What We Want From Skyrim DLC
Skyrim is one of the biggest and most time-consuming single-player games of this generation, but that doesn't mean gamers aren't ready to return to Tamriel's snow-capped region for more adventures. Bethesda has a history of providing great DLC support for its epic RPGs, and we're guessing Skyrim will be no different. Here is what the Game Informer staff would like to see from Skyrim's post-release content.
We'd love to see a new guild or group storyline added into the mix – one that mixes many of the talents learned in earlier story threads. Each of the existing guilds offered its own fun style of interaction with the world, from the stealth of the Thieves Guild to the dark secrets behind the Companions. A new sect could delve into the fight against the Thalmor/Aldmeri Dominion, and their efforts to control Skyrim. It's one significant thread that remains open as the main story of Skyrim concludes: The Resistance Fighters.
After the uproar of the Skyrim Civil War, and the unrest caused by the return of the dragons, the entire land of the Nords is ripe for the picking by the elves of the Aldmeri Dominion. With ties to the Empire strained, there are many in Skyrim ready to work with the Thalmor, and the clever elves strike quickly to solidify power. Only the Dragonborn has the power and acclaim needed to unite the disparate holds and guilds to fight back against the insidious infiltration and takeover.
Mixing the need for stealth and subterfuge in the early days of the Resistance, political conflict as the player tries to elicit help from outside sources like the Empire, and epic battles against the Thalmor aggressors, the Resistance Fighters storyline could be just what players need as an excuse to return to Skryim.
Instead of offering unreliable AI companions, why not let us enlist the help of a friend? We'd much rather explore the vast countryside and battle through dangerous dungeons with a competent sidekick. Supporting co-op is no easy task, so the likelihood of this addition is weak, but just imagine the possibilities. We've already sunk countless hours into Skyrim, but allowing us to combine spells, perform simultaneous stealth kills, and take on the entire city watch with a friend would easily convince us to return.
Once you've revealed sections of a map, running across the familiar countryside to your next destination sucks. You know what doesn't suck? Decapitating bandits from horseback along the way. Horse combat could reinvigorate otherwise boring sojourns and convince gamers to forgo fast travel to immerse themselves in the world.
The Dragonborn's visit to Sovngarde in the main campaign is brief, leaving room for more adventures in this legendary location. The ethereal nature of the realm opens up new possibilities for surreal surroundings, providing a change of pace from the typical caves, marshes, and mountaintops. Best of all, the coolest heroes from Skyrim's history are just hanging around; who wouldn't jump at the chance to vanquish some evil spirits with Jurgen Windcaller or High King Torygg?
Astute gamers identified uncharted regions of the map that appear to be Morrowind and Cyrodiil. Could these be the settings for the Skyrim DLC? Encouraging gamers to take a trip down memory lane would be a smart way to approach DLC, and it would give newcomers the option of seeing these continents for the first time. If Bethesda opts against such an ambitious DLC approach, we'd be content with a new region to explore like the Shivering Isles.
More Enchanting/Smithing Options
Like everyone else, we used enchanting and smithing as a cheap way to level our characters outside of battle – sometimes to the detriment of Skyrim's citizens. What's that, you say? A dragon is laying waste to your undefended village, and only a Dragonborn can help you? Sure thing – right after we buy as many steel ingots as we can carry, drag them to the blacksmith to create an asinine amount of daggers, then drag the daggers up to Dragonsreach to enchant them. Then we'll help. After we head back to the merchant to sell them all, of course.
That said, we'd love to see more options for creating and enchanting armor and weapons. How about adding variations on items based on what materials you use to create them? Or custom shapes and engravings to differentiate your new weapon from the other dozen copies you plan to sell?
Most enchantments boil down to statistical improvements in well-worn categories: boost defense, increase fire damage, etc. We'd like to be able to enchant items with more unique abilities, like the ones you unlock in the skill trees. Surprise us with some creative new enchantments that will make us actually want to use the items we create, instead of just selling them off for more gold.
Call us old-fashioned, but we miss having the ability to create our own spells. A spell-crafting system would be a welcome addition to DLC, and would allow players to decide for themselves what ratio of magicka cost/spell effectiveness is acceptable for their style of play. Forget balance: let us craft a fire spell that creates a nuclear-sized explosion at the cost of our entire MP bar, or a candlelight spell that lasts a ridiculously long time. Throw in some new spells types too, so those of us who have maxed out a school of magic have a reason to return to it.
At this year's DICE, Todd Howard teased a number of additions to Skyrim that the team dreamt up during a week of brainstorming. Many of these things will likely never see the light of day, but we couldn't help getting excited by one possibility: dragon mounts.
Sure, being able to ride a dragon would probably ruin the game, and make getting around Skyrim's massive countryside way too easy. We don't care. Most players have already spent a hundred hours exploring the land on foot and use fast travel anyway. Hitching a ride on the back of a dragon would at least keep them in the game world, instead of traveling via a load screen.
Dragon mounts could also require you to capture a dragon before using it for transportation, which could lead to some interesting gameplay scenarios – and be the perfect excuse to revamp dragon combat for something a little less exploitable.
Ever since modders added Kinect support to the PC version of Skyrim, we've wanted this to be a real thing. Not only would actually shouting dragon shouts be entertaining, but we'd love to use voice commands to equip spells and weapons without having to open a menu. Bethesda could take another page from BioWare's handbook and add a quick save voice command too. If nothing else, we just want to be able to yell, "Shut up!" at guards who start complaining about their old adventuring-related injuries.
More Hot-Buttoned Abilities
Some folks may think this should be included in an update but we don't care. At this point we'll buy anything in order to have more hot-buttoned abilities. We don't mind if we have to explore to some old Nord ruins and fight a bipedal skeever karate master to uncover the Sacred Power Wheel of Antioch. All we want is to map a couple more abilities to the D-pad. Give us a way to quickly throw on our lockpick-boosting boots or equip a stoneward spell. Scrolling through a crowded quick menu to get from bound sword to steadfast ward takes far too long. Better yet, Bethesda could borrow yet another page from fellow RPG mastermind BioWare and give players the option to equip an ability wheel like in Mass Effect 3.
What kind of DLC do you want for Skyrim? Share your ideas in the comments section below!