Todd Howard from Bethesda discussed how the forthcoming Elder Scroll game will handle weapon skills.
Leveling your character in Oblivion or Morrowind was connected to raising your various skill levels by performing actions in the game. Most classes had one or two weapon skills that needed to be raised in order to get to the next level, but that prevented investing in using other weapons even if the style was largely similar. For example, using a one-handed sword used a totally different skill than a one-handed axe, even though they might largely play the same. For Skyrim, game director Todd Howard says that he has scrapped individual skills and instead you will level up combat styles like one-handed, two-handed, or archery, and that you can choose a perk to specialize in a specific weapon type like axe or sword.
"Each skill has its own perk tree," Howard said. "So take one handed for instance. The idea is, you have a one-handed skill, and then you can perk that - there's like a skill tree, underneath one-handed. Within that there are separate perk areas for maces and then axes and then swords. So opposed to having, say, an axe skill, that is a part of the perk tree within one-handed."
Howard thinks that will give the player more choice as he develops his character. "We think that ... gives us a better balance. You can start like 'I like one-handed stuff' and then you start specializing as you raise that skill."
Unfortunately, Howard said that spears are not included in Skyrim, at least not currently. "Something like spears is really cool, it's just something with where we're putting our time with the other weapons. It just didn't make the cut right now."
Skyrim is due out on November 11, 2011. Time to think about putting in your notice for vacation time that week.