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I have all my skills maxed out to level 100 except for magic-related skills and some misc skills like speech, sneak, etc. I am really not interested in those other skills as they are irrelevant to my target character build which has since been achieved. However, I've found that I am stagnating at level 53. I'd like to get more smithing and enchanting perks, but it seems that the only way I can level up in order to get those perks is to run around roasting random things with destruction and healing myself with restoration.

Since I've already maxed out the skills I am interested in, is there a way to level up without having to gratuitously dabble in other skills to get perks for other skill trees?

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4 Answers

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unfortunately, the only way the level up is to increase those other skills. Sadly, you can't do the old "go to jail, lose skills, rebuild" from oblivion, because when you go to jail, it removes skill progress, not actual skill.

Fortunately, the game gives you easy ways to lvl up skills:

Complete the Mages Guild quest to get a spell that turns health into magic (equilibrium, i think). Weild equil in left hand (Alteration), heal in right (Restoration) and just cast until mana delpeted [Warning: This CAN kill you]. Make some potions to restore mana and health (Alchemy) before you do this and apply them when needed, and, when casting spells, make sure you're crouching in the middle of town (Sneak) [or in the courtyard of the College, next to the mana pool for faster regen]. Once you've maxed out restoration and alterartion, cast invisible (Illusion) and Fireball (destruction).

Next to combat, equip a Light armor Helmet and Torso, Heavy armor Gloves and Boots and your choice shield. [Enchant if you want] Learn the "Bound Bow" spell (Conjuration)(archery) and go kill enemies in the wild [Ensure to use bound bow during combat to get exp]. Once maxed, go and equip a shield [equip accesories to boost blocking abilities]. Find a companion, take them somewhere remote, attack them till hostile, and then block till maxed (block). [Easy difficulty means you won't take any bad damage]

Finally, Gold Making skills. Craft and enchant 100 iron daggers [look for the best profit enchantment], equip accesories to boost sell prices [or make them]. go to a weapon shop and sell them one at a time to the merchant (speech) [the game counts selling 1000 apple as one apple sold, so you'd get one lot of exp] [Each time the skill increases, exit out and enter again; it will adjust prices]. Once sold, make some clothing that boost pickpocket sucess and (if you have the perk) lockpicking. Then just go around and loot everyone at night, so you have to break into their houses (pickpocket)(lockpicking)

I didn't include one/two handed, because those just require using them.

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No longer true. You can also use the Legendary thing to reset skills. –  Selonianth Jun 4 '13 at 1:15
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In the base game, perk points are only gained when you level up, and you only level up by increasing your skills. This means that you'll have to grind or change up your playstyle if you want to get more perks.

However, there are a few tricks/cheats/etc that you can employ:

  • Pick some easy skills to level or use tricks to level up faster. What you do here depends on what skills you've got left you could raise. The individual skill pages on the UESP are a good resource for figuring out the "fastest" way to level them. Note also that you won't gain points towards your next level as fast by leveling low-level skills.
  • Pay a trainer that is also a follower to level up skills you don't care about. You can then take the money back from them by trading, effectively giving you skill levels for free. Several of the Companions fit this description, for example.
  • If you're on the PC, use a mod. This one allows you to trade extra Dragon Souls for perks, for instance.
  • Again on the PC, use the console to add perks. This is more along the lines of flat-out cheating, and can occasionally cause bugs, but it's the fastest route.
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I don't use console commands very often, but I was able to rationalize removing and adding perks so long as I kept the total number of perks equal. It was my first account, and a respec seemed like a good idea after all the newbie mistakes that were made the first time around. –  Confuzzledmaniac Jul 10 '12 at 16:34
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Here is a list of all available skill trainers. By this point in the game, money should not be a problem for you (I had over one million gold when I was around level 55), and you can afford the high-level training costs. Master trainers can train your skills up to level 90.

Appropriate Master-level trainers:

Alteration, Conjuration, Destruction, Illusion, Restoration, Sneak, and Speech.

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but you can only train 5 times per level –  Nortonator369 Apr 20 at 6:48
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This has now been made possible in the unmodified game as of patch 1.9 (now released for all platforms). This allows for a skill of 100 to be made "Legendary". Similarly to the prestige system in Call of Duty, this resets the skill you have chosen back down to level 15 and refunds any perks you have acquired in this tree.

In your case, for example, you might want to make Block a legendary skill. This would reset it back down to fifteen and return all the perk points you had previously spent. These can then be reinvested in other trees (note that you can't put them straight back onto the Block tree as you no longer have the required level to do so).

Because the skill has been reset, you can improve that skill again by using your shield/weapon to block, gaining experience in it and eventually causing a level up. This gives you another perk point to spend and also effectively removes the previous level cap of 81.

There is a huge amount of disappointingly sketchy information online providing often conflicting interpretations of how this works, however I feel it is best explained in this Youtube clip:

This will make the game feel harder (particularly if you make an armour or weapons skill legendary) and complements the addition of a sixth difficulty setting (also called Legendary) as an option in the menu. You can also make a skill legendary multiple times, allowing this process to be repeated.

Again in your specific case I'd recommend making a couple of your skills legendary, perhaps the armour type you wear, block and one handed (depending on how hard you want to make it for yourself).

This patch does make it theoretically possible to acquire every perk in the game.

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