#4) Hone character development and integrate some kind of class system.
The open-leveling system in Skyrim has its benefits, for sure, but sometimes limits can make a game even better. I like games that give me open development paths, but I want those paths to have some logic to them and some restrictions that provide challenges in and of themselves.
For instance, in Dragon’s Dogma you can switch your character class as you go, but depending on what you start out as, different skills and items will be open or closed to you. Indeed, that game makes a point of having you switch vocations in order to build the perfect character. If you roll as a fighter for a while, you’ll gain a skill that allows you to carry more weight, which is invaluable no matter what vocation you are.
Dark Souls also has open leveling, but depending on what class you start out as, you’ll start with different stats and items. You can morph your character into whatever you like, but that starting point affects how the game begins and guides the path you’ll most likely take.
Elder Scrolls games could remain enormously open while still giving players logical limits and restrictions, even if those are only there to overcome.
I’ve been griping about Elder Scrolls combat since Oblivion, and it hasn’t gotten any better in Skyrim even with the pretty finishing moves. For all intents and purposes, Elder Scrolls games are action-RPGs with really subpar action.
There are several ways combat could be improved in the next Elder Scrolls game:
• Utilize a lock-on mechanism. I hate swinging and just hoping I’m going to hit something. It feels awkward, and not in a good “realistic” way that might be the way actually swinging at a skeleton would feel.
• Make defense an integral part of the action. Sure, bad guys block and so can you, but there’s not really much art in it. There aren’t any bad guys that duck behind a shield and poke you with their spear. You can’t use a roll to get around them or a special move to knock back their shield. Combat is all too often developed with offense in mind. Making defense, including blocking and parrying and even disarming, a real part of an Elder Scrolls title would be fantastic.
• Improve everything from mounted combat to ranged combat. Include an option to flow automatically from third-to-first person when using a bow or crossbow.
• Make weapons matter more. How they swing or thrust or jab or black; how they feel when you’re fighting, and how they react to other weapons and armor. Make customizing these weapons an integral part not just of the building of a character, but of the combat itself.
I’ve tried the combat-improvement mods and none of them do the trick, so this one’s up to you Bethesda.