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Firing Squad have sat down for an interview with Bethesda's Mark Nelson about the new Oblivion expansion, Shivering Isles. There's a bit of info in there (more hints) about the expansion, although not so good news for Xbox 360 owners:
"Right now, a retail expansion isn’t an option on the 360. We’ve talked to Microsoft about it, and continue to do so, but our ability to do that isn’t up to us at this point. Certainly it’s an option we’d like to have, as you tend to sell more games when you make it available in as many places as possible."Though you can still get it via Xbox Live. And also, on the pay mods for Oblivion:
"We're considering a couple more right now, but past that, we have no definite plans."So it sounds like they may finally be giving up on the idea... again not so good for the Xbox 360 players though.
Bethesda Softworks have officially announced that they are working on the Shivering Isles expansion pack for Oblivion. Details and the first screenshots can be found here. The listed features are:
- Experience a branching questline surrounding the endless cycle of mania and despair.
- See a world created in Sheogorath’s own image, one divided between Mania and Dementia and unlike anything you’ve experienced in Oblivion.
- Battle the denizens of Shivering Isles, a land filled with hideous insects, Flesh Atronachs, skeletal Shambles, amphibeous Grummites, and many more.
- Find and wield new weapons and armor, or have new ones forged for you by the talented craftsmen of Crucible and Bliss.
- Explore a bizarre landscape filled with twisting, vast dungeons buried within the roots of the trees themselves.
- Unravel the mystery surrounding the endless cycle of madness and destruction that threatens to destroy the Shivering Isles.
Feedback suggested that people wanted a list of the top rated mods in the file database but I wanted to avoid a generic list of top files by mean averages for each individual file because, upon searching the database, it turns out that over 100 files in the database have a rating of "10" (the top rating) if doing rounding. Queue my trusty online site, imdb.com, which has a top 250 movies section as rated by their members, but it uses the bayesian formula -- something I ignored completely on my Computer Science degree ;)
The formula is as follows:
weighted rating (WR) = (v ÷ (v+m)) × R + (m ÷ (v+m)) × C
R = average for the file (mean) = (Rating)
v = number of votes for the file = (votes)
m = minimum votes required to be listed in the Top 99 (currently 30)
C = the mean vote across the whole report (currently 8.26)
The minimum number of ratings (one per user) a file needs to be considered for the top 99 is 30; obviously the lower this number is the easier it is for new mods to get in the top 10 and the harder it is for older mods, therefore I hope to increase this number as more ratings are made; so keep rating the files you download from TESSource and you'll see a more accurate top 99 listing. Currently almost 40,000 ratings have been registered on the site.
Enjoy the new feature, it will be available in the menu on TESSource when the cache resets at midnight GMT (or right now if you're a Supporter).
Well done to Povuholo of the forums for spotting this. It seems PC Zone have got their mitts on the first tidbits of info about the first expansion pack for Oblivion. If Sheogorath is truly going to be the centrepoint of this, then I'll be buying it! Unless I have to kill him. That's just wrong. Let's face it, the planes of Oblivion need some comic relief...
All right, first of all it sounds like Xbox 360 players of Oblivion can download Mehrunes Razor for free until the 31st of December. Does Bethesda's generosity know no bounds? Credit to Povuholo for spotting that, I didn't see it as it got bumped down the page by Bethesda's relentless reward boasts. You can read about this here.
As I say, Bethesda have also won a plethora of awards for Oblivion, so many that it's probably easier just to link you to their news page rather than post them all here!
As we come to the end of the year Oblivion will no doubt be in the press a lot as Game of the Year lists are published. On a similar note, GameDaily has been publishing it's "Person of the Year" awards. As voted by GameDaily, Todd Howard has come joint 5th place for his role in developing Oblivion.
I've installed a new piece of code into the file database today that manually checks file pages for broken areas. Many people have found mod pages that are only half complete, often missing the right hand side of the page. If you come across a file page with this problem you can click the "Page Broken?" link next to the file name and the system will first check to make sure the page is broken (to stop abuse of the caching system) then reload the cached page if a problem is found.
Hopefully this provides a fix to this annoying problem for normal members of the site.
Due to a security flaw found in the code today someone has managed to exploit a hole in the system and subsequently remove all download information for all files on the database. As a result I have had to restore the system to the last database backup, which was on the 26th of November (6 days ago).
I apologise for the inconvenience but all database related information, including download stats and any new downloads added to the database since this date will no longer be present.
The restore is now complete and you can reupload/edit your files as necessary again.
This has only affected those people who have uploaded or edited their files in the past week.
Over the past few days I've been busy at work trying to add a 'Download History' system to the file database for people who have paid for Supporter Time. Basically this new page allows you to see all the files you've downloaded over the past year. It checks the date of when you downloaded the file against the date of when the file page was last updated and lets you know whether there has been an update since then. This feature is up and running in a beta mode through the member area for TESSource.net You can use it both to see what files you've downloaded in the past (handy if your system has a nasty break down and you lose all your mods!) and check for updates.
One thing to note is that there was no way to check the version of the file you downloaded against the latest version that's been uploaded so a file may be flagged as 'updated' but may not necessarily have been updated with a new version (it may have a changed description, new images, etc. on the file page).
The file tracking/author tracking systems are still in place. This feature is for Supporters only since it's quite intensive on the server resources and would not be able to cope with mass usage.
In other news I've setup an IRC channel recently for visitors of TESSource to talk about things or get support on any problems they are having with the site. I'm in there, and hopefully more will join up from the forums soon. You can access the channel directly via your own IRC client (server: irc.quakenet.org , channel: #gamingsource) or you can use the web client I've setup (for people who have no experience with IRC).
Have fun and come idle with us :)
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