I’m finding that leveling and choosing perks in Skyrim becomes more and more of a crapshoot as my characters progress. What I mean is some perks that you relegate to low priority suddenly can become high priority with a single level-up. Starting out, it’s relatively easy to decide on perks if you have any sort of a game plan (i.e., you know who you are and what you’re doing). But as you progress, even the perks within your specialty become increasingly specialized, to the point where perks in other skill sets start to seem more enticing. For example, after about level 15 for all my characters (Barbarian, Necromancer, Battle Mage and Rogue), I wasn’t going to reach any more of the perks in my primary skill-sets any time soon, so I started looking at other perks in other skill sets during the interim. Surprisingly, I started investing perks in skill sets that I had no prior intention of exploring such as Speech and Enchanting. Selling things is a big part of my money machine in all of my campaigns, so why not invest in perks that are going to increase my profits? So, for example, there is almost no reason for ANY character-type to not invest in a few levels of the Haggling perk in Speech, increasing the gold you receive from every sale by 10-20%. On top of that, I’ve also made good use of the Allure perk, which gives you an additional 10% on sales with merchants of the opposite sex. That extra gold adds up, and could make a big difference in buying master training lessons at the higher levels (when they’re over 2,000 gold per lesson!)
Then there’s the case of simply finding a particular specialization that you grow to like better within the same skill set. For example, my Necromancer had a pretty straight-forward connect-the-dots through her Conjuration skill tree, focusing on all of the necromancer-specific perks. However, I soon found that zombies are not near as effective as atronachs in most situations, and the damn things disintegrate to ash half the time you enter new areas (Quick note: Dremora Lords are actually the best allies you can conjure because they’re super strong and cannot be turned by Dragon Priests!) Raising zombies is also much more cumbersome than simply conjuring an atronach, especially in the midst of a battle. So my Necromancer started to become more of an Atromancer, and I had to adjust my perks accordingly, at least as far as prioritizing them (I still plan on having ALL of the perks in Conjuration by a level 100 skill).
I mentioned the Enchanting skill set earlier. I’m the type of Elder Scrolls player that doesn’t like to equip anything on my character that doesn’t have some sort of enchantment. Any weapon or item of clothing/armor that does not have a magical property is a WASTE as far as I’m concerned, and sometimes you run across that perfect combo of attire for your character but cannot find the magical equivalent of a certain piece. So to solve this pesky problem, enchant your own shit! I purposely veered away from this skill at first because of how complex and confusing it was in Oblivion. Well I’m happy to report that Enchanting in Skyrim is a breeze! I won’t get into a tutorial of how it’s done here (just activate an enchanting altar and the whole business will take you about two minutes to figure out), but Enchanting is another great skill to invest some perks into and it seems to level up quicker than most other skills, even at the adept stages.