Skyrim: No dragons till you’re ready for them

Wednesday, 15th June 2011 23:34 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Skyrim’s dragon attacks, like Oblivion’s gates, won’t start grinding you into fishpaste until you’re nominally ready for it.

IGN asked Skryim lead designer Bruce Nesmith whether the game’s infinite random dragons could mean a beginner is toasted moments from the start of the game.

“We decide when those random events can happen and how,” Nesmith explained.

“All of our ‘random’ systems are actually sophisticated decision systems that use randomness as one part of the process.

“Random dragon attacks won’t happen right away. When they first start, you will have companions with you or be able to use the environment to your advantage, and the dragon will be one of the weaker ones. As the game progresses, you fight tougher dragons and are on your own more often.”

It sounds similar to the way Oblivion didn’t start opening hell gates all over the countryside as you were completing the tutorial; these dynamic features began springing up once you’d completed some of the main quest line, increasing in frequency as the plot progressed.

Fears of sudden spikes in difficulty are well-founded, with both Morrowind and Oblivion notorious for a messy enemy-scaling system which could see the character unable to defeat low-level monsters. Bethesda is working on it.

“This is a system we continually tweak and improve. It’s extremely complicated and detailed at this point,” Nesmith said.

“Its main goal is to make sure that the player is always finding new challenges that do not devolve into unavoidable failure or trivialize success.”

Skyrim releases on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on November 11.



  1. Hunam

    My excitement for this game is infinite!

    #1 4 years ago
  2. jacobvandy

    My body is ready.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Bloodyghost

    Oh, I will find you damn Dragons. And I will summon a “Lolunder Storm” of awesomeness to kill you bastards.

    My Battle Axe is helmed, my helmet is on and my healing is hotkeyed.

    My Xbox is sizzling and ready to go through hell of heat to the ends of the Overheating universe to give me this experience.

    Bethesda, unleash it.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Dralen

    Lucky for Battlefield 3 that this comes out a week after. I am seriously going to lose sleep over this game, I can just see it.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Zeydlitz

    well, this mean, that Skyrim would have the same autoleveling system, as Oblivion do. And autoleveling is epic fail in Oblivion, correct walktrough here was not level after lv2.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. aleph31

    @5 agreed. auto-levelling makes your achievements unrealistic, unsatisfying. You don’t feel you’re in constant danger, having to evaluate whether to skip an area of the map due to overpowered creatures wandering around. You don’t have a motivation for leveling up and grinding. You feel you’ve achieved lots of power and then a regular farmer can be as challenging as a dragon, just because you’re level 40…

    Bethesda, look at Morrowind, not Oblivion, pleaseeee!!!

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Blerk

    No dragons until you’ve eaten your vegetables!

    #7 4 years ago
  8. DrDamn

    “Its main goal is to make sure that the player is always finding new challenges that do not devolve into unavoidable failure or trivialize success.”

    No, no, no, no, NO!

    I want the occasional unavoidable failure – it tells me to bugger off and come back when I’m stronger. Otherwise where is the feeling of progression? I also want the occasional trivial success too – tells me how bad ass I’ve become. How about you stop trying to automate all this stuff and *build* a balanced world which works.

    RE: Oblivion Gates
    Were much, much easier if you “weren’t ready for it”. First play through I messed about a lot before entering the first gate, levelled myself up did some side quests etc. It kicked my ass. Second time I stayed at a much lower level and breezed through it.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Edo

    “We decide when those random events can happen and how”,something’s definitely wrong with this sentence…..

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Christopher Jack

    @9, It’s easy, you have to get to level **** or pass a certain scenario before they activate the opportunity to access these random events.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. OrbitMonkey

    I hope theirs no Chameleon spell. I could never resist making myself a Chameleon suit & literally strolling through the game, made demon gates a cakewalk…

    #11 4 years ago
  12. pennyman

    really looking forward to Skyrim — we had a chance to interview someone on the team – just posted it here:

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Hunam

    The autoleveling in Fallout 3 was fine and barely noticeable and this works off that.

    #13 4 years ago

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