In a recent Q&A session on the Bethesda forums, Game Director Todd Howard, Lead Designer Bruce Nesmith and Lead Artist Matt Carofano answered 25 questions from fans, some queries dealing with a whole range of topics, from hardcore gameplay mechanics to general interest. Here’s a look at some of the more interesting responses to the questions that were asked.
Matt Carofano on armour aesthetics;
The armour system is very similar to Oblivion’s. The main difference is that the upper and lower body armours, the cuirass and greaves, have been combined into one piece. This helps create armour styles that have the look we needed for Skyrim. In most of the Nordic designs we created, the upper armour would completely cover the lower armour, making it unnecessary. We get much better visual results combining those pieces, and it renders a lot faster too, so we can put more people on screen, so that was an easy tradeoff for us. We can also make a lot more armours now, so the number and variation types are more than we’ve ever had.
And on rare armour;
One of the most prized and rarest sets of armour is made from dragons. It can be forged in both a light and heavy variant. You’ll see a return of many armours from previous games, such as leather and steel, however these have been redesigned in the Nordic style.
Bruce Nesmith on loot;
We’re handling leveling stuff similar to how we did in Fallout 3, but with a few new twists that we hope players won’t even notice. The enemies and loot are based on the â€œencounter zoneâ€ you’re in, so it could be higher or lower level than your current level. We do have a new concept of epic or â€œspecialâ€ loot that you can randomly find in many cases, regardless of the zone, and you will still get better stuff in the better zones with your level higher. Same goes for quest rewards. We try to make them appropriate for what you did. Sometimes that is random, sometimes that is a set item. There’s a lot of specific stuff that is very powerful, like the Daedric artifacts.
And the evolution of boss fights;
We have many new combat behaviors in our AI that makes fights with certain enemies very dynamic and interesting. It matters what the enemy can do. Dragons, for example, can do lot of things from multiple shouts, bombing runs, picking guys up, and more. An enemy that has a sword and shield, a bow, magic spells, and potions will use all of those things, and those fights are the most interesting. But we also design some combat encounters where the player simply may get mobbed by more simple enemies, and those have a different pace and strategy.
Todd Howard on how the PC version will cater towards the fans;
The PC version also gets higher res textures, larger render modes, and a bunch of other effects you can scale up if your machine is a beast. Last but most important, is the Creation Kit we’ll be releasing for the PC. Modding the game and making it your own is very important to us and our fans, so we’re going to keep doing whatever we can in that area.
For more details,from NPC romance to armour classes, bar room brawling and dragons, check out the Bethesda blog.
Last Updated: July 6, 2011