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Things We Want To See In Elder Scrolls 6

"The Elder Scrolls 6" has been a long time coming. It has been over a decade since "Skyrim" came out and four years since the next game was officially announced at E3 with a short teaser that was little more than a logo. Despite the lack of news or announcements the game has managed to maintain player excitement, in so small part thanks to the dedicated fanbase has garnered over the years. But fans still likely have a while to wait, as Bethesda has confirmed that the game is only in pre-production as the company focuses working on the upcoming "Starfield." 

The gap between "Skyrim" and "Elder Scrolls 6" not only means a long wait, but it also means that the new entry will likely make massive updates over its predecessors. It is not difficult to imagine some of the improvements that Bethesda could make for "Elder Scrolls 6" to be the most immersive and engaging RPG in the studio's history. With that in mind, here are the things that fans most want to see in "Elder Scrolls 6" when it eventually releases.

Improve spellmaking

Older titles in the "Elder Scrolls" series have featured spellmaking of some kind, allowing characters that use magic to customize their spells. This mechanic was removed for "Skyrim," but "Elder Scrolls 6" has an opportunity to bring it back and improve it in a big way. This idea has been discussed by fans for years, as it also has the potential to address the issue of each "Elder Scrolls" title removing spells from previous entries. If spellmaking does make a return, there are some improvements that could make it more engaging and varied for players who use it.

One potential way to do so that fans have hoped for is to allow players to learn different aspects of spells, which can then be combined for new possibilities. This could give players the opportunity to build their own unique spells or to even enhance their favorite spells with extra effects. For example, players could create a version of Summon Scamp that allows the Scamp to deal different elemental damage, or maybe mixing a fire and wind spell could create a fire tornado that can rip through groups of enemies. 

Make crafting more in-depth

Crafting can be a big part of a player's character in "Elder Scrolls," so it would behoove "Elder Scrolls 6" to give some attention to strengthening its crafting systems. There are many ideas among the community for how Bethesda can approach this, including the addition of more elements that can be used in smithing. In "Skyrim," one of the fastest ways to level up your smithing skill is to get iron and make hundreds of daggers. To improve upon this, "Elder Scrolls 6" could increase the experience points players get for making more complicated objects, so that they are worthwhile. This would also theoretically make it take just a bit more effort to make those difficult objects.

Different diagrams could yield different items, much like the crafting system in "Fallout 4." Players could also learn new crafting recipes by increasing their relationship with skilled craftsmen across the game as a new iteration of the series' training mechanic. The crafting systems could also be fleshed out to allow players some more customization, maybe by granting each item multiple variations. This could give players an opportunity to make crafted materials feel more personalized.

Overhaul the guild experience

Going through the guild questlines have become a massive part of the series' identity ever since "Morrowind." Rising through the ranks of the Imperial arena in "Oblivion" and selecting a vampire clan in "Morrowind" are some of the most memorable moments in their respective games for many. However, the system has become increasingly simplified since its inception, with many quests simply leading to the player claiming leadership over a guild. This not only cheapens the sense of achievement from attaining each title, but also leads to weird interactions like having to steal the Arch-Mage's staff for the Thieves Guild — even though your character is also the Arch-Mage.

To make the guilds more engaging, it would benefit "Elder Scrolls 6" to take a page from the book of "Morrowind." The next game could restrict players to only joining certain factions in each playthrough, which would prevent them from becoming the ruler of everything. This could also ensure that players choose the faction that fits their character the best, like a two-handed warrior going into the fighter's guild. Restricting players could also help each guild questline be more unique, as each one could emphasize the skills necessary for that guild's role.

A new weather system

An immersive world is one of the biggest strengths of any "Elder Scrolls" title, and with new console and PC hardware, "Elder Scrolls 6" will be able to take that aspect further than ever before. A great way to show this would be to expand the game's weather systems

Weather effects can be a massive performance drain, but with the new hardware available, Bethesda could do some incredible things, Fans have speculated about how much the game could benefit from seasonal dynamic weather changes, as those could keep the game fresh throughout the year.

These weather systems could also be applied to have a greater impact than just the visuals or atmospheric elements. Different animals could appear in the wilderness for players to hunt for resources during different seasons. Alchemical reagents could become sparser in the winter, but flourish in the spring. Weather patterns could also impact the player's movement and controls, like decreasing movement speed in high snow, draining Stamina in the rain, or putting players at risk of slipping on mud when performing a heavy attack. If some players don't want that much interference, these could be reserved for higher difficulties, or even the survival modes that Bethesda has taken to adding to games like "Fallout 4" and "Skyrim Anniversary Edition."

Make characters feel more unique in general

By the end of a long-term "Skyrim" playthrough, characters can effectively do anything that they want to. The game's leveling system, and that of "Oblivion" before it to a lesser degree, encourages players to do as much as possible with their characters. There is nothing to stop players from mastering every skill line in the game (other than the time investment needed to do so). This has the positive effect of allowing for the creation of characters who are able to react to any situation, but it can also make one's character feel less unique or well-defined. 

This has led fans to hope that "Elder Scrolls 6" will actively encourage players to build more unique characters. Restricting how many skills a player's character can be proficient in could help increase the replayability of the game. Overall, the game may become more engaging for the community if the developers clearly show how different types of characters can approach combat, progression, and other systems throughout the game. It also creates more of a connection between the player and the character, since each character would have a more unique identity and set of skills.

The return of acrobatics and athletics

The release of "Skyrim" saw the removal of the acrobatics and athletics skills that were present in "Morrowind" and "Oblivion." These skills were fan favorites in those titles because leveling them allowed players to move faster, jump higher, and take less fall damage. At maximum level, they even allowed characters to run across water. The removal of these skills was pretty disappointing for a number of fans, who would love to see them return in "Elder Scrolls 6." Reinstating these skills would not only help make player characters stand out further from one another, but they also would open up the possibilities for how players approach combat, traversal, and other challenges throughout their playthrough.

One great example would playing ranged character with high Acrobatic points, which could enable them to jump to higher areas where melee enemies can't reach them. Stealth characters who level up their Athletics skills could quickly dash from shadow to shadow even while crouched, helping them avoid being spotted when crossing well-lit areas. Changing your character's movement is a powerful tool for customization, and "Elder Scrolls 6" bringing these elements back (and more in-depth than before) would be a big plus for character customization in the game.

Expand weapon options

The number of weapon types that players have access to in "Skyrim" can be counted on two hands with a finger to spare. Comparing this to the weapon list in "Morrowind" makes it evident just how much the options open to players have been cut down over the course of the series. This fact has led to fans hoping that the list of available weapons will be greatly expanded in "Elder Scrolls 6" to be more similar to earlier entries in the series. This would not only be another great addition to character customization, but expanded weapon variety could simply make the game more fun.

Having an extensive list of weapon choices does a lot to help diversify the game's combat and define player's characters. Even if each weapon doesn't come with wholly unique move sets, a wider range of options would allow players to characterize their experience by choosing to use a katana over a longsword, or javelins over throwing hammers. Of course, if each weapon does have its own move set and unique behaviors in combat, that would be even better. 

Multiplayer

The messy, contentious release of "Fallout 76" will understandably give fans some pause when discussing a fully co-operative "Elder Scrolls" game, but its addition to "Elder Scrolls 6" would inarguably be a huge move. One prime example for how this could work would be the multiplayer mod for "Morrowind," which many fans have pointed toward as a successful implementation that works with the the "Elder Scrolls" flavor of RPGs. Rather than push "Elder Scrolls 6" toward a live service framework in the style of "Fallout 76," a more straightforward drop-in/drop-out approach could work perfectly.

This would allow players to take their characters and jump into any other player's game, adjusting enemy level and density accordingly to still provide a challenge. Then, players could embark on quests together, exploring and upgrading their characters like they would if they were playing alone, only with an increased loot pool (to ensure they both get something out of playing). 

Playing with a friend, or maybe even a few, could also add a lot to the game's combat by opening up synergies between characters. Imagine if wizards could buff their tank friend, or an archer could distract enemies from afar while a stealthier friend sneaks in easy critical hits. Then, once the session is done, the visiting player can just go back to their own world with their new items and experience points intact.

More complex NPC reactions

Not to bring back traumatic memories, but the days of hearing jokes regarding guards saying they took an arrow to their knee is seared into the minds of not only most "Skyrim" players, but also those who happened to be on the internet after the game's release. This is partially because walking past NPCs and hearing their quick lines of dialogue is a constant experience, but it also stems from just how frequently the line would be repeated by the many guards in numerous cities. 

A great solution for this issue — one that would better personalize the player's experience and make the world seem less stagnant and artificial — is actually confirmed to be coming in Bethesda's space RPG, "Starfield." Game director Todd Howard has said that "Starfield" players will be able to customize the background of their characters before the events of the game, and NPCs will then comment and react to these elements accordingly. 

This could be improved further in "Elder Scrolls 6" by having NPCs comment on actions the player has taken during their playthrough, like defeating a legendary warrior or ignoring a plea for help from a local citizen. Incorporating these kinds of actual reactions would go a long way towards making the world feel so much more reactive and realistic than in any other "Elder Scrolls" game. The player would repeatedly see the consequences of their own actions. 

A more intricate combat system

The combat in "Elder Scrolls" has always been a point of contention for some fans, regardless of the iteration, so the developers of "Elder Scrolls 6" could take these critiques to heart and make some improvements. In the past, outlets like VGC have called for a combat system overhaul, and it is easy to see why. In the years since the release of "Skyrim," plenty of first-person fantasy games have been released that have managed to make combat deeper and more satisfying overall, including "Warhammer: Vermintide 2" and "Kingdom Come: Deliverance." 

"Kingdom Come: Deliverance," for instance, boasts an intricate combat system that allows players to realistically block attacks, gain momentum in successive strikes, and narrowly avoid the hit boxes of shields. Now, seeing "Elder Scrolls 6" adopting a hardcore combat system like the one in "Deliverance" may alienate some fans, but adding more depth and incorporating the weight of attacks felt in games like "Vermintide 2" would go a long way in making melee combat more engaging. This will be especially true if the developers expand the list of weapons or add more maneuverability options, as mentioned before. If combat felt a bit less floaty or repetitive, players could feel even more like they're in the thick of battle against a draugr or a dragon.

Allow players to make their own town

Bethesda has shown a drive to continue evolving how players build their own homes within their interactive worlds. The "Hearthfire" expansion for "Skyrim" allowed players to build a pre-rendered home, then "Fallout 4" allowed them to build entire settlements out of various pieces. Next, "Starfield" will allow players to build their own ships and even planetary bases filled with NPCs. It only makes sense that the studio would continue exploring settlement possibilities moving into the future, which is great news for "Elder Scrolls 6." 

Fans of Bethesda games already have grand dreams of building their own fantasy towns in "Elder Scrolls 6." The concept has already been explored in the series' mobile game, "The Elder Scrolls: Blades" — and Bethesda has a penchant for destroying a town at the start of its games, whether it be from an Oblivion Gate or dragon attack — so why not let players rebuild that town in their playthrough?

Allowing the player to build their own town could add a lot of customization options to the overall gameplay experience. Everyone's town could look different, players could recruit their favorite NPCs and characters from across the province, and detail-oriented players would no doubt enjoy making their own virtual home away from home. It also could add a lot to a possible multiplayer experience by enabling players to show off their unique towns to one another.

More dialogue options and less linear quests

Although "Skyrim" is by far the most successful "Elder Scrolls" title, it also disappointed some fans by paring back the more hardcore RPG elements that were present in previous entries. With that in mind, it would be great to see some of the systems that help make the genre so special make a return with "Elder Scrolls 6." 

One massive improvement fans have suggested would be increasing the dialogue options available to players. Other similar RPGs have massive branching dialogue trees for players to navigate as they gather more information about the world and work to understand and influence characters. It always feels great to talk your way through a conflict and being able to avoid combat altogether for a quest.

This also plays into how "Elder Scrolls 6" might see the return of less-linear quest design. Most quests in "Oblivion" and "Skyrim" task the player with doing one simple task, like killing an enemy or retrieving an item, and then possibly deciding which party give said item. "Elder Scrolls 6" may need to expand on this to make quests more engaging. Having multiple paths to completing quests, or even just being able to lie your way through them, would give the player a lot more control over their experience — something that feels great in other Bethesda games such as "Fallout 3" and "Morrowind."

Bring Back Morrowind's Equipment System

One of the more interesting parts of character customization in "Morrowind," according to fans, is its gear system, and it would be great to see it return in "Elder Scrolls 6". Put simply, the equipment system in "Morrowind" gives players a lot more control over how their character is decked out, giving players more choices to make regarding their appearance, loadout, and playstyle. Rather than just equipping a helmet, gloves, chest piece, greaves, and boots, "Morrowind" breaks things up into individual gloves, pauldrons, boots, and even belts. This is especially interesting when it comes to enchanting your own gear or equipping magical items, as it allows you to more finely-tune your character's gear and get the exact benefits that you're looking for. 

Bringing back a similar system for "Elder Scrolls 6" could give players more choices in tailoring each character to different goals. Imagine creating make a mage that wears heavy armor pauldrons for extra damage or a thief that can swaps out individual gloves and boots for stealth or ranged attacks. Overall, adding this extra bit of variety would make outfitting your character more interesting. After all, who wears two different kinds of gloves at once?