Lead producer on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Craig Lafferty has told CVG that the Skyrim will have 70 different actors voicing all of the parts in the game, compared to just 14 for Oblivion. The variable quality of the voice acting and constantly repeated dialogue was one of the main bugbears for Oblivion players, who will be glad to hear that Skyrim's 47,000 lines will be shared between a small army. Not having to pay Patrick Stuart and Sean Bean is likely to have helped.
Speaking for CVG, Tim Clark asked Lafferty how Bethesda plan to make more convincing cities for Skyrim. He mentioned that "we had, I think, fourteen voice actors on Oblivion doing all the voices. In this one, we have seventy different actors doing all the different voices, over 47,000 lines, so we work to make that a variety there as well.
"Hand crafted" towns should make Skyrim's world more interesting to explore, which is useful, because Bethesda expect players to go off on their own. Lafferty said that the main quest could be completely ignored in favour of pure exploration.
"We're really big on 'go where you want, play where you want,'" he says. "It's really apparent when you come out at the very beginning of the game, you can follow the main quest, we want to guide the player along with it. You don't want to do the main quest, then, totally, it's one of the main things with the Elder Scrolls series, the freedom of this world."