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In context: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim celebrates its 10th birthday this November. Aside from a few ports, a remastered version, and an MMORPG variant, we've not anything new in the series. The Elder Scrolls VI is in the works but is not likely to be out for quite some time. Fans of the series are itching for something new.
Fortunately, Ted Peterson and Julian LeFay, two former developers on The Elder Scrolls series, have been working on their own massive open-world RPG called "The Wayward Realms." The project has not been kept secret. OnceLost Games, the studio founded by Peterson and LeFay, has been tweeting updates on the game since 2019.
On Sunday, the studio dropped a teaser for The Wayward Realms (above). It's a fully CG production that is not indicative of in-game footage, but it is a pretty cool introduction to what we can expect without giving much away. It just shows an armored warrior riding a horse through a foggy forest. He presumably has some magic abilities as he lights his way with a magical orb of light that behaves like the Candlelight spell in TES. The hero emerges from the forest, greeted by an expansive world with three moons.
The video does not reveal much else, but the game's official website does provide a small glimpse of what to expect. The game takes place in a realm called "The Archipelago." It is a series of 100 islands. The developers claim that each island is "realistically scaled" from small to massive. From that alone, one can assume The Wayward Realms will dwarf Skyrim in landmass by a longshot.
Several factions consisting of multiple races, including "humans, elves, dwarves, and other races of a more unusual nature" vie for power over the realm." It sounds like most of the gameplay will consist of allying to one or more factions and fighting to gain control over the land. Betraying your faction is also an option leading to potential underhanded scenarios where the player works both sides as a double agent.
The most intriguing thing that OneLost has to say about the gameplay is that it is ever-changing, and every decision affects the story. We have heard these claims before, but few studios have succeeded in delivering anything close to a genuinely dynamic narrative, so don't hold your breath just yet.
"Constantly Evolving Experience and Story," reads the game's Steam page. "A virtual Game Master keeps things interesting for you, making other characters and their factions react and plot their next move based on your actions, resulting in no two players having the exact same game experience."
Character and classes are also not pre-designed. Players will have open options to mold their character to their liking. Warrior/Mage? Sure. Thief/Alchemist? Why not. The way it's described is that the player is given a character that has a fully customizable skill tree. Customizable potions, spells, and enchantments similiar to those in Daggerfall will be another core gameplay mechanic.
"Want to try playing a character who is really, really outside the box? We got you," say the developers.
We can also expect a world rich in lore, considering Ted Peterson was the loremaster for several Elder Scrolls games. He is estimated to have written over 150,000 words for the in-game books in Daggerfall and Morrowind, and his work on Oblivion is uncounted.
There is no release date for The Wayward Realms yet, so if it sounds interesting, you might follow the studio on Twitter for the latest news on the game.