I, on the other hand, find it somewhat believable. I'd say about 50% of what the leaker wrote to be probable.
This is part of why it was so UNbelievable. Fake leakers generally say things that people already find to be probable.
How do I know this? Because I have an actual leak about TESVI right here, fresh from a friend who works for Bethesda in Maryland. I can show you her ID badge if you want, just message me.
It will take place in Hammerfell (the Redguards' province) fifty years after the events of Skyrim. Todd felt that the early games' short time shifts had left them too restricted in where they could take the plot, and that setting Skyrim 200 years later gave them more leeway to make the game independent, so they've compromised and gone for a fifty year gap. The Hammerfell setting allows them to tackle the themes of racism that they've been wanting to get to, as well as foregrounding strong black characters, which they feel is an important thing for media to be promoting right now. (The team were really encouraged by the response to Black Panther that they were on the right lines for where they wanted to be taking the series.) Earlier there had been some idea of doing a hybrid High Rock-Hammerfell game, but they decided that sticking to one province per game made more sense from a commercial perspective, to stop it from seeming like a clash with ESO, which covers all of Tamriel. There will also be fan-pleasing nod-backs to The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard
Because of the Red
guard / Hammerfell
setting the game will be called Redfall
. Like the previous games (Morrowind - Dagoth Ur; Oblivion - Mehrunes Dagon; Skyrim - Alduin) the ultimate antagonist will be from the pantheon associated with the region, this time one of the Yokudan gods, who will be explored in more detail: Satakal. In Yokudan mythology, Satakal is part of the eternal cycle of world destruction and creation, and the Hero will be called on to stop Satakal from destroying the world with the help of Ruptga, aka Tall Papa. The climax will be an awesome battle where the Hero becomes the avatar of Tall Papa and has a direct fight, god on god, with Satakal.
Politically, and tying into the Satakal-cycles theme, they are going to be showing the Redguards throwing off an invading empire by appealing to their long history of independence. In TESA: Redguard it was Tiber Septim's Empire, and in Skyrim they directly prefigured this game by repeatedly referencing how the Redguards threw out the Third Aldmeri Dominion. This time, tying in again to TESA: Redguard, the invading empire is the resurgent Sload Kingdoms, who have rebuilt Thras after their defeat by the All Flags Navy. Hardcore fans have been itching to see the Sload again, and the team wanted to introduce more original fantasy elements, like in Morrowind, which they recognised were missing from Oblivion and Skyrim. The slave-owning Sload colonising the Redguards very much ties in again to the important themes that Bethesda wants to address with this game, and which have always been there in earlier TES games. So there will be these two conflicts going on, one spiritual against Satakal, and one physical against the Sload, and both will result in the liberation of the Redguard people.
Mechanically the game is still not entirely fixed in stone because that will come later in development - Starfield isn't finished yet (look for it in Q4 2021, they were hoping to have it ready for the console launch but it got out of hand; TESVI is hoped for in 2024 but will probably be 2025), and the technical folks are all focused on that as they really want to land the launch of the new franchise. The team have been reassured though by the positive response to "purer" RPGs like Kingdom Come Deliverance, that those systems won't necessarily scare off audiences, so they are planning to add some of the more complex crafting and equipment systems (including magic crafting, the fake leak got that right at least) back in as options, though that might change by launch if it proves unwieldy. No KCD-style combat though, it was mooted but Todd put his foot down and said that the game needed to be kept accessible. They are also definitely pulling back from their tentative move towards a Witcher-style single voiced protagonist that they tested the waters with in Fallout 4. They felt it just didn't quite work with the kind of open-ended game that they make.
The game will not be as future gen as some people expect though. Yes, there will be plenty of graphics settings to take advantage of new consoles' abilities, but the sales people have been really impressed with how broadly they've managed to sell Skyrim, and they are hoping to be able to sell Redfall to basically anyone with a functioning console / computer and an internet connection. They even wanted to get it functioning in a cut-down form on tablets and mobiles, but it was too unreliable and they had to scrap that plan. However there will be lots of minor DLC - yes, you could call them microtransactions - but they've integrated it with the gameplay: some of the in-game merchants will sell you items for real-world cash. The idea is to make it feel natural in the world rather than buying these products externally to the gameplay experience. The Creation Club made lots of money despite the criticisms, so there's no way they're backing down.
I hope you enjoyed that sneak peak at what TESVI will be like! Let me know if you have any questions you guys. If need be I can pass them to my friend at Bethesda and let you know what I pull out of my ass because all leaks are fake.