The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Catch-All

Scratched wrote:
I don't know, it depends what the hardware is used for. More processing power can be used for more than making it look pretty, you can do more complex simulations and more of them for things that matter. How about a few thousand NPCs in your world doing their own thing and being more than window dressing who's only purpose in life is to be there for the player, that sounds like something a RPG like Skyrim could make use of.

I knew my phrasing would get jumped on, but I posted it anyway. Here's Howard's actual words:

Todd Howard wrote:
The one thing that people are still pushing on, including us, is how the other characters act, how they respond to you doing something. There's still a lot of ground to be covered in that where I could think of a list a mile long of "It could do this, it could do this". Whereas I think when it comes to the environments you're walking through, they're pretty good. They'll look better each time, but there isn't this environmental thing that we just can't do yet. I don't feel a need like, "Okay, when is the next hardware cycle?" I don't think that's going to push us anywhere that is really new yet.

So without putting words in Howard's mouth, maybe he feels that the current hardware generation hasn't been fully explored in terms of what it can do for social simulations and AI? The takeaway message for me was his saying he doesn't feel a need for the next hardware cycle.

Anyway, here are two more fun quotes since I was in such a transcribing mood:

Todd Howard wrote:
We go at it each time with: "Let's not just look at the last one and say, 'What does it need?'" You know, I think most people, most fans, will look at it and say, "It's great, you should change the levelling, add spears, add crossbows, add this, and add some more races." And I usually approach it from, well I want to know what skills are superfluous, that we should fold into something to make the choice of what your character is more meaningful. . . . I think the basic nut of the game—which is I want to make the kind of person I want to be, and then explore this world that is very real to me at the time I'm playing it, and fantastical—how does that game react to what I'm going to do, and give me an outlet for whatever kind of character I want to play?

Todd Howard wrote:
If someone sees Bethesda Game Studio on the box, they sort of know, "There's going to be a big crazy thing in there and I don't know if it's going to work great, but it's going to be big and crazy and cool, in some respect."

ruhk wrote:
By all indications it seems clear that the next console generation will be moving away from physical media and towards digital distribution, so any theoretical upgrade to the 360 will probably move in that direction. They definitely have the framework in place, it would just be a matter of getting publishers on board.

This won't be happening in full for at least two more generations, probably more. Personally I'd be hesitant toward a console that was download-only until I had a much faster internet connection and a TB hard drive included, which I don't see happening in the next five years. There also arise issues with the fact that game sizes are continually growing.

If given a choice on a platform, the only way I'd buy digital day-one is if I were given a $10 discount (unlikely) and the ability to pre-load so I can play launch day. Otherwise, I'd choose physical.

Moving towards digital, sure. Having it as the main distribution for big games, not for a while. I haven't seen recent stats, but from what I remember there's still a load of consoles offline and running on SD TVs

Thirteenth wrote:
Never knew the two series share the same composer, but it makes sense for me. The music from both give off pretty similar vibes.

He also did the Icewind Dale music.

I'm pleased by the information from the GI article. I like the sound of the new quest generation system, particularly the part that selects a dungeon you haven't visited yet to be the destination of a new quest. One of my main problems with Morrowind/Oblivion/Fallout 3+ is that I wound up visiting the same places numerous times, and ignored a lot of the extra places. I think this is a great solution to that problem. I also like the idea that you can form pseudo-relationships with NPCs, and that this can alter how they respond to your actions. I just know I'll be sad the first time I get an assassination contract for my best NPC friend.

Scratched, that's not a "sub-topic," it's a derail and you know it.

The screens are very pretty but I'm still looking for anything that couldn't be in "Generic Tolkien-based Fantasy X." Morrowind was unlike anything before or since and it saddens me that BethSoft seems to have concluded that that doesn't sell.

So I've never played an Elder Scrolls game, although I have played Fallout 3 extensively - will this game make zero sense without having played the previous ones? Or will I be able to dive right in?

Each Elder Scrolls game is separate.

Scratched wrote:
Each Elder Scrolls game is separate.

But equal. They don't want to get sued.

Irongut wrote:
Happy Dave wrote:
So I've never played an Elder Scrolls game, although I have played Fallout 3 extensively - will this game make zero sense without having played the previous ones? Or will I be able to dive right in?

Fallout 3 is not in the Elder Scrolls universe.. totally unrelated. Elder Scrolls takes place in a continent(?) called Tamriel. Other than the first two games (Arena/Daggerfall), Morrowind, Oblivion and Skrim are all separate stories in separate provinces of Tamriel.

I'm pretty sure he knows this. At least, I hope so. I think the question is one of whether there is more continuity in the Elder Scrolls world. I found their take on Fallout to be refreshing in this respect. I really disliked Fallout 3 and could never get into Oblivion. So it was with much trepidation that I tried out New Vegas. I love New Vegas. And part of what I love is that it stands on its own feet. If I care to look deeply into the lore or "canon" I can hit up the Fallout wiki, but otherwise I play the game standalone. I had the same feeling with Mass Effect and Dragon Age, but they didn't have previous games in their respective universes, so that's to be expected.

Happy Dave wrote:
will this game make zero sense without having played the previous ones? Or will I be able to dive right in?

Elder Scrolls takes place in a continent(?) called Tamriel. Other than the first two games (Arena/Daggerfall) which I think gave you access to all of Tamriel, the more recent 3 games, Morrowind, Oblivion and Skrim are all distinct stories in separate provinces of Tamriel.

Irongut wrote:
Happy Dave wrote:
So I've never played an Elder Scrolls game, although I have played Fallout 3 extensively - will this game make zero sense without having played the previous ones? Or will I be able to dive right in?

Fallout 3 is not in the Elder Scrolls universe.. totally unrelated. Elder Scrolls takes place in a continent(?) called Tamriel. Other than the first two games (Arena/Daggerfall), Morrowind, Oblivion and Skrim are all separate stories in separate provinces of Tamriel.

I suspect "make zero sense" in this case refers to the systems, not the storyline. I suspect that because I wondered the same thing, and found, Happy, the answer was "Elder Scrolls make some sense". First Person Melee still feels weird. Playing Oblivion after Fallout 3 was really hard.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:
Irongut wrote:
Happy Dave wrote:
So I've never played an Elder Scrolls game, although I have played Fallout 3 extensively - will this game make zero sense without having played the previous ones? Or will I be able to dive right in?

Fallout 3 is not in the Elder Scrolls universe.. totally unrelated. Elder Scrolls takes place in a continent(?) called Tamriel. Other than the first two games (Arena/Daggerfall), Morrowind, Oblivion and Skrim are all separate stories in separate provinces of Tamriel.

I suspect "make zero sense" in this case refers to the systems, not the storyline. I suspect that because I wondered the same thing, and found, Happy, the answer was "Elder Scrolls make some sense". First Person Melee still feels weird. Playing Oblivion after Fallout 3 was really hard.

Oh. That could be what he means too. You melee in Fallout, but typically you think of wizardy Tolkein-esk games being 3rd person.

I know that sounds dismissive of "traditional fantasy" games. But I typically don't like them. Dragon Age was one huge exception.

Blind_Evil wrote:
ruhk wrote:
By all indications it seems clear that the next console generation will be moving away from physical media and towards digital distribution, so any theoretical upgrade to the 360 will probably move in that direction. They definitely have the framework in place, it would just be a matter of getting publishers on board.

This won't be happening in full for at least two more generations, probably more. Personally I'd be hesitant toward a console that was download-only until I had a much faster internet connection and a TB hard drive included, which I don't see happening in the next five years. There also arise issues with the fact that game sizes are continually growing.

If given a choice on a platform, the only way I'd buy digital day-one is if I were given a $10 discount (unlikely) and the ability to pre-load so I can play launch day. Otherwise, I'd choose physical.

Next gen consoles from MS and Sony will be 100% digital download. If it includes an optical drive I would be shocked...PC digital downloads have already surpassed physical sales and at this point there is no turning back.

And as well. Digital Downloads means more money for just about everyone not named Gamestop

TheGameguru wrote:
Blind_Evil wrote:
ruhk wrote:
By all indications it seems clear that the next console generation will be moving away from physical media and towards digital distribution, so any theoretical upgrade to the 360 will probably move in that direction. They definitely have the framework in place, it would just be a matter of getting publishers on board.

This won't be happening in full for at least two more generations, probably more. Personally I'd be hesitant toward a console that was download-only until I had a much faster internet connection and a TB hard drive included, which I don't see happening in the next five years. There also arise issues with the fact that game sizes are continually growing.

If given a choice on a platform, the only way I'd buy digital day-one is if I were given a $10 discount (unlikely) and the ability to pre-load so I can play launch day. Otherwise, I'd choose physical.

Next gen consoles from MS and Sony will be 100% digital download. If it includes an optical drive I would be shocked...PC digital downloads have already surpassed physical sales and at this point there is no turning back.

And as well. Digital Downloads means more money for just about everyone not named Gamestop

This sounds about right to me. I think there are a few non-trivial hurdles, though.

#1 - People like to go shopping for a game, take it home, pop it in and play. Bandwidth is going to have to increase significantly for this change to occur wholesale.

#2 - Not everyone is online. In fact, there's a pretty wide swath of people who buy only physical media. You wouldn't see GTA and Red Dead and Fallout expansions as discs if this wasn't the case. People buy these. And they buy them because they don't have the Internet or don't pay for the online service. Heck, you can still buy PC games and apparently the whole world moved to Steam.

#3 - Price. Not everyone buys new releases at $60. Many people wait. Even more people who do buy new releases only do so because they can sell their games. So I can't imagine a world where all games are download-only and still cost $60. I would say $30 is about right. That's a price where you, in your head, can do the math on what you used to get for used games and take a chance on new games as regularly as you used to or more so. Look at Steam. They regularly do sales for new-ish games or those bundles where you can get X copies of the game and share with friends.

Finally, many people have come to use their consoles as full on multimedia machines. DVD players, CDs ripped for in game music. Between this and the fact that many will want to play backwards compatible games on their new console, I don't see the optical drive going away. Of course, if the 360 actually lasts until 2014 then most of these changes could take place between now and then. We'll see. I think that's what it's going to take, though.

All those points are pretty much just painting the picture of today. The picture in 3 more years or so will be different.

Everything media related is shifting to a cloud based world. Your console can be "woken" up to download assets in the middle of the night and preloaded weeks before official launch. Streaming 1080P quality video means you only wait for a few minutes for your movies or tv shows to start. Every major console manufacture has tech lined up to allow for games to begin playing while they continue to install and stream in the background.

TheGameguru wrote:
All those points are pretty much just painting the picture of today. The picture in 3 more years or so will be different.

Everything media related is shifting to a cloud based world. Your console can be "woken" up to download assets in the middle of the night and preloaded weeks before official launch. Streaming 1080P quality video means you only wait for a few minutes for your movies or tv shows to start. Every major console manufacture has tech lined up to allow for games to begin playing while they continue to install and stream in the background.

That applies to you or me. Given a better pricing structure to account for not being able to resell games I could go to that model tomorrow. However, I'd be curious as to what percentage of gamers could go completely to the cloud. Nevermind in regions outside of the US.

Guru, I'd bet you my house you were wrong if I had one.

Microsoft at least have been tooting the digital download horn for a while now about things like movies, and they're plugging the xbox as a multi-purpose media device now (or trying to). I think the two forms of media will live side by side for a while yet, but yes, digital growing along side discs. Perhaps the next one will have the disc drive as an option.

The business side could be more interesting than the technology side. Currently retail has strong links with game publishers and hardware manufacturers for what is currently available, but it would be a big shift for all those parties and the customers to move away from retail. I don't expect any of them to make sudden changes willingly, especially in such a risk adverse industry. Think longer term movements, but then I don't think anyone expects a new generation within the next 5 years, as much as some would like it (PC gamer whispers: join us).

I also think that the next big console generation change is a while off, long enough away that I wouldn't feel confident making any bets on it.

I think that's the only caveat: if the next generation is starting in 2021, who knows. If it starts before 2015, no way is it disc-less.

TheGameguru wrote:
If it includes an optical drive I would be shocked...

If more than half of existing consoles are even hooked up to the Internet I'd be surprised.

Also, the recent stories involving Wikileaks are a good example of why people should avoid cloud computing. Wait until cease & desist emails don't just shut down your Youtube account, but your entire computer as well.

Make a new thread if you don't want to talk about Skyrim.

Certis wrote:
Make a new thread if you don't want to talk about Skyrim.

Sorry about that. I couldn't help chiming in on this inevitable *need* for a new console to play the game. I will try better to resist next time.

I want to talk about Skyrim, but I've milked Game Informer's coverage for all its worth. /checks watch. Damn, it's still January... That's what I get for listening to the Morrowind soundtrack for three days in a row.

The forum could use a thread splitting tool occasionally.

So... it's looking likely for a V.A.T.S. analogue in Skyrim, correct? Guesses on what it might be named? Ideas?

T.A.P.S. - Tamriel Assisted Purging System

... *crickets*

Elf-Assisted Ruination Sense, or E.A.R.S.

"Quick, Dovahkin! Your E.A.R.S. will defeat the troll!"

S.E.P.T.I.M. = Sonic Ear Piercing TIme Manipulation
D.B.U.T.T. = Dragon Breath Ultimate Temporal Telekenetics
S.H.O.U.T. = Sonic cHance Optimization throUgh Temporality
V.A.T.S. = Voice Activated Temporal Slowdown (or Voice Activated Targeting System)
B.J.O.R.N. = Battle AdJusting Oral Relativistic Nominalizer
I.K.E.A. = Inhereted Kombat Enhancement Analyzer

Well since we know the player character will be earning these Dragon Shouts, I imagine they'll be invoked by using your V.O.I.C.E. (Vocally-Operated Improved Combat Enhancer).

BethSoft Ultimate Laser-Like Ethereal, Temporal, and Tactical Tussle Ingenuity Mode Enhancement

Spoiler:
B.U.L.L.E.T. T.I.M.E.

Substance! Skyrim on the PC will support mods. Anyone here still sitting on the fence can safely pre-order now.

Big Download[/url]]But would the PC port of this engine be as mod friendly as previous Elder Scrolls games have been from the studio?

The answer, as it turns out is, "Yes." In a post on the game's official message board forums a Betheda community manager confirmed, "Like the Elder Scrolls Construction Set for Morrowind and Oblivion, we plan to release Creation Kit so you guys can mod Skyrim."