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Which was the first Elder Scrolls game you played?

Friday, 4 November 2011

Chubby Steve

Oblivion horse
A couple of weeks ago, it was pointed out to me how well the horses have been done, compared to Oblivion, so therefore I have taken this opportunity to talk about that, as well as pay homage to Chubby Steve at the same time.

It's not that I want to go on an hour-long, punctuation-less rant about how the horses in Skyrim are more detailed, with greater muscle markings, making them less cartoony and much cooler, which is why we should enjoy riding them a lot more, which I think we will do, not only because of their obviously cooler design, but also due to their more realistic pace and movement and if you take a good, long look when you're riding them in, i'm guessing, about 2 weeks from now, You'll notice that they don't just magically glide sideways when you turn around, but they actually turn around in a more realistic horse-way and thanks to Chubby Steve, which we've seen countless times now, we have been able to make this observation and make comparisons to the horses of Oblivion and finally conclude just how much they've improved in the sequel, but it's just that I feel like I have to make a point out of how great it is that they've done so much out of the horses.

Chubby Steve

Chubby Steve

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Race & Relationship

It is foretold that... Ah, screw it! I was asked about racism, okay?! Nah, seriously - I was asked about the relationship between the different races, due to the fact that it can have a minor impact on peoples' disposition towards the player. But before you go any further, I need you to listen to this song whilst you are reading.

This is what I've come up with:

Vvardenfell totally fell apart due to the eruption of Red Mountain - Not many years later, The Argonians came from Black Marsh and pushed all of the Dunmer out of Morrowind. Evidently the Argonians don't favor their religion, nor their willingness to accept slavery.

That aside, the Dunmer fled primarily to Solstheim and Skyrim, so I guess they'll be common and I am also guessing:

Dunmer X Argonian

So that's one! But there is much more potential to be screwed over, 'cause we still have 8 races to go! And true enough, the Dunmers' weren't the only ones forced to bend over and take it from behind, no, the Orsimer also had to go for a ride.

It just so happens that they had a capital city named Orsinium and the Bretons and the Redguards got the brilliant idea to team up and take on the most awesome race in all of Tamriel - Ha! Like they could win against Orcs!

Okay, so they did win, but is that really relevant? The point is that Orsinium got ransacked and the remaining Orcs also fled to Skyrim, as well as that we should keep in mind that Orcs are awesome!

Redguard & Breton X Orsimer

Well, apart from that, I read somewhere that Nords don't like their Dunmer visitors, so I guess we'll see a little:

Nord X Dunmer

And this is not much, but it is seriously, all I know. But I guess that's part of the excitement, isn't it?

God, you're such a Falmer!

Falmer is the keyword here. You can probably guess by the -mer that it is an elven race, more specifically "ice elves." Being aware that they are in the game for a while, I've been to ignorant to write about them - That's me, I'm such a bad boy.

Don't you dare think that this is from
Presumably they are not going to be as rare as lore makes them up to be - I'm certain that it's less rare than Celine Dion fans, But I guess that doesn't pose so big an interval to judge from. And no, Falmers' have nothing to do with Celine Dion and nor do I think that they'd want to, but to show you what I mean, quantity-wise, I'll present to you a scenario, which one of the journalists doing Skyrim (hehe - doing,) ran into!

He was walking at a mountain and he ran into a group of Falmer (4 - if I remember correctly) and they discussed religion - I believe he said that he believe in Akatosh, or Talos and then they went frenzy on his ass and he died - may he rest in glorious peace. (Evidently, they were Thalmer, not Falmer. I know - I thought it was stupid too.)

So far they've only been described as "Goblin-sized with skull helmets," but hopefully we'll hear more soon. Or see it. When we, you know, get the game. Soon. In a week.

A nice reader sent me this next picture of the Skyrim version of Falmer:

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Werewolf screens

I don't know how to express myself clearly - I feel like I am being fucked with. I don't like it. Of course I see the sarcastic irony, in Pete Hines lie about Mai'q not being in the game. Ha. Ha.

Yet, here I am. Confused. Are there werewolves or are there not? Bethesda took a long time deciding, and one time only, where we were told that if it wasn't part of the initial release, then with DLC. Good enough.
Then we were told that they wouldn't be in the game, few weeks ago (like 2?) and we had to place our money on the DLC.

Then I found this and ask myself:

Why are you messing with me?!

There's clearly a picture of a werewolf, whom we've been asked to kill, presumably by a terrified local town. However, he is clearly reasonable and might even become a possible companion.

Then I'm thinking, "Maybe Beth just meant that we couldn't transform into a werewolf."

See where I am going with this? The second picture shows active effects on Dovahkiin (us,) and it clearly shows us the effect of Hircine's ring: Transform into a werewolf any time, at will; Or as it phrases it: "Additional werewolf transformation." This suggests, and I'm inclined to say proves, that we'll be able to turn into werewolves.

I feel like we're getting banged around like feather shuttlecocks here and whilst the tension and element of surprise is exciting, the concept of a broken hope is devastating. Just putting it out there. Thoughts?

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Tavern Tumble

This is classic role-play! Where do you go if you want something to do? The tavern.
Thankfully to the spirit of RPG, as well as that of tradition, taverns will play a much larger role in Skyrim, than in any TES game before it.

Albeit a decent place to find a bed, the taverns of Skyrim's predecessor, Oblivion, was only harbor to a number of quests, that could be counted on one hand. I recall a Khajit woman, whom had lost her potatoes to an ogre thief; An Altmer who wanted to explore a cave filled with monsters, and some dude named Raynil, whom we had the pleasure of reuniting with his brother. - Oh, and something about a sad ghost!

Not a lot to go for, but the keywords here are: Mucho improvement!
God Howard and Sir Hines have claimed that taverns will play a much larger role, when it comes to quest sourcing and rumors. I imagine that the first place we can go if we want something to do, is the inn! Yet, as we enter the inn, we must remember that there is more to do here than just ask around!

One of my favorite possibilities here is - And we need to underline this - Tavern Brawls!
If you get people drunk and piss them off, people should start bashing each others' faces in - including yours! Now that we're on the subject of getting people riled up; How do we go about that? Well, I know of one way: Bards! You can hire bards to keep playing, people will get riled up and drunk, making it not only easier to make them frenzy, but also to steal their possessions. [Evil smile.]

But wait?! Are we done yet?! Not quite, my children, not quite! The radiant AI has been improved overall, and in taverns, this will come to show! When we come in and take a seat, we might hear the non-so-faint yell of a stressed out tavern owner, ordering the nearby waitress to take our order. It probably also exists in a non-mean version, though. The taverns will, with all of this, definitely be a huge influence on our experience. Without. A. Doubt!

Skyrim - How long will you last?

They say that all god things, come to an end. Well, then I guess that it's a good thing that Skyrim is awesome!
I don't know about you, but I played Oblivion for 4 years before putting it on hold and I have no doubt in my mind, that if Skyrim won't last that long, it's only because it will last longer!

One of the main things that kept Oblivion going (or any TES game, really,) was that we were free to go about our business as we saw fit. Everytime we played the game, we always had the chance to do things differently - You never got the exact same playthrough. This is indeed the core of the TES world and it shall continue to thrive in Skyrim.

With that in mind, I'd like to argue that Skyrim will last all the way to Elder Scrolls VI - Why?

As god deity Todd Howard mentioned to a journalist whom was playing the game recently: Everything we do, is remembered by the radiant story system - even burning a chicken! It's seriously everything we do! Where did we go, who did we talk to, what did we say, what did we fight, how did we fight and kill it and when did we do it?

It takes all factors into account, and uses them to shape our adventure, which will now appear more dynamic than ever! Six years ago, Radiant AI was the big, new thing - Well, now it's radiant story - The ultimate RPG tool.

If the general feeling is, that Oblivion was able to create several epic journeys, then Skyrim will not be a good, or even a great game! It will be an awesome game!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Modding assumption: Console Condolences

Yes, I chose to roll PC this time around, just for Skyrim - but console wise, there's still something that is bothering me. This is just an assumption,but I get the feeling, from the way Bethesda's folks have been talking about it lately, that what we were told would come to pass, will not.

I talk about modding for consoles. Howard told us back in July that they would integrate modding to consoles - In fact they already could, they just didn't have a decent security system for it - They hadn't even begun working on it (Which is fine.)

It's just they way they talk, when modding's on the table - It's just a feeling; A hunch - I'm just saying: Don't get too down, should it turn out to be an empty promise. I'll keep you posted on the topic - from now on, I'll be watching it closely.


Are you a total hippie? Then you might wanna turn your heads away, 'cause this shit iz gonna' get uglay'! From the great forests of Skyrim, the spriggans make their return and they are by far more devious than ever. By that, I mean that they ain't pathetic chicks that summons bearcubs not even worthy of the name "Winnie the Pooh!" He was more deadly than they'll ever be, and that's saying a lot!

No, Spriggans make a return, more rugged (<-- Random adjective) and more male-ish than ever. Being the pretty mean forest spirits that they are, we'll have no choice but to slay them and light them on fire! As well as the forest where they resided prior to their death. You know.... Just to make sure.

Say hello to my little (Dragon)friend!

It's been said, but yet to been done. I'd like to put emphasize on a really peculiar event that Howard recently spoke of: the befriending of a dragon.

 [Guess the movie reference in this post's title]

If you don't know yet, it just so happens that we will, presumably through the main quest, get a chance to get all social with a dragon, which we then eventually will be able to call to come and aid us in combat, with a dragon shout called "Animal Allegiance." It is the third and final word in the shout, which means that you'll have to find and master the two previous words before you'll be able to summon this fire-breathing son-of-a-bit.. Son-of-a-dragon.

How we meet it and how we persuade it to join our side, I have no idea of. I honestly didn't expect this. At this point I also feel like I should mention that you won't be able to ride him. Oh, and of course you can only summon him outside.

I really hope that we have to defeat him before he joins us, just to prove that we're more badass than him. It's actually just so I won't feel like a pansy for calling on him.

That aside, I've noticed something interesting about him - It might just be me that's colorblind, but I felt like I should throw my observation out there. Kinda like I throw soda cans after armadillo's. Only.
I'm weird, but Todd said that there were 6 main types of dragon, of which I think we've classified in another post, though it is not official, just observation.

If our list is right, then this fellow is one of the "unique" dragons, that differs from the other, typical (yet not quite so dull,) dragons. When I paused the video for the 132th time, I noticed that he was kind of a dark-blue / Purple color <--- So what kind of dragon is that supposed to be? A Jill? I don't think so, 'cause they are supposed to be black.

Who is this dragon? Why is he different? Why is he on our side? People, tell me - What the fuck is going on?

The indomitable power of children

A highly debated topic for TES fans ATM, is the whole thing with children being unkillable. Why is it like this and how will it affect our game experience.
Whilst some NPCs unfortunately is essential (unkillable,) it is a necessary evil that we must endure, so that we can reap the benefits of many wonderful quests and stories - But children ain't really all that important on that account, are they?

A guy on the TES forums came with a good example for the con list. He spoke of an annoying, un-immersive scenario that he would hate to happen to us. Should he kill the denizens of an entire town (for reasons unknown,) he would not want the children to continually run away from him as he approached a town that should be un-populated.

That is undoubtedly a mighty fine argument for why we should be able to violently butcher innocent children, but alas, we must take everything into account.

When Hines was asked on Twitter, I distinctively remember him answering that a lot of the people who work at Bethesda are fathers, and wouldn't feel comfort or joy in letting any harm come to children, virtual or otherwise.  This is fairly understandable, and whilst a concentrated population of internet trolls and bullies would argue that Bethesda consists of a bunch of pussies (not my opinion,) but lets not forget a secondary argument, which I am sure that Bethesda has also thought of. Should they have done it in spite of being uncomfortable with it, they would have been staring straight at lawsuits and riots, consisting of angry, displeased parents  (Them I don't like, though.)

This could all boil down to a matter of taste. Some can take it; Some can't. But I guess where I am going with this explanation, is that I want peace on the matter. The verbal fight that rages across forums is a war unnecessary - And you know why? Because 5 days will pass after the release and we'll have a mod, making the offspring of Skyrim quite potentially dead.

Don't have a PC? Well, then I guess you've got to rethink your life a bit.

Why you should choose the path of: Melee

We've been back and forth, done magic and stealth, but here is the last, and I expect, least sought out path: Melee. Now I can understand why you'd want to be a deadly assassin, moving through the landscape unseen and unheard, as you make your way to your target, successfully making his death look like an accident.
I can also see why you'd might want to be a powerful mage, watching your inferior enemies tremble in fear as you begin to set everything around you on fire, as well as enjoying their failed attempt to run away after you've iced them.
But people! We're forgetting the oldest kind of hero! The Knight! (The oldest actually is demigod, but nevermind that!) The big, strong, presumably handsome man, whose ability in close combat outmatches the brute force of any adversary, be that a brute orc commander or a fierce dragon that roars with fiery death! One who's not afraid to get up close and battle it out - And you know why? 'Cause that son of a bitch can take it! Every single punch, kick and swing you take at him, he just brushes it off and kicks ass. Sort of like Batman. Now, who wouldn't want to be him?

Bring it, bitches!
Unlike the two other paths, the tools (weapons) of the warrior are not limited to specifics, but he has a wide array, which brings me closer to the point - It'll just be a minute. The thing that keeps the warrior alive is the hardcore armor and the crazy amount of health, giving them the ability to absorb heaps of damage before finally falling over whilst dying a necessarily bloody death, preferably by dragon, so that there is a good excuse. This all means that he can get in close and make use of one of the more enjoyable aspects of melee combat in Skyrim: Finishing moves.

This is where the ability to mix and match all sorts of weapons, comes in play. It works like this: Dovahkiin has a different finishing move for every weapon and every enemy in the game - Surely you've seen the mace dual-wielding hero in some of the recent footage, whom slays a troll in the most awesome of ways. Now it is even cooler than... Batman!

No need to be careful
Why walk around with a shield spell in hand - Or crouched in the darkness, when it ain't necessary? You could be awesome instead! One of the great perks of rolling warrior style, is that when we scout through the dark cave, or through the trees of the autumn forest, we don't have to watch out, 'cause if anything jumps on us, we don't give a shit. We. Just. Kill. It.

... Or tame it, if it's a bear!!

Crafting skill: Smithing
This is just rad. Unlike Oblivion's armorer skill, this isn't about repairing our disintegrated fur boots with a hammer - Our equipment doesn't disintegrate anymore, so there's not really much to repair, now is there, Timmy? Didn't think so! No, instead we create, upgrade and sharpen stuff to make our armor tough and our blades deadly! Once we master this fine skill, we'll be able to create stuff out of even Dragonbone! But keep in mind that these bones are insanely heavy, so you may have to kill a couple of dragons in order to get enough bones back to the forge town.

The Companions - soon to be your companions, my brute friend! This is the warrior guild, equal to the fighters' guild in Oblivion, consisting of melee fighting mercenaries. They are primarily seated in Whiterun, but they have several sub-divisions elsewhere - I personally know of two: The Shield Brothers and The Circle. As you travel through the wilderness of Skyrim, you may come upon a farmstead, where a bunch of Companions are fighting a giant. Should you help them, their leader will thank you; Should you not, she'll be displeased with you - either way she invites you to go to Whiterun to join the companions.
Whether you have to prove your merit in Whiterun, or taking down a giant is enough, is unknown.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

McBraas Responds: Thoughts on the new Dark Brotherhood

If you are anything like me, you'll never forget what an incredible experience it was to be woken up by a man, wrapped in a pitch black robe, giving you the chills as he lends the creepy, yet talented voice of Wes Johnson. It was thrilling and exciting, as he granted you the Dagger of Woe, with a goal; A purpose. After the death of Rufus, Lucien LaChance sent us to Cheydinhal and as we first entered the Sanctuary, we knew that we were not alone - We had a family.

Sure, eventually we had to assassinate every single one of them, but that's not really the point, now is it?
Point being - Joining and working with The Dark Brotherhood is probably one of the most memorable RPG experiences that I have lived through and I can only hope that it will be just as epic in Skyrim.

So what do we know so far? Well, we no longer grab their attention by killing an innocent. Although it was a cool way to spark their interest, it's fair to say that it was also easy - That is if you do not have a conscience.
Bethesda decided to up the stakes a little, and it seems that we really have to stand out this time around - As far as I've gathered, we have to receive a quest from some stupid kid somewhere (might be random due to Radiant Story) and that quest will take us on a dangerous, yet epic journey somewhere potentially painful and lethal - Which is no more than a normal day for Dovahkiin! All we can hope is that it doesn't interfere with our afternoon spot of tea.

Grabbing them by the beard and shaking it aside, it looks as if they've gotten a new design, expanding their previous, already vast choice of clothing and style (black.) How do I know this? Well, I've obviously acquired a super secret video (public on YouTube) and taken some pretty hardcore screenshots. It seems that they wish to emphasize what impact blood has on their career, should we choose to reflect on the dark red color, mixed with the classic black. How do I feel about this? Well it's just our friend Tony the Tiger always says: Greaaa-at!

Apart from one little detail, that about covers it. What little detail? What, McBraas?! Be nice and tell us, please! Please!! We're dying to know! If you don't tell us, we will have to lock ourselves in the back of our minivans (which everyone has) and get our non-awesome, non-skyrim friends and or comrades to take us to the nearest lake and dump us in there, along with them and the van, in shame and agony, after stopping at the local gas station to fill up the tank on the van, as well as a quick dummy beating behind the dumpsters, reminding us that we really don't have a place in this world; this universe even!

Well, when you ask like that, who could say no? We know what their entrance looks like. I used my keen memory and the magic of sight to spot that the symbols on the door in a certain screenshot, matches the carvings on the door to the Cheydinhal Sanctuary. I also recalled several reviews (3,) where the journalists found this door and mentioned that the skull asked them several riddles, which they didn't have the wit to answer correctly. Given that three people found it by coincidence, I'm thinking that it is rather easy accessible and we know that it ain't located in a city this time around.

I dream that we once again can enjoy the ecstatic and blissful ride of a long series of tasks along our dark brethren - Maybe this time around, we'll even get to do jobs along with some of our brothers and sisters. We can't know for sure, until the game is out; However, One thing we do know for sure is: As soon as Skyrim is out, we've got a family to join - And may the joining be bloody!

You've got to be kidding me!

You know, I love spoilers; Most of the time, anyway. I look at spoilers for several mangas every week and it is good! But the fact that someone would leak the Skyrim manual against Bethesda's will was appalling, yet I couldn't help myself. The horror and glee, mixed together in a pot of tension, rises up again today, a mere 5 hours before writing this - And do you know how? Maybe you've heard already? Someone leaked the first 20 minutes of Skyrim, which is to say: "The intro." And not some intro video with enthusiastic music, no, the real fucking intro! Execution and interruption - Everything.

Guy with sword = ZeniMax
Bear = YouTube accounts
Once again I felt a small surge of negative energy flowing through me, as I thought of how disloyal whomever leaked it is! Did it stop me from watching? no.

I just got home and found out, as ZeniMax was closing down YouTube channels for showing their game intro before the official release - It was less than 10 minutes before it was closed down that I found the first part, covering 13 minutes, and started streaming it, allowing me to watch it. As far as I can tell, all of the video sources have been closed and it is no longer accessible.

That said, if anyone so desires, I will describe what I saw in the video - But for that you've got to tell me first. If you want me to, I'll make a post about that and make sure to mark that it is spoilers.