Imagine walking out into the realm of Skyrim for the first time, taking a deep breath of the cool, crisp air, and then promptly being flambeed by an enormous, unstoppable dragon. Do not fret, Bethesda has taken these concerns into account while designing the newest entry in the Elder Scrolls franchise.
One of the key complaints gamers leveled against both Oblivion and Fallout 3 concerned the difficulty scaling within the two titles. Oblivion completely obliterated the concept of careful adventuring by scaling the enemies relative to the player’s current level. After a small uproar from the gaming community, the designers managed to readjust for Fallout 3, attempting to strike a balance between the old and new design philosophies.
As the release of Skyrim sneaks ever closer, details continue in a continue in a steady stream from the people at Bethesda. IGN recently interviewed Bruce Nesmith, lead designer of Skyrim, and asked whether or not unlimited number of dragons within the game might happen across a lowly adventurer without the skills or equipment necessary to face such a strong foe. Fortunately, the answer is no.
The “random” systems within the game are in fact not so random as the name might imply. The mechanism that decides when random encounters such as dragon attacks will take place is based around a very detailed decision system that factors in how far along the players are in developing their characters and playing through the story:
“Random dragon attacks won’t happen right away. When they first start, you will have companions with you or be able to use the environment to your advantage, and the dragon will be one of the weaker ones. As the game progresses, you fight tougher dragons and are on your own more often.”
These random, yet calculated dragon attacks might be just enough to turn the entire Elder Scrolls combat system on its head. Facing off against such gigantic, epic opponents, and being forced to involve other warriors as well as the environment (all while taking the character’s level into consideration) could be one of the biggest hints yet that Bethesda has taken the criticism to heart concerning Oblivion‘s combat system.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim releases on November 11, 2011 for the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.