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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Q&A

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Q&A

Interview - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Mon 6 June 2011, 18:58:46

Tags: Bethesda Softworks; The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

XBox360Achievements offer an interview with Skyrim Lead Designer Bruce Nesmith.

At the BFG Showcase in Utah, Todd Howard briefly touched upon the ecology in the game world, specifically mentioning packs of wolves hunting mammoths. What sort of effort has been put into the ecology and what can we expect to see wandering the various environments of Skyrim?

When we first sat down to make the lists of creatures and encounters, we organised everything by ecologies. Every creature fits into a set of creatures so that the group makes sense as a whole. You won’t find random mixtures of monsters in a dungeon, or wandering the frozen steppes. They have defined predator/prey and ally/enemy relationships. So we have giants that keep herds of mammoths -- if you don’t disturb them, they won’t bother you. We have wolves that hunt deer. We have undead draugr that climb out of coffins to attack those that disturb their rest.

What can we expect to see in terms of item/weapon drops? Are they random? Scripted? Should players expect plenty of neat, unique items and plenty of loot?

All of the above. I like to describe our loot drop system as controlled randomness. The sets and groups of things you can find are tailored to the situation. Necromancers don’t drop the same loot as bandits. Within those groups there is randomness. We might know the bandit chief will drop a magic weapon, but not which weapon. The Necromancer will drop a staff, but exactly which one is random.

The rewards from the quests are much more controlled. Rescue the son of a clan’s matriarch and she will give you a specific reward. Frequently these are unique items that aren’t found elsewhere in the game.
One of the hallmarks of our games is an abundance of loot. We have thousands of different weapons and pieces of armor, not to mention potions, scrolls, alchemy ingredients, jewelry, gems, etc. Also many of the unique daedric artifacts are making a return. So we’re giving the player the best of both worlds.
Spotted at: Gamebanshee

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