Todd Howard on Skyrim's toughest monsters: "the more of the main quest you do, the more dragons you'll run into"

Skyrim Preview Thumbnail - Dragon Perch

We've been speaking to Bethesda game director, Todd Howard about The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. So far we've covered small matters concerning crime reporting chickens , a disastrous marriage night and the lessons Bethesda have learned from Fallout 3 , but it was only a matter of time before the conversation turned to the creatures that Bethesda have shown the most in this year's Skyrim demos, dragons! When will they appear, and how often will we fight them?

"You have to do a little bit of the main quest - just the initial stuff - for the Dragons to really start appearing, because it sits in with the story," says Howard. "After that point, the more of the main quest you do, the more Dragons you'll run into. But it's hard to quantify it, they appear every once in a while. Not at a rate that is annoying... it still feels special."

"It's hard to know how people will play the game and it's a little bit random, so I don't want to say if it's once an hour or..."

What about those who decide to ignore the main quest and start exploring the world by themselves? Howard says that if players "don't want to proceed in the main quest, they're not going to get spammed with dragons."

"when one of them arrives, it changes whatever you're doing at the time. You could be on a different quest, going to a town, and a dragon shows up, so you're going to have to find a way to kill the thing or work with the townspeople or run away. So we spent a lot of time on that, and I think that the balance on that is pretty good right now."

Skyrim's is almost here. Come November 11, will you charge straight into the main quest, or will you pick a direction and start exploring?

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.