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How does value affect the gain of smithing experience?

In previous Elder Scrolls games, weapons and armour would have their quality degrade and you would have to repair it with the Armorer skill to fix it. This provided a constant stream of experience which made reaching level 100 Armorer quite natural.

In contrast, Skyrim does not have weapon or armour condition ratings, and the only way to advance Smithing is through creating and improving vast amounts of new equipment. From a roleplaying perspective, this can seem a little contrived. I would like to know the following:

  • Does crafting higher-level equipment (Dwemer vs Iron, for example) carry a significantly higher experience reward than lower-level equipment?

  • Does crafting higher-cost (more bars, leather) equipment have a significantly higher experience reward, or at least has an experience reward equal to crafting an equivalent number of lower-cost equipment, such as daggers?

  • Does smelting bars of higher-level metals such as ebony carry a significantly higher experience reward to lower-level metals, such as iron?

By "significantly", I mean orders of magnitude, like iron being 1.0x and ebony being 5.0x, rather than slightly better, such as iron being 1.0x and ebony being 1.5x.

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marked as duplicate by Raven Dreamer Aug 13 '12 at 0:13

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
This question is out of date. It is kept for historical purposes, and to point towards the updated question. –  Raven Dreamer Aug 13 '12 at 0:14

3 Answers 3

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Does crafting higher-level equipment (Dwemer vs Iron, for example) carry a significantly higher experience reward than lower-level equipment?

No. Making Daedric Armor grants you the same experience as making an Iron Dagger. The quickest way to level is to travel to a town, buy out their iron and leather. Use those to make as many Iron Daggers and Leather Bracers as possible, and move on. Doing the same with gold -- the physical stuff -- is profitable and easy to do with Transmute. Enchanting the results is very profitable. The biggest roadblock on your way to smithing godhood is that dozens of daggers and gloves become heavy quickly.

After doing that a few dozen times, you are now the greatest smith and enchanter in the land, rich as sin, and can make magical armor out of dragons.

MAKE 2000 IRON DAGGERS. NEXT STEP DRAGON ARMOR.
(My apologies, but it's true, you know.)

Does crafting higher-cost (more bars, leather) equipment have a significantly higher experience reward, or at least has an experience reward equal to crafting an equivalent number of lower-cost equipment, such as daggers?

No, same as above.

Does smelting bars of higher-level metals such as ebony carry a significantly higher experience reward to lower-level metals, such as iron?

No. In fact, smelting doesn't even grant experience (neither does tanning leather).

One thing that does make a difference is that making new items grants more experience than improving old ones.

(Also, FWIW, the exploit in Oblivion was to hotkey up a bunch of bows and arrows, then fire one arrow apiece and repair ad nauseam. IMO, Skyrim got the smithing part totally right as weapon endurance was annoying, but there should absolutely be incentives to produce better equipment.)

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2  
Appropriate Skyrim meme reference. I have no doubt we'll be seeing mods for Smithing that make it more roleplay-friendly. I'll wait until then. –  Thaumajig Dec 9 '11 at 8:12
    
Does smithing 2 rings from a gold ingot give the same xp as one necklace? –  Raven Dreamer Dec 9 '11 at 16:12
    
@RavenDreamer Mega-late comment here, but some recent +reputation has indicated that people are using this for reference. It's the act of smithing that gives XP, so since every time you make a Gold Ring it gives you two, two gold rings does indeed equal one necklace (or any other item). –  brymck Jan 25 '12 at 4:09
    
I craft a ton of iron daggers, enchant with Daedra banishing, buy out merchants of all their iron ingots and leather, and then sell them my enchanted daggers to get my money back. Fly around Skyrim doing this and you can get lots of supplies for spam smithing. –  oscilatingcretin Aug 12 '12 at 19:15

Every new item you make gives you a set amount of smithing skill increase. Every item you upgrade gives you a set amount of smithing skill increase (less than making a new item).

While making iron daggers and leather bracers is the most economical way of increasing smithing and generating enchanting targets, there is a benefit to making the better gear.

Speech increases based on the amount of gold transacted. Buying/Selling, doesn't matter. If you buy good materials, craft/enchant with them, and sell them back... You'll get more gold movement per soulgem than when you work with iron daggers.

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Very useful to know if the aim is to make more gold, but the question is specifically about experience gains. Still +1 from me! –  Alex Dec 9 '11 at 15:20
    
You don't actually make more gold (as long as you clean out the vendor's gold in both cases). You do get more speech experience, which leads to more character levels. –  David B Dec 9 '11 at 15:55

while most people say that iron daggers and leather bracers are the best way to up your smithing, that was patched and now, i have found that making dwarven bows and armor are the best for experience (unless you can craft glass then glass bows are better but the materials are harder to find).

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