Damage types have always been a staple in RPGs, and I find Skyrim seems to ‘hardcode’ the damage that can be inflicted based on the weapon and its associated Perks. The weapon isn’t a vector for the damage, but the damage itself. This is not really a problem, but it does somewhat limit the variety of mix-and-match that can take place, particularly with regards to modding. One expects a sword and an axe to both slash a target, but perhaps the axe also conveys some bludgeoning punishment whereas the sword is able to pierce the target as well. One could do that on a per-weapon basis, but, particularly with Combat Styles in mind, this mix-and-match becomes easier to implement.
The Damage Types listed below do convey Status Effects and/or are limited by certain Attributes. Most of these are self-explanatory, but you can mouse-over them to see a description.
Deals additional damage to armour with the SOFT MATERIAL attribute.
Is unaffected by the HARD MATERIAL or SOFT MATERIAL attributes.
Deals additional damage to armour with the HARD MATERIAL attribute.
Weaker than most damage types, but ignores physical resistance.
Applies COLD and has a chance to extend the duration of COLD and FROZEN Status Effects. Frost damage is weak against the INSULATED buff and can reduce the duration of BURNING.
Fire damage has a chance to apply the BURNING Status Effect. Fire damage is weak against INSULATED attribute and reduces the duration of COLD and FROZEN Status Effects.
Electric damage has a chance to apply SHOCKED. If the target has DRENCHED, immediately applies SHOCKED. Electric damage is weak against INSULATED. Electric damage also deals 10% damage to Magicka.
Heals LIVING beings. Harms the UNDEAD. Healing spells deal Life damage.
Harms LIVING beings. Heals the UNDEAD. Death damage deals 10% damage to Stamina.
Light Armour is traditionally made with leather, which implies insulation. So, for instance, a leather armour would have the INSULATED attribute, which provides resistance to Frost, Fire and Electric damage. However, being made of leather, it becomes vulnerable to physical punishment, particularly to Piercing. If the Fallout 4 equipment modification system is used, there is an opportunity to line your gear with other materials that offer protection to abuses you would otherwise be sensitive to, like a metallic lining that reduces physical strikes.
Since Heavy Armour is meant to offer plenty of protection, it needs to be made from the strongest material, which is usually metal. This also means that if you get hit by a bolt of lightning, you’re going to get fried in your suit of armour. Most Heavy Armour comes with the CONDUCTIVE attribute, which makes them susceptible to elemental Energy damage. This translates to something like Frost, Fire and Electric damage ignoring 35% of the protection a Heavy Armour offers, unless, of course, that armour is made from a material like bone, in which case the CONDUCTIVE attribute isn’t present.
As with the Light Armour segment above, having an equipment modification system could offer alterations like an insulated lining or magical heat sinks or what have you.
Heavy Armour slows down your overall movement speed and reduces jump height, though not by a large amount.
Having certain materials restricted to Light or Heavy armour basically means your character is cut off from half of the armour content available in-game. Having a Light and Heavy variants (like the Dragon armours in Skyrim) to anything from Leather to Daedric would be a step in the right direction. This isn’t exactly relevant to combat, but I thought it was worth mentioning in this section regardless.
This article was initially much longer and contained Magic as a section, but I decided it would be better to slice it into more ‘bite pieces’, so up next is my take on how Elder Scrolls could revamp its magic system.
I do hope you’ve enjoyed reading through those ideas of mine. If you would like to show your support, feel free to share this with your friends and contacts on social media.