You can call me hater if you will. You can address as a turn-coat, a liar, one without integrity or beliefs, because for the longest time, I refused to touch an Elder Scrolls game. Don’t get me wrong; it wasn’t because I heard of a crazy tale that the games were bad or a creepypasta would suck you into an unknown dimension where Cthulhu is the dominatrix master among a harem of kinky Shoggoth. My fear stemmed from the games having so much depth, I would drown in a sea of gaming Nirvana from the richness of the world building, gameplay mechanics, and side quests to conquer. I was half right: The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is such a good game, I can barely put it down, annoying human interactions, bills, and other irritating things like dietary nourishment and sleep the only things vying for its attention. In all seriousness though, I truly believe Skyrim is an open-world RPG masterpiece that I’m happy I’ve had the pleasure of conquering my fears to play. However, since we’re all deep down unappreciative pricks who even put Jesus Christ on a cross, there are certain things, without changing the overall feel of what makes an Elder Scrolls… an Elder Scrolls game, that I’d love to see improved upon in the sequel. So, without further introductory-paragraph-filler, here are the top 10 changes I’d like to see in The Elder Scrolls 6.
10. The Skill Level System
I think they should keep the Skill Level System, because it makes more sense than any other system I’ve seen in an RPG. The more you use a skill, the more you increase your proficiency with it, and the more experience points you get to level up. I definitely vote they keep this aspect of the system; what I think they should change is what happens when you max out a skill at 100. Normally, after you max out a skill, you get the option of making it “Legendary,” the Michael Jackson version rather than the Muhammad Ali version though, meaning you reset the skill back to level 15 and can redistribute the points from said skill into another. I vote that instead of keeping it with fancy dance moves, iconic music, and questionable court cases, we give it boxing gloves and a rope-de-dope by granting a 20% permanent bonus to the skill after it reaches Legendary status. Or heck, let’s bestow upon it a heavy weight title by giving the player the option of permanently a single perk from that skill tree after the point lost. Both or either one of those options would truly make your effort worth the hike, and even tempt players to Legendary-reset other skills they normally wouldn’t.
9. Areas More Easily Accessible to Other Races
Ask most players what Skyrim races grant the greatest benefits, and most will pick the High Elves for their magic boost ability and increased magic points, the Britons for their magical resistance, and the Dark Elves for… just looking cool (There's also a rumor they're okay with Destruction Magic). This makes every other race either more of a joke option or not meta enough to be taken seriously, but what if this wasn’t the case? What if there were deep, underwater ruins only Argonians could access early to get an easy-mode weapon? What if cold environments gradually drained stamina, yet a Nord's cold resistance made that a mute point? How about a series of hand-to-hand combat tournaments the Khajiit could easily ace? Don’t misunderstand me: I still think a strong enough character should be able to topple every mission granted they have the right equipment or abilities, yet it would create more interesting playthroughs if your friend who picked an Argonian could venture through Atlantis before his bestie who always goes Altmer.
8. More enemies like the Giants!
You know a game is special when every player can share a terrifying yet soul-sticking experience like their first Giant encounter. Because there’s no way to see the stats of your enemies (and there never should be, unless they introduce their own Ninja Dog mode), the only way to know if you can handle an encounter is by raising your weapon/spell/cat claws at it. In early playthroughs of Skyrim, most players get cocky with their armor set and spell play, learning to scoff at the dungeons they can handle while avoiding the ones they can’t until they gain better armor or a stronger weapon. My first character a war hammer swinging Redguard with heavy armor, I was certain only annoying magicians could pose a threat, skipping around the battlefield like gnats while stoning me with spells. Soon, I found myself joining the Skyrim space program while trying to retrieve a goat my character… somehow sold to a Giant after a night of debauchery. Other than the Giants and large Dwarven automatons, no other enemy elicited such fear and delight in knowing an enemy existed I didn’t yet have a snowball’s chance in hell of conquering. Instead of just enemies who rely on pure force to demolish the player, perhaps a being of destructive spell potential (the Hagravens were an attempt at this, but my Barbarian never had trouble bashing their brains in), a type of archer with enough damage potential to rival the Legendary mode snipers from Halo, or an exhausting necromancer able to summon an army would add more compelling stories rivaling one's first Giant encounter.
7. The Option to Marry Every Race
Skyrim players are an odd bunch, and Bethesda needs to accept this. Sure, we were given the option to settle down with Nords, Redguards, Elves, and a few Argonians, but where’s the love for my Nekos at? Why are no Argonian males an option? Do the game developers think only men love to get down and dirty with some interspecies lovin’? You know what, I have a theory based the lack of lizard people, large cat, and wood-elf love present in the game: The Bethesda staff are Stormcloaks (Probably after using an Elder Scroll to teleport themselves after the game’s true ending of the Dragonborn genociding the populace after a route of boredom), and I’m not talking about the fighting-for-our-land-from-the-tyrannical-High-Elf-kind, but the Gray-Quarter-shoving-shout-you-to-death-if-you-disagree-kind. Want to prove me wrong? Include more marriage options for Khajiit and Argonians in the next game. Unless you just didn’t think people would be into that type of thing. In that case, Bethesda, you’re just vanilla, but should include more marriage options anyway. Speaking of marriage options…
6. Include More Variety of People to Marry
Yeah, it seems strange I’ve ventured from gameplay mechanics to artificial love-simulator options, but I’m a little weird (so are most of you), so hear me out on this. There was a character I really wanted to marry in Riften who, to make a long story short, wanted me to get revenge on her slutty aunt/boss by gathering a calling card she’d give every whoremonger she slept with. The problem with the boss wasn’t just that she rocked the City Girl’s anthem, but also that her female employee was constantly groped and verbally abused by the male patrons in the bar she worked at while her boss ignored her complaints to appease the clientele. After concluding the mission and embarrassing the aunt by exposing her, I fell for the character’s mischievous side and wanted to give her a better life by marrying her. Unfortunately, after donning the Amulet of Mara, I had no luck of living my virtual fantasy of giving Svana a better life. Believe me, having a mage or warrior or merchant for a wife is okay and all, but what about us guys/gals who want a woman/guy with a nice singing voice, a cute bar maid outfit, or someone in a bad life position we can “knight” away? Adding more people to the marriage pool would remedy this situation and appeal to a wider range of gamers looking for that virtual luv connection.
5. More Incentives to Become a Thane
I seriously had to look this one up, because I failed to fathom how you helping out a bunch of third-nipples in a town, sucking toe to a Jarl who’s half-jerk (Full jerk if you count Ulfrick, Siddgeir, and Skald), and buying a house were the best benefits you got from being a town’s hero. Oh yeah, one crime a day could be ignored, you get a fancy weapon, and a piece of fighting travel luggage, but that’s it. You know what would make doing all those quests feel less like a real world job? A discount off of all stores in the Hold and a combat bonus while you fought in that Hold’s territory. Heck, someone else with a higher pay grade take two doses of imagination, and call me in the morning.
4. Larger Variety in Equipment
There’s a funny meme somewhere stating how no matter how you dreamed your character would look as a thief, mage, or swordsman, Deadric will be the best armor you'd end up wearing. I get how, since the ability-crafting-customization is so well constructed, your buddy’s Daedric armor who prefers to stab people from behind will function very differently from your spell-spamming mage’s set, but what about aesthetics? I for one prefer my Paladin to sport white and not look like he’s sporting Batman’s Hellarmor when he’s reaching a hand to raise a desperate victim. In Diablo (Basically Skyrim with friends but repetitive combat and less world building. Much less), you have a system where you can buy paints for your armor and can even take it to a guy to make it look like… any set of clothes you want. I’m not asking Elder Scrolls 6 to “discover” this mechanic, but maybe a craftshop able to color and modify armor sets wouldn’t be too much of a tall order.
3. More Complex Side Characters
From Diablo to Fabled to Mass Effect, the Elder Scrolls has always felt like a more event driven game than a character driven one. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying the realm of Skyrim is dead to characterization: Mjoll the Lioness’s love for her common people is endearing, Uthgerd the Unbroken is feisty (and best girl IMO), and Brynjolf of the Thieves Guild is too cool for school in the best way possible. However, the depth of these characters just fails to compare to Bioware’s characterization, and I’ll shout that from the rooftops. This can be fixed easily by having more quests for specific characters, or just one important quest for a character that unlocks if they’ve been your follower long enough. The mission should reveal more about the character than what spell they’ve done freaked up on or how much they love this sword/necklace/piece of armor. You could even learn facts about them from other characters then get the option to inquire about what you’ve learned. Sky’s the limit.
2. The Option To Have Kids
This is one you Fabled players loooovvveee to tease Skyrim trekkers about. Who cares if the Dragonborn took an arrow to the uterus/testes? We still thump dragons for breakfast and have better graphics doing it :P. But seriously, Fabled… is all right, and let the Dragonborn or whomever Tamriel’s next hero/heroine is make luv already. No, I’m not asking for the option to select super penises like Cyberpunk 2077 or your entire animation budget to go to sex scenes like Mass Effect Andromeda, but a simple sign the hero of our dreams is capable of intimacy and of creating something other than a mountain of corpses. Or you can continue to let Fabled players create Chad memes against you. It’s whatever, buds.
1. A GOOD Debugging team
Sigh Dear my Lord in heaven… Didn’t expect this to be number one, did ya? PLEASE, I beg of you Bethesda, learn from the poor sales of Mass Effect Andromeda and the return sales of Cyberpunk 2077’s console versions. I’ll even throw you under the bus by saying I’ve STILL seen my fair share of glitches in Skyrim… without the patches, but us gamers are getting tired of big companies thinking we’ll buy a can of cat barf with their logo on it if they created a blockbuster last year. Mods and patches are no excuse for releasing a flailing piece of programming garbage you wouldn’t give a CSC 101 class to gawk at. Take that couple million you’ve placed into GDDR20 GRAPHICS, MONOTINOUS MONOLOGUING, AND YOUR GODD*MN COFFEE, AND DEBUGG YOUR CRAP UNTIL I COULD EAT OFF THE CIRCUIT BOARDS WITHOUT THE FRAME RATE SLIPPING! Okay… Okay… I’m done. But seriously, I love the Elder Scrolls now. Even if the critics point their noses at you in the end, SOMEONE will forgive you as long as your final product more than halfway works.
What changes would you love to see in Elder Scrolls 6? Are you excited about the yellow journalism rumors it will take place in Hammerfell, which appears to be Skyrim’s Ninja Village Hidden in the Clouds? Do you think eating off circuit boards will be the next big thing? Please share your opinions in the comments below, thank you for reading my article, and Peace Out…
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