The Elder Scroll's series.

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Caption: Over the moon.

Anyways!

What would you do to improve the combat of the TES games?

I would do something like Chivalry Medieval Warfare, and make a few more buttons for attacks, but that would only improve things on my end, and not the mobs end since Chivalry combat only works, because it's real people playing against you not you vs a scripted AI.

Would you sacrifice the FPS aspect for The Elder Scrolls to improve combat?

Personally.. I'm on the fence with this. I would, and I wouldn't. I love the FPS RPG, but.. it seems to limit joy of combat, and if combat is going to be the main thing you do in the game.. It better be fun. TES combat is not fun to me, but I think it's hinder by the controller. (I am not a PC fanboy, but this is a fact) Now I did install a hotkey mod, and a spell combo mod. I've been having a lot more casting spells, and unleashing massive combos.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning did a lot of things wrong, but the one thing I *loved* about it was the combat system. It was very, very fun. I was casting spells in every cast, I was dodging. I was charging up for super melee attacks that let me dice around the battle field hitting people. Etc. etc. It was very fluent, and well design.

But this works, because it's in third-person.

Could this work in the TES games, but in First Person, or will combat always be hinder by console design, and it being a FPS?

Simple answer no.Every Bethesda title has made a point to bring out the story and the immersion to the world removing the point of view from the first person perspective would damage the otherwise impeccable story(not counting Skyrim story).
You are thrown into a massive world that becomes you by simple immersion.

Think of the KAR with the dog quest of Skyrim(Barbas i think) would that amaze you if u simply passed through text overlooking the ridiculous feather hat your character will be wearing?Also KAR had an absolutely stupid magic mechanic your enemies can send bolt of lightning that track you and u have to aim?You are the hero that rips the their beating heart out of their soulless corpse but not so much if you miss?????(not to mention there is no cancel move but thats ok)

Also dont forget that the first RPG games were by first person perspective and not 3rd person.You wanted to be the hero you wanted the adventure thats what most of first person perspective RPG try to accomplice.

A fast paced combat system for an FPS rpg would require a hotkey bar and that would end up cluttering more of your screen but that wouldnt work without ending up a FPS dungeon crawler.The console design isnt bad this time around.

Well, I think Bethesda should decide on what they want to do with magic. I like how in Oblivion you could have a shield and cast spells with the 'c' key. In Skyrim, you have to change it too frequently, meaning you can't be as creative with some class combos. I've been replaying the game the past few days and I feel like I want to be more inventive, but I can't.

Now when I think about it, I'm looking forward to TESO. It's gonna be like Morrowind and WoW combined! YAY!

What Bethesda needs to do is get off their asses, and make a combat system that actually have enemy NPCs doing SOMETHING. Having NPCs block, shield bash, power attack, and do other things to the point where the PC cant just run up and spam mouse 1 would be VERY helpful.

What's sad is that NPCs in the game are programmed to do this, everything is in the game for them to use shield bashing, power attacks, blocking, timing blocks so they block right when you attack so it causes you to stagger, but none of them ever use it. Giving them perks like the "shield bashing can disarm" perk would also be helpful in making combat more tense.

Bethesda doesn't even need to do some massive overhaul to the combat engine, they just need to use what they have.

There is a mod called dual combat realism, that uses pretty much only the base game's combat system, and it makes combat so much freaking better. The mod can do it, so could Bethesda.

AstroSmash:
Well, I think Bethesda should decide on what they want to do with magic. I like how in Oblivion you could have a shield and cast spells with the 'c' key. In Skyrim, you have to change it too frequently, meaning you can't be as creative with some class combos. I've been replaying the game the past few days and I feel like I want to be more inventive, but I can't.

Now when I think about it, I'm looking forward to TESO. It's gonna be like Morrowind and WoW combined! YAY!

Yeah, this is definitely one thing I preferred in Oblivion. You could have both hands occupied with weapons, but still be able to cast spells, which worked brilliantly if you wanted to be a battlemage of some sort. In Skyrim I had to make do with a sword in one hand and a powerful Restoration spell in the other, so that I could heal any blows which I could no longer block. It's also put me off trying out the other schools, because I'd hate to keep swapping spells and items around.

On another note, I hated the favourites menu over the hotkey function Oblivion had. In Oblivion, changing spells was as simple as pressing a single button, and yet in Skyrim you had to effectively pause the game awkwardly, scroll down to the right thing, then unpause. And that ruins immersion completely.

So if we changed those two things, I'd be happy enough. Otherwise, I'd like to see better marriage/followers options, with more interaction.

I'm also very excited for TESO.

I'd make it tighter with a number of alterations. For one, slower swings. Longer animations if you will, with more damage. You can't run in and spam the attack button hoping to win - if you start an attack and your opponent dodges and counters, you're screwed as you're stuck in your animation still. You attack when you should.
Additionally, stamina should play a much larger role in combat, and not regenerate so fast. High stamina cap, slow regeneration. You enter combat, and have to wisely use your stamina between blocks, attacks and power attacks, as well as fast movement, to effectively win against you opponent.
Of course, because of this something would be needed to tip the balance so it wasn't just "Whomever has the most stamina wins". Something like blocking constantly draining stamina slowly, as well as on a hit, but it also returns that stamina drain to the attacker - so they attack you and they lose stamina for their attack, and lose stamina because their attack was blocked. Thanks to this they lose double the stamina of the person who blocked, provided they timed their block well and didn't just keep their shield up.

TBH its something I'm not quite at the point of modding yet, as I'm working on perk trees and items first, but I'll probably do something along those lines when I get around to it, though obviously with more thought put into it than the brief draft here.

I downloaded a mod recently that altered difficulty scaling so you and the AI get scaled exactly the same so if the AI got their damage buffed like 400% so would you, pretty much meant that AI took the same time to kill as in normal difficulty but you'd actually be much more prone to dying if you took a hit, I like that and think Bethesda should be doing that too instead of having the hardest difficulty turning everything into tanks with massive health and damage then giving you a toothpick and telling you to go kill it.

There's only so much you can do with a mod though, things like that really need to be put into the base game and have consideration taken for them throughout development.

I'd also go for more Chivalry style combat so long as we weren't locked to a tiny FOV.

Exposition!

Skyrim has none. TES needs it.

Combat is shit, but I don't feel that it was ever a focal point.

Part of what makes the Elder Scrolls games so good, is the fact that the combat is so shitty, it's actually pretty darn good.

SajuukKhar:
What Bethesda needs to do is get off their asses, and make a combat system that actually have enemy NPCs doing SOMETHING. Having NPCs block, shield bash, power attack, and do other things to the point where the PC cant just run up and spam mouse 1 would be VERY helpful.

What's sad is that NPCs in the game are programmed to do this, everything is in the game for them to use shield bashing, power attacks, blocking, timing blocks so they block right when you attack so it causes you to stagger, but none of them ever use it. Giving them perks like the "shield bashing can disarm" perk would also be helpful in making combat more tense.

Bethesda doesn't even need to do some massive overhaul to the combat engine, they just need to use what they have.

There is a mod called dual combat realism, that uses pretty much only the base game's combat system, and it makes combat so much freaking better. The mod can do it, so could Bethesda.

Err.... Yeah, they do all that stuff. At least in Oblivion they do.

I'm that type that loves Morrowind but has a distaste for every subsequent instalment. I honestly think that they're strongly mediocre games. Jeremy Soule's work is undeniable but they don't have anything else going for them; lame writing, poor game design and unattractive assets, even the sound effects aren't great.

This reminds me of the complaints in the RE franchise post RE4. See, people are complaining that the enemy AI is too dumb to use the entire range of the weapon load out they are given, same thing happens in RE5 and 6. For example, if Sheva has a pistol in her inventory she will neglect ALL other guns placed there until the pistol runs out of ammo, thus making it extremely annoying when versing an enemies like J.J. (the guys who are kinda fat with miniguns). It would be nice if developers could sort this out and make the AI just a little bit more intelligent rather than, "We upped the difficulty, so lets just make enemies do more damage".

I would do quite a few things. For me the major bugbear in the entire TES series is the boring combat that amounts to who has the bigger boots wins (melee combat being the most obvious). So I would take a fantasy game with really really good and weighty combat and do something similar. What game? Dark souls of course. Dark souls allows for a variety of attacks with every weapon and each weapon has different move sets and weight to them. However whats really awesome about dark souls is the defensive measures of block, dodge, and the high risk/reward move of ripostes. Put that kind of visceral and weighty combat in the game and it would be much better

For the open world I would scale back much of the streamlining theyve done and take a Morrowind approach to the detail. Give you lots of options to talk about even if its just about the individual character. Then make your reputation matter. If youre a highway man make normal people like you a whole lot less without speech, bribe, or intimidation checks. However make you more friendly with other criminal elements. Also take factions and make them matter. I thought it was pretty lame that in skyrim .you could become the Archmage, Harbinger, and thieves guild leader without penalty. It also kills replayability because you can just do it all in one run

The third thing I would do is make loot matter. Make rare weapons and equipment difficult to get but amazingly powerful. Make godly weapons game breakingly good but also soul crushingly hard to get. Sort of like FF4's pink puff item that made you invulnerable. Also I would make it so highwaymen and assassines of low power only have access to at best steel weapons unless theyre a boss or something equivilent

The fourth thing I would do is inspire more roleplaying. You just dont get enough chance to do it in skyrim unless you try really really really hard to just roleplay

I wouldn't be so quick to say that we need Dark Souls' combat in Skyrim. We need the ability to feel like a badass, but still challenged. This does not mean that Bethesda has the excuse to program bad AI, and make the combat a left mouse button rape simulator.

thesilentman:
I wouldn't be so quick to say that we need Dark Souls' combat in Skyrim. We need the ability to feel like a badass, but still challenged. This does not mean that Bethesda has the excuse to program bad AI, and make the combat a left mouse button rape simulator.

but thats exactly how I felt when I overcame the challenge of dark souls. Granted TES is a different beast and I dont think the difficulty has the same place in it as it does the souls series which is defined and built around it. That said, lets be honest without mods every melee combat in TES since Morrowind has been nothing but a click left button til the enemy falls over fest. That isnt any better (not that i agree with your opinion on DS combat)

I wish you could do more things with companions, like assign them certain AI roles, give orders both in combat and real time, have more than one in vanilla, and basically have a proper adventuring party rather than a bunch of glory-hungry berserkers. I'd love to have a customizable party where you can tweak their gear to reflect various tank/cleric/DPS/caster/archer roles, and having some system that lets you tweak AI DA:O style and issue orders like shouts.

I feel like there should be a mod for this somewhere, but I can only find one for multiple companions.

Windcaler:

thesilentman:
I wouldn't be so quick to say that we need Dark Souls' combat in Skyrim. We need the ability to feel like a badass, but still challenged. This does not mean that Bethesda has the excuse to program bad AI, and make the combat a left mouse button rape simulator.

but thats exactly how I felt when I overcame the challenge of dark souls. Granted TES is a different beast and I dont think the difficulty has the same place in it as it does the souls series which is defined and built around it. That said, lets be honest without mods every melee combat in TES since Morrowind has been nothing but a click left button til the enemy falls over fest. That isnt any better (not that i agree with your opinion on DS combat)

The thing is, Dark Souls made me feel threatened. It had me scared and made me enjoy my wins. Not so with any Elder Scrolls game. I've only felt annoyance when I fight enemies in the Elder Scrolls.

Definitely needs the option to turn off friendly fire.

I love these games but the combat has always been shocking. The amount of times my dumbass npc partners have been in the way of my hammer swings, are more than I can count. It really takes me out of the experience when my partner is screaming "I'm on your side", because I accidently hit them because they ran in between me and a Troll.

No one can complain about this change because it would be an optional feature.

thesilentman:

Windcaler:

thesilentman:
I wouldn't be so quick to say that we need Dark Souls' combat in Skyrim. We need the ability to feel like a badass, but still challenged. This does not mean that Bethesda has the excuse to program bad AI, and make the combat a left mouse button rape simulator.

but thats exactly how I felt when I overcame the challenge of dark souls. Granted TES is a different beast and I dont think the difficulty has the same place in it as it does the souls series which is defined and built around it. That said, lets be honest without mods every melee combat in TES since Morrowind has been nothing but a click left button til the enemy falls over fest. That isnt any better (not that i agree with your opinion on DS combat)

The thing is, Dark Souls made me feel threatened. It had me scared and made me enjoy my wins. Not so with any Elder Scrolls game. I've only felt annoyance when I fight enemies in the Elder Scrolls.

I dont think I understand what you're trying to say. My idea of changing the combat into visceral and weighty combat like dark souls is to make it more engaging. Its to stop the current trend in unmodded Skyrim or worse unmodded Morrowind of running up and pressing attack till something falls over. Dark souls mitigation tactics allow for more strategy and require quicker and more precise reflexes making combat feel more visceral and engaging. Thats all Im asking for, make combat engaging and making it like dark souls where there was offensive and defensive moves would certainly do it for me

Windcaler:

thesilentman:

Windcaler:

but thats exactly how I felt when I overcame the challenge of dark souls. Granted TES is a different beast and I dont think the difficulty has the same place in it as it does the souls series which is defined and built around it. That said, lets be honest without mods every melee combat in TES since Morrowind has been nothing but a click left button til the enemy falls over fest. That isnt any better (not that i agree with your opinion on DS combat)

The thing is, Dark Souls made me feel threatened. It had me scared and made me enjoy my wins. Not so with any Elder Scrolls game. I've only felt annoyance when I fight enemies in the Elder Scrolls.

I dont think I understand what you're trying to say. My idea of changing the combat into visceral and weighty combat like dark souls is to make it more engaging. Its to stop the current trend in unmodded Skyrim or worse unmodded Morrowind of running up and pressing attack till something falls over. Dark souls mitigation tactics allow for more strategy and require quicker and more precise reflexes making combat feel more visceral and engaging. Thats all Im asking for, make combat engaging and making it like dark souls where there was offensive and defensive moves would certainly do it for me

Ah. Sorry, the wording was slightly confusing. :-)

The-Traveling-Bard:
Would you sacrifice the FPS aspect for The Elder Scrolls to improve combat?

Step 1: Call up the people who made Mount & Blade or Chivalry
Step 2: Pay them cash money to port their combat into your Elder Scrolls Game
Step 3: Collect GOTY award
Step 4: Buy a busload of cocaine with your royalty check
Step 5: Check into rehab clinic
Step 6: Give emotional interview with popular online blogger about how you're turning your life around
Step 7: Start own studio
Step 8: Release spiritual successor to cherished indie property to wild acclaim
Step 9: Get bloated ego, give cock-eyed speech about "re-inventing the medium"
Step 10: Repeat steps 4 through 9

First of all, They're not FPS RPGs because except for being in first person, they don't have much to do with first person shooters. These games are action RPGs that can be played both in the first and third person perspectives. Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim can be played on third person, though I would admit that it doesn't work very well in Morrowind if you want to use ranged weapons and spells.

As for the combat system - it's good enough. I would welcome improvement, but not at the price of not being able to play properly in first person. I play these games more for the sake of immersion and exploration rather than challenge, so that sacrifice wouldn't be worth it in my opinion.

I've never felt that combat was the "point" of the Elder Scrolls games but I can't argue that it definitely needs some work. Maybe not quite to the level of Dark Souls, which is far too realistic for something like The Elder Scrolls in my opinion, but something more engaging is definitely needed in the future. Though I do love feeling like a complete and utter badass once you've acquired enough perks and skill.

Mainly what I think TES needs to do better is present a world that "reacts" to the player in more meaningful ways. Currently everyone else in the world feels way too fake and way too repetitive. However considering how much better the people were in Skyrim compared to Oblivion... I've got higher hopes for the next installment.

Some improved world design also couldn't hurt, Morrowind was alien and cool but Oblivion was so unbearably banal. Thankfully Skyrim was a lot better with it's Norse Influences, Dwemmer Ruins and much more "gritty" and "used" Empire but it still wasn't up to the level of Morrowind.

Lastly I would love to see TES's do more of the brilliantly creepy stuff you run across in the Deadra Lord Quests in Skyrim (especially in Dragonborn, damn that creepy book realm), for me the Deadra Prince quests were really the best ones in the game.

xefaros:
Simple answer no.Every Bethesda title has made a point to bring out the story and the immersion to the world removing the point of view from the first person perspective would damage the otherwise impeccable story(not counting Skyrim story).
You are thrown into a massive world that becomes you by simple immersion.

image

Oblivion, Fallout 3 AND skyrim all had a terrible story. The status quo never changes, the focus never goes beyond dungeon diving and there's only a small hamfisted story that makes you out to be a big hero, while never actually doing anything important except fighting the big scary monsters. Or getting some downstream water purifier to work for some hobo's and cows in a patch of dirt.

Now if you want to praise Skyrim or Oblivion and/or Fallout 3 for being hiking simulators, that's fine. But don't pretend they are more than that.

I really don't think it's neccesary to stray from the first person perspective in order to have satisfying combat, they just need to improve on the feel of the combat.

If they give the combat more of an 'impact' feeling it would already be a lot better. In Skyrim you're mostly just whacking away at something until it dies. If both the player and the enemies are more visibly hindered by being hit it would make combat much more interesting. As it stands regular blows are just shrugged off with only the heavy attacks giving any kind of recoil. Having more realistic sounds whenever weapons clash and such would also be a great improvement.

When it comes to magic I think that there should be more versatility. You can currently only equip 2 spells at a time, and no weapons if you do. I also think that less powerful spells with shorter cooldowns make for a much more fun experience, as it makes combat more dynamic. For example, instead of increasing your armor for a minute, only increase it for a second by a slightly higher amount in order to block an incoming heavy hit.

I have absolutely NO DESIRE to combat be any harder in TES games. Already Archery is nearly useless for me, on a console I just can't track the baddies fast enough.

Also, compared to oblivion where you'd be level 60 and a goblin with iron weapons and hide armor would routinely hand you your ass when you had nothing but daedric equipment, there have been major improvements.

I enjoy that godlike feeling, part of the whole Elder Scrolls thing is that you can make yourself godlike. That is why they have not stamped out the bugs like the boosting restoration-boosting smithing-improving sword to have 7000000000 damage per swing.

The story was not terrible either, the story is what you make of it. If you think the story was terrible, then you didn't play right. You are the hero and what you do is your business. A large part of an RPG is becoming in some sense, the character. You make the story, or are at least the hinge upon which the story hangs. Shitty story? Nope. Bad player!

All I want for TES 6 is:

- More spell effects and a spellmaker. Pretty please.
- A few more melee options, and some sort of skill crossing with Magic, such as temporary elemental enchantment on the fly, or Illusion-based attacks.
- Mysticism needs to come back. Yes, seriously.
- Static world, with minor things adjusted for levels in certain areas.
- Medium Armor, Spear and a meaningful Speech progression and benefits.
- Improved Poison, Disease and disables.
- Accurate Khajit and Argonian lower body.
- More text-based quests, less 'go to that arrow and be a hero'.

Keep the great Skyrim progress system, make good use of the amazing Lore the IP has at its disposal, and don't make PC gamers play with a console UI.

I still think you are beautiful, Bethesda.

I forgot to mention what I thought about the first person aspect. I think because its been in the last 3 games (maybe before I dont recall) I think it should remain. You can still have dodge, block, and riposte mechanics in either method. Actually in Jedi knight there was this option where everytime you pulled out your lightsaber it would change to 3rd person. I would like to see a similar option for new TES games. That way if you want to go outside in third person for melee combat you can without the need to fumble around buttons and you can still have that single player experience

*Scrolls. (Plural, not possessive).
Ahem, anyway...
I've always liked TES, and I think the combat's fine the way it is. Then again, I rarely play a melee character. I don't mind doing the Mage backpedal when a Nord rushes me with a battle axe. I suppose the enemy AI could be a bit more tactical, but that's not what I play for.

StrixMaxima:
All I want for TES 6 is:

- More spell effects and a spellmaker. Pretty please.
- A few more melee options, and some sort of skill crossing with Magic, such as temporary elemental enchantment on the fly, or Illusion-based attacks.
- Mysticism needs to come back. Yes, seriously.
- Static world, with minor things adjusted for levels in certain areas.
- Medium Armor, Spear and a meaningful Speech progression and benefits.
- Improved Poison, Disease and disables.
- Accurate Khajit and Argonian lower body.
- More text-based quests, less 'go to that arrow and be a hero'.

Keep the great Skyrim progress system, make good use of the amazing Lore the IP has at its disposal, and don't make PC gamers play with a console UI.

I still think you are beautiful, Bethesda.

Bless you, sir, for you speak the truth.

Something I thought I'd mention is that for an open world I didn't really want to explore it for that long. I did, I ended up spending hours walking around trying to find quests and the sort but for me it felt far too scripted. If I talked to a friend and said 'Oh wow have you done the quest where...' It was always a yes/no answer, there was no randomness to it, something out of the blue could not happen as it was designed to be tightly controlled.

Far Cry 3 on the otherhand felt completely random and for me a much better open world as a result. On skyrim the most random event would be a dragon appearing, but once that happened repeatedly it didn't truely feel that different to any other creature. Whilst on far cry hunting down an enemy patrol, carefully planning your way to pick them off (again something that wasn't really in skyrim) only to get attacked by giant freaking birds blowing your cover as they try to peck your eyeballs.

Thats my opinion, I want more sense that what I go an experience out in the Elder Scrolls games is random and potentially unique to me rather than tightly controlled by the game.

Akratus:

xefaros:
Simple answer no.Every Bethesda title has made a point to bring out the story and the immersion to the world removing the point of view from the first person perspective would damage the otherwise impeccable story(not counting Skyrim story).
You are thrown into a massive world that becomes you by simple immersion.

image

Oblivion, Fallout 3 AND skyrim all had a terrible story. The status quo never changes, the focus never goes beyond dungeon diving and there's only a small hamfisted story that makes you out to be a big hero, while never actually doing anything important except fighting the big scary monsters. Or getting some downstream water purifier to work for some hobo's and cows in a patch of dirt.

Now if you want to praise Skyrim or Oblivion and/or Fallout 3 for being hiking simulators, that's fine. But don't pretend they are more than that.

Seriously you never had a surprising twist on those games?I am not talking about main story missions there were all rubbish
but the point wasnt focused on the main story but in the world that could bring life to.If the talking dog(Skyrim) or the Carnivorous family(fallout 3) or the thieves guild on oblivion never captured your fantasy and imagination and sense of adventuring then i feel sorry for the experience you had and would require the games that ripped you from that enjoyment in order to enjoy something supperior

I am talking about the gems quest on all those FPS RPG that immerse you and feel like the breathing world the developer would strive to provide

But yea compared to other installments Skyrim did a very poor job in its totality for the questing

Wow that got way longer than I thought it would, so I put the different parts in spoilers to make it easier to read.

SajuukKhar:
What Bethesda needs to do is get off their asses, and make a combat system that actually have enemy NPCs doing SOMETHING. Having NPCs block, shield bash, power attack, and do other things to the point where the PC cant just run up and spam mouse 1 would be VERY helpful.

What's sad is that NPCs in the game are programmed to do this, everything is in the game for them to use shield bashing, power attacks, blocking, timing blocks so they block right when you attack so it causes you to stagger, but none of them ever use it. Giving them perks like the "shield bashing can disarm" perk would also be helpful in making combat more tense.

Bethesda doesn't even need to do some massive overhaul to the combat engine, they just need to use what they have.

There is a mod called dual combat realism, that uses pretty much only the base game's combat system, and it makes combat so much freaking better. The mod can do it, so could Bethesda.

I've got that mod, I second this, it's a whole new level of challenge and tactics, simply by tweaking the block and stagger mechanics. And you can really tell the difference when you come up against a bandit in full heavy armour with a two handed weapon, or any enemy mages (which are crap in vanilla Skyrim) which have been turned into regenerating behemoths of death and your adventure ends with you running away screaming "AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!"

P.S. combine it with Unleveled Skyrim and you've got a game Dark Souls would call unnecessarily masochistic.

xefaros:
Simple answer no.Every Bethesda title has made a point to bring out the story and the immersion to the world removing the point of view from the first person perspective would damage the otherwise impeccable story(not counting Skyrim story).
You are thrown into a massive world that becomes you by simple immersion.

What? That argument literally makes no sense. YES TES/Fall out are about world immersion, and story. But it's still a game. If you make a video game would you make any feature boring/worthless?

Diablo 3 crafting mechanic... was completely useless at lunch.
An entire... feature of a game.. worthless.
But that's my personal opinion.

I fully agree if you're going to make a game make everything detail good. Don't half ass it, and make the excuse. "Well... TES isn't about combat. It's about lore, and story telling." because that gives the designers to do shitty jobs on what the things they need to fix. I'm not asking for a spectacular fighter like Devil May Cry, but a better combat system won't hurt the game if they take the time to design it.

Give bladed weapons more damage and give blunt weapons more knock-back with axes as the middle ground.

Basic limb damage system: hit 'em in the legs to slow 'em down, head for 2X damage, and arms to prevent attacks and weapons usage. This goes for melee, archery, and magic. Certain enemies would be immune.

Use the Halo: Reach system of parrying. If 2 enemies strike each other with melee weapons at the same time then both take 1/5th damage.

Allow certain destruction magic spells such as Incinerate, Thunderbolt, and Ice Storm (spells you can "hold" before casting) to be charged up for increased damage. Hold spell for 2 seconds for +25% damage, 4 seconds for +50% damage, etc...
Maybe have a destruction tree perk that allows charge upgrades at destruction skill levels 25,50,75, and 100.

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