Seven Ways to Expand Skyrim

IGN has penned yet another editorial that deals with Bethesda's critically acclaimed fifth chapter in the open-world fantasy franchise The Elder Scrolls, Skyrim, and this time they're focusing specifically on ways the developer can expand on the title with downloadable content. Here are two of their "seven ways":
Expanded Skill Trees

There are lots of ways to burn, slice and decapitate enemies in Skyrim. So naturally, even more options would be welcome. Those Dragon Priests aren't simply going to hand over their ancient relics, after all. So for those who truly specialized while building their Dovahkiin, who unlocked the paralyzing backpedaling power attack for two-handed weapons, wouldn't it be nice to have a few extra moves in combat? For instance, the ability to hack off limbs, not just heads. Possibly some kind of reckless jump attack or a weapon throw. For spellcasters, what if the abilities went beyond duel casting identical spells? What if you could mix element types, weaving frost and shock to devastating effect? Maybe a dual-casted sword summon could yield a visually distinct, more powerful version of the standard conjured blade, or Atronach types could be fused together into truly unholy engines of destruction. I'm sure archers would appreciate being able to notch three arrows simultaneously instead of one.


For the Crafters

You can make armor and weapons in Skyrim, improve their stats and, if you're into Enchanting, apply magical properties. But there's always room for more. Crafted spells, for instance, could make a return, though perhaps in a way that doesn't completely break the game. An ability to apply custom color schemes to armor might be interesting for the console crowd without access to mods, or might infuriate the artists that spent weeks or months fine tuning every bronze plate of the Dwarven set. Bethesda could also incorporate another role-playing game staple socketing so something more interesting can finally be done with that colossal stack of Amethyst. If socketing were built into the crafting system, it'd have to be with a distinct Elder Scrolls twist. For example, the socketable gems would quickly lose their magical charge, making them useful for only a handful of fights before needing a recharge. Bethesda could even include an optional mini-game where armor and weapons were laid out on a table and you could pound the individual gems into the carved sockets. I know that might be a little too nerdy a desire, but I figure in a game that lets you examine every angle of a hunk of salmon, it's at least possible.