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What The Elder Scrolls VI can learn from The Witcher 3

Sarah Doherty writes, "Bethesda has a reputation for releasing buggy games and ones that also rely too much on repetition. With that in mind, I decided to give Bethesda a helping hand, looking to the other massive RPG series and seeing what The Elder Scrolls VI could learn from it. Yes, I'm talking about The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt."

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isarai36d ago

quest structure and writing for sure, but i think they should look at games like breath of the wild when it comes to map design. Getting really tired of seeing standard hightmap/modular asset made maps when even the likes of Avalanche have figured out how to make more interesting maps that allow full cave systems and overhangs seamlessly. for some with their experience i just find it weird that they are becoming low tier when it comes to open world map design.

adonisisfree35d ago

Breathe of the wild for map design? Yhat world is too sparsely populated, there's nothing there considering the size of the map. The wild hunt is the standard for world design and story.

Shiken35d ago

Have you even played Breath of the Wild? I could go just as long without seeing an enemy in BotW as I could in Witcher 3. The exploration aspect of BotW is top tier and the game has plenty of content that is unique to its playstyle.

It is possible to both games to be acknowledged as the masterpieces they are you know.

isarai35d ago

I said nothing about the population, im talking strictly map/level design.

you can say whatever you want about breath of the wild but the landscape itself is with no exaggeration, AMAZING! there is so much variation and grandeur in it's design it absolutely insane. not to mention it's absolutely littered with unique landmarks both monolithic and minuscule as a natural setting would have. this in turn makes it possible to navigate the entire map with great accuracy using nothing but your sight without ever having to open a map, couple that with the fact that i can literally go ANYWHERE i set my eyes on with no boundaries and it's a setting that has given me a sense of adventure i haven't had in MANY years in a video game. Not only all that but they even accomplished the same level of map design on the freakin Wii U! with xenoblade chronicles X, proving it has little to do with technical limitations and more to do with the fact that you just actually do it

on the other end we got Skyrim, where all you got is like 3-4 biomes which aren't really that different, you got the same looking rocks near a stream with some pines or birch only sometimes it's covered in snow, or dead in a swamp. but you look at 90% of skyrim screenshots and you cannot tell where you are besides being in the swamp, snowy area or grassland. It has barely any unique landmarks to speak of and when they are there it's almost always just a mass of rocks clumped together. navigating without a map or compass is pretty much impossible unless you've spent at least 100hrs running around that map. it's just bland for something that rides so hard on the implication that it's fantastical. Not only that but the fact that it's still using outdated hightmapping for it's landscape while everyone else have gone past that when it comes to open world design just makes it feel old, makes it feel so flat and really lacks verticality.

This is what has always bothered me about skyrim, is they talk like they are the best but progressively their level design keeps getting more and more boring. then there's witcher 3, hell yeah witcher 3 is good as hell, and does a lot of the things i like about BOTWs map, but it also has quite a bit of invisible walls and boundaries, which just feels like it shouldn't be a thing this day in age IMO.seeing the trailers i was in awe, and i seen that great big tree on a mountain and first thing i thought was im going to make an expedition to that tree. then the game came out and i found out your not supposed to go that tree, you can finagle your way close to it but you can't actually get there, now to me that pissed me off, why would you set this great landmark on the horizon, this grand structure begging to be explored only to surround it in an invisible wall. and it does that several times which is why i say BOTW over witcher 3 for taking notes on level design.

isarai35d ago

I would just like, that when a game drops a map in front of you and says "go ahead, explore" that visually it actually hits me with reasons and rewards for doing so. which brings me to another thing, storytelling in the map design. yet another thing BOTW does EXTREMELY well. when you see something out of the ordinary, usually a remnant or destruction or somthing out of place, you can almost always take a step back and piece together what happened or how it got their. Case and point, there's a giant sword lodged in the side of a mountain in BOTW, you take a look around like "WTF is this doing here" you get a birds eye view and notice there's this trail of holes spaced really far appart with wind gusting out of them, you follow them a few miles and BAM there's a MASSIVE statue that looks like it should be holding a sword, but in place is a wind geyser. pice it together and you realize at some point this undrground wind vein pushed the sword from the statue launching it further and further away every time the sword landed re piercing the wind vein. Skyrim has NOTHING like that, if there's a hole in a wall it's just a hole in a wall. the most they do is drop some bodies where there's a obvious hazard like "oh some people already died here, isn't that crazy!?"

Sorry for the rant, but i have stewed over this ever since skyrim released, and the reason i'm so heated about it is because i know bethesda can do better more interesting things that other games are doing, but they just aren't for some reason. i want skyrim level RPG (or maybe more oblivion, like that better as an RPG) to be something i absolutely love, but the bland landscape really holds it back from that goal personally. still got like 300hrs clocked into that game total over the years, but i got far more clocked into BOTW and Xenoblade chronicles X simply because exploring the map is actually worth it.

ArchangelMike36d ago

Above all else, they need a new and improved game engine. It's way past time, especially if they're coding for the next gen consoles.

kythlyn35d ago

The Witcher 3 is one of my favorite games, but I don't want The Elder Scrolls to follow in its footsteps. I'd rather Bethesda do their own thing. There's a place in my library for both their brands of open-world RPG.

ziggurcat35d ago

The one thing I hope they learn from it is to keep it single player, and not turn it into a MP GaaS piece of garbage like they did with Fallout.

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