The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Previews and Interview Tidbits

We have rounded up some more coverage for Bethesda's highly anticipated sequel to Oblivion and fifth installment in The Elder Scrolls franchise, Skyrim, starting with this preview for RipTen's Dave Oshry, who details his Skyrim's journey in eight pages:
As we pushed north, we took it upon ourselves to clear out a bandit camp we'd found along the way. Between my fiery death and Faendal's precision archery, we made quick work of the entire camp and soon we were literally both over-encumbered with mediocre loot! I even found a flute, but there was no way for me to play it. What a shame, I was going to play Aqualung.

I took this as an opportunity to check out Faendal's equipment. Seeing as I was now level 6 and he had been using the same gear I found him in at level one. What a shitty companion I was. I undressed him in the least sexy way possible and threw all his loot on the ground. Since there doesn't seem to be a away to equip your companions in specific gear, I put the best leathery armors I could find in his inventory first and he equipped them. The same went for his bow. I also gave him an axe for some reason. I figured he'd like it. I then exited out and went back into his inventory and loaded him up with a bunch of other crap I would eventually sell. That's what bethesda companions are for anyway, right?

Faendal's new outfit consisted of leather boots, leather pants and some (barely there) chest armor that honestly made it look as if he was on his way to some sort of kinky Elven bondage party. Apparently this kinky garb made for better armor, but I'll be damned if I see how. He looked silly and I could tell he wasn't thrilled about it. I also outfitted myself with the best gear I could find as we prepared to press onward to Winterhold.

Now, maybe I'm wrong, but once again I can't express how frustrating this whole companion equipment system is. If I can issue basic tactical commands and gear preferences to my companions in New Vegas, why the hell can't I do it in Skyrim. It's an annoying and cumbersome system and I don't fucking like it. Fix it, fit it now. If you don't then. well, then I'll just make a mod that does! :-p

IGN describes the beginnings of the Dark Brotherhood's questline so, of course, spoilers abound:
Nightime. Alone. Snow crunching underboot, winter gnashing its teeth in swells through the thick air. I'm not hunting dragons or chasing butterflies, I'm tracking a guild of killers - Skyrim's Dark Brotherhood - across a continent.

Heading up through a set of frozen peaks, I smell blood. I pause the game for a moment and turn on The Sword's "Gods of the Earth". Much better.

A shortcut through Bleak Falls Barrow turns savage as I engage bandits, goring them atop an ancient stone shrine like Rasputin gone feral in a Frank Frazetta painting come to life. I heave billows of hot breath into the screaming wind after the kill, picking through their armor and weapons for worthy spoils. The sentries had stood guard over a giant set of doors at the base of the structure, which ostensibly leads to a dungeon. I don't investigate, moving on. I'm on a grave mission, after all.

Finally, PC Gamer posts some more snippets from its interview with Todd Howard, this time about dragons:
(You have to do a little bit of the main quest just the initial stuff for the Dragons to really start appearing, because it sits in with the story,) says Howard. (After that point, the more of the main quest you do, the more Dragons you'll run into. But it's hard to quantify it, they appear every once in a while. Not at a rate that is annoying. it still feels special.)

(It's hard to know how people will play the game and it's a little bit random, so I don't want to say if it's once an hour or.)

What about those who decide to ignore the main quest and start exploring the world by themselves? Howard says that if players (don't want to proceed in the main quest, they're not going to get spammed with dragons.)