The latest information from Bethesda on Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim comes via the Official PlayStation Magazine. In the latest issue Todd Howard and Bruce Neswith sit down to get into the finer details regarding spell casting and combat. The magazine has a 12 page preview but the Bethesda Softworks Forums have broken down the info in case you don’t have subscription to the magazine.
‘Magnetism‘ in your attacks draws them more towards enemies rather than allies so as there is no ‘friendly fire’ in bigger battles.
Taverns will play a large role in getting information, gossip and rumours from a town as it’s naturally where most people go after working and you can listen to peoples conversation and learn more about the town and/or skyrim itself – it’s a lot more natural.
Quest givers won’t be so specific, an example given is say in Oblivion a QG would say you’d be paid 200 gold for doing something, they’ve tried to make it more natural so the QG would say something more along the lines if ‘I’d happily pay if you could do this for me’. (Maybe your payment is dependant on how well you pull off the task?)
There will be some enchanted weapons which don’t tell you what they do – so you’ll know it’s magical in some way but you won’t know how exactly, you’d have to find out yourself – (this would most likely apply to the things you find in dungeons, ie people wouldn’t know about it so the PC wouldn’t either until it’s used)
People will be more vague or specific when talking to you or giving you quests depending on how much they like you.
If you are using a two handed weapon then you use Left Trigger to block and Right trigger to attack, however if you have a one handed weapon in one hand and a spell in the other, you won’t be able to block – left trigger will then be a spell and right will be attack – it is done to make you play more strategically – be more offensive, defensive, magic based etc.
They mention some new spells such as one which acts as a shield against magic
They talk about dungeons; one in specific which they go to on a quest *Minor spoilers ahead* called ‘Bleak Falls Barrow’ – it is inhabited mainly by the Draugr (the undead guys in the screenshots we’ve seen), a ‘ghostly dragon priest’ who bursts out of a sarcophagus to attack and startle the player and the ‘boss’ of the dungeon – a giant ‘Frostbite Spider’. They said that they were proceeding through the dungeon when it dropped down from the ceiling where it was hiding, it was said to be terrifying.
A rune that you can throw down and it fires out shards of ice, similar to the flamethrower one we’ve heard about.
They describe a finishing move they perform on a bandit – they ‘plunge the sword into his chest’ and the bandit can be heard gurgling his blood as he dies.
Outside of quests you can perform; Woodcutting, Cooking, Mining and metalwork.
They mention some of the 18 skills although I don’t know if they’re being specific or general (ie they could be grouping a few skills into one, and these are probably not the names of them): Combat, Magic, Stealth, Conversationalist.
They mention a Dragon Shout that acts as a sort of ‘Bullet Time’.
Riverwood is described as ‘A smattering of timber buildings, including a sawmill’
They get the quest to go to Bleak Falls Barrow from a shopkeeper called Lucan who has had his antique golden dragon claw stolen and wants you to retrieve it.
Radiant Story is in part inspired by the random encounters in Fallout 3.
The game apparently looks amazing in motion, with great environment effects such as the wind making the water swirl and make waves.
Some Dragon Shouts are found in dungeons.
It is possible to raise all skills to 100 but not possible to get all perks.
The King of Skyrim is dead, which has sparked the Civil War.
Dragon Encounters aren’t scripted and they will ‘Merrily ravage towns without warning’/
NPC’s are said to be improved, having proper jobs and routines now and some will even take out a vendetta on you and will come to find you if you killed a loved one or relative for example.
“Every big settlement is unique. The city of Markarth Side, for example, is set into dramatic stone cliffs, with buildings teetering on the end of sheer drops”
Haarfingar is said to be home to the largest trading port in Skyrim.
They mention breaking and entering to find out more about people, but I’m not sure as to what extent – “Because of the open world set up you can even progress by snooping around – following people, looking out for strange behaviour and even some light breaking and entering”.
Source: Official PSM