I'm a first time TES player, and I simply loved Skyrim the first time I tried it. I started playing on Adept (the default difficulty level), and while the first 80 - 95 hours were both challenging and fun to play, I'm seeing now that the game is becoming progressively easier once I've leveled up and used the appropriate perk trees for my style of game-play. I want to keep it challenging now that I've leveled up and have better equipments, and wanted the community's advice regarding that. Details of my (first) build:
Level 48, with 100 Smithing/Alchemy/Enchanting/Sneak, 70+ Archery, 40+ One-Handed, 40+ Destruction (which I rarely use since the last 10 levels or so)
Armor rating of 565 (Dragonscale), using 4x28% Smithing clothing and 118% Smithing potion,
Daedric Bow with 320 damage (+29 pts of Fire/shock damage), made with the same smithing gear above and 31% fortify enchanting potion,
Jewellery double enchanted with fire/frost/magic/shock resistance (46% elemental, 23% for magic).
I've stayed completely away from using either the console, or exploits like the Falmer Helmet glitch (for boosting alchemy/smithing buffs), or the Fortify restoration glitch (for alchemy). I had heard that the AI leveled up the beasts/dragons according to the character level, but now I find I can take on Draugr Deathlords, Dragon Priests AND Elder Dragons without using a single potion/healing spell! This is becoming game breaking for me, and I've barely done half of the quest-lines (so far, finished only the College of Winterhold questline, completed the main quest up to Alduin's Bane, and the Thieves Guild quest till Blind-sighted - I've still to start the Companions, Dark Brotherhood, Civil War apart from the main quest!).
So far, I've turned on the difficulty to Master, and have started to actively hunt down tougher quests (like going after Dragon Priests), but I still don't seem to able to make it challenging enough. So, my question(s) are:
Is there anything that I've done incorrectly for my build, in that I shouldn't have tried to get the best gear midway through the game?
Are there any hard quests that I've completely missed, or do you think that now if I start new questlines with my increased stats, the game would level up the difficulty for me?
I understand that getting rid of my gear would be one-way to fix the issue, but would kind of break immersion for me (as I leveled up the 3 critical skills painstakingly, and am surprised that I'm getting penalized by the game for it!) - so, I'm looking for any advice as to how to bring back the challenge that was playing Skyrim.