Smithing perks don't really seem that relevant

On my latest warrior-style playthrough, I was determined not to break my game by abusing crafting too much.  I did lots of smithing when I had materials, but didn't power level anything.  The only perks I took were Steel, since it went well with my Nord warrior, and Arcane, so I could smith any good found items.  Many times, I was tempted to drop some perks into the Heavy tree, but then I realized I was really getting into the joy of discovery when new bits of armor and weapons came up as loot.  I remember from other playthroughs that Smithing perks took all that away since you could just make anything you wanted.

Anyway, the point of all this is, I smithed a set of steel armor earlier today and after upgrading it to Legendary, the set brought my armor rating to 560+ (with 70 smithing and some enhanced smithing gear I found).  Isn't that rating right around the soft cap threshold?  If so, does this mean that I can't get any more protection by creating higher grade armors?  And if that's also true, then is the point of creating Daedric or Dragon armors just aesthetic?


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Last updated July 4, 2018 Views 5 Applies to:

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All I can say is that just yesterday, with armor rated at 1235, I had a Vampire Lord on Solstheim just about take me totally out with one flaming explosion. A little more than half my health went away after one attack. It was a trial run of new armor and weapon so I didn't defend myself for his first attack. Where did you find that info about armor rating? If what your saying is true then there is no reason for me to keep trying to up my armor rating. At present I can take arrows and swords without much worry. Reaver Lords wielding 2 handed still do a lot of damage. That is only when I tank with them using my new 2 enchantment Daedric Sword. Most are going down with one hit but there are a few still that need 2-3 whacks.

You can't make armor without the relevant perk and it improves better sooner with the perk. I wish the arcane armor perk was available sooner. By the time I have 60 in smithing I can make and improve better armor than I'm finding and I seldom find anything with an enchantment I can't add myself. I had a good Soul Trap bow I would have kept if I could have improved it but since I still haven't reached 60 in smithing (I'm not trying very hard) I made a new one that I could improve to epic before I added the enchantment. There's no good reason for that perk not to be available sooner like level 40 instead of 60.

@ Angelus - You should be able to read all the details here:

I think the reason you took so much damage is because this cap only covers physical defense.  You were hit with elemental or magic, in which case you need to have enchanted gear to protect you.  On my heavy armor build I make sure to use the dragon mask "Otar" because in addition to the heavy armor protection, it gives you an additional 30% protection from fire, frost, and shock.

@ Lady Bastet - your point about the perks is a good one.  While in the long run, you don't need the perks to max your protection, they do enable you to get better armor at an earlier point in the game.  If you focus only on smithing for your first half dozen levels, you'll be able to have better gear than you'd normally have at that level. 

Considering the number of perks you end up with overall, it's certainly not a waste.  I've got 6 perks that I haven't even used, which could have unlocked better armor early on.  But I'm glad I saved them, since I'm getting maximum protection without them.

So, that makes better sense now. I only use 3 pieces of the 5 that could be used and I use a health regen but no magic protection. Good thing I have that 2 enchant perk. I'll go back and redesign my armor. That's a lot of info to digest but I think I've been at the cap for quite some time. Even using just the 3 pieces. I have my smithing back up to 100 after taking the legendary option. Working on Archery right now for the second time along with lockpicking and sneak. I swear the points take longer the second time around though. Probably my imagination. I dropped all my points into magic stuff. I'm seriously thinking about taking ChainSmokingBobs advice. I'm stockpiling resources and going to do smithing again.

Angelus, if you have a decent mana pool and steadfast ward then equip that to your off hand (assuming you have an off hand) since wards protect against magic. In fact even the lesser ward is effective against dragons breath attacks. Wards are useless against physical damage though so then your armor helps.

Thanks! I just made me a new Dragonscale set. You can't put Magic protection on armor. Only on jewelry. So I'll have to come up with a necklace or something. Since I do have Otar I might just start carrying that around. Maybe I'll get some heavy armor skill out of it.

Since I really do the sneaky archer person, it will probably take me awhile. I have rings for everything else. Now I can carry a lot of junk and be stealthy at the same time with boosts to archery and conjuring. Pretty weird though since I read that chart I'm satisfied with 1100+ on my armor. I'll have to practice with that Ebony ward till I get it down right. I also try to keep my mana pool even across the board. 340-360-350 with the next one going to magika. Still I'm a force to be reckoned with even when I get excited and forget to potion up or put the right amulet on.

You sound like me. I keep rings for everything I might want " just in case".  I, too, get too wound up and forget the accessories or fail to notice the need for a potion. I am most astonished when I suddenly die. That's one reason I tend to use some exploits. I can double enchant and get free destruction with just 2 or 3 pieces and so can keep things like fortify carry and waterbreathing always on and carry an extra bit of help for sneak or archery or lockpicking again, just in case.

I'm the same way with rings and necklaces.  I really wish the game had two categories, one for armor and one for accessories.  Angelus, if I could make a suggestion...use the double enchant to make one necklace/ring for Frost & Fire protection, and another for Shock & Magic protection.  I've done this on really high difficulty settings to cover all my bases, whether going up against a dragon or a mage.  Dragons are usually firing frost or fire, and mages can be any of them.  Another one that gets overlooked is poison protection.  On my new playthrough I'm still looking for a disease/poison piece.  Got savaged by a bunch of chaurus.  It's amazing how fast that acts after you get poisoned.  Although if you're using Otar, that gives you 30% against three of the four.  It's a great mask.  I smithed mine with Ebony, so it goes with my heavy armor build.

As soon as I can double enchant I make a set of boots with fire/frost resistence. I haven't much bothered with poison or disease resistence. I take a potion to overcome Chaurus (I hate those things) and magic resistence or disease resistence never seems like it is worth the slot. I always keep a couple of cure disease potions and always check my active effects after I run into vampires since I don't always notice the you're sick announcement.

Yeah, I got into the habit of just having a bunch of cure disease potions on me at all time.

Handy to do if you aren't playing a disease resistant race, and vampires become a bother.

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