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After all these years, and growing up with Windows 3.1, I have seen an entire evolution of computers and software. Touch screens and large resolutions were a pipe dream just 15 years ago. Now it's the norm. Going from a Packard Bell (yes, before HP) that couldn't run 3D Ultra Mini...

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The Elder Scrolls Nexus: Building the Best (Elder Scrolls) Game Ever
Posted on Friday, March 18 2016 @ 04:47:32 PST

No bs here. This is my expanding list of what I believe the next Elder Scrolls experience could be like. Please feel free to add your own thoughts and ideas below.

  The Elder Scrolls: Nexus

The Title

Although the word "nexus" gets thrown around a lot these days, and the fact that there is already a website called Nexus Mods that predominately features Elder Scrolls mods, the subtitle just seems to fit perfectly in the case of this game and it follows the series tradition of using locations in the title. (Skyrim, Oblivion, Morrowind, Daggerfall, Arena.)
 

Plot

A curse has stricken the southern lands of Elsweyr and Black Marsh. Many of the native inhabitants of these lands have gone mad with bloodlust, and hunt one another. Public opinion places the blame on the Daedric Prince of the Hunt, Hircine, but the truth may be far more complex. The part you play in these events will decide that fate of these two provinces, and perhaps even all of Tamriel.
 
 
Playing the Game
 
Online-Only Characters- Players who wish to be able to participate in online functionalities in addition to the game's core content must create characters who are stored server-side and can only be played while the game is connected to the internet.
 
Offline-Only Characters- Players who desire the classic Elder Scrolls experience with access to user-created content can create characters who are stored on their own systems, but they can never use these characters to play online through the game's built-in multiplayer functionalities. The play modes designed for multiplayer can instead be played solo with, and against, NPCs, or CPU "bots."

Mods- User-created content patches, or "mods," are only available to offline characters. Characters created as offline-only can never participate in online functionalities.
 
Playing Together- Players meet in Leyawiin to organize teams and venture forth to locations all across Tamriel for special quests and rewards. Character equipment and stats are balanced depending on the difficulty of the mission. Offline-only characters play with NPCs.
 
Aedric Conquests- Cooperative quests that send players to different locations across Tamriel to fight battles that would be impossible for one person to win. Many of the most powerful items in the game can only be obtained through the completion of these quests.
 
Playing Competitively- Players can participate in daedric contests for various rewards. Character equipment and stats undergo heavy balancing for these activities. Offline-only characters play against NPCs.
 
Daedric Contests- Competitive game modes hosted in the realms of the daedric princes. Each prince holds a different contest. In order to promote play across all game modes, a selection of modes are given the spotlight each day, cycling from day to day, and daily rewards are given for playing the daily modes. Deathmatch Hosted by: Mehrunes Dagon Rules: All players fight against each other. The first person to score a set amount of kills, or the person with the highest number of kills when time runs out, wins.   Team Deathmatch
Hosted by: Azura
Rules: Players a split into two teams. The first team to score a set amount of kills, or the team with the highest number of kills when time runs out, wins.
 
Domination
Hosted by: Molag Bal
Rules: Players are split into two teams. The teams fight to take control of three zones. Controlling zones scores points. The first team to reach the score limit wins.
 
Champion
Hosted by: Boethiah
Rules: One player is randomly selected at the start of each match to be the champion. The champion becomes a large dremora clad in full daedric armor wielding a great sword, is given additional health, and deals additional damage. The other players fight to become the next champion by killing the current one. The first person to score a set amount of kills as the champion, or the person with the highest number of kills as the champion when time runs out, wins.
 
Elimination
Hosted by: Mephala
Rules: Players are split into two teams and each round only allots one life to each player,  but players can be revived by a surviving member of their team. The first team to kill all members of the enemy team wins the round. The first team to five round wins is victorious.
 
Madness
Hosted by: Sheogorath
Rules: Deathmatch with all players being limited to use of only a randomly selected weapon or destruction spell that is periodically changed. At set points during the match the Fork of Horripilation, a one-hit kill weapon, and the Wabbajack, a staff with random effects, are given. The effects of the Wabbajack range from random destruction magic to temporarily transforming the target into various possible creatures.
 
Weapon Master
Hosted by: Clavicus Vile
Rules: Deathmatch where all players race to be the first to score a kill with each weapon or spell in a sequence. Opting to use your fists will set back any player you kill one level, but will not increase your own.
 
Undead
Hosted by: Meridia
Rules: One player is randomly selected at the start of each match to be the first zombie.
(Still trying to work this one out.)
 
King of the Hill
Hosted by: Malacath
Rules: Players fight for control of a plateau. Points are scored by being the only one at the top or by killing other players on top with you. No points are awarded for killing someone while off of the hill. The first person to reach the score limit, or the person with the highest score when time runs out, wins.
 
Capture the Flag
Hosted by: Nocturnal
Rules: Players are split into two teams. Each team must defend their flag while trying to capture the enemy flag. No one can score if both flags are missing. To capture the enemy flag, or to return your own flag, it must be brought back to your team's flag base. Flag carriers leave a short trail behind them when they sprint, allowing their movements to be traced if they're not careful. The first team to reach the score limit, or the team with the most captures when time runs out, wins.
 
Fortress
Hosted by: Peryite
Rules: Players are split into two teams. Each team fights for control over five push points. At the start of a match, players rush for control of the center point. When the center point is taken, the next available point becomes the one outside the losing team's fortress. If that point is taken, the next push point becomes the losing team's fortress point. However, if the point is taken by the losing team, the next push point is the center point. The game ends when a team's fortress is overtaken or when time runs out, and time-out victory is decided by which side is currently winning.
 
Scavenge
Hosted by: Vaermina
Rules: Players begin with weak equipment and must find better weapons, magic, and armor throughout the area. Dying makes you lose all of your pickups. The first person to score a set amount of kills, or the person with the highest number of kills when time runs out, wins.
 
No Armor
Hosted by: Sanguine
Rules: Team deathmatch with no armor allowed, except shields.
 
Brawl
Hosted by: Namira
Rules: Deathmatch with no weapons or spells allowed. Score limit and time limit are decreased.
 
Raid
Hosted by: Hermaeus Mora
Rules: Players are split into two teams and each round only allots one life to each player. One team must defend two stockpiles of treasure while the other tries to open a vortex at one of them to steal all of the treasure. The raiding team starts with a spell scroll on the ground before them. One player must use this scroll at a stockpile to open the vortex. If the player carrying the scroll dies, it is dropped for another player to pick up. If a vortex is opened, the defending team can win by closing the vortex before all of the treasure is taken. If all members of the defending or raiding team are killed without the vortex being opened, the surviving team wins. The raiding team wins if the vortex is opened and all members of the defending team are killed. Teams swap roles every three rounds. The first team to four round wins is victorious.
 
One-on-One
Hosted by: Hircine
Rules: Deathmatch between two players. Score limit and time limit are greatly decreased.
 
Game Components
 
Playing Field- All of Elsweyr and Black Marsh are playable, with the Cyrodilic City of Leyawiin acting as a bridge, or "nexus," between the two. Other parts of the world, most likely Valenwood, may be included as the settings for full-fledged expansions to the game.
 
Crafting- Weapons and armor are no longer bound to a specific strength depending on material. They now have customizable pieces and styles which can be obtained throughout the world.
 
Armor- While rarer materials are inherently stronger, an exceptionally skilled smithy with the right pieces can upgrade any armor to match the quality of those above it. Armor materials also no longer adhere to either light or heavy classifications. The weight-class of the armor is determined by the pieces it utilizes.
 
Weapons- Divided into one-handed, two-handed, and marksman classes, all weapons now have different styles and parts that yield different advantages and disadvantages. Swords may be designed for balanced performance, stabbing, slashing, etc. While each type of weapon has its own set of associated perks, their power can be accentuated by their designs as well. 
 
Skills and Perks- Skill increases in each category, combat, stealth, and magic, now accumulate to provide bonuses to all other skills in the same category, such as increased experience gained, reduced magicka costs, increased damage, etc. Perk trees now include special perks that can only be unlocked by discovering them. Certain quests, NPC interactions, skill books, or even perk combinations will be required to unlock the use of these perks.
 
Master Trainers- As an alternative to reaching the skill cap on your own volition, the services of master trainers can be utilized once you have advanced far enough in the appropriate skill and paid their price. If you can complete the challenges they present to you, you will be awarded mastery of the skill. Each challenge is unique to the skill in question and will require the use of perks from the skill tree.
 
Fatigue- Applying to health, magicka, and stamina, fatigue offsets the total amount of these attributes by 1% for every 25%(?) lost. While all 3 of these attributes recover over time, the fatigued amount can only be regained by using recovery items, such as potions, or by sleeping. Health and stamina fatigue can also be recovered by using restoration magic. Magic and enchantments may alter the effects of fatigue. 
 
Bosses- Encounters with bosses are different than fighting normal enemies. Common combat tactics may not work against them, and some bosses can only be defeated by keen observations and sharp wits. Humanoid bosses may initiate duels which will change the way combat works, making careful use of parries, blocks, dodging, and well-placed strikes vital to success.

Companions- Followers who will accompany you on your adventures. Some will insist on using only certain types of armor or weapons, refuse to get involved in some activities, suggest they don't take part in something for your benefit, leave your service if you do something they really don't like, may agree to carry out complex instructions, or do something in your place. By default, they will not damage or take damage from you while you're actively engaged in combat. Companions with certain skills will actively seek to utilize them, such as sneaky ones trying to backstab enemies, archers trying to provide covering fire, or mages trying to use the most appropriate spell for the enemies they're fighting. Having multiple companions is possible, and some companions may even develop chemistry with one another.

Marriage- Not everyone will be willing to commit to you after you've done one little thing for them. Some NPCs will have to see you around town or their place of work on multiple different occasions before you'll be able to pop the question. Companions may require that you first spend a certain amount of time with them, merchants may require you to trade a certain amount of gold with them, guards may require you to have some renown in their city, mages may require you to have learned spells that interest them, and in general, being wealthy or well-known will impact many potential spouses. You can choose the place of the wedding as well, but this and many other decisions you make will require your spouse's approval. You can go against their wishes on some things, but doing so will make them less happy with you and likely to leave. Some spouses will be open to new things, and may even give you the option to train them in certain skills and take them adventuring with you, even though they were originally a farmer or merchant. If you leave them at home, they may get upset if you do not visit them for a long time, and some will be frustrated with you if you do not join them in bed or ask them to go to bed with you from time-to-time.

Business- It is possible to play with the economy. Merchants may offer you trading agreements, meaning you can sell a type of item exclusively to them for additional gold. You can also open or obtain your own business, and even hire people and manage workers and clients. Each individual business comes with a manager attached, who is automatically and permanently hired to work for it. Businesses will include things from farms and stables to blacksmiths and general stores. This aspect of the game is intended to stay optional, but helpful for earning gold and possibly rarer quality goods.

Quests- Quest ideas are all challenged by a checklist of things they should not include, such as boring or tedious tasks. No more following a dog halfway across the map, gathering X amount of Y for random citizen Z, going through a cave for someone's completely insignificant steel sword, etc. This of course means fewer total quests, but more variety; quality over quantity. However, with all of that said, miscellaneous objectives may still be included for the sake of building relationships with NPCs. They are meant to be short and simple tasks, none of which should send you on long treks across Tamriel, or even come close to resembling an actual quest. NPCs won't provide these objectives under certain circumstances, which, for example, means you won't be able to trespass into someone's house, have them yell at you, then kindly ask you to bring them a bear pelt.

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Letting Off Steam
Posted on Sunday, December 6 2015 @ 22:59:44 PST



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The Elder Scrolls VI: Beastlord Leaked Info
Posted on Thursday, November 13 2014 @ 11:41:32 PST

A few days ago, I watched an angry review of The Elder Scrolls Online, and it got me kinda riled up. I started to have doubts about the next Elder Scrolls, which is a shame because I've become a big fan of the series, and have contributed to the Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages Wiki. I decided to bum around the official website, sort of looking for some nostalgic excitement, I guess. I didn't know what I expected to find, but what ended up happening has my heart pumping, even now. After stumbling upon a web developer oversight in the Bethsoft website, I found an exploit that wired me directly into Bethesda's developer server. I managed to access their team chat by simply joining as a guest. I was able to eavesdrop on their group conversations this way, and gathered a lot of info on their next Elder Scrolls project. After one individual, who will not be named, finally inquired about my presence in the chat list, I posed as a Zenimax employee from a different department, and claimed that I was a big fan of the series and my curiosity had gotten the better of me. To my surprise, the individual actually offered to answer any questions I had about the game, being very excited about it themselves. Keep in mind, I haven't seen any actual footage or images from the game. Everything I saw was through the team chat.

Without further ado, here's what I learned about The Elder Scrolls VI: Beastlord.

The subtitle Beastlord isn't concrete, but it comes from the fact that the story focuses on the Daedric Prince of the Hunt, Hircine, who has "turned natives of Black Marsh and Elsweyr into savages," hunting one another. Societal collapse ensues, and both provinces come under scrutiny from the other leaders of Tamriel. It is your goal to find the source of this curse and stamp it out before civilization amongst the Argonians and Khajiit becomes a thing of the past.

All of Black Marsh and Elsweyr are playable, with talk of Valenwood being added, possibly as part of an expansion. The city of Leyawiin acts as a bridge or "nexus" between the provinces, and parts of Black Wood are eventually explored, though "you will be on a leash in these areas." Black Marsh is almost completely covered in swamps and jungles, with cities built inside and around gigantic trees, and many underground caves are carved out of roots that can span miles. Elsweyr is a vast desert, dotted with lush oases and many secrets buried beneath the endless sand.

Gameplay is meant to be as immersive as possible. Menus are treated less like pen-and-paper and more like a mental picture, as if you're thinking it. Character animations look more organic than ever, especially while standing idle. Combat animations flow naturally, no longer adhering to a single set of animations.

Your character is given a smidgeon of backstory this time, and you get to choose which of the two provinces to start from. In either case, you were living with a native family when savages from the other province killed them, and you were forced to flee to an outpost. It's here you create your character, and an officer debriefs you on the situation, after which you fight to defend the outpost from attacking savages. You can either succeed or fail. Failing quest objectives most often happens simply by being defeated in combat, which will result in allies having to rescue you. Many quests can also be subverted, or completed in alternate ways. For example, having connections with the Thieves Guild can open up optional methods for you to complete certain quests. This breaks the series' usual linearity and offers up branching story paths. The endgame is affected by failing main quest objectives or subverting them.

Quest ideas are all challenged by a checklist of things they should not include, such as boring or tedious tasks. No more following a dog halfway across the map, gathering X amount of Y for random citizen Z, going through a cave for someone's completely insignificant steel sword, etc. This of course means fewer total quests, but more variety; quality over quantity. However, with all of that said, miscellaneous objectives may still be included for the sake of building relationships NPCs. They are meant to be short and simple tasks, none of which should send you on long treks across Tamriel, or even come close to resembling an actual quest. NPCs won't provide these objectives under certain circumstances, which, for example, means you won't be able to trespass into someone's house, have them yell at you, then kindly ask you to bring them a bear pelt.

Also regarding quests, some quest lines cannot even be initialized without the prerequisites being met. If you want to get into the Dark Brotherhood, you'll have to have some basic stealth and combat skills. If you can't spell your way out of a paper bag, don't expect to get in with a school of mages.

Boss NPC encounters have been improved tremendously. No matter what difficulty you're playing on, bosses will be much harder to kill than normal enemies. They may also initiate duels, during which combat evolves into "a test of reactive thinking, not like a QTE, but like a focused sequence of properly placing and timing your strikes and parries." Infinity Blade is a close parallel to the idea, but they assured me it would be much cooler than that. Duels will end in various spectacular ways, depending on who you're fighting and what you're using. Other, more important bosses, like those you'd find at the end of a quest, may also include more intricate battles, like those in Dark Souls. They said they've "taken to heart how disappointed players were with the final bosses of Oblivion and Skyrim, and this time we're really trying to end the main quest with a deeply satisfying finale that properly represents the epicness of this game."

Skills follow a system similar to Skyrim's, but with added depth. Some cool new features include some skills only being obtainable after having been taught them, learning them through books, or after completing a specific quest that involves them being used. Special weapon techniques, magic effects, alchemical possibilities, stealth benefits, etc., can only be made available to you by going and finding out about them. Another feature involves certain skills from one branch combining with skills from another branch. If you're the master of unlocking, you'll get bonuses to other stealth skills. If you can swing a mace with the best of 'em, you'll get bonuses to other combat skills. Simply put, being well versed in a skill of one type will affect other similar skills.

The game will allow you to play with the economy. Merchants may offer you trading agreements, meaning you can sell a type of item exclusively to them for additional gold. You can also open or obtain your own business, and even hire people and manage workers and clients. Each individual business comes with a manager attached, who is automatically and permanently hired to work for it. Businesses will include things from farms and stables to blacksmiths and general stores. This aspect of the game is intended to stay optional, but helpful for earning gold and possibly rarer quality goods.

Marriage in this game is planned to be far more immersive than it was in Skyrim. Not everyone will be willing to commit to you after you've done one little thing for them. Some NPCs will have to see you around town or their place of work on multiple different occasions before you'll be able to pop the question. Merchants may require you to trade a certain amount of gold with them, guards may require you to have some renown in their city, mages may require you to have learned spells that interest them, and in general, being wealthy or well-known will impact many potential spouses. You can choose the place of the wedding as well, but this and many other decisions you make will require your spouse's approval. You can go against their wishes on some things, but doing so will make them less happy with you and likely to leave. Some spouses will be open to new things, and may even give you the option to train them in certain skills and take them adventuring with you, even though they were originally a farmer or merchant. If you leave them at home, they may get upset if you do not visit them for a long time, and some will be frustrated with you if you do not join them in bed or ask them to go to bed with you from time-to-time.

Followers also have much more depth. Some will insist on using only certain types of armor or weapons, refuse to get involved in some activities, suggest they don't take part in something for your benefit, leave your service if you do something they really don't like, may agree to carry out complex instructions, or do something in your place. By default, they will not damage or take damage from you while you're actively engaged in combat. Followers with certain skills will actively seek to utilize them, such as sneaky ones trying to backstab enemies, archers trying to provide covering fire, or mages trying to use the most appropriate spell for the enemies they're fighting. Having multiple followers is possible, though it hasn't been decided on what the maximum number should be. You won't be able to take an army with you, for sure. However, many game spaces are being designed "around the idea that multiple characters should be able to move through them without hindering one another. Many interior cells are therefore meant to feel spacious."

That's all I got. There's some pretty amazing stuff here. I'm glad to see so many new ideas being thrown into the pot. I'm really hoping a lot of them make it into the final product. I feel this is something I can genuinely get excited about after hearing all of this, and I'm sure you must be feeling the same way. I'm sorry if I didn't uncover more, but understand I was freaking out the entire time I was in the developer's server.

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My Short Recipe for Saving Gaming
Posted on Saturday, October 6 2012 @ 02:57:51 PST

This is going to be hard to write without giving away some of my top secret ideas and game plans, so you're probably going to get gypped on some of the thoughts I have to share. Just a heads up.

I've noticed people complaining ...   read more...

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Let me tell ya a story
Posted on Tuesday, July 21 2009 @ 01:25:07 PST

   It all started on my younger brother's birthday.

   We were going paintballing out here at a place called Fran-Bar Park. Nice place. Big fields for paintball, and a big fishing pond. And some place called the Haunte...   read more...

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Huge Super Gamernet Thing
Posted on Friday, April 24 2009 @ 21:09:17 PST

(From my blog @ http://tingz0rbgs.blogspot.com/)

  Paying for XBox Live sucks.

(However, I recommend buying subscription cards off of Newegg.com. *winkwink*)

  But seriously, we're buying your console, we're...   read more...

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Achievement Unlocked
Posted on Wednesday, March 25 2009 @ 13:04:14 PST

(Taken from my blog @ http://tingz0rbgs.blogspot.com/ )

Here I will do a brief look at both the achievement/gamerscore system for the XBox 360 (Box is what I'll be calling it) and the trophy/gamer level system for the PS3.

Ach...   read more...

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Demos: Use `em or lose `em
Posted on Thursday, February 5 2009 @ 17:38:19 PST

I`ll start off with my main point. I just played the Killzone2 demo I got when I reserved it, and it`s awful. Slow control recognition, out-dated control mechanics, and the fact that I had no idea what to do half of the time.

Now there`s ...   read more...

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After a day of being unsuccessful.
Posted on Monday, January 19 2009 @ 22:28:59 PST

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I smashed a package of ramen and it came out both ends....   read more...

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Your chance to win!
Posted on Sunday, September 28 2008 @ 22:55:32 PST

You know promotional giveaways, contests, etc. "Enter for your chance to win," "Many will play, few will win," "No purchase necessary," and the like. Sometimes you fall for it, just wishing day and night that you're goin...   read more...

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