The cover story of March's OXM (Official Xbox Magazine) UK is Skyrim. There are 10 pages about Skyrim with an additional interview with Todd Howard, Bruce Nesmith (with the help of Matt Carofano). The article covers all the key points such as combat, Radiant Story, skills and the world. For an eager fan who has read the forums and other magazines such as gameinformer, there isn't a great deal of brand new information about key features of the game but it is an excellent preview and I highly recommend it.
I'll try to keep this topic brief and mention things I haven't read elsewhere.
-There is a perk that will lower the sound of your footsteps.
-Perk for Axe that enables deeper cuts, which means prolonged bleeding. You can hit someone once and they will eventually bleed out.
-Eventual perk upgrade for Maces that will allow you to hit for full damage, ignoring armor stats.
-The article mentions placing runes on the floor (that we know already) but in particular talks about 'lob a frost rune down and if an enemy wanders over it, shards of ice will be launched through its body'
-Telekinesis is an available spell.
-'No more agility to build up so don't have to keep jumping around to level up' (I assume they mean no longer skills like acrobatics and athletes but they use the word agility)
-When you kill a dragon you're able to absorb its soul which will make you learn a new dragon shout.
-There is a dragon shout called 'Unrelenting Force' which pushes anything standing directly in front of you backwards.
-Dragon shouts have cooldown periods after each shout performed. Individual shouts will have their own cooldown time.
-In the northern parts of Solitude is the Bard's College. The city is a busy port and there's event similar to bonfire night that has the burning of an effigy of King Olaf.
-Windhelm is the largest city. It has a palace that should look spectacular. This is also apparently the hangout for the Imperial Guards who monitor the path to Morrowind.
-Bleak Falls Barrows is a dungeon, with ancient Nord catacombs which features rivers, tree roots coming through the ceiling and light coming through odd cracks.
-120 Dungeons and they claim that 'no two areas will be alike'.
-Just to re-confirm this fact straight from Todd Howard. Oblivion had 1 dungeon designer with artists doing the rest. Skyrim has 8 dungeon designers.
-Whole world is hand-crafted. Oblivion had some generated landscapes and there is NONE of that anymore used in Skyrim.
-The Shivering isles expansion inspired the team that unique, hand-crafted cities, where no two buildings look the same, was the way to go.
-Example of a 'Radiant Story'. OXM UK recieved a quest to go to Bleak Falls Barrow and retrieve a golden dragon claw antique and take it back to shopkeeper Lucan. If you killed Lucan, the quest would change to his friend Camilla instead.
-The Snow. Has been a lot of confusion about this. OXM UK says that snowfall is dynamic. Instead of a texture with a bit of white added, landscapes realistically get dusted with snow landing in appropiate nooks and crannies.
-There are one-off puzzles in certain dungeons.
-Example of new AI: 'Wolves have a den. Few times a day they go out and do a patrol and hunt in a pack. If they kill something then they'll hang out there. If you go outside and they're on patrol they will come after you. If they've killed something they will guard that and not chase you down as they want to look after it..
Originally Posted by Lakitu
Some pretty tasty information from this thread: http://forums.bethsoft.com/index.php...erage-summary/
Courtesy of ca.tchoup who was kind enough to summarise it:
-if a weapon and a shield or two weapons are equiped, you cannot cast any spell (quite logical indeed)
-it seems that smithing can only be done in forges (you cannot repair your equipment everywhere like in morrowind or oblivion)
-incredible level of detail such as : blood vessels on skin, modelling, animations, clothings (not sure what "clothing" means here))
-meteorological effects : clouds are gathering in real time around mountain peaks (sounds pretty cool), snow affects textures (so again pretty much confirmed that this isn't 3d accumulating snow but I'm fine with that anyway).
-a major inspiration for snowy landscapes seems to be artists like Brom and Frazetta.
-Matthew Carofano (artistic director of Skyrim) : Dwemer ruins (we know that already) and a Dunmer city!!! (yeah you heard me : Dunmer :celebration: ) ;
-again from M. Carifano : "after Oblivion where every place looked alike, in Skyrim you'll find once agin the excentricity of Vvardenfell. Here every Nord Clan has its own colors, its own identity."
-For consoles : the "block" action is performed by pressing both trigger buttons at the same time. Each separatly correspond to the action of what you equipped in one hand or the other.
-80 spells among which some are entirely new (the journalist might have picked a rounded off number since I remember GI said 85 or so?)
-spells confirmed : Detect Life, Fury (force ennemies to fight between them), Circle of Protection (hurl ennemies outside a magic circle), Snow trap (triggers only when an ennemy walks on it), Lightnings, Fireballs.
-Concerning finishing moves we'll see stuffs like : Axe blade planted in the neck, dagger in the chest.
-Concerning skills : Athletics (they surely meant Acrobatics) doesn't exist anymore (to prevent the player boosting this only by jumping on stand)
-AI : NPCs have day and night activities like cooking and brushing the ground in front of their houses.
-dialogues : most "inimportant" NPC like simple villagers won't have any dialogue tree (instead they'll directly comment on rumors or on what they're doing) ; only important NPCs will actually exchange dialogue with you, you CAN cut short the dialogue simply by walking away.
-Every city and town is bound to some particular resources meaning if you burn their mill or mine, you affect their economy and they'll be forced to buy flour or mineral somewhere else and when you'll want to buy these resources here again it will be more expensive. (good thing for evil characters :) and maybe desctructible environnement?)
-the Dragon Shout key on PS3 is R3 (don't ask me more since I'm a PC player)
-archery : when aiming at something, you can hold your breath (consuming stamina) and the action is slowed.
-Dark Brotherhood mentionned as might be in (the reason beeing that the devs had a lot of fun developping it in Oblivion)
-Dragons can be unpredictible in their behaviour, they will fly in the air, crawl on the land, they can crash when wounded.
-On the favorite menu: "Cliking on a key, the screen freeze and a list of weapons or 'favorite' spells is shown next to each hand".
-Todd Howard Interview :
-"a cause-consequence tree for each mission",
-each mission will be a bit different from the same mission played by another player who has done other quests. Also can be different depending on which mission you did before.
-If you meet a Giant on the road he might totally not attack you unless you attack him.
-it seems he says that when most NPCs give you a quest, they'll give you precise directions or accompany you to the road showing you which direction to take to go on on you quest.
-the player should be excited when discovering a new place, or overhearing rumors spoken by NPCs between them.
-the testers mark the most beautiful landscape, so they should have things like temples, stuff that will entice the player to go and check by himself.
-in Oblivion there was only 1 guy working on the dungeons, this time for Skyrim, 8 devs are working on them.
-120 dungeons (again might be another round off number, cause we already heard 130+)
-Speaking of jobs : woodcutting, weaponsmithing, sells stuffs you made to the forge or to the mill...
-he insists on the importance of activities they thought apparently useless before Skyrim, but they found that was surprinsingly important for immersion after implementing them into Skyrim.
Summary of info from Dutch Power Unlimited magazine
"There is no level cap. You will nevertheless not be able to choose all perks with one character."
"Technically speaking, Skyrim is an evolution within The Elder Scrolls, and not a revolution (but everything looks fabulous). The magic of the world that Bethesda has created is nevertheless unequivocally present."
"All weapons have different properties, which you can take advantage of by choosing the right perks. Maces ignore a percentage of armor, and axes have bleed damage over time."
"You can use fast travel to revisit places you have visited earlier."
"Skyrim is approximately as big as Oblivion."
"Five big cities and more than 130 dungeons."
"The overarching narrative of the Dragons is less prominent than the Oblivion Gates were in Oblivion, which does not give you the feeling that you are doing 'useless' quests when you lay aside the Main Quest."
"Dragons are not rare."
"Dungeons will be locked at their level once you have been there."
"Even in third person, animations look really good. There has been a lot of progress since Oblivion."
"You can read in-game books in 3-D."
"Every item has a 3D-preview in the Flash based inventory, which you can twist, turn, rotate, etc. Sometimes you will solve puzzles by analyzing these 3D-previews. Not only armor and weapons can be explored in great detail, also small rings and herbs can be investigated from all possible angles. Every single item in the game can be previewed in the inventory screen."
"The Dark Brotherhood is back."
"Active blocking makes melee more fun to play."
"More traps and puzzles."
"Main Story is approximately 20 hours. Hundreds of hours for other quests."
"Every dragon you kill will make you stronger. A piece of his soul will be transferred to yours."
There's also an interview with Todd Howard in the article. These are the highlights of that interview:
"There are special animations for sneak kills with daggers." (The way it is written in Dutch does not imply that there are no special animations for other weapons btw...)
"We primarily look at how we can improve facial expressions and animations, graphics-wise."
"The game won't support Kinect. It takes too much memory."
"We are working at pop-up issues, and we want to make sure that the graphics of the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 are alike. All three will look just as good, aside from the higher resolution and the anti-aliasing of the PC of course."
"It is not yet possible to combine forms of magic. It is difficult. Frost magic makes an enemy move slower, and fire does damage over time, and the fire remains on the ground for additional damage. If we would allow the player to use fire magic in one hand, and frost magic in the other, it becomes much more complex. Maybe we will implement this though, but for the time being, 'No'.
"Someone modded Oblivion by changing the physics of shooting an arrow. It made you shoot slower and you almost had to remain stationary to shoot, which increased the arrow's impact. We liked this mod so much, that we implemented it in Skyrim by default."
Thanks to Lakitu for the link: