Gaming

After ESO’s Scribing, The Elder Scrolls 6 Can’t Pull Another ‘Skyrim’

Highlights

  • The Elder Scrolls 6 is highly anticipated by fans of the franchise, who are eager for the next chapter in the fantasy RPG saga that started with Skyrim.
  • Skyrim, while considered one of the best video games ever made, did not include the popular spellcrafting feature from its predecessor Oblivion, leaving fans disappointed.
  • The introduction of spellcrafting in The Elder Scrolls Online’s Scribing system opens the possibility for The Elder Scrolls 6 to bring back this beloved feature and even improve upon it.


The Elder Scrolls series goes back a long time, with The Elder Scrolls: Arena coming out in 1994 and the game acquiring fame and increasing its sales over time, to the point that it soon became a franchise for the back-then-small Bethesda Softworks. The Elder Scrolls 6 is finally in full development now that Starfield is out, and while Bethesda is still working on the spacefaring title, fans are hyped about the next chapter in the fantasy RPG saga that gave them the stellar game that was Skyrim. Yet, as much as Skyrim was and still is one of the best video games ever made, it backtracked on one of the most popular features of its predecessor, and with ESO adding Scribing, The Elder Scrolls 6 is caught between a rock and a hard place.

Skyrim is a pioneer in the fantasy RPG genre in many ways, and while it soared to incredible heights over the course of the past 12 years and a few months, it did have its limits. Much like long-time franchises, each TES game tries to reshape and redefine its classic formula, and one of the most praised changes came with Oblivion‘s spellcrafting. Long considered one of the most fun and unique features ever in The Elder Scrolls games, it never came back to the mainline series, but The Elder Scrolls Online is changing this with Scribing – and TES 6 should follow suit.

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Oblivion’s Spellcrafting Remains One of the Best The Elder Scrolls Features

Oblivion‘s spellcrafting system allowed players to combine any spell effects to their hearts’ desire, making it essentially a free-rein feature where the sky was the limit. One could combine wild effects, such as Destruction spells to deal damage, a spell to conjure a Storm Atronach, and even Illusion effects like invisibility. The gameplay implications were equally hysterical, as players could easily achieve what previously were impossible feats in Oblivion.

However, spellcrafting didn’t return in Skyrim, and though there may be good reasons for this choice ranging from lore implications to how complex it could be for Skyrim‘s already intricate gameplay loop, this doesn’t mean the series should never bring this feature back. In fact, now that The Elder Scrolls Online‘s Gold Road expansion is adding spellcrafting’s precursor in the form of Scribing, The Elder Scrolls 6 can’t back down. This is not a great position to be in, as reintroducing spellcrafting can draw comparisons to both Oblivion and ESO‘s versions, but not doing so may mean this feature is never coming back in mainline games.

ES’s Scribing Could Pave the Way For TES 6’s Spellcrafting

ESO‘s Scribing system is not exactly spellcrafting, as it works in a very different way. The way the game handles “spellcrafting” is by using two different components called Grimoires and Scripts, with the former determining more basic effects of a given spell, and the latter the more specific aspects, ranging from Primary to Tertiary Scripts. The result is still a quite complex system that awards players’ creativity, especially since Scribing applies to several skill lines – Weapon Skill lines, Mages Guild, Fighters Guild, Soul Magic, Assault, and Support.

The Elder Scrolls 6 can’t be another Skyrim, in the sense it shouldn’t ignore Oblivion‘s success with spellcrafting, but rather build on it. If anything, ESO‘s Scribing could end up changing what it means to craft one’s spells in TES 6 if Bethesda wants to draw inspiration from it, which would be a good idea considering how old Oblivion‘s system currently is. Still, spellcrafting shouldn’t be ignored any longer by mainline titles, and The Elder Scrolls 6 is in a prime position to not only reintroduce it, but also improve on its foundations.

elder scrolls 6

The Elder Scrolls 6

Developer(s)
Bethesda Game Studios

Publisher(s)
Bethesda Softworks

Antonio Josse

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