Skyrim Info Egg Now Hatching

By Jim Rossignol on January 8th, 2011 at 3:49 pm.


Some magazine or other has details about The Elder Scrolls V, and they’ve appeared on the internet! Unprecedented, I know, but now that it’s happened we can totally discuss them and stuff. I’m too lazy and it’s too The Weekend to bother summarising all the details myself, so fortunately for us VG247 have done it all for me. Salient points: quests are defined by how you create your character, skills have been cut down to just 18, level-scaling will behave more like Fallout 3 and less like Oblivion (with dynamic quests in the world generated to the appropriate level by how you play), you can remove the HUD, and conversations are “natural” and in the world, not zoomed in. Dual-wielding! Tree-branches moving in the wind! Woo!

There will also be better faces, which is good, but there’s no word on modding the PC version. (Not quite sure what all this suggests about the engine being “all new”, either.) Thoughts, internet?

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172 Comments »

  1. Blandford says:

    - Radiant AI

    Annoying creatures, those mud crabs

  2. Flameberge says:

    Please tell me that didn’t say “Creatures who may get in the way of your sword include … large spiders”.

    If I can’t play Skyrim due to another retarded addition of stupid fucking spiders I’m going to scream. Jesus, spiders are rubbish in games, they’re not interesting, completely unimaginative and, due to my arachniphobia, I simply can’t play a first-person game that has spiders in it.

    Fucking spiders.

    Oh and also, the engine looks to pretty clearly a further revamped Gamebryo based engine. Massively revamped, but I think it is definitely Gamebryo underneath.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Maybe someone will mod in giant disembodied hands over the spiders so that you can play it.

    • Flameberge says:

      That would be better. Or maybe a giant Spider Catcher. To be fair, if they release TES:CS with Skyrim, I’ll happily just remove the references to the models so I can fight giant floating yellow exclamation points instead.

    • dadioflex says:

      Wow. So you missed out on Nehrim then? Ever think about phobia counselling?

      Oh, re: above – not crazy about more skill-culling. It really is dumbing down.

      Most important question, will levitation be back in? I loved that spell in Morrowind.

    • Qazi says:

      Skill culling is only superficially “dumbing down”. If they do nothing else with what they have left, then sure, less skills = less potential character development. However, they can recreate depth with other mechanisms.
      They’ve decided to include perks. At a rate of a perk per level. For 50 levels.
      That means they need a minimum 50 perks, except they’ve decided to make level 51+ possible at a slower rate, which means who knows how many perks they’ve designed.
      Granted, like in Fallout, several perks could potentially come in stacking ranks, but stiiiiiillll.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      @Flamberge: My friend, I hate to tell you this, because you will not like it, even if you know it’s true, but: Your view is severely twisted by your arachnophobia.
      Now first of all, that’s not something to be ashamed of. We all have it for things that trigger bad feelings in us. It’s a natural way to cope with things that are too much to process for our brain at that moment.
      But when you sidestep that deformed view and look straight at reality, you’ll see that things are not as bad.
      And what you will also notice, is feelings that are unrelated to the actual situation you are in.
      The trick now is, to do the opposite of what those feelings tell you to do. So they get stronger. (Stay with me, please.) Because when they get stronger, they trigger the memories that originally caused those feelings. Now you mentally move right inside of that situation. And you continue doing that, until you end up at the original first cause.
      This gives you the power to, from your p.o.v., alter the past, and the experiences you had. Neurologically it just equal a very strong signal, which is required to alter very deep/basic patterns.

      And because now, you are likely to be able to handle, what you couldn’t back then, you will process that old situation, and create new associations and memories. Things will become clear.
      Then all you have to do, is train that new old view of how you actually think about spiders. Like a muscle, it will be a bit painful at first, and will take some time and effort. But as long as you do it, success is inevitable!

      If this still is too much for you, find a very close person that can keep you on track and provide a safe and loving environment, even when you flip out. (And you should flip out and act extremely weird, if you feel like it. Because if you would have to hold back, this whole thing would not work! Just letting your feeling flow is essential.)

      Ok, this is the description of every single successful therapy ever done in a nutshell. (I don’t count symptom repressing like in pure behavioral therapy as “successful”.) I hope it helps you face your fear, get rid of it, and have fun killing spiders in games! :D

    • Jimbo says:

      As long as you can equip a lighter in one hand and deodorant in the other, the spiders shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

    • Rich says:

      If there was ever a controlled environment in which to face your fears, it is a game. Perhaps it’ll be even more effective since the spiders you’ll meet in game will be much scarier than any you’ll meet in real life.

      Providing you never go to countries that have ridiculously dangerous spiders.
      Related note: I watched some The Pacific last night. When one of the chaps was doing the Horizontal Monster Mash in some wood with his Australian sweetheart, “bloody hell” I thought, “they’re braver than me”.

    • woodsey says:

      @ dadioflex

      Refining =/= dumbing down.

      I seem to remember some highly useless skills in Oblivion that could easily have been merged into others – some of the magic ones, for example.

    • Aemony says:

      I’m sorry to hijack this thread but I have a phobia towards creepers… How do I proceed, BAReFOOt ? My whole body says RUUUUUUUN when I see one but according to you I move closer? … TO A CREEPER…? Please help me with this, please!

    • elyscape says:

      @BAReFOOt
      “Because when they get stronger, they trigger the memories that originally caused those feelings”

      I’m sorry, but you’re full of shit. What you’re talking about sounds more like PTSD. Phobias aren’t always caused by traumatic experiences. In fact, they usually aren’t. I’m arachnophobic myself, but I’ve never had a bad experience involving spiders aside from the occasional OH SHIT THERE IS A SPIDER ON ME GET IT OFF GET IT OFF, but that’s the result of my arachnophobia, not the cause of it.

    • MajorManiac says:

      For arachniphobs they should add a spell that can turn spiders into something silly, Such as spiders in clown costumes.

    • Tokjos says:

      That sounds more terrifying than regular spiders, actually.

    • dadioflex says:

      Okay, maybe skill-culling isn’t dumbing down. But come on, no-one else wants to see levitation back???

    • Zaboomafoozarg says:

      You’re afraid of spiders? Try growing up.

    • oceanclub says:

      Flameberge, were you able to play HL2? I don’t have arachniphobia, but the first time I played it, the poison headcrabs made my skin crawl….

      P.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      @Zaboomafoozarg: Funny, the same thing could be said about you. For different reasons of course.

    • dieffenbachj says:

      What BAReFOOt is espousing is referred to as memory repression, AKA Freud’s theories, colloquially known as bull****.

      Here’s how phobias work. Any Psych student can explain it to you. There is no repressed memories or ‘original cause’ involved, or if there is, it’s of absolutely no consequence to the phobia.

      It’s your brain giving you a feedback loop, essentially. You feel anxious when something is nearby because you felt anxious the last time that something was nearby, you feel happy when it’s gone because last time you felt happy when it was gone. These are negative and positive reinforcements, two pillars of operant conditioning.

      It’s a closed loop of circular logic. Today I saw a spider and it made me nervous because yesterday when I saw a spider, it made me nervous; when I freaked out and stepped on it it made me feel better, because the nervousness went away. And tomorrow when I see a spider, I’ll be nervous because today when I saw a spider, it made me nervous, AND my brain will be convinced the only way to be satisfied will be to freak out and step on the spider.

      Your brain really is a simpleton sometimes. Almost all phobias are loops of logic (Adrian Monk… he’s afraid of milk, because milk makes him afraid. He’s afraid of heights, because heights make him afraid. He’s afraid of driving, because driving makes him afraid.). Any excuses you make (Adrian Monk again: Milk could be contaminated. I could fall off the height. I might get into a car accident) are almost ALWAYS justifications, with no ACTUAL bearing on the phobia (need proof? Because milk MIGHT be contaminated, you MIGHT fall off a height, you MIGHT get into a car accident… yet only one in a few people is actually phobic of those things. If those were good excuses, we’d ALL be afraid.)

      Unfortunately, in this I’d have to agree with Barefoot’s cure, but not because he’s right in ANY of his assumptions or explanations, because those are Freud’s theories and (while most psychologists tip their hat to Freud) are very much so wrong.

      “Exposure therapy” is the cure to a phobia. What is exposure therapy? It’s forcing yourself, with all of your willpower, to endure the thing which you’re afraid of without freaking out or getting rid of it.

      Me? I used to be terrified of spiders. Hated them so badly. Phobic. Then one day, I decided I was tired of being afraid of them, so when a spider crawled on my desk and over my hand, I did my best to ignore it. I watched it, tensed up, but didn’t get rid of it. Eventually it went away on its own.

      Over a few sessions of this, I eventually became okay with spiders. I’m not happy if they’re on me, but I can live with them nearby just fine. Webs behind my monitor? Crawling across my desk? Fine. Crawling over my hand? Eeesh, hurry up and get to the other side. But no longer phobic.

      Why does exposure therapy work? Well, think back to what CAUSES phobias: “I’m afraid of spiders because I was afraid last time! I should crush it because last time, I crushed it and immediately felt better!” That’s a two-part cause. If you let it sit on your hand, even if you’re freaking out a little bit, you’re teaching yourself two things: first, there’s nothing to be afraid of, nothing bad will happen, the spider won’t hurt you. Second, you aren’t crushing it, so you’ve stopped reinforcing that chain of thought.

      (As an aside… if you replace ‘crushing it’ with ‘freaking out and running away’, the same thing applies. If you run away once and as a result you feel better, next time your brain will tell you that you need to RUN AWAY. If you do it a second time, the next time you’ll freak out EVEN MORE and desire to run away EVEN MORE. It’s an endlessly worsening cycle.)

      There’s also exposure via study: learn all about spiders if you’re terrified of them. Learn how they lay eggs. Learn how to differentiate males from females. Learn what spiders are in your region, what the difference between a hunter and web spinner is… etc etc. Not only will this count as exposure since you’ll see pictures of spiders and associate them with being harmless, but you’ll also be able to shush that part of your head which is chanting strange thoughts like “It’ll lay eggs in my ears!” or “It’ll spin webs over my eyelids!” or whatever. Because you’ll know better.

      Phobias are indeed cured by exposure… but for God’s sake, will someone take the psychoanalysts and beat them with their own dream interpretation books?

    • Berzee says:

      And how does such a feedback loop…begin?

  3. mcnubbins says:

    I like the graphics, they are shiny, but not in a bad way.

    They also have way better faces now, and more … well-rounded characters.

    http://www.abload.de/image.php?img=scanddljz.jpg

    The game also has dragons. And Max von Sydow in it.

    • Rich says:

      That’s not bad.

    • The Hammer says:

      That indeed doesn’t look too bad!

    • Bhazor says:

      That hair! It looks like it might actually move!

    • DarkFenix says:

      Holy crap, NPC’s that look like they’re at least trying to be human. This really is new ground for Bethesda.

    • Adventurous Putty says:

      Oblivion with boobs?

    • Merelia says:

      @Adventurous Putty

      http://www.tesnexus.com – it already exists!

    • Adventurous Putty says:

      My faith in humanity is now even more dead than it was before. Thank you.

      *goes to commit suicide*

    • Wulf says:

      Wait.

      Didn’t Elder Scrolls at least have equal armour covering for men and women, and this is why the ‘sexually frustrated teenager’ mods were made, thus causing alienation in anyone who happens to be the opposite gender or has had a sex life? I mean, I tend to recall women and men having fairly equal armour in past Elder Scrolls games. Instead they’re dropping that to actually include those mods in the core game?

      So now I’m seeing scantily-clad, and we’re celebrating that? Right then, I guess I know which mods you blokes downloaded for Morrowind, Oblivion, Fallout 3, and likely New Vegas. One of the things I’ve always liked about Elder Scrolls is that it didn’t feel the need to shove cleavage in my face in that sort of aforementioned sexually frustrated teenager way. I’m sorry, but this is +1 for older TES games.

      And once again, this attitude of gamers tends to be one of the reasons why I have gender identity issues.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      Wtf are you on about this time, Wulf? It’s a girl wearing a shirt. A completely normal, not at all revealing shirt (long sleeves, no cleavage, and all). If you are having a problem with that image, you definitely do have issues.

    • bill says:

      I know it’s cool to bash oblivion, but I remember the graphics and the character faces getting pretty good reviews at the time. and I quote:
      “It’s exciting to stop and chat with each new person you meet, especially since a lot of them might send you on a quest of some sort or tell you where you can find one. Their faces are expressive, their eyes glint with life, and their lips move well with their speech. They could have used more body language, though, since they stand almost perfectly still when you’re speaking to them. These aren’t necessarily the most realistic-looking characters in any game to date, but they’re up there. ”

      Clearly, looking back on oblivion it has dated, but people seem to forget that it looked pretty amazing at launch.

    • Acorino says:

      Well, with HL2 as a reference, it didn’t really, no. Everything looked great, but even the characters seemed stiff back then.

    • Urael says:

      Aye, Wulf, it appears you’ve fair hurled yourself off the deep end on this one. We’ve seen ONE image of a young woman wearing entirely modest clothing – her lady-bumps seem to be a very natural size, too – and suddenly this means the entire game has been tailored for the hormonally-immature among us?? Knee-jerking raised to the level of an art-form.

      Given that you’d previously decided Skyrim was RUINED FOREVER based on a 40-second CGI trailer, one has to wonder if coming along and commenting on these threads is now some form of self-torture? Dr Urael diagnoses Phantom Menace Syndrome, “defending the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre with terminal intensity”. Perhaps you should have a wee think about things before you make any little boys run crying from the shop.

    • The Hammer says:

      “Right then, I guess I know which mods you blokes downloaded for Morrowind, Oblivion, Fallout 3, and likely New Vegas.”

      How the flying fuck did you come to that presumptuous conclusion?

      Also, Oblivion had plenty of armour which bared parts of the female form in ways it didn’t for men. You’re clearly playing with the truth here.

    • outoffeelinsobad says:

      Max von Sydow!

  4. Bassism says:

    There’s certainly some interesting looking things there, and some things that make me weep for the days of yore.
    While the level scaling certainly sounds better than Oblivion, I wish they would find a more satisfying way to balance the difficulty of the game. Busting my ass all over the world to get a suit of sweet glass armour only to find that soon after I finally find the elusive set of John Whatshisface, a new shipment comes in and every two-bit punk in the world is fully kitted in the stuff completely ruins the sense of progression for me.

    I’m on the fence about fewer skills. I like having reams of skills to pick from, but their lack doesn’t ruin a game for me. Being able to be a highly skilled warrior/thief/mage does though. Why bother giving me a choice at all if I don’t have to choose? The magic in Deus Ex was that you could be a badass with a big gun, a computer nerd, a guy with a penchant for picking locks, or a pacifist who wouldn’t raise a fist to hurt a fly, or maybe two of these. You couldn’t be all of them, which is the key thing here. The addition of perks might help a bit here though. (Wait, did somebody just finish building a Fallout game? :P)

    Overall, though, it sounds pretty cool. The dynamic character/conversation/quest/dropping swords on the ground stuff sounds like it might really be able to help the world feel more like a world. And I’m happy to see smithing and enchanting in the game. And cooking/farming/doing boring stuff is by far the most important aspect to an rpg for me, so that may please me rather well.

    Overall, I’m now excited for the game, and confident that it will be a great rpg, even if only after some modding to fix their stupid choices.

    • bill says:

      I’m not sure I agree about having to specialize in only one thing. That sounds rather dull and repetitive. Just because I wanted to start the game as a sword fighting warrior doesn’t mean I want to spend the next 70 hrs doing the same thing…. maybe I get bored of that and want to do some stealth, then that gets dull and I want to do some flashy magic.

      I’m not going to replay the game (especially a game as big and open as TES games), so why should I be limited to 1/3rd of the gameplay and fun?

      One of the few things I liked about Deus Ex 2 was that they let you totally respec your character near the end. By that point I was bored of using the same abilities over and over, so it was nice and refreshing to swap them out for totally new ones.

      My Thief in Morrowind got boring after a while, so I started trying to boost his magic – but was hampered by my initial choices and stats… but i wasn’t going to restart with a whole new character and play through the same game again.

  5. dadioflex says:

    “Another example, is if you kill someone who owns a store – who didn’t do that in Oblivion? – and this store owner was at some point going to give you a quest – his sister would inherit the store, but you may have to butter her up a bit before you will get the quest.”

    Last Tango In Skyrim? hehehehe. I slay me.

    • Okami says:

      “Hey, I’m the guy who killed your brother because I was bored and then just went dragon killing until the guards forgot about me. Now I understand that you might be angry, but I really need to sell all this stuff I’ve collected from breaking into people’s houses, so it would be cool if you would still trade with me. Tell you what, I’ll even kill those rats in your basement, deal?”

    • Soon says:

      And the quest is: “Will you kill my sister for me?”

  6. dogsolitude_uk says:

    The new level scaling sounds arguably worse than that of Oblivion: now it’s not just the loot and levels of enemies that ‘scale’ to you, but the damned quests as well!

    Has this been done to stop people writing players guides? ;)

    It’s the fact that the game wrapped itself around me, like it was run by some kind of invisible, Nanny State deity, that really really put me off Oblivion. I could live with the pudgy faces and the very small ‘cities’, but not the fact that there was, essentially, no real game to beat, and little point in doing much as a result.

    • Bassism says:

      Yes. This. A million times or so.

    • wengart says:

      Actually quest rewards were scaled in Oblivion.

    • Lack_26 says:

      I think if done right it mightn’t be too bad, after all, who’s going to send a weakling nobody out to save their relative, they’d probably ask someone far more up to the job, like that guy they keep hearing about, 7 foot tall they say, can kill a man with his eye-brows and fists made of steel but will still sort out a mud-crab infestation for 20 gold.

      I’d actually quite like it if you arrived in a town for the first time, but where quite well known and talked about and people gossiped about you. Stuff like, “I thought she’d be taller”, “Quick, he’s coming this way, smile”, “He’s looking at you, I think he might like you *burst into giggles*” and the like, you’d certainly feel like you have more of a role in the world.

      Imagine a hushed silence as the Dragon-born walks into a bar, someone gets out of their seat for you but eventually people will get back to their conversations. But if you’d entered as a complete nobody, people wouldn’t pay the slightest bit of heed to you (unless you punched them in the face and called their mother a mud-crab).

    • Rich says:

      Lack_26 that would be cool. I’d like to see less of cooing and NPCs surrounding you that you get in Fable though.

    • dogsolitude_uk says:

      @lack_26: that sounds great, however I’m really bothered about the way that not only the quest reward will be scaled, but the locations will change depending on where you’ve already been!

      That is one of the most monstrously insane ideas ever: how can different players have any kind of meaningful discussion about the game? A few posts down, coldvvvave asks about how to find Morningstar cave, presumably for a quest. With Skyrim a given cave would still be there, but the quest may target a completely different cave, scale the loot, scale the adversaries and so on etc.

      And besides, even if I’m say level 20+, I like the feeling of completion knowing I’ve done all the rat-killing quests, and will happily do any I’ve missed just for the hell of it.

      Having people react to you is a damned fine idea though. I liked how NPCs would react differently to you depending on your rep in Morrowind :)

    • domowoj says:

      @dogsolitude_uk: the locations are only randomized for the random “radiant story” quests, which sound like they’re mostly small fetch quests just added for flavor. the hand-placed quests are most likely still hand-placed.

      really it’s no different from STALKER in that regard.

    • dogsolitude_uk says:

      @domowoj: I certainly hope you’re right matey! :)

      I couldn’t imagine anything more annoying than having a completely levelled/tailored set of quests… What you’re saying makes a lot more sense. I’ll nip round the web and re-read everything about Skyrim to make sure, as I think I may well have read things differently to you.

      Like I say, I prefer your version…

    • Archonsod says:

      Rogue has been making completely random dungeons since the seventies, and it’s never prevented people discussing it.

    • Wulf says:

      @Lack_26

      If you ask me, I imagine that someone desperate enough for aid might ask anyone who looks barely heroic enough, and I like that, that’s believable. But a mother worried for her son, standing in a town square, looking at the prospective aid and thinking ‘mo, too skinny, too dumb, too weak, him!’? That’s… kind of ridiculous. I actually like being given quests and challenges that I’m not immediately up to.

      In fact, both New Vegas and Ego Draconis did this, and I loved them for it. And here’s the thing that’s going to make anyone who’s played Ego Draconis yell ‘You’re crazy, Wulf! Absolutely crazy!

      In Ego Draconis, I went to Lovis’ tower at level 5-6. I wanted to do the whole dragon ascension thing, I was going to, and I’d be damned if I’d let anyone stand in my way. It was something like a level 10 area if I remember right, so the skeletons were stripping me of my health rather speedily. Then I had to climb a tower that was filled with skeletons, I had to do tricky jumping whilst being shot at by skeletons where I could’ve fallen and would’ve had to start all over, I ran, I spammed healing items, I feared for my life, and I hoped that my skill would see me through.

      And you know what? It did. I met Lovis, and I was far further into the game at that point than I should have been. It felt awesome.

      I had a similar experience in New Vegas, I was merrily strolling North because I’d read that there was a robodog waiting for me up North, and I wanted to meet him. Then a deathclaw came running down a ridge at me, and in a few hits I was dead. Right then. I didn’t give up at this point, and I didn’t have any stealth boys. It took me a little while and a few deaths, but I discovered that there was a relatively safe (if heart attack-ish at points) path around the deathclaws, around the cazadors, that lead to me to fleeing for my life from fiends near New Vegas. I had done it. Freeside and my loyal robodog awaited…

      Now these are experiences I simply can’t have in a game that has heavy level-scaling. So can someone tell me why level-scaling is a good idea, again?

    • jaheira says:

      “So can someone tell me why level-scaling is a good idea, again?”

      Yes, I can. Level scaling allows you to go wherever you want in the game world without encountering vicious difficulty spikes. This is very important for the design philosophy of Bethesda Games, which is to maximize freedom.

      Personally, I don’t like it either. Oblivion was much better with Oscuro’s Overhaul. But the money is with the casual crowd.

  7. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    Beards! Yes!

    • de5me7 says:

      yes! beards is probably the most important item on the list

      i wonder how dynamic these quests will be, and whether they will actually make it in to the game and work.

  8. Wizlah says:

    so long as I can mod out the level scaling, that all sounds reasonably varied and interesting. enchanting is back is good. smithing is good. cooking is good. All that dynamic quests/dead shopkeeper stuff is good, but will probably result in some crazy outcomes. shame the number of skills is reduced, but I’m happy if enchanting is there and the skills that they do keep allow for sufficient variety in characters.

    ultimately though, what will make it great rather than just good is the atmosphere. crowded cities, please, and visually distinctive.

  9. crazydane says:

    I’m hoping that the cities will be something like those which we have seen in the assassins creed games where they feel lively and busy. I liked the ‘cities’ in oblivion and indeed Morrowind, but they weren’t really cities, they were like the average village, even the ‘Imperial’ City was not a city – at best it was a small town. I would love this game if it had real cities, cities with long winding streets bustling with people, maybe its still a lot to ask but it would be awesome.

  10. Bhazor says:

    “On Weapon smithing: Go to a forge and carve a new weapon out of red hot metal.” was the most exciting bullet point for me. I loved the weapon crafting in Dark Messiah and always wish other games would steal the idea and improve on it. When crafting is just jamming things together, such as in every single MMO (apart from A Tale in the Desert, possibly) I don’t even bother reading the tutorial for it.


    For those who don’t know what I mean.

    • Rich says:

      Shame there was only ever two or three opportunities to forge stuff in that game.

    • alseT says:

      The Gothic games had some decent forging, or was that with mods, I don’t remember.

    • Bhazor says:

      “Shame there was only ever two or three opportunities to forge stuff in that game.”

      Thats why I’m so happy it might appear in a sandbox/openworld game. Theres huge potential there especially if they go with Witcher style secret recipes (one of the best things about Witcher for me) like adding special herbs to the quenching water or casting a spell on the liquid metal. But if it’s just walk up to a anvil and have a alchemy drop box appear I’ll be very disappointed.

      “The Gothic games had some decent forging, or was that with mods, I don’t remember.”

      I’ve got Gothic 2 Gold on GOG but never played it. But it’s been on my to do list for a while so maybe after I’ve replayed Alpha Protocol. I remember Arx Fatalis which was made by the Dark Messiah guys also had a pretty neat crafting system where you could make flour into bread making it into dough and baking it.

      Edit:
      Talking of Arkane Studios (Arx, Dark Messiah) guess who they’re working for now.
      http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/65102
      Yay!

    • Soon says:

      The forging in Gothic had you carry out several different steps, from heating, hammering, cooling, sharpening, and whatever. Each step was done separately by using different bits of equipment, and you watched the character act out each bit. He’d also sit by a fire and hold a pan over it to cook his food, dawww.

    • Wulf says:

      Yep, Soon is right.

      The crafting in Gothic was fairly wonderful, even insofar as just cooking at the fireplace. This is one of the areas where I wish New Vegas could be modded, but limitations of the Gamebryo engine as it currently is and all that most likely wouldn’t allow for it.

      But yeah, Gothic was pretty serious about its crafting, just as it was about its magic, really, there was lots of depth there.

    • Eschatos says:

      Good old crafting, almost makes me miss Runescape.

  11. rayne117 says:

    No mysticism?

    They took my soul trap away?

    Uncalled for.

    • rei says:

      They just shuffled spells that used to be in the mysticism school into other schools. I’m perfectly fine with that; it wasn’t a very well-defined category anyway, what with all magic being a bit mysterious in the first place.

    • Lacero says:

      I hope camouflage is still in.

    • Unaco says:

      Enchanting is making a return, as a skill… I’d assume Soul Trap would likely be included in that skill. There must be Soul Trap in there somewhere… otherwise Enchanting is going to be quite redundant.

    • daphne says:

      I hope telekinesis is still in. One of my favourite spells in the previous two games.

    • frenz0rz says:

      I would imagine Soul Trap and anything else related to enchantment that was formerly under the skill of Mysticism will simply be placed under Enchanting instead, with everything else distributed between the remaining magic skills. Either that, or Mysticism has simply been renamed to Enchanting so as to incorporate some new skills – a possibility i’ve not heard anyone mention yet.

      One thing that has me slightly confused with the changing of how skills work and the removal of classes is whether attributes still exist, and if so, which skills now correspond to which attributes. Even if they did exist, they’d likely have a very different purpose since they apparently no longer apply to leveling up.

      In the end, this is all mere speculation until we get more solid information. We’ll never know for sure until we’re told; still hopefully the removal of some of the established Elder Scrolls complexities will have a positive effect, such as in Mass Effect 2, as opposed to a negative effect due to ‘dumbing down’ which was so widely accused of Oblivion.

  12. Malawi Frontier Guard says:

    I was secretly hoping they wouldn’t release any information whatsoever before release apart from that logo. It would feel right, you know?

  13. trooperdx3117 says:

    Hmm less skills? Surely I thought people wanted more skills?

  14. Frankle says:

    I can see myself (If I ever get another elder scrolls game) Killing a lot of npc civilians when I’m trying to have conversations with them if they carry on with things while they talk. A lot of me screaming “Stop walking away from me when i’m talking to you”! *smack*. “OOOOPS”!.
    I’m glad they are getting rid of the stupid zoom in face rubbish though.
    RPS If you ever interview them about the game, please ask if they worked out how to make ladders work.

  15. The Hammer says:

    “Quests are more dynamic, and are determined by how you build your character. Example: Say you are a Mage instead of a warrior – a magician may approach you for something, whereas is you were not a mage, you would never have spoken to him. Another example, is if you kill someone who owns a store – who didn’t do that in Oblivion? – and this store owner was at some point going to give you a quest – his sister would inherit the store, but you may have to butter her up a bit before you will get the quest.

    Dropping pile of weapons in the street in order to save inventory and come back to it plays out different. If you drop a sword in the street, it may just dissapear, someone could find it and give it back to you, or it will cause a series of actions to happen where a couple people fight over who gets to keep the found sword.

    Quests will also be modified by how you have played – so certain missions will take place in areas you have been to but not necessarily the same dungeons.”

    Wow, that sounds like it could be great. If, y’know, it actually works as well as that in-game. I remember the astonishing Radiant AI videos from pre-release Oblivion, and being balled over by it all. Then it turned out… well, let’s be tactful and say “differently”.

    Still, there are beards in the game. Beards. That’s got to count for something!

    • Bhazor says:

      Well to be fair Radiant AI was completely broken, I mean the woman in the demonstration blew her cat up. Certainly I think the final version did a pretty good job of making it look like people were acting in the world even if it was entirely scripted.

    • Unaco says:

      I agree… it did make it look like people were acting in the world. Acting… like actors, acting for our benefit. Rather than living in the world.

  16. bildo says:

    You would think getting rid of Illusion was a better choice. Lump the Illusion spells and what not in with Mysticism. Maybe it’s just me.

  17. Nick says:

    Careful, you might get sued.

  18. Lack_26 says:

    I’m hoping for a hard-core mode, except even things like your hair and beard (if you a male, or not) will grow. I’d love to come out of the forest in need of a good drink and a shave. And if you killed someone’s brother they’re probably going to hate you forever.

    A social structure would be good, but I doubt it’ll make the final game, people having friends & lovers, the ability to make friends by coming back regularly and a proper sense of reputation.

  19. HermitUK says:

    I don’t mind the reduction of skillsets, assuming they’re also working to reduce the player’s ability to be master of everything in a single character – Last Oblivion character I had was the head of the Fighters, Mages and Thieves Guilds, ran the Dark Brotherhood, was the Divine Crusader and a Crazy God, and still had time to save the world from Oblivion. He also spent a week as a vampire. True story.

    I do notice in the scans that VG24/7 link to (Won’t re-link in case the nuts in charge of GI magazine come a-calling again), there’s one shot of the skills menu against a background of stars. Hoping that’s not indicative of the UI as a whole, it looks very chunky and console orientated. Really wish Beth would just implement something more along the lines of DarNifiedUI as default in the PC versions of their games…

    From what I can tell in the grainy scans it looks rather nice, though I’ll wait til we see some proper shots and some gameplay footage. I’m still waiting to hear whether or not it’s still Gamebryo based – I’m slightly concerned that their talk of a “New Engine” basically means they scrapped a lot of their old code but still worked with the same broken core engine. Which would be a real shame, especially when the parent company owns iD, who know a thing or two about engines.

  20. int says:

    Can we at least get to kill the kids now?

    • Rich says:

      Not if they want to sell it in Germany.

      I’m pretty sure there are also countries where children just aren’t allowed to be portrayed in games. Can’t remember which though.

  21. Lambchops says:

    RPS vs The Magazine that Shall Not Be Named: Handbags at Dawn.

    I’d buy it.

  22. Unaco says:

    Oh well… The one spark of optimism I had, was in one of the scanned pages, there was an “Enchanting” skill listed (alongside other magic skills, Alchemy, Illusion, Conjuration, Destruction, Restoration, Alteration). I thought, Yay, that’s a skill that was dropped from Morrowind (28 skills) for Oblivion (21 skills) that is coming back, and hopefully with it the extensive, free, open enchanting system… and maybe the other skills will come back, we’ll have unarmoured/light/medium/heavy armour, long blade and short blade, Spear and Axe (if it’s set in Skyrim, there has to be an Axe skill, right?) maybe this will be more like Morrowind than Ob was. But no… 18 skills, less skills. And level scaling. As I feared, I think this is going to be further along the path they took with Ob, further away from what Morrowind was. Shame.

    Also… I have no faith in the promises about new AI, dynamic quests, Radiant Storytelling and all that jazz. I still remember all the promises surrounding that from Oblivion (the Radiant AI, meeting other adventurers in the wilds, interactions between quests, etc, etc.) and we got nothing of that. As soon as they see that this will ‘break’ or drastically alter a lot of people’s games, they’ll drop it. Or, it’ll be included, but only superficially, in a way that affects nothing else in the game, it’ll just be tacked on top, like a gimmick, rather than being a genuine part of the game.

    Anyway, that’s my little rant over.

    • Wulf says:

      I can’t blame you, really.

      Morrowind was the shining jewel of the Elder Scrolls crown, so much so that i tend to get irate when I see ill considered mod packs misrepresenting the game. I couldn’t really find much to fault in Morrowind. It was a little dry, but then all Bethesda games are a little dry. But it made up for it in spades with an exotic environment, with some really unique sights to be seen. I remember the first time I descended into a Dwemer facility – a ball rolled up to me, and unfurled into a very angry automaton. Nothing in Oblivion really compares to that memory.

      What I also loved about Morrowind was that for all you could say about it, it wasn’t cliche at any point. The creatures, the foes, the storyline, were all quite fresh. The only thing I wish had been better was the character writing, but you can’t have everything. To be honest, if they’d gotten someone like Obsidian to do just their dialogue writing for them, it might have been the perfect RPG. The only other complaint I can think of was that the animations were a bit naff, but considering how grand the game were, and how awful Oblivion’s were by comparison (especially the horse-riding), I’d feel petty even dwelling on it. So I won’t.

      And there was true character to the Nords in that expansion, too. Which pleased me, they actually felt like they had some viking/nordic influence going on there. Whereas in Oblivion they just seemed like long-haired, slightly more gruff-voiced imperials. That’s the thing though about Morrowind, it has buckets of character pouring out of every orifice. From the first time you look up and see your first silt strider, to the first time you’re pestered by cliff racers, to the very first time a mage lands on your head, to the first time you make it into that crater. It’s all very memorable.

      I felt that Oblivion exchanged a lot of that character, which was exotic and genuinely interesting, for typical fantasy cliches. There were small gasps of Morrowind brilliance, aching to get out – such as the painting quest, and the lore-based books were a joy to read (as they always are), but it felt like they were making it less challenging, less alien, less exotic, because Morrowind made the minds of too many altogether average people explode. …I wish entertainment wouldn’t focus around the lowest common denominator, but that’s Capitalism I suppose. Anyway…

      There were still bits of brilliance in Oblivion though. The Dark Brotherhood was another example of Morrowind-level brilliance that transcended the game it was trapped in, that was such a clever and well written little series of quests. I could’ve bought that as a cheap, short indie game and I would’ve been as pleased as punch, it was probably the best content in Oblivion. And it was nice to see that the ending didn’t revolve around making the player the hero, either. Not at all, the player was just the facilitator for a man who could turn into a bloody gigantic dragon to clean house.

      But you could feel Oblivion slipping. Pretty green world, so shallow, so average, so mediocre. And that’s what Oblivion suffered with, really. It suffered with utter mediocrity when compared to Morrowind. And that’s a shame, because had they tried to improve on Morrowind, they could have perhaps made the greatest game of all time. Instead they choose to make a comfort food RPG, one that wouldn’t make people think too much. I felt Fallout 3 suffered from this as well, you know? ‘Enclave Bad. Brotherhood Good. Now let’s go do some Medal of Honour shit with a big robot, HELLZ YEAH.

      Blargh.

      What bothers me is that Skyrim seems to be heading further down this path, just as you say. I don’t really care so much about game mechanics so much as the feel of a game, and the unique and memorable experiences it provides me with. I want a game to imprint on me, to burn into my mind so that I may never forget it. A few games have managed to do that, and I tend to always speak highly of them. Morrowind was one of them, a game so perfect and let down only by somewhat flat writing for characters.

      But Skyrim… opens by advertising the Leet Nord Ovaltine and his Dragonkilling Adventures. And really, you just don’t get much more cliche than that. I wouldn’t be surprised if they water Nords down further from what they were in Oblivion and essentially just make them barbarians. Honestly, what sort of name for a Nord is Novatine? I know, I know… I’ve been spoiled by the Norn in Guild Wars, all of which were entirely believable. But still… Novatine? Perhaps I’m being ignorant here, but Novatine sounds more like the name of a drug than that of a Nord. It might sound ‘kewl’ with Nova in it… but blargh.

      Novatine.

      Honestly?

      I can’t resist the urge to call him Ovaltine.

      (Edited: Wrote silt striders where I meant to write cliff racers. And I’m now remembering those insectoid workers/warriors, they were -so- cleverly done. Chitinous, biological transformers.)

    • Arglebargle says:

      Good comments, my feelings about Morrowind > Oblivion are similar. Morrowind felt like a real, exotic place. Oblivion felt like a bad D&D mishmash. Morrwind was on my computer, being played, for over three years. (And recently got put back on) Oblivion got pulled after two months. (And is on now only due to Nehrim).

      I hope that Bethesda does a better version this time: But, at present, they have lost me as a customer.

      Oh, and I thought that the Dark Brotherhood story arc had been written by the guy who did Thief. Which would make sense, as it was the one very clever quest line in the whole thing.

    • frenz0rz says:

      @Wulf

      As always, your post was a great read. I felt much the same way about Morrowind, if not more so. It was my childhood/early teen release, my escapism from the crap I had to put up with every day. It was a world. My world. As I stepped off that boat, I became but a tiny part of this outlandish, exotic island, filled with ancient history and lore, along with a myriad of complex political factions, guilds and organisations. As I fought, talked and explored my way through Vvardenfell my prestige rose, and I came to know every inch of that island…. and yet I would always find something new.

      Morrowind was utterly brilliant to me in every way, to the point where I dare not venture back today, else I might tear that illusion to pieces. Ultimately, playing the game today hardly interests me at all; it is the memories, the feelings, the near perfectly portrayed universe that fueled my adolescent imagination for years to come – THAT is what I want from an Elder Scrolls game. Unfortunately, I cant imagine a 13 year old ever having such an experience with Oblivion in 2006, nor with Skyrim in 2011. I hope Bethesda prove me wrong.

    • Will Tomas says:

      Don’t get me wrong, I loved Morrowind and its weirdness was very special, but I think as far as setting goes for Oblivion Bethesda rather ruined it for themselves with the fiction they created. Their fault was in worldbuilding not necessarily in the game. They designed the Elder Scrolls lands way back when they made Daggerfall (I don’t know how defined it was in Arena) and pretty much stuck to what they created way back when they hadn’t yet made games for them yet. Cyrodil was always meant to be lush greenery, and the Imperials were pretty much standard fantasy humans from the get-go. I think their real error was in following through with it without deciding to ditch their original plans. I worry a bit about Skyrim on those lines.

      But Oblivion was an awesome game. Yes, it had mechancial problems, but what gets forgotten is that it isn’t just the Dark Brotherhood quests that are genius, there’s loads of great moments. The moment you click on the painting and then realise you’ve been sucked inside it; the moment you fall asleep on the moored hotel and wake up to realise you’ve put to sea; there’s more invention in those than in most stock fantasy games, and it’s wonderful. Yes the level scaling was botched, and yes the Oblivion gates were annoying (I took to speed-running them to the end without fighting anyone just to finish them off fast), but sometimes it’s okay to be glass half-full, y’know?

      I am biased, I’m always swayed by an RPG that lets me be in first person because it innately feels far more immersive – as much as I love Bioware you can really tell that their pre-Mass Effect 2 influences are D&D and the novel, which is fine, but I always felt Bioware told you about their worlds – Bethesda lets you experience it. Yes, Bioware games are better, technically, but that isn’t always what you want. Sometimes you just want to climb a mountain, look down over a town as the Sun rises and stare over into the distant hills, knowing that you can journey there, dreaming of what you might find. Morrowind, Oblivion, and Fallout 3 all got that from me. And I love them for it.

    • Archonsod says:

      Always makes me laugh when people say Morrowind was original. The plot is a carbon copy of Dune, and the Dark Elves are lifted directly from Moorcock. It’s just as bad a mashup as Daggerfall and Oblivion were.

    • Nick says:

      Funny, all I see is people praising the odd and exotic locales and setting, not the “originality” of the storyline.

    • Wulf says:

      @Archonsod

      Bah, Nick beat me to it. Still, thanks Nick.

      Anyway, Archonsod – reading comprehension fail? I actually pointed out that the writing in Morrowind was a little dry and flat. I didn’t actually raise the point of the plot at any point, because i think that we all know that Bethesda stink at that, that’s a given. So instead, with a Bethesda game, you look at everything else instead.

      The everything else of Morrowind was far, far more appealing, inviting, engrossing, compelling, and at times even entrancing than the everything else of Oblivion. What does it with these settings isn’t that it’s been done before (to say it’s been done before is purposeful tomfoolery and I’m calling shenanigans on it – because any reasonably intelligent human ultimately knows that everything has been done before), but that it hasn’t been done so often before to the point where it’s been done to death.

      The everything else of Oblivion was a massive cliche, it had been done to death. Yes, there are things you can compare the everything else of Morrowind to, but that you can actually pick out one specific name shows how rarely this kind of setting pops up, and it’s even more rare in videogames than it is in other mediums, therefore it makes for a very intelligent, thoughtful experience.

      And that’s the thing about Morrowind, it felt thoughtful. Whereas Oblivion felt like having a sword thrust into your hand and then being kicked out into a very typical fantasy world and being told to have at it. That’s pretty much what it felt like after the sewers tutorial, which even had me killing rats. How much more typical and cliche do you get than something like that? Starting off in a prison and fighting rats? I think that’s pretty much fantasy 101, I can remember so many things starting off that way, too many. I’m just glad that you didn’t wake up with amnesia or something.

      Morrowind, again, was more interesting in this regard. The character creation was a cleverly elaborated take on registering yourself as a citizen of the island of Morrowind, and from that point you were to do tasks for the Imperials to earn your freedom. It had a far more focused feel to it all than Oblivion did, as it really lead you into the world, and showed you some pretty nice things along the way. There were places you couldn’t go because they were laden with death-dealing machines of doom and squirrels, but sometimes you went there anyway, just to see. Occasionally you’d even sneak through these fields of doom to catch a snatch of something amazing. As I described earlier with my New Vegas and Ego Draconis examples.

      In Morrowind, it felt like they cared about creating a world, and you could feel that with every little element of it. In Oblivion, it felt like they’d had their desire for originality beaten out of them, and they did what was popular because that’s what sells. (Look at how many people add pretty temperate zone trees to Morrowind, you know it’s true.) Morrowind might not have been completely original, Archonsod, but nothing is completely original. It did, however, make the effort to give us memorable experiences, throughout the entirety of its game. Whereas those memorable experiences were commonplace in Morrowind, they were fleeting in Oblivion.

      And the first time I saw that video of Skyrim I just facepalmed and groaned. A dragon-slaying Nord? O hey gaiz, we’re in cliche town again. This is why I don’t have much hope for Skyrim, because it’s still Oblivion, and Bethesda still don’t understand what made Morrowind so compelling.

      Edit #1: One other point, not sure who brought it up, but it was a good one. Morrowind did feel ancient, yes, and it was special for that reason. Often, these games where we visit cliche town make me feel ancient because I’ve encountered all of this so many times before. I don’t know if it could work for the kids, because cliche fantasy pap is everywhere, but it doesn’t work for me.

      However, in Morrowind the island actually did feel old, it made me feel new, and that’s an interesting experience. It’s nice to actually not know what you’re going to find when stepping onto an alien shore, to actually be surprised occasionally, to be caught off guard despite having a good few years of gaming and familiarity with fantasy mediums under your belt. That’s something a bit special.

      To be honest, this is why I was so absolutely ensorcelled by Mask of the Betrayer. Okku would tell me things that made him feel truly ancient. Older than the dragons ancient, he seemed like the bear equivalent of a wide-eyed storyteller at times, by the fireplace, telling stories to impressionable youths, and in that game, I was the impressionable youth, I was because the game continued to surprise me and do things I hadn’t expected.

      This continued with other characters in the game, like the Tree Man, who also felt so old as to have seen the dawn of time. I could’ve spent hours just talking with Okku and the Tree Man, letting them tell me tales of a world I had never and could never see, of their past, their memories, and what arose in their dreams. It was fantastic stuff, in the truest and most original meaning of fantastic.

      Whilst Morrowind didn’t do fantastic with story, it did so with lore, environment, the creatures within, the atmosphere, and almost every other element. In Morrowind, the lands were old and I was young. In Oblivion, the lands were young and I was old. I desire the former.

    • bill says:

      Morrowind is an awesome world to explore, with great atmosphere. But the interface, stats, skills, combat and a lot of other stuff is totally broken.

      While all the separate weapon and armour skills sound good in theory, it makes little sense in practice. I’m a super skilled swordsman with this sword, but give me a slightly shorter/longer one and I’m unable to hit the side of a barn. I can block anything with a big shield, but a small one is useless to me.

      I greatly enjoyed my time in morrowind, but most of it was for the world – and most of it was in spite of the game. Most of the fixes for Oblivion sounded like exactly what was needed.

    • Reiver says:

      @Bill There’s a lot of things to criticise in Morrowind, although i disagree with your blanket naming of those aspects rather than elements of them. The one that compels me to post disagreement is the claim that the interface is completely broken. In what possible way?

      The Morrowind UI is perhaps the finest example of flexibility and usability i’ve seen in an RPG. It had several re-sizable screens that could be brought up individually or all at once. You could flick between them or have the screens side by side to compare info. They could be accessed paused or during movement so you could keep progressing to your next objective while checking the map or reading a book. You could change colour and (iirc) text size as well as transparency.

      The level of customisation was empowering and the menus were a complete joy to navigate. Yeah, you’re right, Oblivion surely fixed that!

  23. rei says:

    It seems like VG247 may have just copied their list from the official forums without acknowledgement (or the other way around, but that’s a bit less likely considering these people are now at thread #17 (threads are locked and the next one created at 200 messages IIRC) and they must’ve been doing something with all that banter.)

    http://forums.bethsoft.com/index.php?/topic/1156583-skyrim-game-informer-thread-xvii/

    EDIT: Oh, they attributed it to NeoGAF instead. Who knows where it first came from I guess.

  24. Doth Messar says:

    I’m usually not a doomsayer in regards to new games coming out, but after playing Nehrim and looking at this list I am preparing myself to be disappointed. It sounds like Skyrim is just going to be a new Fallout. I don’t like that the two games are being developed by the same company, they even use the same voice actors. (Yes I do realize that many games share voice actors)

    They’re streamlining skills, magic, and leveling, and I’m sorry but in an RPG streamlining is not always good. In fact its usually bad. Usually it means they’re preparing it for a console port. And in terms of map, Skyrim seems tiny compared to that of Cyrodil. I’d much rather wait and have something amazing to play with than get a new game soon that’s Fallout with swords and magic. But whatever, Oblivion wasn’t a terribly polished egg and I enjoyed that quite a bit, meaning if they can manage to immerse me into the environment well enough, I can live with game flaws, providing they’re not game breaking. What I am really hoping for is things to keep me busy after I’ve completed the main quest, as now a days they only last like…20 hours. So if they have good side quests and interesting characters — throw in an editor too — and I’ll eat my own hands, forcing me to play with my face.

    • Wilson says:

      I would hope that if they make it smaller, they can put more detail in. I’d gladly take less content of more quality. I’m making sure not to get excited over this game because Oblivion was a bit of a disappointment. It was a laugh to play through the first time, but I can’t go back to it now even with a load of great mods because I just don’t enjoy it very much. And there is no way they’ll manage what they’re talking about with the AI. Or not in a satisfying, consistently impressive way anyway. If they do, I will be stunned.

    • Chopper says:

      First Fallout 3 was Oblivion with guns, now Skyrim is “Fallout with swords and magic”?

      Cheer up you malcontents.

    • Fiatil says:

      Chopper beat me to it. IT HAS COME FULL CIRCLE AT LAST!

    • Wulf says:

      @Chopper

      Oblivion always had guns, Mage staffs were fully automatic weapons, complete with ammo.

      Though it never really bothered me, truth be told. There were a number of things I disliked about Oblivion, but that wasn’t one of them, to the contrary I found it more than a little entertaining.

      Whenever I see mods like ‘Hey, I made a fully automatic rifle that shoots incinerator shots’ on the Nexus for Fallout, I can’t help but think ‘Ah, an Oblivion Mage’s staff, then.’

    • Qazi says:

      Arena had “guns” – any bow was a neverending hail of devastation, limited only by how the bow slowly wore down with each shot.
      Morrowind had guns – any cast on use enchanted item could be rapid fired. Have a dozen identical rings with destructive effects, and simulate reloading with switching between rings.
      I’ve not played enough Daggerfall to find out if it had a similar moar dakka option. :(

    • bill says:

      Does anyone else get a sense of deja-vu every time a TES game comes out? People spend ages complaining that the world is too empty, there isn’t enough content, the skills system is broken, etc.. and then start complaining about them reducing the world size, streamlining the skills system etc.. and the wheel of time turns.

      Don’t know oblivion, but morrowind had loads of useless skills. And when morrowind launched everyone complained because they reduced the number of skills and the land mass size from Daggerfall. Then the same thing seemed to happen with the launch of oblivion. Now the same again.

  25. coldvvvave says:

    No HUD option is very nice if they will also include more text info on quests so especially masochistic people have an option to do stuff like in Morrowind( Anyone remember Morningstar cave, or something? I’ve been trying to find it for days) like trying to do quests without magical compass.

    • dogsolitude_uk says:

      “Anyone remember Morningstar cave, or something? I’ve been trying to find it for days”

      Sorry, no :(

      If they are going to level the quests, and even change the locations depending on where you’ve been, then we won’t be able to have such conversations about Skyrim. :’(

    • terry says:

      This is a good point. Just once, I’d love for an NPC to not know the rumours around town (perhaps because they’re disinclined to gossip, or their social status prevents it), or not have the foggiest idea where the Cave of Gobshite is because he’s a streetsweeper.

  26. Voidy says:

    Ugh, Giant Spiders. For every shooter featuring crates, there must be at least four CRPGs teeming with these buggers. I can only hope Bethesda will give this cliche a pomo edge, like they did with rat-slaying quest. Maybe each time fast travel is used a Giant Spider will gently wrap the player in a snug cocoon and carry them to their destination. Or they could be a ridable mount. Or a playable race. Or better yet, a ridable mount AND a playable race. Just imagine the resulting confusion of limbs, and the overall screenshot potential!

    Seriously though, it’s nice to see Beth still trying to make the ultimate Daggerfall, still trying to strike a perfect balance between randomly generated and custom-made content, still trying to fit emergent gameplay into AAA title. They might be slow and cautious about it, but they’re getting there. Keeping my fingers crossed for 11.11.11.

    • sinister agent says:

      Maybe each time fast travel is used a Giant Spider will gently wrap the player in a snug cocoon and carry them to their destination.

      … I may never leave my house again.

  27. DarkFenix says:

    I’m actually quite hopeful after reading that. Looks like Bethesda have learned a thing or two since Oblivion.

    Developing Fallout games seems to have done them some good, both in terms of making levelling up interesting and in terms of having made a combat focused game. I’m in two minds about the Fallout games themselves; on the one hand they’re good games in their own right, on the other they just aren’t Fallout anymore. I guess if Fallout helps Bethesda become a better developer there’s at least a silver lining to that one.

  28. Pantsman says:

    “conversations are “natural” and in the world, not zoomed in. ”
    YES.

  29. Sobric says:

    Less skills is not really a good thing IMO. I imagine that Athletics is gone since there is a sprint button, which isn’t the end of the world, but what’s happening to the rest of the skills? I imagine we’ll now just have “Armour”, “Weapons” and “Other” as skill catagories.

    Also, all the spiel about dynamic quests working to your character etc etc is something I’m really going to have to see to believe.

    The graphical changes will surely be welcomed though. No podgy faces and Beards!

    • rei says:

      Only three skills have been removed, mysticism being one. Medium armor is completely pointless so that’d be a good candidate for removal (if it wasn’t already removed in Oblivion, can’t remember). And mercantile can (and perhaps should) be rolled into speechcraft just fine. And is there really any need to have athletics and acrobatics as separate skills?

    • Wulf says:

      Shame about Mysticism, it had some really fun spells.

      …or maybe that was mods. I can’t recall.

    • jaheira says:

      Mark first. Then recall.

    • Nick says:

      as long as there aren’t blunt axes..

    • Archonsod says:

      They haven’t said how many skills they’ve removed, apart from Mysticism. All they’ve said is the game will have 18 skills. It could be they’ve dropped 3 since Oblivion, it could be there’s 18 completely new skills.

      Personally I’d expect the majority of the combat skills (weapons, armour and block) to be removed and their use transitioned to the perk system (which is all they really did in Oblivion anyway) . Since woodcutting, farming and the like appear to be in I suspect the skills will be in that kind of abstract line.

  30. Conor says:

    I’m cautiously optimistic. Some of it sounds good, and some of it sounds WTF?!?!?!?!, but it looks like it could be special.

    That said, I think I’ll wait until they confirm a Construction Set before I consider buying it, because that’s how I roll.

  31. Zogtee says:

    “Conversations are natural”. Ha, ha, ha! I can’t wait to see that. :)

    And FFS, ditch glass weapons, glass armor, glass shields, etc. It’s such a deeply stupid concept and it makes my brain hurt.

    • Hematite says:

      If it makes you feel better, the glass probably isn’t ‘glass’ as we know it – they mine it out of the ground in Morrowind, just like eggs.

    • Wulf says:

      You’re assuming that the properties of glass function the same way in their reality as it does in ours, when clearly this is not the case. Certainly, glass armour makes no sense in our reality, according to the properties of glass we’re aware of, according to the laws of physics here, if you strike glass armour with a mallet it’ll shatter and cause the wearer great harm. However, this isn’t how it operates in Vvanderfell.

      Can fantasy not extend to the properties of different materials? In Guild Wars there are slimes used by the Charr that have high energy properties, I’m half tempted to think that they’ve got farms of these creatures in Guild Wars 2, and that’s the secret behind their Industrial revolution. Instead of coal or nuclear power, they use slimes. Automatons powered by slimes! Airships powered by slimes!

      This is just one area where I love to play devil’s advocate, because it amuses me that in a high fantasy reality where people can accept the ability to summon skeletons out of mid-air – they can’t then accept that glass might have different properties to our reality? Really?

      Edit #1 – @Hematite: Yep. Pretty much.

      This is actually one of the things I always loved about Elder Scrolls, there are things to the lore which are really alien, and that pleases me. Of course, this will break brains, it seems that the average human is not capable of quickly adapting to new concepts on the fly, but I dig it, and I seek such things out.

      I really wish they’d worked more of that alien nature of it all into the quests, settings, and such of Oblivion, much like they did with Morrowind. I felt that Oblivion was a step slightly in the wrong direction, but it was still Elder Scrolls, the lore was still there. But Skyrim worries me, it seems like it might be out and out lore rape. And that would depress me, because Elder Scrolls has wonderful lore.

    • Soon says:

      I like the glass. And it’s not as deeply stupid as you’d expect. Glass has been used as weapons (blades, more specifically) in reality. Obsidian is a natural glass which gives an almost unrivalled keen edge. I think scalpel blades are glass. Natural glass (which could also be mined) can also have that nice green colour. So its properties aren’t even that far removed from what we have.

      This is also a world which prefers metal bows over wooden (‘cept ebony). And ebony is rated above almost all over materials.

    • Nick says:

      Its not *glass* glass, any idiot should be able to work that out by looking at it.

  32. Sic says:

    Oh, please, God, let this be an inkling of what TES might be with new design management. I’m bursting with hope for the TES series.

    The only caveat I see is cutting down on the size and the openness of the world, as that was spot on as it was. The rest, though, was rubbish. Utter rubbish.

  33. coldvvvave says:

    Um, isn’t there a freeware program ike SharePod or something to replace iTunes?

  34. Joseph Manderley says:

    Right. So, fast travel and level scaling return.

    The consoles have won. The Glorious PC Gaming Master Race (TM) has lost.

    Run for the hills (of Vvardenfell)

    • rei says:

      Level scaling will be similar to Fallout 3, where it was pretty much unnoticeable. I had no idea the game had any scaling until I was told, so it certainly didn’t bother me.

      http://forums.bethsoft.com/index.php?/topic/1156661-public-service-announcement-level-scaling/

      And if you can’t resist the temptation to use fast travel it’ll be trivial to mod it away, and maybe include some naked nords at major towns who you can hitch a piggyback ride from or something.

      PS Your blacklist thingy keeps spitting out errors! Regex IDs 124496, 124494, 124471 and 124470. Please fix them in the Blacklist control panel!

    • Joseph Manderley says:

      “Blacklist”? Sorry, I don’t know what that is, I’m afraid.

      Procedurally generated level scaled quests I personally regard as the acute angle at the very end of Oblivion’s slippery slope. I didn’t like it in Arena and Daggerfall, and I’m quite sure I won’t like it here. It makes the player feel like the world revolves around him, and not the player being a part of the world. Immersion is key, and procedural generation TOTALLY destroys it.

      As to fast travel, modding it out isn’t the point. Again, it’s about immersion. Fast travel means no Morrowind-style in-universe transit system, which is a great, great shame.

      Bethesda are either lazy, gearing this to consoles, or more likely, both.

    • rei says:

      I can’t imagine the quests would be procedurally generated to that extent. There’s likely just a bit of leeway in the smaller details, with the broad strokes remaining the same. Everything we know at this point comes from one guy who might not have expressed everything clearly and may not have understood things perfectly and likely isn’t some elder scrolls sage that can put everything he’s being told into proper context.

      Anyway, just because there’s fast travel it doesn’t necessarily follow that there are no in-game travel options. That was one of the things people most missed from Morrowind and they seem to have taken a lot of criticism to heart so it’d make sense to redress that as well. Although judging by the previous games I guess the two have yet to coexist. Still, there’ll be a wagon/giant cliffracer/naked nord piggyback travel network mod within a couple of weeks of launch I’m sure.

      EDIT: oh yes, and the blacklist bit was for the benefit of the RPS folks, although I probably should’ve put it in its own message.

    • poop says:

      @rei how could you not notice the sudden abundance of yao guais and sentrybots in the wasteland that convieniently only turn up when you are strong enough to take them on?

    • rei says:

      I don’t know, but I didn’t, so they at least did it well enough to fool me :D

    • Hidden_7 says:

      Daggerfall had level scaling and fast travel. The concepts aren’t the problem, it’s the implementation. Personally I can’t imagine how tedious a big open world RPG would be if it didn’t have any form of fast travel. And without any sort of level scaling the fact that the game is open ended is sort of moot, since you’ve got a firm developer chosen route through the game, ala MMOs.

      Ideally you want a fast travel that has a decent trade off to it and isn’t just a teleport, such as Morrowind’s limited pay to travel transportation network, or the travel time and random encounters of Fallout 1 and 2. You also want level scaling that lets the player more or less pick their route through the game, facing an entertaining level of challenge throughout, while at the same time having certain areas be static to give certain areas a sense of danger and to mark progress. Fallout 3 was also almost there, with areas being keyed to the level you were when you first entered them, so that there would still be low level and high level areas to mark progress. The only thing it needed was some static areas of high danger to limit progress until you reached a higher level, and thus have the feeling of overcoming an obstacle, which is something I think New Vegas did very well.

      So yeah, hearing that an RPG has “fast travel” and “level scaling” shouldn’t really mean much, I’d be more worried if it had neither. What’s important is how they are implemented.

    • DarkFenix says:

      Fast travel is a godsend, I royally can’t be arsed making the 50th trip back and forth across the map. If you can, good for you, don’t use fast travel.

      As for level scaling, as people are saying it’s the implementation that’s the problem. Oblivion was a textbook example of how not to do it. Every bandit had glass or daedric equipment after a certain point, which was utterly retarded. What you encountered in the wild too followed a strict set of enemies depending on your level. Fallout 3 was better, but still poor; enemies didn’t all magically gain the best gear any more, but after a certain level I don’t think I saw anything but bears and deathclaws.

      Regardless, you can bet your arse this is one of the first things modders will ‘fix’ if it’s ‘broken’. It’s a TES game, modders will descend on it like locusts and turn it into whatever you want.

  35. Coins says:

    I really, really hope this will be good. But I just can’t see it. Even less skills? Level scaling? I care nothing for fancy graphics or other visual tricks, I just want a proper RPG. Is that so hard to make?

  36. Wulf says:

    I wonder if Gamebryo will be able to do shorelines, this time?

    That’s something that Morrowind, Oblivion, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and Ego Draconis all suffered with. Every Gamebryo game I’ve played, then. And when water looks better in Guild Wars: Prophecies, you have to wonder what’s going on there, so this might have an upside after all. We might at least get shorelines.

    Maybe.

  37. Davie says:

    All good news, if it actually manages to live up to it. I really don’t see why fewer skills are necessary, though. I was never bothered by the number of skills in Oblivion, and more skills means more options. Ah, well. I, for one, am most excited about the beards.

  38. Barnaby says:

    I neeever pre-order games… but I might just have to for this one.

    As long as they left in flower collection as it was my favorite part of Oblivion. That and daintily jumping from rock to rock, whilst picking flowers of course.

  39. Antlerbot says:

    All I wanted was a little co-op. *siighhh*

  40. Stijn says:

    Probably the interface shown is for consoles. With a bit of luck, the PC GUI will be more suited to mouse/keyboard.

  41. Hunam says:

    Sounds like to me magic has finally been fixed :)

  42. Fuu says:

    Procedurally generated beards?

  43. Nick says:

    “Probably the interface shown is for consoles. With a bit of luck, the PC GUI will be more suited to mouse/keyboard.”

    Just like it was in Oblivion and Fallout 3.

    Oh wait.

  44. pakoito says:

    There’s hope in the modding community, I was expecting a full fix-revamp for teh game since Oblivion came out and now it’s available: Nehrim – At Fate’s Edge

    http://rockpapershotgun.com/rpsforum/topic.php?id=3909

    Seriously, fucking genious mod, looks like a proper RPG and plays even better, fixes all gameplay and level design flaws from the vanilla game.

  45. sinister agent says:

    Some interesting ideas in there. I will upgrade from “mildly curious” to “somewhat interested” if they hire some good writers and lots of voice actors instead of spending the whole budget on getting Christian Bale or whoever to do six lines and then leave.

    Glad to hear they’re focussing on combat, too. Oblivion was a vast improvement over Morrowind there, but it was still poor, and utterly terrible compared to Mount and Blade. I hope this means that a couple of hits with a sword or arrow will take even tough men down, rather than having to laboriously scrape away at even humans for two minutes because their arbitrary numbers are higher than yours, so burying an axe in their leg or shooting them in the face only does 3 damage. More tense skillo fights over grinding, please.

  46. poop says:

    radiant story – the locations and quests are literally so interchangable that a computer can generate a random combination of them

    • jaheira says:

      Yep. Looks to me that procedural generation of anything is a pretty much just a way of avoiding putting content in your game.

  47. neolith says:

    Aw… not the damned scaling again. There were many things in Oblivion that I really disliked, but scaling was the one thing that absolutely ruined it for me. IMO it’s just a cheap way of not having to design your world and quests properly.

    • JiminyJickers says:

      I absolutely agree, I could live with the other problems but the level scaling is the main reason I have never bothered with Oblivion after I finished the mediocre story the first time.

  48. phenom_x8 says:

    Never quite finish with oblivion, confused by the so much sidequest I’ve been take.
    Needs to choose it wisely in this 5th installment!

  49. Furius says:

    I promised myself I wouln’t get exited about this bloody game. This is the 9th ttime I’ve come back to this new piece since 5pm to read comments. Musr stop!

  50. skinlo says:

    As someone who prefers Oblivion to Morrowind, all I can say is that it looks pretty cool :)

    I didn’t even notice scaling nor a lot of the problems people have with it.

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