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In skyrim, I'm just started playing new build: Archer first, and 1h sword + shield second. A few questions:

  1. Is it ok to wear heavy armor for an archer? Or are there some penalties?
  2. What trade profession is best?
  3. What companion is best?

Thanks!

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  1. It's totally viable with the right perks. Get the perk that reduces all heavy armor weight and movement impairments, Conditioning. You'll also want Muffle (enchantment or spell) and the Silence perk, that makes walking and running not affect detection.

  2. I recommend training Smithing to make better gear and training Enchanting items to improve archery. Alchemy helps as well; you can learn how to make poisons and use poisons.

  3. You do not really need a follower. Sometimes they just get in the way of your shots or accidentally aggro mobs. If you want one, you should choose your companions based on what they can teach you.

E.g., Faendal in Ravenwood and Aela, the Huntress of the Companions, in Whiterun can teach you archery, though if you want their help, you need to finish their repective quest lines. Faendal can teach you up to 50 archery and Aela can go as high as 70 or 75.

There's also Jenassa, from Whiterun. You can find her in the Drunken Huntsman. She's good at sneaking so she won't aggro random mobs in dungeons. Be careful with warriors, they tend to aggro everything because they wear heavy armor and when they move, it's loud.

Carry a dagger or sword as a backup. You're likely to need this early on. You will probably only get a few shots off before you need to defend yourself and/or finish them off with a one-handed weapon. It also helps to learn the healing spell. You can wield a dagger in one hand and cast healing with the other hand.

A summon spell helps too, if you are attacked by a mob.

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Why do I need to reduce movement imparement/detection? Isn't that only for sneaking? Or does it affect bow shooting too? –  drozzy Dec 4 '11 at 1:27
    
The Sneak skill allows you to move around undetected and do more damage to targets if you attack while sneaking. It'll give you a 2x damage bonus at the Novice level in Sneak and a 3x damage bonus for Apprentices. You use the right combination of tactics, skills (like Zoom), and enhancements you can one shot many mobs from great distances or soften them up significantly for close quarter combat. –  Krazer Dec 4 '11 at 2:03
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