What are the advantages and disadvantages of each version of Azura's Star?
At the completion of the quest "The Black Star," you are given the choice to pick between:
Having Azura repair the star (restoring it to the "classic" version, which captures only non-human souls) or having Nelacar repair it (restoring it to the black version, which captures only human souls).
What are the (dis)advantages of each?
I'd seen some mention that human souls are more powerful than most non-human for enchanting, but can I fill the black star with bandit's souls or just with named NPCs? Also, if I don't have Azura repair it, will I be missing out on an Oghma Infinium-type quest (a la Oblivion)?
It's a little close to the location for the intro College of Magic quest in Winterhold - it's directly south of the College on the map.
Ask the Riverwood bartender about rumors and you can get the location of Azura's shrine marked on your map right out of the gate.
Actually the level of humans never matter - their souls are always grand level - and as stated the black Azura's Star can hold any type of soul.
- 9 years ago
As far as I understand it, the only thing that matters for enchanting is the level of creature or human you soul trap. So it doesn't matter if you use a human soul or a creature soul.
However, nearly all soul gems only trap creature souls: only black soul gems will trap human souls. And black soul gems are pretty rare. Black soul gems (including the Black Star) work on humans of any level, including common NPCs like bandits. So if you're looking to expand your soul trapping opportunities, having Nelacar repair it is prudent.
However, siding with Nelacar will prevent Aranea from ever becoming a follower, which might not be what you want. While it's stated to only hold Black Souls (Humanoids) it can actually hold all types of souls, making it a straight up upgrade, as long as you're willing to go that way in the quest line.
In terms of a quest to collect all the Daedric artifacts, I'm not aware of any in game. However, if you're an achievement collector, all three platforms have:
Collect 15 Daedric Artifacts
But both versions of the Azura's Star count for it, so choose whatever you want.
And as an aside, there is an Oghma Infinium quest, just not in the same style as Oblivion:
The reward for the quest Discerning the Transmundane is the Oghma Infinium, one of the 15 Daedric artifacts.
Oghma Infinium was the quest reward for a quest in Oblivion that could only be started if you'd completed all the Daedric artifact quests.
@IanPugsley There isn't a quest in game that acts in the same manner, but there's an achievement. Updated my answer.
Awesome - I'd already picked the black star out of impatience, glad that isn't gonna come back to bite me.
Nelacar seems to suggest the black star can ONLY contain black (=NPC) souls, so no more monsters?
@Konerak Right, but regular soul gems are far more common than black soul gems, so it's a tradeoff.
Nelacar Lies!!, After testing this a couple of times it turns out that The Black Star can capture any soul including creatures, not sure if this is a glitch or not.
@IPhantasmI That seems like a glitch: there was some question as to whether Black Soul Gems could capture non-human souls, but everything from the strategy guide to the in-game text to the datamined info says The Black Star is supposed to be human only.
@Mark Trapp I agree But i have read else were that people have been able to do this, it kind of makes sense Oblivions Black souls Gems could capture all souls. i would be interested if someone else could do a test and see if they get a similar result
What I'm finding is that the Black Star can capture humanoid souls (NPCs, Drauger, Dremora, etc.), with the added bonus of Wisps and Wismpothers (because they are supposed to be ghosts, maybe?).
The Black Star can capture all kinds of souls, so I'm going to edit your answer: http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Artifacts#The_Black_Star If they fix it, then we can always edit it back, but as it stands, it can capture all souls.