In an interview with Norwegian gaming mag Gamer.no (and covered by PC Gamer), Director Todd Howard elucidates how dragons will manifest in their “too big” open-world RPG nature preserve. These greasy, disgruntled, thieving beasts will not be solely confined to localized boss skirmishes, they will be dynamically generated and able to strike the player from almost any spot.
Howard explains, “There is an unlimited number of dragons. One of our designers actually put in a random event I encountered, where I ended up being chased by three dragons and I thought “who the hell did this? I felt like Frodo in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. So I asked him to remove it. But no, dragons are generated automatically (in addition to that there are a number of specific encounters, of course).”
So, a number of quest-essential boss dragons will be peppered throughout the main questline (and possibly some side quests) and more general dragon classes will spawn like other enemy types within the world.
Why did it take so long for dragons to appear in an Elder Scrolls game? “Everyone asks us about – multiplayer and dragons. For one thing, we think that it is a bit cliché. We have never seen a game dealing with dragons as Jurassic Park handles dinosaurs. We wanted to do it properly.”
Howard also goes on to mention that all dragons in the game speak, be it the dragon tongue (vomiting fire) or the “common tongue” to “make themselves understood to people.” The player’s Rosetta Stone for speaking in dragon tongue has been previously mentioned by Howard, taking the form of “dragon shouts”, or three-word utterances that conjure powerful spells.
For those of you who can’t read Norwegian, a somewhat crude Google translation of the interview is on the Bethesda forums. Check it out for more information on the game.
Skyrim will swoop down into retail stores near you on November 11.