• 27 September 2011 13:39:56

    Various first hand accounts available of Skyrim

    posted by Lingwei Game News
    Bethesda have allowed the plebs to sample Skyrim which has resulted in a number of first hand accounts of experiences and information unfiltered by 'gaming journalistic standards' to be posted.

    The comments are posted in forum format, which appears to be far more useful at getting information across than wink-and-nod insider articles.

    First up is our very own Dark0ne.

    Just in the queue for the Skyrim hands-on preview at the Eurogamer Expo for my second play. Thought I'd tease some of you and let you know...yes, it's good

    Err, that's not right.

    * Magicka now regens pretty fast out of combat, and slowly (but it still does regen) while in combat. This makes magic much more fun and accessible to warrior and stealth classes and magic is less of a chore/bore than before.
    * Similarly your health regens, same principle as the Magicka
    * They've gotten rid of the stupid rag-doll effects that sent your enemies flying into the air when you killed them, more realistic
    * An obvious effort has been made on the animation front. Swimming looks slightly more realistic, as does jumping when in third-person mode
    * Lockpicking is exactly the same
    * Exploring is a little tougher (at least at the start) as there's a lot of vegetation and your view is quite limited. You can still go off and do your own thing from the start, but, like Fallout 3 and New Vegas, there's some obvious places to visit first for newbies
    * Like Oblivion, the environment is not dynamic in nature. You can't set things on fire that would normally burn with your fire spells (so you can't set a wooden cart on fire) but there are a few traps and things that will burn and damage enemies/you (like oil) that will be dynamic. So if you had dreams of freezing puddles of water with your ice spells and burning down log cabins with your fire spells you're probably going to be disappointed.
    * You no longer need to sleep in a bed/rest to level up your skills

    SammiiDoogles at The Elderscrolls Forum somehow was able to include more information about the game in one forum post that a dozen other articles that Tesnexus could link to. Below is a small sample.

    # While waiting I saw one player break into a house and on one of the counters was a book, when the player approached the book it had the option "Press A to forge business numbers" - part of a quest?
    # Sometimes, the last kill in a group may trigger a slo-mo kill cam, similar to the kill cam in Fallout where the camera focuses on the dying enemy.
    # Whiterun is gorgeous, lots of fountains and pools.
    # Akatosh and Talos have these tiny shrines found around the provice, they appear to be portable shrines or something that followers carry around with them.
    # Found some Thalmor Soldiers - clad in some very cool black armour.
    # '40 bounty added to Falkreath' from attacking Imerial Solider, 1000 for killing him.
    # Underwater is a lot like Fallout, but worse to be honest. You know how in Fallout you can rest the camer directly on water level and see everything clear as day underwater, but if you go under there's a green tint? Exactly like that in this; although the shift is actually more noticeable, that 'clear as day' thing is visible every single time you dive, looks incredibly ugly - I just hope thats one thing they're workig on still. On the surface the water looks good, but the ripples are the exact same as in Fallout. At one point I also saw the 'shimmering' from the sun pop in on the water, as though it's a texture.
    # Saw a cool takedown where Dovahkiin shield bashes someone, which puts them on their back foot, then impales them with the sword (Third person).
    # I watched one play walk up to a deer in the wilderness, the player got out his axe and hacked at it's face; the deer did absolutely nothing and stood there until it died. Similarly another player cast a flamethrower on a chicken in Riverwood which did nothing until it flopped down dead.
    # Physics are similar to Oblivion, on player was shooting arrows at a cart full of cabbages and each one went flying with each shot, easily flying higher than the surrounding buildings (Riverwood).
    # Nords have something called Battlecry which makes enemies flee.
    # Sleeping in a bed gives you rested, sleeping in a player owned bed gives you well rested.
    # Argonians have something called ____ Hist King (Sorry, terrible with names - it was something about the Hist King, it's a racial power like the Nords Battlecry) - it allows them to regenerate health quickly.
    # Double handed flamethrower is beyond awesome, easily the most powerful thing in the demo - wiped out a trio of bandits in seconds.
    # Stumbled upon a small funeral ceremony going on in a tiny, isolated graveyard in the woods. Was being held by a Priest of Arkay.
    # No Dragons in the demo. Bethesda staff said it's because they would totally destroy any unexperienced player, and the only reason Todd could handle it was because he had a really souped up character.
    # Some NPC's are just generic race NPC's - found a few called just 'Imperial' etc.
    # Fighting a Necromancer; he summoned a magical shield that covered his front - while this shield was up he was still able to cast magic and attack.

    There is much more information in the linked post so click through and read it.

    Sammuthegreat has provided several seperate threads of information. One containing his impressions, and two answering a group of questions from The Elderscrolls Forum members.

    I approached with my weapons out - an Iron war axe in one hand, and a flame spell in the other - and the bandit got his weapons out in response. He didn't attack though, he just warned me to stay away. His voice took me off-guard - it wasn't anything like the standard Oblivion Redguard voice. I was pleasantly surprised by the variation. I was going to back up and find a covered spot but I guess I must have got too close; he charged. I killed him easily and took his Steel mace, which looked nothing like the spiked ball from Oblivion. More like a cross between the Silver and Iron ones.

    I entered the mine, and decided to try some more stealth. Walking down the slope in the entry passageway I tripped a trap switch on the floor - rocks tumbled down from the ceiling (they looked far more weighty than the polystyrene ones from Oblivion) but they missed me. I froze until I was sure no-one had heard, and headed round the corner.

    In the mouth of the main cave, there was a wooden walkway going off at about 10 o'clock for 10 or so metres; there was then a sloped walkway at the far end, which went downhill from the left to the right of my screen, towards a fire. There were two bandits next to the fire. I heard them talking, saying "I hope no-one comes in, we're hardly very well hidden" or something similar, to which the other one replied "don't worry, we've got our friend guarding the entrance." I was fully hidden so I nocked an arrow to my bow and tried to hit the first bandit. I wasn't quite used to the arrows - they don't dip as much as I expected - and I missed horribly. As soon as I realised, I ducked back round the corner, but the stealth eye had opened very slightly. I heard the bandits say "what was that?" "Did you see something?" or something similar. I backed up as they headed up the walkway together, calling out asking if someone was there. They couldn't see me though, and didn't come all the way across the bridge to my location - interestingly, when I leant back out to take another shot, they were both walking in opposite directions, checking out the whole cave.

    There's also this 'journalist' article to compare.

    The gameplay feels very similar to how Oblivion felt for the most part, the ability to mix weapons and magic feels very cool with the ability to mix two different spells, equipping one of them to one hand and another one to the other, feeling even cooler. Is there anything more epic than burning a problematic wolf to a crispy sizzling heap on the floor and then zapping him with a little bit of lightning for good measure? No? I didn’t think so. I can only hope that the final game will have more of an in depth look at how players will be able to use a combat system with such a range of diverse choices that are available to make. I think that most people would just go for the trusty sword and shield combination and not realise that there are so many more variations of weapons, magic and shields that they could possibly be missing out on. As with a lot of things however, that’s just something that we’ll have to wait until the finished product has been released to find out.

    Haha, turning a wolf to a crispy sizzling heap and zapping it with electricity? Oh lol, where do these guys get such good material.

    In a similar vein, it was difficult to see which of the citizens of the towns were quest givers, this could have been down to the fact that they weren’t giving any important quests (the mission I ended up getting was about crafting armour and weapons) but I could have totally missed that mission if it wasn’t for the fact that I was randomly going around each of the citizens and trying to talk to them. Hopefully the main objective quest givers are a little more obvious but I didn’t get the chance to see any of those so I couldn’t say for sure.

    Yes I'm fairly sure that leaving out the yellow hovering exclamation mark was a conscious design decision on Bethesda Game Studios' part. Hooray for uninformative misguided complaining.

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