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Default Elder Scrolls V - Wishlist @ Platform Nation

March 1st, 2010, 22:30
Bit of a slow start to the week, so let's take this piece from Platform Nation on what they'd like to see in the next Elder Scrolls game:
Leveling/XP System

A return to Morrowind will suffice for this I think. Fallout 3’s leveling system is Fallout, not the Elder Scrolls, but in Oblivion there were alot of faults. I think we need more varied skills, like Morrowind. Oblivion was dumbed down in that Blade encompassed many different weapon types. I want to see the return on Long Blade, Short Blade etc.

On the subject of leveling is also the world itself. I think after Fallout 3 Bethesda will go back to Morrowind, making the world static, and the character evolving around it; not the other way around. I want to be able to know I can’t handle a certain region of the world yet, go away and train, then come back and kick some ass.
More information.
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March 1st, 2010, 22:30
I'm going to come off as a rube here, but I didn't even notice there WAS a difference between Morrowind and Oblivion's leveling systems. In both games I spent more than half of my time carefully keeping track of and using skills I didn't care about to make sure I got the maximum multipliers when I finally leveled up.

And THAT'S what sucked most about the games. I love an intricate, skill-based level system, and I like stats and skills interacting like that, but for god's sake! Figure out a better way to do it. I don't want a meta-game where I spend more than half the game using weapons I'm no good at just to raise my stats. And jumping. And casting little meaningless spells over and over and over.

And over.

Did anyone LIKE that system, and the way it forced you to raise every fucking skill or to be whomped by the level scaling monsters?

Anyway, I found the whole wishlist to be weak.

More customization? I didn't see my character's face very often.

More varied world? Ok, why not?

Richer AI? It wasn't the AI that was the problem, it was the fact that the game designers didn't do anything interesting with them.

Magic and Combat? I don't know. It's a sandbox world. The more variety there is in the magic system, the less likely the whole thing is to have any sort of balance, and the easier it is to exploit everything. But ok, figuring out how to keep first-person RPG combat fresh and interesting would be a nice achievement.

In summation, I don't know why I wrote this. And
A release date is unknown as of yet, but the developer has previously stated that the next Elder Scrolls will be a launch title for the next Xbox console.
Really? I didn't even know anyone's been talking about a next generation Xbox.
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March 1st, 2010, 22:45
I'd like to see none scaling enemies and more to leveling up than simply increasing your stats. So I personally wouldn't just want to see them going back to Morrowind's system either.

Those really are my main gripes with Oblivion and Morrowind, liked both of them in the end.

Yes, I like Oblivion. /runforthehills
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March 1st, 2010, 22:57
Hmm… let's see:

A complete RPG mechanics makeover. I don't care if it's skill-based, but please don't continue the utterly dreary "use-based" level system with no tangible difference.

No level scaling, obviously.

Cooperative multiplayer.

Faction makeover - as in don't let each faction be a completely separate questline. Instead, introduce crossover and consequence, and make titles and status with a faction MEAN something.

Eliminate quick travel - except by spells or expensive means.

Dump the cell-loading system that ruins the immersion and use smooth streaming instead.

Introduce ships and sea travel.

Make ownable houses mean something other than simply a place to dump stuff. Allow for decorations and personalization.

Don't use radiant AI unless it enhances immersion over scripting.

Make a proper loot system, rather than the dreary "enchant with generic spell effects" system. Look to Diablo 2 for how to do this properly.

Don't use the same 7-8 voice actors for thousands of NPCs. That's stupid.

Cut down dungeons by 90% - but REALLY handcraft the ones you DO put in. Introduce puzzles, small stories and backgrounds and make them NOT similar.

Underwater content, yes please

Make the economy matter.

Don't consolise the interface.

Hire animators who can do the job.

Don't hype dynamic shadows and downplay their importance later when you're called on it.

Make Todd Howard sit in a corner during development, and only use him for marketing purposes. Get someone who understands deep gameplay instead.

That's about it for now
Last edited by DArtagnan; March 1st, 2010 at 23:31.
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March 1st, 2010, 23:05
I liked Oblivion. What would I change? hmm…
- Ok, the road brigands on crystal armor was stupid, remove that.
- The use based skill system, maybe scratch that and let us improve skills as we want. Maybe have a hybrid, so at level up you increase the cap of selected skills, but you still need to use them to raise them.
- NO MICROTRANSACTIONS and other downloadable content. I hate them
- A PC version interface designed for PCs (that's the only mod I installed when I played, the font size reducer)

That's about it.
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March 1st, 2010, 23:28
as long as they continue to provide their awesome editor im happy, its the most creative community out there.. i've never seen either morrowind or oblivion as complete games, rather just like tiny demos showing what can be done with the editor. people who play those games on consoles are really, really missing out!

it would be good if they, for once, included hi-res textures and at least got the animations right though + better and more varied world design, they did it so well with Morrowind. The AI is good compared to most RPG's (especially Bioware), will be really nice when even more improved..
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March 1st, 2010, 23:41
Originally Posted by Yeesh View Post
And THAT'S what sucked most about the games. I love an intricate, skill-based level system, and I like stats and skills interacting like that, but for god's sake! Figure out a better way to do it. I don't want a meta-game where I spend more than half the game using weapons I'm no good at just to raise my stats. And jumping. And casting little meaningless spells over and over and over.
Why did you bother to do that? If you just do the stuff you want without worrying about "optimizing" your character the game plays just fine.
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March 1st, 2010, 23:49
Originally Posted by BillSeurer View Post
Why did you bother to do that? If you just do the stuff you want without worrying about "optimizing" your character the game plays just fine.
Maybe he likes to optimise his character?

Pretty obvious, ain't it?
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March 2nd, 2010, 00:32
Maybe he likes to optimise his character?
I really don't have a problem with min-maxing requirng some tedium as it did in morrowind and oblivion (and, I think, daggerfall.) I kind of liked that TES levelling wasn't some flat thing that gave you the same increase every time. I always felt like those points for using "skills I didn't care about" were a nice bonus that helped characters whose actual gameplay style was a little broader than their level 1 concept.

That being said, it might be nice if they found a way to make those "bonuses" smaller in impact but automatic. IE, instead of a bonus stat point, a bonus skill point.
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March 2nd, 2010, 01:17
I second DArtagnan's post, good work.

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March 2nd, 2010, 01:58
DArtagnan, that list of yours is simply amazing.. if only we could see these changes in a TES game, then we would have the "ideal" RPG.
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March 2nd, 2010, 02:00
Yep, his wish list is pretty comprehensive!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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March 2nd, 2010, 02:14
I'm going against the flow with the skill based system. I like it! Much better than an XP system that gives me situations like "I practiced piano 8 hours a day and now I can kick Jackie Chan's butt!" Given the option, I'll take the former.

If there's a clever way to spin it so that you're not executing silly over-and-over practice sessions, so much the better, but that's hardly a game killer for me. Shoot, if I wanted to be good at casting fireballs I might just go into the backyard and have some target practice before I take on trolls.


I'll also countermand the Todd Howard comment. Elder Scrolls has always *always* been about breadth over depth and he gets that. If you're not into it, go someplace else. The game is not for you.

Everything else I think I agree with.
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March 2nd, 2010, 02:28
Can we have a PC-only version then let all the console folks play it over OnLive? I don't know how the hades OnLive can handle mods but it couldn't be worse than how consoles handle them.
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March 2nd, 2010, 02:36
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Hmm… let's see:

A complete RPG mechanics makeover. I don't care if it's skill-based, but please don't continue the utterly dreary "use-based" level system with no tangible difference.
Disagree
No level scaling, obviously.
Agree
Cooperative multiplayer.
Strongly Disagree
Faction makeover - as in don't let each faction be a completely separate questline. Instead, introduce crossover and consequence, and make titles and status with a faction MEAN something.
Agree.
Eliminate quick travel - except by spells or expensive means.
Agree that it shouldn't be free. But don't agree it has to be very expensive, but I thought it was well done in Morrowind, traveling was like a game in itself. Silt striders or boat like travel are great in my opinion. Ofcourse, only travel to cities or vilages. Not to every location you have been to.
Dump the cell-loading system that ruins the immersion and use smooth streaming instead.
Have to explain that one to me. It's okay as long as it is still possible to have dozens of items on a table. No Gothic/Risen interiors please.
Introduce ships and sea travel.
Disagree. Unless you mean instead of fast travel.
Make ownable houses mean something other than simply a place to dump stuff. Allow for decorations and personalization.
Agree, but it's not that important to me.
Don't use radiant AI unless it enhances immersion over scripting.
I thought Radiant AI needs alot of scripting. It isn't some automated function. If the dev wants the NPC to have a complicated day schedule he can, it's just alot of work. No Radiant AI would probably mean we go back to morrowind with 24/7 shop owners never leaving their spot, how's that for immersion. BTW, they probably won't use 'Radiant AI' as term anymore, but I'm sure whatever they use is a continuation and not a return to Morrowind.

Make a proper loot system, rather than the dreary "enchant with generic spell effects" system. Look to Diablo 2 for how to do this properly.
I think this would be contingent on the character development system being revamped, mainly that you need STR 20 to use an STR 20 sword etc. Since I veto a change to the Elder Scrolls mechanic of skill determens effectiveness (how good you are at using a sword) not ability to use (you can use a sword).
Don't use the same 7-8 voice actors for thousands of NPCs. That's stupid.
Agreed.
Cut down dungeons by 90% - but REALLY handcraft the ones you DO put in. Introduce puzzles, small stories and backgrounds and make them NOT similar.
I agree to that, I though Fallout 3 dungeons were better content-wise. Visually it were still very similar experiences. The overland map is so varied, why don't they make the caves different too, maybe even use information from the overland map to zone the underworld map into different types of stonecaves (granite, marble, sandstones, etc.) ideally you'd see the materials were used in the towns.
Underwater content, yes please
Some, but if it fits the setting not just for sake of having it. That's like the obligatory desert part of many RPGs.
Make the economy matter.
Don't know exactly where you're getting at.
Don't consolise the interface.
Agreed
Hire animators who can do the job.
agreed
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March 2nd, 2010, 05:04
Originally Posted by Cerberus View Post
DArtagnan, that list of yours is simply amazing.. if only we could see these changes in a TES game, then we would have the "ideal" RPG.

+1

Except for the part about multiplayer. I'm just afraid that it might take too much time/resources away from the single-player development.
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March 2nd, 2010, 06:35
My only wish is that they dont make it.
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Last edited by Turok; February 16th, 2011 at 02:49.
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March 2nd, 2010, 08:04
If there's a specific element in Bethesda's gamedesign I would have revamped, it would be the quest design/architecture that needs a more dynamic approach.

The main quest in Fallout 3 and Oblivion was completely linear, as in going from point A to B to C to D to E. I would have preferred to see a game that instead had different form of barriers that needed some progression to overcome. Progression in character leveling, progression in character reputation (potentially earned from any quest you do), progression in faction status (potentially earned from any quest you do for a specific faction), progression in finding item X (can be earned from many different quests throughout the continent) etc.

I would also like to see the habit of always offering a choice on how to finish a quest, one that preferably break the good/evil formula and instead deal with tougher choices, where right or wrong aren't clearly defined, perhaps inspired by philosophy like order/chaos, existentialism, community/individualism, freedom/duty etc.

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March 2nd, 2010, 08:10
DArtagnan's post is like a distillation of that griping about oblivion thread we had here
(at least the intelligent, coherent part), most of us would be hard pressed to disagree
with the gist of it.

A couple of things though:
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Cooperative multiplayer.
I too believe that it doesn't work with the nature of these games. There are a boatload
of MP games out there already…

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Dump the cell-loading system that ruins the immersion and use smooth streaming instead.
That would have been nice but I doubt they'll be changing engine any time soon.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Hmm… let's see:
Cut down dungeons by 90% - but REALLY handcraft the ones you DO put in. Introduce puzzles, small stories and backgrounds and make them NOT similar.
Whoa not that much ! but yeah I would stomach a few dozens "basement" or
"generic cave" dungeons more easily if there where at least a significant number of
handcrafted memorable ones.
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March 2nd, 2010, 08:44
Agree with many points already raised, but some comments:

- Ragarding the use-based skill system. I have to admit I still like the system. I have head enough discussions with rule-system savy people like Galsiah to accept that from a game-theoretical, min-maxer point of view the system is deeply flawed if not broken. However, in my personal play through I had absolutely no problems with it. The thing is, if you just play your role, and stop thinking about the leveling system, it provides a wonderfully natural character progression (in Oblivions case unfortunately offest by the overdone level scaling - but it worked well in MW and DF). In addition it is very flexible - feel underpowered? It is very simple to train yourself until up to the task. Feel overpowered? Nudge that difficulty slider higher. For a sandbox game, which I think is a concept inherently resistant to overall balancing I think that is actually a good thing. I am sure the details can be improved - see the various leveling mods out there.
My big wish in this area though: bring back the advantage / disadvantage system from Daggerfall. That was brilliant for making interesting characters, and the birthsign system is an uneccessarily restricted derivative of this feature.

- Regarding dungeons. I don't think if you want to keep the breadth of TES you can ditch generic dungeons entirely. I wouldn't even mind if they go back to randomly generated dungeons, plenty of Diable clones have shown that this can be done quite effectively. I agree though that they need to also add a number of really unique dungeons (and other places of interest), and not all connected to the main quest. To really reward exploration something like this maybe:
-about 80% generic tileset (or randomly generated) dungeons. Try to achieve a wide variety of different challenges:
E.g.
5 Tilesets
5 themes (e.g. animal lair, bandit hideout, hauntetd, vault (trapped dungeon), necromancers hideout)
5 difficulty levels
5 regional flavors (determine types of prevalent monsters, textures, and treasures)
10% chance of special content (artifact, unique monster, unique trap, scripted event, hidden factions, etc.)

- Radiant AI - despite everything, I think its the right way to go for a big sandbox RPG. It just needs to be developed further, and hyped less.

-Totally agree on what Jemy M said about quests above. There were some quite interesting quests in Oblivion and FO3, but they were insular. There is a need for more overall structure, actual consequences of joining factions, and some far-reaching consequences, as well as at least a little branching or multiple paths in the main quest. I think if they take what they learned with FO3, and take it further, it would be a good step in the right direction.

-Make use of what your story/setting offers: Morrowind was good there, building on the mystery of the Nerevarine and the Dwarves, using the religious and cultural pecularities of the region to creaste conflict between houses, between ashlanders and the rest, allowing to explore the history of the dunmer gods, etc. Oblivion had a perfect stage for scheming and intrigue nobles (leaderless empire, imperial province, and no one makes a powergrab?), defence/siege scenarios (Daedra won't stray more then 10 yards from their gate? Yawn! etc.

-And for gods sake, take your own world lore seriously again. Hire the folks at the Imperial Library as advisors.
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