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Thought I'd leave a little note to let everyone know that I will be off to Spain early tomorrow morning for a much needed holiday. Hopefully no rain! I'm due back next Tuesday.
The server has been a little rocky these past few days with several slow downs happening throughout the day. Hopefully the server will iron itself out because I'll likely not have any internet access while I am away.
When I get back I have several improvements planned for the site, including:
- A new EU file server, and better synchronisation between the file servers
- Improved Supporter funtionality and download mirrors
- File tagging (already half done, but further work needed)
- File reporting and moderation (staff announcements soon)
So there's always that to look forward to.
Hope you all enjoy your holidays (if you have any) and I'll be back in a week!
Over the past few weeks TESSource has been "under attack" from a Chinese hacker who targetted certain areas of the site in an attempt to infect visitors with multiple trojan viruses. This basically involved injecting code into the database of the site via an external site.
While it is unfortunate to have your work sullied by such a pathetic individual, the actions of this hacker have forced me to upgrade the site more, adding in more security checks and hack-proof additions that can only be good for the future of the site.
On Thursday, when it became apparent to the hacker that the holes he was using were being plugged up, he made some last ditch attempts to infect as many people on the site as possible. He changed all the author names in the file database, and all the download names in the database, to a nasty script call. This is the reason why many author names and download names have been lost.
I'm relatively confident that most of the holes have now been plugged and we should not be seeing a repeat of this problem any time soon. However, please remain vigilant of any suspicious areas on the site and report anything you find out of the ordinary to me.
An old backup for the author names and download names had to be used, so if you have recently uploaded or updated your files on the site you might want to check that everything is as it should be. I've also coded a small new feature that lets you change the name of the individual files you have uploaded, so you don't have to remove and reupload your files just to get the file name back.
If you are an Internet Explorer user and have visited this site regularly over the past few weeks then I strongly recommend running a full virus scan of your system, just to be sure.
I'd like to thank all the folks over at the official forums for their support and help.
In all likelihood, as a visitor to this site, this news won't be of any help to you. However, topical as always, I'm here to tell you that Bethesda have announced their Game of the Year edition of Oblivion. The GOTY edition will contain the Shivering Isles expansion along with the Knights of the Nine content, on top of the original vanilla Oblivion content. Here's a snippet of excitement:QUOTEJuly 9, 2007 (Rockville, MD) – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax Media company, announced today that it will release The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion® Game of the Year Edition (GotY) for Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system from Sony, and Windows this September. Oblivion GotY will include the original version of the award-winning RPG Oblivion along with the official expansion, The Elder Scrolls® IV: Shivering Isles™, and the downloadable content, Knights of the Nine™.
This new product will allow players who have never played the 2006 Game of the Year to experience Oblivion for the first time with additional content. In addition, gamers can continue their existing games of Oblivion and experience the new quests and areas offered by the expansion and downloadable content.
More information available on the official Elder Scrolls site; if you dare.
I am taking down two of the three download servers for the remainder of the day so I can properly stress test the new download server I recently purchased. I apologise if this inconveniences anyone, but it is something that needs to be done.
It's time for a new generic site poll on TESSource. I'm asking which town is your favourite Oblivion town; where do you go to stash your gear, enjoy a quiet one in the local pub or visit your favourite house?
The last site poll asked "How are you finding Shivering Isles?". The results are below.
It's good - 2221 votes - 68%
It's ok - 550 votes - 17%
It's bad - 119 votes - 4%
No opinion - 354 votes - 11%
Seems that Shivering Isles has been a good success for Bethesda with a majority of the players thinking the expansion has been average or good.
An email was written to Bethesda, and later posted on the official forums. Here's a piece:QUOTEDear Bethesda Softworks,
My name is Dave Small and I am teaching a course at the University of Florida this summer on game design, which has 25 students enrolled.
Along with the textbooks, the students are required to purchase a copy of Morrowind GOTY, as they will be using the TES Construction Set to implement their game ideas.
Sounds fun! The forum thread is here. One of the professor's students posted there.
Semi bad but not catastrophic news for those people who use the image share feature on the site. While writing new code for the site that enabled uploaders to edit their image information I made a rookie PHP mistake and updated every single entry on the site with a default title, caption and description.
My last backup of the site was on the 8th of June so I will be doing a manual reload of the backup for all entries before that date. Any entries to the feature since the 8th of June will have their title, caption and description changed to a default text.
Ironically with this new addition to the feature that I have coded today you will be able to edit your image entry text. So please edit any images you have added to the site since the 8th of June!
As promised over recent days, I have coded the Top Images section of the Image Share feature on the site. The listings are limited to the top 20 images based on the same bayesian formula used in the Top 150 Files in the file database.
As and when more ratings come in on images the listing will increase from 20, so head on over to the Image Share section now and start rating your favourite pictures!
In this news post I'll mention certain mod projects which are either released and still being worked on, or are unreleased and being worked on. For those not familiar with Bethesda's official forums, 'WIP' means Work In Progress, and 'RELZ' means release. 'REQ(Z)' means request but that's not really relevant. Also, 'OBSE' means Oblivion Script Extender, and for those who have been living under a rock for the last 10 years: 'mod' is modification.
Enhanced Daedric Invasion BETAQUOTEIt would seem that an invasion of the Empire by the forces of Oblivion should be a big deal. Oblivion the game does address the effect of the invasion on the people of Cyrodiil, but not enough. I want to make the invasion come alive, where even if the player doesn't decide to do the main quest exclusively they will still have to deal with it. Wouldnt the Daedra be attacking the cities? Wouldn't other heroes from the Empire be heading out to tackle the bad guys? This is what this mod addresses. It adds more Daedra vs Empire interaction by creating new spawns that force some conflict between the two sides.
Besides the player, there are also Fighters/Mages Guild members, the Imperial Legion and others who try to protect the cities and surroundings!
Streamline 3.0 (OBSE)
This mod started with purging the cell buffer to reduce stuttering, but 3.0 adds many more features that will improve performance. All the options can be changed through an easy to use Menu System.QUOTEFeatures: "Streampurge" - Memory purging on an intelligent, scheduled basis
"Streamsmooth" - Realtime FPS Smoothing via detail adjustments
"Streamsave" - An automated, queuing savegame system
"Streamview" - An automatic Field Of View (FOV) system!
"Streambench" - An integrated Oblivion benchmark system
And much more. You won't regret downloading this thing when it's done. Now last, but not least...
Oblivion Graphics Extender(OBSE)
If you have played Morrowind, you might remember Morrowind Graphics Extender. This 'mod' added distant land and Bloom/HDR shaders to the game. Oblivion already has this, and there isn't really much to add. So OGE will focus more on the scripting, and could eventually turn into an OBSE plugin. So far there hasn't been a OGE release, so there aren't any mods which can take advantage of its scripting functions yet. It'll take a while, but I'm sure that we'll get some amazing mods! And nice functions for modders to play with.
As you may have noticed I have been busy changing the layout of the site (both the main site and file database) today. Changes include a switch to a variable width design (using up 100% of the screen), a change to the right nav, a darker background colour, switching the right nav to the left in the file database and a few other tweaks here and there.
Hopefully there will be some more changes and tweaks coming soon as well as an uplift to the content of the site.
In other news; I'm trying to track down the source of a very annoying pop-up on TESSource, the "DriveCleaner" pop-up. I can't trace it's origins to block it but am diligently working to find it. Unfortunately I outsoure advertising to a number of different organisations so trying to track back some ads can often be a difficult task.
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