As The Elder Scrolls 6 is in development, combat is sure to remain a core gameplay mechanic that defines the upcoming game as it has every game before it. Whether shooting bone arrows at dragons or hacking and slashing ancient Dwemer structures deep underground, players must quickly adapt to stay alive after the first five minutes of gameplay. The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is iconic for its opening scene, which involves a deadly dragon attack and almost immediate combat for the player. While combat in the franchise has become easier to use, much has been consistent and flawed over the years, which means The Elder Scrolls 6 could desperately use something new.
The battle system i Elder scrolls can be summed up by the gameplay i Skyrim. Players can find, unlock and equip different weapons, magic and abilities by using Skyrimits huge skill tree. Players can then level up specific skills depending on the fighting styles they focus on. While the game has been known for having an incredibly open and dynamic combat system, some unseen rules are still in place. After all, many battles in Skyrim have the player character hack and slash, shoot or blast magic repeatedly until the enemy is down. Understandably, there is significantly less nuance there than many players would like.
With the announcement and today’s development of The Elder Scrolls 6, players will surely expect a complete overhaul of the combat system. While very little information has been released about the game’s combat system or the game as a whole, the Microsoft-owned Bethesda development team could find inspiration in many role-playing games that have come out in recent years. Two major problems with the current combat system are that melee combat can often be repetitive and clunky, and that there isn’t enough variation between melee playstyles.
Play as Ghost of Tsushima are brilliant examples of what a dynamic melee system can look like. Provided that Elder scrolls franchise allows players to use both blunt weapons and blades, there’s quite a bit of potential for a truly innovative combat system that provides unique strengths and weaknesses to each weapon type. While there are trainers across The Elder Scrolls 5 which can help increase skills, there is no real “training” element involved. Developers can also incorporate a system for training with and fighting other NPCs, accordingly Jade Empire. This system can come with special side quests to unlock powerful techniques that set the franchise apart from the pack.
While magic is a widespread part of The Elder Scrolls franchise, it has largely remained the same. Outside of the “shout” mechanic, which is arguably the most unique and defining aspect of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, players who decide to be magic users may find themselves bored after countless blasts of generic white magic. One element that makes the shout mechanic so remarkable is that each Thu’um player learns has a unique casting experience, look and feel. Dragon Age, Pillars of Eternityand other titles have dynamic magic systems that create choices and consequences for the player and Elder Roll 6 need to do the same.
One way to innovate on the current magic system would be to introduce different advantages and disadvantages to using each type of magic. Developers can think about how schools of magic are taught, whether there are physical fees for using certain types of magic, and even how divine beings like the Daedra can factor into a player’s magic use.
Another idea would be to twist how players learn magic. While books are a convenient mechanic, they are anticlimactic, especially compared to learning shouts. Players can discover magic through rituals, tattoos, communication with animals, or gaining favor from a particular god. This would bring a welcome refresh to magic i Elder scrolls franchise.
Stealth and Ranged Combat must feel unique while remaining balanced
Anyone who has played as a stealth-based Dragonborn may have discovered how overpowered it is Skyrim archery system seems. This is especially true as the damage bonuses for fighting from stealth are staggeringly more powerful than any other perk in the game. While this is fine for first time players, the lack of balance can easily make combat stale. An idea to innovate on the current system is inspired by Assassin’s Creed franchise and involves creating more sophisticated enemy AI. On top of this, there may be several limitations on how stealth can work in specific environments and areas.
Archery is an incredible skill Skyrim, as the current system allows players to aim and track their shots satisfactorily. Still, Bethesda has a lot of potential to raise the bar on this system and make it the best archery-based video game combat system out there. This can be done by allowing players to craft, upgrade and customize the bow and other weapons. Adaptive triggers on next-gen consoles could also provide new ways to use ranged weapons. Everything from engravings and adjusting bowstring tension to building a bow in a workshop would make the experience more enjoyable and personal.
The Elder Scrolls 6 is currently under development.
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