Skyrim. Sounds a bit like something you’d find in a Final Fantasy Game doesn’t it – you know, you need to visit the rim of the sky and find the Mako stored there… no? Probably just me then!
I think it’s probably fair to say that Bethesda’s sequel to Oblivion is the big release this year for us role-playing fanatics, most certainly those amongst us who lived and breathed Tamriel for months and months back in 2006 (wow, 5 years ago, seems like yesterday!)
It’s a rare thing when a game actually leaves you with a feeling that never seems to dissipate – that always tugs at your heart strings wanting you to go back for more. Personally I only have literally two or three games that ever “got me” like that, So when a sequel is released to one of those “special” games it’s a real mixed bag of eagerness and trepidation.
In preparation for losing more years of my life in a game, here’s my definitive wish list of features I’d like to see carried into Skyrim, things I hope they remove/improve and new stuff that would… well… just be cool.
Things to keep
The sense of “the world” – remember exiting that sewer in Oblivion, seeing the lake in front of you and the Ayleid ruins in the distance, behind that a hill with a large forest just waiting to be explored? THAT’S what I want in Skyrim – that “wow” moment. REALLY hard to achieve but really settles you in to the world quickly.
Insane number of dungeons – Another of the things that really impressed me with Oblivion was the sheer number of explorable dungeons, all open to be explored from the off. Sure a lot of the texturing/layouts were similar – but each FELT unique – like you were exploring something that had been left untouched for many years.
Conversation quests – I loved over hearing stuff and then embarking on a quest relating to said conversation. Only downside to this is that there weren’t enough quests like this. MORE PLEASE!
Do what you want – want to follow the main quest or just want to explore? Do what you like! I want this freedom to remain without fear of jeopardising the main storyline. In fact, I only VERY recently (i.e. last year I think) finished the main quest in Oblivion, for me, that’s a fine testament to the games longevity. Equally, being able to continue playing once the storyline is completed is really important. PLEASE don’t do a Fallout 3 on us, or, if you are going to do that, at least warn us first and give us the choice!
Things to improve or lose
Level Scaling – I guess sometimes you can know a little too much about the mechanics of a game. I’m exploring some Aleyid ruins. I’m level one. Ooh. Kill seventeen simple skeletons, get to the bottom level and “Ooh, there’s a chest over there, lets open it. Wow, two gold and a spoon”. Flip forward fifteen levels, battle twelve hard skeletons, three ghosts, seven zombies and a vampire, get to the same chest, open it. Two hundred gold and a nice magic sword”. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand the need to protect the” uber loot” from a level 1 player, and I totally appreciate the thought given to making nowhere off limits for any player (this is one of the charming points about Oblivion – its openness) but how about giving some warning that you shouldn’t be attempting this dungeon yet – or being able to find equipment that is level locked?
NPC AI – Bethesda’s “radial” AI was touted as revolutionary at the time. The people of Tamriel will actually go about their daily business as would you or I. Get up, go to work, go to church, go home, go to sleep etc and whilst this was true (and infinitely better than anything else at the time) is still felt over structured – like each individual had a “path” to follow. It would make things much more believable if the AI did other more “random” things that were a little less predictable.
Mounts – great idea, poor implementation -never really saw the point in mounts. Sure, it looked cool but I don’t really remember it being any faster than walking. There was no mounted combat and all the best places to explore were off road anyway – negating the need for a horse.
Coolness to add
(Disclaimer – some/none/all of this may/may not be in the final game – it’s just stuff I’d like to see)
Being Lord/Lady of a town – completing various quests, ousting the local dignitary and running things your way, collecting taxes – raising armies and seeing off invaders etc. Probably a game in itself!
Proper Crafting – get the components and mould your own weapons/armour how you want it. Appreciate that Oblivion had an aspect of that but really it was just “add a magic glyph to your item”.
Housing – Whilst I did like owning my own house in Oblivion it just really served as a huge chest to store things. I would quite like to be able to customise my house, paint it, hang trophies, grow vegetables, make weapons and the like… Maybe even have my own little business selling herbs I find?
Killing huge dragons – oh… wait a minute…