We have managed to amass plenty of information over the past couple of weeks and despite the fact that we are still reeling from some of the awesome new we have found, we cannot help but share everything that has been confirmed so far. So without further adieu, here is Skyrim -as we know it.
And by one disc, we meant a single dual-layer DVD. Naturally, Sony Playstation 3 owners never have to worry about the size of any game -the Blu-Ray’s massive data capacity means that it can easily store multi-DVD (even multi-HDDVD, if it existed) titles into a single BR disc. But for those using desktop PC’s and Xbox 360′s, large games have always called the need to have multiple discs. Now, Bethesda has announced that a single dual-layer DVD will be all that is needed to play Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Somehow, we suspect that some form of ancient and forbidden dragon blood magic must have been used during data compression.
Most Oblivion players loved the guild side-quests. In these adventures, players experienced starting out as a new recruit and rises up in the ranks until reaching the position of guild leader. Once you become the big honcho, the rest of the guild starts referring to you as the boss-person (or whatever term equates) and all is fine and dandy as you enjoy all the benefits of being the leader of a guild.
In Skyrim, the side-quest does not end there. Bethesda has confirmed that an extended amount of gameplay elements has been added to the guild. While exact details are sparse, this is likely to involve a bit of micro management with your guild’s financial resources and manpower.
We love the new stylized user interface, it is sleek, it is stylish and yet it still merges pretty well with the theme of the game. Who new snazzy modern fonts would go so well with the mood of the frozen north? Much of the new UI makes us feel as if the monitor has turned into a touch screen with its intuitive feel and approach. And while the new visuals does stray quite far away from the old parchment type windows of the previous titles, it is hard to find fault with the new form.
It seems that interaction with NPCs has been improved. The old “persuade” option is confirmed to have been updated and you can even tell the local bard to play you a few songs the next time you are in a tavern (you might have to plop down a few coins).
Speaking of relationships, marriage is now a confirmed feature and according to the developers, you will literally have hundreds of viable options in terms of choosing a relationship. Now, it has been said that multi-race relationships may not be allowed in game, nor will same-gender couplings be featured -though this may be something that Bethesda would later renege on.
EDIT: Same-sex and multi-race relations are a-OKAY for Skyrim. You’ve got that that right folks. It does not matter if you are a bisexual orc or a gay bosmer, you can get hitched with any gender, any race. Seems like we missed Pete Hine’s Tweet about it. This is what happens when you don’t use micro-blogging (alas, will we have to use Twitter eventually?). Thanks to Graham for pointing this out.
So why get hitched? There are actually plenty of bonuses being attributed to having a lifetime partner in the world of Skyrim. For one thing, a spouse is able to take care of your house -gather items, collect food, and basically being responsible of all the small things that you are too busy to handle, sans the nagging. Joking aside, it is said that eating dishes made by your spouse each day will provide bonuses. And they can also serve as party companions and actually fight by your side.
Crafting and smithing are now officially part of the Elder Scrolls V and players will be able to hire the expertise of the local blacksmith to craft some rare weapons or armors -and players with the smithing skill can actually make their own weapons and armor. Various materials such as steel, glass, ebony, dragon and even Daedric type classes for equipment are available, which means that players might want to consider spending time to farm some useful raw materials while they are out on the field.
Sadly, while adding enchantments is still possible, there will be no unique visual effects on the weapon -aside from the default “dull glow” that enchanted items get. This is a big disappointment for fans of major RPGs such as Dragon Age where enchanting a weapon with a specific element has a unique visual effect (like how adding fire and lighting runes to a sword will make it emanate flames and crackle bolts of lightning).
For those of us who have found plenty of work under the first Gray Fox -or the general thieves’ guide for that matter, there has been a massive improvement in terms of pilfering and general troublemaking. And that is plenty of great news. While no visuals has been given, it has been confirmed that the lockpicking system has been further revamped (we already liked the one in Oblivion, and we are curious to see how they would ‘improve’ it).
Skills for pickpocketing now provide specific percentages on success chances and there are even new skills (or if we dare say, perks?) that will allow players to have an easier time slipping in poisons, getting keys or coins, and even advanced skills for being able to steal equipped items and weapons right out of the user’s hands.
We have previously mentioned that dragons will be all over Skyrim, but now we just got confirmation that they will be more than just randomly attacking creatures -dragons will be given special AI that allows them to think, plan and even potentially call for reinforcements. This just gave us an all new reason to slay faster than they can do a dragon-cry. Besides, the last thing we want is for a giant fire breathing drake to start stalking us from the trees while we are busy dealing with mudcrabs.
Finishing moves are exclusive to MELEE combat. Not really what we wanted to hear -after all, it would be impressive to see how a massive fireball spell goes cinematic on an unfortunate mercenary.
Also, magic spells can no longer be customized. That is right folks -a particular bit of sad news for Elder Scrolls spellcasters who have been used to making their own blend of spells since the previous games. According to Bethesda, they have worked hard to provide players with a wide range of inventive spells. Still, it will be pretty hard missing out on our own visually customized spells which we would name “Absolute Damnation and Hellfire”.
And that is it for this week’s update on all things Skyrim. Does the news excite you? Was it a disappointment? Or did Bethesda finally deliver everything you wanted to see as a follow up to Oblivion?