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Friday, 1 July 2011

A good, stealthy life

All in favor of sneaking in there and taking out all the guys with a few well placed arrows in their soon-to-be not so pretty nor complete skulls, raise your hand!

Is your hand raised? Mine sure is! My first play through Oblivion, I based my character completely on stealth, 'cause I thought that the system was the coolest I had ever seen in an RPG, which I still stand by today. Stealth games are great - Just think about Splinter Cell!

Still, it can always get better! In Skyrim they turn great into awesome on many points, but one has got to get high over the new stealth gameplay. If you've played Fallout 3, or New Vegas for that matter, you'll recognize these three stages of stealth:

  • Hidden: Duh, you are hidden! No one sees you!
  • Caution: Enemies are aware of your presence, but have not yet located you.
  • Danger: You've been spotted and are most likely to get stabbed
I marvelled over this simple, yet entertaining system. If you did so too, then you'll be happy to know that it also exists in Skyrim! But there are more to it, my hairy friends! Once you reach the "Caution" phase, an eye on your screen will begin to open. The closer your enemies are to spotting you, the more the eye will open. This gives you time to adjust your movements, in case you wish to stay hidden. We are totally gonna go ninja on their ASSES!

But wait! There is more! Weapons! We all know that the classic RPG weapons for stealth-types are daggers, as well as bow and arrow. They got the ranged part right in Oblivion, which has even been improves. It takes longer to sting your bow in this game, but arrows damage a lot more, so now we can get the one-hit kills we deserve. That is the point of stealth after all.

Distracting a patron
Still, the melee thing didn't quite come across in Oblivion. It was actually more favorable to use a bigger weapon, given that it provided more damage. Again, Bethesda corrects their gruesome mistake. This time around, daggers will gain a much greater damage bonus, making it the most lucrative weapon of choice for us sneaky-types. There might even be a back-stab animation, but that is just speculation.

So that should be pretty simple. Weapons and Sneaking. That's all that there is to stealth, right? WRONG!! If you just thought that, then you are not a true ninja! There is in fact a crafting skill for all the major play styles, which includes Magic, Melee and Stealth.

The skill belonging to stealth is Alchemy, which will be a lot more interesting in Skyrim. I don't exactly know how, but Todd Howard said so. He also mentioned that it has something to do with the different climates, which probably means that if you want some of the "good" poison, you will have to travel all over to get the right ingredients. 

Frost Trap
I've also noticed that there are stealth-friendly spells! Like fire, frost and lightning. You can use them to place traps on the ground, that explodes when your enemies step on them. There are also detect life spells again and then there are what i suppose is a "frenzy" spell. Todd used it in the E3 demo, to get rid of two guards. He tossed the spell at one of them and he suddenly went nuts on the other one, thus eliminating 50% of the enemy pool. Huzzah! After such a trick, one may casually string ones bow and offer the remaining guard a poisoned arrow to one of his respective organs. 

I suppose that my cynical nature reveals my excitement for this function.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

The return of X

You all remember the most awesome thing in Oblivion! I don't even have to say the name, so awesome is it. Everyone of you already knows what I am talking about. You know what? I'm just gonna call it X! You know what it is!

The first side-quest I got in Oblivion was the one about X. It was also the most important side-quest in the game. Therefore, I feel proud and a little drunk with passion to announce: X will be returning in Skyrim! That's right!! If you still felt like there was something missing, I'm guessing that that hole has been filled.

Is there again a quest to gather it and make über-potions? I don't know, but its mere presence will be enough to make my knees shake and my heart pound. It is one hundred percent confirmed!

A picture of X

Economic Crisis, soon to be!

 No, the title of this topic has nothing to do with real life, which none of us really care about.
Skyrim will feature a lot of awesome things, but I nearly pissed my G-string when I heard.... I mean, I nearly pissed my pants, when I first heard about this next part: Economy.

In a neat way, you could say that it has always been there, giving that you can both buy and sell stuff, as well as earn money by being peoples' handyman and by raiding dungeons. That's all very basic, but it would seem that the devs are expanding upon this system. Remember to take your birth control, 'cause these news will rock your world.

Cities will have their own, individual economy and as I've mentioned before, every NPC will have a job, which you also will be able to do, in order to earn money. The only example of the economical features of cities we've seen so far, is the town of Riverwood, visited in the E3 demo.

First up, we saw the Blacksmith of the town and some conversation features. We also saw the man, hailing lumber logs onto a woodchipper. And here I come to the interesting part: We can destroy the economy of the town! We're evil puppetmasters!! Or... I mean, we can be.... yeah.

You can destroy the lumber-thingy and you can steal the towns crops, or set it on fire I'm guessing, but it will of course have consequences. If you sabotage their lumber-stuff, then arrows, which are already more rare and expensive in this game, will cost more in the stores of said town as well as be smaller in quantity.
Lumber Mill

Decide to nuke their crops instead? Ha! Wait, I said instead! I meant: Decide to nuke their crops also? Then the same will happen to food and alchemy ingredients.

So there we go, economy in Skyrim, folks! Enjoy your day! I encourage you all to ruin your towns' economy for practice, so you're ready for the release.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Small details, big difference - Part I

As of Western RPG's, it has always been the small details, which add up to the big, and in The Elder Scrolls' case, often awesome picture. In the following article, I will show you what little details I've caught a glimpse of, which I personally think is very "def." (meaning cool.)

  1. Holes and cracks in the roofs and ceilings of dungeons and ruins
Look at the detail!

2. Bats - In the E3 demo, we saw bats appearing, or more like fleeing, when the Dragonborn proceeded through Bleak Falls Barrow
Looks like we found the batcave!

3. When you summon a creature, it will enter out of a sort of Void / Portal thingy. In the demo, I got a short glimps of a Frost Atronach being summoned
Right now the Atronach is kinda crumbled together, and when it is out of the void, it stands up fully in a stunningly realistic motion.

Dwarven Ruins be back, lad!

Most of us who played Morrowind both remember and enjoyed the dwemer ruins, or dwarven ruins if you prefer. Morrowind was kind of an alien world, with giant mushrooms and strange creatures you don't normally see in western fantasy games. It also had Cliff Racers, which made us want to poke our eyes out, but that's another story.

To me, the dwarven ruins were sort of the only thing I could relate to except for stuff like grass and water. Naturally, not seeing them in Oblivion, was kind of a set back, yet a minor one. Instead they were "replaced" by Ayleid ruins, which in a way were also kind of cool.

It is however with great joy that I can announce the return of Dwarven ruins in Skyrim. I think it only fair to assume that they won't look that much alike those in Morrowind, though. It's exciting and you're happy, and that's final!


Is it just me, or is DLC becoming more and more common? It's like it exists in every fricken game these days! Not, that I am complaining.

Bethesda started their DLC-trip with Oblivion, opening the ball with "Horse Armor" which was ridiculed beyond extreme extents. Partly because horse armor was so insignificant, partly because it costed 2.50$ and had no side-quest.

In Fallout 3, there were also DLC, granted, some of it better than other, but it was worth it.

In Skyrim, they want to make less DLC than in Fallout 3, but they want it to have more "fill" like in Oblivion, with "Knights of the Nine." Some people think that Knights of the Nine is an expansion pack, but alas, it is not. It is indeed DLC, but it is good that people think otherwise, 'cause that is want the developers want to get out of the DLC for Skyrim. It needs to feel like an expansion pack.

Now that we are on the topic of expansion pack, there not really thinking about that yet, but I say that it is fair to assume that there one day will be one, giving a look at Bethesda's previous titles, and the hype already created over Skyrim.

Dynamic be good, mon!

Splendid! Splendid! Splendid! We are one day closer to the release of Skyrim! Another day, another article! This one will be about the new dynamic features of, you guessed it, Skyrim!! Huzzah!

So this is the awesome: Weather will be dynamic.
This means that it'll interact with the world, examples:

Snow will fall and cover the static objects and the ground in a realistic way. Todd mentioned in an interview that they have designed the static things (like rocks and logs) for such things exactly.

Oblivion / Skyrim comparison
Best of all: Dynamic trees! When I found this out, I was like "Wow!" and then I came... Downstairs to get a glass of water to absorb these news! Seriously, the developers have created a system where they adjust the weight of each branch on a tree, to affect how much it's gonna shake in the wind. <---- That's right! By the way, people, it would seem that they have created a lot of diversity when it comes to tree design! No more running from the first identical tree to the next, as they say. Personally, I didn't notice that most of the trees in Oblivion was identical. Still, we've also been promised to see less to trees no adjusted appropriately to the ground, since they are all "Handcrafted" (whatever that entails,) and placed with individual care in the world.

But as I say, branches shake in the wind. Wind is in this game! And it matters!! HU - Wait for it.... ZZAH!
The wind also cause ripples to manifest on water surfaces, as wells as making leaves swirl around. 

There will also be dynamic water, with springs filled with dynamic fish. Those are not the only animals we see, BTW, there are also Insects (like butterflies,) birds and rabbits and such.

Clouds will interact with mountains! We love interaction! And as a last detail, shadows will indeed also be dynamic.

Of course, with the bringing of these news, you cry so hard out of joy, that your tears will be made out of blood. In a good way, of course.

I am kind of hoping that water will soak you in this game, but that we don't know yet. Here's to hoping!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The difference between dynamic and static

Later, probably not today, since I am busy as a bee, I will be hitting up a post about the dynamic features of Skyrim, which will be so awesome that it will melt our brains. Any girl- or boyfriend we have, we will dump in order to be able to focus fully on the important things in life: Skyrim stuff!

Don't believe me? just you wait!

For now, I'll settle for explaining the difference between dynamic and static objects, since there are also people in the world who doesn't have English as their native language.

It is fairly easy.
Static objects are the objects in the world that are immovable or in the case of weather, are simple textures. Good examples of static objects in Oblivion would be chests and furniture, or even trees.

Dynamic objects are the opposite. They are movable and are affected by other dynamic objects. I can tell you as much as the weather and the trees in Skyrim will be dynamic. A good example of dynamic objects in oblivion would be food, and surface water, which ripples when you swim in it.

Later on, as I said, I'll make a full article on the amazing, mind-blowing dynamic features that we will see in Skyrim. Prepare a sock, or a cup or something.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Don't do the crime, if you can't do the time!

Crime has always been a funny part of The Elder Scrolls. Heck, it has always been a fun part of every game! It's basically what the GTA series is founded on.

In Oblivion, crime was funny. Yet, we were baffled when we killed loner, with no one around, and then when we went ran into a guard, he magically knew about it. Seriously! You could commit a crime one place, and then everyone would instantly know about it.

The guards were fricken crazy! In the final stage of a side quest called "paranoia," Glarthir tasks you with killing everyone you've claimed to be "spying on him." Since he surprisingly rich for a town nut-case, naturally you accept. When I did it, I went into a house in the middle of night, no one spotted me. I sneaked up to my targets bedroom and murdered him in his sleep. In spite of not being noticed at all, a guard came running into the house 5 seconds later. Well, excuse my tone, but WTF is that all about?

Heck, half the time I didn't even know what I had done wrong! I just walked from one city to another and as soon as I arrived, all I could hear was "Stop right there, criminal scum!" The omnipotent ability of guards has since been known as the "scum sense." A pun on spiderman's Spidy-sense.

Now to the good, no, great news! Skyrim will be nothing like that! First of all, when you steal something, every merchant in the world won't instantly know that it is stolen and refuse to buy it. Since there is a thieves guild, there will probably still be fences, though.

Also, the guards won't instantly know if you've committed a crime. Should you choose to kill an innocent man on his stroll through the forest, go ahead! Should a nearby person, whose presence you didn't pay heed to, notice your 3rd degree murder and necessary mutilation of the body, he will either try to stop you or run away. What happens if he get away? He'll probably tell on you! Can't have that can we? NO! You storm after him and shoot a well-placed arrow at him, piercing his skull. Huzzah! A message will display that you've killed all witnesses and you are safe and sound from the long arm of the law.

Apart from the new "witnesses system," which I would just like to say, is virtually sex, you will also be enticed with the fact that there now are 9 regions, each with their own individual bounties, instead of just one international bounty. For example, should you brutally ra... Erh, hit a woman in region A, then the only bounty on your head that will raise, is that of region A. You can go to region B, and they'll know nothing of it, or at least not care. The reason for this is that every region is governed by noble houses. Since there is a civil war, the land is split and your actions one place, doesn't affect your standings in another.

So there we go! No omnipotent guards or merchants! 9 different regions, with individual bounties! Witnesses that can be chased and killed. Can this get any better? I think not! Boner!

50 Articles!

That concludes it! With the last article (not counting this one) I have written 50 articles for you. I created this site on Sunday, 19th of June. This means that I have written 6.25 articles a day. Granted, some took more than an hour, whilst some took few minutes.

Ever since its creation, the site has rapidly been growing in viewers and interest, which couldn't make me happier. I also quite enjoy it when you vote on the poll. Glad smiley.

That aside, I thought that I'd tell you why I made this site: I've been following the progress of Skyrim, ever since January. Oblivion was the first game I played once I got my very own PC, so it was a big deal to me. Ever since I've been researching my ass off everyday, simply because I am so psyched.

I started spending time on the Skyrim forums on Gamespot and after some time, activity rose. I noticed that a lot of people asked a lot of similar questions, usually with a couple of unclear and drowsy responds (no offense.) Not just that, but the questions were ones I had had answers to for weeks, sometimes even months. I started thinking about how neat it would be with a Skyrim database. Not only would I not have to browse through all the articles on different sites, over and over, but each and everyone of you would have a place to go to for answers.

I don't know about you, but just reading about Skyrim, makes me all enthused.

But I thought that if no one else was going to make one, then I would. It might even be a spot of fun! And it is! I really enjoy writing! And I enjoy bringing everyone as many details as I can. So far it looks as if a lot of people enjoy my site, and I hope that the number of those people will continue to grow. I know that I will continue to write.

- McBraas

Level up! Yeah!

This might not be a Pokémon game, but levelling is still quite intriguing. Naturally we are all up to date on the whole "there will be perks" and the attribute,as well as skill thingies.
If not, I suggest that you read my articles on them. Just click the keyword in the bar to your right.

But for short: Every level, you get to pick a perk. There are only 3 attributes: Health, Magicka and Stamina. There are 18 skills, of which 16 are known and confirmed. All in all, there are 50 levels. You can level beyond that, but you won't get to pick a perk, and a only get a minor attribute bonus*1.

*1 (I think, but I am not sure)

If you played Oblivion, you are probably among the dreadful horde of players, that are hating on the levelling system. Back in good ol' 2006, everything levelled along with us. Suddenly a couple of measly bandits were wearing hardcore glass armor, solely because we rose a couple of levels. It's like that we, in spite of our efforts, never really became anymore powerful than to begin with, and that is crap.

Fortunately, Bethesda can take a hint. For Skyrim, they have adopted the same system, used in Fallout 3. The so-called "level lock." It works like this: Apart from a few 'fixed' places, dungeons and areas you enter, will "lock" to the level you are in when you first enter it. So if you visit cave A when in level 7, there will still be level 7 appropriate monsters when you return, 20 levels later.

A lot of concern for this system has been expressed, but not to worry. First of all, you can see that it worked great in Fallout 3. I personally didn't even notice, let alone know about it, before I read about it whilst finding info on Skyrim.

There are 150 dungeons, at least, in Skyrim. So fear not that all of your re-visits will be ruined. Also, it is important to note that the "areas" are not the same as the 9 regions in Skyrim. They are not marked, but indicated by the developers. Ergo, we don't know how many there are or where they are.

When that system is paired with radiant story, which sends you to new places all the time, you will constantly be finding new scenery as well as challenges, and when you come back to where you started, you will feel like a new man. Or woman, which I've noticed a disturbing amount of guys choose to play as.

So how do we level up? You all remember the major and minor skills from Oblivion? Where you picked 7 major skills and when you increase them enough, you level up? Well, that has been axed! No more! Fight the power! Viva la Revolution!!! ... Erhm, as I was saying: You no longer pick any major skills. Every skill contributes to your level progression, whenever they increase. The higher the skill level, the more the progress.

If you want a little boost, you can visit the doom stones, as they were called in Oblivion. Some of them corresponds to a specific skill, so when you 'use' it, that skill will level faster for a fixed period of time. I'm not sure if they're still called doomstones, but hey... Who cares?

Okay, I kinda do. But we'll see in time.

They are called "Guardian Stones."

Source and confirmation

I received a comment today on whether I check for sources or not. Ok, that's not exactly what was asked, but there was a gist of it. I understand everyone's concern for bad information, 'cause I don't post source links and I never will unless asked.
The face of a strange, yet trust-worthy guy. In a Robe.

I am a huge fan of The Elder Scrolls and I check for news everyday and have no intentions of bringing you rotten news or trolling or whatever you kids call it now-a-days. Whether you choose to believe me or not is your deal, but what I am trying to do is create a decent, easy-to-get-around database for all the Skyrim data we have and I dislike false information, just as much as you.

I was asked about this, also on, and I told him that the reason I don't use source links is that I choose to write in an essay / article style and it is less hectic that way. The reason that I write at all is because I like it and that I enjoy bringing you all the news.

"But do you check sources?" He also asked me. Yes, yes I do. I see how many places I can find whatever the topic is, and then I track 'em all back as far as I can for credibility. I did actually find a very unreliable source at a time, consisting of lies and nonsense. A troll source, I believe it is called.

Should there be any doubt in my mind on whether my info is credible or not, you will notice that I mention it in my articles - as in my romance article.

I came up with the idea for Skyrim-cover when I was browsing through the gamespot forums and seeing a lot of identical questions. I needed a way to make it easier for people and then the idea came to me.

If there are any doubt on a topic, feel free to ask, k? I realize that it is a matter of trust and I wish to seem completely trustworthy.

Attributes begone!

Attributes are key to any RPG, world-over. The one's you'll remember from oblivion are Willpower, Strength, Intelligence, Luck, Agility, Endurance, Personality and Speed. If you can't count, that's 8 attributes.

So here is the shocking news: They've all been axed!
The developers realized that whatever attributes one picked, it all lead back to the three most important things: Health, magicka and Stamina.

Instead of having all those different attributes, they decided that they would lead us pick one of the latter options, so it'll work like this: Whenever you level up you gain a little bit of health, and then you can choose on whether you want to further increase health, increase magicka or increase stamina. (Of course you also get to pick a perk.)

A lot less option, with a much stronger result. Even though a lot of fans are worried about this, I say: GO FOR IT!

Boner!! Right there!

What the hell is Radiant Story?

This wasn't just my question, but the question of thousands. As soon as I head the phrase I set out on a quest to gain an understanding of the meaning behind "Radiant Story."

First of all, if you are more familiar with the term "radiant questing," then I'd just like to mention that it is the exact same thing.

My article on Radiant AI explained how it gave creatures and NPC's rules and needs.

Radiant Story will take a bunch of variable into account and create results from that. As far as I've gathered, there are the Main Quest, alternative quests and "side missions."

The Main quest is almost hand crafted all the way through, with few examples of Radiant Story, alternative quests have a bit more radiant story, and the side missions consists almost entirely of radiant story.

What radiant story does to quests is that it says: Ok, so you've been avoiding this area, so maybe we'll send you over here --->

Let us take an example: A side mission where a woman, a friend of yours, her daughter has been kidnapped and she requests that you retrieve her. Then the radiant quest system notices that you haven't been in Area A, so it sends you to a cave there. Once you arrive, the kidnapper turns out to be a person who hates, one of the people you are on an unfriendly basis with, maybe because you killed his father. The RS (Radiant Story) chose him because of your poor relationship with him. He kidnapped her because he knew that he could get you alone when you came to rescue her, and then he could exact his revenge.

All the variables here, the quest-giver, the quest place, the kidnapper, are all chosen by radiant story in order to give you an awesome, new experience.

Another example straight from Todd: Say your task is to go to a dungeon and retrieve an item, RS sees that you haven't fought high-level undead in a while, so it sends you to a dungeon that has high-level undead.

Also reward items can be affected by radiant story. It can pull in all sorts of variables, for almost everything. If you've been avoiding dragons, it'll make you go fight a dragon.

It also teamworks with Radiant AI to enact random encounters. Say you throw a valuable sword on the ground, two guys might pass by and start fighting over the item, maybe even try to kill each other, should no one be around, another guy might pick it up and ask if you don't want it anymore or a merchant might have the audacity to try and sell it back to you. Of course you kill the merchant for his insolence, which may later result in his two sons finding you in order to avenge their murdered father. That is of course only if they know that you did it, which kind of requires witnesses. Mwahaha.

I hope that this give you a better understanding of radiant story, if not, comment and ask for more.

PC Requirements - Part II

So after making a huge fool of myself and commenting, asking from what source they might've gotten these PC system requirements, I notice that the page says that they are "estimated," meaning that it is not the official specs but the anticipated ones. Giving that System Requirements in general is what they are all about over there, I'm guessing that they know what they're doing.

I post here, the estimated PC Requirements from
I believe that they are a good anticipation as to what we might expect of the real thing. Just remember that this isn't the final draft. There'll be an official update later this year, and I'll post it here immediately!

Anyway, for now I bring you the estimated:
PC - Requirements

Minimum System Requirements
* OS: Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7
* CPU: Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz or Althon X2 2.0 GHz
* RAM: 3 GB
* HDD: 15 GB
* Graphics: 512 MB card
* Sound Card: DirectX 9 Compatible
* DirectX: Version 9.0c
Recommended System Requirements
* OS: Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7
* CPU: Core 2 Quad 3 GHz
* RAM: 3 GB
* HDD: 15 GB free disk space
* Graphics: 512 MB Graphics Memory
* Sound Card: DirectX 9 Compatible
* DirectX: Version 9.0c
Supported Graphics Cards:
Minimum – 8800 GT
Recommanded – Geforce GTX 460/Radeon 5850


Most creative enemy in Oblivion? Atronachs!

Naturally, they will see a return. They're like the "elementals" of the Elder Scrolls universe. If you played Oblivion, you'll remember 3: Fire, Frost and Storm Atronachs.

In a demo from E3, we saw one of these inglorious bastards: The Frost Atronach.

A Dragon Priest rises from his grave and summons one and from the looks of it, they're bigger, badder and has more abilities, which'll prove to make combat a lot more exciting.

So far it is unknown whether we'll only see them as summonable creatures, or if they are hanging around dungeons as well, like in Oblivion.

Will we be able to summon one ourselves? To that I can only say: Hey! It's Bethesda! Of course we can!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

3D on paper

This is a small new feature, but still one of my favorites. If you recall, Oblivion featured a flat, colorless map, which were upgraded by numerous mods, because it sucked.

Skyrim will feature a fully furnished, zoom-able 3D map, with great detail.


Let the game(s) begin!!

Here are some minor details on the story in-game, in case you are the only person who have not heard yet.

As always, you start in prison. The reason for this, Todd Howard says, is that it's partly a tradition and it also makes the player instantly think up his own reason as to why there are where they are. This means that we don't know why in Skyrim either. We get to make up our own reason, which I fully endorse! Huzzah!

Greybeards rule!
Soon after the character creation, you will be lead to your execution. After a daring and heroic rescue by Esbern, your soon-to-be mentor and one of the last of The Blades, as well as an "incident with a dragon," it is revealed to you, that you are dragonborn.

Shortly thereafter, They Greybeards (Jedi masters of Skyrim,) men whom live atop the highest mountain in Skyrim, The Throat of the World, calls you to their humble home, through yelling in the wind. Once you've climbed the 7000 steps and reached the Greybeards, they teach you how to use Dragon Shouts and be badass.

After this, just roam and do whatever you damn well please.

Skills & Perks

Ah, the glorious skill systems of The Elder Scrolls - They change with every game, you know. Yet, they always seem to manage to keep the feeling of freedom around, like a fresh breath of air. In Morrowind, there were 28 skills. In Oblivion, 21. In Skyrim, we will see 18 skills.

There are some skills from the previous games, lets take the example: Oblivion, that have been removed. You won't be getting to upgrading your hand-to-hand abilities, for that has been cut off <-- That doesn't mean that you can't fight hand to hand, but there are no skill for it.

Mysticism has also been cut, but you will still be enjoying spells form this school! They have merely been transferred over into other magic schools.

Then we have Acrobatics and Athletics, which were axed for obvious reasons. Don't quite get? Feel no shame, neither did the other retar.... Guys. The developers thought that there wasn't much choice in athletics and acrobatics. You know, who makes a character who doesn't run or jump? So now we have a fixed jumping height and running speed, along with the ability to sprint.

This time around, you won't pick a Specialization or any Major, as well as Minor skills. Every skill well make you progress towards the next level, of which there are 50 by the way.

If any of you have played Fallout 3, or New Vegas, you'll instantly recognize the word: Perk. In Fallout, you got to pick a new perk, everytime you levelled up, and Skyrim will be no different. Skyrim will have 280 perks to choose from and given that there are 50 levels to progress through, we're going to be missing out on 230 perks per character we make.

The perk/skill system is as following: When you level, you pick a perk. If you want to upgrade, say your fire magic, then you pick Magic --> Destruction School --> Fire Magic.

In the fricken huge embedded picture, I show a map over the 15 confirmed skills (meaning that we're missing 3) as well as the way they branch out and known perks (which means perks that I know.) Keep in mind that it isn't completely finalized, since we don't know any more, as of yet.

I missed the magic school: Illusion.
I added Illusion

As a final detail, I'd like to mention that the skill / perk menu isn't a boring scroll-like scrren menu anymore, but you actually look to the heavens and then the star constellations are the skill trees. When you pick a perk or level up a skill, the corresponding star will appear brighter in-game. Boner!!

You can zoom out by holding CTRL and either scrolling backwards, or pressing "-"

How many books can YOU read?

There were plenty of books in Oblivion, but I think I read, like, 1. I am not aware of how many I missed out on, but I do know that a correct answer would be: plenty!

You would think that having the ability to read would give us some sort of interest in actually doing so, but no. After a bit of thinking, I'd say it would be a good idea to put on your reading glasses and heating up a cup of coffee, 'cause Skyrim will be featuring more than 300 unique books, which is completely insane!

Skyrim is an RPG, as I am sure that you already know, which is why I needn't say that the more detail the better and with having more than 300 books written, you can really see that Bethesda means business when we're talking intense roleplay.
Lots'a books!

Not planning on reading them? We'll you are going to look up a few words, I'm sure, 'cause some of the books will reveal neat things for the in-game play and story, as well as being necessary for a few quests.

The best book in Oblivion
In Oblivion, time stopped. It seriously did. As great as positive attention is, one can get kind of tired of it, when the entire world centers around oneself. Everytime you talked to someone or opened a menu and even when you: read a book, time stopped for everyone but you.

Bethesda has made sure that this does not happen again, meaning that the only actual way to pause the game is the [Esc] menu. That also counts for when you are reading, so you better find a cozy inn before you start your glorious adventure through the written words, 'cause the world will go on around you.


I seem to find them in every western RPG I play: Wolves! These snub-nosed, sharp-teethed predators hunts us everywhere we go! Oblivion was no different, except I was a little surprised to find wolves walking by themselves in Ayleid ruins.

Skyrim will also feature wolves, but with a great upgrade (apart from the visual one,) that makes them go from plane, simple and dull, to pretty damn awesome!

Instead of finding them prancing about alone, which wolves normally don't, they will most often be found in groups, just like we saw in Gothic 3 (Bugthic as I call it) and in Fable 3, which doesn't really count, 'cause everything was in groups in Fable 3.

As I've mentioned earlier, some footage and sources indicates that some enemies will move strategically, in a good ol' teamwork kind of way and it has several times been said by the developers that you can spot a pack of wolves taking down a mammoth strategically, as they would in real life. I'd say that it's fair to take off our hats and guess that when battling these creatures, we will see some realistic action.

Not only do they hang out together, but according to some E3 footage, they also have a pack leader. In the footage we can see a wolf standing a little out from the rest, running at the front, which would indicate that it is the pack leader.

It would be interesting to know if you could scare of some of the wolves if you smashed their leaders head in, but I guess we will have to wait for the game to come out, before we can find that out.

Biggest time-skip, ever! - part 2 (Wuz goin' on?)

As I said in my previous article, we are looking at a time skip covering 200 years. Also, the mere shock of the news that the Altmers had taken over the Empire, was enough to make me go Oh, Snap!!

But let us take a moment and delve into the world of The Elder Scrolls. What happened during our 200 years of absence? I can tell you that it'll have an influence on the game, 'cause not every race is as fond of each other as they were in Cyrodiil 200 years ago, which was just one big melting pot.

Right after the Oblivion Crisis, you all remember that there was no heir to the throne. Naturally this made every province see an opportunity to go in and get some real influence, by taking over the Empire (Through politics) and as you might've guessed, this gave birth to resentment and jealousy.

Not long after, the Empire begins to crumble and a lot of nations secede from it. The Mane of Elsweyr is assassinated, and the Imperial rule weakens in the provinces, and are being pushed out. Then, with less than a 1,000 men, Titus Mede marches in and takes the Imperial City by force and thus proclaims himself the new Emperor. A couple of years later, he fathers a son, whom he names Attrebus. Attrebus plays an important role in the book: "The Infernal City."

The Mages Guild (The Imperial guild from Oblivion) dissolves and splits into two different guild, the first called Synod and the other one called College of Whispers. Again--> Oh, snap!!

Red Mountain (The volcano in Morrowind) erupts and takes down most of the Island, which is of course, very, very sad.

If you read the book, you'll also learn something about Umbriel (not the moon,) a floating city with the incredible ability to turn anyone underneath it into undead! Can I get a hallelujah?!! No? .... Okay.

Anywho, I hope you enjoyed getting up to speed. I can also tell you that there have been a lot of fighting in-between nations, in spite of having the new Mede Empire established. A lot of hatred is out there, which we will definitely notice in Skyrim, as racism has its glorious return in this coming title.