TESV: Skyrim New Info from Power Unlimited [Up: Tons Of New Details In OP]

#1
Update 2:

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.

Info

-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..

Confirmed Skills
Alchemy
Illusion
Conjuration
Destruction
Restoration
Alteration
Enchanting


Update:

Lakitu said:
Some pretty tasty information from this thread: http://forums.bethsoft.com/index.php?/topic/1163088-skyrim-french-coverage-summary/

Courtesy of ca.tchoup who was kind enough to summarise it:

-dynamic shadows
-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.
Original:

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."


"Low-Fantasy"


"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:

http://forums.bethsoft.com/index.php?/topic/1161772-dutch-cover-story-interesting-info-3/
 
#2
I wonder if they will be doing anything regarding NPCs. For as big as Oblivion was and as nice as the cities looked they were to empty.
 
#3
Still no real mention of specific spells in this game. I am hoping for a wider range of spells than Oblivion had. Like everyone else, I want the return of levitation and slow fall from Morrowind. I think a blink spell would be cool too. Or portals. Basically more spells that alter your physical abilities, kind of like the Mage class in WoW.

The Dragon Shouts have potential to add some variety to spells, though. In Oblivion, it seemed like everything was fortify/weaken, conjure, projectile damage and heal. Boring. I want to grow some damn magic wings and fly around.
 
#4
Game start spoiler:

This time, the game starts with your execution, approximately 200 years after the events of Oblivion. Luckily, it seems that you are more than a helpless convict.
 
#7
DennisK4 said:
"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."
What the hell?

EDIT: And is there a link to that arrow shooting mod for Oblivion somewhere?
 

EviLore

Expansive Ellipses
#8
This quote bugs me:

"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."
If Skyrim were coming out on Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii, would you proudly say that the games were visually identical on all three platforms except for resolution on 360/PS3? No, of course not, if you wanted to sell unit 1 on the hardcore systems. We're talking 2005 hardware vs 2011 hardware now. Give me an experience optimized for each platform, not a terribly gimped uniform experience.



The Lamonster said:
Still no real mention of specific spells in this game. I am hoping for a wider range of spells than Oblivion had. Like everyone else, I want the return of levitation and slow fall from Morrowind. I think a blink spell would be cool too. Or portals. Basically more spells that alter your physical abilities, kind of like the Mage class in WoW.
They said "85+ different spells" in the last game informer article. We of course don't know yet if that's "10 fire damage over 1 second" and "20 fire damage over 5 seconds" or actual different effects.
 
#10
EviLore said:
This quote bugs me:
No way is he going to tell the truth: that the PC version will look much better. This would only hurt the feelings of the console faithful and maybe hurt sales.

PC gamers know the real score though....


Also, vanilla Oblivion looked good for the time but once Qarls High Res texture pack came out modded Oblivion looked like a game from the future.

Betsheda should just ship the alpha version to Qarl....give him a running start!
 

EviLore

Expansive Ellipses
#11
DennisK4 said:
No way is he going to tell the truth: that the PC version will look much better. This would only hurt the feelings of the console faithful and maybe hurt sales.

PC gamers know the real score though....
Oblivion and Fallout 3 were in line with that quote. No high res textures, no additional effects, bare minimum of changes to the interface.
 
#12
Dark Brotherhood was the only guild/questline worth a damn in Oblivion, so I am more than pleased to see it return. I'm guessing we'll need to murder someone in their sleep to get the invite again.
 
#13
Danneee said:
Sweet, I sure hope that dragons will be hard to kill and not just push overs.
I'm hoping they aren't pests - I don't want to have to constantly watch the skies for dragons that could attack me every time I'm just trying to walk somewhere.
 
#15
"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."
I'm liking this a great deal. Between this and the dagger dealing extra damage to sneak attacks, the weapon choices seem to be another way to differentiate character play styles.

Danneee said:
Sweet, I sure hope that dragons will be hard to kill and not just push overs.
I'm hoping it's borderline impossible to take one out for a good long while, so we have to live in terror of them for a while. It would make taking the first one down more meaningful.
 
#19
Dungeons will be locked at their level once you have been there.
While this personally is PERFECT for me (because I love to explore and find a random dungeon which is challenging but not impossible), I can already see this being exploited to hell (level 1 players hitting up every dungeon in the world ASAP).
 
#20
Power Unlimited.. I still have the very first magazine somewhere buried in my parents attic back in Holland. If I remember correctly it had Starwing (Starfox) on the cover. Had no idea they were still around!
 

water_wendi

Water is not wet!
#21
Solo said:
While this personally is PERFECT for me (because I love to explore and find a random dungeon which is challenging but not impossible), I can already see this being exploited to hell (level 1 players hitting up every dungeon in the world ASAP).
That sounds like a horrible strategy. All the loot in those dungeons would be locked at level 1 lol
 
#22
EviLore said:
This quote bugs me:
If Skyrim were coming out on Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii, would you proudly say that the games were visually identical on all three platforms except for resolution on 360/PS3? No, of course not, if you wanted to sell unit 1 on the hardcore systems. We're talking 2005 hardware vs 2011 hardware now. Give me an experience optimized for each platform, not a terribly gimped uniform experience.
Err, didn't they said the PC is having a better resolution and anti-alias than the PS3 and 360? It's quite the opposite of your analogy.
 
#23
The Lamonster said:
I'm hoping they aren't pests - I don't want to have to constantly watch the skies for dragons that could attack me every time I'm just trying to walk somewhere.
Yeah, I would be ok with them being maybe territorial and displayed some kind of animal behaviour defending their nests and such. Not trying to hunt down the player at first glimpse.
 

erpg

GAF parliamentarian
#24
"Dungeons will be locked at their level once you have been there."
I don't like this. I want things to kill me, and I want to enter a dungeon with a Golden Saint that will destroy me in one hit, because I just shouldn't be there right now.

Why can't they just randomize dungeon levels on world spawn?
 
#25
As long as it has:

Awesome mods
Awesome random events
Plenty to do apart from quests (mini games, fighting arena!)
The ability to buy and customise your own home
Side quests with good stories

I'll be happy.
 
#26
water_wendi said:
That sounds like a horrible strategy. All the loot in those dungeons would be locked at level 1 lol
Whoops, maybe I had it backwards: I could see players not entering any dungeons until they hit high levels.

Either way, seems like exploit city to me.
 
#27
"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...)

At last. My rogue shall rise from the ashes of mediocrity (Oblivion), and be a force to be reckoned with.
 
#28
Solo said:
While this personally is PERFECT for me (because I love to explore and find a random dungeon which is challenging but not impossible), I can already see this being exploited to hell (level 1 players hitting up every dungeon in the world ASAP).
I'm interested in how the overall level scaling works. I'm hoping there's even more texture to the difficulty than in Fallout 3, where you can run into areas that are much more difficult than you can handle (high-risk, high-reward). This can be handled without scaling, but since they've gone that road, I want a lot of diversity right away.

In Fallout 3 I spent my first 30 hours or so just doing random dungeons and exploration, and was able to find a pretty good range of loot, much of it seemingly a lot better than my level would have dictated. So I'm not too concerned about the dungeon level locks.

Lyphen said:
I don't like this. I want things to kill me, and I want to enter a dungeon with a Golden Saint that will destroy me in one hit, because I just shouldn't be there right now.

Why can't they just randomize dungeon levels on world spawn?
That doesn't mean all dungeons will be tied directly to your level. IIRC, in Fallout 3 they could set areas to be X levels above your current, so there were areas that started out much harder than others. And since they locked in, you could level up and then overcome them. Since this system seems to build on FO3's, I assume they'll do the same kind of thing and make a lot of hard areas/dungeons. (Though I'd still rather they do this without scaling.)
 

water_wendi

Water is not wet!
#29
Lyphen said:
I don't like this. I want things to kill me, and I want to enter a dungeon with a Golden Saint that will destroy me in one hit, because I just shouldn't be there right now.

Why can't they just randomize dungeon levels on world spawn?
It still could be tier leveled. Like say low-end dungeons have a spawn from levels 1-5. You enter at 3 and it locks at 3. You enter at 67 and it locks at 5.
 
#31
BlazingDarkness said:
I'm thinking we need one big Skyrim info thread, I can't keep up with a new one every other day D:
Indeed. Beth hasn't let up on details. It seems every week we're getting new information. We can only hope they do their traditional walkthrough demo at E3.
 
#32
Ranger X said:
Err, didn't they said the PC is having a better resolution and anti-alias than the PS3 and 360? It's quite the opposite of your analogy.
I know what Evilore is getting at in that SSAO, post-processing, etc. that really takes advantage of the PC are being ignored. And I agree with what he said, though I think Dennis has a point in that Howard won't talk up the PC version I'm sure. So I'm going to hold out hope that there will be more than just resolution and AA. If not, meh. Modders will make it better. Its not the right way to do it, but it IS a solution.
 
#33
"Dungeons will be locked at their level once you have been there."
Really dislike this. I know it makes the balance more manageable but it makes the world centered around the player and I hate that. You shouldn't have to think to not explore so much at early levels just so you can get more loot, not should you be able to go anywhere anytime you want.


Looks like I will have to be waiting for a conversion mod.
 
#34
Solo said:
Either way, seems like exploit city to me.
The entire elder scrolls series is exploit city if you really want it to be, not a multi-player game so there shouldn't be any worries here.

it's easier to download a mod that sets oblivion world at level 1 then it would be to go around to every dungeon while you are level 1.
 

water_wendi

Water is not wet!
#36
ShadowPampers said:
Really dislike this. I know it makes the balance more manageable but it makes the world centered around the player and I hate that. You shouldn't have to think to not explore so much at early levels just so you can get more loot, not should you be able to go anywhere anytime you want.


Looks like I will have to be waiting for a conversion mod.
It says dungeons will be locked at "their" level, not the players level. So you can enter, get your ass-kicked, leave to get stronger, and return with the dungeon not leveling up after you leave. Sounds alright to me.
 
#37
Not sure what to think of the implications of dungeons that are level-locked upon your first visit. I mean, there's no reason to revisit dungeons that are scaled to the level of your first visit, no? So in practice, it'd be exactly like Oblivion. You explore, enter a dungeon, and it's scaled to your level. No low- or high- level enemies found.

water_wendi said:
It says dungeons will be locked at "their" level, not the players level. So you can enter, get your ass-kicked, leave to get stronger, and return with the dungeon not leveling up after you leave. Sounds alright to me.
Ah, that makes more sense. So dungeons have their own levels and are not dependent on the player - that sounds good to me.


EviLore said:
What? :lol

No, it's not?
gotcha! :eek:



vv - yeah, that makes more sense
 

water_wendi

Water is not wet!
#38
Haunted said:
Not sure what to think of the implications of dungeons that are level-locked upon your first visit. I mean, there's no reason to revisit dungeons that are scaled to the level of your first visit, no?
If you enter and its too difficult thats a good reason to revisit.

So in practice, it'd be exactly like Oblivion. You explore, enter a dungeon, and it's scaled to your level. No low- or high- level enemies found.
This sounds nothing like Oblivion. It doesnt say that dungeons are locked at your level.. it says dungeons are locked at their level.
 
#40
Ranger X said:
Err, didn't they said the PC is having a better resolution and anti-alias than the PS3 and 360? It's quite the opposite of your analogy.
No.

Think of your run-of-the-mill Wii game. Then scale that game up to 720p and remove the jaggies. Will it look as good as Uncharted 2 and God of War III, yes or no?


Poly count, shaders, DX10/11 effects (like tesselation), PhysX effects, texture resolution... all elements that are held back by PS360 if the games "are equal except for better resolution and AA".
 
#41
water_wendi said:
If you enter and its too difficult thats a good reason to revisit.


This sounds nothing like Oblivion. It doesnt say that dungeons are locked at your level.. it says dungeons are locked at their level.

I can't wait to accidentally wander into a dungeon full of those frost trolls waiting to slaughter me. I'll leave, power-level, and stealth all of them.
 
#42
"Low-Fantasy"
What does this mean?


water_wendi said:
If you enter and its too difficult thats a good reason to revisit.


This sounds nothing like Oblivion. It doesnt say that dungeons are locked at your level.. it says dungeons are locked at their level.
Thinking about this some more, I still don't really get it. If dungeons do not scale to your level, why do they need to be "locked" upon a first visit?
 
#44
"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."
This sounds great. I hope they put a lot of effort into differentiating the weapons and the animations of them being used. Stat modifications are all well and good but these differences need to "felt" by the player.
 
#48
I have also pleaded for one big Skyrim thread, but the new policy seems to be that every bit of news gets it's own thread. Which is not really handy, because every single time some new info appears, people are posting in the new thread and in the first GI Skyrim info thread. Please, give us one thread people.
 

EviLore

Expansive Ellipses
#49
Haunted said:
Thinking about this some more, I still don't really get it. If dungeons do not scale to your level, why do they need to be "locked" upon a first visit?
It's the method they used in Fallout 3. An area will have a designated level range, let's say 5-10. If you go there for the first time at level 1, it will be level 5. If you go there for the first time at level 7, it will be level 7. If you go there for the first time at level 15, it will be level 10.

Once you go there for the first time, it's locked at that level and if it's too hard for you you can leave and come back later and it won't have scaled any further.

Hypothetically it's not that terrible, but in Fallout 3 there weren't really any areas in the whole game world that you couldn't take on early game pretty easily, so I don't like how it turned out in practice.