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There are some nice restoration perks I'm trying to level up for.

Does (dual) casting heal when your health is full gain restoration experience?

If not, what are some good restoration leveling techniques?

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I imagine letting a mob constantly attack you would work. –  Resorath Nov 17 '11 at 8:21
    
You can find a sort of toxic gas in some locations, one I remember is Calcelmo's Museum in Markarth. Standing in the gas and continously casting heal will level your restoration skill quite fast. –  klennepette Nov 17 '11 at 10:29

4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

No, it does not. Skills only level when the game judges them to have been "usefully" employed; in the case of spells, that means the spell must have had some noticeable effect. Casting healing spells at full health does nothing, nor does casting damage spells into a wall or armor spells without entering combat.

For leveling restoration, your best bet is to use the turn undead spell line, which gives skill increases very quickly. Head to your favorite barrow and start sending the skeletons fleeing before you kill them.

I would strongly caution against "boosting" non-damage skills in Skyrim. You risk your character leveling up too rapidly without having the combat skills he needs to survive. These techniques are best employed to catch up support skills that have fallen behind.

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I imagine you could even turn your own conjured skeletons, if you don't have a barrow handy. –  Arkive Nov 17 '11 at 15:48

There are actually many techniques to leveling restoration in Skyrim. I found myself needing to do this in order to balance my character better; I had completed the main quest line so was merely playing for the hell of it.

How it works

The trick for leveling spell-based skills is to cast the spell so that it will have some affect or rather: change the environment/game.

In the case of restoration spells and therefore leveling it, you'll need to cast a restoration spell -- Healing, Fast Healing, Close Wounds for instance -- so that it gives you health. Casting on a full health bar won't give you experience.

To summarise: the general idea is to take some damage and then cast a restoration spell.

Leveling restoration by spells alone

So, one way in which to harm yourself so you can heal straight away; and do so in a controlled manner, is to cast the alteration spell Equilibrium -- which converts health to magicka for the duration of the cast, but can kill you -- and then heal once your health is low enough for the restoration spell to apply.

I personally found this a little slow so opted for the slightly modified method below.

Taking constant damage

An alternative method is to stand on a device or area that will harm you constantly, such as a under a fire trap or as in this example the wind at the top of High Hrothgar that leads to the Throat of the World. In the latter case (slight-spoiler alert!) you just have to walk towards the winds to stumble and take damage, at which point you can dual-wield a restoration spell and cast as soon as your health gets too low.

You could also find a pack of wolves, a bear (if you can take the damage), spiders or other pack-based enemies and not attack but dual-wield your restoration spell so you don't die. This saves on having to cast two spells and has the added benefit of leveling armor and such skills. Do bear in mind though, that leveling multiple skills like this will yield your overall level increasing which could mean you'll end up fighting mobs that are too high for your combat skills.

As I said above, I opted for the winds at High Hrotgar as you only need to concentrate on casting the restoration spell and the damage is constant which makes it all a little faster to do, unlike the Equilibrium route.

Hope that helps!

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+1 this is a very nice answer cause you mention all (almost all?) the ways to level up. Thanks :-) –  ヴァイシャリ Jan 27 '12 at 3:35
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Thanks :) No doubt I missed something but will add more as I learn! –  atc Jan 27 '12 at 15:05
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Your answer covers points the original answer did not cover. Hope yours gets accepted. Cheers. –  ヴァイシャリ Jan 27 '12 at 16:03
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+1 for excellent answer. –  Kallumasaurus Mar 19 at 9:20
    
Are there still packs of harmful wind after you've completed the main quest? Considering you have to "shout" your way trough the first time. –  Sharain May 8 at 7:29

You could always just use flames and healing at the same time on shadowmere (poor shadowmere he's just a big ol' punching bag). Hope this helps =)

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Get your enchanting to 100 and claim the beginning perk five times, so your enchanting power is doubled. Then choose the perk that gives you a 25 percent boost to skill enchants. After that get four grand or black souls. Enchant four pices of clothing that allow you to enchant with restoration cost reduction, each piece should reduce the cost of your restoration magic by 25 percent. Make sure you have the ebony mail. Now you'll want to perform the armor glitch. If you don't know how to do it there is a you tube video that shows how, just search Skyrim armor glitch. After doing the armor glitch so you are wearing all four pieces of your enchanted gear and the ebony mail, you will need to find a caged enemy. Get close enough to the enemy and use a single handed healing hand spell. The ebony mail will damage the enemy at the same rate your healing hand spell will heal. Rubberband or tape down the spell button and after awhile your restoration will reach 100, but just make to press the y or triangle button occasionally to prevent your controller from turning off. This method takes, but it is easy to do.

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