Skyrim DLC: Will Bethesda ever top Shivering Isles?
1st Feb 2012 | 19:00
Todd Howard, Skyrim's executive producer, says he wants to create DLC that 'makes the game better'. An ambitious claim, but Bethesda has a track record of releasing (horse armour aside) quality, substantial DLC - including Oblivion's Shivering Isles, and Fallout 3's Point Lookout. So, what will Skyrim's actually be like? Here's our wishlist.
Warning! We talk briefly about the end of Skyrim's main quest here, but don't mention anything too specific. Just so you know.
Extending the main quest
If you've finished Skyrim, you'll know that not much happens after the ending. Even though you've just saved the world from a fiery apocalypse, nobody seems to care. Some major characters have a few extra lines of dialogue, but that's about it.
So we'd like to see a DLC that extends the main quest, and reveals more about the world's reaction to Alduin's demise. They could introduce a new villain, perhaps - someone that was loyal to him, and is seeking revenge.
Bethesda did something similar for Fallout 3. One of the game's best DLC packs, Broken Steel, continued the story after the regular ending, and raised the level cap from 20 to 30. So it's likely they'll try something like that again.
There was nothing wrong with Skyrim's ending; it was actually quite satisfying. It just felt slightly disappointing to return to civilisation after saving Tamriel from the dragons' wrath and realising that nothing had changed. A thank you would have been nice.
Going back in time
In the quest Alduin's Bane, the Dragonborn opens an Elder Scroll near a 'time wound' to briefly visit the past. This is the perfect setup for a DLC. What if more of these time wounds started appearing around Skyrim?
We might get the chance to see, or visit, a Dwemer city before their race mysteriously disappeared. Or maybe go even further back in time to when the Nords first settled in Skyrim. This setup could make for some really interesting quests.
Time travel allows for creative storytelling and game design, and Bethesda have already established that it's possible in their world.
Bethesda have already experimented with setting DLC outside of a game's main location in The Pitt and Point Lookout. We doubt they'll recreate large locations like Morrowind and Cyrodiil, as rumoured last year, but there are a few places in and around Tamriel we may visit.
One possibility is that they'll take us to an underground city. Blackreach was one of Skyrim's most memorable locations - a Dwemer ruin buried in a huge cavern lit by strange glowing flora - and Bethesda know that people loved it. This would be a good opportunity to learn more about Dwemer culture, or even discover what happened to them.
Or maybe we'll leave the main continent completely and visit Summerset Isle, home of the High Elves. The island setting is perfect for a self-contained story, and there's already extensive lore written about the place that they could use for inspiration.
There's also the island of Pyandonea. This tropical setting would be a bold departure from the snow and mountains of Skyrim, and it's a place rarely spoken about in Elder Scrolls lore, making it perfect for a new story surrounding the elusive Maormer.
Well, that's what we think - but what do YOU want to see? Leave your ideas or predictions below. And if you've already finished the main game, will the DLC be enough to bring you back?