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A news article started at Edge that has now made the rounds across the internet has brought to light Bethesda's wish to see mods for Skyrim made available for the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game.
Naturally, Todd Howard's words have been taken out of context and stretched beyond recognition on many forums, but here's the jist of it:QUOTEIt [modding] works on all the consoles. As far as the 360 and PS3, right now there’s not an avenue for us to make that available, but we’d very much like to find a way. We have talked to Microsoft and Sony, and so there's a chance it might happen one day, [but] I don't see it happening for release.
We'd like to see it happen, because it works, it's how we made the game. I think it's something really cool about what we do, but 90 per cent of our audience is on the consoles, so 90 per cent of our audience can't even see this thing. So if we can solve that we'd like to.
Before you get all excited please take note that there are a lot of "if's" and "buts" in what Todd is saying. Essentially what Todd is saying is that yes, they would like console gamers to be able to mod their copies of Skyrim much like PC gamers can, but the actual mechanism or medium to get mods downloaded and installed on to the consoles is not there right now, and that medium is squarely in the hands of Microsoft and Sony. You could almost read it as a "We'd love it, but it's not our fault if we can't do it".
The possibility to install PC mods on the console version of the games is definitely a good thing and people should be quick to avoid the stigma placed on console gamers due to the Call of Duty console kiddy stereotype you might have come across in your gaming travels. There's plenty of them on the PC platform too and we've born witness to most during our time here. Opening up modding to the console crowds increases modding exposure, including the number of people downloading or making downloads, potentially 10-fold if Todd's Oblivion sales figures are to be believed (only 10% of Oblivion players on the PC). That can only be good for the modding community.
G4TV has rewritten the rules of what constitutes a gameplay preview. Traditionally gameplay previews contained video footage the game illustrating how features would actually work in game. G4TV has altered this to mean an interview with Todd Howard where he discusses some details of Skyrim spliced with footage from the official trailer.
Todd Howard and Adam Sessler discuss the background and storyline of skyrim, changes to the statistics and attributes system, and dragons.
Please note that despite the name there is neither gameplaying or previewing in the video.
I have modified the individual category pages to add a search bar and an optional tag filtering system for the specific category you're browsing.
Many people often ask us why we don't add more refined categories to the site as they are struggling to find specifics (like armour for males in the armour category, or building mods with quests, etc.) and the answer is generally that we don't want hundreds of categories and sub-categories cluttering the site. Using the tagging system you can really drill-down and refine your search to the specifics that you are looking for within categories.
I'm hoping users will find this system helpful. The system is newly made and only tested by me so the changes have only been applied to TESNexus right now. I'll be porting this over to the other sites after a bit of feedback from the users here on TESNexus, so feel free to provide constructive feedback on this update.
Around about 10am today a petulant child who got banned from the site came back with a warning, demanding they be unbanned or they would DDoS the sites until they got their way. Naturally this warning was ignored, as would anyone who made such threats. A little while later the DDoS attacks started and the sites have been up and down a bit.
We're no strangers to DDoS attacks, we've had plenty in this site's history so please bare with us while we rectify the actions of a brat.
I will say this; I would never be forced in to unbanning someone who went about bringing down the sites in an illegal manner to try and get their way. I'd rather lose these sites completely than let that happen.
Update at 2pm GMT
The attacks are still going on but the effects are utterly negligible to you, the user. The malicious traffic isn't even reaching the servers and is simply being blocked by various router and firewall policies. As such service should be "as normal" for all visitors now.
Just want to do a shout out to my friends at Krystal, a company I helped found many years ago, who have been hosting the Nexus sites for the past couple of years. As soon as they found out about the problem they had two guys on it and practically stopped the attack within minutes. They continue to provide service above and beyond my expectations. If you're looking for some (UK based) hosting for your website then I could recommend no one better for the job than Krystal hosting, and if you use the coupon code "Nexus" when purchasing you'll get 50% off your order, because they like us and we like them :)
If you haven't checked the OBSE page yet, then here's an update.
The current stable version of OBSE is now v20. So if you're still using v19 because you didn't want to use the beta versions of v20, then go on over to the page and grab it!
Some of you might have noticed that all of the endorsement posts have been moved out of the "Comments" tab on file pages. These posts have not been lost, or deleted, but have instead been moved to a new pinned topic in the "Discussions" tab under the topic listed as the "Official endorsement topic".
The aim of this change is to reduce the amount of clutter in the Comments tab and separate normal comments and questions from the standard endorsement messages.
To help mod authors manage the comments and topics related to their file pages I'll also be rolling out a new page for each site, hopefully tomorrow, that will give a forum style view of all the threads related to your files. The page will list every thread in order of their last post date taken straight from the forums. The result will be something similar to filtering your uploaded files by "last comment DESC" but will cover every single one of your files, and make it easier to manage your comments.
At this time TESNexus and New Vegas Nexus have had their endorsement/comment system changed over and I'll be tackling Dragon Age Nexus and Fallout 3 Nexus tomorrow.
I recently had the pleasure of asking Arthmoor, one of the heads of the Unique Landscapes project, some questions about his work on these influential mods. I have been using UL since it was first released, and it has grown into a comprehensive re-imagining of Oblivion's greatest asset; its natural environment. See the interview below to learn a bit more about it.QUOTE
Q: Firstly can you introduce yourself, and tell us your role in the Unique Landscape series?
A: I'm Roger, aka Arthmoor, and also known in some circles as Samson. I am currently a co-admin for the Unique Landscapes Project.
Q: What was the genesis of the project?
A: Some time back in late 2006/early 2007, Addiktive formed the project with the goal of improving the look of Cyrodiil's landscape. The project grew from a couple of mods to the huge project we have today. It's been through several leadership changes as people come and go.
Q: What was your opinion on the vanilla terrain in Oblivion?
A: Personally I thought it was OK for the most part, but after awhile it did seem to run together and there weren't a lot of places where you could just stop and say "wow".
Q: One of the things that appeals to many people about the project is the modular nature of the individual landscapes; how much creative freedom does a modder receive?
A: Modders get very wide latitude so long as what they do doesn't break a vanilla quest, doesn't conflict with an existing UL mod, and the mod is lore-friendly.
Q: How much dialogue do you have with builders of other mods about compatibility? Is there a community there?
A: The official BGS forum thread is where most of our communication with other modders takes place. There isn't a specifically organized community around it but we handle all compatibility issues there. We provide an extensive list of patches for those mods that require them.
Q: Do any of the mods tell a story through the landscape? A history that is perhaps left behind? Or are they merely landscapes to be experienced as a space?
A: There are a few that do, Dark Forest comes immediately to mind with the abandoned village mixed in with the landscape changes. Bravil Barrowfields has a lot of old structures that hint at the past prosperity of the area it covers. To some extent, Brena River Ravine also tells a story of past Ayleid glory mixed in with the current situation there.
Q: Is much research done into similar, terrestrial landscapes before the work begins?
A: I'm not aware of it if any of the modders do that before beginning. I'd say the focus is probably more on how well it will fit in with the surroundings in Cyrodiil.
Q: In your experience, how long does a UL mod take to complete?
A: That depends largely on the size of the area being covered and on the pace of the individual modders. We have some that come out in a relatively short time, others that have been in the works for years. On average, I'd say most of them would take a minimum of 4-6 months to complete.
Q: The modules are known and loved, at least by me, for what lies below the bigger picture; the micro-environments, the little touches that one finds when traversing these places that completely fit with the detailed aesthetic of Oblivion. One of my favorites is in Aspen Wood, the wonderful sense of scale you get as you emerge from the woodland and ascend to that statue. Which is your favorite?
A: I'm probably biased on this one but I'm very fond of Brena River Ravine. The graduated levels of the dam, plus the sheer size of the waterfall there is something that just isn't matched anywhere else in the game. If I had to choose another as a favorite I'd have to say River Ethe for the awesome scenery you go through as you walk along the banks between Chorrol and Skingrad.
Q: Do any of the modders, as far as you know, have experience in landscape design, architecture, or another related field?
A: Not as far as I know but it wouldn't surprise me if some of them did.
Q: What's on the release schedule at the moment?
A: Currently we have 5 that are in progress: Corbolo Fisheries, which overhauls the area around the mouth of the Corbolo River, River Strid, which is a massive overhaul of the river areas along the southern border with Valenwood, Silverfish River Valley, which aims to liven up the surroundings of the Silverfish River, the Eastern Peaks, which is an extensive modification of the southeastern Valus Mountains along the border with Morrowind, and The Jerall Glacier, which covers the northeastern portion of the game map.
Q: Finally, would you like to work on similar projects in Skyrim? Mind you, the landscapes look quite dramatic already...
A: That really does depend on just how good the landscaping is in Skyrim. We haven't really discussed it in detail yet but who knows. I'm pretty sure there will still be interest in more landscaping mods for Oblivion even after Skyrim is out. Elder Scrolls games seem more than capable of standing the test of time. After all, people are still modding Morrowind today.
You can find examples of the project here and here, and all of Arthmoor's mods can be found at the bottom of this page.
Are you the sort of person that displays subscriber magazine covers above his fireplace like treasured family heirlooms? Do you have a legitimate (and legal) way to acquire at least $260 in the next two days? Well, it's your lucky day!
In support of the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund, Bethesda are auctioning a special edition of the Skyrim Game Informer Issue, the first magazine exclusive of the new Elder Scrolls title, signed by the development team. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to charity, and you end up with an excellent piece of Skyrim loot.
You can bid here at the eBay page, but with two days left in the bidding you may need a little more cash.
In addition to earlier news, the voting on the Art of Videogames exhibition has been extended to April 17th, so make sure you get your votes in.
I have just put up a new job opening over in our Jobs section for an experienced PHP web developer. This will be a full-time paid position which is a major step for me, and the Nexus, and will form a part of the on-going improvements being made to the network over the coming months and years.
As I've hinted at in recent blog posts I'm coming to the limits of my knowledge, and time, and this year will be a transitional and reformative year for the Nexus as various changes are made to accommodate progress and improvement.
If you are an experienced PHP developer living in the UK in need of work then head on over to the job information page for more information on the role.
Similarly I am on the lookout for a couple more news writers to bolster the ranks of our current writers who have been doing an excellent job so far. If you've got a knack for writing and your finger on the pulse of the news in the community then perhaps you'd like to write for the Nexus?
Over at G4TV.com, there is currently a contest between Starcraft and the Elder Scrolls franchise to see which is better.
You do have to sign up (or sign in, if you already have an account) to vote, however.
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