Daggerfall:Games Domain Preview
THE ELDER SCROLLS CHAPTER 2: DAGGERFALL
created by BETHESDA SOFTWORKS
preview written by: Dave Humphrey Game category: Commercial (CD only) Suggested Retail Price: Currently Unknown Release Date: Late January 1996 (or possibly later) Min. Requirements: 486DX2/55, 8MB Ram, 2xCD-Rom, VLB or PCI VGA Card 512-540kb Base Memory, 30MB Hard Drive Space Sound: Aria, Ensoniq, Roland, SoundBlaster, and UltraSound Controls: Joystick or Microsoft compatible mouse.
Sorcerers, seductresses, powerful item and spell makers and a menagerie of pernicious beasts will be unleashed when BETHESDA SOFTWORKS releases its newest role-playing game THE ELDER SCROLLS:DAGGERFALL sometime near the beginning of 1995. DAGGERFALL is the much anticipated sequel of the award winning THE ELDER SCROLLS:ARENA released by BETHESDA in 1993.
3D-X(n)gine and FEATURES
DAGGERFALL is a 1st person perspective role-playing game which gives you an unprecedented freedom to do what you wish. "What is wonderful about ARENA and DAGGERFALL is that you can be and do whatever you want with virtually no limitations," says Bethesda President Chris Weaver. "Aside from all the sophisticated technology operating in the background we think that freedom is one of the most important features of TES series." DAGGERFALL uses BETHESDA's revolutionary new 3D-X(n)gine (3 years in the making) to create a detailed and realistic world never before seen in a computer game. Complete freedom of movement, fully textured polygons, multiple light sources, realistic shading and weather effects are just some of what the X(n)gine has to offer.
A plenthera of other features makes DAGGERFALL the most realistic, and detailed CRPG yet. A detailed character creation system (including skills and customizable classes), several new spell effects (like polymorph, chameleon, identify, and teleportation), buy your own house/castle, purchase horses, carts, even ships and travel with them, invest money in banks and many, many never seen before features are included. The CHILDGUARD feature allows parents to set the amount of violence and sex displayed, and protect this setting with a password.
The plot and game play in DAGGERFALL has been greatly improved over that in ARENA. The character must obtain artifacts before rivals groups acquire them and use them to instigate an uprising. The character will form a reputation with NPC's depending on their success with mini-quests, or which guilds the character belongs to. Even the clothing, weapons and armor the character is wearing will affect how NPC's interact with the character. The player can also buy houses, castles, ships and other crafts with his amassed wealth. Property can be adorned with furniture and treasure, and if you don't trust your wealth at home, you can put it in a bank, which is also available to help you finance large purchases. Conversation with NPC's remains handled via a menu driven branching strategy, with the new feature of being able to select your conversational goal.
DAGGERFALL includes an improved spellmaker, which allows you make create more unique and powerful spells, as well as an itemmaker and a potion maker. Some new spell types include identify, polymorph, shadow, slowfall, telekinesis, teleportation, waterbreathing (for underwater undertures) and water walking. Also added, is a customizable spell duration icon which flashes towards the end of the spell period.
When enchanting items, every item has a limit on how much it can be enchanted. If you want to create a very powerful item, you will have to add side effects, such as deteriation, weakness against certain monster types, etc... Some powers you can enchant into item include any spell, increase skill/attribute, increase reputation, repair, etc...
Magical potions can be created similiary, provided you have the recipe handy (the demos potion maker didn't want to let me use it, so I can't give detailed info).
The character creation process has also been greatly improved since ARENA, making it, in my opinion, the most detailed creation process ever in a CRPG ever. You start off by picking the character's race by choosing a province (8 possible races), followed by the tradition gender (male/female). You are next given a choice on how to select your character's class. You can either choose from a list of 18 classes, create your own class, or answer several multiple choice questions (such as 'you find a pouch of money on the street, what do you do...'). Each of these choices has it benefits, but vetern gamers will probably want to create their own custom class.
If you chose to create a custom class, you are given a screen allowing to choose all your characters attributes (8 different, strength, speed, etc..), skills (like sword, spell types, thief skills etc...), advantages/disadvantages (immunity to certain affects, vulernable to certain effects/monster types, etc...) and reputations (what each basic NPC group intially thinks of you). The attributes intially all start out at 50, and can changed anywhere from 4 to 200, although you must balance out the pluses, and minuses (ie, if you raise strength by 10, you must decrease other attributes by a total of 10 as well). You can choose 3 primary, 3 major skills (you will get better at these the quickest), and 6 minor skills. You can also choose how many hit points you can possibly get each level. This can range anywhere from 4 to 30, but it changes how long it takes you to reach the next level. Advantages and disadvantages also affect the difficulty/ease of leveling. Reputations initally start at neutral, and must be balanced as the attributes.
After selecting the characters class, you are given several 'bonus points' to distribute as you wish, giving you even more choice on how to begin. You can distribute these points manually, or answer 12 multiple choice questions to determine your background. DAGGERFALL creates for you a character history, depending on which skills/attributes you have selected (ex, if you have a good skill with the axe and dodging it might come up with something like 'Sometime as a youth, you learned how to use the axe, and you used your speed to dodge many a deadly blow').
PREVIEWs and DEMO INFO
Currently there exists many screen shots of DAGGERFALL, MIDI sound files, boxcover artwork, and even several AUTODESK animations of monsters and a playable demo has been released (which is what most of the info in this document is based on). The screen shots (some of which are seen here) are available via the BETHESDA web site, via the HTML version of the DAGGERFALL FAQ, The Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages wiki (UESP), or The BETHESDA WWW Pages.
From the released screen shots and demo, the long list of impressive features, and the success of TES:ARENA, one can easily guess that TES:DAGGERFALL will become an instant hit when it is released at the end of 1995. This should become more sure when the playable demo is released (hopefully sometime within August) and some of the gameplay is exposed. In my opinion, DAGGERFALL will be the best and most detailed computer role-playing game ever created...be sure you don't miss it.