Skyrim DLC – What Can We Expect?
By now there are many of us who have poured hundreds of hours into Skyrim, and even some who have 100% completed the game. The question on everyone’s lips is when is Bethesda going to release Skyrim DLC that will expand the experience beyond the borders of Skyrim’s Northern province?
Todd Howard, Skyrim game director, recently spoke to Joystick at the Spike VGAs on the subject of Skyrim DLC, saying that it will be focused on, “ways to make the game better, not just have more, because the game is so big. We’re going through ideas right now, and processing everything people are doing in the game, and trying to think of ways that we can improve it.” Howard went on to confirm that there will be multiple DLC releases for Skyrim, but that they, ” don’t have a timetable. They won’t be quick, and they’ll have a lot of meat on them.”
It’s not the first time that Howard had discussed the possibility of Skyrim DLC. Earlier in the year he confirmed that Skyrim will have fewer DLC add-ons than Fallout 3, but that they will be “more substantial” and that Bethesda wants them “to be closer to an expansion pack feel.” The only other information we know for certain is that the first two bits of Skyrim DLC will be timed exclusives for Xbox 360, and won’t appear on another machine for 30 days.
What can we reasonably expect from Skyrim DLC? Early speculation suggests that the first DLC packs released could take us back to the realms of Morrowind or Cyrodiil, the locations of the Elder Scrolls III and IV respectively. There is some evidence supporting this possibility. One Skyrim player who was wandering around Stendarr’s Beacon – a location in Skyrim that lies on the border of Morrowind – stumbled across an invisible wall which, in using some technical wizardry, he managed to penetrate. On the other side he found low resolution models of Morrowind’s Vvardenfell and Solstheim and Cyrodiil’s Imperial City, which incited rumours that the first expansions/DLC to Skyrim will take you back to these locations. It’s a great concept – we’d love to revisit Cyrodiil and see just how much it has changed since we cast Mehrunes Dagon back into Oblivion.
Todd Howard has certainly mused over the possibility of returning to past locations. “I’d like to see the city of Daggerfall redone, or Sentinel,” he said in an interview, referring to locations in The Elder Scrolls II. “Daggerfall should be a on a giant bluff, overlooking the Iliac Bay, and we just couldn’t pull it off well then.”
Other potential locations could come in the form of the Daedric world, which doesn’t feature in Skyrim – or at least, we personally haven’t encountered it in our travels. The excursions to the Daedric planes through Oblivion Gates in The Elder Scrolls IV were regarded by some of the worst parts of that game, but in returning to them through Skyrim DLC Bethesda could find ways to make the Daedric plane feel more diverse and interesting to explore.
More outlandish missions such as that encountered in Oblivion DLC Shivering Isles or in quests like A Brush With Death would also be welcome. Skyrim, for the most part, stays grounded in reality, but it would be fun to take on more quests that play on the fact Skyrim does indeed take place in a magical world of different dimensions and planes of existence. Bethesda could deliver some truly stunning and imaginative DLC in toying with that aspect of the game world.
As for smaller features, there’s every chance that in any upcoming Skyrim DLC Bethesda will add tweaks and refinements to the formula, such as horse mounted combat, enhanced enchanting and smithing, and better, more accessible menus. Don’t expect any multiplayer though. “You can never say never to anything like that, but it’s not what our focus is,” says Howard. “This type of game is where our hearts are, what we get excited about and what we want to focus on. We don’t want to lose that focus and we never want to sarifice anything in the single-player just have it be multiplayer.”
Whatever we’re going to get from the upcoming Skyrim DLC, be assured of one thing at least. It’s not going to be horse armour. Probably.