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Todd Howard Explains Morrowind and Cyrodiil in Skyrim

By - Source: Kotaku | B 25 comments

Morrowind and Cyrodiil exist within The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim only as eye candy for mountain climbers, but Bethesda doesn't rule out their use at a later date, either.

Just after its release, there were reports that players could access Morrowind's Solstheim and Vvardfell, and Cyrodiil's Imperial City in the PC version of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. While the land mass was seemingly all there, detail began to diminish the deeper they traveled within the "roped off" territories. Since then, there's been speculation that Bethesda will develop these into full-fledged territories later on as downloadable content or expansions, and they may be right.

However, for now, Morrowind and Cyrodiil are only meant to serve as eye candy. Bethesda's Todd Howard said that the areas were placed within the game so that when players scaled the highest mountains, they would actually see the neighboring territories. That's right: they exist simply for mountain view eye candy, and for now, nothing more.

"The reason they are there - and I will not say if we are or are not using them in the future - is when we first built the landmass for Skyrim we knew we were going to have these tall mountains," he explained. "And what can you see? We have views early in the project where you can see into the [neighboring] province from the other game. We needed to have something [there]."

He then goes into describing what other players have already reported: these areas really aren't prepped visually for gameplay -- the movie sets and props aren't fully built, if you will.

"It's not high detail," he admitted. "If you walk there, from a distance it's...yeah, the stuff is there. And the thinking is, maybe we'll use it one day, but our larger worry was, I'm going to climb up on top of a mountain and look that way. What will I be able to see there? We try to cover all those angles as much as we can."

As Kotaku points out, modders will likely take advantage of these unused territories now that the Creation Kit is available, if they haven't already. Just one week after the toolset's launch, over 2,600 mods are available in Skyrim's repository in the Steam Workshop, reports Bethesda parent company ZeniMax.

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  • 21 Hide
    GenericUser , February 15, 2012 11:21 PM
    It's little things like this that help to make games that much better and help immerse you in the universe. Hopefully they expand on it.
  • 14 Hide
    NuclearShadow , February 16, 2012 12:27 AM
    Makes sense and explains it perfectly. It would be nice to be able to travel to the other already explored lands and just have one massive game. I certainly wouldn't mind expansions where we return to them and see how they have changed and fight off whatever new troubles they are facing.

    salgado18Thankfully dreaming is free...


    Not if Apple has anything to do with it! Now introducing the iDream.
Other Comments
  • -8 Hide
    aaronstyle , February 15, 2012 11:11 PM
    If I had a nickel for every time I heard, or saw "an arrow to the knee".
  • 21 Hide
    GenericUser , February 15, 2012 11:21 PM
    It's little things like this that help to make games that much better and help immerse you in the universe. Hopefully they expand on it.
  • 8 Hide
    _Cubase_ , February 15, 2012 11:25 PM
    Did it really have to take Todd Howard to come out an explain what was already quite obvious before people concluded that it was just eye candy, or were a good percentage of people actually thinking they were going to get another two games out of Skyrim?
  • 8 Hide
    tehfatkid , February 15, 2012 11:32 PM
    Vvardenfell* Just saying.
  • 5 Hide
    bertschkid , February 15, 2012 11:50 PM
    aaronstyleIf I had a nickel for every time I heard, or saw "an arrow to the knee".


    I am surprised we haven't heard more "until I took a sword to the chest" I heard that one for the first time while playing today.
  • 5 Hide
    alextheblue , February 15, 2012 11:52 PM
    aaronstyleIf I had a nickel for every time I heard, or saw "an arrow to the knee".
    Would it be better if I used the non-existing Skyrim Paranoia mod version?

    I used to be a Red Troubleshooter like you, until I took a laser to the knee.
  • 1 Hide
    salgado18 , February 15, 2012 11:53 PM
    Too bad they probably wont use those lands as game area, since making all that landmass again will be a huge amount of work. But, then again, if they do make it, with it's own campaing, and sell it as an expansion to Skyrim, they will definitely sell at least the same amount of units, and make the same or more money.

    Thankfully dreaming is free... :) 
  • 14 Hide
    NuclearShadow , February 16, 2012 12:27 AM
    Makes sense and explains it perfectly. It would be nice to be able to travel to the other already explored lands and just have one massive game. I certainly wouldn't mind expansions where we return to them and see how they have changed and fight off whatever new troubles they are facing.

    salgado18Thankfully dreaming is free...


    Not if Apple has anything to do with it! Now introducing the iDream.
  • -3 Hide
    alidan , February 16, 2012 1:26 AM
    _Cubase_Did it really have to take Todd Howard to come out an explain what was already quite obvious before people concluded that it was just eye candy, or were a good percentage of people actually thinking they were going to get another two games out of Skyrim?

    just because you cant think of a reason that you would need to travel to morrowind from skyrim doesn't mean there wont be an expantion that uses it. i mean think of it, they have 2 games, all the places already mapped out, all they would have to do is plant them into the new game and sprews them up a bit, change what needs to be changed, but the land masses in general from morrowind and oblivion don't need much changing. i mean from what i understand morrowind got kind of screwed, but that doesn't mean everything needs to change.

  • -4 Hide
    yumri4 , February 16, 2012 1:36 AM
    um with Morrowind i would like to see that put into Skirm as an explanation but sadly i doubt they will unless someone already made a mod for it to be explorable and they just added in quests for us to do as making a game map that big would take them a lot of time to do.
  • 0 Hide
    fb39ca4 , February 16, 2012 1:47 AM
    its still great mod fodder though
  • 0 Hide
    yumri4 , February 16, 2012 1:50 AM
    true but unless someone does that it is highly unlikely it will happen though if they do make Morrowind and/or Cyindell explorable with or even without quests ( which can just be added in later with mods ) it will be a help as they will also add in monsters and new items hopefully which will make the game more fun to play for longer
  • -5 Hide
    Achoo22 , February 16, 2012 1:59 AM
    God, I'd love it if someone would "upconvert" some old content for this game. Shivering Isles would be a great start.
  • 0 Hide
    yumri4 , February 16, 2012 2:02 AM
    i wish i had the kind of computer able to work with the kind of graphics Skrim has as i would but i do not and play it on the XBox 360 instead but if they do make a mod like that and other Land Form mods from Oblivion and Morrowind i would buy a new computer able to play Skrim as this one isn't able too and mine which was died.
  • 6 Hide
    husker , February 16, 2012 2:51 AM
    aaronstyleIf I had a nickel for every time I heard, or saw "an arrow to the knee".

    Yet you felt the need to go there. I guess that's one more nickle for the rest of us.
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , February 16, 2012 3:17 AM
    Perhaps this is part of future planning? Pinning down exact relationships between territories is the first step towards a game where you would be able to travel so far. I remember not even playing all of Marrowwind and getting so lost in the wilderness. Oblivion (also uncompleted lol) seemed a little smaller, but still massive, and I understand Skyrim to be of similar dimensions. If they (god forbid) turned TES into an MMO they would have huge amounts of landmass to work with...
  • 0 Hide
    Flamango , February 16, 2012 3:54 AM
    That's not how you spell Vvardenfell...
  • 4 Hide
    zippyzion , February 16, 2012 6:00 AM
    Vvardenfell was allegedly destroyed by an eruption of Red Mountain so that part would be much easier to make. The rest of Morrowind hasn't been mapped out with the exception of Solthsem... and there wasn't much there. As for Cyrodiil, just port over Oblivion's content. Probably not that hard.

    And I just sounded like some kind of obsessed Elder Scrolls nerd...
  • 0 Hide
    martel80 , February 16, 2012 7:58 AM
    NuclearShadowMakes sense and explains it perfectly. It would be nice to be able to travel to the other already explored lands and just have one massive game.
    You mean something like The Elder Scrolls: Arena? :) 
  • 0 Hide
    ricardois , February 16, 2012 9:19 AM
    that was just obvious don't?
    Low quality areas... view from distance... i don't know where this world is going with this kind of speculations.
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