.

#1 Posted by august (3866 posts) -

So Dawnguard has me playing Skyrim again.

I had a 35 level spellsword-esque character. Maxed destruction magic, Archmage of the mage's guild. I found the magic to be unsatisfying and hated waiting for my magicka to recharge even with enchanted items that give recharge. Switching over to my light armor and one-handed weapons skills and my character was way too fragile to be fun. Relied on my companions too much and I hated dropping into the menu to chug one of my seven million potions so my high alchemy skill was more of annoyance than fun. I had about a million soul gems, enchanted items and weapons of various qualities waiting for an enchantment stored on my character, companion, Breezehome and Archmage's quarters and I could barely remember what I was doing with them but I do remember it not being very fun.

So I started a new character. Orc lady, heavy armor, 2h weapons, smithing. No companions no magic no alchemy. And holy crap this game is fun again.

My goals are clear; smash things, smith things. Smithing has been rebalanced so that your xp increase is proportional to the monetary value of the item created. Also having the warrior stone active and being well rested makes for some quick leveling.

I haven't gotten to the point where I can smith enchanted items so I always know I have the best shit because I make the best shit. I have one set of armor and one weapon and that's it. I always know what I need to do to get better stuff. I spend most of my money on smithing components and then I smith stuff and sell it back until I'm out of money and things to smith with.

Then I go out on an adventure and smash things. I'm pretty much a killing machine, but boss characters can be trouble making me have to fall back, be careful and use Berserker Rage and a shout or two. It feels pretty great.

Orc lady is level 12 and I just made myself a full set of Dwarven armor and got the "cut off heads" perk. I'll eventually have to get into enchanting to at least fuel enchanted items and for something to do after I max smithing. Maybe start on archery so I don't have to just stare at dragons while they rain fire from above. But all that's in the future.

Seriously can't stop playing. This game is pretty good you guys. Haven't even gotten around to the vampire shit yet.

#2 Posted by Elazul (1327 posts) -

Weird, I took pretty much the same route as your first character (maining Destruction, One Handed, Light Armor and Restoration) and for me the game has become so easy that I had to turn the difficulty up to master, and stopped using companions because my chain lightning was arching to them and killing them in one hit. What equipment were you using and how much bonus Magicka regen did you have? I found once I got to about +200%, I pretty much had enough to fire off spells non stop.

#3 Posted by august (3866 posts) -

@Elazul: I had the archmage's robes one of the masks and some other stuff.

Honestly I don't remember most of it but it's entirely possible I was Doing It Wrong.

#4 Posted by Elazul (1327 posts) -

@august: Okay, that makes sense. For me, I went with regular-ass Light Armor (the best I had at a given time) and then got all the buffs you're expected to get from your "Mage's Robes" from armor enchantments and accessories. Having your armor equipped all the time will ensure that every time you take a hit it'll be contributing towards your Light Armor skill, which in turn will let you soak up way more damage. That'll also let you do things like dual-wield a one-handed sword and an offensive spell so you can barrage a guy with fire and then hack at him while you're recharging. Also it probably helped that I never touched a shield and instead either dodged or tanked as much as I could and then quickly healed up mid-fight.

I think in general the game rewards a very aggresive style of play so rushing enimies always seems to work best, providing you can stay alive until the end of the encounter. When you play a Battlemage you really have to think of it less as a compromise between a Warrior and a Mage and more like Mass Effect's Vanguard; an extremely unique class that requires it's own very specific (and very aggressive) strategy in order to use effectively.

Anyway, I'm glad you've found a play style that suits you. Skyrim's a fantastic game and it's certainly great that you'll be seeing more of it because of this.

#5 Posted by CJduke (800 posts) -

I'm level 38 and I haven't played for a while. I want to get back into the game but I can't remember any of my quests or anything in my inventory (what spells I have, what weapons I have) so I haven't jumped back in. I want to restart and make a rogue type character using bows and stealth, but I can't imagine having to rediscover everything in on the map and going through quests I've already done again. Maybe I should just go for it.

#6 Posted by august (3866 posts) -

@Elazul: Yeah I've got a combination of some magicka regen and other buffs on my various pieces of light armor but they're pathetic compared to the non-armor gear I have. Getting the next tier of destruction spell is kind of a letdown when I can barely cast it one handed much less two. I also decided to be a two-hander with no block skill and I put way too many levels into alchemy and lockpicking. I may go in with a scalpel and figure out why I dislike the character so much after I get Orcy Mcsmashthings leveled out.

#7 Posted by Elazul (1327 posts) -

@august: Yeah, that'll do it. Good magicka-focused enchanted gear is pretty key if you're playing a Battlemage, but it can be really hard to get hold of early-to-mid game. It's quite hard to find and even harder to have good enough enchantment skill to make it yourself at that point. If you go that route again, look out for the ring of resurgenge. It gives you +80% magicka regen and seems to show up now and again at the clothing shop in Solitude. That combined with the Morokei mask and a few pieces of buffed light armor should let you cast as much as you need and still stay reletively protected.

@CJduke: Oh yeah you should go for it, my buddy has a stealth-based character and it seems like a blast to play. If you spec properly and use the right equipment you can be practically invisible regardless of movement speed and do 30x damage with dagger-based sneak attacks. It's nuts!

#8 Posted by Vinny_Says (5721 posts) -

@august: When you do the vampire stuff make sure you get the new horse.

#9 Posted by Demoskinos (15143 posts) -

I play pretty much straight conjuration and destruction magic user. The secret to magic users being fun is you have to REALLY lean into it. I can't blame you for restarting though. I often do that with RPGs alot. Its cool you've found your niche. I managed to get back into my old character myself. If I were you Id do some Deadric quests there are a few 2h weapons you can get as a reward.

#10 Posted by Ravenlight (8011 posts) -

This thread has me excited for Skyrim again. I powered through all of the achievements in the main game and am looking forward to starting a completely different character when Dawnguard drops for the PC.

#11 Posted by august (3866 posts) -

@CJduke: I thought I'd feel the same way but even at level 35 there was still a whole lot of shit I hadn't done. Like the Companions for instance which I'm doing now. Also having a tightly focused character that's badass in the way your previous character was lacking is tons of fun. Although maxing out stealth sounds like it breaks the game.

#12 Posted by august (3866 posts) -

@Vinny_Says: I dunno I have a feeling it's an evil horse and I invariably play good guys. Also I don't roll with horses. Unless they've made the mounted combat REALLY good I don't like having to get off a horse to enter combat or mess with stuff.

Also since dropping companions, I've found that the chaotic mediocre Elder Scrolls combat is a lot more satisfying when I'm the only dude on my team. Plus I get all the xp from killing all the guys and taking all the damage.

#13 Posted by Demoskinos (15143 posts) -
@august Really after you max out any one skill tree it pretty much breaks the game. I'm only level 37 out of a maximum level of 81 and not much in the game can even fuck with me. My destruction magic is so powerful that I can usually down most anything solo. The only thing that proves troublesome still is group combat. Its just a matter of what way your going to break the game really. Also I do think there is a difficulty slider if you do happen to want more challenge.
#14 Posted by august (3866 posts) -

@Demoskinos: I maxed Destruction as well but managed to feel useless because I somehow built a character with shit magicka and magicka regen.

Although maxing a skill is also weird from another angle other than breaking the game; once you do you're not gaining anything from it by using it in combat.

#15 Posted by Demoskinos (15143 posts) -
@august That's where enchantments come in handy. I have a set of fully improved elven armor all with either magika enhancements or magika regen. Also have the atronoch standing stone active.
#16 Posted by Sumbog (506 posts) -

My newest character is level 69, I've found the most enjoyment out of creating a story for my character, creating story explainations for my guys path. So at first he started off as the heroic ligth armored, 1 handed knight, got thrown in prison (the quest), cam out imbittered, began to take on a dark side becoming a sneaky archer and knifer. After that he got infected with vampirism and wanted to improve his magical abilities for his vampiring, so that's when I grinded my magic. After that I made it so he cured himself, did the collage shit, and dedicated himself. Killing shit with big swords and heavy armor.

#17 Posted by announakis (125 posts) -

@august said:

So I started a new character. Orc lady, heavy armor, 2h weapons, smithing. No companions no magic no alchemy. And holy crap this game is fun again.

Yep, I did the same thing more or less....Until I realized that this game is basically centered on smithing and enchanting to achieve real power and play on master mode...

I agree that magic is not the most powerful weapon in the game if used only with one hand. As someone said, magic is good if you really embrace it because in destruction magic the perk dual casting stagger makes it uber...to circomvent the mana problem, investing in enchanting and desining a gear that soaks up to 100% of the casting cost in destruction (or any other school btw) should simplify the problem. I have a character with the minimum in mana but 100% reduction in destruction....I keep shooting fireballs non stop laughing hard thanks to that. I started leveling up the 2-handed tree to do damage until I had enough in enchantment and smithing to get the daedric armor with 100% destruction reduction and then started to level up destruction magic seriously ^^

Archery gives pretty much the same result as dual casting destruction except much stronger...you dish out some ridiculous damage when perked and geared properly...I one-shot a dragon once from sneaking with deadly aim perk (on the adept difficulty level, not master)

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