This page is designed as a guide to creating an Ultimate Character. An Ultimate Character is a character who has been completely customized and retrofitted with a mostly predetermined list of skills, attributes, and equipment that have been determined as appropriate for end game optimization. An ultimate character will either have the maximum possible health or maximum possible magicka depending on one's preference.
Firstly, you must choose your race. Although any race has the potential to be ultimate, here are some specific recommendations.
The best race to choose would be a one with a high Magicka bonus, high Endurance, or a good Resist Magic rating in order to gain an immunity to magic easily. Resistances to single elements are not as useful as resistance to magic later on. Choosing races based on their Greater Powers is inadvisable, because frankly, being an ultimate character skilled in all magic means that you won't really need them. Also, you should not worry about skill bonuses because skills are fairly easy to upgrade anyway. These races would include:
- Imperial (Male/Female) - good overall fatigue bonus/equal health/magicka
- Breton (Male/Female) - Good Magicka bonus, Good Magic Resistance
- Altmer (Male/Female) - Excellent Magicka bonus
- Nord (Male) - Decent Endurance
- Orc (Male/Female) - Decent Endurance, Decent Magic Resistance
- Redguard (Male/Female) - Decent Endurance
Although these races have other bonuses/penalties, it is the major bonuses that have been included. Any penalties on a character can easily be covered up later on, such as Altmer elemental weaknesses.
These are the prime reasons you should pick out races with high Health, Magicka, and Magic Resistance:
- High Magicka will allow you to cast more powerful spells and cast them more frequently. Characters with large magicka supplies can tear down whole towns and cities with flurries of devastating spells.
- High Health later in the game will practically make you invincible. A character with high Health will be able to kill armies of enemies without having to heal themselves. A character optimally leveled with a starting 55 endurance will have 10 more points of health than a character with starting 45 endurance.
- High Magic Resistance will help you acquire an immunity to Magicka quickly without having to wear multiple armors and jewelry. For example, any race besides a Breton would have to wear a few items of Magic Resistance (at least 3 items, or at least 2 for an Orc), while Bretons would only have to wear one item (a single Mundane Ring). This allows more room for other useful enchantments.
Secondly, you are offered a birthsign. Here are some tips on choosing one:
The best birthsigns for an ultimate character are those that boost Endurance or overall Magicka, rather than those that provide powers. As for your actual choice, it depends what you want: higher Health or higher Magicka. You will want to go for an Endurance/Magicka enhancing birthsign in order to attain the maximum possible health/magicka for your ultimate character.
Birthsigns that provide Greater or Lesser powers are useful only for the early levels for an ultimate character, and some birthsigns provide attribute bonuses that are not particularly useful. For example, The Steed's +20 Speed bonus becomes pointless with efficient leveling (which is another essential aspect of an Optimized Character that will be covered later on), whereas The Warrior's +10 Strength and +10 Endurance bonuses will remain constantly useful and will get your character one step closer to achieving maximum health. These are the recommended birthsigns in order for your character to achieve max health or magicka:
- The Apprentice - A great Magicka boost, and the Weakness to Magicka effect can be compensated for later.
- The Atronach - A great Magicka boost (the biggest boost possible, 150 points) and an extremely useful Spell Absorption effect that serves as a big step toward achieving magicka immunity. However, the bonus comes at a large price; you will not be able to regenerate Magicka if you choose this birthsign. It is possible to compensate for this with custom potions, Absorb Magicka spells and the Spell Absorption provided with the birthsign, but it will prove quite difficult at lower levels. Welkynd stones help overcome the Atronach's effect of not being able to regenerate magicka as they fully recharge your magicka with one stone.
- The Mage - A decent Magicka bonus without any nasty side effects. However, 50 points is not that much when compared to the gain provided by other birthsigns.
- The Warrior or The Lady - A ten point Endurance boost will make a big difference later in the game, and the Strength or Willpower boost will mean more efficient leveling for you.
Custom classes are the centerpiece of an Optimized Character. Choose Endurance and Luck as your favored attributes (Endurance for a larger health bonus and Luck so that you may max it out more quickly). Your class specialization depends on several factors. It's probably best to opt for a specialization in combat so that you can upgrade your endurance-enhancing skills more easily and quickly; otherwise, you will want to choose the specialization that governs the least amount of your major skills in order to achieve a higher level. When choosing your skills, keep in mind that selecting skills that do not fall under the specialization you have chosen for your class (ex. Combat skills for a Magic class, Magic skills for a Combat class, etc.) is the most advisable method, because it directly translates to faster leveling. One of the criteria that makes up an Optimized Character is their greatness in almost every skill. Another tip is to choose 3 skills that are included in the Oghma Infinium in order for your character to be boosted an additional 3 levels, even after all the major skills have been maximized.
An Ultimate Character is only truly ultimate if they manage to level efficiently. There would be an entry on doing so here, but luckily it has already been completely covered. Read the article on Efficient Leveling for specific instructions on how to do this. Here are some tips on choosing the right attributes and skills to efficiently level.
One of the most important Attributes to level up is Endurance, as it will be your main source of health. It is vital that you gain a +5 bonus for your Endurance every level until it has reached 100 so that you can achieve your characters maximum possible health. To do this, summon a Skeleton (apprentice-level Conjuration spell) and attack it 3 times so that it turns on you. Equip Heavy Armor and let it attack you. This will cause your Heavy Armor level to level at an amazing rate. Block the Skeleton's attacks to upgrade your Block skill, and after you have repeated the training enough to damage your gear, repair your items to boost your Armorer. Make sure you have advanced ten times in Endurance skills for that well earned +5 bonus in Endurance.
Luck is another important attribute, mainly because of the extremely slow rate at which it levels. Remember to upgrade your Luck every time you level up. Luck advances slowly because there are no skills governed by it, meaning that you will never be able to accrue multipliers for faster leveling.
If you think you may not achieve a rating of 100 in every attribute, focus on upgrading more useful skills. For example, try for a Strength bonus instead of a Personality bonus; it is far more beneficial to have a Strength rating of 100 and a Personality rating of 80 than the other way around. There are also ways to lower your skill levels, allowing you to level as many times as needed to achieve 100 in all attributes.
You have all the time in the world to enhance your Skills; there is no rush. Try and use a large variety of skills in order to develop tactics that make effective use of your fluency in multiple specializations. Once all of your attributes have been maxed, work on upgrading your skill levels. Here are the more useful skills for your ultimate character:
- Armors - Heavy Armor or Light Armor. Armor is vital in Oblivion. When following this guide, differences between Heavy and Light Armor are irrelevant. Choose the one that fits your aesthetic tastes.
- Armorer - Useful for repairing your gear. The best thing about Armorer is the expert-level perk of repairing items to 125%, essentially increasing their effectiveness. This will greatly enhance your character, so put some time into Armorer.
- Athletics - Useful for cruising the wilderness or dungeons, for it'll improve your running and swimming speed. This is a passive skill and may be more difficult to train.
- Blade or Blunt - Use one (or both) of these, they're pretty similar.
- Block - The primary function of block (in essence, blocking) will most likely become worthless because of your incredibly high stats, but the reason it is included is because of the expert and master level perk: the knockback counterattack. This is very useful and incredibly fun to use. At expert level the counterattack will stagger the enemy backward, and at master level a chance of disarming is added.
- Alchemy - This skill will start out fairly weak, but it is invaluable at later levels. It is especially useful if you have the Atronach Birthsign, as you will be able to create Restore Magicka potions. When you are a true master of Alchemy, you can create some devastating damage poisons, as well as potions that provide incredible buffs.
- Alteration - Not the most useful magic for an Optimized Character, but its Feather effects will earn you a lot of gold. Stacking Feather spells will allow you to drastically increase your maximum carrying weight for a short time, which allows you to expedite the looting process.
- Conjuration - An Optimized Character does not need an assistant, but summoned creatures can be used for training your attributes and skills. Summoned creatures are also a good source of souls.
- Destruction - An all out offensive school with some fresh benefits. Enemies can't block magical spells with physical methods, which means that you are given an opportunity to counter their blocks. Shock Damage is the best choice for elemental damage, as there are only two enemies in vanilla Oblivion that resist it. Damage Fatigue spells are also useful, providing an almost-instant knockdown.
- Illusion - Arguably the best magic school with a huge variety of spells. Put some time into this skill. Illusion magic makes dungeon cruising easier thanks to the Chameleon/Invisibility and Light/Night Eye spells, and it renders Speechcraft useless with its library of mind-altering spells. Paralyze, an infinitely useful and fun spell, is also a type of Illusion magic.
- Mysticism - Most of what Mysticism offers will be used primarily on your gear. However, Detect Life will prove invaluable when dungeon cruising. Dispel can also be of use, particularly against summoners.
- Restoration - Restoration will save you from death many times; remember that damage is damage, regardless of how much Health you have, and enough of it will send you to an early grave. The Restore Health spells are the greatest, but Restore Fatigue spells can also come in handy in the middle of a fight.
- Sneak - Delivering a powerful attack before starting the real fight can be useful and sneak does just that. You may be thinking that Chameleon could replace Sneak; this is definitely not the case. The master-level perk allows you to ignore the opponent's Armor Rating on a sneak attack. No spell will let you do that.
- Marksman - Ranged attacks are normally pretty weak, but when combined with Sneak, arrows essentially become "Assassin Missiles". If you are good enough at Sneak and Marksman you can send arrow after arrow into your enemy while remaining undetected, with each hit registering as a sneak attack. Combine that functionality with the ability to apply poisons to individual arrows and you've got one devastating attack combo.
- Security - Many players could easily pick any lock at level five security, so it's not very useful. However, some players aren't good at picking locks; they're the ones who will want to put some time into this. It's also useful for training your Agility. However, keep in mind that the Skeleton Key will likely render the ability to pick locks completely pointless.
- Mercantile - The expert and master level perks in this skill (the ability to invest in a shop and the additional 500g that merchants have to barter with) will earn you a lot of gold. Put some time into this skill, as gold is important to any class.
- Acrobatics - Mostly useful for getting around quicker. The Journeyman level dodging perk and master level water jumping perk will both decrease on-foot travel time and increase combat movement ability. The passive increase in jumping height is also useful and fun.
Over-Advancing Attributes and SkillsEdit
It is possible to raise certain attributes and skills beyond their 100 point cap. View the Free Skill Boosts page for more information on how to do this.
Character management is only half of the successful creation of an Ultimate Character. Equipment makes up the whole of the other half; its role is to augment the abilities and capabilities of your character. Here are some tips for maximizing the usefulness of your equipment:
- Quality - Always have the best quality equipment possible. Without the expansion or official downloads, this means either Daedric Armor (for users of Heavy Armor) or Glass Armor (for users of Light Armor) and some variety of Daedric weapon (preferably one-handed to allow shield use), all of which should be repaired to 125% quality.
- Enchantments - All equipment must be enchanted. The best defensive enchantments are Fortify Magicka, Spell Absorption, Reflect Damage, and Reflect Spell. The best offensive enchantments are Absorb Health, Absorb Magicka, Weakness to Magic, and Shock Damage. Avoid the more pointless enchantments when choosing your gear. Combining Weakness effects with magical damage effects will yield devastating weapon attacks. Also note that it is impossible to manually enchant gear with Reflect effects; you must find equipment pre-enchanted with them.
There are a number of extremely useful spells that an Optimized Character cannot be without.
- Restore Health - Heals your character.
- Charm - Raises NPC disposition towards your character.
- Invisibility - Renders your character invisible. While invisible, you are unable to interact with, attack, or cast anything. If you do, the invisibility effect will be voided.
- Night-Eye - Enhances your character's vision with a blue tint that allows for clearer vision in dark areas.
- Detect Life - Allows you to see where your enemy is around corners.
- Soul Trap - Allows your character to trap souls in Soul Gems.
- Feather - Increases the maximum carrying weight of your character. Stackable.
- Shock Damage - Allows for the destructive use of Shock magic. Shock Damage is the most useful type of elemental damage, as very few creatures are resistant to it.
- Fire Damage - For enemies that are immune to Shock damage. You can hardly be considered "ultimate" if a single creature immunity renders your magic useless.
- Chameleon - A Chameleon percentage of 100 renders your character undetectable regardless of interaction and negates the need to sneak; lower percentages proportionally decrease the effect. 100% Chameleon can be considered "game-breaking" as no one will respond to being attacked.
More spell effects can be found on the Useful Spells page. Some spells may not appear useful singularly, but mix and match combinations to create powerful spells.
Many quests in Oblivion will provide you with truly epic rewards. Do as many as you can, but remember that the majority of the potentially amazing quest rewards are leveled with your character, meaning that leveled items or bonuses rewarded at lower levels will be proportionally weaker. As long as you complete quests at level 30, you will receive the most powerful versions of quest rewards (refer to Leveled Item Quests for a list of quests with leveled rewards). There is a mod called 'Quest Award Leveler', which will automatically upgrade quest items attained at a lower level when you reach the appropriate level.
Example of an Optimized CharacterEdit
Here is an example of an Optimized Character created using this guide:
Optimized Character's Vital StatisticsEdit
- Name - Optimized Character
- Race - Altmer
- Gender - Male
- Birthsign - The Atronach
- Class - Optimized Class 1
- Specialization - Combat
- Favored Attributes - Endurance and Luck
- Major Skills - Conjuration, Destruction, Restoration, Speechcraft, Sneak, Marksman and Light Armor
Optimized Character's Max LevelEdit
- Level 46
Optimized Character's AttributesEdit
- Strength - 102 (+2 bonus from equipment included)
- Intelligence - 112 (+10 bonus from Oghma Infinium and +2 bonus from equipment included)
- Willpower - 100
- Speed - 100
- Agility - 102 (+2 bonus from equipment included)
- Endurance - 110 (+10 bonus from equipment included, maxed as early as possible)
- Personality - 98 (-2 penalty from equipment included)
- Luck - 100
Optimized Character's Derived AttributesEdit
- Health - 640 (+20 bonus from equipment included)
- Magicka - 574 (+374 bonus from equipment, Race and Birthsign included)
- Fatigue - 414 (+14 bonus from equipment included)
- Encumbrance - 510 (+10 bonus from equipment included)
Optimized Character's SkillsEdit
- Blade - 130 (+30 bonus from Gray Prince's Training, Night Mother's Blessing, and equipment included)
- Blunt - 100
- Hand to Hand - 125 (+25 bonus from equipment included)
- Armorer - 100
- Block - 103 (+3 bonus from Gray Prince's Training included)
- Heavy Armor - 100
- Athletics - 103 (+3 bonus from Gray Prince's Training included)
- Acrobatics - 103 (+3 bonus from Night Mother's Blessing and A Rat Problem included)
- Light Armor - 100
- Security - 142 (+42 bonus from Night Mother's Blessing and equipment included)
- Sneak - 102 (+2 bonus from Night Mother's Blessing included)
- Marksman - 102 (+2 bonus from Night Mother's Blessing included)
- Mercantile - 105 (+5 bonus from A Shadow Over Hackdirt included)
- Speechcraft - 100
- Illusion - 100
- Alchemy - 100
- Conjuration - 110 (+10 bonus from Oghma Infinium included)
- Mysticism - 100
- Alteration - 100
- Destruction - 110 (+10 bonus from Oghma Infinium included)
- Restoration - 110 (+10 bonus from Oghma Infinium included)
Optimized Character's EquipmentEdit
- Weapon - Daedric/Madness*/Amber*
- Helmet - Daedric/Glass/Madness*/Amber* - Fortify Magicka 50 pts (Transcendent Sigil Stone)
- Cuirass - Daedric/Glass/Madness*/Amber* - Fortify Magicka 50 pts (Transcendent Sigil Stone)
- Gauntlets - Daedric/Glass/Madness*/Amber* - Spell Absorption 15 pts (Transcendent Sigil Stone)
- Greaves - Magebane Greaves or Greaves of Purity
- Boots - Daedric/Glass/Madness*/Amber* - Spell Absorption 15 pts (Transcendent Sigil Stone)
- Shield - Escutcheon of Chorrol (Received after level 25)
- Ring - Ring of the Iron Fist
- Ring - Ring of Vitality
- Amulet - Necklace of Swords/Amulet of Axes
- Misc - Scales of Pitiless Justice
- Misc - Skeleton Key
* These items require the Shivering Isles expansion.
Optimized Character's Oghma Infinium ChoiceEdit
Optimized Character's Active EffectsEdit
- Spell Absorption 100 pts - Immunity to magicka (50 pts gained from The Atronach Birthsign + 50 pts from equipment)
- Reflect Damage 101% - Immunity to Melee (101% gained from equipment)
- Fortify Magicka 374 pts (374 pts gained from Race, Birthsign and equipment)
- Resist Disease 175% - Immunity to Disease (100% gained from equipment + 75% gained from Race bonus)
- Resist Paralysis 100% - Immunity to Paralysis (100% gained from equipment)
- Resist Poison 100% - Immunity to Poison (100% gained from equipment)
- Fortify Endurance 10 pts (10 pts gained from equipment)
- Fortify Strength 2 pts (2 pts gained from equipment)
- Fortify Agility 2 pts (2 pts gained from equipment)
- Fortify Hand to Hand and Blade 25 pts (25 pts gained from equipment)
- Fortify Athletics, Blade and Block 3 pts (3 pts gained from Gray Prince's Training)
- Fortify Acrobatics, Blade, Marksman, Sneak and Security 2 pts (2 pts gained from Night Mother's Blessing)
- Fortify Security 40 pts (40 pts gained from equipment)