I'm fully immersed in the land of Cyrodil once again. It's the only thing keeping me happy as the Lakers are flailing. I just learned that a shield enchantment doesn't impact spell casting effectiveness. Normally, as the player wears more powerful armor, his spell effectiveness is diminished, but the shield enchantment doesn't have this downside. Therefore, a very robust mage character can be made by having light armor which is fully souped up with shield enchantments. I now have the maximum allowed armor rating while maintaining 95% spell casting ability. Oh yeah!