Skyrim has what made Morrowind "special"
"It should feel alien," creative director Todd Howard said of Morrowind to OXM, "kind of 'stranger in a strange' land - with familiar looking elements only rooting you early in the game.
"The whole tone ends up being one of 'I'm an outsider, I'm uncomfortable'.
"With Oblivion, we're dealing with the capital province, and we wanted to get back to the more classic Arena and Daggerfall feel of a fantasy world that felt more refined and welcoming, a place that you instantly understood.
"But in that," he added, "we sacrificed some of what made Morrowind special: the wonder of discovery. With Skyrim, we're trying to bring some of that back and walk the line between Morrowind and Oblivion. Where it's at first familiar looking, but has its own unique culture and spin on it."
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, released 2002, looted 8/10 on Eurogamer. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - a simultaneous March 2006 release on PC, 360 (later PS3) - scored 10/10.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will release in November on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. Big things are expected. What we know so far? Skyrim has dual-wielding, perks, finishers, no classes, fancy menus and a brand new (evolved, really) Creation Engine.
Skyrim detailed :
Perks (unique abilities) will be offered when levels are gained in the fifth and new Elder Scrolls game, Skyrim - much as they were in Fallout 3.
There will also be finishing moves relevant to the weapon you carry, as well as dual-wielding and duelling, according to a Skyrim preview by Game Informer (digested and regurgitated orderly on NeoGAF).
There are even kids, although this point isn't expanded upon - are they the hero's children? Does that mean there will be romances?
Enemy level-scaling - that is, enemies that keep pace with your character level - returns. "Since people are asking, wanted to briefly touch on level scaling. All our games have had some amount of randomness/levelling based on player level. Skyrim's is similar to Fallout 3's, not Oblivion's," commented Bethesda.
Skyrim apparently has no classes to pick from, so you're free to pursue whichever skills you wish (Oblivion had class templates to help newcomers). With a significant enough rise in skill comes a rise in your character's level, although it's not clear if this is tied to a major/minor skill grouping as in Oblivion. The number of skills, incidentally, has been reduced from Oblivion's 21 down to 18.
The Mysticism spell school has been dropped, too, which leaves Destruction, Alteration, Conjuration, Restoration and Illusion.
Each time you do rise a level, you'll be asked to allocate points into either health, stamina or magicka.
Skyrim has a bamboozling 10 races to pick your hero from, and character creation has been universally improved. You can even customise body features in Skyrim, although quite what that entails we can only imagine.
Bethesda's ability to dynamically populate a huge open world has been taken a step further, too. The Skyrim engine considers your past actions; if you depend upon magic then magic-related quests will find you. Skyrim will also try to send you places you haven't been, dynamically altering quest locations depending on how you've filled your journal. Even something as simple as dumping a weapon in the streets to free inventory space can trigger a quest, as a child picks the blade up and seeks to return it to its master.
Oh, and if you decide to kill a shopkeeper, whoever inherits the store will develop an unfavourable disposition towards you because of your actions. Hilarity potential noted.
Skyrim is said to present a more varied landscape both above and below ground, which we hope means less reliance on caves for quests. Enemies mentioned are skeletons, zombies, trolls, giants, ice wraiths, giant spiders, wolves, horses Elk, mammoth and sabre-toothed cats.
Also, dragons! Dragons that can attack cities! There are five of those cities, by the way, and you can do plenty within them: make weapons, enchant, create spells, cook - possibly more. There are additional gathering skills too, such as chopping wood, farming and mining.
Talking to an NPC no longer freezes the world around you; AI-brained people go about their tasks as they speak to your hero.
There's the option of hiding the HUD while exploring the world in first-person view, and the third-person view has also improved in some unspecified way.
The story of Skyrim takes place 200 years after Oblivion and to the north of the map. The dragons are returning and you, as a dragonborn - a dragon-hunter - must fight the most evil of the reptilian beasts. Your mentor through all this will be "some old dude from Shutter Island and Minority Report", which sounds a lot like Max von Sydow, who's ace. As well as all that, the world of Skyrim will be torn by civil war, following the King's death.
Wrapping that up will be the the requisite visual improvements. Oblivion had gobsmacking vistas and Skyrim hopes to replicate that. To that end, character's faces have been a seeing to and promise to convey subtleties such as a emotion - let's hope Bethesda hires a few more voice actors, too.
That's all the information we can glean so far. If you see anything else, please say so below.
Skyrim combat detailed :
Combat in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will be more brutal, tactile and intricate than ever before, according to the latest nuggets of information spilling out of Bethesda Game Studios.
The game's basic two-handed combat system will allow you to equip any weapon or spell to either of your character's hands – or a two-handed weapon to both at once – and a quick-select menu will be available to swap between loadouts you've preconfigured, game director Todd Howard told Game Informer.
Weapons will include swords, shields, maces, axes or two-handed weapons, and you will be able to specialise in each to improve it or receive specific perks. The axe perk, for example, hits enemies with residual bleeding damage per blow. The bow and arrow, meanwhile, will take longer to charge up but do much more damage.
On the spell-casting side, Bethesda was apparently inspired by the fast-paced plasmid-slinging action in BioShock. There will be over 85 spells across the five schools of magic – destruction, restoration, illusion, alteration and conjuration. The old school of mysticism was deemed redundant and those spells go into other schools of magic.
Bethesda isn't saying whether it will be possible to combine spells yet, but Howard indicated it was under consideration. "We'd like to," he said. "It'd be awesome."
Stealth gameplay is described as basically the same except enemies go into an alert state when they think they see or hear something. When this happens players with a higher sneak skill have a little time to hide. With a much more powerful dagger to hand, it will also be possible to take people out from behind if you get close enough.
"Now when you sneak up behind guys, the dagger does something like 10x damage. I don't know if we're going to keep that, but you feel like you should be killing the guy if you've gotten that close and you have a dagger," Howard explained.
Since you're dragonborn, you should be able to use dragon shouts during battle too – and these will do things like slowing down time or summoning a dragon to assist.
The defensive side of the game has received attention too. Block and strike timings are very important now, and there's also a block bash move that exposes an enemy to a counter. And while it's still possible to dodge attacks, you won't be able to whack someone then just leg it to escape the encounter.
Visually combat should be more interesting too, with various staggering effects and camera shake in close quarters, and special kill animations for each weapon and enemy – and indeed battle conditions. Havok physics will be more obvious in spell-casting too, apparently.
class system explained :
As you may have read, there'll be no classes in Bethesda's much anticipated RPG sequel Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. A controversial move, to be sure, but series creator Todd Howard insists the freewheeling new system is more "elegant".
Unlike prior entries in the long-running series, you won't be asked to pick a specific class earlier on in the game. Instead, you'll be free to pursue whichever skills you desire.
Speaking in a Game Informer podcast, as reported by PlayStation Universe, Howard explained how the move will liberate gamers, letting them play as they desire, not how they are told.
"What we found in Oblivion - you start the game, you pick your race and you play for a while," he said.
"Our intent was: you played for a while, you got to figure out some skills, and then depending on how you play... one of the characters asks you, 'Okay, what kind of class do you want to be? Here's my recommendation based on how you've been playing.'
"And sort of our thought process was, what if that guy never asked that? I was perfectly happy right before then, ya know, I was just playing the game and skills were going up, so we just got rid of that. You just play, and your skills go up as you play and the higher your skill, the more it affects your leveling. So it's a really, really nice elegant system that kind of self-balances itself."
Howard went on to argue that the new system also helps prevent players from picking a class that's not suited to their natural style of play.
"What we found in Oblivion is people would play, and even though they played for a half hour and then they picked their class, it's still - in the scheme of the games we make - not enough time to really understand all the skills and how they work," he explained.
"So people would play, and the general pattern would be they'd play for like, three hours and then 'oh I picked the wrong skills, I'm going to start over'
"They weren't necessarily upset about that, but to us, someone who's making a game you're like... 'is there a way we can solve that? Is there a better way of doing it?' And we think this is it."
Skyrim menus detailed :
Bethesda has redesigned the Elder Scrolls series' menus for new game Skyrim. The aim? To make something electronics wizard Apple would be proud of, were it in Bethesda's curly-toed deerskin boots.
"You know in iTunes when you look at all your music you get to flip through it and look at the covers and it becomes tangible? One of our goals was, 'What if Apple made a fantasy game? How would this look?' It's very good at getting through lots of data quickly, which is always a struggle with our stuff," Skyrim boss Todd Howard told Game Informer.
In Skyrim, you're presented with a compass menu offering an approachable four options.
Pressing right brings up the inventory, where you'll find a carousel of fully-rendered 3D objects and descriptions of each. Even flowers picked for alchemy can be examined close-up. Todd Howard calls this "an interesting time-sink".
Pressing left takes you to magical items, where you'll find all 85 of your spells and some blurb on what they do - so you won't accidentally heal someone with a fireball.
Bethesda has scrapped the eight-item limit governing what can be mapped to the d-pad, replacing it with a favourites-style system. Here you effectively bookmark spells and items to your heart's content - there's no ceiling, so personal preference will boss brevity. Favourites will be listed alphabetically.
Pressing up shows you the starry sky - a view linked to hero development. Skyrim doesn't define a character as a class, but roughly groups the skills into three archetypes: thief, warrior and mage. Within those are found six main skills.
These are reproduced as nebulae (class) and constellations (skill). Corresponding stars light the sky as each of the 18 skills are improved and perks added to them at level intervals.
"When you glance to the sky after you've played the game for a while, what you're seeing in the sky is different than what somebody else is seeing based on the constellations," said Howard.
Pressing down on the compass menu accesses the map, a zoomed out, actual view of the vast landscape - the parchment-style map of Oblivion has gone. From this map screen you'll be able to explore the world as well as manage quests, plan routes and opt to travel fast - i.e. get somewhere instantly.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's stomach has been sliced open gradually, its detail-guts slopping slowly out. [I worry about you sometimes. -Ed.] We know Skyrim will have finishing moves, dual-wielding and duels; we know a bit about the refined Creation Engine underneath; and last week we got an eyeful of the juicy combat.
Rebel O Conner
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Re: Skyrim has what made Morrowind "special"
A very indepth look at the game, its actually making me want to play the game!
I have some how missed a lot of the morrowind games and yes even oblivion, i plan on giving oblivion a go soon but im not really excited about it.
This game however has me interested
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