Included in the Dawnguard DLC are two new types of Dragons. Revered Dragons start spawning around levels 65-70 and can knock you about a bit. Legendary Dragons, after extensive research by many gaming communities, are confirmed to start spawning at level 78. The most common location for a Legendary Dragon to be encountered is Lost Tongue Overlook, which south-east of Riften and south-west of Fort Dawnguard. Alterantively, you can try your luck fast-travelling to different Dragon Lairs.
Now, there is an obvious problem that presents itself; you have to level to 78. You could always use the Oghma Infinium, but where's the fun in that? For those of you who don't want to use the Oghma Infinium glitch, I've spent several hours trolling various forums and guides to bring you a few nifty skill boosting tricks.
Armour and weapon skills; armour levels based on damage taken and weapons on number of successful hits. If you're levelling armour, find something that will destroy you quickly - Giants, trolls and dragons are always good. The Longhammer is good for Two-Handed as it has a faster swing rate, iron daggers will do for one handed and, if you're an archer, the 'draw bows 30% quicker' perk will be extremely useful.
Magicka boosting; make sure you're wearing items that give you mana buffs (Archmage's Robes, enchanted jewellery, Mage Stone, etc). This will stop your mana from draining almost indefinitely so you can just tape down the button and go make some coffee. An easy way to achieve this is grind out Enchanting, then make your own apparel. Shout out to BlazenBuckwheat for reminding me to post that last.
Also, if you've got the quest 'Lost To The Ages', you should complete it. It is obtained by reading the book 'The Aetherium Wars' found most commonly and earliest in Fort Dawnguard. You can also trigger it by discovering the Dwemer ruin Arkngthamz. At the end of the quest, you are able to use the Aetherium Forge to make one item. Make the Aetherium Crown. The Crown will mimic the abilities of the last Stone you had activated. For boosting, activate the Lover Stone (15% faster levelling for all abilities), then fast-travel to the Guardian Stones and activate whichever class you're boosting (25% faster levelling for that class). In total, you're levelling 40% faster than normal. Well worth the effort, in the long run.
A note on Shadowmere, seeing as how he's involved in a few of these tips; if you kill him, don't worry. Just wait a few weeks on the spot where he died, and he'll respawn. To make waiting easier, press the Guide Button after you press 'A' to start waiting, and the hours tick off a fair bit quicker. Shout out to MysticWeirdo for confirming Shadowmere's respawn.
SKILL BOOSTING TRICKS
- Heavy/Light Armour and Restoration:
Go to any dungeon that has a fire trap (stand on a plate, fire comes at you for as long as you stand on it). Apply Healing spell while you're in the flames. Depending on level, your Armour skill may take a while to level up.
Acquire Soul Trap spell. Find a corpse, or make one. Cast Soul Trap on corpse. Repeat. This also works on Shadowmere, shout out to MysticWeirdo on that one.
- Sneak and Two-Handed/One-Handed/Archery/Destruction:
Go to High Hrothgar. Set difficulty to Master
(I have no idea why, but, it works. I've done it myself). Find a Greybeard. Crouch behind him and make sure you're hidden. Go to town with weapon of choice. Early levels of Sneak (1-50ish) will increase 1 level per hit. Keep in mind
that you need to be careful of your Hidden meter. In some cases, attacking has caused the Greybeard to spot you. Just hit once or twice, then stop until your Hidden meter is fully hidden again.
- Two-Handed/One-Handed/Archery and Illusion:
Do the Dark Brotherhood quest line. Acquire Shadowmere. Acquire Courage spell. Cast courage repeatedly on Shadowmere. Go to town on him with your weapon of choice while Mana recharges.
- Smithing, Enchanting and Speech:
Find Soul Trap spell or enchant a weapon with it. Collect many souls. Stockpile animal skins (except goat hide, that's useless) and iron bars. Smith a bunch of cheap daggers (1 iron ingot, 1 leather strip). Enchant with whatever. Sell daggers. Rinse and repeat.
- Alchemy and Speech:
Go to a decent Ingredient vendor. Buy them out. Make tons of potions. Sell them back to the vendor. If they run out of cash or supplies, wait 48 hours. Rinse and repeat.
Find Ungrien in the Black-Briar Meadery. Talk to him and choose 'Tell me about Maven Black Briar'. Then choose the persuade option (must have Speech 25 to succeed. If you don't just bribe him the 20-40 gold until it gets there). Spam 'A' until Speech hits 100.
- Speech and Pickpocket:
Acquire 'Bribe Guards' perk in Speech skill tree. Acquire first perk in Pickpocket skill tree. Walk around towns pickpocketing useless items you're guaranteed to steal (sweet rolls, arrows, etc). When caught, bribe guards to look the other way. Rinse and repeat. Keep in mind, the more people you have around you, the more likely you are to be caught. Go for smaller towns like Whiterun, Morthal and Dawnstar. Shout out to SashaQ for the Pickpocket part of this trick.
- Alchemy and Speech:
This is one of those things that can't be boosted. As such, keep it in the back of your mind as you grind everything else. Gather ingredients from ANYWHERE (buy out the vendors, but also remember that the worldi s full of free ingredients). MAKE ALL THE POTIONS! *allthethings.jpg* Sell the potions back to the ingredient vendors. Wait 48 hours. Repeat process.
Acquire Summon Atronach spell. Acquire opposite damage spell (Frost Atronach/Flames Spell, Flame Atronach/Frost Spell). Dual cast. Summon Atronach, destroy with spell. Repeat forever.
Acquire Summon Bound Sword spell. Dual cast. Go north of Dawnstar and attract a Slaughterfish to the shore. Keep it trying to attack you. Summon both Bound Swords repeatedly. Shout out to Faedakyn for refining this one to double its efficiency.
Acquire Telekinesis and Detect Life spells. Go to populated area. Find a bucket or some such item. Dual Cast. Tape Telekinesis trigger and repeatedly cast Detect Life.
Acquire Apprentice level Muffle spell. CAST EVERYWHERE.
Acquire Clairvoyance spell. CAST EVERYWHERE. Be warned, though, this spell can be slow to level. Shout out to Steadholder for this tip.
Acquire Waterbreathing spell. Stand in water as deep as you can go while still being able to cast spells. Cast Waterbreathing until mana runs out. Repeat forever. Shout out to xXIzaHovaIXx for this tip.
- Block/Heavy Armour/Light Armour/Restoration
Acquire and equip a good healing spell. Find a decently levelled dragon. Ground it with the Dragon Rend shout. Let it attack you or block it as necessary. Heal when health is low. Shout out to TTDog666 for this tip.
If anybody has any quick boosting methods they'd like to add, give me a shout in the comments!
EDIT: Added a few new tricks. Shout out to The Arossalypse for letting me know that Equilibrium no longer levels Alteration.
EDIT: General Tips and Skill Tricks sections added for posterity, new general tips added, new skill trick added.
EDIT: Added a couple of Skill Tricks and edited information on some.
EDIT: Small update to a couple of Skill Tricks.