Elder Scrolls V Skyrim: Bethesda’s biggest focus revealed

By Alan Ng - Jul 7, 2011

It has been a quiet period on the Elder Scrolls V Skyrim front, but we’re pleased to say that we have an update to give you now and it relates to Bethesda’s recent admission on what their biggest focus for the upcoming game will be.

What could it possibly be? New weapons, player classes, upgrades or better sidequests? No, none of them as Bethesda’s design director for the game Todd Howard has revealed that their biggest focus for Skyrim is improving how NPCs (Non Playable Characters) react in the game, according to a recent interview with GamaSutra.

If you have played Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, you’ll know that NPCs had a huge role in the game, the way they interacted with the players campaign and perhaps more importantly, how they reacted naturally in the background when not in the limelight.

The good news is that Bethesda are aiming to make NPCs in Skyrim the most impressive yet. Howard has admitted that getting the right blend with the NPCs has been the most difficult aspect of putting Skyrim together, but players will be satisfied knowing that they are going to be more dynamic than ever and Howard states that players should expect NPCs to have an added sense of realism compared to Oblivion, regardless if they are involved in your storyline or not.

On a personal note, that can only be a good thing for those planning to pick up the game we feel. NPCs are a vital ingredient of a successful RPG formula and considering the fact that the NPCs featured in Oblivion were hardly terrible, the prospect of Bethesda focusing their efforts mainly on how NPCs react in Skyrim is a mouthwatering prospect in our opinion.

We’ve said it many times, but we have a feeling that Skyrim will be a real candidate for game of 2011 once it releases towards the end of the year. Of course it’s going to be up against some mighty competition in the way of Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare 3, Uncharted 3 and Batman Arkham City all due out in the latter stages of 2011, but the magical formula of Elder Scrolls has the unrivalled ability to whisk gamers away from any competing title.

What are your opinions on the NPC factor in Skyrim? We’re interested to hear from gamers who have experienced NPC activity and Oblivion, and your ideas on how it can be approved for Skyrim. Is it the most important factor in the game for you or not?

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  • I’m absolutely addicted to Morrowind and Oblivion.  The games are very challenging and stimulating for the mind.  I love the ability to make infinite choices throughout each campaign that still will allow you to come to the same final ending.  I’ve actually played Morrowind through 3 times, and had the most fun on the 3rd time!  Even playing it this many times, I still didn’t discover all of the enormous field of play.  It is unbelievable how much work was put into both of these games.  Mind-boggling…You could spend years adventuring…literally.  I’m only through Oblivion 1/2 way…so I can appreciate the time these guys put into the game.  PC version is much more fun by the way.

  • romulo neves

    Todd: we are just focusing on how npcs react, the players will see that’s is very dynamic..
    *Me approach around some guards*
    Guards say together: Hey you’re the one they call the hero of Kvatch, aren’t you? xD

    this game will be kick ass!

  • As an old Morrowind player, who made the jump to Oblivion, I must say Im absolutely stoked about Skyrim. A brilliant franchise. I never really had a problem with the NPCs, but i guess it’s a good thing they are upping the ante in that regard.  If anything, they should make ALL NPC’s interactive, with either side quests to offer or something other than simply saying “hello”, spilling gossip, or giving directions about town.  I mean everyone has a trade right? Everybody in the real world has something to say, and things to do, why not learn trades from people other than in the guilds? Or help someone with their daily duties? Mostly minor suggestions I know, but as I stated before, I never really had a prob with the NPCs.