The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim offers a near limitless single-player experience. The game’s Radiant quest system provides continuous side-missions for players to explore (and re-explore) areas they've never traveled before, find more loot and continuing to advance their skills, and last week's release of the Skyrim Creation Kit means PC gamers can tweak, improve, alter the game in any way they see fit.
With all of that in mind, and knowing what Bethesda learned from the infamous Horse Armor DLC for Oblivion, what's there for Bethesda to release via DLC? We know whatever it's going to be, it's going to be big... but could it be as big as adding another province?
Last summer, months before Skyrim released to steal our lives, Bethesda's Todd Howard went on record stating that DLC is something they're interested in - you can count on it now after the game's success - and that it'll come out in the form of larger expansions, as opposed to many smaller DLC packs.
"We would like to do DLC; we don’t have any specific plans yet, but they’ve been really successful and we like making them. Right now I can say that we’d like to do less DLC but bigger ones — you know, more substantial. The Fallout 3 pace that we did was very chaotic. We did a lot of them — we had two overlapping groups. We don’t know what we’re going to make yet, but we’d like them to be closer to an expansion pack feel."
In November, when some savvy PC players decided to explore outside the boundaries of the land of Skyrim by using console commands to bypass invisible walls, every fans' interested was piqued upon discovery that Bethesda had built into the game the provinces of Morrowind and Cyrodiil (including its capital city), the locations of the last two games of The Elder Scrolls series. Could these areas be the home of the game's upcoming DLC expansions? Why are they there? Howard answers this question to Kotaku at the D.I.C.E. Summit last week:
"The reason they are there - and I will not say if we are or are not using them in the future - is when we first built the landmass for Skyrim we knew we were going to have these tall mountains.
And what can you see see? We have views early in the project where you can see into the [neighbouring] province from the other game. We needed to have something [there].
It's not high detail. If you walk there, from a distance it's...yeah, the stuff is there. And the thinking is, maybe we'll use it one day, but our larger worry was, I'm going to climb up on top of a mountain and look that way. What will I be able to see there? We try to cover all those angles as much as we can."
It sounds very possible that DLC could take players to these other lands since by the time any expansion comes out, players will have already explored the majority of Skyrim. Otherwise, PC players with the Skyrim Creation Kit will make use of these lands eventually anyway. Let's also hope Bethesda includes some of the things the team created for the game for fun post-release, from Werebears, Giant Mudcrabs and Dragon mounts, to new weapons and environmental effects.
Whenever add-ons do release, we do know that they'll be timed exclusives on the Xbox 360. What would you like to see added to Skyrim through DLC?
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is available for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
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