There aren’t many things to complain about when it comes to The Elder Scrolls games. Both Morrowind and Oblivion got great reviews and lots of love from fans, but there are still a few criticisms to be found. Oblivion for instance was called out for its infrequency of leveling up and both it and its predecessor were called out for repetitive dungeons that seemingly recycled the same designs, something that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim aims to fix.
Bethesda is addressing both of these issues in Skyrim and explains the difference in leveling in it compared to Oblivion and Fallout 3, as well as the work they’re putting into dungeons and exploration.
Bethesda showcased the next Elder Scrolls game last week where game director Todd Howard was on hand to talk about the adjusted game mechanics of their upcoming fantasy RPG.
“The levelling is faster. Oblivion and Fallout 3, we think of them as 1-25 games. This is a 1-50. But what that means is we just sped it up. It’s not like it’s going to take you longer. There are so many perks and the power really comes from the perks, we wanted to get it going faster. You level faster in the beginning and then it slows down.”
Rewarding players more frequently does make a big difference, especially in lengthy single player games where every piece of loot and experience is a worthwhile reward. It also allows players to craft their characters quicker and more importantly, allow them to explore other character “classes” and skillsets, even though Skyrim does away with the class system.
In terms of the size of the game, physically speaking, Howard says Skyrim is about the same size as Oblivion but that it feels quite a bit bigger due to the mountainous terrain of the locale.
“It ends up feeling bigger. And the game tends to get harder as you go in elevation. You know, oh those trolls, they’re up there, so I’m not going to go through the mountain. I’m going to go this way.”
Here’s a map of Skyrim where you can see the amount mountains – click to enlarge:
What should get you excited is that Bethesda has assigned a larger team of developers to work on crafting the dungeons of Skyrim. They will legitimately vary compared to previous games and there will be lots of other unique locations found through exploration.
“We’ve got eight or nine guys now who are really good. We have at last count 120-some dungeon dungeons, and then we have another 100 plus what we call points of interest, outside encounters… The game is just too big, actually.”
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim releases November 11, 2011 for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
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