As regards to the post above me (I won't quote it as it's too long for that), I don't believe that the city building thing would work well in TES. It's a role-playing game, not some sort of strategy affair. If Bethesda tried to implement this, it would either take time and resources from the rest of the game, or it would end up being like the villa in AC 2 - something you didn't particularly care about but hey, that money had to go somewhere, right?
Having a map three times the size of Skyrim would be nice, but even if we did have a map that big, it would be better if it was in just one province. It annoys me greatly when cities only have twenty or thirty people in, or when after five minutes' riding I can pass through a hold. I'd rather they expanded one province and flesh it out more; that way, they could have cities of a hundred people, or make each geographical region a world unto its own. An individual province has enough variation to make it an interesting place. For instance, in Elsweyr, there's the desert in the north, the forests in the west, the swamp near the trans-Niben, and the rainforest and jungle in the south. Assuming Bethesda's world designers get it right (and the swamp doesn't end up like Leyawiin, which seemed identical to the rest of Cyrodiil), it could make for an interesting experience when each of these regions is nearly the size of Skyrim.
The main problem with the story, I think, is that it's not so much a story as a series of challenges you are presented with on your road to dominance. If you can find a way to intergrate story into this, then it could make for a great experience, but right now, when Bethesda doesn't do more than give you a few binary choices in the storylines, I think that would be beyond the scope of this game. I'd personally appreciate it if we're given a few story trees in some of the longer questlines, and maybe expand the impact of those questlines beyond a few dialogue options.
The underlying problem with this idea is that it simply isn't an Elder Scrolls game. Bethesda would be at a loss to provide it, and most people play an Elder Scrolls game for discovery and exploration. You're idea for a main quest provides none of those - you simply remain in your chosen spot and make it better, until the game decides you've made that chosen spot good enough for you to continue to the next stage. You can still move out of your chosen spot, I admit, but half of the purpose of the quests is to make you explore the land, and the way you've framed things, exploring the land is a challenge in of itself. Exploration shouldn't be a challenge: the things you encounter should be.
Just my two cents (or pence, I suppose, being British). This being such a long post, I suppose you deserve some sort of special prize if you got this far. The idea could make for a great RP (although that's based on the people playing as much as anything else), but as an Elder Scrolls game, it's too radical a redesign to work.
Appreciate you reading my longwinded post and the very thorough and conscientious reply!
First, I should clarify that I'm not interested in taking away any of the exploration of the series. All of that should be included with hundreds of new beasts, monsters, undead and the like. Ruins, caves, abandoned mines.. take none of it away.
I'm thinking the scope of the series needs to expand, similarly to how TES2 turned into Morrowind. A lot of complaints about Skyrim have to do with the insignificance of your choices and the ease at which you become master of a guild. You gain titles (like Thane) all over the province yet all of them feel hollow. I'd like to see the technological capabilities to include a larger picture of what's going on with the story of Tamriel, and that necessarily involves standard in-depth exploration of multiple provinces. The detail of Skyrim threefold.
I think Skyrim had a lot of great innovations that feel more like prototypes. In Hearthfire, you can build a house but it's the same house three times. You have a steward, house-carl and a bard. But nothing happens there. It ought to be an opportunity to display your character's immersion in the world and the impact of your choices.
On the gameplay side of things I have fewer complaints or see the need for reform. We need more customization of weapons and armor (and staffs!). I feel like Skyrim introduced a lot of things that are great ideas but need to be refined in order to be more fulfilling and impactful.
I guess to respond to one of your points, I agree that fully fleshing out a single province is more than interesting. I want to see it triple.
I want to see NPCs that travel around and move. If a shop owner is killed, someone should buy the shop. Factions shouldn't be blind and should be (partially) mutually exclusive. And on and on...
As for specific story items, I'm not knowledgeable enough in lore. But I just wanted to present a skeleton idea for one part of TES6. Those more skilled in lore can add the meat. :)
Before writing this, I had to remind myself that this isn't argument. It's a discussion between two people whose views are different but in many cases compatible.
I'm sure you don't want to take away the exploration element. I'm saying this:
1. The complexity and sheer volume of content required to make the original idea work would inevitably result in resources which would otherwise have been used for different things being diverted to the main quest.
2. The main quest itself would result in slowly advancing whilst consolidating your holdings, seeking to take only specific sites of interest. It's perfectly possible to incorporate exploration into strategy (eg Civilization), but when most (nearly all) of the cities have already been established, the player would instead end up with an experience more similar to Total War, where the focus is very much on military expansion.
That said, if you had to explore for, say, mines and new plants for export, or you had to clear out bandits, it would serve as an interesting supplement to the strategic element, although care would have to be taken so as to avoid it becoming a trite distraction or something which interrupted the strategy.
I agree that Skyrim ended feeling hollow in many respects. I never got the impression that I had a huge impact in Oblivion, but then, I didn't care in Oblivion. Becoming the master of a guild is far too easy - the Companions and College of Winterhold were far too short, and the Thieves' Guild ended up feeling like a bunch of thinly disguised dungeon crawls for the most part. The Dark Brotherhood, for me, was probably the best. The faction related side-quests were fun, but none of the factions felt quite as meaty as Oblivion. I suspect that the Mages' and Fighters' Guild were guilty of the same thing as the Thieves' Guild in Skyrim, but I wasn't particularly critical whilst playing Oblivion; I just played the game and got on with it. The system in Morrowind worked (though I haven't played much of it), though Morrowind factions seemed to me more like a sort of endless to-do list than an interesting story.
I'm not sure how one would approach the problem of adding a real and visible impact to your actions in a video-game sense. No-one wants being the head of a guild to become some sort of management simulator, and the endless supply of generic dungeon clearing quests quickly become stale. At the same time, having too dramatic an impact with one quest could mess up another. Introducing new NPCs and adding new buildings, perhaps in a manner similar to Hearthfire, certainly couldn't hurt, but the best way to make it seem important would be a series of subtle, but noticeable changes across an entire city, or whole game.
Visiting and exploring multiple provinces across one game, whilst an interesting experience, wouldn't increase detail per se, but rather expand the same level of detail across a larger area. The different types of architecture and similar theme of issues within holds give them interesting variation, but it still feels rather similar, particularly when you leave the city and explore the ruins and whatnot. When you're in the Reach, you're still feel like you're in the same sort of place the the Rift is in. The culture, and enemies, and loot, are the same. Three provinces would not solve this issue. In the Elder Scrolls, the difference would be skin deep. A different approach to designing the game is needed. If they choose Elsweyr, they could easily have a different culture in Pelletine and Anequina. You don't need a second and third province to have this cultural variation.
I agree that many of Skyrim's innovations must be fleshed out. It was baffling that I was allowed to have a bedroom in the west wing, but not the east. I'd like it if there was some sort of challenge to the building beyond gathering resources, or a way to fine-tune my customisations better. I do believe that more needs to happen in your house. Like your child going missing when he goes out to play and you having to rescue him, for example.
Crafting and weapon customisation is nice (and we do need better staffs), but getting better weapons is usually just a case of grinding your smithing up to 100. I'd much rather the loot you find be more powerful and able to compete with high level crafted gear. Admittedly, having to grind your way through many dungeons to find the randomly generated loot you want isn't better, but at least put in fun and interesting quests which culminate in that item being found.
NPCs should move - the roads are far too empty in Skyrim - and shops should be bought, but we do have a limited supply of NPCs here. We can't replace everyone who dies. If shops are bought out, they should be changed and renovated, not just change hands (except where appropriate). Having cities with more people would only work if, again, we scaled up one specific province, instead of expanding to more than one.
I apologise if I've gone on too long, or if I've come across as more argumentative than I meant. But at this point I'm not sure I can be bothered to read through what I've wrote and check it.
For the Civil War, they could do what Mass Effect did and transfer save data over.
i'm personaly rooting for elsweyr, for 3 reasons, 1:it's said that elsweyr has deserts and jungles, and us skyrim player (i personaly will not play ESO) need a little bit of a change of scenery.2: elsweyr is know for it's skooma trade, so would be cool if there was a guild you could join thats in the trade and 3: kahjiit are awesome :)
I understand this is an interesting discussion point, but I really think a new thread should be made. This thread is nearly hitting 650 replies and is extremely difficult to both navigate and load. So I think this should be closed and a continuation thread made to continue the discussion.
In all honesty, I think it would be cool if they made an Eldar Scrolls game that took place in the entire land of Nirn. I don't expect it in VI, but maybe the one after that.
Ever played Arena?
Good idea there is a active thread here for "about anything having to do with upcoming games in TES" or someone can make a new thread to continue from this one to discuss the location.