Remember when you completed the questlines for the Guilds in Oblivion only to realise that they really were finished? There was nothing else to do save for the odd dialogue at regular intervals to tell your underlings what to do and then pick up some gold for your trouble – something which I personally found a little disappointing, if I’m truly honest. The good new is that Skyrim intends to be different with the introduction of never-ending quests.
Speaking with Wired, Todd Howard spoke about what he means by infinite questing. Yup, you might be top dog in the underworld, but that doesn’t mean your responsibilities end there – visit whichever groups you have completed the scripted questlines for and pick up another randomly generated mission depending on your skill level. Shopkeeper getting on the nerves of the Dark Brotherhood? Give him an “accident”. Heard a rumour circulating the settlements of a stash of gems? Keep those fingers light by pilfering them for the Thieves Guild.
The whole Radiant quest system comes into play here by generating new tasks based on your progress in the game itself so it’s not just factions that can continue offering missions indefinitely. You might meet an innkeeper troubled by bandits in an area you have yet to discover or perhaps someone with an affinity for alchemy might need your help in collecting certain ingredients. But don’t switch off here – Todd Howard is aware not everyone likes fetch and carry missions. I know I don’t and I also know I’m not alone in this so Howard’s approach is to not let players in on every secret Skyrim has to offer. You’re going to have to explore using the environment to tell its story, rather like in Fallout 3. So you might be on your way to grab ten flowers for that lazy alchemist but as you go, you might come across a fortress infested with bandits or a lighthouse that contains more of the macabre than you had previously thought – it’s all about the world, exploring it and making the most of the missions given to you because they might just lead you somewhere you never knew about before.
“The vibe of the game is that it’s something that you can play forever… The world is probably the one thing that sets [Skyrim] apart from other games… It feels really real for what it is… It’s just fun to explore.”
Anyone else get the feeling that Skyrim might just swallow up the rest of their natural life? Oh wow, I really hope so…