Skyrim Answers from Bethesda!!

SKYRIM Questions answered for our NERD TREK readers at PAX Prime 2011:

Our time with Bethesda was limited so we couldn’t ask every question you submitted, but I think we did a pretty good job.   One of the guys from Bethesda told us that ours were the best string of questions by one media outlet he’s ever heard.  I credited the NERD TREK readers and he said he was very impressed.  Great job guys!  Here you go:

Toney asked: Will there be Daedric Shrine quests?
This question opened a can of worms.  Matt Carofano said that they have intentionally avoided confirming or denying this.  He said that they have NOT really talked about it yet.  Since the press demo we played had an Easter Egg of a Daedric reference in it, he sighed and said that since we were aware and asked him on the spot, he’ll go ahead and tell us:  YES!  There is involvement with “The Prince” and challenges along the way that should satisfy the Daedric fans.

xBUMMx wanted: Clarification on the hand-to-hand matter, lethal or not?
Murder Death Kill, people aren’t just getting knocked out by fists, you can beat them to death in this one.

Ploppy asked about armor degradation being a possibility or gone for good…
Matt said it is a POSSIBILITY, but not a probability.  The focus in this area is on Smithing as a skill.  You’ll be able to modify items.  I’ll elaborate on Smithing soon*

Matt had 2 good questions:
When given the opportunity, will we be given the chance to turn down being the Guildmaster?
The answer is No.
Will being Guildmaster be more rewarding than in Oblivion?
Yes, previously you were done with an area of play once you become a Guildmaster, but in Skyrim you will be able to continue with specific guild gameplay after becoming the head of a guild.

Corby asked: Will dragons be able to utilize every shout that the player can?
Short answer: No.  Long answer: The shouts are the language of the dragons.  Many dragons for many years have used many different shouts.  It is possible to assume that every shout has been used in the past by a dragon, however during the game, the dragons only use certain shouts that make sense for the situations.  They are incredibly intelligent AI creatures that use what is appropriate.  Some shouts don’t make sense for dragons to use in this game and won’t be used.  WE get to learn and use them though.  Not all of the shouts are released yet, they are keeping some secret for now…

Brett asked: Can you summon more than ONE creature (at once) with Conjuration?
Conjuration has it’s own skill tree.  You start off only able to summon ONE.  Eventually you WILL be able summon up to TWO Atronachs or Reanimated Zombies though.

Khalid asked:  Where can we safely store our loot?
In our personal houses.

The General asked: Can we dye our armor or clothing?
The answer: No.

Luke asked: Does Skyrim boast an array of underwater content…  Also, how many species of underwater critters are there?
Yes, you will be able to explore and interact with an underwater environment.  There are “fish and stuff” you can find.  There are ingredients to collect and although the underwater section is a small part of the game, you can knock your self out exploring if you like.  Matt likes the barnacles.

Ray Johnson, you want to know about the pickpocketing skill?  Prepare yourself because I took care of you and I expect your mind to be blown…

The entire pickpocketing skill tree list (Seriously):

Light Fingers (0/5)
Pickpocketing bonus of 20% – Item weight and value reduce pickpocketing odds…
Night Thief
Pickpocketing sleeping people almost always works…
Poisoned
Place poisons in other people’s pockets silently to harm or kill…
Cutpurse
Pickpocketing gold is 50% easier…
Extra Pockets
Carrying capacity is increased by 100…
Keymaster
Pickpocketing keys always works…
Misdirections
You can pickpocket equipped weapons…
Perfect Touch
You can pickpocket equipped items…

Steve asked: From what we’ve seen, dragons behave like animals, but will they use tactics and strategy with the terrain and dragon shouts?
Short: Yes.
Long:  Dragons ARE an intelligent race.  They provide a nice challenge to the player and it is rewarding to successfully kill them.  Dragons use the shouts that suit them and interact with (and are affected by) the situations and environments they are in at the time.

Hey “ThatNeonSquirrel” (SQUIRREL!!)…  Can we enchant arrows?
You can enchant bows, which affect the arrows shot from them, so even though you can’t enchant the individual arrows, you should have the enchanted range attack that most people want.  I hope that’s ok.  Pete and the Bethesda team are sorry they can’t respond to everything, it’s crunch time for them.

Jadis232 asked if we can use finisher moves wielding MAGIC like we can with melee weapons…
No, we don’t have special magic finisher moves, but you can combo using magic to deal damage and finishing with a weapon.

Ward…  Any love for the lefties?!
Much love for the lefties!  We at NerdTrek love nerds, we love weirdos, we really love nerdy weirdos!!  You CAN wield a weapon in your left hand and a shield in your right, but the opposite is default as usual.  I’m sure you’ll be able to figure out the lefty wielding on 11-11-11, but you must be deliberate in your choice.

*Smithing elaboration: Caleb, you’re getting the entire Smithing skill tree:

Steel Smithing
Create Steel armor and weapons at forges. Improve by double.
Arcane Blacksmith
Improve magical weapons and armor.
Dwarven Smithing
Create Dwarven armor and weapons at forges. Improve by double.
Elven Smithing
Create Elven armor and weapons at forges. Improve by double.
Orcish Smithing
Create Orcish armor and weapons at forges. Improve by double.
Advanced Armors
Create scaled and plate armor at forges. Improve by double.
Glass Smithing
Create glass armor and weapons at forges. Improve by double.
Daedric Smithing
Create Daedric armor and weapons at forges. Improve by double.
Ebony Smithing
Create Ebony armor and weapons at forges. Improve by double.
Dragon Smithing
Create Dragon armor and weapons at forges. Improve by double.
You can collect dragon bone and other parts to make really powerful armor and weapons using this skill, it sounds amazing.  Matt was pumped about it and I trust his judgment.

Rexx, the team does not have plans to release a Skyrim soundtrack, however I told them “Rexx will buy one if you release it,” not to mention many other people that will buy it.  It should be easy to put together some music and upload it to iTunes AT LEAST, so I asked them to.  The guys were extremely polite and said they would consider it.  Cross your fingers!

Sarah Donner, come with me if you want to…  know the answer to your questions…
Applying upgrades, as in smithing weapons and armor to be improved will not change the appearance.  Enchanting them will make them glow but you’re not looking at customization of appearance.
Why did they remove spell-making?
Because…  The team worked really hard on creating unique spells.  The magic system has been completely revamped and MUCH improved.  They want us to focus on our immersion into the world of Skyrim.  Matt is confident that you will have a great time using magic in this game.

Mike, your question about marriage ended up yielding some fantastic feedback!
There are hundreds of people that you CAN marry, if they want to marry you.  They can become your companion.  Having a companion offers awesome perks.  Your wife can fight by your side, helping you attack or defend.  She can carry stuff for you increasing your inventory capacity.  She can cook for you once a day increasing your health.  There are many “Lovers’ bonuses” available.  Possibly the BEST thing: you can delegate tasks and send your followers to do things for you, such as attack, collect food, buy weapons, and more…  Unfortunately for you there are no “brown-chicken brown-cow” relationship animations.

Sabre asked: Will the persuasion system be revamped?
Answer:  “Elements of it will be better.”

Michael asked.  Can we play instruments for money?!
No, but you can go to a tavern and pay for a NPC to play an instrument for you.  Further, you can tip them to play special requested songs for you!  I seriously doubt it’s in the game, but I expect characters to be hanging out in the back of a tavern while someone yells “Free Bird!” (shoot, I’ll do it from my couch, even if my wife asks me why I’m yelling “Free Bird!” at Skyrim for what must seem like no reason to her…)

Ricardo asks: Will we be able to sail or at least board ships?
Nope.
How about being able to use portable bedrolls to sleep in the wilderness?
You can sleep in the woods but there are no portable bedrolls.  Part of the game’s experience is finding a bed to get fully rested.  Sleeping like a camping trip is possible, but it will yield less benefits compared to sleeping at home and/or in bed.  Possibly with your in-game spouse?

Khalid Yassin asks: Will there be . . .  Bananas?
No joke, the Devs gave it some serious consideration.  The team debated many foods, however the age old topic of appropriate climate and environment kept coming up…  It is way too cold in Skyrim to grow something tropical like a banana.  Some Devs would really want to include a food item and others would fiercely debate how unrealistic it would be to include that piece of food.  The attention to detail is phenomenal.

The only question that Matt Carofano smiled at with a resounding “No comment!” was Gyrhjörn’s question about Lycans (Werewolves) being in the game.  It was the last question I asked and he had gone above and beyond by that point.

I hope we’ve been helpful!  Thanks everyone for such great questions and impressing THE guys that are putting out what looks like a lock for Game of the Year…

Jerry Loveless

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