Every new game in the Elder Scrolls series has introduced new and interesting gameplay mechanics and systems to the series. Having played each of Bethesda’s games released since Morrowind I believe that there are some gameplay improvements that can be made and some new additions that would be welcomed by myself and other fans of this great series of games including some influenced by Bethesda’s other big sandbox RPG franchise Fallout.
Here is my wish list for gameplay changes and enhancements I want to see in The Elder Scrolls VI:
Due to the size of this post I have split it up into multiple pages, one page per subject.
Better settlement building.
The most enjoyable part of Fallout 4 was the settlement building. Creating towns and supply lines to defend the wasteland, store your junk, upgrade items and make a stockpile of money. Placing walls and floors in first person trying to build a shack works but it’s far from perfect, a system that expands upon Fallout 4’s implementation combined with elements of Skyrim’s Hearthfire DLC could be a better alternative.
For example, when inside the borders of a settlement the player can enter build mode, once the build mode is active there will be plots available for the player to build in. Instead of placing the items manually the player will select from a list of buildings and choose the one that they wish to build in that plot. The number of plots available and the types of plots available will vary with each settlement.
Some settlements should have exclusive building types based on their location in the world or their unique terrain. Some unique plots could allow for watermills near rivers or windmills on hills. Small plots can hold small houses and shops while medium and large plots can hold larger houses and shops, barracks, farms and other utility buildings.
Building a house should not be instantaneous though and the player is going to need help to construct larger buildings, Time should pass while a building is under construction allowing for a more immersive passage of time whilst building your home. Once a town starts to grow in size and population more option should become available to the player such as new building types, new jobs for settlers and new threats to the peace and security of your settlement.
Threats can be countered with more advanced defences such as moats, walls, archers and guards, these defences will require dedicated settlers to maintain them or to perform the duty of taking up a sword in defence of one’s home. These settlers aren’t going to work for free though, they must be paid somehow, gold will satisfy most but specialists and veterans may require more than just coin for their services.
Settlers should have names and specialties, Nords for example should have Nord names and are likely to be mighty warriors but that may not always be the case. Each settler should be unique enough for the player to care about them. Perhaps some will have a backstory that the player can learn more about as a trust forms between the two characters.
The player’s affiliation with factions should make new types of buildings, defences and resources will be available to particular settlements. Friendly and allied factions may decide to defend or trade with the player’s settlements whilst enemy factions may try to pillage and lay siege to them.
Some settlements should provide unique or rare resources that are hard to come by, these can be traded with other settlements under the players control or trade them for money and supplies to non-controlled settlements. A more in-depth game economy could develop from a resource and supply chain system. In previous Elder Scrolls titles the player has the option to purchase property inside cities such as houses and manors, this option should still exist for players that don’t want to concern themselves with playing mayor or just want a private location to store all their junk without tying it to a management mini game.