Bethesda Hates Mages: 12 Reasons Magic in Skyrim Sucks

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Bethesda Hates Mages: 12 Reasons Magic in Skyrim Sucks

From Morrowind to Skyrim, Bethesda has always had it in for casters. It seems a little unfair that melee classes don't need to learn magic, but the inverse is simply not true.

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Surely magic scaled in Morrowind?

I haven't played it for a long time but the higher your destruction the more potent the spell, no?

Magic was flat out broken in the earlier itterations of the game, which is why they removed mysticism & spell crafting from the game. Items like The heavenly dagger would allow the user to fly in the air and bombard their enemy with impunity.

My fondest memory is being the Grand Master of House Tel'Vanni and using the gloves that were given to me by my patron to summon atronachs that laid waste to a city (forget which one) whilst I hovered over head, raining down fireballs.

Good times.

Magic sucks in Skyrim though,I usually default to some kind of stealth based illusion archer.

I have to admit he has a point. I have rogue, warrior, and mage characters in Skyrim and I enjoy them in that order. I will always love being sneaky-stabby, and I get a kick out of being roary-smashy. But the sparky-boomy character was just... sort of tolerated. I didn't hate her, but I didn't feel as excited when I loaded up my High Elf mage character.

Although, I must admit, after my rogue and warrior both died a number of times to Morokei, it was intensely satisfying to walk in, activate Highborn, and hit him in the face with Lightning Storm until he disintegrated.

Since I argued this on your blog, I must agree, I guess. I had a worse time in the first few hours of Skyrim as a mage than I had as a pure stealth user (fuck those distance-activated zombies). I have one question though: I'm someone who mainly likes playing stealth characters, but I found that as soon as I enter melee combat, tits go up pretty rapidly. If I use two weapons, stuff dies quickly, but so do I. If I use a single sword, I can block, but it seems to do very little. Am I playing it wrong?

i have to admit i never ran into this because i only started playing skyrim last summer and the first thing i did was mod the magic system to be good.
damage scales with skill, a shitload of new spells and armor and enchants with +magicdmg.
except that made the game too easy so i had to boost enemy strength, which meant they broke some quests so i had to fix that but by now i heard of another cool mod that gives you a magic castle and like 8 new schools of magic that are different kinds of destruction and interact with each other...
and i spend more time modding the game than playing it. again

Meh...
I play as a Heavy Assault Mage. Enchanted battle armour and axe + summoning weapons and monsters/bodies. Some fire from time to time as well. Most OP solution...
But I do agree that a purely mage choice is... uninspiring in Skyrim

Alleged_Alec:
I'm someone who mainly likes playing stealth characters, but I found that as soon as I enter melee combat, tits go up pretty rapidly. If I use two weapons, stuff dies quickly, but so do I. If I use a single sword, I can block, but it seems to do very little. Am I playing it wrong?

Don't enter melee combat is my advice; use a bow and unlock all the perks -- combined with high-level stealth powers, most enemies in Skyrim die before they even know you're there. As a last ditch defense weapon, get something that can paralyze and you should be okay when facing the exceptions.

Regarding the article, I completely agree. The Elder Scrolls games are one of the few RPGs in which my default character is not a mage. It is just too much hassle for too little reward.

Alleged_Alec:
Since I argued this on your blog, I must agree, I guess. I had a worse time in the first few hours of Skyrim as a mage than I had as a pure stealth user (fuck those distance-activated zombies). I have one question though: I'm someone who mainly likes playing stealth characters, but I found that as soon as I enter melee combat, tits go up pretty rapidly. If I use two weapons, stuff dies quickly, but so do I. If I use a single sword, I can block, but it seems to do very little. Am I playing it wrong?

stealth character? level up your archery and one handed. and either sneak up behind them with a dagger for throat slitting party time or hit them with arrows at range. never go toe to toe and run away when they find you as people have bad memories in skyrim

interesting article and frankly its spot on in its assessment. playing as a mage you find you start off killing pretty quite then there is a sharp spike in difficulty and you are pretty much screwed. illusion magic in skyrim is a different matter with frenzy spells you will be causing the opposition to fight for you and once you have the top illusion spell you cast it twice per level, once when you walk in the door and once when you reach the middle of the level and you will discover exactly one enemy who is injured left alive. with the right perks that spell works against absolutely everything.

so for me skyrim magic was either stupidly underpowered or frankly made the game boring

craddoke:

Alleged_Alec:
I'm someone who mainly likes playing stealth characters, but I found that as soon as I enter melee combat, tits go up pretty rapidly. If I use two weapons, stuff dies quickly, but so do I. If I use a single sword, I can block, but it seems to do very little. Am I playing it wrong?

Don't enter melee combat is my advice; use a bow and unlock all the perks -- combined with high-level stealth powers, most enemies in Skyrim die before they even know you're there. As a last ditch defense weapon, get something that can paralyze and you should be okay when facing the exceptions.

Regarding the article, I completely agree. The Elder Scrolls games are one of the few RPGs in which my default character is not a mage. It is just too much hassle for too little reward.

So how does it work for people who actually want to go into close combat?

I would grind summoning and destruction together by attacking my summons. It works well for the initial leveling process.

As for the damage issues... I have magic(mainly lightening) have ridiculous impact which will usually kill the enemy when they hit a wall or tree. Doesn't work on dragons though so they actually remain intimidating.

Shamus Young:
Mage armor is complete bollocks.

A "proper" mage doesn't wear armor. But they do have various mage armor spells, which can raise their armor value to something reasonable (although still below what armored characters enjoy) for a short time. So you have to keep re-casting the spell every few minutes. Fighters don't have to worry about all their armor vanishing in mid-fight and leaving them vulnerable to an instant kill, but mages do. Imagine if fighters had their armor fall off every couple of minutes, it took them several seconds and a good chunk of their main combat resource to re-equip it, and doing so made sounds that alerted all nearby enemies.

This was my main gripe with it as well, but if you're willing to plow straight through the story for a few hours the coolest robes are pretty much handed to you. The Thalmor robes are absolutely the most kick-ass looking, and when you inevitably end up slaughtering the entire embassy you can grab a whole bunch. Just make sure you've got the aforementioned extra stamina/bag space, but fortunately clothes are very light. Since robes don't have default armor stats like heavy/light do, I stockpile these for use throughout the game - I never need to hunt for a new robe when I want to re-enchant anything, and many of these we find have no default enchantments, making them ideal.

Honestly though, every play style looks cooler when wearing this.
image

destruction sucks

the correct answer is....

conjuration

the high level pets are badass, the summoned weapons are the best in the game (until you do smithing and enchant shenanigans)

then at your option to be a total min maxer go into restoration for the heals (or dont advance it at all), and alteration for the extra armor/resists

plus conjuration combos perfectly with archery since you don't have to bother with arrow inventory, and your pets effectively "tank" opponents letting you pew pew

Alleged_Alec:
So how does it work for people who actually want to go into close combat?

For a stealth character it really doesn't -- it's not quite as badly broken as the magic system, but you're at a disadvantage. The only time I go into "melee" on purpose is when I'm 100% that I can sneak attack and instant-kill the enemy. Incidentally, this does mean that some scripted battles (where you can't choose your distance/moment of attack) are extra hard for stealth characters.

I really missed customising my own spells... I really, really miss my "big, fĄ$k off firework" spell. That was a nuke in your palm. That and predator ring (invisibility spell) was just so juicy to use. Oh the joy of watching large groups of my victims run around like headless chickens before I turn them all into KFC.

Alleged_Alec:
So how does it work for people who actually want to go into close combat?

You play a warrior. Later in the game skyrim doesn't really have too many viable options.

If you wanna melee you gotta be a warrior of some description. If you want to sneak you should probably be an archer. If you want to do fuck all level destruction magic. If you want to do fuck all but not die level conjuration. If you want to do anything whatsoever late game level enchantment and alchemy.

craddoke:

Alleged_Alec:
So how does it work for people who actually want to go into close combat?

For a stealth character it really doesn't -- it's not quite as badly broken as the magic system, but you're at a disadvantage. The only time I go into "melee" on purpose is when I'm 100% that I can sneak attack and instant-kill the enemy. Incidentally, this does mean that some scripted battles (where you can't choose your distance/moment of attack) are extra hard for stealth characters.

Mister Chippy:

Alleged_Alec:
So how does it work for people who actually want to go into close combat?

You play a warrior. Later in the game skyrim doesn't really have too many viable options.

If you wanna melee you gotta be a warrior of some description. If you want to sneak you should probably be an archer. If you want to do fuck all level destruction magic. If you want to do fuck all but not die level conjuration. If you want to do anything whatsoever late game level enchantment and alchemy.

That's a shame. I'd really want to make a Dunmer dual-wielder with some light armour and some stealth skills called Drizzl Schmo'Durden or something, but you're saying that wouldn't really work out?

Skyrim was my first elder scrolls game, and I loved playing it. Always a mage. :D

That said, :( everything Shamus said is completely true. I actually like the archmage robes, but they don't compare to daedric armor, in terms of looking cool and stats. Also, pretty much all of the other robes besides the thalmor robes, and archmage robes, just look lame.

The only way I was able to play a "mage" well, was to get great at enchanting, smiting, and alchemy first. That way I was able to make myself great armor and weapons, and use alchemy and enchanting to make a circlet, ring, and necklace that let me cast all spells for free, and sell powerful enchanted weapons for gold to buy the best spells.

Even then, it takes forever to level up the skills.

:D Hope it's better next time I guess.

craddoke:

Alleged_Alec:
So how does it work for people who actually want to go into close combat?

For a stealth character it really doesn't -- it's not quite as badly broken as the magic system, but you're at a disadvantage. The only time I go into "melee" on purpose is when I'm 100% that I can sneak attack and instant-kill the enemy. Incidentally, this does mean that some scripted battles (where you can't choose your distance/moment of attack) are extra hard for stealth characters.

I f**king hate that! found that with Oblivion, all the way through the game i was a stealthy bastard then during one of the end game story quests it just throws you into a massive melee situation and i was toast.

I don't think that vanilla game supports "pure" mages- magic is often considered as support
That is why mods rocks
Not only you can get badass robes, but you can also have mage duels, improved killcam and additional spells,, not to mention additional perks

Darth Sea Bass:

craddoke:

Alleged_Alec:
So how does it work for people who actually want to go into close combat?

For a stealth character it really doesn't -- it's not quite as badly broken as the magic system, but you're at a disadvantage. The only time I go into "melee" on purpose is when I'm 100% that I can sneak attack and instant-kill the enemy. Incidentally, this does mean that some scripted battles (where you can't choose your distance/moment of attack) are extra hard for stealth characters.

I f**king hate that! found that with Oblivion, all the way through the game i was a stealthy bastard then during one of the end game story quests it just throws you into a massive melee situation and i was toast.

This game basically starts out this way. I mean, the first story dungeon is full of monsters which are triggered by proximity.

Yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyep.

In fairness, I think you're better off with a melee character with some ability in Enchanting and Restoration than one without. My Skyrim character who went into battle with a heavily enchanted, heavily smithy-refined sword in each hand went through the enemy like the cliched hot knife.

But a pure mage...? I mean, Shamus doesn't even touch on the bad joke that is a magical ward. (Ooh, can I have an inferior shield that constantly drains my mana just to hold it up? Can I, can I, can I?)

Bethesda has always had some problems with certain underlying mechanics; the economics of all the recent TES games bear this out. But there's definitely room for improvement; it ought to be possible to make spellcasters who are effective characters without making their abilities basically carbon copies of melee- or missile- based characters.

This is why I always use magic in conjunction with melee weapons and wear actual armor. The magic system is fun as a side thing, but you can't just use magic and enjoy the game. In my current game I usually dual-wield a sword and a destruction spell. I start blasting away at enemies, and when they come too close/I run out of magicka, I carve them up. Then I raise them up with conjuration, kill everyone else and get easy skill points by resurrecting and rekilling all the enemies. Fun times.

Yeah magic sucks. But it is funny fighting magicians in the game and they use all that magic on you only for you to stab them in the face. I bet they regret all that studying in the mages guild.

I might have missed it in the article but the BIG problem with mages leveling due to incidental skills and having low combat is the way the level scaling system works in Skyrim. The higher level areas you enter will be much harder because the game can't distinguish between a level 20 pure warrior and a level 20 squishy pacifist enchanter.

In morrowind if I want to be a mage I level a fighter until I can crush everything, then put on asliip's ring and full glass armor and start balmora with the mage guild, heh, just for shits and giggles. My intelligence tends to be up there a bit already by that point anyway because of restoration and enchant. And my hobby, alchemy.

And if anyone gives you shit about your weaksauce fireballs, draw hopesfire and restore order, man I love morrowind.

Alleged_Alec:

craddoke:

Alleged_Alec:
So how does it work for people who actually want to go into close combat?

For a stealth character it really doesn't -- it's not quite as badly broken as the magic system, but you're at a disadvantage. The only time I go into "melee" on purpose is when I'm 100% that I can sneak attack and instant-kill the enemy. Incidentally, this does mean that some scripted battles (where you can't choose your distance/moment of attack) are extra hard for stealth characters.

Mister Chippy:

Alleged_Alec:
So how does it work for people who actually want to go into close combat?

You play a warrior. Later in the game skyrim doesn't really have too many viable options.

If you wanna melee you gotta be a warrior of some description. If you want to sneak you should probably be an archer. If you want to do fuck all level destruction magic. If you want to do fuck all but not die level conjuration. If you want to do anything whatsoever late game level enchantment and alchemy.

That's a shame. I'd really want to make a Dunmer dual-wielder with some light armour and some stealth skills called Drizzl Schmo'Durden or something, but you're saying that wouldn't really work out?

......

Drizzit was Fighter/Ranger with nearly no stealth feats. I dont know why people keep thinking he had levels in rogue.

but to answer your question, dual wielding will always out DPS characters that use shields or normal two handed weapons.

however, because the max armor you can get that is effective is 528 or so, you can get that fairly quickly if you put some points in your armor of choice and smithing skill.

However, that isn't to say that using shields is useless either, in fact it's one of the quickest ways to kill enemies with the stagger attacks and potential disarms.

But one of the joys of The Elder Scrolls is you can play it however you want.

Unless you want to play a Mage.

then fuck you, re-roll a melee character.

Kalezian:

Alleged_Alec:

craddoke:

For a stealth character it really doesn't -- it's not quite as badly broken as the magic system, but you're at a disadvantage. The only time I go into "melee" on purpose is when I'm 100% that I can sneak attack and instant-kill the enemy. Incidentally, this does mean that some scripted battles (where you can't choose your distance/moment of attack) are extra hard for stealth characters.

Mister Chippy:

You play a warrior. Later in the game skyrim doesn't really have too many viable options.

If you wanna melee you gotta be a warrior of some description. If you want to sneak you should probably be an archer. If you want to do fuck all level destruction magic. If you want to do fuck all but not die level conjuration. If you want to do anything whatsoever late game level enchantment and alchemy.

That's a shame. I'd really want to make a Dunmer dual-wielder with some light armour and some stealth skills called Drizzl Schmo'Durden or something, but you're saying that wouldn't really work out?

......

Drizzit was Fighter/Ranger with nearly no stealth feats. I dont know why people keep thinking he had levels in rogue.

In the books he seems to be no stranger to sneaking around when necessary. And I said some stealth skills. By no means it's the focus of his character, but he's certainly capable of doing so from time to time.

To be fair, magic as overpowered as hell in Oblivion. (So long as you played a Breton +50 magicka from the get-go, or a High-Elf +100 magicka from the get-go with some downsides. As the your magic is 2x your intelligence + Racial/birthsign bonuses)

That god for Mods, my main dokakin (which sadly got lost in a hard drive wipe) was a stealth mage mixing the usual sneak and stab with some destruction and illusion just for fun. It was always nice to know that if my cover was blown I always had the option to nuke down the enemy with some lightning.

Bah.

Level destruction, restoration and enchantment, get some gear that make your restoration and destruction spells cost 0 magicka, stun lock dragons to death.

Magic, if anything, has simply gotten easier to level overtime, but lacks versatility (seriously, stun locking dragons to death is boring).
Or get summoning to 100, do same with gear, have 2 high level summons kill everything for you.

I'm level 60+ on Skyrim, started out as a Dunmer mage, and having 0 issues, later i switched to rogue style play, and after levelling sneaking and one handed a bit, coupled with illusion, i can now one shot any non boss monster, and most boss monsters i bump into, with a dagger (crafted, sharpened, smithing 100 level daedric dagger).
Occasionally i use daedric heavy armor and 2 handed daedric sword (both skills below 30) just for fun, but when going gets though, i pull out my destruction spells (runes are especially awesome).

Could they have made magick better? Yes.
Is magic underpowered? Hell no.

The thing I hated the most was the fact that spells have to be equipped and bound to a hand.
Which means that you can't wield a two-handed weapon like a bow, and have a spell equipped at the same time, for quick casting.

This worked perfectly in Oblivion. Why the hell did they ruin this in Skyrim?

Spells shouldn't need to be bound to a hand, they should be a secondary ability that's always available to you regardless of what weapon you have equipped.
A bit like throwing grenades in a typical FPS.

The way Skyrim does it, it would be like an FPS forcing you to equip a 'throw grenade' ability to one hand, and only being able to wield a pistol in the other.

Alleged_Alec:

craddoke:

Alleged_Alec:
I'm someone who mainly likes playing stealth characters, but I found that as soon as I enter melee combat, tits go up pretty rapidly. If I use two weapons, stuff dies quickly, but so do I. If I use a single sword, I can block, but it seems to do very little. Am I playing it wrong?

Don't enter melee combat is my advice; use a bow and unlock all the perks -- combined with high-level stealth powers, most enemies in Skyrim die before they even know you're there. As a last ditch defense weapon, get something that can paralyze and you should be okay when facing the exceptions.

Regarding the article, I completely agree. The Elder Scrolls games are one of the few RPGs in which my default character is not a mage. It is just too much hassle for too little reward.

So how does it work for people who actually want to go into close combat?

Well, first of all, a stealth character shouldn't have to go into close combat. If you invest in the sneaking perk tree properly most enemies won't even know you are there. By the sounds of it you want to make some cross class of stealth and warrior (like some sort of lethal melee assassin). However, when fighting is unavoidable...

If you want to use Dual Weapons and be a melee beast:

Put trait points into Health mainly, with Stamina a low secondary (and none in magic). So for every ten levels you rise it should be 6/4/0 (Health, Stamina, Magic). This is to balance your ability to deal damage and how well you can take it.

Put perks into light armor... the more combat focused your build the more perks you should invest. If every encounter is to be a fight, fill this perk tree up over your play trough. Be especially concerned with Windwalker, since that will allow you to power attack very often.

Invest in One handed skills, Armsman (up to rank 5), figthing stance (for reduced stamina consumption), Dual Flurry and Dual Savagery. Savage Strike is optional, it gives a mild damage boost to standing power attacks and a cool decapitation animation that plays randomly. The weapon type perks (for axes, swords and maces) are also optional, they add extra affects such as bleeding, higher critical chances and ignore armor ratings. If you are sticking with daggers, choose Bladesman if you must.

Getting Savage strike opens up Paralyzing Strike in the late game, which gives your backward power attack a 25% chance to paralyse, which can be extremely helpful. Ignore any perks that aren't relevant to your playstyle.

In this build, Sneak will have to take a back seat since you value standing power and damage over evasion, but it can be useful. Getting the drop on a powerful enemy can net you massive damage if not instant kills, with the right perks. Max out "Stealth" to reduce the chance of detection. Light armor will have negligible penalties so you won't need "muffle". Then invest in the assassins path (backstab, deadly aim [not useful if you aren't using bows, but needed for the last perk] and Assassins Blade, which gives daggers 6x damage when used in a sneak attack). Assassins Blade, coupled with One Handed skills, can make most enemies die instantly.

You should invest some perks in Alchemy. Poisons and Potions are a Thiefs friend in combat, and much like smiting and enchanting, have some ludicrously powerful. Certain potions are extremely useful. In the early game, try to harvest Frostbite poison from spiders, as they make dealing with large enemy groups much easier.

Only go one handed if you plan on using shields and the Block Skill tree.
In this case, do much the same as earlier, but instead of investing entirely in Light Armor, put a few perks into Block, primarily "Shield Wall" and "Quick Reflexes". Shield Wall mitigates damage while quick reflexes gives you a "bullet time" effect if you time a block against a power attack properly (if you see a heavy swing, block and time should slow down allowing you to bash them, cause them to stagger and counter attack). Ignore any of the right side of the perk tree as they aren't too useful to anything outside of a pure melee warrior. Consider investing in Block Runner (need Deflect Arrows and elemental protection, which are both useful to some extent) as it allows you to run (not sprint) while blocking. Shield Charge turns sprinting while blocking into a wrecking ball (low damage but massive chaos as you knock over most enemies), but it's more flavor then it is practical, so you can skip it.

Stick to using light shields (leather, glass, elven etc.) since it compliments your light armor skills.

Ignore all Dual Wielding perks in One handed, no need to add any more perks here unless you want to specialise in a weapon choice (axes, swords or maces), instead you can reinvest these into blocking.

Sneak is much the same. If you are using daggers you will want Assassins Blade for the 6x damage with Daggers. However, you must be sure that you can land sneak attacks consistently, otherwise it's just a wasted perk (same for Dual Wielding if you can't land a sneak attack). If you need to invest a little more in sneak then reduce investment in light armor (go 1 or 2 levels in Agile Defender instead of all 5), since Blocking can substitute for the lower defense rating (if you're good).

AS you can tell, becoming a combat ready stealth character leaves little else to other skill sets. The only other Perk Tree you really need to consider is Alchemy, since speech, pickpocket and lockpicking are virtually useless (Pickpocket is useful for pure Sneak characters, speech is fairly useless though it can help with early game cashflow problems and lockpicking can be mastered by you without investing perks, just have lots of picks on hand).

OT: I'd have to disagree with you Shamus. Magic doesn't suck. Going Pure Mage is difficult, but my level 54 Dark Elf mage (master necromancer) is able to shoot Dragons (low level) out of the sky in a single volley and turn dead enemies into my own personal Thralls. The early game is pretty misleading though, which is where I can see your point.

Destruction, for a pure mage, seems immediately necessary since it feels like your primary damage dealer. In reality, Destruction is a double edged sword. It compliments a high level mage quite well, but in the early game it can drain so fast as to make your other skills near useless.

Likewise, Alteration is a huge drain on your Mana, and leaves you open to attacks with no means of response.

Restoration is useful for quick fixes, but potions are so abundant you will rarely need it. However, it can be very useful if you use Heal Other Spells on companions. In the late game it can let you stand in the fight a little longer.

Conjuration is a must for a pure mage. They draw attention away from you by acting as decoys AND deal damage. This should be one of the first skills you start investing in and it's really easy to level (just summon daggers or familiars for the first 30 levels, then higher level items and creatures from then on).

Alternatively, Illusion can also be used (I prefer Conjuration). The ability to turn enemies into allies, or enemies against enemies, is extremely useful and if you have companions, the buffs you can throw at them can turn them into beasts. Heck, in the Civil War (a modded version which much harder then the vanilla), the ability to buff my comrades turned a potential loss into a resounding win.

However, Illusion is a little trickier. You will need a companion early on, to apply buffs too, and it levels really slowly (doubling the need for a companion).

Enchanting allows you to customise your own robes or armor to best suit your character build, rather then relying on random drops or rank based robes at the College. It also allows you to deck out your companions, making them far more competent when left on their own (though certain enchantments have no affect on companions). With the Dragonborn DLC (i think) you can also create your own custom staffs.

Speaking of which, Staffs are a mages friend. I've often heard people selling them for cash and relying on their spells alone. While you don't level skills with magic staffs, they are affected by your corresponding skills (not in terms of damage, but duration of use... high destruction allows you to use destruction staffs for longer without need for recharge.

Also, you said you need to spread yourself thin? That's not true. Put something like 5 points into health MAX, nothing into stamina and the rest into magic. By level 30 you will have 150 points of health and 350 mana (by 40 it's 450, 50 is 550 etc). Robes (chosen based on your preferred specialization) and enchanted items will massively reduce mana consumption, allowing you to cast often with little need for respite (and you have potions to spare, if you've been spending money wisely, in case you need a little extra).

I could go on, but this post is way too big already.

I read this article as "I don't know how to play a mage".

Imp Emissary:
Skyrim was my first elder scrolls game, and I loved playing it. Always a mage. :D

That said, :( everything Shamus said is completely true. I actually like the archmage robes, but they don't compare to daedric armor, in terms of looking cool and stats. Also, pretty much all of the other robes besides the thalmor robes, and archmage robes, just look lame.

The only way I was able to play a "mage" well, was to get great at enchanting, smiting, and alchemy first. That way I was able to make myself great armor and weapons, and use alchemy and enchanting to make a circlet, ring, and necklace that let me cast all spells for free, and sell powerful enchanted weapons for gold to buy the best spells.

Even then, it takes forever to level up the skills.

:D Hope it's better next time I guess.

Well some of the article is true, but I find mages pretty OP myself. I read it as "I don't know how to play a mage in Skyrim".

One of the first little tricks is that north of Whiterun there's a mine full of easy kills and a transmute spell for turning iron into gold. Level your spells, create wealth, buy destruction skills (unless you're doing the summon critter, kill critter practise for your destruction keeping in mind that mages study).

I will agree that the robes could be better looking though.

EDIT: I also seem to recall picking up enchantments that boost destruction and mana regeneration at the same time. I guess Shamus wasn't looking hard enough.

Lyri:
Surely magic scaled in Morrowind?

I haven't played it for a long time but the higher your destruction the more potent the spell, no?

Magic was flat out broken in the earlier itterations of the game, which is why they removed mysticism & spell crafting from the game. Items like The heavenly dagger would allow the user to fly in the air and bombard their enemy with impunity.

My fondest memory is being the Grand Master of House Tel'Vanni and using the gloves that were given to me by my patron to summon atronachs that laid waste to a city (forget which one) whilst I hovered over head, raining down fireballs.

Good times.

Magic sucks in Skyrim though,I usually default to some kind of stealth based illusion archer.

Morrowind's magic is really awkward at the higher levels. Lower down the chain, a 100pt frost damage spell or a summon will take care of nearly everything - but once you start finding higher level bosses and Golden Saints, you start running into Reflect, which means all your spells just kill you outright and deal next to no damage to the opponent. The way around this is to use summons, which is all fine for vanilla, but once you get to the expansions the power levels of the enemies keep increasing while the best summon available is still the Golden Saint. This means that the only way of dealing with certain foes is to spam summons and chug Magicka potions (which are actually really scarce, even if you make your own) until the opponent falls over. And it takes forever.

I'm saying this from experience (I literally just got through Tribunal as my first mage character), but while I've been bashing it a bit I have to say that I do enjoy the problem solving aspect. The best way of playing is definitely still as a warrior, but it's a nice change of pace.

I hope ESO crashes and burns so hard, that Zenimax decides to bury the franchise. Considering they will start out with a subscription model, this is very likely to happen. They deserve this for making magic stupid. And for making a bland MMO. But mostly for the magic thing.

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