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On Skyrim and UESP

On Skyrim and UESP

  11:47:25 am, by   , 427 words  
Viewed 35751 times since 22/12/10
Categories: Elder Scrolls, UESP

Obviously, my first thought when TESV: Skyrim was announced was about how much I'm going to enjoy playing it, but as more and more articles appear, we're beginning to get an idea of what we can expect and how it's going to affect UESP.

One of my own first reactions was annoyance at hearing Mysticism is no longer going to exist as a skill. Not because I'm a fan of it in particular, but because this was just days after I wrote UESP's Lore:Mysticism article. I hope there's a book in Skyrim explaining the change so I can reference it.

The new "Radiant Story" system is going to have a huge impact on how we write up quests. Since the death of a quest-essential NPC can now lead to another giving you the quest instead, we'll have to think about how the Related NPCs section works. Todd Howard's latest interview suggests that even the location of a quest can change, depending on which dungeons you've visited already. I imagine there's still going to be a set list of locations, and that we'll be able to discover that using the CS, but it's going to be another change to make.

Howard also mentions that there are over 200 "perks" in the game, and these will influence quests as well as just your skills. The perks are arranged in a tree, which presumably means you can only get some if you've already got others. We'll need to come up with a friendly way of documenting that too. The new perks and skill system is going to lead to a huge amount of flexibility in the way your character develops. I can only imagine the number of "My 1337 character" pages we're going to get...

My big concern is the format of the game files. Many of the pages for Morrowind and Oblivion (and the addons) were generated by writing code that reads the .esm and .esp files containing the game data and turns it into human-readable text. That's how we know we've got all the NPCs, items, places, quests and so on. Although there'll definitely be some way of reading the new files, if they're too different from the current format it'll take a lot longer to do.

I wasn't around on UESP when Oblivion came out, but I can imagine how chaotic it was then. With Skyrim it's going to be even worse. Part of me is horrified at the thought, but another part is looking forward to the challenge. I guess we'll find out in just over 9 months!

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6 comments

Comment from: Psychonaut [Visitor]
Psychonaut

In case you didn’t know, I should note that - and Howard has confirmed this in a podcast - Mysticism is NOT being removed completely, rather, the skill as we know it is no longer around, and the spells and effects previously found under it will instead be moved to the other disciplines of magic. Simply, there will still be Mysticism magic in Skyrim.

I too considered the impact the new, dynamic Radiant Story system would have on the UESP. Then, I realised that many aspects from the previous games were dynamic to some degree (though of course not to the same extent as what we’re likely to experience in Skyrim): certain enemies would become a certain monster and level depending on the player’s individual sitation.

For example, for Oblivion you’d read something like “low-level players will face only a couple of goblins here"; in the case of Skyrim, it could be in the vein of “the quest will direct the player to [an unexplored site] containing enemies about as powerful as the player, most likely ice giants". I’m really just postulating here, but there will always be a small amount of predictability for a scenario such as a quest, and so the task of “wiki-ing” such won’t be impossible… although, I am no expert on “wiki-ing".

Nevertheless, I’d imagine the clever and resourceful UESP admins will find a way to give encyclopaedic justice to what will undoubtedly be a fantastic game.

06/02/11 @ 04:41 pm
Comment from: [Member]
rpeh

Yes, I know that. My point was that I’d already gone to the trouble of describing which spells had been transferred between schools in the past, and suddenly I have to add to it. I honestly think it’s a bit of a strange decision. I agree with what other people have said that “Mysticism” was a bad name, but as the article I wrote describes, it’s actually the oldest school in TES.

Thanks for the confidence. We’ve already had a few discussions about what needs to be done but it’s certainly going to be a challenge!

06/02/11 @ 04:48 pm
Comment from: Zaa1fx [Visitor]  
Zaa1fx

I read from one of the other bits of an interview on GameInformer that Each time you explore a dungeon the creatures Lock at the level you are on your first visit, So would that mean that you can go in again at a higher level to get some of your lower skills up without taking hits? also in same said interview it was hinted that if you drop a low valued item an NPC may return it to your character, or keep it, higher valued items could have same effects or have a group of NPC’s fighting over it. As I’m a PS3 user The mods cannot be done in Oblivion, any clues of Mods on the PSN? (I know still too long to know, but arnt these the things most are wondering about?).

10/02/11 @ 06:00 pm
Comment from: Psychonaut [Visitor]
Psychonaut

Zaa1fx, I think you might have misunderstood the features discussed, but I know what you’re getting at.

There’s not a “locking level” thing that makes a dungeon static. When assigned a quest, the game looks for a nearby site you haven’t explored, and sets a challenge accordingly. For example, if you had been levelling up a lot recently, the game might offer some monsters just above your level - I think that was the main example.

As for the item-dropping thing: that was an example of Radiant Story, the dynamic personal interaction system. The example was if the character was known in the area, after dropping an item, someone may find it and come to return it to you; an alternative outcome is that a group of men may fight over it.

And finally, the mods: well, consoles have never had [proper] mod support, and neither the 360 or PS3 supported Oblivion’s mods. While we know now that there will be a CS of sorts for Skyrim, it’s extremely unlikely that we’ll see it on consoles, let alone mod compatibility for those systems.

11/02/11 @ 02:43 pm
Comment from: Zaa1fx [Visitor]  
Zaa1fx

Psychonaut, I found the the informaion that said about level locking again at http://gamingeverything.com/?p=600 “Dungeons will be locked at their level once you have been there. In a dungeon, it will remain lvl 5 when you entered it on lvl 5. Dungeons don’t change difficulties throughout a game save after you’ve entered one". but yes I know about the game being able to pick a new dungeon if youve already explored the one it was originally going to send you to.

12/02/11 @ 03:30 pm
Comment from: Psychonaut [Visitor]
Psychonaut

Ah, I see now. Yes, that would make sense, with Beth essentially removing level scaling. So it’s rather Morrowind but with Radiant Story. That should be interesting. Thanks for that. I hadn’t seen it before.

13/02/11 @ 05:20 am


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