Friday, 3 August 2012

Skyrim: Crafting potions and sneaking around

My previous Skyrim post ended up with amazing walls of text from comments, full with tips and advice. I haven't had enough time to answer everything (I will, I promise), but thanks all for sharing your game experience! The tips were very helpful. As to which character to stick to, most people favoured either Ravereth or Ravanel (with a slight head start for Ravereth), so I started playing on Ravereth, and I quite like it!

This is the first time I play a hunter-like class in an Elder Scrolls game, but the combination of sneaking around and hitting hard from stealth works like a charm. It's funny how squishy I am, though. My boyfriend laughed at me when I was trying not to one-shot a mudcrab to catch its soul, and then got killed by one hit. One hit! I mean, it's a crab, right...

Crafting potions
A weak spot of mine has always been Alchemy. I just love to explore and gather all flowers and then brew weird stuff from it. It's also a nice way to get some money without walking around with heavy stuff. There's something about me and games (I have the same in Lord of the Rings Online), but I'm always overencumbered.

Something seems to have changed since the other Elder Scrolls games: while you could use food (venison, cabbage, apples etc) for alchemy before, now you can only use it to cook it. Cooked food only regenerates a little bit of health/stamina/magicka, so it's a lot less efficient than potions. Still, I suppose it's still useful at the start of the game, when you don't have many resources and recipes to make potions.

 Just a list for me to remember what ingredients are useful:


Restore health
  • Mountain flower (blue)
  • Butterfly wing (monarch)
  • Egg (rock warbler)
  • Wheat
  • Imp stool
Restore stamina
  • Honeycomb
  • Mountain flower (purple)
  • Claw (bear)
Restore magicka
  • Creep Cluster
  • Mora Tapinella
  • Mountain Flower (red)
  • White Cap


Restore health + stamina

Stew - apple cabbage: immediate effect
  • Saltpile
  • Apple (red) 
  • Cabbage
Soup - vegetable: over-time effect
  • Potato
  • Leek - raw
  • Tomato
  • Cabbage

Perhaps I should give up on collecting food, though, as it's starting to become very inefficient. I think it's in fact all the food I carry around that makes me overencumbered. It's sort of a shame that you can't use food anymore for potions (as you were able to do in earlier Elder Scrolls games). If I shoot a deer, what should I do with it? Just take the hide and leave the meat? Such a shame. I must admit some potion combinations were a bit ridiculous. Like, onions, for breathing under water? I guess the current mechanic is a bit more realistic, but in the end it's still a fantasy game.


  1. Haha, my bags are always overflowing in whatever game I play! :D I want everything so I can craft everything and sell everything to make money. :P There's a funny video out there of a guy traveling around Skyrim, catching a butterfly and suddenly his bags are too heavy for him to run! :P I spent so much time traveling back and forth and waiting for vendors to have coin again so I could sell stuff. It's especially bad when you encounter a few dragons quickly. :O But it was actually one aspect of the game that led me to playing less and less.

    I ended up giving up on potion making. I had plenty of health and stamina pots and was actually having to vendor them. I only ended up working on enchanting and making armour since you can get some pretty sick stuff with those crafts. I was nearly ready to make daedric armour.

    If you don't already have one, keep your eye out for a weapon that will catch souls for you. Check weapon vendors everyday and hopefully one will pop up. That way, you only need the soul gems on you and the weapon will do the rest!

    Oh and a link I found helpful! :)

    1. I have the same in each game as well. In LotRO, it's gotten to the point where it actually got really annoying. I've bought ALL the vault space there is, but I still only got like 5 slots left in my bags (if I'm lucky). I'm just too attached to cosmetically pleasing armour. My boyfriend nearly gets a heart attack each time he watches over my shoulder (so I try to do it sneaky, when he's looking the other way).

      Thank you so much for the link! It gave me some tips on how to get rid of weight and now I'm all okay again - at least in Skyrim. ;)

      I haven't found any weapons with that enchantment yet, but that's great! Then I should be able to catch souls from a far range as well. I'll certainly look out for one.

  2. I found that problem ended up being really annoying. I would collect all kinds of ore/leather/hides, flowers/potion ingredients, food and then being overencumbered as all get out. So I would store everything in the house in Whiterun and make crafting runs periodically. However, this just became ridiculously tedious and found I was crafting a lot of the time and not running through dungeons... so... this may be going a little over the cheating line... but I picked up the mod "Item Sorting with Weightless Items".

    Essentially, anything that is not armor or weapons has zero weight. So potions, ingredients, food, gems, ore, books, etc. lose all weight. This has the advantage of using crafting stations anywhere instead of a home location. It is cheating in that you can carry a lot more loot, but once you start getting into the ridiculous 40k+ gold range, that doesn't really matter. It also sorts potions making them easier to read. IE Potion of Healing I, II, III, IV. So it's cheating... but it's a better workaround than having to huff it back to Whiterun after every dungeon to ditch off crafting materials. But it's still on the verge of cheating...

    As always, I hope this helps. :)

    1. I agree with you on this one: if a game weight mechanic becomes so cumbersome that it stops you from enjoying the game, you can better just find a way around it. I actually already had the mod you're talking about installed :) but my herbs etc were weighting 0.1. This helped for a while, but now I'm just getting full again (especially if I run in to a dragon - aargh). I guess I should just change it to be totally weightless at all. :)

  3. I have the tendency to loot and grab alchemical ingredients and food too. The sad thing is I rarely use them! I usually have so many potions that I looted that I rarely feel the need to craft potions or cook stuff. I know I could probably get better potions if I actually raised the skill and spend perks on it but my character usually have more important skills and perks to get first. Those may or may not involve more elaborate ways to kill people.

    Anyhoo, here is a couple of mods that can help with your loot addiction:

    The first one adds pouches and bandoliers and the second one adds leather backpacks to the game. Both raise the amount of stuff you can carry and are craftable. Must have for anyone who has loot addiction! Which is pretty much everyone who has played RPGs for more than an hour. /nod

    And now I am really considering making a page in my blog with the mods I use. Everybody around me seem to be playing one Elder Scrolls game or another lately...

    -- Rakuno


You can insert links, images and videos to your comment using these tricks.