High in the Skyrim
I will not lie. I am excited for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
What I’m not excited for is the thought of some of the…less entertaining…aspects of the series staying in the game.
Bethesda has said they will be building a new engine for Skyrim, so I won’t go on about that. I’m just going to leave a list of suggestions and things I think would make for good changes to the game from the prior title, Oblivion.
- More options for quests: Back when oblivion was on the verge of coming out, I remember reading a little mini-interview with a dev in GamePro. He said something along the lines of “A simple “Get the diamond from that guy” quest could be done any number of ways. Does he like you? Does he keep it with him wherever he goes? When does he work? When does he sleep? You could kill him and take it, obviously, or you could steal it from him after doing a little homework. Perhaps you could steal his food and see if he sells the diamond to eat, or convince him to part with it because he likes you so much.”
Yeah, that didn’t happen. Instead, we get one or two options on a couple dozen quests, and the game flat out tells you which ones are which. Which brings me to my next point:
- Assume your audience is smart enough to figure things out: Every single time anything happened, you got a prompt. Killed a target? Window pops up. Talk to someone important? “<Person> Said I should talk to <Other person>” comes along. It’s enough to drive a competent player insane. Sure, you could keep these on easier difficulties, or just have a journal that keeps track of everything WITHOUT telling you every miniscule detail. That way, when a player is stuck, they just consult it. If used with the prior option, the game would instantly get a massive boost in immersion.
- Make certain guilds and quests more difficult to enter/obtain: Let’s face it. The only guild it should be easy to enter is the Fighter’s Guild. Why? Because it’ basically where anyone without any good skills goes (And they’re always looking for new recruits, if you’ve got the stones for it). The other guilds make a lot less sense for their recruitment policy. I walked into a Mage’s guild hall, heavy armor on, sword bloody, and asked to join. No entrance test, or anything. I was in it. I could use their facilities to my heart’s content. I knew THREE spells at the time. Seeing a bit of a problem? And the other two main guilds are just plain stupid about their recruitment. Okay, so maybe the recruiter in question “Sees potential in you”, sure. But then, why does the Grey Fox contact you for, say, picking up an apple in broad daylight in front of a pissed off guard? Hell, you can get drafted into the Thieves Guild for an offense completely unrelated to theiving! And the Dark Brotherhood? Really? I punch a man to death in his house, run from the guards, and you think I’m a “Skilled assassin”? What about all those highwaymen who I’ve WATCHED kill guards and such? Are they in the Dark Brotherhood? No, they’re not. Make your guilds a little more sensible, Bethesda.
- More combat flexibility: And I’m not just talking about the dual wielding mechanic announced already. I mean give us more combat options. I think a stab in an NPC’s eye should be an automatic fight win, regardless. It takes skill to do that, so it should kill. Same goes for arrows in unprotected heads. And for god’s sake, make Hand-to-hand more useful! I know only a few people used it because it was only really anything good at high levels, and by then you had swords that would light a man on fire and turn his piss into liquid gold after he emptied his bowels in fear of you. I think it should be the opposite. It should be MORE useful than unenchanted weaponry at the start, and then stay pretty useful, only really losing it’s use against really strong enemies. That way, a barefisted kung-fu master would be just as fun to play as a walking magical tank of a knight. Oh, and give us options to knock people out. That way, we can do better as thieves without the risk of killing people. Nothing fancy, just the option for when a target’s health/fatigue/etc drops below a certain amount, and you whack them with something blunt, down they go. Honestly, without sneaking, it’d be just as difficult as a normal fight, and then people who WANT to kill others can do so, or just leave the body.
- Make the world more alive: Yeah, it’s hard to top Oblivion in that regard, but I still didn’t get that “Living world” feel. I would see NPC’s all grouped around and stuff, but for a Capital City, it sure was empty. I feel like there should have been easily two or three times the amount of people in the cities I visited. Outside of the cities, I feel like I should have met more people on their way. And the amount of animals in the game was just pathetic. Okay, discounting fictional things, we had wolves, deer, lions, bears. Never once did I see any birds, squirrels, rodents (Regular sized ones, mind you). I’m lead to believe that all this will be fixed in the next game, but I’m going to be skeptical.
- For Gods’ sake, keep your modding community happy: Face it, once a PC player got “Bored” with Oblivion, they stopped. The only way I know to stave off this boredom was new content. Along comes a truckload of mods. There are mods to add topless women, to turn whole men into topless men (Via sharp things), ones that add dozens of weapons, ones that add entire new worlds, and mods that turn the game into other games. Skyrim announced that the toolkits will be available to mod Skyrim. “Good.” I say. “Don’t mess it up.” I add, with a stern look. If something happens with those tools, there will be hell to pay for you.
With that, I can say these are the major concerns of mine regarding the upcoming Elder Scrolls game. I want it, and I want it bad. Just dreaming of these things here coming true is enough to give me a fangasm, and my wallet a forceful bowel ejection.