Quick Look: Heavy Armor
|Fists of Steel||1|
Heavy Armor determines the armor rating of Heavy Armor you wear. Various perks in the tree will further increase your armor rating, increase unarmed damage, decrease fall damage, eliminate movement penalties, and reflect damage back on the attacker.
Heavy Armor is… well, heavier than light armor, obviously, but it also tends to have a higher Armor Rating. Your Armor Rating mitigates physical damage you take, up to a maximum of 80% reducation with an Armor Rating of 567… more or less. The higher your Heavy Armor skill is, the higher your Armor Rating for all suits of Heavy Armor, meaning you’ll need to look to perks to decide the matter.
Two things to keep in mind; unless you’re marrying the Steed Stone, you will want to reach the "Conditioning" perk, which means getting at least one rank of "Juggernaut", "Fists of Steel" and "Cushioned", which are really kind of a waste. Second, keep the magic number 567 in mind. It’s the maximum effective value of Armor Rating. If you haven’t reached this amount after getting to "Conditioning" while wearing the armor of your choice (upgraded with Alchemy and Smithing, of course), you’ll need to either pick up the Lord Stone for another 50 points, or put some more ranks into "Juggernaut".
In all honesty, the Heavy Armor skill tree is not as impressive as the Light Armor tree is. If only Daedric Armor didn’t look so awesome… "Well Fitted", "Tower of Strength" and "Matching Set" just aren’t all that great and "Reflect Blows" in wholly unimpressive. Most enemies will not be doing nearly enough damage to you to make this worthwhile, and certainly not compared to what you’ll be doing to them. If you want to wear Heavy Armor anyways, just get "Conditioning" and whatever ranks of "Juggernaut" you need to hit the magic number of 567 Armor Rating.
Getting hit levels up your armor skills, the bigger the damage, the more experience you gain. Armor skills are another set of skills you should save for after leveling up the crafting skills… aside from incidental levels you’ll gain from doing other things, of course.
In the case of the armor skills, they’re ideally leveled at the same time you start leveling up Restoration. A fine approach is to create armor that eliminates the Magicka cost of Restoration spells, find a helpful Mammoth, provoke it, then find a nice corner to prevent you from getting knocked around too far,. While the Mammoth attacks you, double cast double-cast "Healing", and let the Mammoth knock you around. You’ll ultimately end up getting hit a lot, and fairly hard (adjust the difficulty sliders to keep your Health recovery positive), but you’ll level armor skills quickly. Get a helpful rubber band to hold down your buttons (or weigh down whatever keyboard buttons you use to cast spells) and wait a bit.
|Gharol||Expert (Lv. 51 - 75)||Dushnikh Yal (Orc stronghold south-east of Markarth)|
|Farkas||Master (Lv. 76 - 90)||Whiterun, Jorrvaskr|