Todd Howard (Game Director for Skyrim), Bruce Nesmith (Lead Designer) and Matt Carofano (Lead Artist) were ever so kind enough to answer twenty-five question that fans posted on the Bethesda blog forums. Their answers shed a bit more light on up-coming, fantasy RPG time-sink, The Elder Scrolls V.
Instead of regurgitating the entire post here, we’ve picked out the most interesting bits and included them in this article. If you want to read the entire thing, then hit the source link at the bottom of the page and it’ll whisk you away to the Bethesda blog.
Alternatively, hit the jump to learn about crafting items, powering enchanted weapons, armour sets, NPC relationships, companions, voice-overs and PC-centric titbits.
Item crafting is a staple to the Elder Scrolls series and one that has seen a number of different takes across the various games. From the sounds of things, crafting tools will no longer be required but rather you’ll have to visit a blacksmith to make use of a forge, grindstone or smithing bench. The grindstone will allow you to upgrade your weapons; the higher your crafting skill, the better the improvement you’ll make. The same thing goes for armour but you’ll use the smithing bench. If you wish to make an entirely new item from raw materials then you’ll use the forge.
Soul gems will make a return in Skyrim as the means to powering your enchanted weapons. In Morrowind your enchanted weapons had a cool-down period before you could reuse them, but the Oblivion approach is the one set to make a return. Better start collecting those empty soul gems from the outset then. Enchanted armour effects are passive and always on.
Because Skyrim has a decidedly different aesthetic to previous Elder Scrolls titles, the armour sets have seen an overhaul. In Oblivion your armour was broken into a cuirass and greaves, or an upper and lower part. In Skyrim the two have been welded together so you’ll be picking up complete sets of armour. This, according to Lead Artist Carofano, was an aesthetic as well as rendering decision. A single piece better suited the Nordic style of armour, and with one piece to render instead of two, it freed up more rendering power for the team to utilise in increasing the amount of NPCs on the screen at any given time.
Speaking of NPCs, you’ll be able to make friends, take people on quests with you and even get married if you want to. If you have a house then your spouse will move in with you – we’re sure Molyneux approves. Any companions you take along with you, however, will not have their skills managed by you – your character is the only person you’ll be spending skill points on.
Your character will have a voice, but only for “grunts and shouts”. That voice will be different depending on your race and gender. Don’t expect to hear your character’s voice reading out your dialogue choice however.
Insofar as PC information goes, not much more was provided other than what we already expected. Skyrim will not benefit from a 64-bit OS but it will have better textures and higher resolutions available for people who have powerful rigs. Still no mention of whether or not Bethesda will be repeating Fallout 3 and integrating Games For Windows Live into Skyrim – hopefully they will so that us Achievement Whores can inflate our Gamerscore while ogling higher resolutions and fancier textures.