Movement is an integral part of combat; if your game has bad movement, it will negatively impact combat. This is especially true if the combat is determined by the user’s skill rather than an assortment of dice rolls like the case was in Morrowind. A good movement system allows the game’s combat to be more dynamic and responsive – if the next Elder Scrolls game would allow it, it could enable players to use the terrain more effectively, or juke around enemies to hit them from behind for bonus damage in the heat of an aggressive encounter.
I’ve been replaying Skyrim recently and, after playing Fallout 4, the difference in how much better mobility is in the latter is marked. In Skyrim, jumping up and down rocks is an exercise in patience since touching even the edge of an object will stop you in your tracks. You also cannot jump while sprinting in Skyrim, a thing that was made possible in Fallout 4. A character’s mobility should be fluid and responsive.
While Fallout 4 is hardly the hallmark of a good movement system, it’s a definite improvement on previous iterations and it’s my hope that the next Bethesda game, Fallout or Elder Scrolls, will improve upon that.
I would like to suggest a new way of performing jumps in the next Elder Scrolls game – instead of jumping and being able to control your movement mid-air – allow players to do something I call a Charged Jump. It is performed as follows: you press and hold down the jump key (usually spacebar) and as you keep the button pressed, a line arcs from your character to a location immediately in front of him. Holding down the jump key causes the line to extend forward, indicating that your character will jump further ahead. Once you release the jump button, your character leaps and lands where the arc ended. If this sounds complicated, it’s no different to how grenades are thrown in first-person shooter games; you press a key, hold, and release. Understand that all this should happen very quickly, the arc appearing in mere microseconds, and extending to full length in the span of up to some three seconds. This would allow you to platform with greater ease as this method already tells you where you are going to land.
If you simply tap the jump button, your character performs a normal jump.
The Charged Jump mechanic could also be influenced by a returning Acrobatics tree as an unlockable Perk. The ability to control your movement in midair should also make a comeback.
We’ve already been treading on unconventional territory, so why not throw in a game staple that can make movement just that much better? Consider Doom 2016, a game that made verticality in its level design possible by giving you the ability to grab onto ledges and repeat a jump in midair with rocket boots. Not only does that give you better control over your movements in general, it allows you to access areas of the playing field that feel like they should be accessible, but aren’t.
I’ve been playing Enderal (Skyrim mod) recently and as a someone who likes to mod his game, I’ve been looking for ways to improve my gaming experience, especially after having experienced Fallout 4’s far superior mobility (which relative to other fps and tps can still improve). Having a jetpack on my Fallout 4 character has spoiled me, and when I found this double-jump mod for Skyrim, everything felt right again. Moving around the game world just became ten times more enjoyable.
Double jump isn’t a gimmick. It provides aerial control and just makes the world more accessible in general. The same thing applies for parkour. I’m not saying go full Mirror’s Edge with Skyrim, but something like grabbable ledges (or maybe detecting angles to determine whether they’re grabbable or not) like in Doom 2016 can go a long way to significantly improve gaming experience. I don’t know how feasible the latter is, but it would be amazing if The Elder Scrolls VI could come bundled with at least some light parkouring mechanics.
The video below gives an example of how Doom 2016 handles movement.