The Elder Scroll's series.

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StrixMaxima:
-Accurate Khajit and Argonian lower body.

There are 17 forms of Khajiit, ranging from housecats, to lions, to ones that look so much like Bosmer they have to wear tattoos so people can tell them apart, to the ones we see in Oblivion/Skyrim with normal human like legs, to the ones we see in Morrowind with weird legs.

The Argonians share a similarly diverse morphology based on how much hist sap they drank after they were born, and have more possible forms then even the Khajiit.

There is no such thing as "correct" Khajiit/Argonian lower bodies,m we just see different forms of Khajiit and Argonians in Oblivion/Skyim then we did in Morrowind.

Hero in a half shell:

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

Unleveled Skyrim + duel combat realism is stupidly hard, I can agree with that, though it becomes super easy once to get to an absurdly high level like 70+

verdant monkai:
Definitely needs the option to turn off friendly fire.

they actually added that as a power from one of Hermaous Mora's black books in the Dragonborn DLC.

verdant monkai:
It also kills replayability because you can just do it all in one run

It only kills replayability if you CHOOSE to do it, don't, that's the point, its there for those who want to, and allows those who dont to not.

Honestly, the combat systems in Skyrim were fine, they just need balancing.

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

Oh god, everything. The TES games have always had awful combat and progression systems, mainly because they were completely broken/unbalanced but not in the way you want single player games to be unbalanced. In Oblivion, the optimal strategy was to tag skills that you *didn't* use in order to artificially depress your level. Fortunately they ripped that out for Skyrim. But Skryim's problem is that you were in a "worst of both worlds" situation in terms of generalist/specialist. Basically you were defined by your weapon choice, but there was nothing particularly stand-out interesting about say picking a sword over a mace. Just minor differences that didn't matter a whole lot within the context of the game world. The big split was melee/magic/ranged (which is the same meaningful split in any stock fantasy game). Basically it works like this...

Classes = strong identity, but limited connectivity
Classless = weak identity, but combinations can get super interesting

TES gets the weak identity from being classless, but making up your own combinations isn't interesting. This is the worst of both worlds. Typically in a single player game, this is where you find the "lol I combined X Y and Z and used my fire magic to put an explosive countdown on a guy, and then knocked him back 50 feet with my mace into his friends and blew them all up!" Single player games are fun exactly because of this kind of imbalance. In MMOs, or games with a multi-player component, you are a lot more limited to the "3% more damage... yay..." type stuff because the gross imbalance in single player games that make it fun also make it very un-fun for everyone around you in multi-play. So it's almost like they balanced it to be an MMO, but they really messed up on some of the additive bonuses so it still comes out broken.

Basically to improve combat in TES just pick a direction and mitigate the negatives, as opposed to getting into a worst-of-both-worlds situation. Personally, I would find strong themes/identities between all the weapons, figure out how each weapon has synergy with everything else in basic terms, design strong abilities/attacks/spells that stick to the theme, and let players figure out the interesting combinations that may be completely broken in silly/exciting ways. And then just make sure there is enough monster-variety that the player can't be a 1-trick-pony all the time (what's easy for player A might be hard for player B).

carpathic:
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.

Seriously? Have you tried upping the sensitivity? I don't want to be patronising but that shouldn't be happening.

OP: I'd support the combat being much more deep. I quite liked fable's system, where a spell would be aoe normally but become a fireball or other ranged effect if you targeted something. I'm not saying that Skyrim should have the same system, but something where magic alters based on context would be cool, and mean you could do a lot of stuff with just one spell equipped.

How about spell charge levels? Let's say you've got a generic 'fire' spell equipped.
Charge lvl 1: You fire off a small fireball by briefly tapping the button
Lvl 2: You fire off a more potent fireball by holding the button then releasing. Instead of releasing, you can also tap circle to release it as a weak aoe type attack.
Lvl3: More powerful version of lvl 2, with the addition that you can now zoom using L2 (or something) to make it a fast moving 'sniper' style attack

By using a system like this with lots of permutations on the same basic attack type, you could conceivably perform every possible fire type attack without having to change your equipped spell once.

Melee needs an overhaul too. I think my problem with it is that it feels too floaty. It should be brutal and crunchy, again, more context stuff could be used for variety too.

Well if their big wigs had any sense at all they would be on the phone to the Dragon's Dogma devs pleading for their combat team (kidnapping or extortion is also ok in this instance).

Because the combat mechanics in TES just have nothing to them, it is all bearable but no part of it is good enough to build upon, if you ever want it good it must be designed from scratch and hopefully by people who figured out the next step in fantasy brawlers.

They could start by making me care about the combat again - it would go further than adjusting the combat system more. I've put a lot of hours into Skyrim but most of them were just modding. I spent my entire time wandering around Skyrim trying to find meaning in my actions.

Or if thats too much, just fucking give me one handed blocking while I've got a spell in my other hand. That was frustrating.

I think im the only one in the camp of: "Im okay with the combat in Oblivion and Skyrim"

Im pretty content with it for the most part. Sure, its not the best, but changing it up further might just break the game

I think the combat in Skyrim was fine and didn't bother me. This isn't a combat game, it's an RPG with combat in it. Also the floaty style reinforces the fantasy setting I feel.

What I've done is getting T3nd0s Skyrim Redone.
It makes the combat system infinitely better. No more power attack spamming, and weapon types actually handles differently. Holding the block button is no longer invulnerability mode. Magic is revamped, not only with new spells, but with new ways to play. Like wearing a shield in your left and a spell in your right, spell in left, weapon in right (now with actual benefits), staves can now benefit your other spellcasts, etc. Useless skill trees are now made useful, like speech having perks that affect shouts.

The best part is how the combat has much more importance on managing stamina. Blocking costs a shitload of stamina, but a timed block reduces the cost, increases the damage reduction, and may stagger your enemy. Getting hit without blocking causes bleeding and an armor debuff. Overall, the combat gets much more involved. Running in swinging is no longer really viable. At least not on adept difficulty and above.

Denamic:
What I've done is getting T3nd0s Skyrim Redone.
It makes the combat system infinitely better. No more power attack spamming, and weapon types actually handles differently. Holding the block button is no longer invulnerability mode. Magic is revamped, not only with new spells, but with new ways to play. Like wearing a shield in your left and a spell in your right, spell in left, weapon in right (now with actual benefits), staves can now benefit your other spellcasts, etc. Useless skill trees are now made useful, like speech having perks that affect shouts.

The best part is how the combat has much more importance on managing stamina. Blocking costs a shitload of stamina, but a timed block reduces the cost, increases the damage reduction, and may stagger your enemy. Getting hit without blocking causes bleeding and an armor debuff. Overall, the combat gets much more involved. Running in swinging is no longer really viable. At least not on adept difficulty and above.

The issue with mods comes in the form of consoles. They cant download and mod their games like we can on PC and now that they can play TES games on their consoles I believe they have just as much place in these discussions as PC gamers like me. That said there are two ways to approach a combat improvement and the first, and perhaps easiest for bethesda, is to redesign the combat system to be a much more engaging one. The other way is to give consoles players that ability to mod their games just as we can do it on PC.

Im fine with using mods to improve a game or just change it in interesting ways but IMO something as horrible as Skyrims combat either needs to improved across the board or tools given to everyone that can play it to improve it themselves

First person view is non-negotiable -- it's what makes the games work. It's a core element of the series by now and giving it up would in effect be abandoning the series entirely.

I feel the TES series has always followed the mantra: combat's cool, but shouldn't be the primary reason why people play the game.

If they really wanted to break with that paradigm and double-down on first person combat, it'll be tough. There are a couple series they could learn from, one being Zeno Clash and the other being Mount and Blade.

Here are some of the challenges they'll have to address:
1.) How to model weapon and shield collision at a sufficiently detailed level and to produce feed back that makes sense. If your sword bounces back off of a shield, how do you deal with the fact that your mouse can't track that and also move in the opposite direction, for example.
2.) Aside from the collision problem for controls, imagine the granularity that would be required of combat animations. A believable system would require -- almost -- animations for every possible sort of sword/axe-arm motion.
3.) How to turn two-dimensional inputs (from a mouse) into three dimensional outputs in the 3D game world (for example, how do you input a thrust? A diagonal parry?). Do they have to fundamentally redesign the interface and change first person combat into something utterly new and alien to most gamers?
4.) How to integrate the two above problems with multiple attackers (which even third-person view games do poorly) and character movement?

Short of creating from scratch a combat-centered physics and input engine that breaks entirely with anything gamers have ever seen before, I don't think these types of problems can be addressed. Sure, they could go for it... and maybe now they have the budget to do it. But it would be safer to go with the "good enough, compensate elsewhere" approach.

i think the melee particularly should look at first person brawler genre, particularly condmened criminal origins.

if the player pitched and buckled under the blows of a physical frontal assault (or ranged ones) and the player character became vocally and physically distressed each melee would feel that much more harrowing. more contextual and timed based moves similar to comdemed blocking system and Dark Mesiah combat on would asist in this also.

better ai is a given, but simply making them actively flank the player would be enough to make them so.

finally and most importantly the game needs to move away from gear based gameplay, better gear should not equal a stronger character but simply augment chances of surviving a given encounter.

the player should not inherit godhood through their gear, it was laughable that my character was able to complete the mage guild quest line with no magical abilities above level 10.

someonehairy-ish:

carpathic:
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.

Seriously? Have you tried upping the sensitivity? I don't want to be patronising but that shouldn't be happening.

OP: I'd support the combat being much more deep. I quite liked fable's system, where a spell would be aoe normally but become a fireball or other ranged effect if you targeted something. I'm not saying that Skyrim should have the same system, but something where magic alters based on context would be cool, and mean you could do a lot of stuff with just one spell equipped.

How about spell charge levels? Let's say you've got a generic 'fire' spell equipped.
Charge lvl 1: You fire off a small fireball by briefly tapping the button
Lvl 2: You fire off a more potent fireball by holding the button then releasing. Instead of releasing, you can also tap circle to release it as a weak aoe type attack.
Lvl3: More powerful version of lvl 2, with the addition that you can now zoom using L2 (or something) to make it a fast moving 'sniper' style attack

By using a system like this with lots of permutations on the same basic attack type, you could conceivably perform every possible fire type attack without having to change your equipped spell once.

Melee needs an overhaul too. I think my problem with it is that it feels too floaty. It should be brutal and crunchy, again, more context stuff could be used for variety too.

It totally is not about the game, I am just not very good at the prediction of where the baddies are going to be. Magic I am fine with (though fireballing a moving dragon can be trying at times). Archery just rarely works for me on a moving target. As I said, I have no interest in combat being harder. Combat is ancillary to my enjoyment of the game. I like playing a character who starts as a mewling kitty and ends up a god. The part of elder scroll games that matter to me is solely the story and the character evolution. If I wanted dead souls, or a combat shooter or whatever I would buy those games.

I wouldn't do anything to improve something that's already perfect.
It became perfect after the diceroll misses were removed.

And I'd never sacrifice the Sires Person perspective. Except at those times when I juts want to look at my character, but you can just hit the F key to switch camera modes, so that's not even remotely an issue.

As for being hindered by the controller... I have no idea what you're talking about, since I use mouse and keyboard and it works perfectly.
But then, I've got no backwards flying dragons...
(Not anymore at least... I think they went extinct in my game...)

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