A problem the Elder Scrolls games have is that they never live up to their scale. Take Whiterun for instance; it’s a supposedly major center of trade in one of the largest regions in Tamriel and yet its population is in the double-digits. That is to say nothing of Skyrim itself, which can be traversed by foot in an in-game day and a half. The scale problem also applies to the character, who are made out to be this great Chosen One but are still treated like every other adventurer by most people. I was hoping my idea for a game taking place solely in the Imperial City with a main quest focused mostly on some no-name trying to make one for themselves would solve both issues.
The game world will consist mostly of the Imperial City itself, now given proper depth and attention. In addition there is the expansive Waterfront District, suburbs sharing the Isle surrounding the city, some wilderness, and a bunch of small islands behind a loading screen in the form of a ferry ride.
Instead of a bunch of one-off dungeons that have nothing to do with each-other, there is only one large "dungeon" with two different parts. The Imperial City sewers are massive and home to all sorts of things, human and otherwise. They also allow you to access many areas in the city stealthily. Go deep enough into the sewers and you'll come upon the remains of the ancient Alyied city that the IC was build on. This is by far the most dangerous and rewarding area in the whole game to get to in terms of loot.
The plot would have you start out as a refugee who just got off a boat in the water district. You arrive just as the island had been closed off by the Supreme Chancellor after the murder of Emperor Titus Meade. The entire Elder Council is gathered and he won't let anyone leave until a new Lord Protector is chosen (which he thinks will be him).
The initial part of the game is trying to get out of the waterfront slum and into the city proper by acquiring official documents. You can get these legit or by other means. During this time, you will also have access to the non-city parts of the Isle as well. A perfectly legit way to complete this part is to sneak in through the sewers though this requires a specific build.
Once you actually get into the city, circumstances find you in the service of one of the candidates for Lord Protector. You can be a double or triple agent if you want and play the candidates off of each other.
You don’t generally become the formal head of any faction you join. Instead, you work up the ranks to become their Second-in-Command/Power-Behind-the-Throne instead of the outright leader. Joining and advancing in a guild requires you either have a certain standing in the world, a certain skill level, or both.
Unlike other Elder Scrolls games, where the mascot was some type of warrior (The Hero of Kvatch in Legionary armor for Oblivion, The Dragonborn in his iron helmet and sword/shield in Skyrim) the main play-style emphasized in the marketing for this game would be a rouge type character. That should reflect the more clandestine nature of the main quest. There is some dungeon diving into the sewers and elven ruins but most of the time you're tasked with assassination, blackmail, theft, or some other form of subterfuge. Of course other play-styles are perfectly viable as well.
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