Forums » Elder Scrolls

Alchemy: Love it or Hate it?

  • Tim
    • 92 posts
    July 11, 2015 12:33 AM EDT

    Personally, I've always stayed far away from Alchemy in any Elder Scrolls games. Recently I started wondering about why, and I believe it's because of the complexity of it. I enjoyed Alchemy in a game such as Minecraft, for example, where there are only maybe 12 ingredients and 15 or so potions, and no multiple effects. I could probably handle a bit more complexity than that though.

    Something about playing Skyrim and looking at the tons (for me) of ingredients and multi-effect potions just makes me want to run screaming away from Alchemy, and in older ES games as well. I've read that in Morrowind/Oblivion you can get up to 5 effects per potion. This has lead me to use magic quite a bit more, and nowadays I never play a character without at least one magic school.

    Another turnoff of Alchemy for me is that often I will simply forget to drink the potions. Or, I'll feel like they are too special, and worry that I won't find ingredients to make enough of them, so I never end up using them. But since I've barely used it, this could be a problem I'm just imagining. Forgetting to drink potions is also likely because I'm not used to Alchemy, though I sometimes use Enchanting as a substitute, for nice passive bonuses.

    So, how do you feel about Alchemy? Do you love the power and utility it can give you, or hate having to constantly open your menu for a temporary buff? But this discussion isn't just about Skyrim, so go ahead and talk about other ES games too.

    • 1483 posts
    July 11, 2015 12:49 AM EDT
    Love it!!! And you don't have to open menus to use potions/poisons, hotkeys do that for you :) You can heal yourself while being turtled behind a shield, you can increase your physical damage to great amounts, increase Destruction spell damage (and cloak range), increase Slow Time duration, remove shouting ability from dragons, further boost your magical damage with Weakness poisons... And even better - you can combine those effects! You can grow ingredients in Hearthfire gardens and never worry about running out of potions/poisons...
  • Tim
    • 92 posts
    July 11, 2015 12:51 AM EDT

    Lol...I play on console, so that's two potions -_- I kinda forgot about Hearthfire though, that covers most potions I suppose.

    • 1467 posts
    July 11, 2015 12:55 AM EDT
    Teccam did it, it's all his fault. Back 6-8 months ago I was a non-believer just like you. I hated touching Potions do any kind, didn't use poisons all that much and really just hated Alchemy.

    Then Teccam decided to go off and convert me to the Alchemist side of life. I have to admit that Alchemy has its flaws. The benefits are that they can take strategy and planning to a new level. Creating combos with potions and poisons can be a lot of fun but I'm never one to just make a tonne of potions even if I don't need them. I'll only make ones I need.

    So yes I love Alchemy.
    • 558 posts
    July 11, 2015 1:28 AM EDT

    Hate it.

    • 649 posts
    July 11, 2015 3:15 AM EDT

    Just love it. Both Oblivion and Skyrim Alchemy.

    Of all crafting skills in Skyrim, it is by far my favourite. While Enchanting and Smithing gives you permanent bonuses, Alchemy ones are much more stronger and there is something really appealing about having limited number of these enhancers. You just to know when to use what, but you shouldn´t be afraid to use them.

    Best way to get the feel of Alchemy is to have character that relies solely on in. That is the right kick in the head.

    • 700 posts
    July 11, 2015 3:59 AM EDT

    I'm only familiar with Skyrim's alchemy system, but I quite enjoy it.  It's my favorite crafting skill and usually shows up in most of my playthroughs.  I think what I enjoy so much is the resource management.  I limit myself to carrying ten potions at once, and I find it fun collecting the ingredients to make potions for various situations, then finding the right balance between buffs, debuffs, and stat restoration.  

    • 457 posts
    July 11, 2015 5:01 AM EDT
    I love the actual process of Alchemy, but like you, I always forget to drink the blasted potions ;D

    I'm tempted to play a straight alchemist build just to teach myself to rely on it; I used to be the same way with shouts, but now I can't imagine playing without them (in fact one of the things that worries me about TES VI is what will I do without shouts? xD). It just makes me feel so stupid that I can enjoy the process so much, but forget to fully capitalize on the benefits of it.
  • Tim
    • 92 posts
    July 11, 2015 11:00 AM EDT
    Yeah, I was actually considering also doing guy with a lot of reliance on Alchemy, for the same reasons. I've never had that problem with shouts though. Powers, yes lol.
    • 9 posts
    July 11, 2015 11:16 AM EDT

    Alchemy gives me a reason to look in every sack, satchel, and barrel...

    Cooking is the only other skill that does this and its only useful to heavy stamina usage builds. Alchemy is highly beneficial to EVERY possible build!

  • July 11, 2015 2:32 PM EDT

    Love it, never played a build without it yet. It gets you out there in the world like no other skill, The skill can be devastating in the right hands, for example fire damage, Adept skill, plus Aug fire 2/2, add a fortify desto potion to yourself, weakness to fire on your weapon, stir in a little Necromage for our undead and Vampric friends and you have a pretty big bang, there is just so much you can do with it, decrease shout time, increase the duration and magnitude of some shouts, and all spells. Use it to fortify your offence and defence, its a wonderful skill and would be of benefit to almost any Build

    • 773 posts
    July 11, 2015 4:58 PM EDT

    You know, Alchemy is one of those things in Skyrim that I've always felt I've never explored properly. Quite often I've started a character with every intention of really focussing on Alchemy. I start collecting ingredients and even make a few rudimentary potions, but somehow other gameplay elements come to the fore and I end up just forgetting all about it!

    Is there a really well-thought through, and heavy roleplay based, Alchemy character in CB? You know, something that makes it essential that Alchemy is taken seriously throughout a play though, so you couldn't just put it to one aside and still survive lol

    I know this really should be in CB Recommendations but humour me this once, since the topic has been broached here 

    • 1483 posts
    July 11, 2015 5:23 PM EDT

    Here are two suggestions! 

    Chemical Chameleon

    King of Worms

  • Tim
    • 92 posts
    July 11, 2015 6:18 PM EDT
    I always thought The Fog was a pretty awesome build that I might actually play if I did a pure Alchemist, here's the link:
  • Tim
    • 92 posts
    July 11, 2015 6:20 PM EDT
    Yeah, I like getting out and exploring the world, and on some characters I've even collected ingredients lol. At some point I had over 100 pounds of ingredients and wasn't even using Alchemy :D. Classic me.
  • Tim
    • 92 posts
    July 11, 2015 6:23 PM EDT
    The 10 potion limit is an interesting thing to do to keep it from being OP.
    • 649 posts
    July 11, 2015 6:45 PM EDT

    My Hermit , Paul. You won´t find more interesting roleplay for Alchemist.

    It was my first character that full delved into Alchemy and reason why I love it so much now.

    • 52 posts
    July 14, 2015 2:37 AM EDT

    Alchemy is one of he most complicated skill tree in the game IMO. Its hard to explore and simplify. The biggest cause to this is the skill tree for it and its STEEP requirements to be able to bring out a potions full potential. At least for TESV anyway.

    I just maxed out the tree about a month ago and If I can impart any advice to anyone trying to get into alchemy for this game it would be,

    A. ) Know what you want ahead of time for your characters needs. Are you into poisons ( Like me ) or into potions or want both?

    B.) What do you want your potion/poison to do?

    C.) Pick several ingredients ( Ingredients that have the effect you're looking for First or Second to be revealed ) If you are a console player. This rule should be a essential, to reveal the rest of those ingredients, you will be at that table for a long time!!!  

    D.) Make sure you have a good supply of them.

    E.) Lastly, Make sure you have enchanted gear that strengthens you result to the fullest. The better the effect, the value, the faster you will level up!

    F.) Save of course and have at it!

    I can go on for awhile about this as I have made several of  written walkthroughs for myself and friends about how alchemy works. And it does work! Its all about perseverance!

    • 773 posts
    July 14, 2015 4:14 AM EDT

    I can go on for awhile about this as I have made several of  written walkthroughs for myself and friends about how alchemy works

    Have you posted them in the Tips and Tricks group (and if not, could you?) 

    • 739 posts
    July 14, 2015 4:27 AM EDT

    This is my alchemy guide if anyone's still looking for help on it...


    Alchemy L 15 - 60 within the first hour or so of play...

    • 52 posts
    July 14, 2015 11:24 AM EDT

    If this hectic schedule of mine between work, modding and performances settles, I might actually post up a guide. I never have on posted any guide online before. This would be the perfect place to start!

    • 694 posts
    July 14, 2015 11:27 AM EDT

    I'm of two minds about Alchemy.

    1) I love collecting/growing materials. Hearthfire makes it so much easier and fun with the storage and growing options. And I love having the end result. I feel like it can benefit any character because you don't have to sink perk points into it to be able to make decent potions, poisons, etc.

    2) On the other hand, it's the only crafting skill that actually feels like a grind to me. I always put it off because of this and will then just empty every (neatly organized) barrel and satchel and do it in one swoop. Maybe its because unlocking and learning potions requires more time investment than just disenchanting weaponry or (even easier) just using a perk point to learn something new. 

    • 485 posts
    July 14, 2015 11:59 AM EDT
    I try to avoid crafting if possible in a build, but if I have to go with one I'm usually in favor of alchemy over the other two.
    • 35 posts
    July 14, 2015 12:12 PM EDT

    It is by far the funnest skill for me, mostly because I enjoy chemistry and they're basically the same thing. Every playthrough I do with alchemy in any of the games is always an experience as I always find a new potion or poison 

    • 52 posts
    July 15, 2015 12:08 AM EDT

    I know, now that I know how it works, making poisons and potions are much more fun now. Especially, when you experiment with the optional slot. The combinations are endless! as I am a fan of chemistry despite having a lousy teacher with it. Mixing is part of the fun.