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I have Smithing to level 100, but only up to Arcane in perks. I have four pieces of +25% smithing enchanted gear.

I noticed sometimes the enchant doesn't show up so I have to re-equip and then it appears under active effects. While wearing all four pieces I could only improve a daedric bow to 51 damage. This seemed off to me, so as an experiment I took off one of the +25% smithing items and tried improving a iron dagger.

To my disappointment I noticed not wearing one of the enchanted pieces resulted in the same improvement. Anyone else having this issue and know how to get around it? If no one has advice I guess I could enchant four more items, but I'd rather not.

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It is working properly, but not having the right perks for smithing will penalize your attempt at improving an item, you need daedric smithing for a daedric bow to fully improve it. –  z - Feb 3 '12 at 16:02
    
I was wondering about that, thanks for the reply. Still shouldn't there be a difference between 75% smithing improve bonus and 100%? Also, I had this very notion in the back of my head when I tested on the iron dagger. Iron dagger was improved from 8 damage to 29 with 100% smithing enchants. Iron dagger was improved 8 to 29 with 75% as well. –  R3DCL0UD Feb 3 '12 at 16:15
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@R3DCL0UD Without the necessary perk you simply won't be able to improve items above a certain quality (Flawless, I think), which also limits the maximum damage it can do. –  Alex Feb 3 '12 at 16:37
    
@Alex You can actually go beyond that with enough of a push, but the gaps between the different ranges -are- significant, especially so with out the Perk for that type of smithing. When you do not have the park, you HALF your skill when upgrading items. –  James Feb 3 '12 at 16:51
    
I guess because there is no skill perk for iron smithing using iron dagger as a test subject was unwise. I just tested using a steel dagger (of which I have the perk) and the improvement was as intended. On a separate note, enchanting and smithing for stealthy types just doesn't seem worth while as the gear in the world is pretty cool. Thanks for the responses. –  R3DCL0UD Feb 3 '12 at 16:55
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1 Answer

It looks to me like your game is working correctly.

Experiment:

I just tried your Iron Dagger experiment and saw similar results. The problem is that the Iron Dagger base numbers are so small a 25% difference was within 1 damage point. I tried the same experiment on an Ebony Sword (for which I do not have the Ebony Smithing perk) and I saw a difference of 5 damage points from the extra +25% Smithing gear.

Solution:

If you really want to improve that Daedric Bow, you need the Daedric Smithing perk. Or... you know, a game-breaking level of +Smithing gear/potions.

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