Skyrumour: Dragonmounts, Morrowind Locales?

By Alec Meer on October 16th, 2012 at 6:00 pm.

Saddle up, cuddles

Look at you, hackers. Rummaging through Skyrim’s files and turning up references to what might – but only might – be the game’s next and perhaps most ambitious DLC. If the details revealed and shared hold weight, the next pack could be called Dragonborn, and could include FLYING ON THE BACK OF DRAGONS plus new locations that fall tantalisingly close to the hallowed province of Morrowind on the atlas of Tamriel.

This was allegedly turned up as a result of exploring allegedblahblah files in the Skyrim 1.8 beta, with Bethesda forumites then sharing their nuggets of potential truth.

Of particular interest were these animation-related files:

DragonMountedDualMagic.txt
DragonMountedDualStaff.txt
DragonMountedMLhSolo.txt
DragonMountedMLhStaff.txt
DragonMountedMRhSolo.txt
DragonMountedMRhSolo_ShieldOrTorch.txt
DragonMountedMRhStaff.txt

Lummee. Imma gonna ride me a dragon, son. Though let’s hope those references are to player animations, not merely NPC ones. That’d be a kick in the teeth.

Also allegedly in these files are references to the following new locations: Raven Rock, Miraak Temple, Castle Karstaag. Telvanni Tower and Solstheim. I’ll point you at the Wiki page about the latter, as I’m not personally familiar with it [edit - doh, I thought it sounded familiar, but I was having a brain wobble - it's where Morrowind's splendid werewolfy expansion Bloodmoon is set, of course. How embarrassing!], but Elder Scrolls loreheads are frothing about the fact that it’s technically within Morrowind.

There are whole lot of Dunmer, refugees from earlier conflicts in Morrowind, living there, so that could provide a bunch of both new lore and ties to Morrowind – and of course there’s the werewolves element, although we’ve seen that done in the Companions questline in Skyrim already. But who knows – this is mere speculation, and even if snowbound Solstheim is in this apparent new update it might just be as a convenient extension of the map that doesn’t require too much in the way of new art assets.

There’s also mention of new craftable, dragon parts-based armour, which pleases me (I ran out of things to craft all too soon).

Follow the ongoing exploration here.

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77 Comments »

  1. Erinduck says:

    Bethesda is really pulling out all the stops with the whole “make DLC that isn’t as shameful as horse armour” thing, aren’t they?

    • Sakkura says:

      Hearthfire = House Armor DLC

      • Snargelfargen says:

        That’s a bit unfair; it’s meant to let console players play with some of the same house building toys that the pc version has received.

        Not to mention that the horse armor is probably the most legendarily shit dlc to ever be shat out.

      • Erinduck says:

        Hearthfire added actual features to the game.

        Horse armour added polygons to your horse.

      • Davie says:

        Say what you like about the actual quality of Hearthfire’s content, but it was actual content, and the Xbox players probably appreciate it quite a bit.

        I mean, christ, Horse Armor didn’t even have all the armor types, just elven and steel. And that was still $2.50, half the price of Heathfire with 10% of the content. Hearthfire is objectively better, even if we PC players are underwhelmed by it.

  2. Sakkura says:

    SPOILER

    You know, you already get to ride on the back of a dragon in the vanilla Skyrim main quest line.

    END SPOILER

    • Cytrom says:

      Except it cuts to black the moment you hop on… it was the most disappointing moment of skyrim for me.

      • LTK says:

        The worst thing is, the dragon explicitly points out how cool it is to ride a dragon as a mortal, and then skips the entire experience. Outrageous.

        • Max Ursa says:

          I warn you dovahkiin; once you have experienced the world as only a dovah can, it will never be the same again…
          ‘aaawww yea! dragons eye view of the world! woo hoo!!!
          *fade to black*
          (insert that terribly drawn face of horror from various memes here)

          • dee says:

            Disclaimer: dovah are the only ones who can experience this only because levitation was outlawed

  3. Metalfish says:

    I think any dragon flying is going to be of the arena/rail based variety. I don’t think the engine would like having to stream assets 300% faster than it was originally tested for.

    • caddyB says:

      Not on the consoleboxes, anyway.

      Besides, if you get to freely fly around with your dragon it will take out a lot of the atmosphere from the game.

      • Cytrom says:

        It was pretty awesome in oblivion and didnt break the game much. Yes there was a working mountable flying (and fighting) dragonmod for oblivion. I fully excepted a dragon mount to be the reward for the final quest in skyrim, I was 99% sure the “call dragon” shout would serve to summon your ridable drgon until the disappointing revelation came.

        • Screamer says:

          But wouldn’t it be possible to fly outside of the “skybox”? That reason alone would prevent Beth from allowing it, The players was never suppose to be able to get so high up so why would they code stuffs to prevent you from flying outside of the universe?

  4. Brian Rubin says:

    They they DO allow dragon mounts, SOMEONE has to mod in Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon. HAS TO.

  5. UBNO says:

    It’s quite intriguing how much possible future content these files will SHODAN us upon closer inspection. Now, here’s to hoping they follow through…

  6. YogSo says:

    …and Solstheim. I’ll point you at the Wiki page about the latter, as I’m not personally familiar with it, but Elder Scrolls loreheads are frothing about the fact that it’s technically within Morrowind.

    Er, you don’t have to be a “lorehead” hardcore to know about Solstheim. Morrowind‘s second expansion, Bloodmoon, took place in it. So, I’m sure most Morrowind players know it very well.

  7. neonordnance says:

    Raven Rock is a location in Fallout 3. As the engine is essentially the same, it is possible that the code fragment was left over from that game.

    • Yukiomo says:

      I don’t know if you’re joking, but Raven Rock was also the name of the Imperial colony on Solstheim in Bloodmoon. My suspicions are that the references in these files are to the Bloodmoon Raven Rock rather than the Fallout 3 Raven Rock.

      • Numerical says:

        The Raven Rock in F3 is a nod to Bloodmoon’s Raven Rock.

        Come to think of it, BM’s Raven Rock is one of the more fun things to do in that expansion, i.e. build the town.

  8. lasikbear says:

    “Telvani Tower” is probably enough to get me to buy this site unseen.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      I really hope it takes it’s cues from the Telvanni towers in Morrowind. Absolutely bizarre mushroom palaces growing on top of hills and castles. Stairs? Who needs stairs when you can levitate? The demented wizards inhabiting them were fascinating as well.

      • mr.black says:

        Hmmm. Mountable dragons, i.e. longer flying stints in the Skyrim world + Telvanni towers = Maybe finally a triumphal return of the levitation spell to The Elder NotNotch’s Scrolls!
        I sure hope so!

        • lexoneir says:

          If they added the levitation spell they would have to do something about the fact that cities are closed. its my understanding that the cities were one of the main reasons for the removal of levitation/jump from oblivion. There’s a mod for it, sure, but it can be slightly glitchy given how much it changes.

          It seems, sadly, more likely that they will redesign the tower if they add it into the game. Which is tragic.

          • Snargelfargen says:

            If Skyrim is anything like Oblivion, the world’s cities have the correct proportions compared to the instanced versions, so bringing them into the open world shouldn’t be too hard. The only reason they were closed was because of the performance limitations on consoles which were compounded by the (at the time) incredibly inefficient early Gamebryo engine.

            That said, its more likely that the dragon mounts will be restricted to the new worldspace added by the dlc, leaving it in the hands of the modders to bring dragon mounts to Skyrim proper.

            E: That still doesn’t address levitation though. Apologies for the tangent.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            Actually levitation isn’t in the game for one simple reason – dungeon design. Think about it really hard and you’ll see why they did it. ANY vertical dungeon would’ve been made impossible to put in the game if you could fly around. It’s sad, but true.

  9. wisnoskij says:

    NO, lets hope we do not get to ride dragons, because they would be completely stupid.
    Might as well hope that the hero gains the power to blow fire out of his ass and dual wield bazukas.

  10. SuperNashwanPower says:

    My comments are getting marked as spam :( I’m not even selling iPhone 5 and SUPPORT THE PAYPAL

    • J.Kruegger says:

      Perhaps you missed the neat

      “We do not have a freedom of speech policy here. If we find your post offensive, or just don’t like it, it may get deleted. Complaining about it won’t change anything.”

      warning we now get before posting, Meer is the only RPS writer I’ve seen commenting in favor of such stuff, so sad to see this site defaced.

      • The Tupper says:

        I really like that proviso. It’s the RPS club: anyone who doesn’t like it can leave. Not directing this at you personally, but many people who demand free speech also complain (frequently) about whoring for corporations, SEO optimisation, desperation for links and so on. I find the directness of the RPS approach very refreshing.

  11. Metalfish says:

    Bloodmoon was always something of a skyrim prototype -most of the enemies in it got some sort of representation in Skyrim. Bar the riklings, but they were somewhat falmeresque. I wonder what new hook they’re going to add? Hopefully island has inflated in size slightly, as I recall it feeling slightly small for my nippy morrowind character.

  12. mikmanner says:

    Heheh little System Shock 2 reference. I tend to stupidly say the line when talking about hackers.

  13. Askeladd says:

    Wasn’t this the game with the ugliest flying mechanic of bird-like creatures I have ever seen?
    The animation of the random trash Rak was better done than every dragon in Skyrim.

  14. InternetBatman says:

    You do get a dragon mount in the expansion, but it only flies backwards.

  15. Ateius says:

    Ooh, sounds like a DLC/expansion I might actually buy this time. I’m always up for fantastic new lands to explore. Also dragons, I guess.

  16. FloorBelow says:

    Fantastic news, but not so good for the team that’s spent the last year working on making Solstheim themselves.

  17. hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

    Solstheim was my favourite part of Morrowind. Look forward to getting a go at this eventually. As the saying goes, “When in Solstheim, arouuuu!”

  18. MistyMike says:

    Skyrim got dragons wrong. They are supposed to have 4 legs + wings on the back. The Skyrim ones have a pair of front paws which are also wings and a pair of back paws. They look pathetic while sitting on the ground, hunched over like that. They are wyverns or wyrms or some drakes, not true dragons.

    • gwathdring says:

      I’m glad someone is aware of the surprisingly well documented details of dragon anatomy. I believe it was Jean-Marie Barthol circa 1198 who wrote one of the finer treatises on the subject from somewhere around modern-day Nantes. He dedicates most of his time describing their flame-generation apparatus and the healing/maiming properties of their various organs as well as the particularly spectacular and, at the time, magical seeming properties of the creatures’ eyes and ground bone. But he certainly says enough about the overall skeletal structure and appearance. His notes on dragon hides were either surprisingly scant or have gone missing since the time of their writing.

      Who is your favorite writer on the subject? I’m always curious–there are a number of delightful sources and everyone has a favorite.

      • Hidden_7 says:

        Perfect response, sir.

      • Xardas Kane says:

        I bow to your great power of Sarcasm, master. That’s one epic comment if I ever saw one.

      • The Tupper says:

        I wish there was some way to put my thumb up.

        Jean-Marie Barthol’s diagrams give no clue.

      • MistyMike says:

        From wikipedia
        ‘In European folklore, a dragon is a serpentine legendary creature with two pairs of lizard-type legs and bat-type wings growing from its back. A dragon-like creature with no front legs is known as a wyvern.’
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_dragon

        Yeah, that’s prosaic, but the thing is that such a body structure is impossible from an evolutionary standpoint and that squarely puts dragons in the legendary category.

        • Hanban says:

          If in the context evolution is something you care deeply about; Skyrim must be a very infuriating game for you.

          • frightlever says:

            You’re missing his point. Bats have evolved a wyvern like body structure. The classical dragon-like appearance (basically six limbs) is not seen in nature and thus is more fantastical. Not that I agree with him – Skyrim dragons are basically big scaly bats and I’m fine with that.

          • MistyMike says:

            Thanks Frightlever, that’s basically what I was trying to say . I think Skyrim dragons look pretty clumsy while supporting themselves on the tips of the wings while on the ground.

  19. Suits says:

    Basically mods already make all these DLC practically null for PC players

    • Numerical says:

      I’m not too excited about the idea of riding a dragon, but other than that this does sound like it could partially wind up being somewhere in the realm of being a good thing. Especially some of the armors and weapons we had in MW. Chitin, bonemold, hell to the yeah

  20. spongthe1st says:

    Werebears.

    That is all.

  21. Jenks says:

    Spoiler alert:

    If you paid attention during Skyrim, the red mountain erupted at some point, destroying almost all of Vvardenfell. The long repressed/enslaved Argonians made good use of it and took the Morrowind mainland. Many of whats left of the Dunmer are now on Solstheim, which the Nords gave to them.

    After playing through Morrowind as an Argonian, I couldn’t be more happy about these events.

  22. belgand says:

    The fact that you couldn’t fly on dragons was one of the most disappointing parts of the base game. Also, that you spend so much time fighting dragons.

    It’s not hard people:

    Riding dragons = awesome
    Fighting dragons = dull

    Who wants to treat dragons like commonplace monsters that you go around fighting? And that don’t even talk to you or try to involve you in Machiavellian plots or anything.

  23. Cryptoshrimp says:

    Yay, Telvani!

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