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Skyrim to Offer "Infinite Quests"

Wired spoke with Bethesda's Todd Howard about The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and he described for them how in addition to scripted quests, the Radiant quest system in the imminent RPG sequel will offer an infinite supply of procedurally generated quests. "The vibe of the game is that itís something that you can play forever," says Howard. He stresses this will not just be random chores, but rather an extension of lessons learned from development of Fallout 3, as they worked on motivating players to explore a vast game world. "With Fallout, itís not as beautiful a world to everybody. We had to find ways to make exploration of [a destroyed wasteland] interesting," he says. "The world is probably the one thing that sets [Skyrim] apart from other games. It feels really real for what it is Ö Itís just fun to explore."

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72. Re: Skyrim to Offer Nov 10, 2011, 12:45 Ratty
 
Jerykk wrote on Nov 10, 2011, 00:02:
Having a wandering NPC to interact with would be fine, but a wandering NPC adventurer would probably make for a far more interesting opponent than a quest-giver.

Weren't there a few NPC adventurers in Oblivion? I remember seeing some random dudes exploring dungeons and not attacking me. They didn't survive very long due to the level scaling but they were there.
Maybe you're thinking of OOO. I don't believe they were in vanilla Oblivion.
 
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71. Re: Skyrim to Offer Nov 10, 2011, 08:06 Beamer
 
IGN gives it a 9.5. From the review:
"In Skyrim, there's no more moon-hopping between hilltops with a maxed out Acrobatics skill."

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
 
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70. Re: Skyrim to Offer Nov 10, 2011, 00:22 Prez
 
Daggerfall was an absolutely wonderful idea. The problem with it was that a procedural game of that type was, oh, 'bout a decade or more ahead of Bethesda's ability to program it.

Agreed. This might be a case where the tech has caught up with the vision, so I'm not ready to completely dismiss it.

I don't think anyone believes procedurally generated content will be as dynamic and unpredictable as scripted content, but it's easy to believe that we might be at a point ,technically speaking, where this sort of content might add up to something more than RPG MadLibs.
 
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69. Re: Skyrim to Offer Nov 10, 2011, 00:02 Jerykk
 
Having a wandering NPC to interact with would be fine, but a wandering NPC adventurer would probably make for a far more interesting opponent than a quest-giver.

Weren't there a few NPC adventurers in Oblivion? I remember seeing some random dudes exploring dungeons and not attacking me. They didn't survive very long due to the level scaling but they were there.
 
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68. Re: Skyrim to Offer "Infinite Quests" Nov 9, 2011, 22:20 Dev
 
Whoa, this sounds cool.  
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67. Re: Skyrim to Offer Nov 9, 2011, 21:23 Pankin
 
siapnar wrote on Nov 9, 2011, 12:37:
And lol @ you're other comment

You're = you are. Always.

As in: there's never a time you're doesn't mean you are.
 
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66. Re: Skyrim to Offer Nov 9, 2011, 19:59 Kastagir
 
Mangrove wrote on Nov 9, 2011, 15:07:
Kastagir wrote on Nov 9, 2011, 13:25:
Mangrove wrote on Nov 9, 2011, 11:06:
What would make the game feel more alive to me would be bumping into other adventurers on the road. Perhaps they could use this quest system to send off woefully under equipped novice adventurers to their certain doom

I'm sure this is one of the many reasons Bethesda is not willing to make an Elder Scrolls MMO: they don't want the dicks to ruin the experience for the rest of us.

I meant NPC adventurers rather than other players. Yes I can just imagine the joy I would get seeing dozens of ADD lunatics charging everywhere screaming "Me first!", and trampling all over the flora and fauna

Ah! My bad, then.

NPC adventurers would be interesting, but wouldn't they beg the question: "what are you doing here?" Every NPC in Oblivion had a role, whether it was a guard, a worshiper, a monk, etc. Having a wandering NPC to interact with would be fine, but a wandering NPC adventurer would probably make for a far more interesting opponent than a quest-giver.

What would be cool is if you (the PC) could give quests to NPCs. It would be great to have junior members of your guild, for instance, fetch the little things you need to complete a bigger, more involved quest, allowing you to focus on the more interesting parts of the game.
 
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65. Re: Skyrim to Offer "Infinite Quests" Nov 9, 2011, 19:54 MonkeySpank
 
Umm...
Pong had infinite balls, and Tetris had infinite blocks; what's the point?
 
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64. Re: Skyrim to Offer Nov 9, 2011, 19:42 xXBatmanXx
 
venomhed wrote on Nov 9, 2011, 17:26:

"Blegh. I would much rather have a mere 20 hours of exciting, interesting content, than endless hours of generic, boring crap. IMHO, the procedural stuff was a failure in Daggerfall and I can't imagine it will fair better here"

Agreed. Bethesda has always stuck to it's guns on this and for the the ES series has grown ever so stagnant and repetitive. Very overrated in the reviews across the board.

A buddy is playing, and after 40 hours he hasn't even touched the main quests, and he is a pretty nitpicky person. He said it is a blast and exploration is a lot of fun. He is thinking 110+ hours to finish the storyline at the rate he is going since he is screwing around.
 
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63. Re: Skyrim to Offer "Infinite Quests" Nov 9, 2011, 17:26 venomhed
 

"Blegh. I would much rather have a mere 20 hours of exciting, interesting content, than endless hours of generic, boring crap. IMHO, the procedural stuff was a failure in Daggerfall and I can't imagine it will fair better here"

Agreed. Bethesda has always stuck to it's guns on this and for the the ES series has grown ever so stagnant and repetitive. Very overrated in the reviews across the board.
 
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62. Re: Skyrim to Offer Nov 9, 2011, 16:57 MisterBenn
 
It is a bit silly for them to say the quests are infinite. However I do think the randomised questing will be a positive change compared to Oblivion. The possible locations you'll be asked to visit are all hand made, the possible opponents you'll meet are hand made and the tasks you'll have to perform will be hand written too. It will only be the selection of these and the permutations for each mission that will be randomised, I don't see that will lead to a reduction in the quality of quests.

When replaying in Oblivion you know that a specific mission is going to be to go a specific house and clear the rats, or go to a specific field and collect the plants, or go to a specific cave and rescue a person etc. With the randomisation you'll won't know what specific jobs you'll be asked to do... it should make a big improvement to replayability, particularly in modders' hands.
 
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61. Re: Skyrim to Offer Nov 9, 2011, 16:54 Deathhead
 
Having played through for about 20 hours or so on the Xbox its pretty clear how this works (at least for kill quests). I've gone to several stewards for the Jarl's and they give you quests such as "bandits have taken over X, go clear them out for a reward"
So far these have all been for places I have not gone to yet. I've done a couple of them, its fun to go on a little dungeon crawl every now and then
 
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60. Re: Skyrim to Offer Nov 9, 2011, 16:35 shponglefan
 
Blegh. I would much rather have a mere 20 hours of exciting, interesting content, than endless hours of generic, boring crap. IMHO, the procedural stuff was a failure in Daggerfall and I can't imagine it will fair better here.  
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59. Re: Skyrim to Offer Nov 9, 2011, 16:19 Mashiki Amiketo
 
Creston wrote on Nov 9, 2011, 15:51:
I didn't feel like doing the math.
Creston
Ahahaha

Well it's still a very long 1dayish and change. I've got it moved over to my SSD all shiny and waiting. Bah.
 
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58. Re: Skyrim to Offer "Infinite Quests" Nov 9, 2011, 16:03 Silicon Avatar
 
There are a lot of games based around randomly generated quests and content. It's not necessarily bad.  
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57. Re: Skyrim to Offer "Infinite Quests" Nov 9, 2011, 15:57 Verno
 
You can use an Australian VPN, set steam to offline mode then play tomorrow morning if you just can't wait btw. There are no penalties for doing so and you can just log back into Steam on the official release day.  
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56. Re: Skyrim to Offer Nov 9, 2011, 15:54 theyarecomingforyou
 
Pineapple Ferguson wrote on Nov 9, 2011, 13:08:
Why would anyone be excited about this? Sounds like a lazy way to make up for a lack of content. And I do agree that it seems fishy that they announce it just now, so close to release date. Definitely reminds me of the Radiant AI about face. Oh well.. this title, is a wait and see for me anyway.
I disagree. While there needs to be some consistency I also feel that games should often an element of gameplay that changes with each playthrough. I remember talking to my brother about The Witcher 2 and because there are significant story branches we ended up with completely different experiences, which really impressed me - it was hilarious when he mentioned a plot point and I was like "what are you talking about?" or "no, that's not what happened".

Personally I think it should go further and there should be changes to the environment (starting in different seasons), the landscape (buildings in different locations; blocked roads), character disposition (friendly one playthrough; contemptuous another), time period (dragons for one; sci-fi/spaceships for another), start location, world politics and objectives (perhaps one time you're trying to stop a plague; another you're trying to solve a murder). The trick will be to ensure enough consistency and a substantial enough experience for people to enjoy. I can only imagine what will be possible in the future but right now games are too limited. Randomised quests is a step in the right direction but we'll have to see how substantial and worthwhile they actually are here.
 
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55. Re: Skyrim to Offer Nov 9, 2011, 15:51 Creston
 
Mashiki Amiketo wrote on Nov 9, 2011, 15:37:
Creston wrote on Nov 9, 2011, 14:16:
Procedurally generated quests is not really interesting to me. I'd rather just have ~50 well written quests that are fun to replay.

Anyway, 2 days left. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Creston
I see 1 day 9hrs in my case.

I didn't feel like doing the math.

Creston
 
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54. Re: Skyrim to Offer Nov 9, 2011, 15:37 Mashiki Amiketo
 
Creston wrote on Nov 9, 2011, 14:16:
Procedurally generated quests is not really interesting to me. I'd rather just have ~50 well written quests that are fun to replay.

Anyway, 2 days left. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Creston
I see 1 day 9hrs in my case.
 
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and it is always wrong."
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53. Play it, then judge it Nov 9, 2011, 15:32 LittleMe
 
Lets see how it plays, then we'll know if it sucks or not. I have some confidence in Bethsoft.  
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