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What I Want to See in the Elder Scrolls VI

Although there is no certain date for the release of the Elder Scrolls VI, it doesn’t stop fans like myself to make demands of

what should be present in the newest edition of the series. The following are just a few things I would love to see implemented

in the upcoming Elder Scrolls game.

  1. Faction to Faction quests and interaction

A lot of the earlier entries in the series (most notably Oblivion) had questlines that were encapsulated in their own conflicts.

For example, the Mage’s Guild in Oblivion had the main character pitted against the necromancer threat in Cyrodiil. The

game made out necromancy to be a huge problem for the Mage’s Guild, killing guild members and even destroying a guild

hall. As much of a problem it is to the Mage’s Guild, the conflicts that the necromancers uproot never cross paths with the rest

of the gameworld. I would think that, in a living, breathing world, you would have necromancers grave robbing a local town

and having a side quest dealing with that. The guild hall, for example, is in Bruma, one of the larger cities in Cyrodiil, and not

even once do the guards mention that the building was ransacked. Not a single passing comment of a guard mentioning the

fact the building is burning down and the hasn’t been a single mage present in months. It seems that the conflicts do not exist

outside of their given questlines, and that is really unimmersive.

Skyrim and Fallout 4 do a great job at bringing factions together in their quests. One example that is prevalent in Skyrim is the

Civil War, where you have to choose sides in order to advance one faction or the other. The Companion’s and the College of

Winterhold gets a pass since their questlines do not really concern anyone outside their own guilds, but I felt that the Thieves

Guild and Dark Brotherhood should have had some overlap with the other guilds. Fallout 4 does a great job at this as well,

with the main quest getting the player to choose many different factions to side with. I had a tough time siding with the

Minutemen since you have to eliminate the Brotherhood of Steel. Either way, the game bars you from participating in all the

questlines, and that’s fine. It adds to the political climate of each game, and that is important for the believability of the world

and the tension between groups. I was going to mention Fallout: NV but they pretty much have the faction interaction perfect.

In Elder Scrolls VI, I expect for every faction to have at least some impact on one another. Even if their goals do not concern

each other, their actions in the world is still present and alive and real. I would love if you were a part of the Dark Brotherhood

and had to eliminate a member of the fighters guild. Whether you were a part of the guild or not, it would impact the overall

status of the fighter’s guild and sway reputation one way or another. In another light, I would love it even more to see some

Imperial Legionaires recruiting members from the mages guild and the fighters guild to help with contracts or something like

that. In the Elder Scrolls, factions are incredibly important and their push and pull of the world is necessary as an RPG.

  1. Realism (ie eating, sleeping, drinking, hygiene, carry weight, etc)

This is another section that many of the newer games fail to pick up on. In Skyrim, you can be completely exposed to the

deadly winters and sub-zero temperatures of the mountainside, but have no true effect on the player character. You can go

through months and months without eating, sleeping, drinking, or taking a shower. Some may think that these minute details

are small potatoes, but these little interactions with the world is why I play games such as the Elder Scrolls.

New Vegas does a pretty good job with its hardcore mode, where you have a status bar for eating, drinking, and sleeping, and

if you are lacking in any area, you will get weaker. I think that Elder Scrolls should implement that as well. In regards to the

environment, your character should need to cover up depending on the temperature, or if it is raining or not. If your character

isn’t warm enough, they will slowly die due to exposure. If they get wet and do not dry up sufficiently, they will catch a cold or

lose health. There should be counters to this as well; if your character is a skilled mage, they would have a spell that prevents

them from these adverse effects from the environment. If your character is a warrior, they would have to bring fur clothing on

top of their armor, or towels to dry off if they do get wet. I know these details sound absolutely ridiculous for a video game, but

if immersion is important for games such as these, the small details count.

As much as I love carrying 5000+ pounds of equipment, I think that the equipment needs to be balanced better. There should

be some sort of realism mode where your character can only carry a certain amount of swords or equipment in their backpack.

If you carry too much to physically carry, there will be spells that you can teleport items to a different “equipment dimension”

just to go along with the lore. Of course, this can be an option in realism settings, so if you would prefer to have the regular

carry amounts, that works too.

One more thing that I would love to see: a camping mode. While you are out in the wilderness, it should be necessary that you

have to make camp and get some sleep. I think an interesting rule they can put with this realism is you can only fast travel if

you are near a roadsign and with a horse. A camp would need to be set if you are in the wilderness. Camps would be present so

you can sleep, make food, repair armor, etc. If you set up camp, you are also less likely to be attacked by bandits or such. In

addition, if you have camp set up long enough, friendly NPCs can go up to your camp to barter with you.

  1. More NPC interaction (radiant AI, larger scale combat, companions, using the AI to perform different actions)

NPCs in the Elder Scrolls have been done with radically different approaches: in Morrowind, NPCs were basically statues,

staying still until talked to or attacked. In Oblivion, they went over the top with their new radiant AI system and made it so

spastic that if an NPC disliked you enough and you provoked them to attack you, they could potentially start a riot across an

entire town. Skyrim dialed back the radiant AI and made it much more tame, making the NPCs go about their daily lives but

not deviate from it. This sounds all well and good, but the radiant AI system that the Elder Scrolls and modern Fallout games

run on has so much more power than that.

For example, in Oblivion, it was possible to get NPCs to eat poison apples if they were hungry enough and you removed all of

the food from the vicinity. That was incredible. It should be implemented that NPCs go on their own “quests” to achieve what

they need to do. In Elder Scrolls VI, NPCs should frequent the shops, run their businesses, and have to travel in and out of the

province from time to time depending on what kind of NPC they are. One quest in Oblivion really made good use of the

radiant AI = “Whodunit?”, which was basically in game Clue. If an NPC liked you, they would conspire against the other house

guests. The opposite would happen if the NPC disliked you. If there were certain weapons in the room, they would rush for

them based on their skillset if they felt provoked. I think that the new Elder Scrolls game must have a system just like this. In

addition to this, NPCs should be able to be killed no matter what, if it breaks a quest or not. Many of the NPCs should only be

killable if they are in the vicinity of the player, so questlines cannot get broken outside of the player’s jurisdiction, but I hate

having these invincible gods among the player. Everyone should be part of the world without consequence.

In addition to NPC interaction, there just needs to be more NPCs on screen. The cities in the game are already small enough,

but the fact that the cities are devoid of life make them even more bleak than they already are. There are seemingly an infinite

amount of bandits and evil beings outside the city walls, but there are only a handful of regular people in the cities and towns,

it seems. For NPCs to be more real, there has to be a larger amount of NPCs in the game world, and more on screen at one

time. In the Skyrim Civil War questline, there are a few battles that you undergo and it is laughable to see how small each side

of the army is; maybe 10 guys on each side at once. I know it’s a video game and it has its limitations, but it is unacceptable to

keep going with this retracted trend of low count NPCs and small cities. Bethesda should not get a pass anymore.

Lastly, companions and NPC character in general need to be overhauled. I enjoy having faceless, generic companions as much

as the next guy, but the NPCs (followers specifically) in Elder Scrolls games are so puddle shallow. Fallout New Vegas kills it

with its followers and characters. Each follower has a mini questline and a huge backstory. You give a care about each one and

their motives are ones you can get behind. The characters who are not companions are engaging, interesting, and moving.

Benny, for example, is not just some antagonist. He has a lot of history and has quite a dynamic attitude towards the player

depending on what they do. The Elder Scrolls has none of this. I’m a huge nerd and know about almost every NPC in Oblivion,

but I will make a list on remarkable characters I actually care about from Oblivion AND Skyrim:

Characters that are well-developed and actually compelling

Oblivion:

  1. Baurus: This is my dude right here. Straight up G.

  2. Martin Septim: The real protagonist of the story. He’s kind of annoying, but I like his portrayal that he’s somewhat in over his head, but he’ll do anything to save Cyrodiil from the impeding Daedric invasion.

  3. The Jemane Brothers: These two are just part of some side quest, but I remember them quite well.

  4. Haskill: From the Shivering Isles expansion, he is really deadpan, but that is what makes his personality rememberable. He is the straight edge ruler in a hysteric, demented world.

  5. Amusei: Stalwart member of the thieves guild, he goes from a terrible thief to the personal page of the Gray Fox himself.

Skyrim:

  1. Ysolda: A Nord businesswoman, she appears to be a regular girl but actually has a lot of shady dealings with various people. Slept on character for sure.

  2. Arngeir: The master of the Graybeards; just an epic character.

  3. Paarthurnax: Ancient dragon voiced by the voice actor who voices Mario. Enough said.

  4. Jarl Balgruuf the Greater: This is a classic Jarl right here.

  5. Karliah: Straight badass.

Characters that are supposed to be important but suck

Oblivion

  1. Jauffre: Grandmaster of the Blades. He could be really cool but you don’t really get to see him in action that often.

  2. Emperor Uriel Septim: It’s kind of ironic that this is the first time you see him in the series, and then proceeds to die 15 minutes later. He was really important in Arena, Daggerfall, and Morrowind, at least in the backdrop of the might of the Imperial Legion.

  3. Mannimarco: This dude is the King of Worms. He’s really important within the Elder Scrolls lore and you kick his ass using a pool noodle.

  4. Chancellor Ocato: Again, another character who could be dope but sucks. (Side note: where the F is the rest of the Elder Council??? There’s literally 30 damn chairs in the Elder Council and Chancellor Ocato is the only one present.)

Skyrim:

  1. Delphine: She’s really annoying and I hate her motives. I love the Blades but she makes them look awful.

  2. Aela The Huntress: Kind of boring despite all of that.

  3. General Tullius: He’s pretty boring as well. He is not charismatic or militaristic in any sense. Just a bland character.

There are a few cool characters, but I cannot even name 10 from literally my favorite game of all time (Oblivion). The overhaul

of NPCs needs to arrive hard and fast in the next Elder Scrolls.

Overall, there are a lot of things that I want to see in the new Elder Scrolls VI; these are just a few of the changes I would like

to see. Despite all the flaws in the Elder Scrolls, it’s still my favorite series of all time, and I wish Bethesda well to make the

best one yet.

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