Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - New levelling system, dual-wielding, non-rubbish people, octogenarian Swedes

The Elder Scroll V: Skyrim has us excited. Being the sequel to Oblivion, it's going to be quite the large deal. But being the sequel to Oblivion, it already has us trotting out all the hoary old Bethesda jokes about rubbish mannequin people, horse armour, and killing people by walking backwards a lot.

But now it seems we need not worry. A motherlode of Skyrim details have come our way via GameInformer via several NeoGAF users, and by the looks of it, TES is getting a mighty overhaul with part V. Levelling, combat, skills and character animation have all been reworked, and the class system has gone altogether. Also, Fallout 3's influence has not gone unfelt and Max Von Sydow is in it. Hurrah!

As for the exact natures of these excitedly talked-up overhauls, you will find them below, via the medium of bullet-points because there are loads.


  • Dual wielding is in. You'll be able to bash goblin brain wih any combination of weapons, spells and defence you can squeeze into your gauntleted hands.
  • There are new finishing moves which vary depending on weapon used and enemy boshed.
  • Your backward walking speed is now greatly reduced, partially to avoid all that backward-walking combat and partly because it looked crap in Oblivion's third-person camera.
  • You can now sprint to reach tactically advantageous positions.


  • People will apparently now not look as rubbish as they do in every other Bethesda game. When in conversation with you, they'll move, look around, and generally act like real people rather than terrifying, human-skin-wrapped shop window dummies. Races will be more distinct and people will actually show emotion.
  • Third-person animation is being improved. Praise the lord.
  • NPC relationships now extend to inheritence. If you kill a shopkeeper for instance, his daughter may take over the business, and give you a whole boatload of aggro next time you go in there.

Character creation

  • There's no more class selection at the start of the game. Every skill you level contributes to your overall level, and every level-up adds health, magic or stamina boosts.
  • Fallout 3-style perks also come with level-ups.
  • The level cap is currently 50.
  • 18 skills are available, down from the 21 in Oblivion.


  • Quests will now be generated more organically based upon your character progression. For example a magic user may be challenged by an NPC mage where a more melee-focused character may not. Similarly, quest locations may change to accomodate areas you haven't explored yet. Even dropping items is said to spur on quest events. For instance dropping a weapon in the street may lead to a fight over the spoils, or perhaps your meeting with a new character who brings it back to you.


  • Skyrim is set 200 years after Oblivion.
  • Max Von Sydow plays your mentor.
  • There are five full-sized cities.
  • Mysticism has been dropped.
  • Level-scaling is back, but is apparently closer to that used in Fallout 3 than the stuff we saw in Oblivion.

Still excited? Or has Bethesda changed something fundamental that you just cannot forgive it for?


  • ElderScrollV - June 15, 2011 10:25 a.m.

    Looking forward to the awesome dynamic dragon battles myself! Check out the new Elder Scrolls V fansite @
  • OHMYGODIMONFIRE - January 13, 2011 11:27 p.m.

    I just want it easier to play a stealth character. That was always my problem with Oblivion. Even in the Dark Brotherhood missions, later in the game it just became fighting people in the city streets rather than being an actual assassin. And during the storyline, yuck. Stealth was useless.
  • jamescain - January 13, 2011 7:19 p.m.

    oh game breaking with Mysticism, you shall be missed
  • misfit119 - January 13, 2011 3:59 p.m.

    The wording they use for the level up system confuses me a bit. Is it like the older games, just with the class system removed or is it something newer they're doing? It kind of sorta sounds like a modified version of the previous system but I'm not sure if I'm reading it wrong.
  • Gameguy94 - January 12, 2011 1:55 a.m.

    I can haz gameplay footage?
  • Hamburgers - January 11, 2011 5:30 p.m.

    Need to be able to kill kids. Hopefully there are more cities, just not full-sized. AND JESUS CHRIST DO NOT PUT A MORALITY SYSTEM IN IT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.
  • alphaman - January 11, 2011 4:26 p.m.

    Fuzunga, the no class thing is based off of Betheseda remarks (check bethblog and their twitter for more info, there's a few forum posts they've linked and other stuff mentioned). You don't pick a class, instead leveling skills effects levels based on the level of the skill: if you have a skill (say stealth) at 34 and level it to 35 it will give you a bigger level/exp boost/whatever than leveling a skill that's at 14 to 15. So, you can specialize and level faster (and thus be even more specialized), or go more general, and have a lower level (and less power). Given that scaling is closer to FO3, that will def have an impact (you'll encounter tough monsters in some areas rather than ALWAYS facing leveled threats).
  • TheSokDrawer - January 11, 2011 2:30 p.m.

    They should add the hardcore system from New Vegas to make it more realistic old timey RPG. I know some of my friends have tried to go through Oblivion sort of realisticly by eating and drinking and sleeping everyday and walking everywhere or riding a horse. It never really felt right though. Adding the hardcore mode would make some serious RPG fans happy.
  • garnsr - January 11, 2011 3:54 a.m.

    I think the games have changed for the better from Morrowind to Oblivion to Fallout 3. There are still huge problems with each, but the sort of person who really wants to dive into these monster games is the sort of person willing to look past some dumb things, I think. I'm stoked.
  • P0LARCLAW - January 11, 2011 1:24 a.m.

    You should be more specific with some of these points. Such as how mysticism has been dropped, but the effects are spread out into the other categories. Also if a skill is higher than when it levels up it contributes more to your level. Also a level 50 cap is a soft cap (you just level up much slower at that point).
  • r00stert00th - January 11, 2011 12:40 a.m.

    suprised to see facts this soon after the initial announcement
  • Yeager1122 - January 11, 2011 12:15 a.m.

    I think im one of those rare people that didnt like elder scrolls but this actually sounds pretty good to me and has me intrested.
  • zachbob - January 11, 2011 12:08 a.m.

    considering this isnt by Peter Molyneux so there is a good chance that all these awesome ideas will be in the retail game
  • Clovin64 - January 10, 2011 10:09 p.m.

    Improve the wooden animations and the creepy deformed faces, and I'm one happy gamer. Can't wait!
  • Daruniah - January 10, 2011 10:01 p.m.

    Cannot wait for this game. All of these changes are looking good.
  • Kyo - January 10, 2011 9:53 p.m.

    I loved everything about Oblivion. The crap stuff, the great stuff.. even the stuff that made you think.. "wth is going on here?" In all honesty it's the RPG I'm most fond of. So with all the upgrades I'm SERIOUSLY looking forward to V. Cannot wait for it.
  • staplersexits - January 10, 2011 9:21 p.m.

    I'm going to have dreams about this game until it releases. And then, I won't be able to tell when i'm dreaming and when i'm awake. If I even manage to ever fall asleep again xD
  • fetalspray - January 10, 2011 9:04 p.m.

    Hmmm Fallout and elder scrolls are two very different games, I hope they don't make it more fallout than oblivion just because of the franchises recent success I want an elder scrolls game.
  • potpan0 - January 10, 2011 8:38 p.m.

    @usmovers_02 I'm guessing full sized cities means 5 cities the size of The Imperial City. This game looks epic, I love Bethesda RPG's and I think I'm gonna like this.
  • SteampunkJim - January 10, 2011 8:35 p.m.

    If it's Fallout style level scaling, then I'm all for it. SO STOKED!

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