1. Welcome to Skyrim Forums. You totally should register so you can experience everything our community offers. We have various resources related to Skyrim which include a massive array of Guides and Tutorials. If you're here just for the discussion you can check out our General Skyrim Discussion section or if you're here for help you can check out our Skyrim Help section. We also have the latest Skyrim News and fun stuff like Roleplaying and even a Skyrim Fan Fiction section!

    Are you here to discuss Dawnguard? You may discuss it by signing up and checking out this section.

    So if you love Skyrim you should join for sure. Click the 'Sign Up' button on the right to register your account. You can register with your Facebook or Steam account.

Becoming A Master Of Skyrim - 10 Things You Need To Know

Discussion in 'Skyrim Articles' started by The Balance, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. The Balance

    The Balance Own Face.

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Messages:
    97
    Reputation:
    18
    Most of us have probably suffered from Skyrim burnout somewhere over the past few months since its release. Personally, I didn't touch the game for most of the past two months, but picked it up recently in order to explore the final frontier (of sorts): The Master difficulty setting.

    I've played through the game a good amount (probably ~100 hours), and have multiple characters over level 30 that range from stealth assassins to front-line melee brawlers and pure mages, so I've got the game play pretty 'mastered' for lack of a better word. I know how to abuse the AI into wandering aimlessly as I tear it apart, and I can keep myself relatively safe from enemies by utilizing crowd control spells (illusion) and dodging techniques. At least, that's what I thought going into it.

    Master isn't so much of a game as it is an exercise in endurance and patience. I couldn't tell you the last time I died playing Skyrim prior to raising the difficulty. Even when I started playing the game for the first time, it wasn't very often (save a wandering giant or poor placement in a room of enemies). During my master play through, I died more in the first thirty minutes than I did throughout all of my other campaigns. I went back, loaded up the save files, and checked.

    slide.jpg
    I was dead as soon as the game registered this hit.
    (For the record, I rushed through the intro and went straight to bleak falls barrow).

    It's with these lessons learned that I provide this very general list of ten things that every player, regardless of their character's specialties, needs to know when playing on the highest difficulty Skyrim has to offer.

    1 - Melee is a dance of timing. If you misstep, you die. Blocks need to be spot on, and dodging blows either by sprinting past an enemy, or sidestepping them, need to be clean and crisp. As with every lesson you'll learn, painfully, while playing on the Master setting - practice makes perfect.

    2 - Enemies will regularly execute you if you remain in melee range at low health - no blocking, no dodging, no amazing armor to protect you. If you stick around with less than 30% of your health remaining, you're asking to get killed. I estimate enemies probably have a 25% chance to do this every swing when your health is low. I've looked for exact numbers to no avail - if you have or can provide me with a source of that info, I'll gladly post it here.

    3 - Your current level is the most important tool you possess. That sounds kind of odd, but enemies grow in power SIGNIFICANTLY every time your character advances a level. Keep this in mind when selecting worthless perks and crafting.

    4 - Don't even CONSIDER crafting, or any thing else that raises any skill not directly combat-oriented until level 25. I'm sure I'll get a comment/death threat from someone who thinks that just because they can power level smithing and enchanting to 100 means they should do it. Yeah, you'll have cool and useful gear - but no skills or perks to use it with. As a result, your enemies (which will also get access to your new gear since you leveled up so much) will one shot you since you concentrated on crafting for 20 levels, and they concentrated on combat.

    5 - Damage is king. The ability to kill enemies quickly (quickly is a very loose term on the master setting, as everything has tremendous amounts of health) greatly outweighs your ability to sit there and take an extra hit in melee, or an extra spell from a mage. Concentrate your first 15 or so levels exclusively on dealing damage, and/or maintaining your ability to do damage throughout a fight.

    Like what you've read so far? Click Here to continue onto The Balance and continue reading the remaining five points!
    Latest Given Reputation Points:
    Rayven: 6 Points (Thank you for your article!) Mar 4, 2012
    kirak95197: 1 Point Mar 22, 2012
    John Dubose: 1 Point (great) Jan 31, 2013
    • Informative Informative x 7
    • Like Like x 5
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  2. Pete

    Pete Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    486
    Location:
    Phila
    Reputation:
    46
    I've been playing a thief on master from the start. The initial battles at Helgen were very dangerous. Your points about melee combat are spot on. Since many of the activities of a thief don't rely on direct combat, I was able to work my way up to level 35 without too much difficulty.

    HOWEVER, the other day I met a bounty hunter and he took me down in 5 seconds flat. He was well armored and using a two handed weapon. He couldn't run worth a damn with all that armor; so the next time I saw him I ran like hell! I have just been reminded that I'm not a warrior!

    With that said, I found that the proper use of skills, potions, magic and shouts is a must. In this case I found that using various combinations works very, very well. For example: duel wield and elemental fury.

    You must respect your characters skill set. It's important to discover (and experiment with) the best ways your character can take out and avoid enemies. Near vs. Far, Groups vs Individuals. Like you said, choose perks wisely. Choose ones that you use day in and out to survive.

    Sizing up situations is very important - I had no problem leaving a dungeon that was too deadly. Save it for later!
  3. Zoa Two Tails

    Zoa Two Tails Cloak and Dagger Artist

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2012
    Messages:
    256
    Reputation:
    9
    Mster difficulty is much easier with a mehrunes razor in the hand or windshear to knock people down but this is a challenging game and I havent played anything else for about 3 months
  4. Oren74

    Oren74 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Messages:
    210
    Reputation:
    2
    Can not disagree with #4 & #5 more.

    First - Crafting (Smithing and Enchanting) are so overpowered...it's worth it to casually grow those.

    I probably wouldn't put perks into Enchanting right away, but definately heavy or light armor.

    What better damage weapon can you find than what you can craft with a +10 fire enchantment, and a some sharpening? Also, you can really pump up your armor with a crafted set. As soon as I hit dwarven with my first character, the game got extremely easy...now, I don't crafted with my character just to make it more challenging.

    #5 - First 15 levels on doing damage? If you got 1H to level 40, there are only 4 or 5 perks that significantly influence damage delt. What should you do with the other 10 perks? If you meant "don't powerlevel restoration or speech" well yeah, but then again, don't powerlevel anything at anytime.
  5. The Balance

    The Balance Own Face.

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Messages:
    97
    Reputation:
    18
    First 15 perks:

    3-4 in one or two hand
    2-3 in illusion
    2-3 in destruction
    2-3 in conjuration

    see where I'm going? Versatility is key, not necessarily min/maxing one damage type.
  6. Icy Seeker

    Icy Seeker Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2011
    Messages:
    126
    Reputation:
    2
    I play most of my characters in Master so I'm used to it. But going from easy to master you can see the difference. Currently I've been experimenting with restrictions in order to not be bored. o_O
    • Like Like x 1
    ReaperEOD likes this.
  7. ReaperEOD

    ReaperEOD Dragonborn of the planet and element Earth.

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    USA: Grain Valley, Missouri
    Reputation:
    16
    I'll be working on an article for players who have mastered master. I haven't played on anything but master since day one, except the one time where I felt like it wasn't working, turned it to novice to see if it made a difference, then turned it back to master lol. xD

    As my character that I'm testing with it stands now, he's pretty well a blank slate, 3/5 Juggernaut in heavy armor, 0 perks in anything else at level 28. I'm really hoping for a challenge late game by not overpowering my character. Once I get leveled up I'll let you know how it goes. =)
    • Like Like x 1
    Icy Seeker likes this.
  8. Stone

    Stone Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2011
    Messages:
    826
    Location:
    United Kingdom.
    Reputation:
    52
    Nice article, Balance. :)
  9. The Balance

    The Balance Own Face.

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Messages:
    97
    Reputation:
    18
    Thanks all - It seems I'm going to have to do a followup on this much debated-article. Lots of new info and insight about how people play the game and what they do on higher difficulties!
  10. Xena-Dhovakiin

    Xena-Dhovakiin New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Rayton Gauteng South Africa
    Reputation:
    0
    Hi. Was a Oblivion player since its concept and never exceeded level 23 because at that level most of the armour and weapons were available and nobody too strong.
    Skyrim I remain level 25 and ignore the upgrade signals.
    I play different female Avatars by saving the last episode of each. I pre4fer the Imperial because she is rather pretty and have good curves. I play 1280x720. Do not know at which stage glass armour becomes available but no hurry. Let alone Ebony armour. I actually stay with light armour Leather it is nice and strong enough. By enchanting I make it more durable and pricey. I use two handed swords and axes. One handed when healing becomes necessary or magic is needed. I let no attribute exced 25 if necessary. Bows are well placed to stay away from ruff characters if needed. Thanks for the tips on master is appreciated. keep mastering. I use a PS3 no cheats or mods or nudes ;) . Joachim
  11. SkinnedLikeScum

    SkinnedLikeScum Dragon Slayer

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Messages:
    142
    Reputation:
    8
    Good Tips, i just like to add that i believe Illusion, Restoration, and Alchemy are some of the best survival skills for Master Difficulty.

    Why Illusion? You can drastically change a out come of a dungeon or hard battle. With the ability to make your enemies attack one another, run away, or become non-hostile. You can make yourself invisible and more silent through the spells of illusion. Also the ability to make your casting quite. I find this most valuable to a mage and assassin types.

    Why Restoration? The ability to heal! Not only hp but stamina as well. Another big bonus being my favorite is the avoid death perk, at level 90 you can auto-heal yourself 250hp when you fall below 10% hp. (Still possible to die though, say your at 13% hp left and hit by a heavy handed warrior who consumed the last 13% or had a cinematic execution, you got toasted!) I find most valuable to all classes, warrior, mage, and assassin. Everyone needs to heal, avoid death never hurts and stamina healing for warriors and assassins.

    Why Alchemy? Simple, with a few right placed perks in here you can make the best of Health, Mana, and Stamina potions. Also not to neglect to mention invisibility potions, and paralysis potions. Also the strong potent poisons which can make a vast differences from arrow shooting a chief bandit and getting detected, to arrow shooting a chief bandit and dropping him dead. I like this for assassins and warriors.

    Over all i give alchemy the number one though, Due to it substitutes for restoration and illusion and all classes can use this. Not so much a mage though because a mage will have both illusion and restoration more then likely unless you choose other-wise. Alchemy covers restoration with the healing potions. Covers illusion with invisibility & muffle. Covers Alteration with paralysis. Then a benefit of extra damage due to poisons. Best is it costs no stats to magika as the illusion and restoration for you assassins and warriors out there. Also leaves a second hand open for what ever you wish.
    • Like Like x 1
    Pete likes this.
  12. The Balance

    The Balance Own Face.

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Messages:
    97
    Reputation:
    18
    Alchemy - I guess it's just so frustrating for me in-game having to mix and match/gather ingredients and randomly combine them. I really hate how they implemented it, it seems like they tried to go 'realistic' and it just went over the top.
  13. Pete

    Pete Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    486
    Location:
    Phila
    Reputation:
    46
    Totally agree. I'm currently playing an imperial vampire on master. I'm currently level 25. Still get owned by baddies if I'm not careful. Well, I know that vampires get an illusion boost, so; I made sure not to neglect that schools perks.

    I've used illusion spells to:
    • Calm NPCs to sleep for feeding
    • Calm door sentries and walk right by
    • Calm some members of groups so I'm not overwhelmed
    • Fury for groups to widdle them down
    • Muffle for sneak sneak attacks and feeding
    • Courage for my follower
    I find that dual casting illusion is a must to get the power on higher level enemies.
    • Like Like x 1
    SkinnedLikeScum likes this.
  14. SkinnedLikeScum

    SkinnedLikeScum Dragon Slayer

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Messages:
    142
    Reputation:
    8
    Not quite sure what you mean but mix matching can be tough but we have internet! Click here a nice engine with all the ingredients mark off the box of what ingredients you have and it will show you a list of every possible potion you can create, listed by most expensive in gold and xp to least. Click here and find yourself at a list of all ingredients locations or best ways to find them, and their rarity. :) Hopefully this helps you out and gets you into the alchemy one day.
  15. Skullrattla

    Skullrattla Button Pusher

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    855
    Reputation:
    10
    Good stuff, but I disagree with the use of the forum to attract hits to your site, and assigning the entire Illusion perk tree (minus one perk) to the "useless" category.

Share This Page