So, the big news of late is the recent Todd Howard interview and Ofiicial Xbox magazine coverage of some of the latest info released by Bethesda on the game. After another recent news-dry period, SkyrimWorld hungrily devours this info, and artistically regurgitates it for your benefit…
On Dragons and Dragon Shouts
The ability to slow time is confirmed, as a dragon shout. Learn more and more of the dragon shout and you can slow time for longer and longer. “Bullet time” is becoming a common concept in gaming these days, but it’ll be the first time we get to experience it in a TES game. Perfect for the new, more powerful archery skill that we’ve already been informed about.
Another new dragon shout confirmed is “Unrelenting Force” – the ability to blast your foes backwards with a burst of spoken energy. Check out some of our previous articles for hints on the Greybeards owning this sort of magic – SkyrimWorld continues to ponder just where the crossover is between the Greybeards powers and the dragon shouts themselves. One and the same? Completely different? Or somehow related? (what are your theories?)
Also, if you think you’re the only one wandering around Skyrim with the ability to turn words into magic, think again.
Hands-up if you’re intrigued. Everyone? Yep, we thought so.
And of course, there’s the dragons themselves. We already suspected it, but it’s confirmed – the dragons aren’t a scripted part of the storyline, nor are they simply “boss battles” to overcome. These are entities wandering the land, following their own will. They may attack towns or they may not. And they’ll likely ignore a single little human like you running about underneath, unless you attract their attention. Quoted:
In theory, you can engage a dragon whenever you see one simply by pelting it as it flies past, but make sure you’re ready for the fight.
On magic and combat
One tidbit of magic information – a telekinesis spell has been confirmed. Of course, thats just one of a confirmed number of 80 spells, plus increased versatility in the manner in which those spells can be cast. Net result – a staggering array of magical permutations.
Details on the equipping system – “menu” functions for each hand. So, combined with the dual-wielding concept, you can re-kit each hand independently. With spells needing to be “equipped” in each hand, this suggests the depth of tactics that can be thought through when encountering opposition – perhaps get in that sneak first strike with your knife, then immediately switch to a close-quarters spell all using one hand, while defending with your shield in the other…
And if you’re using two-handed weapons, then the independence of each hand is switched to functions of the two-handed item in each hand. Examples include using your “left hand” to aim with a bow while your “right hand” shoots, or your “left hand” triggering a blocking motion while wielding a two-handed sword (we can guess what the right hand does in this case…).
On the game world environment
The danger-level of the game-world has (perhaps, surprisingly for some) been toned down compared to previous games. Rather than almost every encounter with the wildlife resulting in a face-off (a la Oblivion), many of the denizens out and about in Skyrim have no interest in picking a fight, unless provoked (some species, however, are of course always itching for a fight, so don’t expect a free ride everywhere).
The hand-crafted nature of every corner of Skyrim is promised to shine through. Each dungeon has been designed by hand, with each having its own unique feel, preventing perhaps some of the sense of repetition long-standing players of Oblivion and Morrowind may have eventually noticed. Traps, encounters and features have been delicately balanced too, making each dungeon area an engaging and unique feel, with a finely-balanced sense of danger.
It’s already been alluded to, but we’ve heard how the new Radiant AI engine gives locals in villages and towns their own lives to lead. Don’t expect to find people milling about town with nothing better to do – they’ll have lives to live and tasks to do. If exploring dungeons gets tiresome, you can even chip in and help them…. or if you’re feeling vicious, hinder them. A local town (note, the town of Riverwood is mentioned…. not seen on maps of Skyrim to date?!) could be economically crippled if one were inclined to sabotage their sawmill…
And the new AI system will encourage the locals to interact with you… and with what you leave lying around. Ever done a cleanout of your inventory in Morrowind or Oblivion, and decided to discard that sword that you don’t really need any more? If you haven’t time to try and sell it, you may just leave it lying in the middle of the street. Well, a friendly local of Skyrim might decide to pick it up and chase after you to “helpfully” return it to you… or a less honest one might just pocket it for themselves. And if they do, watch out who you double-cross – killing a peasant for kicks might trigger his friends or relatives to come seeking revenge… and imagine the irony if one of them runs you through with the sword that you discarded last week…!
And last, but not least, a teasing quote from OXM on the faction system:
We’re expecting something very special from the faction system, which the team seemed to be itching to talk about.
Well we already know the Dark Brotherhood is returning in Skyrim… but “something very special” – there must be more to come. SkyrimWorld awaits with baited breath…
Source: OXM, Todd Howard interview and http://forums.bethsoft.com/index.php?/topic/1172376-info-from-the-new-us-oxm/