• 12 October 2011

    Modding competition closes tonight

    posted by Dark0ne Site News
    Just a reminder that the 2.5 millionth member competition closes tonight at 12am GMT, so you now have a little under 12 hours to publish your mods to the competition category if you want them to be accepted for the competition.

    Good luck!
  • 06 October 2011

    Andoran soundtrack and concept art

    Recently, the Andoran team released a drawing of concept art, viewable through the thumbnail to the right. The concept art appears to be some kind of mantis. They also have uploaded two of the songs from the Andoran soundtrack to YouTube, titled "Skogg" and "Boundary Forest".
  • 05 October 2011

    Skyrim Nexus launches

    posted by Dark0ne
    Don't worry, you're not late, I'm just early.

    In just over 5 weeks The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will be released in North America. Traditionally I have waited until around the time of launch to release a Nexus site for Fallout 3, New Vegas, Dragon Age and The Witcher. However, I seem to be waking up every day to emails asking me if I'm going to release a site for Skyrim or whether I'm going to integrate Skyrim in to TESNexus, so I'm putting the flag in the ground today and putting the doubts (and hopefully, the questions!) to rest. Skyrim shall have its own Nexus site, and we shall name it Skyrim Nexus.

    Naturally, interest in Skyrim is huge right now and that's only going to increase as we near the launch of the game. We already have over 20,000 posts in our Skyrim forum section and it's growing every day, so come join in with the rest of us.

    Skyrim Nexus right now has been locked to the front page and some really good feature article written by some of the news crew here along with Zaldiir, who has been running and updating our 5,000+ post strong Skyrim information sticky thread on the forums. If you're in the dark about Skyrim or want to make sure you're up-to-date on what we know and what you should see then look no further than our featured articles:

    Naturally we're going to be keeping you up-to-date with the latest Skyrim news and information on the front-page of the site, and when the game launches on the 11th of November I'll open up the Skyrim mods section and Image Share straight away ready for use. Until then I'll keep it locked to prevent people creating placeholders for their My Little Pony mods (which, by the way, I can't wait to play).

    5 weeks folks. I'll be playing Rage to pass the time, but something tells me it's still going to go very, very slowly.
  • 02 October 2011

    Nexus hits 2.5 million registered members, competition ending soon

    posted by Dark0ne Site News
    In the early hours of the morning of the 2nd of October 2011 the Nexus sites hit their latest registered member milestone of 2,500,000, just a couple of months past the 10 year anniversary of the sites. Recording for the current number of members originally began back in July of 2003 when Morrowind Chronicles became Morrowind Source and I moved to using Invision Board from YaBB. I'm not sure there are any still-active members from that period in the site's history, but I'd love to hear from you if you were here.

    The last milestone, 1 million members, was reached in June of 2009 so the membership of the sites has increased by 150% in less than 2 and a half years. Naturally I'm very happy that lots of members and mod authors, old and new, are still enjoying and using the sites. I hope the sites can still be here when we reach the next member milestone that I'm setting at 5 million members.

    As with the last milestone I have been running a modding competition free for all to enter. The prize fund for this competition has been set at $1,500 split between Oblivion, New Vegas and Dragon Age (1 or 2). As per the terms the closing date for this competition is 10 days from the day the sites reach 2.5 million members. Ergo, the closing date for the modding competition is Wednesday, the 12th of October at 23:59 GMT and you must have a file page and your mod uploaded in the competition category before this time to be accepted for the competition. Any entries uploaded after this date will not be judged and will not be able to win any of the prizes.

    If you are entering the competition you will find a new file category has been created for you to upload your mod to. You can either upload your mod and set it to hidden so no one else can see it (I will still be able to see it) or you can upload it for anyone to see if you don't mind. You won't be penalised whichever option you choose but I will not be reading or following any comments or endorsements on your file pages so I can remain impartial when judging.

    I'd like to say a quick thank you to all the people who volunteer their time to support the site, be it the great moderation team here or the regular members who help us keep the site clean with their reports and words of encouragement. 10 years, don't they go by in a blink?
  • 29 September 2011

    Andoran Podcast #1

    Yesterday, a video podcast with subtitles was uploaded to YouTube by the creators of Andoran. It includes some voice actors who voice some examples throughout the video, introduced by Ivan "TJ" Titov. For example, Evgeniy Sinelnikov, the sound director of Andoran, voices the Altmer, Dremora, and other things like a female Argonian. Another person is Oleg Varganov, who voices the Dunmer males; Elena Polonetskaya voices the female Dunmer.

    From 2:42 onward to the end, it shows clips from the mod with what I assume to be the main theme for the mod playing in the background.
  • 27 September 2011

    Skyrim's "star-studded cast" of voice actors revealed

    posted by Galahaut Game News
    Bethesda has posted a press release announcing the celebrity actors doing voice overs for Skyrim. Academy Award nominees Christopher Plummer, Max von Sydow and Joan Allen get the most attention, but the cast also includes Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman), Michael Hogan (Battlestar Galactica), Vladimir Kulich (The 13th Warrior), Claudia Christian (Babylon 5), Diane Loiuse Salinger (Carnivale), Renee Victor (Weeds), and George Coe (Saturday Night Live, Transformers: Dark of the Moon).

    The press release also includes details about the characters some of the celebrities will be voicing.

    Arngeir (Christopher Plummer) is a philosopher monk who "live[s] in silent isolation atop Skyrim's largest mountain." Esbern (Max von Sydow) is a Blade agent obsessed with the dragon Alduin, the World Eater. Delphine (Joan Allen) is another Blade agent trying to "unravel the mystery of the dragon's return." Gormlaith Golden-Hilt (Lynda Carter) is "one of the Nord heroes who overthrew the dragons in ancient times."

    Imperial General Tullius (Michael Hogan) is "in charge of crushing the Stormcloak rebellion," along with his chief lieutenant Legate Rikke (Claudia Christian). Ulfric Stormcloak (Vladimir Kulich), the Jarl of Windheim, is the general's nemesis and leader of the Stormcloaks.

    Bethesda ends the release by mentioning that the voice cast includes over 70 actors and 60,000 lines of dialog.
  • 27 September 2011

    Skyrim perks and racial traits

    posted by Lingwei Game News
    The Elderscrolls Forum poster Sammuthegreat was able to record the details of many of the racial trait name and perks available for the skill trees during a recent game convention.

    The creator tells you (briefly) about each race's abilities, so without further ado:

    - ORCS: Beserker
    - REDGUARDS: Adrenaline Rush,
    - WOOD ELF: resist poison, resisit disease, command animals
    - NORD: Battlecry
    - KHAJIIT: night-eye, claw attacks
    - IMPERIAL: Voice of the Emperor, find more coins when looting
    - HIGH ELF: regenerate Magicka more quickly
    - DARK ELF: Ancestor's Wrath (surround self in fire), resist fire
    - BRETON: Dragonskin (absorb spells), resist shock
    - ARGONIANS: Histskin (regenerate health quickly), resist disease 50%, breathe underwater


    - Buying and selling price 10% better (5 ranks)
    - 10% price buying from opposite sex
    - Invest in shops and increase available gold permanently in invested stores
    - Master Trader - every merchant in world gains 1000 gold for bartering
    - Buy and sell from any merchant regardless of what they normally buy and sell
    - Intimidation attempts twice as successful
    - Persuasion attempts more likely successful

    - Potions 20% stronger (5 ranks)
    - Potions for restore health, magicka or stamina are 25% more powerful (maybe ranked)
    - Poisons 25% more effective (maybe ranked)
    - Poisons last for twice as many hits
    - Two ingredients are gathered from plants
    - 50% resistance to all poisons
    - All negative effects removed from potions and all positive removed from poisons
    - 2 effects of an ingredient are revealed when testing it for the first time (instead of just one)
    - Another (unclear recording, sorry!)

    - Dual casting overcharges effect for more powerful spell
    - Cast Novice spells for 50% less magicka
    - Cast Apprentice spells for 50% less magicka
    - Cast Adept, Expert, Master etc spells for 50% less magicka (more levels this time around)
    - Spells work on higher level animals
    - Spells work on higher level people
    - All spellcasting (from ANY school) is done silently
    - Spells work on undead, daedra and automatons
    - One I genuinely didn't understand, and it wasn't clear on the recording either - something about "Kindred Mage" or something.
    - Fear spells work on higher level enemies

    - Novice for 50% magicka etc (up to Master)
    - Dual casting overcharges --> greater spell effect
    - Bound weapons do more damage
    - Bound weapons cast Soul Trap on target
    - Bound weapons banish certain creatures (and I think summon creature in their place, not 100% on that though, dodgy recording)
    - Reanimate undead with 100 more health
    - Summon 2 Atronachs or reanimated zombies
    - Summon Atronachs at twice the distance
    - Summoned Atronachs twice as strong

    - More damage for each school (fire, frost and shock) - ranked
    - Novice for 50% magicka etc.
    - Shock damage chance to disintegrate targets if their health is under 10%
    - Frost damage chance to paralyse targets if health low
    - Fire damage chance to make low health enemies flee
    - Place runes 5x farther away

    - Healing spells also restore stamina
    - Novice for 50% less magicka etc
    - Healing spells do 50% more healing
    - Something about recharging healing spells (sorry about poor recording quality, it was in my pocket!)
    - More is recharged with each hit with healing spells (again, sorry not 100% sure what this means!)
    - Spells more effective against undead
    - Once a day chance to autocast 250HP restoration when health drops low
    - Magicka regenerates 25% faster

    - Novice for 50% less etc
    - Alteration spells have greater duration (probably ranked)
    - Absorb 30% magicka that hits you
    - Another couple - bad recording again

    - Enchants are 20% stronger (ranked)
    - Enchanted armour 25% stronger
    - "Soul gems provide extra magicka for recharging" - again, dodgy recording but that's what I heard, even if it doesn't make much sense
    - Death blows to creatures but not people trap souls for weapon recharge
    - Health, magicka and stamina enchants stronger
    - Extra effect on already-enchanted weapon can be applied
    - Shock, Frost and Fire enchants 25% stronger (individual perks for each element) (probably ranked)

    Heavy Armour
    - Increase armour rating 20% (5 ranks)
    - Unarmed attacks with heavy armour gauntlets - damage increased by gauntlets' armour rating
    - Half fall damage if all in heavy armour
    - Heavy armour weighs nothing and doesn't slow you at all
    - Additional 25% armour if in matching set
    - 25% armour bonus if all in heavy armour (not necessarily matching)
    - 50% less stagger if all in heavy armour
    - 10% damage reflected back to enemy if all in heavy armour

    2-handed weapons
    - 2h weapons do 20% more damage (5 ranks)
    - Attacks with warhammers ignore 25% armour (ranked)
    - Attacks with battleaxes do extra bleeding damage (ranked)
    - Attacks with greatswords do extra critical damage (ranked)
    - Power attacks cost 25% less stamina
    - Standing power attacks do 25% bonus damage, chance to decapitate
    - Sprinting power attacks do double (critical) damage
    - Sideways power attacks hit all targets
    - Backwards power attacks have 25% chance of paralysis

    - Bows do 25% more damage
    - Zoom in
    - Zooming slows time
    - 10% crit chance
    - Move faster with drawn bow
    - Recover twice as many arrows from dead bodies
    - 50% chance of paralysing for few seconds (might be 15%, can't really hear...)
    - Draw bow 30% faster
    - Another about arrows - can't hear

    - 20% harder to detect (ranked)
    - Sneak attacks do 6x damage with 1h weapons
    - Sneak attacks with bows do 3x damage
    - Sneak attacks with daggers do 15x damage (end perk on skill tree)
    - Noise from armour reduced 50%
    - No longer activate pressure plates
    - Sprinting while sneaking performs silent forward roll
    - Running does not affect detection chance
    - Crouching can make hostile enemies lose sight of you and search for a target
  • 27 September 2011

    Various first hand accounts available of Skyrim

    posted by Lingwei Game News
    Bethesda have allowed the plebs to sample Skyrim which has resulted in a number of first hand accounts of experiences and information unfiltered by 'gaming journalistic standards' to be posted.

    The comments are posted in forum format, which appears to be far more useful at getting information across than wink-and-nod insider articles.

    First up is our very own Dark0ne.

    Just in the queue for the Skyrim hands-on preview at the Eurogamer Expo for my second play. Thought I'd tease some of you and let you know...yes, it's good

    Err, that's not right.

    * Magicka now regens pretty fast out of combat, and slowly (but it still does regen) while in combat. This makes magic much more fun and accessible to warrior and stealth classes and magic is less of a chore/bore than before.
    * Similarly your health regens, same principle as the Magicka
    * They've gotten rid of the stupid rag-doll effects that sent your enemies flying into the air when you killed them, more realistic
    * An obvious effort has been made on the animation front. Swimming looks slightly more realistic, as does jumping when in third-person mode
    * Lockpicking is exactly the same
    * Exploring is a little tougher (at least at the start) as there's a lot of vegetation and your view is quite limited. You can still go off and do your own thing from the start, but, like Fallout 3 and New Vegas, there's some obvious places to visit first for newbies
    * Like Oblivion, the environment is not dynamic in nature. You can't set things on fire that would normally burn with your fire spells (so you can't set a wooden cart on fire) but there are a few traps and things that will burn and damage enemies/you (like oil) that will be dynamic. So if you had dreams of freezing puddles of water with your ice spells and burning down log cabins with your fire spells you're probably going to be disappointed.
    * You no longer need to sleep in a bed/rest to level up your skills

    SammiiDoogles at The Elderscrolls Forum somehow was able to include more information about the game in one forum post that a dozen other articles that Tesnexus could link to. Below is a small sample.

    # While waiting I saw one player break into a house and on one of the counters was a book, when the player approached the book it had the option "Press A to forge business numbers" - part of a quest?
    # Sometimes, the last kill in a group may trigger a slo-mo kill cam, similar to the kill cam in Fallout where the camera focuses on the dying enemy.
    # Whiterun is gorgeous, lots of fountains and pools.
    # Akatosh and Talos have these tiny shrines found around the provice, they appear to be portable shrines or something that followers carry around with them.
    # Found some Thalmor Soldiers - clad in some very cool black armour.
    # '40 bounty added to Falkreath' from attacking Imerial Solider, 1000 for killing him.
    # Underwater is a lot like Fallout, but worse to be honest. You know how in Fallout you can rest the camer directly on water level and see everything clear as day underwater, but if you go under there's a green tint? Exactly like that in this; although the shift is actually more noticeable, that 'clear as day' thing is visible every single time you dive, looks incredibly ugly - I just hope thats one thing they're workig on still. On the surface the water looks good, but the ripples are the exact same as in Fallout. At one point I also saw the 'shimmering' from the sun pop in on the water, as though it's a texture.
    # Saw a cool takedown where Dovahkiin shield bashes someone, which puts them on their back foot, then impales them with the sword (Third person).
    # I watched one play walk up to a deer in the wilderness, the player got out his axe and hacked at it's face; the deer did absolutely nothing and stood there until it died. Similarly another player cast a flamethrower on a chicken in Riverwood which did nothing until it flopped down dead.
    # Physics are similar to Oblivion, on player was shooting arrows at a cart full of cabbages and each one went flying with each shot, easily flying higher than the surrounding buildings (Riverwood).
    # Nords have something called Battlecry which makes enemies flee.
    # Sleeping in a bed gives you rested, sleeping in a player owned bed gives you well rested.
    # Argonians have something called ____ Hist King (Sorry, terrible with names - it was something about the Hist King, it's a racial power like the Nords Battlecry) - it allows them to regenerate health quickly.
    # Double handed flamethrower is beyond awesome, easily the most powerful thing in the demo - wiped out a trio of bandits in seconds.
    # Stumbled upon a small funeral ceremony going on in a tiny, isolated graveyard in the woods. Was being held by a Priest of Arkay.
    # No Dragons in the demo. Bethesda staff said it's because they would totally destroy any unexperienced player, and the only reason Todd could handle it was because he had a really souped up character.
    # Some NPC's are just generic race NPC's - found a few called just 'Imperial' etc.
    # Fighting a Necromancer; he summoned a magical shield that covered his front - while this shield was up he was still able to cast magic and attack.

    There is much more information in the linked post so click through and read it.

    Sammuthegreat has provided several seperate threads of information. One containing his impressions, and two answering a group of questions from The Elderscrolls Forum members.

    I approached with my weapons out - an Iron war axe in one hand, and a flame spell in the other - and the bandit got his weapons out in response. He didn't attack though, he just warned me to stay away. His voice took me off-guard - it wasn't anything like the standard Oblivion Redguard voice. I was pleasantly surprised by the variation. I was going to back up and find a covered spot but I guess I must have got too close; he charged. I killed him easily and took his Steel mace, which looked nothing like the spiked ball from Oblivion. More like a cross between the Silver and Iron ones.

    I entered the mine, and decided to try some more stealth. Walking down the slope in the entry passageway I tripped a trap switch on the floor - rocks tumbled down from the ceiling (they looked far more weighty than the polystyrene ones from Oblivion) but they missed me. I froze until I was sure no-one had heard, and headed round the corner.

    In the mouth of the main cave, there was a wooden walkway going off at about 10 o'clock for 10 or so metres; there was then a sloped walkway at the far end, which went downhill from the left to the right of my screen, towards a fire. There were two bandits next to the fire. I heard them talking, saying "I hope no-one comes in, we're hardly very well hidden" or something similar, to which the other one replied "don't worry, we've got our friend guarding the entrance." I was fully hidden so I nocked an arrow to my bow and tried to hit the first bandit. I wasn't quite used to the arrows - they don't dip as much as I expected - and I missed horribly. As soon as I realised, I ducked back round the corner, but the stealth eye had opened very slightly. I heard the bandits say "what was that?" "Did you see something?" or something similar. I backed up as they headed up the walkway together, calling out asking if someone was there. They couldn't see me though, and didn't come all the way across the bridge to my location - interestingly, when I leant back out to take another shot, they were both walking in opposite directions, checking out the whole cave.

    There's also this 'journalist' article to compare.

    The gameplay feels very similar to how Oblivion felt for the most part, the ability to mix weapons and magic feels very cool with the ability to mix two different spells, equipping one of them to one hand and another one to the other, feeling even cooler. Is there anything more epic than burning a problematic wolf to a crispy sizzling heap on the floor and then zapping him with a little bit of lightning for good measure? No? I didn’t think so. I can only hope that the final game will have more of an in depth look at how players will be able to use a combat system with such a range of diverse choices that are available to make. I think that most people would just go for the trusty sword and shield combination and not realise that there are so many more variations of weapons, magic and shields that they could possibly be missing out on. As with a lot of things however, that’s just something that we’ll have to wait until the finished product has been released to find out.

    Haha, turning a wolf to a crispy sizzling heap and zapping it with electricity? Oh lol, where do these guys get such good material.

    In a similar vein, it was difficult to see which of the citizens of the towns were quest givers, this could have been down to the fact that they weren’t giving any important quests (the mission I ended up getting was about crafting armour and weapons) but I could have totally missed that mission if it wasn’t for the fact that I was randomly going around each of the citizens and trying to talk to them. Hopefully the main objective quest givers are a little more obvious but I didn’t get the chance to see any of those so I couldn’t say for sure.

    Yes I'm fairly sure that leaving out the yellow hovering exclamation mark was a conscious design decision on Bethesda Game Studios' part. Hooray for uninformative misguided complaining.
  • 23 September 2011

    Oblivion texts turned into a single tome

    posted by Lingwei Game News

    Gamerfront brings news about a Reddit user called notadoctoreither who has formatted, printed, and bound every text that appears in Oblivion.

    We’re not talking about standard printer paper with a cardboard binding. No, he went all-out with some high-quality paper, and leather binding. The total cost of the project was roughly $130, and roughly a month’s worth of work. Half of that time was spent getting the text formatted for printing.

    While he isn't making any more copies you can download the text already formatted and ready for you here and follow the tutorial he used here.

    Thanks @DCDeacon and @Elderscrolls.
  • 23 September 2011

    Complete Skyrim Collectors Edition photo released

    posted by Lingwei Game News

    Bethesda Softworks received the final version of the art book which will be included in the collectors edition of Skyrim. This has allowed them to post a photo on the Bethblog and handily provided in this news post.

    The Collectors Edition contains a cloth map of Skyrim, 200 page art book, 30cm (12 inch for our American friends) statue of Alduin the dragon, a large novelty box - shown here with the Xbox360 label - and fortunately a copy of the game and manual.

    This week we received a final version of The Art of Skyrim Official Art Book – the massive, 200+ page companion to the Skyrim Collector’s Edition. To celebrate the affair, marketing artist Lindsay Westcott took a new photo of all the CE contents — including a first peek at the pages of the artbook.

    In the coming days, we’ll be sharing more from the artbook… keep your eyes peeled!

    The Skyrim Collectors Edition can be ordered for $150 dollars. However Tesnexus is reliably informed that it has largely sold out in Australia due to game store staff members ordering all the copies for themselves.

    I have found from discussions with games store staff that they got a heads up and were buying them all up for themselves, friends, and in the worst cases for later ebay sales. One store, that I wont name, had a manager inform me that they were sorry they couldn’t sell me one but how awesome it was that they were able to get 5… yeah felt awesome I can tell you

    Skyrim will be available for sale in approximately 48 days.