Patch 1.9 added the "Legendary" status to the perk system. When a skill reaches 100, you have the option to make it Legendary, which resets the skill to 15 and refunds all of your perk investments. At first glance this doesn't seem like much. You spent all that time grinding a skill up to 100, so why would you want to start over? Because leveling up the skill all over again causes you to gain experience and more perk points which effectively breaks the old hard level cap of 81. Even so, that's a lot of work. Who's got time for that? There are two ways you can exploit this to break the game into a million pieces. Sure Skyrim is already pretty easy, and who needs to break a single player game, right?
The first thing you do is grind Enchanting up to 100. It's possible to do this within an hour or two if you have access to the College of Winterhold; buy filled petty soul gems, enchant some iron daggers or gold rings, sell for a profit, rinse and repeat. Enchant four pieces of equipment with Fortify Illusion and Fortify Alteration; those spells are now free. Go to Whiterun, stand in the middle of the market place on top of the well, and cast Harmony. Illusion went from 15 to 100 in about six or seven castings. Cast Telekinesis and grab a bucket or something. Alteration goes from 15 to 100 in less than eight minutes. Reset Illusion and Alteration again, rinse and repeat to desired number of perks.
With this in mind I decided to give the pure mage build another try. I was pretty hard on it the last time although that is by far the most popular post on this blog. I guess there's a powerful desire on the part of role playing nerds everywhere to be a Badass Bookworm. I've sunk so many hours into Skyrim that I can do Bleak Falls Barrow blindfolded, so the key to extending its shelf life is to create interesting backstories for your characters and play them according to those. For example, my new mage is a Nord (lzzolozozozzolozolol) with a storied background...
The Tongues knew they were beaten. Alduin the World Eater was invincible. It wasn't just the fearsome worm though. The dragon priests were his most powerful and terrible human servants. And the worst of them all was Konahrik. His enchanted golden mask made him invulnerable. Finally, Haakon, Gormlaith, and Felldir hatched a desperate gamble: Alduin and Konahrik could not be defeated so their only chance was to cast them forward in time. Perhaps thousands of years hence, men would have the tools to defeat Alduin and his priests. Perhaps then a new generation of Tongues could Shout them down.
Konahrik was stripped of his mask, his power decimated, his memories erased. The Tongues thought to kill him but they inadvertently gave him a new chance at life. Konahrik reappeared sometime in the Fourth Era, just over the Jerall mountains which form a natural border between Skyrim and Cyrodiil. He had no idea how he got there, or who he was for that matter. All he knew was a powerful instinct to head north, toward his homeland. Shortly after crossing the border though he was apprehended by men called "Imperials" alongside of a group of revolutionaries calling themselves "Stormcloaks." The word came quickly: they were making for the village of Helgen.
Hours later, Konahrik found himself on the headsman's block. Before the executioner could strike the fatal blow, a distant roar, faint but somehow familiar, came on the wind. A black dragon perched atop the tower overlooking the courtyard. With a terrible Shout, it knocked everyone to the ground. Fire poured down from the skies. Falling rocks demolished the village. Konahrik had a reprieve... but for how long?
Weeks later, Konahrik found himself spelunking through the ancient ruins of Labyrinthian. A disembodied voice taunted him in a language that was unknown but again strangely familiar. Eventually he confronted his nemesis: an undead dragon priest named Morokei. Morokei was defeated and crumbled into ash. Konahrik picked up Morokei's mask. He couldn't explain why, but he somehow knew that more such masks were scattered around the land... and that he must find them all...