The Elder Scrolls

How to improve destruction magic in TES6

TheElderScrolls2 - How to improve destruction magic in TES6

Destruction allows a mage of this school to harness the power of lightning, fire, ice, and light (if you bought dawnguard) to destroy their opponents. It barely has any lore behind its spells, and in practice, is one of the more boring spell types. The player can unlock multiple different spells of each element, but they all pretty much fall underneath similar categories: Concentration, Charged, AOE, Rune, Cloak, Charged+, Wall, and Master

For the next game, perhaps these kinds of spell could be introduced:

Touch: A melee spell that costs a little Magicka, and a little stamina (could be improved with one-handed perks until you're a basically a boxer with flaming fists)

Concentration+: Spells that send out waves of elemental force to bombard enemies. Instead of being a wimpy little hose of damage, this would be more reminiscent of dragon breath. It could also be able to incinerate, freeze solid, or disintegrate opponents. These spells could also fire in a cone that could affect multiple enemies at once.

Improved wall: This kind of wall spell would actually have hit detection, and could slow down enemies to keep some distance between the caster and their opponent. Ice walls would be most handy, but also the most fragile.

PERKS: The perks in the destruction tree aren't anything special. Mostly just reduced spell costs for spells of different levels, damage increases, stagger, and some debuffs at higher levels. Despite how plain they are, I would make only 3 changes.

1: Remove duel casting. This should be a feature that extends to spells of every school, and could only be learned at the next game's Mage's guild.

  1. Don't limit spell cost reduction to the difficulty of a certain spell. Instead, make it a blanket spell cost reduction.

  2. Skill level should be more than a number that represents which perks can be bought. It should also decrease spell casting time, and also increase spell damage by a small percentage.

  3. Add a high-level perk that allows certain spells to lock onto, and seek opponents. It's an RPG, not a competitive shooter.



In new vegas, there was a system that allowed the player to learn special unarmed moves: The Ranger takedown, the scribe counter, the Legion assault, and the khan trick. These wouldn't unlock through a perk system, you had to learn them from teachers around the map. In terms of spell casting, here are some ideas for spell casting techniques that the player would be able to learn.

Dual cast: Can double-hand a spell like a hadoken.

Multi-target: Can be learned after doing some quests for a teacher in the mage's guild. This can allow a wizard to target multiple enemies with the same spell, or the same target with more than one missile at once. Each time the wizard adds another missile to their attack, it costs more Magicka. It wouldn't be that handy at a low level but could be godly for high-level wizards.

Spell weave: This would allow destruction spells to twist around allies, thus making friendly fire much less of a problem. This could be taught by a safety-conscious mage like Tolfdir.

Smite: This could allow the player to charge up flashy elemental power attacks that cost Magicka and stamina, but do extra damage as a result. It could be learned from a retired war mage.

Ball of death: This could allow the player to overcharge a spell, like a firebolt with more Magicka for increased damage.

As for weapons? Mages get the short-end of the stick in terms of gear. Why not add in spell casting focuses like crystal orbs, wands, or rods, that add bonuses to spell casting This could mean a smaller spell cost, higher damage, or other effects.

In later posts, I'll rant on how the other schools of magic can be improved upon in the next game.

What do you think? Do you have any ideas on how the Bethesda team can improve the next Elder Scrolls?

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