I’ll point you here to my post on Planet Elder Scrolls with links to the podcast in question etc.
This is quoted from a poster at the official Bethsoft forums, who unfortunately seems to have had only a relatively passing aquaintance with the English language, but it’s readable for the most part.
I listened to the very interesting interview, and wrote down whatever I thought was new:
– The cause of all the going-ons with Oblivion can be traced to a single bad guy.
– (confirmed) all dialogue is voiced
– You actually have to steal stuff and fence it to advance in the thieves guild!
– (confirmed) Weapons are poisonable.
– there are newspaper couriours
– The purpose of the RAI system is to make things seem natural; Not to make NPCs seem smart. “Things don’t seem like they’re exactly the same. That’s really the point.”
– There are actual weekdays in the game, like sunday.
– Essential, unkillable characters are flagged with a crown.
– NPCs can’t steal.
– There are 5 types of horse, vary based on speed, health. Horses can defend themselves, they might flee.
– Horses fasttravel with you and get transfered to other stables.
– (confirmed) No to-hit rolls. If you hit, you hit.
– A LOT more levellists for items
– All resolutions supported
– monsters respawns
– treasures respawn
– Basically, locations get reset over time.
– If NPC attacks player, and player is in city, then guards “lay down the justice.”
– GUARDS CAN NOT DETECT STOLEN GOODS. A guard will only bother to come get you at a certain level of bounty. If you get away, and have a small bounty on the head, they don’t really care about you. If you get arrested, and you have stolen items on you, they take em’ all. If they don’t arrest you, they CAN NOT TAKE GOODS FROM YOU.
– There are traveling merchants… Some NPCs go from town to town on occasion.
– Named characters don’t respawn. “Skingrad guard” will.
– The merchant skill is now gold-based instead of item-based.
– If high in the armor class it doesn’t effect spell effectiveness. So mages CAN wear heavy armor when they’re really good at it.
– Making your quest an “active quest” shows where to go with a map marker (if applicable.)
– Hand-to-hand has a chance to disarm at very high levels. You need basically 100.
– You can only customize the face.
– Expansions won’t be downloadable.
– If you kill a villager in front of other people, the villagers will react differently.
– All dungeons are combat-based.
– You can improve your skills just by watching somebody train.
– There are about 50 standard creature types.
– “You are a couple of weeks from knowing the exact date it will be out. We have a date in mind. I am supremely confidant that it will come out that date.”
– Europe will be a couple days later release.
– TES V is not in the works but they’re absolutely going to make it.
Interesting stuff to say the least, though there’s not much in the way of new content the release date bit was a bit of a bombshell I thought.