So I'm trying to figure out the difference between a battlemage and a spellsword, but YouTube, the Wikia, has me all kinds of confused.
Here's what I think, before I started researching, what a battlemage and a spellsword sounded like
A Battlemage: A mostly mage, in heavy battle armor, who may uses swords sometimes but is mostly a heavy offensive mage right?
A Spellsword: A 50/50 mage warrior who uses light armor, and is almost like a scout, using the best of both worlds and is quick and agile.
Then I started researching and got conflicting results.
It was mostly between Oblivion descriptions vs Morrowind descriptions, because they are so contradicting.
So in Morrowind it says this: Classes (Morrowind) <--Also look at this page for their attributes and main skills.
"Battlemages are wizard-warriors, trained in both lethal spellcasting and heavily armored combat. They sacrifice mobility and versatility for the ability to supplement melee and ranged attacks with elemental damage and summoned creatures."
"Spellswords are spellcasting specialists trained to support Imperial troops in skirmish and in battle. Veteran spellswords are prized as mercenaries, and well-suited for careers as adventurers and soldiers-of-fortune."
Battlemage: "Able to resolve most conflicts with either spell or sword. They are a deadly mix of scholar and soldier." Battlemage (also in Oblivion, they start with no armor stat bonus. In Morrowind they start with a heavy armor stat bonus)
Spellsword: "More nimble and athletic than the sorcerer, and better suited for spell-casting than the knight, their attacks are unpredictable. Students of combat and magic." Spellsword (Also in Oblivion they are now heavy armor instead of light/medium armor)
So I'm just trying to figure out what the difference is and which can be difinitively defined as what. It seems it was Bethesda who truly changed things up from Morrowind to Oblivion.
So what do you think?
I really would also like to know because I am planning on making a High Elf who uses light armor, swords in right hand and destruction spells in left hand, along with other magic, and not sure what to call such a character.
Go with the Morrowind one. The term "spellsword" literally means casting a spell in one hand while wielding a melee weapon in the other. In addition, common folklore holds Battlemages as spellcasters clad in heavy armor, and, because of this, some people got mad at the class' favored skills in Oblivion. Fortunately, Oblivion allowed the creation of custom classes, so people like me made their own hybrids. Hope this helps.
I had a feeling the Morrowind description was more accurate, because even the way it sounds, "Battlemage" sounds like they would be clad in heavy armor casting mostly spells, and "Spellsword" sounds like the would be a 50/50, although I guess they don't have to specialize in one specific type of armor. I know one mercenary in Skyrim is a spellsword, and he uses Iron armor with Hide boots and Hide bracers, so his armor is mixed.
But I'm glad I got that cleared up, just got confusing when I compared Morrowind to Oblivion, so thanks! So the class I'm making is probably a "Spellsword" then. :)
The matter is confused even further by several lore books (such as Report: Disaster at Ionith) which use the term "battlemage" to describe a "soldier mage" who serves as part of a smaller specialized corps within a field army.
He may or may not wear heavy armor, he may or may not employ destruction magic against the enemy in front-line combat, but his duties definitely revolve around supporting that force with his magic: the Ionith book explains how the battlemage corps provided long-distance magical communication and scouting duties and conjured drinking water out of the air, for example.
Presumably in this context, "battlemage" is simply meant to differentiate professional soldier-mages who deploy with the rest of the troops from the researchers and scholar magi that stay back at the castle with the civilians.
I know this thread is over, but I'd like to add more thought. I'm just starting into the Elder Scrolls and when I first thought of a "Battlemage" I too thought it was a magic user clad in heavy armour. They specialize in quick offensive spells (either as like a finisher or a support) but they favor their weapons. Sounds kind of bad ass to me. But, the thing that makes me a little disappointed, is that I envision battlemages wielding a two-handed sword and casting magic, which isn't a natural thing you are able to do in Elder Scrolls. Unlike a spellsword who is able to use both at the same time, the battlemage would have to stop swinging their weapon in order to cast their spells.
I dunno, I love the look of two-handers, and I want to be able to use spells with them. :)
Way back when I first started playing, I thought spellswords were one of the weakest classes, but that was because I didn't understand it, and ended up dying all the time as a noob. Now, though, I think it's by far one of the most versitile and complex classes, and arguably the most all-around useful one. But I'd classify it simply as a magic in either light or heavy armor that uses a sword in one hand, and a spell in the other.
One thing I find odd is that most seem to think heavy armor is the way to go, but honestly I still think light armor is the best. With SkyRe installed, magic gets sneak attacks as well, which means you can double your damage at the start of combat, just like a ranged assassin. So, since I almost always want to grab Light Foot anyway (for traps), I go just a little further in the tree to get the magic sneak attack as well.
With that sort of plan, you don't want to be wearing heavy armor, as heavy armor is much louder (thus, hard to sneak in), weighs a lot more, and makes you slower (on skyre, anyway). I think the slowing down part is especially detrimental--unless you're running around spamming heals, you're not much on defense as a spellsword, even in heavy armor. Therefore, moving out of the way is key, so you *need* to be fast. Not to mention, I believe there's a perk in light armor even on vanilla that gives you better stamina regen, which helps boost your stamina for the sword, while you use enchants for the magicka.
People also argue over magic trees. I never found illusion to be particularly useful, but it seems a constant among recs. I also don't see much point in alteration, unless you plan on using the mage armors (which are better on cloth anyway, and you shouldn't be wearing robes). So maybe conjuration and destruction? Two atronachs or daedra to distract the enemies (different summons depending on the fights), firebolt/ball for range, and heals via restoration to keep you topped off. A lot of people underestimate restoration as a tree, but even in vanilla, it's extremely powerful (automatic save heals, yay). I also think it's one of the best trees for dealing with the undead. :D
Anyway, I was all excited to being playing for the hundredth time, got into spellswords, and wanted to babble lol.
When I first started playing the Elder Scrolls(Oblivion) I thought knight was the most useful class(I was a Nord). But, when I played Oblivion a second time I chose Breton as my race and for some reason chose spellsword. I was torn between the two classes. Then I found out about custom classes. And, as much as I agree that spelswords need to be fast I use heavy armor because like people stated a spellsword is almost defenseless as a spellsword you can have healing(one of the reasons I chose Breton in Skyrim, Online and Morrowind) for when you do take damage. That way you won't have to keep dodging.
Breton is my least favourite class, and I highly doubt that it would be a good "Spellsword". When I chose it at the beginning, I thought they were good mages with destruction and stuff. I was wrong. It has no destruction boost, or combat boosts. I had to sneak everywhere to not get killed. I tried to level up my destruction, but my stats were so low, that I leveled my sneak instead. I made a new character (Imperial) and had a better time trying to be a "Spellsword".
Personally, I prefer Bretons for just about any magic related class if I decide to be a human, simply because i am defense oriented, and spell absorb + magic res = happy place. Not to mention that short people rock. Also, Imperials make great Battlemages due to their initial H. Armor, 1 Handed, Restoration, and Destruction stats. What I want to know, though, is where the hell their speech stat went. Highest boost in Oblivion, now it's Res. Can they suddenly heal with words???
Spellswords are meant to be a professional arcane warrior class while the battlemage is a specialist magic-user who focused on a select few (yet well-rounded) schools to make the most out of the low mobility while in heavy armor. Think of it like this: a spellsword is likely to cast on the fly, at close range, and mix in some swordplay and agility to keep a few enemies off-balance and wide open for abuse; a battlemage is going to stand like a pillar and blast everything from close range towards the horizon, taking hits like a champ due to heavy plate and directing summoned creatures like a general.
In all reality, the spellsword, by lore standards, is going to fall far short of a warrior or a mage in a straight up duel using only magic or bladework; their training is too focused on making the most out of their spread-out stats and limited spell repetior (due to their low magicka). A battlemage, on the other hand, can specialize in such a way as to make their lack of mobility a non-issue; so long as they have magicka and can see their target, its just a matter of time (or attrition) before one side of the conflict is toast. A battlemage is a mage first, then a general, and then a warrior; a spellsword is TRICKSTER OPPORTUNIST first, then a mage, and then a warrior.
A.K.A Spellswords are more leaned toward warriors, and battlemages are leaned towards magic Basically sword and mage, get it? I know its not fair that you cannot really master both arts in one style without toruturing yourself via oesser skills and griding, but thats just the wah it is.
Aren't battlemages a little more focused on all kinds of weapons while spellswords are more single minded with swords, and while battlemages have this the spellswords have focus in block meaning they're more of a melee class. Battlemages seem to me like the class that keeps their distance more than the spellsword while both are prepared for close quarters.
Other reasons for my thoughts are the battlemage's focus on conjuration of allied beings and the spellsword's restoration, and finally the alchemy for the former and illusion for the latter, alchemy meaning strong poison on weapons for high last resort damage while illusion seams pretty usefull in combat during Oblivion.
In elder Scrolls almost all factions that have an army are primarily just soldier for example skyrim ancient nords had men that fight with iron or steel in the old way and battle mages are the same except they have the privelige to be trained in magic same concept with the imperials and cyrodill in the oblivion crisis...the concept of a battlemage would be the equivelent of a knight in medieval times in that they hold status and some become apart of a royal court...mages i think are more associated with magic in other fields such as alteration or illusion and the place of these people in a civilization...would be more toward schools guilds court advisors as mages are a rarity...magic in ES is not taught to the masses hence those with coin have the opportunity to be better trained in the art of combat magic or not much like a squire aspiring to become a knight...daedric is pretty much the same only just another world with soldiers and the princes with all the power...then you get a mix but i wouldnt call it a class in its own like spellsword...warriors are strong in battle with metal, battlemage is a mix of battle with metal and being trained in magic for the purpose of fighting and *destroying the enemy...if you know only magic youd be a mage and not a battlemage because your not trained for battle(gandalf/sauruman) wizard and mage are pretty much the same just depends on status...if you have no skills other than meddling in the dark arts you would be a follower of that art or a conjurer just because you use a particular spell doesnt make it a class as its apart of an*art destruction/alteration etc combining arts makes classes with basic names for their skills yet their called somthing else by status example a battlemage/mage can be a monk much like the monks of feudal japan but spirituality instead of magic...most from ES is from our world with a touch of fantacy just look at the similarities same goes for LOTR.
I think people are seeing Magic as the defining factor to differentiate a Battlemage and a Spellsword. In truth they both are highly adept at it, different schools. The difference lies in their melee capability. Battlemages are sturdier on that account and can supplement the main army with magic right along side of it. Spellswords, however are lightly armored in comparison, they remind me a lot of skirmishers, or scouts/rangers with heavy ephasis on magic and close combat, they have higher movility and can close in and retreat fast. As for actual weapons, meh they can use whatever. Neither of those classes can achieve the height of a pure melee or magic-user in their respective skills (makes things unbalanced after all :P), but the point is in it's hybridization, and taking advantage of such, which happens to be a big one.
A spellsword is going to be quick on their feet and stealthy before being a mage, because of their limited magicka resources, while a battlemage is more a mage than a warrior, but is slower because of the heavy armor.