Forums » Elder Scrolls

How do you use Alchemy? (Skyrim)

    • 393 posts
    May 27, 2016 6:21 AM EDT

    Hmm... I meant leveling up Alchemy is slow. You must really invest time into it. 

    Also it seems like my approach on this is more of RP than technical. When I think about leveling (and perking) a skill, that means that I have to determine what place that skill takes in my character's life. Thus, if I make Alchemy the main skill, then my character is probably an alchemist, or a healer, etc. And also the other skills must match.

    So what you are saying sound much like my Thalmor archer. Archery, blades (only two-handed, not one), Alchemy is more like a secondary skill.

    On the ohter hand, with the healer type (like the Orc) Alchemy takes more part in her life. She'd spend much time gathering ingredients, make lots of potions for sale. Alchemy is her primary source of money. And all of her other skills are to compliment Alchemy. I'd say One-handed, Sneak, Smithing, Enchanting, Speech, Alteration.

    • 77 posts
    May 27, 2016 9:07 AM EDT

    It is very viable, in fact I have a character build in the works that focuses on alchemy and avoids perking any combat skills (currently on hiatus for the contest)  If I remember correctly I think she is level 30 something currently.  I perked Speech to sell my potions to anyone with a pulse and pickpocket for Poisoner so I don't need a weapon and Extra Pockets to help carry around all those potions and then the sneaky side of the Sneak skill (no backstab) to help deliver poisons to waiting pockets.  It is a very compelling play style.

    • 649 posts
    May 27, 2016 9:45 AM EDT

    Huh, so you´re working on it? Gooood. Means I won´t feel obliged to post it as build. I´ll play it just for fun instead then. 

    I like the combination of just Alchemy and Speech, those two work together really well. I probably wouldn´t use Pickpocket, because...I don´t know how you, but I can´t resist exploiting it. Alchemy levels extremely fast and add to that Pickpocket...I would have all Perks in Alchemy, Speech and Picpocket and Level 30 in just maybe 2 hours. So yeah, I would probably stick just to Alchemy and Speech.

    • 122 posts
    May 27, 2016 11:03 PM EDT
    Paralysis poisons were a mainstay of my Breton's before his Alteration was high enough to let him simply cast the spell. Ditto for Invisibility. Even after getting over those hurdles, it's still great for restoring health and magicka instantly as well as buffing attributes. I would also load up my Breton's crossbow with a poison weakening enemy resistances to the elements of his current summoned minions, chug fortify Restores to reduce shout recharge times, and that sort of thing. It made for fun gameplay and was a fantastic fit for his roleplay concept.
    • 1483 posts
    May 28, 2016 3:50 AM EDT
    That's why you brew something different in early levels. Resist Magic is one of the effects that stays weak even when you level to 100. Brew Invisibility instead or Fortify Magicka/Magicka Regen. ;)
    Also, discovering ingredient effects is half of the fun!
    • 1595 posts
    May 29, 2016 4:16 PM EDT

    Ah, look what I caught  a Vazgen!

    Seriously I get what you are saying, but if your character is not a dedicated alchemist using the skill to unlock mysteries or something to that effect, then the skill can be quite immersion breaking. Like, a humble ranger going out to find Salmon Roe or Vamp Dust to create a powerful potion just to level up faster is out of character. Yet it would take a billion more common potions to achieve the same result. So to get the most out of alchemy it seems you either accept that you have chosen weak potions, or level up quickly to get the best from them.

    Is there a balance?

    • 1483 posts
    May 29, 2016 4:31 PM EDT
    There always is :D

    The thing here is the pace of the gameplay. Alchemy slows the pace consideradely so your gameplay should match it. You will not go through 20 dungeons in a day if you seek to level Alchemy naturally. Pick a dungeon and journey towards it gathering ingredients along the way, hunting etc. Clear out the dungeon and return home to brew potions/poisons for the next day. It will be slow at first but then your character will learn some useful recipes and will become more effective at brewing.
    • 56 posts
    May 31, 2016 9:16 AM EDT
    I DO NOT. Alchemy is one of the most difficult skill in Skyrim for me. Yes, i know its uses and potential, but i dont like to level up a skill by running around every corner of the province just to tear plants from their roots. Its too.. messy for me. It doesnt help that there are no Idiots Guide to Alchemy in the blog, or anywhere else on that matter. IF i try to mess up with alchemy i just level it up by trainers, and just buying the ingredients i need from vendors to make the potions/poisons i have to use.

    On a side note, isnt it amazing that 6 years after the game was first released, there are still no beginners guide to alchemy idiots like me?
    • 649 posts
    May 31, 2016 9:34 AM EDT

    Easy Beginner Alchemist Guide for Skyrim?

    Plus UESP houses all possible Effects and Ingredients. What more do you need?

    • 56 posts
    May 31, 2016 10:29 AM EDT
    I stand corrected: there is a guide after all. :D

    But alchemy is still the most difficult skill in the game, which was why i stay as far away from it as possible. Perhaps its an acquired taste.
    • 96 posts
    May 31, 2016 12:44 PM EDT
    Probably because you never tried..?
    • 33 posts
    June 9, 2016 4:13 AM EDT

    1. I am a digital horder and I keep EVERYTHING (Including potions/poisons)

    2. I use the poisons al the times as an assassin or thief but healing potions not as much. I do try though.

    3. I don't like alchemy as a side thing because you could just learn a spell which is so much easier. It really shines when you only use alchemy with no magic.

    • 224 posts
    June 9, 2016 5:44 AM EDT

    I usually use Alchemy to sell the potions and poisons, also I like to use them to make the enemies weak and I use them for hunt too

    • 394 posts
    June 11, 2016 3:41 AM EDT

    I rely heavily on potions on my main Idesto, destruction mage, for topping up health & magick during combat. It suits my play style too as I enjoy wandering around, picking flowers! I also make resistance potions, & other useful stuff like fortify conjuration for when an atronach ally is needed. 

    It's also a great way of making money easily early in your game. 

    • 127 posts
    June 15, 2016 6:35 AM EDT

    All of my characters use Alchemy, but none of them are masters of the craft.  When I have a character concept in mind, I take a quick look for recipes that will benefit and make only those, plus the occasional healing and resistance potion.  It keeps the inventory cleaner and weighs me down much less - gathering the ingredients becomes more of a chore and it becomes more satisfying to get what I'm looking for.

    As such, they could be used quite regularly (if I have the ingredients), so I only use the skill boosting potions when I see I have to  face a large group, and any poisons that I use are only used at distance with a bow for one shot only - even if I have no perks in archery.  To keep applying poisons when I'm fighting in melee range is so immersion breaking and defying logic, and your first instinct when jumped by six enemies isn't "Oh, I'd better drink a potion", it's "Axe meet face!"

    Basically, I use Alchemy as an RP mechanic as much as I use it as a skill.  It makes the levelling more dynamic than pumping out potion after potion and then selling it on for more monies - only to buy all the ingredients they have and starting the process again.  That it slows down a fast levelling skill is an added bonus to keep it in line with my other skills.

    • 394 posts
    June 15, 2016 7:18 AM EDT

    I like your style Joshua 

    • 394 posts
    June 15, 2016 7:20 AM EDT

    I have a habit of just grabbing everything as I go, then deciding what to drop when I can't move anymore. This is much more sensible