The conjuration school is one of my favorite schools in the Elder Scrolls Franchise. It allows the player to raise the dead, summon beings of ice, fire, and lightning, conjure Daedra from Oblivion,(Believe it or not, the bound weapons technically count as Daedra of a sort), and even trap the souls of your enemies to enchant your gear. I love it, and I cherish it, but with that being said, it can also be improved, so I'll tell you how.
- Bargains: According to certain skill books, The school of conjuration is all about relationships between the conjurer, and the conjured. The summoner makes pacts for power, giving something to the one that they summon in exchange for knowledge or services. So… Why not bring some more of that into the game? What I'm suggesting is a system to add to the game's core roleplay loop. When the player encounters Daedric Princes or other high level Daedra they can form pacts to increase their stats instead of getting the Daedric artifact of the respective Prince. This is what I loved about Apocrypha, the ability to gain perks from Mora's troves of forbidden knowledge. In addition, high-level summoning spells like Conjure Dremora may allow the player to ask for skill training/ or buffs in exchange for soul gems, or points from their stamina, health, or Magicka pools. You won't need gold (Because what need would a practical demon have for it?) But you will lose something else. Late game quests can allow the player to learn more spells from eldritch beings, (like a warlock from D&D) but in exchange for this knowledge, they may have to do unspeakable acts first. Maybe sacrificing a follower that the Daedra chooses or even an entire small town. In exchange, the Daedra may offer the character boons in the form of a massive boost in Magicka/ stamina, their artifact, or something else. What I like about this system is the ability for the player to choose a reward that would most benefit their own playstyle. A spell-slinging destruction mage would have a lot less use for a Warhammer like volendrung than a warrior, so why wouldn't they ask for arcane power instead? What kind of mage would pass up the ability to gain arcane power from an actual deity like Meridia or Azura? These bargains may have consequences though. A player who enacts these bargains may be hunted by vigilants of Stendarr, and other holy officers for the rest of their playthrough. Kind of like how the Lone wanderer would get hunted by mercenaries of different factions depending on their Karma level.
- Necromancy. Hoo boy, Necromancy is hurting for improvement. Sure, it wasn't exactly a bountiable crime in Skyrim, but at what cost? Your Zombie only lasted a minute or two, and you had to give up the ability to summon the (arguably) more useful atronachs while it was active. Once the spell was over, the zombie disintegrated, meaning that they could NOT be summoned again. Even at later levels, your max cap to raise them was 2. Zombies also had level caps that prevented the player from reviving certain people. I could say that the developers should allow the player to summon at least 4 at a time, and keep their zombies for at most a day (But knowing how difficult regular followers are inside buildings, it would be an absolute nightmare to program that many pathfinding entities) Instead, I think that the Devs should remove the level cap from raising certain dead bodies after the player reaches a certain level in Necromancy, with the catch that Necromantic spells are now seen to be as despicable as murder, and cannibalism in the eyes of the people. Good aligned followers will dislike you for doing it, you can gain a bounty for raising dead. In exchange, the benefits might make it worth the effort. Zombies could have the ability do bum rush enemies like ghouls from Fallout 4, and have a chance to knock humanoids over or disarm them. Zombies also could have the ability to explode all over enemies after unlocking a perk, which may cause those affected to run away in shock or fear. This alone would improve the combat system, but what about other perks? They could allow for zombies to fight as you command them to. You could command them to bum rush enemies like a ghoul, cast spells (if they know any) Shoot with a bow, or stall enemies with a shield (if they had any). Another improvement for necromancers would be the ability to bend pre-made undead to your will. The ability to turn Draugr, ghosts, and skeletons to your side without killing them first would be a fantastic addition to the conjuration branch.
- Bound Armor: I love the bound weapon system. I just think that the player should be able to conjure bound armor that scaled with the player's conjuration level. (I know that the alteration flesh spells exist, I just liked how you were able to summon a suit of daedric armor in Oblivion.) This would be even better if it came under the mage armor perk. Also, a bound shield that could have effects like Extra bash damage, a ward that scaled with restoration level, ( not as good as spell breaker, as it would drain a little Magicka on a successful block. Hell, why not even have an effect that would reflect a portion of damage on the attacker? These functions would unlock with perks, similar to how bound weapons worked in Vanilla Skyrim. An interesting visual addition to add would be altering the visuals of bound weapons to be completely transparent with little flames at a low conjuration level, with
- Invest Magicka into conjuration spells. Why rely on timers for spells when the player could just sacrifice a portion of their Magicka to keep it running instead? I think that the player should be able to lock away a chunk of Magicka to keep their atronach summoned while they cast. It's balanced, it's less frustrating, and it allows the player to focus more on combat. This could be an optional switch in case the player needs that extra Magicka to keep up a healing spell as they fight
- How about bringing back some old summons? Remember Scamps? Clannfear? Daedaroth? Flesh atronachs? Skeletons? Wraiths? Xivali? I would love to see a return of those guys in the next game.
How would you guys change Conjuration for the next game? I'd honestly like to know.
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