Customization is one of the most important aspects of Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls series, and in order to make The Elder Scrolls 6’s customization options the best yet, it should take inspiration from The Elder Scrolls Online. Armor sets in the series are based on the styles of the different playable races, while others, like Daedric and Dragonbone, are made by using parts of deceased enemies. All of them are divided into one of three different groups: Light, Medium, and Heavy. Light doesn’t provide as much protection but allows players to sneak easier. Heavy is the opposite, as it gives more protection but makes sneaking harder, and takes up more weight in players’ inventory.

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In Elder Scrolls Online, Bethesda introduced weapon and armor Styles based on the different playable races. These Styles give weapons and armor different appearances based on what material they’re made of and what level the item in question is. They can be changed using items and special crafting stations, which meant that players could change what their sword or helmet looked like at will. And unlike past games, the Styles each have a Light, Medium, and Heavy version, which meant that no matter how players like to fight, they could still look however they want.

In the mainline games, on the other hand, weapons and armor have static appearances and cannot change, which has led to a lack of customization options. Elder Scrolls 6 players would greatly benefit from the inclusion of some form of ESO’s Styles. They can give the Elder Scrolls series customization that it’s never had before, and make the sixth main Elder Scrolls even better. Armor Styles would be an improvement on Skyrim’s weapons and armor, not only in terms of character customization, but in gameplay as well.

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Elder Scrolls 6 Needs ESO’s Customization Options

Elder Scrolls games have decent character customization, but they don’t allow players to customize their equipment very much. In the mainline games, there are only so many armor sets that can be used, and even fewer that can be made with Smithing skills. Each one is either Light, Medium, or Heavy armor, and there are no options to change that. Players have the option to create just fifteen different sets of armor in Skyrim, not all of which have corresponding weapons.  The sets that players cannot create are difficult to find, and are usually not worth the effort. Elder Scrolls Online has 14 Styles, but each Style has a Light, Medium, and Heavy version, and the Styles are independent from the material being used, so Iron, Steel, Ebony, and other materials that don’t have equivalents in the mainline games each have their own distinct appearance. They also all have different versions for male and female characters, so including them in Elder Scrolls 6 would go a long way to allowing players to truly customize their characters.

In addition to giving players better character customization, Styles can also improve gameplay and immersion. Whether they’re using magic or swords in The Elder Scrolls 6, players will want to feel like they are their characters, and the lack of diversity in the different armor sets inhibits that. Armor and weapons that don’t fit a player’s character can break immersion and take the player out of the game. Including Styles would help players feel more like their characters and increase immersion by making the gameplay more flexible. Instead of being stuck with a piece of armor or a weapon that their character would never use, players could fully customize them to fit whatever and whoever they’re playing as.

If Styles are included in Elder Scrolls 6, it would be safe to assume that there would be new ones. The current Styles are primarily based on the playable races or events that occurred within Elder Scrolls Online, but TES6 would open up any number of new possibilities. Instead of being confined to the playable races, Styles based on different play styles could be introduced. Elder Scrolls 6 could include a sneaking Style, or a necromancer Style. There could be different Styles based on the Daedric Lords, or the Divines. Without events in TES6 to provide new ones, Styles could be based on anything and everything.

Other Customization Options Elder Scrolls 6 Could Use

Of course, if Bethesda chooses not to incorporate ESO’s Styles into TES6, and instead opts to return to the same weapon and armor sets that have previously been used in the mainline games, there are other ways that it could revitalize the series’ customization options. Giving each of the different armor sets the same base stats and allowing players to improve them as they level up would go a long way towards improving customization. Upgrading weapons and armor with the Smithing skills is already a feature in Skyrim, so players could just enchant and improve their existing weapons and armor. Making the differences purely cosmetic would let players wear the armor that they like without worrying about the stats, and give them more options in terms of immersion.

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There’s also the possibility of new sets. A new game is bound to come with new items and equipment, so fans can expect at least a few new weapons and armor to use. Entirely new sets aren’t outside the realm of possibility. Skyrim’s DLC saw the Stahlrim and Nordic armors, among others, so it’s likely that ES6 will include new sets for players to use. Depending on where the game is set, it could add weapons and armor that are specifically designed for the landscape, such as desert armor for Elsweyr, or forest-related armor for Valenwood. New sets, possibly made with new materials, would be a welcome addition to the mainline Elder Scrolls games.

Bethesda could also give the current sets, and any future sets, their own Light, Medium, and Heavy versions. Instead of the material of the armor or weapon deciding what play style it’s best suited for, players could use different weights of armor with the same material. Being able to use Heavy Leather or Light Iron armor would give players more options in terms of gameplay, and increase The Elder Scrolls 6’s immersion by giving players more options regardless of which type of armor they use. Seeing each of the armor sets getting their own versions of different weights would also give players many more customization options overall.

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