based on new info from the new PSN, the hand to hand skill has been confirmed to have been removed.
New gameplay features introduced include dual-wielding (assigning a weapon or spell to each hand), and new weapons that can be smithed at a forge from heated metal. Unique finishing attacks are used for each weapon. Players can challenge (and be challenged by) any NPC to a western-style duel in the streets. The third-person perspective has been improved, and the heads-up-display is optional. Stamina can be expended quickly by choosing to "sprint", and backward movement is slower than forward movement.<ref name=FebGI/><ref name=VG247>[http://www.vg247.com/2011/01/08/the-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim-details-outed-on-combat-leveling-races-more/ VG247 Article on Skyrim details from Game Informer]</ref>
Character development has been changed as well; "class" selection and "attributes" selection are no longer used, and instead of the twenty-one skills in ''[[ob:Oblivion|Oblivion]]'' (twenty-seven in ''[[mw:Morrowind|Morrowind]])'', Skyrim will feature eighteen skills (
three of the removed skills are Mysticism, Athletics, and Acrobatics). Faster player level increases can be achieved by increasing developed skills. Gaining a level also grants the player level-specific skill abilities and an increase in health along with an option for a greater increase in health, or an increase in magicka or stamina. Leveling is possible above level 50, although at a much decreased rate. Level-scaling will be used, but will be more comparable to ''Fallout 3'''s system than Oblivion's. Five magic schools are used: Destruction, Alteration, Conjuration, Restoration, and Illusion. Regarding the player's personal physical appearance; there will be ten playable races, the player character will still be very customizable, and beards and customizable body features will be among the new options available.<ref name=FebGI/><ref name=VG247/>
Player/NPC interactions have been improved. Conversations between the player and NPCs will not freeze the rest of the game world, and the NPCs will continue their activities while occasionally glancing at the player. A new system "Radiant Story" has been developed for quests; NPCs react to the player's actions in new ways, such as fighting over possession of an item dropped by the player or attempting to return it to the player. The shop of a killed NPC may be inherited by another NPC, who may then offer the items/quests of the first but may not have the same disposition toward the player. The player's actions also directly affect side quest creation, as well as altering parts of quests. Your playing style also affects which quests are available, with some quests only being offered to those specializing in certain skills. Dialog options are also available with hostile NPCs.<ref name=FebGI/><ref name=VG247/>