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Hearthfire has been available for download on the Xbox 360 for several days now and some reviews have come in. The general theme seems to be 'good for a free afternoon' and 'not for everyone'.
Eurogamer:QUOTEWhat sort of Skyrim player are you? Are you there for the story and the Achievements, taking advantage of the game's loose logic to play multiple characters in one playthrough, heading up the Mage's College even as you take charge of the Thieves Guild, and saving the world while playing as an evil assassin? Or do you use Tamriel's vast canvas as a backdrop for your own adventure, setting your own limits and rules and immersing yourself in its rich milieu?
If it's the first then you've probably got no interest in Hearthfire, the new DLC that lets you build houses. There are no quests here, with no story and no definable ending. You may have already posted a witty comment about Skyrim Sims. Congratulations. Hearthfire is not for you.
If, on the other hand, you've already started planning which of your weapons you want to display where, whether to store gems in the same chest as jewellery, and are actually looking forward to spending hours trying to wrangle floating items into display cases so they're positioned just right, then Hearthfire is most definitely for you. It's just not that good.
Computer and Video Games:QUOTEIt's totally bare inside, obviously. Building the house itself is only the beginning. You're going to have to source the rest of the materials yourself to build things like beds, cabinets, hearths, and sconces to light up the exterior. But remember, this is only the starter house. As you expand your property, it'll get much bigger. Your first house will become the entrance hall for a much grander one, and you'll get to add things like alchemy labs, trophy rooms, and libraries to store all the books you've collected on your journey. Because the plot of land creates a new fast travel point on the map, having your own self-contained base of operations is very useful.
There are three plots of land in all: one in Falkreath, one in Morthal, and one in Dawnstar. All three cost the same, and the only difference is the location; your house will always be in the same style no matter where you build it. You're also able to adopt children once your house is furnished. Constance Michel at the Riften orphanage (where Dark Brotherhood characters will have executed Grelod the Kind) will give you the chance to take one of the kids there back to your new home. You can adopt two at a time, and they get their own room.
There is no currently announced date or plans for the PC version. However, previous timed Xbox 360 exclusives have been made available for the PC approximately a month after initial release. Bethesda did not announce a release date for Dawnguard before making it available for PC, so the same may occur for Hearthfire.
A team diary on the Elder Scrolls website reveals the background of the development of the next Skyrim DLC 'Hearthfire'.QUOTELike Dawnguard, Hearthfire's inception came out of Bethesda Game Studios' first-ever "Game Jam", a weeklong exercise where members of the team shared in-game ideas for expanding Skyrim.
"When the Game Jam invitation arrived, I was looking for something different from what I'd traditionally do as a designer," lead designer, Bruce Nesmith recollected. "To make it a reality, I knew I needed an artist to tag team, so I approached Robert [Wisnewski] and we collaborated on the project that was presented to the team."
Wisnewski, an environmental artist for Skyrim, was inspired to expand upon the game's housing options in large part because of his enthusiasm for Skyrim's crafting systems.
"It started as a small idea to expand on the crafting element of the game because alchemy, smithing and enchanting were things I was interested in when we were playtesting the game," said Wisnewski.
Meanwhile Nesmith, a fan of the popular game Minecraft, wanted players to have more ways to create content in the game. "Being a fan of [Minecraft], I asked, ‘Why can't I build things in our game?'"
The diary also has some new screenshots from Hearthfire. The DLC is due out tomorrow.
Another (even longer) battle video from Tyrannicon, this time featuring a siege on a castle of vampires as takes place at the end of the Dawnguard questline. It's how a some people would have preferred the final battle of Dawnguard to have been perhaps...
Werewolves allied with vampire hunters is cool.
Mods used in the video:QUOTEKnightly Armory by Jacko0
Crainte Vomir by Hentai
Horse Armors for Skyrim by Mystikhybrid and Gabriel Gullbergh
Gokstad Sailable Ship by SLuckyD
Enhanced Dynamic Weather System by Zappoo
Skyrim Monster Mod by Dogtown1
DT_SayIt by Artisanix
Puppeteer Master by JohnB
Enhanced Blood Textures by dDefinder
Vagabond Armor by hothtrooper44
Master The Time And Space by WarriorKeKe
Masked Helmets by VefTheVef
Remove Slow Time Effect by Lestat Viro
Ring Of The True Werewolf by TheCh0senOne
Midas Magic by Xilver
Review Studio by KahjiitRaj
Summon Ball Lightning by Verteiron
Vampire Lord Armor of Harkon by hellstorm102
Dawnguard Vampire Races by Raelord
Bat Travel Vampire Power by Didymus Ei
Vampire Resting Places by kibblesticks
Vampiric Grip by watcher2030
Magic Duel by Seb263
A video covering the amazing Automatic Variants mod.
Thumbnail image for this video is courtesy of symplexity.
From the YouTube Description:QUOTEWith this official add-on to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you can purchase land and build your own home from the ground up - from a simple one-room cottage to a sprawling compound complete with an armory, alchemy laboratory, stable, garden, and more. Use all-new tools like the drafting table and carpenter's workbench to transform quarried stone, clay, and sawn logs into structures and furnishings. Even transform your house into a home by adopting children.
Hearthfire, the next official game add-on for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, will be available for download for 400 Microsoft Points on Xbox LIVE on September 4.
So, it seems we are getting another one of the features from the Bethesda Game-Jam (No, they are not stealing ideas from modders...). Maybe we will get spears and goblins soon as well then?
In this video I continue with my focus on Vampires and Dawnguard, but there is a little something at the end for non Vampires too.
Thumbnail image for this video is 'Midnight Hunt' courtesy of Al99. Check here to see all the screenshots including this one.
Belua Sanguinare Revisited - Dynamic Vampires
Open and Lock Spells
For those asking where the thermal vision came from:
Vampire Predator Vision
A lesser known mod for adding more and better functioning hotkeys, and a little something for Dawnguard.
Thumbnail image for this video is 'Candles' courtesy of BlakkPhoenix. All thumbnails can be see here in the images section.
More Hotkeys Please SKSE BETA
Vampire Lords can Loot and Activate and Open the Map - With Werewolf Now
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