With the recent release of Morrowind and Oblivion on Steam, I've been playing a lot of The Elder Scrolls lately. I've been focusing on Morrowind because I haven't beaten that one yet and while playing, a number of ideas have come to me that would drastically improve The Elder Scrolls experience. I am suggesting these in the hopes that someone at Bethesda reads this and implements these ideas into the rumored Elder Scrolls V.
1. Give me new ways to open up locked doors.
Currently if you want to open up a locked door in The Elder Scrolls, you can either find the key, use a lock-pick or cast an unlocking spell. That's it. If it's a wooden door, why can't I use the giant axe in my hands to smash it down? Or why can't I cast a fire spell on it to burn it down? Both of these methods seem logical but haven't been included in an Elder Scrolls game so far. I think it would work because Bethesda could still make a door out of metal if they didn't want you to break your way in with weapons or magic. This is somewhat related to my next suggestion.
Nothing would make me feel like a more powerful wizard than the ability to completely level a city. It is my hope that in the next Elder Scrolls game, the high level destruction spells will actually do some destruction. I want to be able to walk into a city, decide that it's architecture offends me deeply, and turn it all into dust with a quick couple of spells. Make it happen Bethesda.
3. More Wildlife
The space between towns in The Elder Scrolls games has always felt kind of empty to me. Sure there is the occasional enemy to deal with and in Oblivion you might catch a glimpse of a deer running by but I want to see more that. Especially the non-dangerous type animals like the deer. I want to see a flock of sparrows (the English variety, not the African sparrow) flying over head while a squirel munchs on an acorn in a tree nearby. I want to be swimming when all of a sudden a dolphin surfaces next to me and joins me on my trip. I want to be struggling to get up a mountain while a mountain goat runs past me. In short, I want to see more life in the world as I'm traveling between towns. I think this would go a long way to making things more believable to the player.
Going back to my ideas on what would make a more badass wizard, Bethesda really needs to add a flight spell to the game. I don't care if it only lasts for 60 seconds at a time, I want to be able to soar above it all in the next Elder Scrolls game. Not only would it make travel more exciting (I'd probably stop abusing fast travel so much) but it would also make combat a sight to behold. Imagine two opposing wizards, slinging spells at each other while soaring over The Imperial City. I want this, you want this. Please Bethesda, if you do nothing else on my list, allow me to fly.
I can already hear the fanbois crying on this one, "You got Fallout 3 in my Elder Scrolls!" Yeah, I know. But I cannot deny how awesome it would be to be able to target specific body parts with my spells in the next Elder Scrolls game. I want to be able to set a guard's legs on fire before ventilating him with my sword. I want to be able to target a thief's head with my lightning bolts, rather than just casually aim for his body. This could also be applied to the bows and arrows in the game, spicing up that combat as well. Call me crazy, but I loved VATS so much in Fallout that I desperately want to see it make an appearance in the next Elder Scrolls game.
This isn't so much an idea to improve gameplay so much as a suggestion to improve the animation in the game. I'm tired of watching my sword bounce off my enemies body until his life bar is depleted. I would love it if Bethesda took the time to animate it so I can see my sword slice open or pierce parts of my opponents body. As it is now it looks like two action figures, controlled by a six year old, flailing at each other until one gets knocked down. This is an area where vast improvements could (and should) be made.
So that's it for me. Let me know in the comments if you love or hate my ideas or if you have some improvements of your own that you'd like to see. Here's looking forward to Elder Scrolls V, because even if they use exactly zero of my ideas, the game will still be phenomenal.