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  • I've been playing on Adept so far, and I would like to try playing on Legendary. I have about 700 hours of play time, and it cannot be denied, I simply suck at this game. Everyone says it's so easy, but I just can't do it. I could get killed by a darned Sabre Cat. Maybe even a bear. A frostbite spider.

    Magic I have tried, but I don't find it either fun or effective. Thief? Doesn't work well in combat. Archer? I'm a terrible aimer.

    What seems to work best for me are weapons. Two handed... Don't find it that fun. Besides, if you have two weapons, you can enchant both of them. But if you use one, that means only one enchantement.

    My favourite plays are Dual Wielding and Shield+weapon. But which one is most effective?

    Dual wielding: Deals most damage, but can't block. I die very quickly using this.

    Shield: Greater survivability, but awfully slow damage. I've tried block+bash+strike, but it takes ages, and also works horrible in battles with more than one monster.

    I guess Dual Wielding would work better for me, since I'll be going with light armor and the best shields would be heavy armor. With enchantement Fortify One-Handed I would deal TONS of damage in Dual Wield. What's the point with bonus armor, if there is a cap anyways? Though Shields are good early game. What's best for the long-run?

    So which one is best? I don't want that "Personal preference" but I want to know which one is actually best.

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    • ShadowMistress2
      ShadowMistress2 removed this reply because:
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      21:41, October 27, 2014
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    • Point #1-Armour cap is 587. Put some time into Smithing and make/improve your own gear. My heavy armor is at 70 and with Legendary Daedric armour I have over a 600 armour rating. My lengenday Daedric Greatsword is rated just over 100, Most things die in 1 or 2 hits. Including giants.

      Point #2-You can achieve the armor cap with light armor, but you need some good enchanted smithing gear and potions to do it. I used the Steed Stone early so my heavy armor didn't slow me down.

      Point #3-Get yourself a good follower. Lydia is good. Keep her geared up good as well.

      Point #4-If you really want to go dual weld, don't do it right away because you can't block. Use a  shield till your 1 handed skill is pretty high, and your armour of choice is high. Then switch. 

      Point #5- You can not effectively rush through combat in this game. You need to be patient or you will die, A LOT. The block, bash, hit, repeat is the only way to fight, get used to it. 

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    • Block+bash+strike isn't the problem, the problem is having the right shield, which I ideally recommend to be Spellbreaker in the long run, due to its built-in Ward that evens the playing field against mages while still being effective against conventional enemies, though there are plenty of other options including Dawnguard Rune Shield, Dragonplate Shield, and Dragonscale Shield. I generally recommend swords under most circumstances, because there are so many options for unique weapons, though all One-Handed weapons are viable. Any combination of Dragonbane, Chillrend, Dawnbreaker, Eduj, Okin, Dawnguard Rune Axe, Mace of Molag Bal, and Dragonbone Weapons pretty much cover all types of enemies, with Dragonbane and Spellbreaker dealing with dragons, Dawnbreaker or Dawnguard Rune Axe and Spellbreaker or Dawnguard Rune Shield dealing with undead, and Mace of Molag Bal, Chillrend, Eduj, Okin, or Dragonbone Weapons and Spellbreaker, Dragonplate Shield, or Dragonscale Shield dealing with most other types of enemies.

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    • I go destruction+enchanting+one handed+heavy armor

      Enchanting allows you to make OP weapons and armor. For example: If you level encahnting to 100 (enchanting anything with any soul gems you find well raise your level similarly) and destruction to 60 (and take the elemental perks of two elements) you can make a weapon that deals 100+ elemental damage per hit (50 fire and 50 shock, for example) by level 30 of the game or even earlier. If you have dragonborn expansion and learned the chaos damage enchantment you can make a weapon that deals 500+ damage per hit.

      If you enchant 4 armor pieces with fortify destruction at level 100 enchanting, you will be able to cast all destruction spells for free (even master level spells) and your weapon will never run out of charge.

      Get the Sanguine Rose, the summoned dremora will level up with you and he can tank all the damage for you and you can blast away everyone with destruction spells without ever being harmed.

      I was playing at expert difficulty until I got 100 enchanting, then the game became so easy that I changed the difficulty to Legendary and finished all the main quests in my first try. (Except for the final boss of Dragonborn expansion which took me 2 tries).

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    • I don't use the Sanguine Rose much, the only times I have ever really bothered to use it were against Ancano during The Eye of Magnus quest, the Unbound Dremora during the Conjuration Ritual Spell, and in Azura's Star during The Black Star quest, but it is a nice ace in the hole to have. I probably should give the Sanguine Rose a try against Malkoran during The Break of Dawn quest and during The Only Cure quest on my next playthrough, since they are also tough quests.

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    • 142.59.214.58 wrote:
      Point #1-Armour cap is 587. Put some time into Smithing and make/improve your own gear. My heavy armor is at 70 and with Legendary Daedric armour I have over a 600 armour rating. My lengenday Daedric Greatsword is rated just over 100, Most things die in 1 or 2 hits. Including giants.

      Point #2-You can achieve the armor cap with light armor, but you need some good enchanted smithing gear and potions to do it. I used the Steed Stone early so my heavy armor didn't slow me down.

      Point #3-Get yourself a good follower. Lydia is good. Keep her geared up good as well.

      Point #4-If you really want to go dual weld, don't do it right away because you can't block. Use a  shield till your 1 handed skill is pretty high, and your armour of choice is high. Then switch. 

      Point #5- You can not effectively rush through combat in this game. You need to be patient or you will die, A LOT. The block, bash, hit, repeat is the only way to fight, get used to it. 

      Do I really need to use a shield before switching to dual wield though? I was planning on hitting Hadvar until I get a high enough skill.

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    • Yep, go smithing, alchemy and enchanting. Very soon, a one handed sword you use can pull 1000s of damage.

      At that time, you'll realize sword and shield combat becomes ridiculously effective.

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    • Datadragon Odahviing wrote:
      Yep, go smithing, alchemy and enchanting. Very soon, a one handed sword you use can pull 1000s of damage.

      At that time, you'll realize sword and shield combat becomes ridiculously effective.

      Mm, yes, that makes sense. While 2 weapons would deal twice as much damage, maybe it would be unnecessary.

      I'm going to go with shield then, perhaps.

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    • The dual weilding technique is very effective if heavy armor is used, and you up both health and stamina pretty evenly during the early game when you level up quickly. Placing the correct perks in heavy armour also makes light armour relativly useless due to the fact that weight doesnt stay a problem. The Daedric Sword/Axe of the Vampire + Mace of Molag Bol is one of the most effective combination in vanilla Skyrim, while Dragonbone Sword of the Vampire + Mace of Molag Bol in the DLC completed game. With proper leveling of skills and proper perks, you can kill most things with a good power attack, fill a soulgem, and gain massive amounts of health before most enemies can strike. If it is to late for this and you dont plan on restarting, the Spellbreaker Sheild with either a leveled Chillrend, Dragonbane, or prefered weapon material sword. Both have advantages and disadvantages. It's ultimatly up to you to chose your class.

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    • With my 2 handed heavy Nord I use Fire Breath on mages. Those that don't get incinerated get knocked back and staggered, by the time they get up I am on them and swinging. It also helps to have a nice bow to snipe them too.

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    • TheCompanionChaboi wrote:
      The dual weilding technique is very effective if heavy armor is used, and you up both health and stamina pretty evenly during the early game when you level up quickly. Placing the correct perks in heavy armour also makes light armour relativly useless due to the fact that weight doesnt stay a problem. The Daedric Sword/Axe of the Vampire + Mace of Molag Bol is one of the most effective combination in vanilla Skyrim, while Dragonbone Sword of the Vampire + Mace of Molag Bol in the DLC completed game. With proper leveling of skills and proper perks, you can kill most things with a good power attack, fill a soulgem, and gain massive amounts of health before most enemies can strike. If it is to late for this and you dont plan on restarting, the Spellbreaker Sheild with either a leveled Chillrend, Dragonbane, or prefered weapon material sword. Both have advantages and disadvantages. It's ultimatly up to you to chose your class.

      Light armor has it's advantages, for example, it gets much faster stamina regeneration, which is good for power attacking.

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    • True i guess i never noticed due to my 100% faster stamina regen on my equipment :P

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    • I'm probably too late but here goes. 

      I enjoy both styles. Depends on my character really. The warrior build is by far the simplest play style although it still has its draw backs. Your choice of race makes a big impact on your play style if you are having trouble. 

      Dual Wielding is offensive. Strike hard and fast and build up your one handed perks. Out manoeuvring is easier with light armour and your stamina replenishes at a higher rate. I also mix this style with sneaking and a bow to soften up any targets before closing in. Also Elemental Fury is really effective as long as your weapons are not enchanted. 

      Single weapon and shield is defensive. This is about not getting out manoevred. Unrelenting force can help with keeping groups of faster enemies at bay or breaking the guard of tougher foes. You will want to invest in Block perks early on and get Shield Bash and Power Bash, basically turning your sheild into a weapon too. The Disarm shout can also help at early levels, especially if you can steal you opponents weapon off the floor. Any Shout that slows others down will help as will poisons that do the same. 

      As for race an Orc's Beserk Rage will help you take on a group with either style and is still effective at higher levels. A Nord's War Cry can help buy you sometime to heal or find a better position in a fight. A Redguards Adrenaline Rush give you that Stamina that every warrior needs. These are you three best choices for the warrior style. A Wood Elf tank is possible although a greater challenge.

      Hope this helps. 

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    • The challenge with Skyrim is not beating Skyrim. It's manufacturing a fun, challenging and effective play style. Any build becomes dominant eventually with enchanting, smithing and armor. But personally I find all three of those things boring.

      My favorite so far is 4 skill melee: one-handed, archery, block, and sneak (mainly for bonus arrow dmg). No smithing, no enchanting, no armor. This is fun because every aspect of your strategy is active and requires your full attention. You have to combine your fast speed + shield for survival, one handed and archery are effective even without enhancements, while sneak enhances both and adds some fun. It's just as fun and effective first hour of play as end-game.

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    • I play a combo warrior/thief/assassin character, rarely do I use magic and never shields. I usually play on Novice till I have levelled up enough to not get easily killed by a wolf or a bear. Then I adjust it accordingly, for instance when I can kill an enemy with one shot with a bow it is time to take it up a notch for more challenge. I use bows, dual-wield swords, and light armor, preferably thieves guild or blackguards armor. I am a practical player and I like to combine my armour rather than wear one complete set, so I'll wear the Thieves guild or Blackguard cuirass with the Shrouded boots or Nightingale boots and Nightingale gloves and the Krosis dragon mask.

      Smithing, enchanting and alchemy are great for making more powerful weapons, get the dual enchantment perk and lay 2 enchantments on each sword - talk about awesome. Also make your fortify smithing potions and enchant a set of clothes or armour for smithing and alchemy and watch how high that damage can get when you improve your weapons and armor or make more powerful potions with more punch to them.

      Skyrim was the first game I played on xbox, it was a little difficult to learn the game and the controller at the same time, but yeah, it is an easy game. sometimes challenging, like when I tackled the spriggans at the gildergleam tree at level 6 or so, I died so many times before I relented and set it to Novice. 

      Best advice? Find what works for you and have fun.

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    • Dispatchergir1 wrote:
      I play a combo warrior/thief/assassin character, rarely do I use magic and never shields. I usually play on Novice till I have levelled up enough to not get easily killed by a wolf or a bear. Then I adjust it accordingly, for instance...

      Getting killed by a bear or wolf shouldn't really happen... Do you have a follower, and use your shouts a lot? The unrelenting force is a really good shout to gain some time to strike the enemy without getting hit. And if you're on top of a hill, you can shout them off and they will be dead instantly. Make sure to also take advantage of your surroundings if you're about to die. If you're near a cliff, climb the wall. Bears and wolves won't be able to follow you and then you can just sit there and shoot them with arrows or magic :D This has helped me out a lot, hope it helps you a bit too!

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    • Kaztaani wrote:
      Getting killed by a bear or wolf shouldn't really happen... Do you have a follower, and use your shouts a lot? The unrelenting force is a really good shout to gain some time to strike the enemy without getting hit. And if you're on...

      I was referring to those first few levels when your weapons and armour are pitiful and your health is low and you don't have any shouts yet and no potions and gold is precious. Sadly I have found myself killed by wolves, bears or various other creatures while being alarmingly weak. 

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    • with duel wield you can put absorb health on both weapons and just spam maybe absorb stamina as well if you have that it will be tough to die

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    • I myself am a dual wielding sword user. I have 573 hours in the game and absolutely recomentld using HA and dual swords. The armor helps in defence while the swords attack is best. And when attacking giants I don't recomend legendary unless u chug down alot of fortify health and healing potions.

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    • pitifully enough I have found myself killed at level 37 while running around with close wounds and equilibrium while getting my rejuvination up by a bear, also, I'd reccomend a shield and sword for the safest gameplay, switch sword out for spells when needed (healing or whatever)

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    • HONESTLY! I one shot almost everything in the game, excluding Mammoths, Dragons and Draugr DeathLords. (Oh My) With 2 Ebony Daggers while on sneak mode and I'm never usually detected for the most part. Combat with multiple enemies tends to work well for me with my two daggers and perks wether I'm in sneak mode or not.

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    • im a little disappointed in this thread. Conjuration in the build youre looking for. i play a conuration mage, augmented with restoration and alteration. i conjure my armor, then conjure myself some swords and start taking enemies to pound town. bound swords get bonuses from both one handed and conjuration, and you have the choice to step back and summon adds (either to tank the boss or to deal with a boss's adds, or buy you time to heal and rebuff) there is no follower or summon or dead thrall or atronach or summon that beats dremora lord in tankiness, damage output, or sassy quips. i also play with the Conjuration Overhaul mod, which takes an already viable build and makes it even more so, to the point of being OP. you can use bows, swords or 2 handers, depending on how the situation requires, or summon waves of disposable minions. Bound swords wiegh nothing, (which means they require less stamina to power attack), and can benefit from elemental fury. there is no mob, boss or encounter you cant defeat with some clever thinking and a few disposable minions.  

      TL;DR Conjuration is love, Conjuration is the death of your enemies.

      Start with 100 points of Conjuration. Mix in Two Dremora Lords, a teaspoon of restoration and alteration and bake your enemies at 435 degrees of OP for 500 hours of play time and enjoyment.

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    • step 1) compleate Dark Brotherhood questline and get Windshear (or whatever that scimitar name)

      step 2) invest some time and free perks to your alchemy and smithing tree. Upgrade your Windshear to most of what you can. Make lot of potion from: imp stool, human flash and crimsom nirnroot. (after this you could make your smithink and alchemy legendary and reinvest your skillpoints. ;) )

      step 3) poison your upgraded windshear.

      step 4) Make fun! ;)

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    • Cant conjure Armor, and Wrathman summon has double the health of a dremora lord, therefore making it more of a tank, so i'm not sure what that guy is talking about.

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    • That guy must have been playing Oblivion for a while.

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    • My current build is working out pretty well for me, considering I play on Legendary and can kill a legendary dragon in two hits.

      Dual wielding Stalhrim War Axes, which do a total of 3897 base damage, with Chaos damage at 314 each, and Fiery Soul Trap doing another 50 each. Deathbrand Armor that - admittedly redundantly - well exceeds the armor cap, plus the Amulet of Articulation (from completing the Thieves Guild) and the Ring of the Beast (from a side quest from the Volkihar side of Dawnguard). To be fair, though, I've maxed out all but four skills, and I'm level 177. So I'm pretty tough to kill.


      Also, I did kinda use some loopholes to get my damage, armor, and enchantments to be so powerful. After maxing each of the skills, I used the Fortify Restoration Potion Loop thing to make some insane potions to help out with that. Seriously, it's the best thing ever. It pretty much makes armor, weapon, enchanting, and alchemy skill levelling ppointless.

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    • I misunderstood the title, I thought it said you wanted to dual wield shields. You could've been invincible if that was possible. XD

      I never understand how people can say magic is not effective/fun. It has tons of variety and using certain combinations can achieve a greater/interesting effect, lots of things to figure out and try. You could kill almost anything without being damaged because you don't need to approach them to kill them. I beat The Ebony Warrior once by chain locking him with fireballs each time he tries to get up (fireballs are like Unrelenting Force but with way faster recharge and more damage). Then beat him again using conjured creatures to tank damage for me while I shoot him, no damage again. I could list down other ways you could beat him easily using magic. When it comes to melee, you are surely going to be up close with the enemy and take damage and highly likely die, it takes more effort to be close enough to hit the enemy but far enough to be able to dodge effectively. The danger of using melee is multiplied by the amount of enemies surrounding you in close proximity at the same time, you wouldn't have this problem using ranged attacks/magic, and since you need to approach an enemy to engage it, getting yourself surrounded happens often with melee users. Needing to walk to something before you could even engage it in a fight already makes melee inferior and tedious to use, while magic can have you kill enemies before they get close or even as soon as you see them and they don't know you are there. Melee is also very boring since all you do is hack and slash, maybe dodge every once in a while. Melee is so basic it's what Meeko and other lesser creatures like skeevers use, and that is why they are easy to crush. Every time I hear someone doing badly in a game, they are often melee users (can't be sure if it's because melee is more popular or less effective). In addition, melee is pretty hypocritical, people are rarely pure melee. Most games have melee weapons imbued with magical enchantments, then Skyrim has shouts which is practically magic too. It's never just plain melee, so I really don't get how melee is preferred by most people and magic is often "disregarded".

      Anyway, to get back on the melee topic. I still carry weapons as a mage because why not? I chose dual wielded swords because it just kills fast and it does have multiple enchantments that better help you. Shields are too clunky, they can block a portion of your view and it doesn't seem necessary if you are good at dodging (you should be since it's important for any build in any game). Try to always get to high ground, especially if you could get surrounded, it's possible to find spots where you could attack enemies while they can barely reach you.

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    • i personally find that dual weilding a weapon and a healing spell works very well for me, but it may or may not for you

      i wanna say though, there's no shame in getting killed by a saber or bear ESPECIALY bears, bears in skyrim are often regarded as being ridiculously overpowered, and saber cats can be pretty troublesome, so dying to one isn't something you should be ashamed of.

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    • In the early game dual wielding can increase damage massively but you MUST pick the correct perks, Dual Flurry 2/2, Armsman 5/5 and Dual Savagery 1/1 are the essentials. On the swords themselves, just try to smith Daedric or Dragonbone to godly levels or get Soulrender and Bloodscythe and use them with the Deathbrand armour.

      Shields can be very effective late game but are underpowered early game. The most important perks are Shield Charge 1/1, Block Runner 1/1 and Shield Wall 5/5. On the shields themselves, without a doubt get Spellbreaker. No other shield comes close, armour ratings on shields is barely important but the ward effect which Spellbreaker uniquely provides can be constantly refreshed is extremely important, it makes dragons a breeze as dragon breath is technically a spell.

      If your skills are lacking, reflexes, common sense and muscle memory is hard to train but the two best thing you can do for you success in combat is

      1) Learning the AI and attack patterns of every different NPC is very important, allowing you to predict attacks and stop missing power attacks.

      2) Use the sprint function, Bethesda accidentally made you the fastest NPC in the game excepting some passive NPCs. Also an NPC must stop and stand still to attack allowing you to get even further away. Just run away and snipe with a bow if you have trouble with fights.

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    • not trying to be rude, im just gonna say before some a**hole is rude about it, NPC stands for:

      Non

      Player

      Character

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    • Im thinking of doing a different playstyle then I usually do, being a one handed + restoration combat at first but switching to dual weilding a Mace+Dagger combination in the late game, with using a Stalrhim Mace and Dagger with both Chaos Damage and Absorb Health. 

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    • Champion of Hermaeus Mora wrote: In the early game dual wielding can increase damage massively but you MUST pick the correct perks, Dual Flurry 2/2, Armsman 5/5 and Dual Savagery 1/1 are the essentials. On the swords themselves, just try to smith Daedric or Dragonbone to godly levels or get Soulrender and Bloodscythe and use them with the Deathbrand armour.

      Shields can be very effective late game but are underpowered early game. The most important perks are Shield Charge 1/1, Block Runner 1/1 and Shield Wall 5/5. On the shields themselves, without a doubt get Spellbreaker. No other shield comes close, armour ratings on shields is barely important but the ward effect which Spellbreaker uniquely provides can be constantly refreshed is extremely important, it makes dragons a breeze as dragon breath is technically a spell.

      If your skills are lacking, reflexes, common sense and muscle memory is hard to train but the two best thing you can do for you success in combat is

      1) Learning the AI and attack patterns of every different NPC is very important, allowing you to predict attacks and stop missing power attacks.

      2) Use the sprint function, Bethesda accidentally made you the fastest NPC in the game excepting some passive NPCs. Also an NPC must stop and stand still to attack allowing you to get even further away. Just run away and snipe with a bow if you have trouble with fights.

      You can’t possibly learn all of the NPC attacks. They are randomised, under certain circumstances. Yea some charge right st you and other strafe with a bow, but that’s it

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