In an edition of the UK magazine PC Gamer, details about Skyrim were revealed, just minor things but these small details are the things that impress gamers, realizing that the dev team thinks of absolutely everything. A post at a forum had these details. A lot of these details are nothing short of impressive even if they are simple, so I’ll give a small rundown on them.
Sleeping in a ‘good’ bed gives a bonus to magicka and health.
There is a shortage of high-quality beds in an era like The Elder Scrolls, and if sleeping in a commoner’s bed has the same effects as a down-filled blanket woven from unicorn fur with a count higher than the game engine can handle, it makes you wonder just what they make the beds from.
He describes how the weather changed from a light snow, to heavy and then a full on blizzard at which point he can barely see where he was going.
Weather in games is often just a pretty look rather than something having a real impact. The storms getting to where it’s impossible to see can result in getting lost, or attacked by a pack of wolves before you can even see them properly.
You can get meat from a horse carcass.
The previewer describes how he equipped a flame spell in his left hand and a lightning spell in the right. The streams are separate when both are fired but they’re so “thick and chaotic” that it actually looks like 1 big beam of lightning and flame.
Reminds me of the Malice Cannon from Touhou 8, except intentional. This is a real change as many enemies with different weaknesses or multiple weaknesses being common in these kinds of games can be a major annoyance in large numbers.
The player finds a shack just as it’s getting dark which have glowing insects flying around it. You can harvest a ‘Sparkfly thorax’ from these little things.
Not a big deal really, who doesn’t like fireflies?
He has a quick go at alchemy and mixes nightshade and death’s bane to produce a strong poison which he applies to his sword.
Putting poison onto a weapon is a bigger help than most gamers give credit for. A good damage over time, especially if it stacks, can keep the momentum of the battle in your favor and in some cases let you play far more defensively.
The player describes a situation where he reaches a camp with imperial looking men. As he is attempting to cook the men suddenly run up the hill behind him where they are attacked by a Redguard woman raining arrows down upon them.
Imperials are cowards who can’t handle an ass-kicking. Still, this could tie into the reputation mechanics as you will be known as the warrior that saved the lives of some imperial guards, which can have any number of effects, all of them positive unless it also angers some Redguard.
Cooking turns raw stuff into stews for long term effects such as venison stew which steadily regenerates health for 5 minutes. Blacksmithing turns metal ores into weapons/armours but some of these are locked out until you get the right perk.
Handy this, crafting is common in games and is the key to breaking the game wide open and having the means to take on the strongest enemies in the entire game, as well as giving early access to some fantastic equipment.
Enchanting shrines allow you to add spell effects to any weapon and destroy magical weapons to learn their enchantments.
In Morrowind, I had a pile of useless items that I ended up leaving some very valuable geat in places. I’m guilty of this in almost every game in some extreme cases, but having the enchantments available to you reminds me of my boss-killing shotgun from Parasite Eve.
You can join the imperial legion (Think I’ve heard this before though)
A nice touch, you start off as a nobody who can barely take on a highwayman and work your way through the societies and get places which in turn opens even more doors in an already non-linear series.
Rift guards are a separate faction from the imperial legion so they ignored the bounty on his head (until he got on a stolen horse right in front of them). At one point the rift guards that are chasing the player bump into the imperial guards who are also chasing him. A war breaks out between them!
This is a very nice detail. Being able to get two factions to smash heads against oneanother has multiple upsides, which may include you improving your relationship with them, or killing the last of the survivors and having a mountain of loot to sell off to the nearby store.
If you kill everyone who saw you commit a crime, you’ll get a message saying there are no surviving witnesses
The guards in Oblivion were heavily criticized for being not just numerous, but downright psychic, able to chase you across the country just for stealing an apple or beating up someone in their own house. Making sure you kill everyone adds a large amount of depth to the game, especially if you are given missions relating to assassinations and you’d rather kill one person instead of having to kill them and run out of town with an entire army on your heels chasing you to the ends of the earth.
Going to prison and serving your sentence doesn’t result in your skills reducing. Instead the progress towards your next point in a few skills will be a reset.
Far, far, far more reasonable than the previous games.
Chances of successfully pick pocketing depends on the value of the item.
Standard game fare, knowing what to steal can give such a huge advantage in-game that it could be considered a form of cheating by some. It is a bit BS but easily justified in that someone carrying a wand capable of destroying half the universe would check for it frequently to the point of paranoia.
Player kills a thief and gets ‘Gloves of the Pugilist’ which grants +15 to unarmed attacks. He tests them by knocking off a huge portion of health from his attacker. He then attempts a power attack: “I grab him, he disappears off screen, there’s a sickening crunch and I drop his limp body to the dirty ground”. A finishing move perhaps?
Or a form of stealth kills. Stealth in games outside of where it’s a serious game mechanic such as Hitman or Metal Gear Solid often doesn’t work. If not, a finishing blow on a weakened enemy can save quite a lot of time and add some brutality to the game instead of punching the life out of everything.
You can even mix spells with hand-to-hand, eg. lightning in the left, punchy punchy with the right.
Now this sounds quite sexy. I’d love to do this in the previous games to progress smoothly instead of having to hammer shortcuts and the like when I get ambushed by something that shouldn’t even spawn in that area since Elder Scrolls have a habit of throwing curveballs like that.
These small changes are all awesome, that is all I have to say. I’ve always felt the series to be a little… bland until you really get into it personally, but this one may just be the one that everyone gets into right away, with depth that could be compared to the likes of Dwarf Fortress. Well, compared to most mainstream games.