When I try to improve this mace I keep getting the message "You lack the required skill to improve this item". It is currently Flawless. My smithing skill is 100 and I have the ebony perk, the improve enchanted items perk, and a ring +25 smithing. I also have the ebony ingot. I should be able to improve this up to Legendary. What am I doing wrong?

Also in the smithing perks, does anyone know what "can be improved twice as much" mean? Surely I can impove weapons as many times as I want so long as I have the required smithing skill.

2 Answers 2


So there are several things going on here, none of which you can control (without the console):

  1. The Mace of Molag Bal, despite requiring an ebony ingot to improve, is uncategorized for its classification, so it is unaffected by any smithing perks (other than arcane smithing since its enchanted).
  2. Without the proper perk, the best improvement you can make on an item (with a smithing skill of 100), is the Flawless level unless you stack a lot more fortify smithing on top of that.
  3. You will need a lot of fortify smithing enchantment to push it beyond flawless (+34 for epic, +68 for legendary). +25 isn't enough.
  4. The message you are getting is rather vague and wrong, its the default message for anything you can't improve beyond its current state. What you will need to do is make 4 pieces of enchant smithing gear using this technique.

In the end, even if you stack on the fortify smithing gear, you will not be able to make as good of an item (damage wise) than if you had the perk. Some numbers as example with 100 smithing:

  • No fortify smithing no Perk - Elven Armor (Flawless) 45 defense
  • Maximum Fortify smithing no Perk - Elven Armor (Legendary) 52 defense
  • Maximum Fortify smithing /w Perk - Elven Armor (Legendary) 74 defense

Finally, you can further improve these numbers by making a potion of fortify smithing, but I'll leave that up to you.

  • Ok thanks, I'll just have to leave it at Flawless.
    – Herod
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 19:37
  • 1
    @Herod If this answer is the one you were looking for, make sure to mark it as Accepted!
    – Niro
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 19:56
  • @yx I am pretty sure you can in deed raise your smith skill through smith gear to get the mace beyond Flawless, its simply that a single ring of +25 isnt enough of a boost to raise it to the Epic tier. Take a peek at the formula's on: uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Smithing (He would need 34 more smith points to get to Epic, a single ring is only giving him 25)
    – James
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 20:07
  • @James Thanks for letting me know, I'll try it out later see if that's the case.
    – l I
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 20:09
  • @Herod I've updated my answer since some parts of it was wrong.
    – l I
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 23:21

Forge armour and jewellery and enchant with +smithing skill, get notched pickaxe at the throat of the world.

After that make sure that you have the strongest skill improvement potion for enchanting and smithing. You now should be able to get Mace of Molag BAL TO LEGENDARY along with other normally non legendary weapons (Nightingale blade/Bow) and armour (Thieves guild armour/Nightingale armour).

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