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Dragonhide, Offensive Defence, and Non-armored defence.

  • Member
    July 3

    Good day to everyone. It has been a while since I was active, so I decided to return to the tamriel vault with a comprehensive topic. I made a post similar to this when the site was still hosted by ning, however that was lost as I didn't transfer any of my works. Im going to apologize in advance for the impending text wall.

    Today we will be discussing the in's and out's of one of the most misunderstood ideas in Skyrim, Dragonhide. Many people are under the assumption that Dragonhide will put the user at the hard-cap of armor rating. It doesn't. Another misconception is that Dragonhide negates armor and applies a flat 80% reduction in physical damage. In short, these people are almost right, but thanks to somewhat broken game mechanics, in practice, this isnt how it works.

    In reality, Dragonhide adds a whopping one to your current armor rating and then applies the flat boost. It is intended to negate armor however, similar to the unequip then re-equip required for the use of restoloops, if the current armor is unchanged during the duration of the spell, the current armor rating +1 is kept. If the user were to change any of thier current outfit, the entire armor rating is reset to 1, including equiping new items. Using flesh spells while under the effect of dragonhide will still change the user's armor rating.

    With this knowlege I decided to go about figuring out the best armor that can be applied while wearing no armor. The first step is knowing the required armor cap. Most people believe this cap is 567. Which is once again... mostly right. They are correct that 567 is the magic number when wearing a full set of armor, however each piece of armor adds a hidden 25 AR meaning that when naked or wearing robes the required armor rating is 667. This is where a problem arises. The best flesh spell is Ebony Flesh, which provides a meager 100 armor rating. Coupled with dragonhide this negates the 1 armor rating applied by Dragon hide, but this also means there is still 567 Armor points to make up. Here is the first required perk for maximum effect, Mage Armor. This triples the effect of ebonyflesh. Now our current total is 300 armor rating. A lot closer than before. The next idea that came to mind, fitting with the theme of Dragonhide, is Dragon Aspect. Dragon aspect adds another 100 armor rating to the mix along with a variety of other bonuses. Now our total is 400, we are still missing 267 armor rating. The next idea is a well know bug known as the necromage glitch, simply obtain the restoration perk necromage before becoming a vampire for a 25% boost to positive effects applied to the player. This boost puts our current maximum armor rating at 500. this could be boosted by the lord stone, however there is a much more useful stone that can be applied that i will discuss later. The next thing that came to mind are wards. The greater ward applies 80 armor rating, plus a 25% necromage boost adds another 20 AR to it. Casting a ward now will increase our total to 600, 700 if double casting, and 720 if dual casting. This breaks the armor cap, but takes up two hand slots, which are really the most important slots for any character.

    I had reached a roadblock, it seemed there was no way to further increase the armor rating of a naked character. That is except for transforming, vampire lord gives a level dependent boost up to 300 armor rating, and werewolf gives a level dependent armor rating up to 400 (with dawnguard), and transforming defeated the whole purpose of what I was doing. Simply casting ebonyflesh then transforming would do the trick. This is when I struck gold. An old but rather obscure glitch known as the supreme vampire lord/werewolf glitch. It originally came to the Tamriel Vault from I believe Vargr, hower the bug originated elsewhere (I know that some of you know where it came from, a link would be appreciated as I can't remember what the place of origin called it). The details of the bug are that it applies a mix of good and bad effects from the vampire lord form into the human form of the character. Of these effects are the attribute boosts of the VL form, water walking, a few of the night powers, most of them broken though, a tendency for certain npcs to instantly aggro towards you, and last but not least, the armor rating buff from vampire lord form. With necromage this boosts armor by 375; enough to completely disregard the lord stone and wards. it also makes dragon aspect unnecesary for adding to armor rating, however it still has other great effects and looks really cool.

    WE have reached the armor cap nude now, adding the 85% reduction of armor rating to physical damage and stacking it with the 80% reduction of dragonhide, we get a massive 97% damage resistance. This can be further increased by the orc racial, secret of protection, or blocking, however these are really beating a dead horse as the benefits start to become negligeble. Also there are more useful races to choose when you already have a massive damage reduction, such as high elf, or argonian. Secret of arcana is also more useful than secret of protection, and there are some questions to why a robed mage would be blocking anyway. Its good to keep in mind that the orc racial does not stack with secret of protection and that these all stack multiplicatively, so the maximum possible damage reduction is 99.775%. there is now way to completely eliminate all physical damage, however I think that 97% is perfectly fine.

    We have discussed the most difficult aspect of armorless protection. There are 4 more aspects though, of varying importance. Magic resist, poison resist, disease resist, and offensive defence. As we have already covered, a necromage vampire is required to unlock full damage resist while nude/unarmored. Vampirism is also handy in tackling both poison resist and disease resist, besides a few traps that will infect you anyway. This also brings us to magic resist. I wont go into the details of elemental and base magic resistance as these are unnecesary as a necromage vampire. I stated earlier that there is a better stone to take than the lord stone. The best standing stone for a necromage vampire is unequivocally the atronach stone. Under the effects of necromage it provides a 62.5% chance to absord all incoming magic damage, a 62.5 magicka boost, and the only downside is a 62.5% reduction in magica regeneration, this however is easily negated by the regeneration perks, which are wonderful investments as you already have to use the restoration tree. Atronach is a level 100 alteration perk that gives you a 30% chance to absorb all magic damage, 37.5 with necromage vampire. This adds to a perfect 100% meaning all magic is useless against you. This also takes care of those pesky traps giving you diseases as it is a spell that applies the diseases. as a downside, avoid conjuration as spell absorbtion will suck up all of your summons now.

    This leads to our final idea, offensive defence. Many of you will recognize these things, but just are unfamilliar with the concept. Offensive defence is the idea of passively applying detrimental effects to your assailants. A great example is the night cloak of the vampire lord (which is unfortunatley lost in human form for the supreme VL glitch). There are 4 items in the game that apply the idea. Konharik, the ebony mail, Ahzidal's Armor of retribution, and miraak's robes. Konharik has a chance to heal the wearer (like avoid death, except there is not a guarantee it will happen, but also multiple times per day) and applies a flam cloak to the wearer. The ebony mail has a built in poison cloak which does 5 damage a second to assailants in meele range. Ahzidal's armor has a chance to paralyze opponents that strike you, and miraak's robes have a chance to proc a tentacle explosion, dealing damgage to everything in meele range. Other in game components with offensive defence are the level 100 heavy armor perk which applies a 10% chance to reflect all damge back to the attacker (a very powerful effect) and Dragon aspect which summons the ancient dragonborn. However on our theoretical character, miraak's robes and dragon aspect are the only options for an "unarmored" approach. The final offensive defence are cloak spells, which begs the question which is best? Lightning cloak does magicka damage in addition to health damage, although this is useless as mages should not be in your meele range. Frost cloak provides stamina damage and slow, except in skyrim most of the enemies you face are resistant to frost, which also negates the slow effect. Fire cloak however deals additional afterburn damage along with a very nasty bug. All cloak spells have there range effected by damge increases. A cloak with the augmented element perks will have a range of about 4 feet. The fire cloak is effected by the aspect of terror perk though, increasiing the damage by 15 points if taken after the augmented flame perks. Together with necromage vampire these cause a 27 damage a second cloak spell that has a range of about 20 feet in all directions.

    In conclusion I will explain how all of these effects work together in tandem along with how to sustain and manage them. First, your equipment, miraak's robes do provide the tentacle explosion, however they are not that powerful, the explosion does mild amounds of damage and the secondary effect of the robe is magic absorbtion, which we already have 100%. I would recomend the archmage's robes, the diadem of the savant (yes is says light armor, but it does not count as armor for the mage armor perk. This is a wonderful piece of gear that i may cover in depth in the future) a self enchanted pair of muffle boots, no matter the skill of the enchanter or the size of the soul used, muffle will always be enchanted with a magnitude of 1, meaning full noise reduction. muffle is useful to non stealth characters as it will mean you need to be within the line of sight of an enemy to be noticed. THe final piece are the sarthal amulet and a ring that reduce alteration cost. The stability perk is necessary for this to work also, as it increases the time that alteration spells last considerably. alteration dual cast is also a must have for this same reason. Something to note, dragon hide is one of two master spells than can be dual cast. Normally this would take an absurd amount of magicka, however with all the magicka cost reducing gear, seeker of sorcery is also recomended, and the massive magicka reserve boost by the supreme VL glitch, and possibly a high elf racial bonus, it should be no porbllem casting. alteration potions are also helpful. As of right now, my own character can make dragonhide last for nearly 5 minutes. If you have any questions be sure to ask

     

    TL;DR - alteration is bullshit and should be exploited

  • Member
    July 3

    Interesting read, Bum, I'm not well versed in the mechanics of Skyrim so I'll wait for someone more suitable to offer feedback, but it checks out to me! Dragonhide always seemed a bit naff to me, too much effort for too little reward, but now you're changing my mind. Sucks that a character has to be pretty much built around it to get some good use out of it though.

    And that TL;DR, its amazing.

  • Member
    July 4

    It may seem like you have to build a character around it, but any character can make use of it really, besides sword and board. Euipping a shield will negate your armor, but everything else can do it. Become ethreal is you friend, use it, then pop a secret of arcana, dual cast dragonhide and boom, you come out of ethreal state with 80% more durability than before. That takes a hard hitting enemy like kaarstag for example, and makes them hit like a bitch

  • July 17

    If I may... Why use the Archmage's Robes when you can craft armor that reduces four schools by a total of 93.75% with their respected parks and Necromage? If you gain the extra effect perk from the enchanting tree and apply  fortify Destruction 2x, Fortify Alteration 2x, Fortify Restoration 2x, and Fortify Illusion/Conjuration* 2x, then take into account the already halfed cost by the respected perks, the schools that you chose should already be at 75% reduction. Now lets apply the necromage perk and increase each of those 75% reductions by 18.75%(25% of 75), which now equals 93.75% reduction! I know there isnt much room for magicka increasing or other perks, but if you wanted a pure mage that is virtually immune to ALL attacks and still hit like a truck, then this could be ONE way to go. Furthermore, this combo would reduce the heavy ammounts of cost that Dragonhide(837-52.32), Fire Storm(846-52.88), and Mass Paralysis(937-58.56). Pait this up with an immunity to all spells, the stuff you were saying Dragonbum, and a magicka pool of 400, Then you will be GOD!!! These secrets are dangerous indeed!

     

    * Either of your choice depending on the type of mage you are...

     

    TLDR: Enchanting is Bae and the archmage robe sucks troll arse.

  • Member
    July 18

    I just tried this and 'cheated' in 3 Kaarstags. Normally, that would put a level 150 in a bad spot. However, for my level 60 mage they were mere mudcrabs to my defense... at least until my timer ran out, then I was on a trip to Cyrodiil.

    Also, I actually believe the "supreme vampire lord/werewolf" was first posted by a less known member here called "Bloodbane". However, he wasn't on very often and the discussion was taken down for inactivity. This was on old Ning, btw, I haven't heard from him since the move.

    Also, love the TL;DR. One of the best I've ever seen.

  • July 18

    You seem to be under the impression that armor rating provides 85% physical damage mitigation.  Or is that a typo?

  • July 18

    Midnight_Phoenix said:

    If I may... Why use the Archmage's Robes when you can craft armor that reduces four schools by a total of 93.75% with their respected parks and Necromage? If you gain the extra effect perk from the enchanting tree and apply  fortify Destruction 2x, Fortify Alteration 2x, Fortify Restoration 2x, and Fortify Illusion/Conjuration* 2x, then take into account the already halfed cost by the respected perks, the schools that you chose should already be at 75% reduction. Now lets apply the necromage perk and increase each of those 75% reductions by 18.75%(25% of 75), which now equals 93.75% reduction! I know there isnt much room for magicka increasing or other perks, but if you wanted a pure mage that is virtually immune to ALL attacks and still hit like a truck, then this could be ONE way to go. Furthermore, this combo would reduce the heavy ammounts of cost that Dragonhide(837-52.32), Fire Storm(846-52.88), and Mass Paralysis(937-58.56). Pait this up with an immunity to all spells, the stuff you were saying Dragonbum, and a magicka pool of 400, Then you will be GOD!!! These secrets are dangerous indeed!

     

    * Either of your choice depending on the type of mage you are...

     

    TLDR: Enchanting is Bae and the archmage robe sucks troll arse.

    It's actually possible to get 100% cost reduction in 5 schools using the Archmage's Robes.