The Elder Scrolls 6: Should Bethesda Do Away With Perks?
Perks may have been a mistake.
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim represents what is probably the best leveling system that Bethesda ever developed. Taking and mixing elements of skill based leveling, where any skill would be leveled up the more you used it, and perk based leveling, where you got points to spend on certain unlockable abilities and bonuses each time you leveled up, Skyrim‘s leveling created an excellent mix of deft game balance and flexibility in character builds.
And yet, as seems to have been the trend, with Fallout 4, Bethesda took it too far. Fallout 4‘s leveling is almost entirely perks based- you level up, you select a perk on the perk tree, and you level up again. Sure, your actual stats also increase each time you level up, but entire builds become redundant, as emphasizing on certain perks over others leads to the character having an easier time of things.
This has, naturally, contributed to the diluted experience that Fallout 4 is as an RPG over its predecessors- and accordingly, this is something that Bethesda should be looking at reversing with the next game that they make.
So let’s consider The Elder Scrolls 6– with this game, should Bethesda be dialing back on the perks a bit? I contend that they should. RPGs have been doing perfectly fine without perks for years, after all- and clearly, they have the potential to wreck game balance. Instead, maybe Bethesda should look into making leveling a more organic and invisible experience, one where users don’t even have to peruse front facing numbers and hard stats, but can instead be assured that the skills they use the most are the ones they will be the best at in the game.
In other words, maybe for The Elder Scrolls 6, it would be best if Bethesda went with an entirely skill based and usage based leveling system rather than going perk based- at the very least, I suppose it would let players customize their builds entirely, and it would do so without making any build unviable over the others.