Great news. Especially the bolded bit.
The go anywhere do anything bit I understand. But what's wrong with dipping your toe in a particular part of the map, getting your ass whooped, and plotting revenge against them till your powerful enough to have another go. I enjoy having some beef with an orc or something that kicked my ass way back. Your free to *go* there, and *try* to do anything... but you might fail!
Still, what you've outlined above sounds like a much better compromise then the Oblivion mess. I'm far more excited about it now.
^^^I agree that it can be an interesting gameplay feature to wander into areas where your character is completely outclassed. Fallout 1 and 2 made good use of that.
Yeah, there are a few places like this.
The open outside world will be like Fallout 3/New Vegas, where you have places where things are too difficult to go there (like the Deathclaw areas, for example), and dungeons are pre-leveled this time around, where there are a lot of low level dungeons, but there are also dungeons set and certain levels, and when you enter them they lock to whatever level they are when you enter, so that you can go back there when you get stronger to clear it out.
There are also certain items that are manually placed in the world. Like Oblivion, for example, 90% of the gear was randomly placed and the other 10% was off select enemies. In Skyrim, there will definitely be random loot, however, there will be more armor/weapons manually set by the dev team that are hidden away for you to explore and find.
I personally think this is the best way to do it, am excited to see how it all plays out.