Are there disadvantages to wearing armor as a mage casting spells?
There are mage robes in the game that give bonuses that are very useful to mages, like magicka regeneration. But currently I'm running around in armor, as a robe doesn't really protect me much if a bunch of undead are hitting me.
I'm thinking of developing my character into some kind of battlemage, so I'm wondering if it makes sense to stay with armor while casting spells.
Are there any penalties to casting magic when wearing light or heavy armor? If there are any, are they different for heavy and light armor?
There are no penalties as such.
You just won't get the bonuses, which I guess you can class as a penalty.
With that said though, you get the bonus of extra armour, so it's more of a trade-off.
Even the starting mage robes offer +50% magicka regeneration, so it's *kinda* a big deal.
@RavenDreamer True that. I'm guessing the higher level ones will offer damage etc though, as you'll most likely have many potions later on.
expert robes offer something like 20% reduced [school] magicka cost and 100% magicka regen
With sufficiently high enchanting skills you can *more than* negate that drawback by making your armor give you a *higher* reduction and a *similarly high magicka regen*. So if (and when) you get there, (ligh) armor becomes the clear winner.
Also, magicka regen in battle is inherantly slow. Even a +300% regen is near useless - that's why they give you such a seemingly high regen in a newbie robe. Just disenchant one of the regen/cost reduction robes and enchant some jewelry, and wear armor. Best of both worlds.
@bigjeff5: I have a character with high enchanting/smithing, and my dragon scale armor is actually equivalent to Master robes. Once you can double enchant things, you can enchant mana regen AND cost reduction/mana regen on the same item. Chest, head, ring, necklace, it adds up quick.
You can't use the "fortify magic school plus magic regen" enchants on jewelry, only chest items(main armor, clothing , or unenchanted robes). The magic regen part of that enchant is stuck at 10%, though. If you just get the school enchant, you can enchant with it at higher strength than the "school plus regen" enchants, allowing up to 25% off on an item with just enchanting(can go higher boosted by alchemy). The school only enchants can go on head, chest, hands and ring for 100% free casting of a school(can be 2 schools, if you use the Extra Effect Perk).