Not long after the release of the beloved game Skyrim in late 2011, many fans of The Elder Scrolls series began to speculate on what The Elder Scrolls VI could look like. Fast forward ten years, and…they’re still speculating. It almost feels like the game will never come out, but we know that that isn’t true.
While we don’t know much, there are a few key things we know about the game. In this article, we’ve compiled everything we know about The Elder Scrolls VI. We’ve also put together a list of five features we’d like to see in the game (when it finally releases).
Let’s get started!
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Everything We Know About The Elder Scrolls VI
We’ll begin with everything we know about The Elder Scrolls VI.
Release will come after Starfield
The first and most obvious piece of information regarding The Elder Scrolls VI is that the game will be released after Starfield. Bethesda has come out and said that their current plan for releasing games is Starfield > The Elder Scrolls VI > Fallout 5, in that order. This makes sense, considering Starfield is their newest IP and they haven’t released an Elder Scrolls game in eleven years.
Starfield is currently set for a release date sometime in 2023. I think it’s safe to assume that their next game will release in about 4–5 years from that date, perhaps longer if there are any internal delays. That means we can expect a new Elder Scrolls game to drop sometime around the year 2027 or 2028.
Hopefully I’m wrong, however. It’s been such a terribly long time since Skyrim was released, and I can’t imagine fans of The Elder Scrolls are happy to wait another handful of years for the next installment in their favorite franchise. Not to mention, the longer it takes The Elder Scrolls VI to come out, the longer it will take Fallout 5 to release!
The Elder Scrolls VI will be exclusive to Xbox & PC
Pete Hines is quoted as saying, “…this is about delivering great exclusive games for you that ship on platforms where Game Pass exists. That’s our goal, that’s why we’re doing this, that’s the root of this partnership that we’re building.” This comes in response to the recent acquisition of Bethesda by Microsoft.
With this in mind, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that all future Bethesda titles will be exclusive to the Microsoft ecosystem. This covers Xbox consoles and PCs that run Windows, but as far as PlayStation is concerned?
I’m not so sure we’ll be able to play the next Elder Scrolls game on PS5. We hope it won’t be exclusive, but you don’t just pay 7.5 billion dollars for a company and not make their games exclusive to your platform. It might be time to pick up an Xbox or build a PC.
The game is currently in pre-production
Our lord and savior Todd Howard once confirmed that The Elder Scrolls VI is currently in pre-production at Bethesda. This is really great news! Well, kinda. On one hand, it means the game is definitely being made. But on the other hand, pre-production is basically the first stage of developing a game. This means it’ll likely be a very long time before this new game finally becomes finished (or even playable).
So what even is pre-production, anyway? Pre-production takes is essentially the “planning and design” phase of game development. The developers get together and begin discussing their game and what they want to do with it. It is a needed part of the process that allows developers to get a clear idea of what they want their game to become.
While it may be a bit discouraging to hear that the game is in such an early stage of development, don’t let it get you down. It’s a necessary part of the process that’s required to make the game the best it can possibly be! According to leaks, Bethesda has “learned their lesson” when it came to the mistakes of past games. This means they’re likely taking steps to make sure they deliver a game fans will love.
The game will (probably) be set in Hammerfell
Ever since the very first reveal trailer for the game was shown off back in 2018 during an E3 conference, many fans have been convinced that the game will take place in Hammerfell. This is due to the environment that was shown off at said reveal trailer. Rather then a frozen forest covered in Nordic ruins, it was a vast and expansive landscape with ruined castles and rocky terrain.
This led many players to theorize that the game will be taking place in a part of Tamriel called Hammerfell, with some parts of the game possibly taking place in High Rock. Hammerfell is located to the southwest of Skyrim. This location is the homeland of a race called the Redguards, who are one several playable races in The Elder Scrolls V.
As for what we can hope to see in Hammerfell, there are a few different things we can expect. The nation features desert terrain and grasslands as some of its biomes. There are also mountain ranges similar to Skyrim. Hammerfell is not a part of the Empire, meaning that we’ll be leaving the civil war behind for good. It will be interesting to see what new factions Bethesda has in store for us…
5 Things We Want to See from The Elder Scrolls VI
Now let’s touch on what we would like to see in the next installment of The Elder Scrolls series.
1. More Complex Character Creation
As much as I loved the character creation menu in Skyrim, I can’t help but feel it should have been more complex. It was a good enough character creator — you could choose your race and physical appearance, among several other things. But honestly, I liked Oblivion’s character maker a lot more. It felt more in-depth and better suited for an RPG like The Elder Scrolls.
Considering how great Starfield’s character creator looks, I think it’s reasonable to assume we’ll be getting a more fleshed-out system in the next Elder Scrolls game. It would be great if you could pick and choose your background, and you could get positive and negative consequences for it. Maybe you were a former slave, and now have increased strength as a result, but start the game with less money?
It would also be really cool if they could bring back the class system. You should still have the option to create your own class, but it would be nice for those looking for a more complex RPG experience. As for cosmetics, it would be really nice if we had options for scars and battle wounds. Maybe these could tie into the backgrounds somehow?
2. Better Combat
It’s no secret that the combat in Skyrim is pretty basic. All it really is is a matter of spamming the attack button. I would love if they could overhaul the combat — specifically melee gameplay — a bit to be more engaging. You can kind of parry in Skyrim, but it’s not a true parry like other action games. Being able to parry someone and follow it up with a critical hit would be amazing.
I would also like to see improvements to ranged and casting combat as well. I’m not sure what exactly they could do to improve it, besides just making it less clunky and more fluid. Fallout 4’s combat was a big improvement from Fallout 3’s, so if all we get is a change in that same vein, it’s cool with me. I just want something that doesn’t feel like it was made in 2011.
One really great way to improve combat would be to intensify the gore and blood in the game. Action games that let you slice off limbs are always very satisfying to play. There already is plenty of gore in Skyrim, but with improved graphics and physics, you could make something really impressive and satisfying to watch.
3. Less Questmarkers
As much as I love open-world games, I really hate how hand-holdy they’ve become in recent years. There is always a mini-map with a marker leading you right to your destination. There’s not enough in recent open world games to encourage you to engage with the world at large and to pay attention to the things around you.
Morrowind did a great job of encouraging players to engage with the world. You would have to rely on landmarks and signs to point you in the right direction and orient yourself properly. This made exploration much more rewarding and satisfying, and it’s something I think that The Elder Scrolls VI should try to emulate when it releases in the future.
In certain open-world games, having the mini-map and quest markers turned off causes NPCs to give the player more specific directions. This encourages players to pay more attention to dialogue and NPCs. Of course, some people will be understandably frustrated by such a system. So I think it only makes sense that you would have the option to toggle quest markers on and off.
4. More Choice & Consequence
Remember that quest in Whiterun where you need to help fix a dying Gildergreen tree? Once you complete the quest, the old dead tree is replaced with a young and healthy new tree. That was really cool, especially seeing it for the first time. I love it when the world physically changes when the player does something, and it makes your choices have more weight.
This is something that Bethesda should double down on in the next installment. There should be more ways of giving the player consequences, and parts of the world should physically change based on their actions. Maybe if you kill enough bandits in a certain area, your chances of getting mugged by them will drop significantly and NPCs will comment on how safe things have become?
Of course, choice and consequence have always been a thing in Elder Scrolls games, but it’s something that should be doubled downed on in the next entry. There are many, many different ways to make the player feel like their actions have consequences. And with all the new technology and resources Bethesda has access to, I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us!
5. Expanded Factions
Last but certainly not least in our article for the things we want to see in The Elder Scrolls VI, we should be getting expanded factions.
Factions should be much larger, with more NPCs to talk to and more quests to complete. We should be able to see large-scale battles happen randomly in the open world. We should be able to participate in those battles to help our respective factions.
Not only that, but there should be ways to influence the ideology of the faction. We should have multiple different NPCs we can side with who have their own ideas on how the faction should be run, like in Fallout: New Vegas. We could side with Cesear or kill him off to let Legate Lanius take over. This led to a darker, more brutal ending for the Legion, which was cool to watch.
I also want there to be more complex side factions that could interact with each other in meaningful ways. You should be able to join a bandit clan and help them take over their local region. Maybe once you grow large enough, a mercenary faction would be hired to take you out. Then you would be locked out from doing that faction’s questline. That way you could take the fight to them and wipe them out!
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