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Ever since returning from my long bank holiday weekend away on Monday I've had a stinky head cold followed by high temperatures. Confined to my bed for reasons other than being lazy (unlike usual) I've simply been watching films, series, and playing a game that made it's way to my door recently: Two Worlds.
I hadn't heard anything about Two Worlds before a month ago when idle chatter on an IRC room I frequent sparked my interest. Heralded as a cross between Oblivion and the Gothic series, I became interested. Even now I haven't read up on the game, I've simply installed and played it. As far as I know it has had a confusing release, where by it has been out in many European countries for something like a couple of months, and is yet to be released in countries like the US. Seems odd, but I'm not getting involved.
As far as the game goes; it's not Oblivion, and it's not Gothic 3, but I'm certainly finding it enjoyable (it could be the pills I'm popping every 4 hours...).
The game is played in a 3rd person perspective. No first person option available. While this is slightly annoying to begin with you should quickly get used to it. I'm an FPS fan, but it seems fine to me now.
The combat is bland, often revolving around taking four swipes with your sword, jumping back (that's a bound key) to avoid a hit, then repeating. Mobs revolve around meeting one of the following options: 3 - 5 wolves, 3 - 6 bandits or 1 bear. This scales up as you progress (to things like Orcs, Wyverns, and spiders..woo!). So, combat isn't exactly great and definately not unique. Ultimately death comes to you when you meet a hard hitting mob (like the bear) along with 3 - 5 wolves or bandits (or all of them).
Visually the game is appealing, if not slightly in need of more aliasing. While I run the game at x4 AA it still looks pretty jaggy in places which is not helped by the crazy amounts of foliage. More than your run of the mill Oblivion game, anyway. You'll see some great views though, with castles, towers, mountains, trees, rivers, etc. being visible for miles and miles.
The game world is big enough. While nothing ridiculously huge, if it were any bigger I'd probably be put off playing. The usual environments are there; woods, mountains, beaches and deserts.
It's an open-ended game, just like Oblivion; so quests can be done as and when wanted. The quests are your usual run-of-the-mill "go here, do that, come back for a reward" type, but since the levelling system works off conventional XP it seems a little more worth it than it does in Oblivion. Running around in the wilderness does have its uses, mainly in finding rare alchemy ingredients, but there's a real lack of deep, entertaining or challenging dungeons available. The developers obviously aren't great fans of dungeons. Outsides good, insides bad.
Alchemy actually has a use in Two Worlds, allowing you to produce "permanent effect" potions; potions that permanently add to your stats. Coupled with that is a system where-by you can compound the same items into high-level versions of the same item. Ergo if you have two class 1 "Sword of the Light", you can put them together to create a class 2 "Sword of the Light" that will have a higher damage rating, and sometimes extra buffs. It adds a little more depth to the inventory system and helps to ensure you're not constantly at the merchants trying to buy new armour every couple of levels.
There's probably more, but I can't be bothered to ramble any more. I'll put it simply; the game is nothing special, but if you're a lover of open-ended RPGs, or like listening to your own music while rambling through the wilderness then this game is probably for you. I've finally gotten around to listening to that Metallica S&M album I've been putting off for years...
I'm not sure how good the demo is, but give it a go.
The number of confirmed tags in the file database has now hit the 1,000 mark. 1,000 was the number I set before I launched the tag search feature. I will be launching the search, hopefully, tomorrow. I have been away since Thursday on an extended bank holiday, and while the search feature is ready I would like the time to test it a little further.
Thanks to all the people who have been tagging files in the database.
Edit: Unfortunately I only got an hour's sleep last night after developing a nasty temperature and head cold. I am postponing the official launch of the tag search until I am well enough to focus more. To see what I have done thus far, you can visit the current tag search page.
I have changed the rating system in the Image Share section to the same system used in the file database. You now need to provide a comment with your rating, and users can see who has rated images.
Thought I'd chime in on advacements in the site recently. I'm really glad Buddah and LHammonds have been helping out with the site; there are now less dead links and less duff ratings than ever before. As some of the nasty, unnecessary ratings are removed there have been some real movers and shakers in the top 150 files. Amazingly Midas Magic Spells of Aurum was debunked off the top spot. That was until I removed a couple of duff ratings for the file, and then it shot to the top again. Atleast the Unofficial Oblivion Patch had it's glory moment, if only for a short while!
Tagging is progressing steadily. I have coded a simple tagging search but will not be releasing it until more files get tagged. As of writing there are currently only 70 confirmed tags (that is, tags that have 3 or more confirmed agreements). So keep tagging along and I'll release the search soon!
There is also a new image ontop of the top 20 images in the Image Share section of the site. The Image Share section has really taken off, and there are now 1,100 images uploaded and available for viewing. The only thing missing are people to rate the images -- lots of uploaders, not many raters. So if you enjoy seeing some cool Oblivion pics, or are an uploader, then spend some time looking through the database and handing out some ratings!
I have reduced the number of suggestions needed for a tag in order for it be confirmed from five to three. This will increase the number of confirmed tags in the database.
There are nearly 3,000 tagging suggestions in the file database and growing. Keep it up folks, because the more you tag files with accurate descriptions, the better the search results will be once it is released!
Over the past few weeks I have been working on a tagging system for files in the file database. This new system allows all users (not just authors) to specify tags for a file that better describe its contents.
The frontend that allows users to suggest and rate tags for specific files has just been launched. You can access it by clicking the "Tag this file" link on file pages.
I have yet to begin coding the search functionality, the system that will allow you to search for files via its confirmed tags. My thinking is to allow users of the site time to get to grips with the system and use it as much as possible, ready for when I finally code the searching system. Hopefully by that point a lot of the files will have some confirmed tags and the search function will have a use! You need to jump to it and get on it; go visit your favourite files, or the files you've downloaded recently from TESSource and start tagging them up.
If you don't know what tagging is, or don't understand the concept after reading the blurb on the tagging window, you might want to read through my guide. It helps to better explain the system and how to use it.
It's that time again where I shed the old and bring in the new. The last poll asked "What is your favourite Oblivion town?". Here are the results:
19% 1143 Votes
10% 604 Votes
19% 1160 Votes
3% 203 Votes
16% 937 Votes
12% 705 Votes
13% 797 Votes
4% 214 Votes
4% 212 Votes
Total votes: 5975 Votes
Interestingly Skingrad tops the poll as the TESSource users' favourite town.
In the new poll I ask "As an Oblivion player are you interested in Bethesda's new game, Fallout 3?". Get voting!
While Zenimax Online, sister company to Bethesda recently setup to focus on MMOG's, is not directly related to the Elder Scrolls series I think keeping on top of their plans might well be interesting to some (as it is interesting to me).
Matt Frior has been in the lime-light a lot recently after it was announced he has been pulled in from MMO developers Mythic (Dark Age of Camelot, Warhammer Online) to head Zenimax Online. This "pinging" interview with Matt focusing on the inception and direction of Zenimax Online.QUOTETen Ton Hammer: Can you tell us a little about the direction that ZeniMax plans to take in regards to an MMOG? Are there any game concepts in the works already?
Matt: I've only been on the job a little while, so we're putting our strategy together right now. We've kicked around some concepts and ideas, but nothing concrete yet. We'll announce those when the time is right.
Still no word on a game concept or whether it will be based on a current franchise. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
I thought I'd set aside some time to introduce two new (yet known) faces to the TESSource staff. LHammonds and Buddah, well respected members of this community and two of the most helpful and dedicated members in the entire Elder Scrolls community have kindly agreed to help moderate the file database at TESSource.
Joined by current staff member Povuholo, LHammonds and Buddah will help to clean up the file database by fixing dead links, erroroneous file information, irrelevent or nasty file comments. My thanks goes out to all three of them for their help with the site.
On a related issue I would like to bring attention to the new "File a report" feature available on all file pages. If you encounter a problem with a file that is not in-game then please use this feature to inform the file moderators of any issues.
People who have paid for Supporter access since last Wednesday might be experiencing issues with their site access. Unfortunately I made some prospective changes to the Supporter system last week in preperation for some new features to be added to Supporter accounts, but something obviously went a little screwy.
I will get onto rectifying the issue tomorrow and creditting your accounts with the necessary time to compensate for the hassle. Hopefully the new features I will be rolling out soon will be worth this slight annoyance.
Edit: this issue should now be resolved. All people who were experiencing issues have had their Supporter time updated to today (so no days were lost) and everything should be back to normal. Apologies for the problems!
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