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Finally, after almost 5 years we get a TES 5 announcement. And in Skyrim, home of the Nords!

Bone up on the region if you're not up on the lore:

Release date 11-11-11.

I'm already calling it, this is my GOTY 2k11. I don't need anything else.
Call me bias, but Elder Scrolls is probably one of the best RPG series. By default, I will be buying this game..
Summary of info from Dutch Power Unlimited magazine

"There is no level cap. You will nevertheless not be able to choose all perks with one character."

"Technically speaking, Skyrim is an evolution within The Elder Scrolls, and not a revolution (but everything looks fabulous). The magic of the world that Bethesda has created is nevertheless unequivocally present."

"All weapons have different properties, which you can take advantage of by choosing the right perks. Maces ignore a percentage of armor, and axes have bleed damage over time."

"You can use fast travel to revisit places you have visited earlier."

"Skyrim is approximately as big as Oblivion."

"Five big cities and more than 130 dungeons."


"The overarching narrative of the Dragons is less prominent than the Oblivion Gates were in Oblivion, which does not give you the feeling that you are doing 'useless' quests when you lay aside the Main Quest."

"Dragons are not rare."

"Dungeons will be locked at their level once you have been there."

"Even in third person, animations look really good. There has been a lot of progress since Oblivion."

"You can read in-game books in 3-D."

"Every item has a 3D-preview in the Flash based inventory, which you can twist, turn, rotate, etc. Sometimes you will solve puzzles by analyzing these 3D-previews. Not only armor and weapons can be explored in great detail, also small rings and herbs can be investigated from all possible angles. Every single item in the game can be previewed in the inventory screen."

"The Dark Brotherhood is back."

"Active blocking makes melee more fun to play."

"More traps and puzzles."

"Main Story is approximately 20 hours. Hundreds of hours for other quests."

"Every dragon you kill will make you stronger. A piece of his soul will be transferred to yours."

There's also an interview with Todd Howard in the article. These are the highlights of that interview:

"There are special animations for sneak kills with daggers." (The way it is written in Dutch does not imply that there are no special animations for other weapons btw...)

"We primarily look at how we can improve facial expressions and animations, graphics-wise."

"The game won't support Kinect. It takes too much memory."

"We are working at pop-up issues, and we want to make sure that the graphics of the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 are alike. All three will look just as good, aside from the higher resolution and the anti-aliasing of the PC of course."

"It is not yet possible to combine forms of magic. It is difficult. Frost magic makes an enemy move slower, and fire does damage over time, and the fire remains on the ground for additional damage. If we would allow the player to use fire magic in one hand, and frost magic in the other, it becomes much more complex. Maybe we will implement this though, but for the time being, 'No'.

"Someone modded Oblivion by changing the physics of shooting an arrow. It made you shoot slower and you almost had to remain stationary to shoot, which increased the arrow's impact. We liked this mod so much, that we implemented it in Skyrim by default."

Some new tidbits, shamelessly stolen from NeoGAF.
More info from the game informer podcast:
Skills and leveling:
- The tutorial in Oblivion was deemed "too long", so we'll probably be getting a shorter one
- Each race still has certain strengths and weaknesses
- No classes (which we already knew)
- Face creation has been simplified, to make it easier to create decent-looking characters. Each facial feature (nose, eyebrows, etc.) has a few presets you can choose from. You can still adjust size and position.
- Over 280 different Perks, no character can get all of them in one playthrough. This helps to make characters really unique.
- There's no hard level cap, but eventually you won't be able to advance any further.
- Three weapon skills: one-handed, two-handed, archery. No spears (so far).
- Perks allow characters to specialize in a certain type of weapon (mace, claymore, etc.)
- A lot of attention is being paid to crafting, smithing, alchemy and enchanting.
- Alchemy is now a stealth skill (poisonmaking and such)
- Spellcrafting may or may not be in, they're still working it out.
- Vampires and Werewolves may be in: "We're messing around with it right now."

- No confirmation on mounts: but they're trying to improve on the Oblivion horse.
- Dragon mounts will not be a part of the game.
- The game world is the size of Oblivion's, but its a lot more detailed. The multitude of mountains in the game makes the game feel a lot bigger.
- There's several ways to get across a mountain: you can go over it, alongside it, or right through it.
- There's more to Skyrim than just snow. Expect around 6/7 different zones.

- A lot of work has been put in making the Dragons a difficult and amazing enemy to fight. They can divebomb, set streets on fire, and a lot more. Todd describes them as "a mix between a Big Daddy and a Combine Helicopter".
- Gameplay is not too radically different from Oblivion, but...
- Combat will be more realistic and gritty than in Oblivion.

Radiant Story:
- They're trying not to "oversell" the Radiant Story mechanic. It's a tool to keep players occupied, it doesn't influence the story.
- If the game feels your character could use a challenge, it might place a radiant quest inside a high-level Dungeon to teach you some humility.
- Companions function differently from the Fallout series. There's a lot more of them, but you won't be getting to know them as well as you could in the Fallout games. They originally experimented with everyone being able to become a companion, but ultimately cut that again.

- A small compass will always be present on top of the screen, while the Health/Magicka/Stamina indicators will appear when needed.
- PC version will have a special UI.

- Skyrim is a lot more low-tech than Cyrodiil, with a lot of majestic ancient ruins.
- You start off as a prisoner, as a bit of a tradition.
- Your character finds out he/she is the Dragonborn after being confronted by a Dragon. The Greybeards will want to contact you, and their shouts of "Dovahkiin" will rumble throughout the world.
- Some factions are returning, some are new. The ones that do return might be different than you remember.
- High Hrothgar has 7000 steps, just as it does in the lore.

- PC and Console versions are developed concurrently.
- Right now, it seems the 360 is the main development platform.
- PC version will have higher resolution and the usual.
- Depending on how well development proceeds according to plan, there may or may not be an additional graphical update for the PC (think higher res textures)
- Todd's preferred platform is the 360, but a majority of Bethesda uses the PC.
- Todd's very confident about meeting the release date.
- They're shooting for an 'M'-rating, but no Fallout-style violence.
- Achievements will be balanced between quests and more random stuff.
- No Kinect, no Move, no 3D.
- First gameplay video coming Soon™. (A month with an 'r' in it.)

First screens are out!


Gameplay! Fuck, the next 9 months need to go by faster.
Looks awesome. I expect to get lost in this game all the same as Oblivion. In fact, I feel like firing up Oblivion right now.
Oh crap, the game looks amazing. Need skyrim, now!



Only like 3 more weeks! beigebigeek.gif I CANT HANDLE IT!
Eagerly awaiting Skyrim myself.
Got the midnight release. Fucking steam servers are jam packed.
I get mine in the mail tomorrow from Newegg. Hopefully that will be enough time for maybe a quick patch fix and driver updates. Heard there are some performance issues and glitches. But, that's typical for Bethesda games.
What a sick joke! I check my email during install and I see got a The Old Republic beta invite today.

Yes great timing EA, great timing!
Ok First Impressions. I thought I would hate the streamlineness of the game, but it is actually pretty good and intuitive.

Let's see I'm playing the game on expert and as a mage. The magic system is probably the biggest improvement. Very fun to cast spell as it is quick and responsive. However, melee combat feels the same as previous installments. Still floaty and like swinging at air. They did add Fallout 3 deathblows to melee. But melee combat is still a weak point in this series it seems. Everything else is top notch though so far. Lots of bugs and random crashes though. . . .

UI looks nice, but is built for a controller. It is very simplistic. There are some weird things that happen when you try to interact with the UI using a mouse. For example, the hover box when you select an item seems to be inconsistent (I've had it exit the menu or I accidentally bought something when I wanted to select an items category to sell). I don't understand how in this day and age you forget how to make something work properly with mouse and keyboard, especially since this series PC origins. Sign of the times I guess. Also, there needs to be a way to organize the favorites menu. It's quite clunky, especially when you want a certain spell in one hand and another spell in the other hand. It's even a hassle when you need to equip a shield but keep a certain spell when going from dual wield spells. I understand that you can just pause the action by pulling up the menu, but I have a keyboard with hotkey ability. I don't want to pause the action.

Everything else you would expect from an Elder Scrolls game is here and spectacular. Going to be spending the whole weekend on this game. I hope Bethesda fixes some of this stuff in a patch soon.
I can't stop playing this game....
Just put these two songs on loop continually during your adventures to enhance the experience:

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