Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 275 Old 01-10-2011, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Archerkit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 202
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Figured it was a good time to start a thread on Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I really, really can't wait. Hoping to pick up the Game Informer issue this week (the scans don't cut it) and get a look.

In the meantime, they've posted a little tour of the Bethesda studios:

http://www.gameinformer.com/p/esv.aspx

I finished most of Oblivion before my video card fried; this was before I had my PS3. That was years ago, and I never got around to doing Shivering Isles. Hearing the music from the tour makes me want to jump back in.

Why isn't it November yet??
Archerkit is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 275 Old 01-11-2011, 08:22 AM
 
TyrantII's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Boston
Posts: 10,114
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 832
I'm really looking forward to more info on the new engine they're using. I'm really hoping it's in studio and build from the ground up for the oblivion/fallout games.

...Otherwise, Bethesda isn't getting a dime from me again.
TyrantII is offline  
post #3 of 275 Old 01-11-2011, 10:28 AM
Advanced Member
 
jhaines's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 961
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by TyrantII View Post

I'm really looking forward to more info on the new engine they're using. I'm really hoping it's in studio and build from the ground up for the oblivion/fallout games.

Given their reputation for releasing buggy software, I don't know that an in-house engine would necessarily be a great idea...LOL.

Also, didn't Obsidian buy back the Fallout IP from Bethesda after New Vegas...?

- Jer
jhaines is offline  
post #4 of 275 Old 01-11-2011, 10:57 AM
Advanced Member
 
Lookilook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: LA, CA
Posts: 713
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
As long as there's no loading/stuttering when traveling every 10ft, I'm in...regardless who makes the engine..
Lookilook is offline  
post #5 of 275 Old 01-11-2011, 11:20 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
joeblow's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 12,189
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 209
I really enjoyed the last release. I played about 80 hours or so but never completed it. I always got sidetracked doing random quests or just exploring instead of following the main story line.

NeoGAF posted summaries of the recent Game Informer blowout:
Quote:



Recap of info courtesy of ShadowPampers


Ok, here is my recap of the info, hope it helps. This is not all the info, however.

On leveling:
Totally revamped, no more class selection at the start of the game, every skill you level contributes to your overall level. And each time you level you get extra health plus the ability to get either more health, magicka or stamina.
Each level also brings you perks. Cool abilities I guess like in Fallout 3.
Also, the leveling was moved from 1-25 or something like that to 1-50, but 50 is soft-capped, you just advance really slow after that.

On skills:
Mysticism is gone.
18 skills, down from 21 on Oblivion, and 27 on Morrowind.
Tries to accomodate players who want to specialize in a certain proffesion (like mage or thief), while at the same time giving room for players who like to do plenty of everything. They want to keep a special care so that this feels good, not prone to cheating and organic.

On the story and lore:
200 years after Oblivion. Set in Skyrim, a region north of the imperial city, where the Nords live.
The dragons are returning, as it was prophetized. You are gonna be trying to stop the wicked dragon god. You are a dragonborn, a dragon hunter. Your mentor is one of the last blade, voiced by some old dude from Shutter Island and Minority Report.
Also, there is a civil war, since the king is dead.
Enemies include were-yeti's, giant spider, dragons and other cool creatures.

On combat:
They want to make it more dynamic and tactical. You have to assign each hand with a function I think, either magic, 2 weapons, a weapon and a shield, etc.
You can also waste stamina by sprinting, allowing you to get access to tactical postitions.
Emphasis on really improving the combat this time around.
They are also putting care on how each weapon feel on your hand.

Other:
Third person view has been improved
5 massive cities, more variation in caves and underground stuff.

On quests:
Quests are much more dynamic now.
The quests are now more determined by how you build your chracter, individual actions and overall much more dynamic. Examples provided: If you are more of a magic user, some other mage may approach you who may not have had if you were just a melee character. Or if you killed some dude who owned a store that was gonna give you a quest, his sister would inherit the store, but she may resent you before giving you the quest. Also, if you drop a weapon in the street instead of selling it, it may just dissapear, some kid may get it and give it back to you, which would lead to a series of stuff, or some dudes may fight over who gets it.
Also, it said that the quests you are given would be modified by how you have played (I guess like scaling the quests). For example, the location of a rescue mission would be determined by which location you have visited (it will try to give you a dungeon you haven't been in) and I guess also giving you appropiate enemies to your level.


I can add that there is an option for no HUD.


On Conversations: (thanks MrBig)
Conversations aren't done in a zoomed in static shot anymore.
Start a conversation with some and they will act like someone would in real life, looking at you occasionally and walking around a bit and also continue doing a task if they were doing one while talking.

On Weapon smithing:
Go to a forge and carve a new weapon out of red hot metal.


Recap from raphier

Dual-wielding: you have two hands now in combat and you can wield anything to both hands. You may assign a dagger on left hand and use a mace with right hand. The choice as they say is yours.

Duel: You may duel any NPC on the streets western style.

Inheritence: When you kill a shopkeeper, his/her family member will inherit the shop and will be angry about you, but stil give you missions.

Level-scaling: It is coming back

18 skills: supposedly even less skills to play with?

No mysticism

Perks: Rumored to be in Skyrim. I may have understood it wrong.

Boosts: Pick stamina, health, magic boosts on level up.

Enchanting: This skill makes a return.

"Radiant storytelling" or Level Scaling 2.0: "The game eventually logs a huge storehouse of knowledge about how you've played, and subsequently tailors content to your capabilities and experiences. Entering a city, a young woman might approach you and beg you to save her daughter from kidnappers. The game will look at the nearby dungeons you've explored, automatically set the mission in a place you've never visited, and designate opponents that are appropriately matched to your strengths and weaknesses."

Fast-Travel: As you probably expect, you can instantly travel to previous locations with a tap of the button

Sprinting: You can now sprint about!

Town visiting: You may do more in towns, like tailor weapons, cooking, farming or mining. Not much details about this or how detailed they are as jobs.



Yet another recap:

-A variation of level scaling.
-Dynamic Shadows
-Overhauled Combat-system
-Improved Faces/Improved Models Example: Faces have been dramatically overhauled. Characters now exhibit more emotion show of distinctions between different races and just plain looks better.
-Radiant AI
-Updated Engine Snow falls dynamically (not as a basic texture on the ground)
Trees and branches move independently with the wind
Water flows
-Randomly generated quests.
-Beards
-You can't run backwards as fast as you do forward.
-10 races to choose from (Holy crap thats a lot of races)
-confirmed creatures: zombies, skeletons, trolls, giants, ice wraiths, giant spiders, dragons, wolves, horses Elk, mammoth, saber-toothed cats
-presumeably open cities (as dragons can attack)
-Hud-free first-person view and improved third-person perspective
-very unique landscapes! Also unique dungeons! In other words, lots of uniqueness!
-Character creation improved, body features customizable
-2-handed weapons and duel wielding confirmed.
-Finishing moves, unique to each weapon and enemy you fight.
-Kids
-The game takes place 2 centuries after Oblivion
-Sprint is added !
- Dialog will pop up when you approach an enemy
- cooking/farming/mining/woodcutting/blacksmithing
-18 skills.
-Perk picking at every level-up
-5 Magic Schools Destruction Alteration Conjuration Restoration Illusion.



On level scaling from the Senior Community Manager:


Originally Posted by gstaff:
Scaling is similar to what we had in Fallout 3. See the comment I put in our official forums Quote:
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.





Los Angeles Lakers - 16 NBA Championships!

joeblow is offline  
post #6 of 275 Old 01-11-2011, 11:30 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Suntan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Twin Cities
Posts: 7,142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Liked: 49
Hmmm... My one and only experience with Elder Scrolls was Morrowind on the PC. Although lauded as amazingly open, detailed and revolutionary at the time; I saw it as slow, dull and a lot of open space in between rather uninteligent NPCs with main characters/story plot that I just couldn't remember from one evening to the next.

Any reason to be interested in this skyrim? Have they made significant improvements/changes in game play from the Morrowind days?

-Suntan
Suntan is offline  
post #7 of 275 Old 01-11-2011, 11:36 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
joeblow's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 12,189
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 209
All we know about the game is what's posted above. No video of gameplay has been released yet.

Los Angeles Lakers - 16 NBA Championships!

joeblow is offline  
post #8 of 275 Old 01-11-2011, 11:40 AM
AVS Special Member
 
confidenceman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,984
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhaines View Post

Also, didn't Obsidian buy back the Fallout IP from Bethesda after New Vegas...?

No. Obsidian doesn't pull in nearly enough money to do something like that. Bethesda simply contracted Obsidian to develop New Vegas for them. The Fallout IP is caught up currently in a legal dispute between the old owner (Interplay) and the current one (Bethesda) over the rights to a Fallout MMO. Other than that, Bethesda fully owns the property.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

Any reason to be interested in this skyrim? Have they made significant improvements/changes in game play from the Morrowind days?

If you didn't like Morrowind, then I'm guessing you just don't like the way Bethesda designs RPGs. Most fans of their RPGs consider Morrowind their high point (myself included). As for what they've changed since Oblivion and Fallout 3, no one really knows yet. It's a new engine, and it's the first game in the Elder Scrolls series designed primarily with consoles in mind.

PSN & XBL ID: drop me a private message
confidenceman is offline  
post #9 of 275 Old 01-11-2011, 01:36 PM
Advanced Member
 
jhaines's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 961
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by confidenceman View Post

No. Obsidian doesn't pull in nearly enough money to do something like that. Bethesda simply contracted Obsidian to develop New Vegas for them. The Fallout IP is caught up currently in a legal dispute between the old owner (Interplay) and the current one (Bethesda) over the rights to a Fallout MMO. Other than that, Bethesda fully owns the property.

This prompted me to look it up again. Apparently what I was remembering was a day-early 2010 April Fools joke posted here. Oops!

- Jer
jhaines is offline  
post #10 of 275 Old 01-11-2011, 01:52 PM
AVS Special Member
 
MaxDam77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,875
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked: 41
My only grip about Oblivion was that the enemies leveled up as you did. But didn't spot me from enjoying the game.
Can't wait for Skyrim
MaxDam77 is offline  
post #11 of 275 Old 01-11-2011, 05:19 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Suntan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Twin Cities
Posts: 7,142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Liked: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxDam77 View Post

My only grip about Oblivion was that the enemies leveled up as you did. But didn't spot me from enjoying the game.

I think you will have to wait for elder scrolls 17 on the PS11 before the system is advanced enough that the enemies recognize when you are enjoying the game...

-Suntan
Suntan is offline  
post #12 of 275 Old 01-11-2011, 05:38 PM
AVS Special Member
 
confidenceman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,984
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxDam77 View Post

My only grip about Oblivion was that the enemies leveled up as you did. But didn't spot me from enjoying the game.
Can't wait for Skyrim

This is why many prefer playing these games on PC. One of the first fixes that modders often add is non-scaling enemies. Oblivion was much worse about it than Morrowind was. And Fallout 3 was even worse than Oblivion. Basically, this makes the difficulty curve stupid easy in most of their games. Morrowind was difficult for the first 60-80 hours on hardest difficulty. Oblivion was hard for 30-40. And Fallout 3 never really gets hard, even on the highest difficulty setting. I love their games, but difficult they are not.

Word is, Bethesda's tweaking the enemy scaling yet again for Skyrim. I'm sure it still won't be ideal, but apparently it's a design philosophy they believe strongly in.

PSN & XBL ID: drop me a private message
confidenceman is offline  
post #13 of 275 Old 01-11-2011, 10:12 PM
 
TyrantII's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Boston
Posts: 10,114
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 832
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhaines View Post

Given their reputation for releasing buggy software, I don't know that an in-house engine would necessarily be a great idea...LOL.

Also, didn't Obsidian buy back the Fallout IP from Bethesda after New Vegas...?

- Jer

Obsidian is owned by Bethesda, along with the fallout IP. The buggy reputation is from them using the same damn leased engine across multiple titles for the better part of 5 years. The core engine (Gamebyro) is a decade old itself.

I'm wondering if Bethesda has any rights, or ability to go to the rage engine.
TyrantII is offline  
post #14 of 275 Old 01-11-2011, 10:22 PM
AVS Special Member
 
confidenceman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,984
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by TyrantII View Post

I'm wondering if Bethesda has any rights, or ability to go to the rage engine.

I'm pretty sure they do since that was presumably a big reason why Bethesda bought id in the first place. I don't think id can shop out the engine to anyone; only those under the Bethesda banner will be using it AFAIK. However, I think it's too early to expect the Rage engine to appear in Skyrim. More likely Fallout 4 or Elder Scrolls 6.

PSN & XBL ID: drop me a private message
confidenceman is offline  
post #15 of 275 Old 01-13-2011, 05:35 AM
Senior Member
 
aquasal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Orlando,Fl.
Posts: 262
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Read / looked at that article in the mag and wow, this really looks good! lol if they can min the fps / lag crap def winnner , the screens / pics looked amazing, new monster models looked really good and add in dragons what could go wrong

PSN:aquasal
The weekend group
aquasal is offline  
post #16 of 275 Old 01-15-2011, 04:44 PM
Member
 
Laserjock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I also am not a fan of the leveling methods for enemies used in Oblivion. It was in my opinion a lazy way of handling it. No way a wolf at Level 10 should be suddenly more deadly than one at level 3. LOL
Laserjock is offline  
post #17 of 275 Old 01-15-2011, 07:47 PM
AVS Special Member
 
confidenceman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,984
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laserjock View Post

I also am not a fan of the leveling methods for enemies used in Oblivion. It was in my opinion a lazy way of handling it. No way a wolf at Level 10 should be suddenly more deadly than one at level 3. LOL

The problem with their scaling system (in Morrowind, Oblivion, and Fallout 3) isn't the scaling levels of the enemies per se. The real problem is the various stat and item bonuses you collect over time. This means that a rat at level 2 is much harder than a rat at level 10. You and the enemy may be the same level, but you will almost always have more bonuses. In other words, enemies you encounter at higher levels are easier than enemies you encounter early on.

In Morrowind and Oblivion, I would just have to continue sliding the difficulty meter higher and higher as I progressed. But in Fallout 3, the scaling difficulty made the game so easy that I had to start the game at highest difficulty. Making matters worse in FO3 is the fact that you get more experience on higher difficulties, making the game easier rather than harder for people playing on the higher difficulty settings! New Vegas fixed the experience point issue, but not the larger problem with scaling enemies.

Not sure what, if anything, they'll change for Skyrim. But that scaling system is due for a major overhaul.

PSN & XBL ID: drop me a private message
confidenceman is offline  
post #18 of 275 Old 01-17-2011, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Archerkit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 202
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Archerkit is offline  
post #19 of 275 Old 01-19-2011, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Archerkit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 202
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 17
My local GameStop finally got the issue in! Just started reading the article - screenshots look very nice.

Ended up getting a subscription, since it was $15 for the year and includes the PowerUpRewards Pro (10% extra trade-in credit, 10% off used games, and some other stuff)

I'm wondering what the disparity will be from the PS3 version versus a reasonably modern PC...
Archerkit is offline  
post #20 of 275 Old 01-20-2011, 02:33 PM
AVS Special Member
 
DubBucket's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archerkit View Post


I'm wondering what the disparity will be from the PS3 version versus a reasonably modern PC...

No question the PC version will look much better. Even if your rig can't support the top textures, at least you'll get some anti-aliasing.

This is far less important to me than the fact that you can't mod the console versions. As most of this thread has pointed out, Bethesda has a habit of releasing buggy games with questionable difficulty scaling. I'm really excited about this game, but I might even wait a while after release for a few good user modifications to crop up.
DubBucket is offline  
post #21 of 275 Old 01-20-2011, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Archerkit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 202
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by DubBucket View Post
No question the PC version will look much better. Even if your rig can't support the top textures, at least you'll get some anti-aliasing.

This is far less important to me than the fact that you can't mod the console versions. As most of this thread has pointed out, Bethesda has a habit of releasing buggy games with questionable difficulty scaling. I'm really excited about this game, but I might even wait a while after release for a few good user modifications to crop up.
No disagreement that the PC version will be better, and I'm willing to sacrifice some graphical quality for being able to play on the sofa in front of the big TV. (that, and I don't have a gaming PC, Oblivion killed the last one!)

That said, your point about mods and/or bug fixes is very good, I'm wondering what reasonable specs for a PC would be. I'm wondering if the Creation Engine is from scratch, or a reworking of Gamebryo.
Archerkit is offline  
post #22 of 275 Old 01-20-2011, 03:49 PM
Senior Member
 
soutthpaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 287
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Elder Scrolls is a great game, probably why I liked Red Dead Redemption as it plays like an old west version of elder scrolls. Bethesda and Rockstar need to collaborate on a game

DJ
Vischeck Color deficiency goodies: 8.5% of the human population
soutthpaw is offline  
post #23 of 275 Old 01-20-2011, 04:25 PM
AVS Special Member
 
confidenceman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,984
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archerkit View Post
I'm wondering if the Creation Engine is from scratch, or a reworking of Gamebryo.
Bethesda dropped Gamebryo. And since Gamebryo's not owned by Bethesda, they can't simply "rework" it. Hopefully this in-house engine is up to snuff.

Regardless, I doubt they would've ditched Gamebryo just so they could turn around and dump a bunch of money into a new sub-par engine of their own creation. Not sure how it breaks down financially, but I'd wager that using the Gamebryo engine was cheaper than making their own. So they must mean business.

PSN & XBL ID: drop me a private message
confidenceman is offline  
post #24 of 275 Old 01-20-2011, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Archerkit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 202
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by confidenceman View Post

Bethesda dropped Gamebryo. And since Gamebryo's not owned by Bethesda, they can't simply "rework" it. Hopefully this in-house engine is up to snuff.

Regardless, I doubt they would've ditched Gamebryo just so they could turn around and dump a bunch of money into a new sub-par engine of their own creation. Not sure how it breaks down financially, but I'd wager that using the Gamebryo engine was cheaper than making their own. So they must mean business.

Let's hope so! I'd briefly wondered how/if id Tech 5 would fit into Bethesda's games, but Todd Howard pretty much answered that:

http://ps3.ign.com/articles/111/1112467p1.html

Sigh. Skyrim might be enough to make me build a new PC.
Archerkit is offline  
post #25 of 275 Old 01-27-2011, 04:33 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
joeblow's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 12,189
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 209
There is plenty of fantastic stuff to smile about in this overview of the game's battle mechanics overhaul.

Quote:


In game development, the visual improvements, non-player character AI tweaks, and new storytelling philosophies are all for naught if the base activity the player performs the most frequently is uninteresting or unrefined. In the case of an action role-playing game like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, those activities are swinging swords, shooting arrows, or casting spells at the myriad bloodthirsty enemies rushing toward you in foreboding dungeons of Tamriel. Aware of the combat shortcomings and exploits players used in Oblivion, the developers at Bethesda Studios went back to the drawing board to forge a new direction for Skyrim.

“We wanted to make it more tactile in your hands,” game director Todd Howard says. “I think if you look at our previous stuff I sometimes equate it to fighting with chopsticks – you sit there and swing them in front of yourself.”

Bethesda’s solution is a new two-handed combat system that allows players to equip any weapon or spell to either one of their character’s free hands. This flexible platform opens up countless play styles – dual wielding, two-handed weapons, the classic sword and shield combo, ranged weapons, or even equipping two different spells. Switching between loadouts on the fly is made easier thanks to a new quick-select menu that allows you to “bookmark” all of your favorite spells, shouts, and weapons for easy access.

Taking Up The Blade

Repetition can be a game developer's worst enemy. As players move through the world slashing at enemies thousands of times, the gravity of the action dissipates to the point where it becomes as thoughtless an exercise as flipping a light switch. With Skyrim's combat system, Bethesda wants to restore the visceral nature of hand-to-hand combat. The first step? Changing the pace of the close quarters battles.

In the early stages of development, Bethesda watched fighting videos to study how people react during melee battles. The team found that most encounters featured more jostling and staggering than was present in past Elder Scrolls titles. Using the Havok Behavior animation system, the team is more accurately mimicking the imbalance prevalent in melee combat by adding staggering affects and camera shake. Don't expect button-mashing marathons where the attacker with a bigger life pool wins the war of attrition. If you're not careful on defense you may get knocked around, losing your balance and leaving yourself exposed for a damaging blow that can turn the tide of the battle. Knowing when to block, when to strike, and when to stand your ground is key to prevailing in combat.

“There's a brutality to [the combat] both in the flavor of the world, and one of you is going to die,” Howard explains. “I think you get very used the idea that enemies are all there for you to mow through, but it doesn't seem like someone's life is going to end. We're trying to get that across.”

Nothing drives this brutality home more than the introduction of special kill animations. Depending on your weapon, the enemy, and the fight conditions, your hero may execute a devastating finishing move that extinguishes enemies with a stylistic flourish. “You end up doing it a lot in the game, and there has to be an energy and a joy to it,” Howard says.

As with Oblivion, players have several options for melee combat. Your warrior can equip swords, shields, maces, axes, or two-handed weapons. Specializing in a particular weapon is the best way to go, as it gives you the opportunity to improve your attacking skills with special perks. For instance, the sword perk increases your chances of landing a critical strike, the axe perk punishes enemies with residual bleeding damage after each blow, and the mace perk ignores armor on your enemies to land more powerful strikes.

A good offense must be accompanied by a good defense. To make defending a less passive activity, Bethesda has switched to a timing based blocking system that requires players to actively raise their shields to take the brunt of the attack. If you hold down the block button, your character will attempt to execute a bash move. If you catch a bandit off guard with the bash while he's attacking, it knocks him back and exposes him to a counter or power attack. Players can block and bash with two-handed weapons as well, but it isn't as effective as the shield. Warriors who prefer the sword-and-shield approach can increase their defensive capabilities with shield perks that give them elemental protection from spells.

Bethesda also smartly changed the pace at which characters backpedal, which removes the strike-and-flee tactic frequently employed in Oblivion. In Skyrim you can't bob and weave like a medieval Muhammad Ali as you could in Oblivion. Players can still dodge attacks from slower enemies like frost trolls, but don’t expect to backpedal out of harms way against charging enemies. If you want to flee, you must turn your back to the enemy and hit the sprint button, leaving you exposed to an attack as you high tail it to safety.

Conjuring Better Spell Casting

Keeping in line with the philosophy of making the combat more tactile, Bethesda took inspiration for its spell casting from an unlikely source in Irrational Games' BioShock. Fighting his way through the city of Rapture, Howard was impressed with how Ken Levine's team visualized the power of the plasmids in your hands. They're adopting a similar approach for Skyrim.

“Before when we had magic, it never felt to us like you were actually doing it,” Howard admits. “It was a separate button, it flew out of your fist, and you could have a shield in your hand or a two handed-weapon – you could do it with anything.”

In Oblivion spells were cast with a face button, which allowed you to equip traditional weapons for melee combat and deftly cast spells between swings. By forcing players to equip a spell with one of their hands, players must make more of a commitment to learning the arcane arts. The ability to equip two different spells on your left and right hand raises the question – can you combine more than one spell? “We're not talking about that,” Howard says with a smile. “We're not sure. We'd like to; it'd be awesome.”

Even if you can't combine spells, magicka students will have no shortage of options, with over 85 spells divided into five schools of magic – destruction, restoration, illusion, alteration, and conjuration. Longtime Elder Scrolls fans may notice that the school of mysticism is absent. That's an intentional move on Bethesda's part. “It always felt like the magical school of mysticism – isn't that redundant?” Howard says. The spells formerly housed under the domain of mysticism have been moved to other schools of magic.

One of the more alluring changes to the spellcasting in Skyrim is how you can employ spells in different ways. For instance, you could blast enemies with a flame ball from afar, hold the button down to wield the spell like a flame thrower, place a rune on the ground to create an environmental trap that spontaneously combusts when an enemy steps on it, or equip the spell with both hands to deliver high damage fireball attacks that drain your magicka reserves quickly. The shock and frost spells give players an equal amount of flexibility.

The Havok Behavior technology gives the spells more visual flair than we've seen in past Elder Scrolls games as well. If you cast a frost spell, you'll see the effects on the enemy's skin. If you're wielding the flame spell like a flame thrower, the environment will catch fire for a short while and burn anything that comes into contact with it.

More so than in Oblivion, Skyrim’s new magic system also gives players legitimate benefits to using one attacking spell over the other. Fire deals the highest amount of damage, lighting drains the enemy’s magicka, and frost drains stamina and slows down enemies physically. This gives players more incentive to use particular spells against specific enemies. Why shoot fireballs at a wizard when you can simultaneously drain his heath and magicka with a shock spell? “There’s a gaminess to it that we didn’t really have before,” Howard says.

If you come face to face with another wizard, you’ll want to keep an attacking spell in one hand and improve your defense by equipping a ward spell in the other. Suddenly, magic duels become much more interesting, as you must attack at the opportune time, use the ward as a shield when your opponent is casting spells your way, and manage your magicka level by consuming potions.

Dealing Damage From The Shadows

Magicians and warriors aren’t the only play styles enjoying the benefit of combat enhancements. If you prefer to do your killing from afar with a bow and arrow or assassinating enemies from the shadows, Bethesda has some improvements in store for you as well.

Ranged weapons could be effective in Oblivion once you improved your skill level, but you had to pierce enemies with several arrows to take them down. After playing an Oblivion mod that turned the bow and arrow into a formidable weapon capable of one-hit kills, Bethesda decided to adopt that approach. It now takes a lot longer to get off a shot, but the arrows are much more powerful than before.

As in Oblivion, you can zoom to aim, and the longer you keep the bow drawn the more powerful your shot will be. Unlike Oblivion, the arrows now violently impact enemies with a satisfying thud. To keep players from coasting through the world plucking enemies from afar, Bethesda has significantly altered the arrow economy to make them a valuable but limited option. You won't be rolling into combat stacked with 50 Daedric arrows anymore. Though you don't have much defense when using the bow and arrow, if an enemy gets too close for comfort you can still execute a bash move, which knocks your foe off balance and gives you time to create distance between you and your target.

Stealth basically works the same as it did in Oblivion, but Bethesda has slightly altered what happens once enemies detect your presence. Now when NPCs think they see or heard something, they go into an alert state. Characters with a higher sneak skill will have more time to duck back around the corner or find sanctuary in the shadows. This new system eliminates the sudden attacks that sometimes caught players off guard in Oblivion.

Once you successfully sneak up behind an unsuspecting victim, you can unleash a deadly blow with the dagger, an almost useless weapon in previous Elder Scrolls games that is receiving a major boost in Skyrim. “Now when you sneak up behind guys, the dagger does something like 10x damage,” Howard says. “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.”

Though the dagger is still considered a one-handed weapon skill, the perks for the weapon are housed under the stealth banner.

The Dragonborn Prophecy Fulfilled

As the Dragonborn, players can wield the dangerous dragon shouts during battle as well. The shouts may have magical properties, like the ability to slow time or call a dragon to your aid, but they are different than magic in that every character can employ them regardless of their spell casting skills. If you want to learn more about this supplemental power, read our in-depth discussion here.

Binding all of these improvement together into a cohesive system, Bethesda's reinvigorated Elder Scrolls combat looks to be taking a large step forward.


Los Angeles Lakers - 16 NBA Championships!

joeblow is offline  
post #26 of 275 Old 01-28-2011, 11:30 AM
Senior Member
 
dstarlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: S.E. Michigan
Posts: 208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Has anyone heard if Skyrim will have player character purchasable homes, like Oblivion?

Dave
dstarlin is offline  
post #27 of 275 Old 02-24-2011, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Archerkit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 202
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 17
The new Skyrim trailer is out, with in-game footage!

http://elderscrolls.com/
Archerkit is offline  
post #28 of 275 Old 02-24-2011, 09:29 AM
AVS Special Member
 
MaxDam77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,875
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archerkit View Post

The new Skyrim trailer is out, with in-game footage!

http://elderscrolls.com/

You beat me at it! Awesome trailer!
MaxDam77 is offline  
post #29 of 275 Old 02-24-2011, 09:59 AM
 
TyrantII's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Boston
Posts: 10,114
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 832
Engine is looking very good!
TyrantII is offline  
post #30 of 275 Old 02-24-2011, 10:59 AM
AVS Special Member
 
zetram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,041
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I let the previous games pass me by, but after the GI article I am really looking forward to this game

PSN: Zetram00
MGO: Tez $$
zetram is offline  
Reply PlayStation Area

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off