The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – details outed on combat, leveling, races, more

Saturday, 8th January 2011 14:52 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


NeoGAF has complied tons of information on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim from the latest Game Informer, and we’ve posted some highlights for you below.

One noticeable change is  that there isn’t a class selection at the start of the game, and “every skill you level contributes to your overall level”. Each time you level you get extra health and the option to choose more health, or between magicka or stamina, and each level will bring you perks. Player will not cap out at 50 either, as you will just start advancing at a much slower rate.

Some skills have been cut, one of which is mysticism. There will be 18 to choose from, where as Oblivion had 21 and Morrowind had 27. Players can specialize in certain professions while those who want to a do a bit of everything may do so.  Warrior/Mage/Thief sounds great to us.

The story takes place 200 years after Oblivion,  and the dragons have returned to Skyrim as was forseen long ago. Your job is to stop the dragon god, as you are dragonborn and therefore destined to be the one to hunt the evil doer down while civil war rages around you. Creatures who may get in the way of your sword include: yetis, large spiders, and of course, the prerequisite dragons.

Enemies include were-yeti’s, giant spider, dragons and other cool creatures.

Combat will be more “dynamic and tactical” and you will assign each hand a function. Stamina is wasted by sprinting, and the emphasis by the dev team this time around was improving combat and the feel of weaponry in your hands.

Quests are more dynamic, and are determined by how you build your character. Example: Say you are a Mage instead of a warrior – a magician may approach you for something, whereas is you were not a mage, you would never have spoken to him. Another example, is if you kill someone who owns a store – who didn’t do that in Oblivion? – and this store owner was at some point going to give you a  quest – his sister would inherit the store, but you may have to butter her up a bit before you will get the quest.

Dropping pile of weapons in the street in order to save inventory and come back to it plays out different. If you drop a sword in the street, it may just dissapear, someone could find it and give it back to you, or it will cause a series of actions to happen where a couple people fight over who gets to keep the found sword.

Quests will also be  modified by how you have played – so certain missions will take place in areas you have been to but not necessarily the same dungeons.

Here’s some other information NeoGAF pulled from the scans, you can also check out Nathan’s earlier post on level scaling:

  • Third person view has been improved
  • 5 massive cities, more variation in caves and underground stuff.
  • there is an option for no HUD.
  • On Conversations: Conversations aren’t done in a zoomed in static shot anymore.Start a conversation with some and they will act like someone would in real life, looking at you occasionally and walking around a bit and also continue doing a task if they were doing one while talking.
  • On Weapon smithing: Go to a forge and carve a new weapon out of red hot metal.
  • Dual-wielding: you have two hands now in combat and you can wield anything to both hands. You may assign a dagger on left hand and use a mace with right hand. The choice as they say is yours.
  • Duel: You may duel any NPC on the streets western style.
  • Inheritence: When you kill a shopkeeper, his/her family member will inherit the shop and will be angry about you, but stil give you missions.
  • Level-scaling: It is coming back
  • 18 skills: supposedly even less skills to play with?
  • No mysticism
  • Perks: Rumored to be in Skyrim. I may have understood it wrong.
  • Boosts: Pick stamina, health, magic boosts on level up.
  • Enchanting: This skill makes a return.
  • “Radiant storytelling” or Level Scaling 2.0: “The game eventually logs a huge storehouse of knowledge about how you’ve played, and subsequently tailors content to your capabilities and experiences. Entering a city, a young woman might approach you and beg you to save her daughter from kidnappers. The game will look at the nearby dungeons you’ve explored, automatically set the mission in a place you’ve never visited, and designate opponents that are appropriately matched to your strengths and weaknesses.”
  • Fast-Travel: As you probably expect, you can instantly travel to previous locations with a tap of the button
  • Sprinting: You can now sprint about!
  • Town visiting: You may do more in towns, like tailor weapons, cooking, farming or mining. Not much details about this or how detailed they are as jobs.
  • Dynamic Shadows
  • Improved Faces/Improved Models Example: Faces have been dramatically overhauled. Characters now exhibit more emotion show of distinctions between different races and just plain looks better.
  • Radiant AI
  • Updated Engine Snow falls dynamically (not as a basic texture on the ground)
  • Trees and branches move independently with the wind
  • Water flows
  • Randomly generated quests
  • Beards
  • You can’t run backwards as fast as you do forward.
  • 10 races to choose from (Holy crap thats a lot of races)
  • confirmed creatures: zombies, skeletons, trolls, giants, ice wraiths, giant spiders, dragons, wolves, horses Elk, mammoth, saber-toothed cats
  • presumably open cities (as dragons can attack)
  • Hud-free first-person view and improved third-person perspective
  • very unique landscapes! Also unique dungeons! In other words, lots of uniqueness!
  • Character creation improved, body features customizable
  • 2-handed weapons and duel wielding confirmed.
  • Finishing moves, unique to each weapon and enemy you fight.
  • Kids
  • Dialog will pop up when you approach an enemy
  • cooking/farming/mining/woodcutting/blacksmithing
  • Perk picking at every level-up
  • 5 Magic Schools Destruction Alteration Conjuration Restoration Illusion.

Game’s out on November 11.

Thanks, Anders.




  1. Maxey

    That’s a lot of cool stuff. I can already see myself wasting weeks on this game.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Stephany Nunneley

    While I am slightly excited over it, I am a bit disappointed over the gradual decrease in skills. I liked having all those choices. 18 is still plenty enough though, considering I am more concerned with thievery in these games anyway.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Erthazus

    now it’s 18…

    I like the changes except of this.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. LePlatypus

    GEEZUS! This will be GOTY 2011. If I can get a good enough PC by then it’ll be a PC buy for me but I’ll probably still get it on 360. Step aside fuck the desert in Drake’s Deception. It’s all about Skyrim.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. OrbitMonkey


    Uh oh…

    #5 4 years ago
  6. xX A e o N

    I think in order of the best versions I believe it would be…

    1.Xbox 360

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Suikoden Fan

    ~6 pc wins by default due to the mods that will be made, some of the mods on bethesda games are great

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Dralen

    I want were-wolves and vampires!

    #8 4 years ago
  9. OrbitMonkey

    @7 Too true mate. I’d love too see some of those pc mods ported to ps3 somehow :(

    #9 4 years ago
  10. SwiftRanger

    Let’s see if they make that release date. Bethesda isn’t shy of releasing unfinished products but with all that new tech and the “Oblivion done right” theme here it might take a while to complete.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. mchammer

    Hi, just wondering why a “reputable” site like vg247 that provides around the clock coverage of the gaming world is taking a legitimate business’s hard work and using it to earn advertising revenue on their site. Sourcing NeoGaf when this information is plagiarized from Game Informer.

    You should be put down.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. freedoms_stain

    Beards eh? Fucking sold!

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Anders

    11/11/11 can’t come soon enough – this sounds awesome. Let’s just hope that it delivers on its promises, unlike TES VI: Oblivion.

    @11 They credited Game Informer as well, and GI counts on that the information will be spread around. It’s pretty fantastic advertising for them.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. combat101

    Never played Oblivion, but this is starting to look really good.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. OrbitMonkey

    @12 I’m hoping for some proper full on Viking beards, hopefully not just recycled Fallout face fuzz.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Callum

    Interesting stuff man. I’m not too into the mod scene, so I might get my copy on XBOX as my gaming laptop is a bit out of date. Actually…by the time this is released I will be in full time employment…hmmm….

    #16 4 years ago
  17. Erthazus

    :D i remember playing Nord without a decent beard, i felt myself so dirty XDDD

    @6 It’s exactly opposite.

    From better graphics, resolution, fps to the great Bethesda community with MODS.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. onlineatron

    Yeah that’s great but…

    Are there ladders?

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Old MacDonald

    Thanks for collecting all that info, Stephany. Wheeeee! I’m so excited!

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Demiath

    “Radiant storytelling” sounds a bit like the procedurally generated guild quests from Daggerfall. While no doubt improved from how it was handled in TES2, I can’t imagine how such a system could escape the “designed by a committee of type-writing monkeys” feel which has always been a big problem with this peculiarly lifeless and unengaging RPG series.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. Stephany Nunneley

    @19 Me too :)

    #21 4 years ago
  22. Elrood

    “Level-scaling: It is coming back”

    Worst decision EVER…

    If I’m just able to fight enemies, which are accustomed my level, the whole process of leveling is completely pointless for me.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. Phoenixblight


    Uh Level scaling has been in RPGs for most if not all this generation. Mass effect, Mass effect 2, Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas, etc.. They all use some degree of level scaling.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Hunam

    Yep. But in Fallout 3 it was basically perfected. I mean you can go to the DC ruins level 1 and there will be supermutants there and they will pretty damn hard, same as the deathclaws would always be in the Quarry in Fallout New Vegas, try going there right away and expect a face eating. Just when you are higher level it will spawn set variations of them appropriate to your level. When you go back to DC ruins at lvl 20 the super mutants will still be there and the base one’s you’ll chew up no problem but it’ll spawn more master ones etc. It doesn’t scale the level per se, it just uses angrier versions of them as well as the normal ones.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. Tomo

    Level-scaling… FFS.

    I was actually getting excited until I read that. It’s pretty much ruined any challenge in recent RPGs.

    Seriously: FFS.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. Hunam

    Did you read the bit where I pointed out that they got it working in a good way now?

    I mean, no body moaned about it in Fallout 3/NV.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. Erthazus

    @Hunam, it’s exaclty opposite.

    Fallout 3 have level-scaling, while New Vegas does not have that. Each enemy is in it’s own location and designers put them in each zone. Thats a real design.

    and Fallout 3 did it wrong in most cases. It’s improved compared to Oblivion, but still feels a bit shitty.

    #27 4 years ago
  28. Stardog


    Are you sure that NV didn’t have scaling? I’ve messed with the editor and there are plenty of scaled raiders, etc.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. Hunam

    Yeah, Fallout NV is exactly the same as Fallout 3 in terms of scaling. I fought some Fiends at the start of the game they had clubs and SMGS, when I went back there near the end of the game they were toting chainsaws and Laser RTW’s.

    #29 4 years ago
  30. Erthazus

    @28, only in some parts (and they never become stronger), but in Fallout 3 they are EVERYWHERE.

    @29 at the start of the game there are only Powder Gangers, after that there are 4 places where fiends are and they are all weak and never have a different strength even if you have a 30 level.

    #30 4 years ago
  31. Hunam

    But I actually did those things I said I did. Fighting them at level 25 wasn’t a massive cake walk, they had good gear. I’m not making it up to prove a point, these things actually happened. I’m sorry they don’t fit your opinion but that can’t be helped.

    #31 4 years ago
  32. monkeygourmet

    This is going to be epic! Dragons attacking towns? Sounds fantastic! Not sure about the 18 skillos… although im sure they will add more with DLC! ;)

    #32 4 years ago
  33. LOLshock94

    can you kill kids AND IS THERE MORE THEN 5 ACTORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    #33 4 years ago
  34. LePlatypus

    @33 If you could kill kids in the game it would be banned from pretty much all store shelves

    #34 4 years ago
  35. LOLshock94

    i thought there was a mod on vegas where you could kill kids?

    #35 4 years ago
  36. Crysis

    @34, Bioshock ring any bells? :P
    Oh & i believe Deus Ex (2000) & i think the first 2 fallouts too, not 100% on any of these titles though (cept bioshock) my memory is a little fuzzy.

    #36 4 years ago
  37. OrbitMonkey

    Why would you want to kill kids?

    #37 4 years ago
  38. Phoenixblight

    What is that sociopaths playing videogames?

    #38 4 years ago
  39. OrbitMonkey

    @38 I guess that’s the simple answer…*sigh* Surely I’m not the only gamer who trys to keep a “good” karma?

    #39 4 years ago
  40. Anders

    Not having kids in a game like Skyrim just doesn’t make sense from a world building perspective. And I also always play like the good guy.

    #40 4 years ago
  41. KnightWulf

    In Lew of what you said xX A e o N, I think in my opinion the order of the best versions I believe should actually be…

    2.Playstation 3
    3.Xbox 360
    NOT your version order of:

    1.Xbox 360

    Just for the simple fact that a PC’s Video audio and Graphics can get upgraded unlike the Xbox 360 and the PS 3 which can’t be upgraded unless you break the Manufactures warranty seal which in turn then makes that system null and void when you add aftermarket add-ons.

    #41 4 years ago
  42. CreeperTheScamp

    Yeah playing the good guy is what I do too… sometimes it gets in the way like in oblivion when Burd the guard captain goes in the gate with you and brings some men…. I always try to stop them from dropping like flies and to no avail….

    Now that I think about it, in a real rpg like morrowind I would kill even the most innocent of npcs at lower levels to do what needed to be done. (Like killing nerano dude for his manor.) But at higher levels I always went and liberated slaves by killing their masters…. good times good times…..

    #42 3 years ago

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